Merry Christmas!

It’s still Christmas so it counts.

I had large aspirations of sending out all of my Hobby Lobby 50% off Christmas cards with a (small) hand-written note inside and a cool letter.  I did manage to send out a good chunk so consider yourselves super-mega-with-a-cherry-on-top loved if you got one in your mailbox.  How cool is it to GET MAIL these days?

For those of you who didn’t I do truly apologize.  I have extra cards and I have stamps.  I have excuses, but none that are really worthy of me typing them out.  My goal is to build relationships and to try, as much as is feasible in today’s tech-centered word, to keep some aspects of the non-tech world.  Yes, I am attempting to blog and I am a Facebook-aholic, but for a few years God has placed a very direct challenge on my heart.  That challenge is to hold fast to relationships through mailed cards and letters that come by an actual person with HANDWRITING on them, and to be intentional with getting together with people, despite the challenges of busy lives and social media.

I did not do a fluffy Christmas letter.  Nor did I do a, “here’s all the crap that we faced,” letter.  But my family did produce a letter and for those of you who did not get one delivered to you in the mailbox, I am adding it below.  I truly hope that you and your loved ones had a beautiful Christmas and will take time to continue to reflect on that baby born so long ago who grew up and died to save us all.  Let us rejoice.

 

Dinesen Christmas Letter –  2015

 

Most of my family is very tired and busy this time of year, so I have been elected to write the Christmas letter. After all, if you count it correctly, I am now the oldest member of the family. I do have quite a bit of time in my schedule, so here is a bit about the goings on in the Dinesen home.

We can start with me. I’m Lincoln, also known as the greatest family dog ever. I turned 11 in human years in June and am starting to feel my age. The arthritis in my leg is bothering me, I have a lump that was deemed, “just fatty tissue (yeah, I got lots of that!),” growing, and, much to everyone else’s chagrin, am losing a lot of my long hair every day.

The littlest human is still my favorite person in the house. Julia started kindergarten and seems to like it. She gets tired of wearing her uniform because she prefers to dress in cheetah print, black fashion pieces with a, “flash of color,” she calls it, and other things that she says are, “the fashion.” They love her at school too. She came home with a new t-shirt because she was the first Student of the Month in her class. Pretty cool! She’s my favorite because she loves animals, sings around the house a lot, gives me treats, and never finishes her dinner so I get the plate.

The medium human is the loudest and he is 10 now. Maxwell is really smart, loves video games and just got a fancy letter in the mail saying he was one of the top performing students in 5th grade for Grand Rapids Public Schools. Yep he’s smart. But he’s really loud too and is still trying to figure out how to handle feelings. Our parents call it Aspergers and read about it a lot and help him. I tend to just leave the room when he gets loud. My senior nerves don’t handle it well. But Maxwell does give me treats too and really good belly scratches and I have known him for a long time so we are pretty close. He looks rally cool when he leaves for his karate class with his red belt. I like to watch him do moves at home because he can kick really high!

My mom, Michelle, is doing pretty good. Sometimes she gets to stay home with me when the other kids are at school and we hang out. By hang out, I mean I nap on the floor and she does some light cleaning and lots of coloring in her fancy books. Other times she goes to speak at a MOPS group because that is what she loves to do. And then some days she gets to go to work and have fun. Michelle likes working at Village Kids Consignment Boutique because of the nice people that come in to the store and that work there. I agree with her about getting older. As we age, our goal is to focus on goodness, family, and rest. I notice goodness in my new Trader Joe’s treats; she is learning to see it in situations that come up. I love to get leftovers from my family, she focuses a great deal of her energy on helping Maxwell work things out and the rest of our home in general. Rest is my favorite and I do it for about 23.5 hours a day. Instead of unpacking and decorating in our new house and cleaning everything perfectly, she takes time to watch her favorite show, connect with a MOPS group, color, and has even tried blogging again. You can check that out at michelledinesen.com if you want.

My dad is still working building websites through his company, engine. He is very busy and enjoys what he does. He also connects regularly with friends at a couple different Bible Study groups. Like my brother, he likes playing games on the tv and he and Maxwell sometimes play some weird game with squares everywhere – squares of bricks, squares of wood, squares of water, even their heads look square! It seems kind of pointless to me, but, then again, I sleep through most of it. My favorite thing my dad does is put big hunks of meat into this round outdoor thing. It makes a lot of smoke and the entire house and yard smell like meat ALL DAY LONG. His favorite (and mine) is brisket. Oh, I mentioned the new house. It is right by a butcher shop. My mom says my dad goes a little too often for brisket and meat sticks. I disagree. He can go as much as he wants in my book.

My grandma Sally still lives with us and I love it! She gives me lots of snacks too. I have found that the more people who we have in the house, the more snacks I get. So I am a total fan of people. She also lets me lay in her room a lot. The new house is great because her room is right by the kitchen and I don’t have to go up or down any stairs to get there – bum hip and all. Grandma Sally picks up the kids from school when my mom goes to work and helps a lot in the house. She likes to go to Muskegon to visit her sister every week too.

We moved to Walker, MI 49534 (email me at michelle@dinesen.us if you need an address). Our family needed to get a main floor bedroom for Grandma Sally and be closer to school. So now we are all good! I have a bigger yard, though I don’t run around like I used to. There are a couple dogs behind my house that I can bark at and that makes me happy. Mom and the kids are happy for the shorter commute to school, dad likes the big garage, and Grandma Sally finally has a bedroom where she has a door that closes (even I don’t have that!)

So that’s us. To see how awesome and cute we are, check out Facebook because my mom posts a lot there. If you want to see how we are all a little bit of a mess, come on over and see our everyday life. We’d love to see you! I’m going to take a nap.

Merry Christmas!