True to Form…The Very Late Family Christmas Letter with Some News of Great Awe!

(Photos to follow…really)

On behalf of the Blyckers’, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! It has been fun to catch up on many of you via your emails, blogs and cards.

We had a green Christmas, celebrating at home with my parents and younger sister.  Our main gift to them was the sun and they responded with such glee you would think it never shines in Michigan anymore!  I confess we cannot and do not want to imagine snow and cold. The boys were a delight this Christmas, waking up very early to run outside and see what Jule Tomte and the Julbok (the Swedish Christmas troll and his goat) left in their shoes and if they ate the rice pudding.  We continued the day with the reading and our traditional Swedish meal, ending with a dash to the gulf to behold another winter sunset.

As for our year. .. well, life as a Blycker is never dull and we never know what adventures await us.  ’08 was exhausting on many fronts with several trips, three moves and sporatic work, yet we have emerged not the same in many ways, transformed more and more into who God dreams we will become. Here is a recap on our clan:

Ben:  He spent the greater part of ’08 investigating camping ministry options.  Opting to stay put for now, he has continued in his craft of fine carpentry and general handyman work.  Designing Japanese screens, custom cabinets, odd jobs and remodels, as well as furniture for our own home, we have been grateful for work and opportunities on a month-to-month basis.  His passion is not business; it is service. He would really like to plug into something which emphasizes meeting the physical needs of others with the underlining theme of the gospel.  We’ll see where that desire will lead us this next year.  It has been fun to watch him play bass in our small church each week and occasionally act as translator for a Spanish gathering of believers.  He is gearing up to be an ESOL teacher in a new community outreach. 

Larsen:  Graduating from first grade in a local public school last year, he is now in home school second grade.  Our goofy boy is 8 years old, at the age where his individual interests are really starting to expand.  He is an outdoorsy boy who enjoys camping, chopping wood, tree-climbing, dirt-digging and learning about nature.  Lars loves to read, play with his hamsters, build with legos and bionicles, swim and bike. He also has an affinity for Narnia, pancakes, engineering and bluegrass music with hopes to learn the banjo! Lars is our thinker, deeply compassionate and giving with great hopes of climbing mountains, walking the Great Wall of China and being a champion Olympic biker!

Anders:  On December 4, our little one turned three!  He prepared for the occasion by transitioning to a twin bed and underwear (which I have been ecstatic about!).  Whereas Lars was always into swords, Anders must have his bow & arrow and popgun with him at all times.  He is more of an extrovert, enjoying a hub of activity and his beloved brother around at all times.  He has an affinity for tools, fruit, lollipops, salsa, stuffed animals, music, books and art projects, especially painting.  I often find him outdoors messing with the hose and making mud pies to throw at his brother. 

Me: Besides overseeing our transitions this year with Ben, homeschooling the boys and keeping dates with my husband, the major focus of my year has been writing and research.  I was honored to receive my first book contract with Authentic, a missional publishing house based in Colorado Springs and the UK.  The book should be out next fall (more details to follow).  I’ll be teaching art to children of the ESOL program and hope to continue in my own growth as an artist and writer and pursue all the others things I want to read and learn about this year!  While trying to keep my house clean, my children in clean clothes and have others over for dinner now and then.  Our life is a constant speed bump, at best!

Finally, our most surprising news of this year is that of a gift that will make its appearance this August 16.  We have entered the great advent of the next Blycker.  It has been celebrated through extreme, extreme exhaustion, hormonal swings and vomiting as never has been seen or heard before. Yes, I am pregnant!  

May God bless you and keep you and make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you.

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