I've been a bit of a slacker this year, which means my "Christmas" cards have now become New Year's cards, and I never even put up my Facebook equivalent before Christmas - though I could have. *sigh* Well, folks, here it is. Better late than never....
Merry Christmas everyone! I saw a joke on FaceBook the other day about how you’d think with our daily updates and check-ins with everyone throughout the year, maybe you wouldn’t get these kinds of cards. Sorry, here it is. J Only because I enjoy hearing about everyone else, and since there are so many of you who live so far away from us, well, this is the only time I get to brag. Thanks for bearing with me.
If I had to use only one word to describe the year, it would be “learning”. Learning to figure out how to live as a family again after a year-long deployment; learning how to adjust our lives and schedules to help with a medical condition; learning how to be quiet and listen – or sometimes just watch – when God is trying to do something for and with us. Learning isn’t easy, but I’m happy to say that I think we’ve learned a lot this year. And we’re not done yet.
As individuals, here’s the rundown: Coleman is 8 and in 3rd grade this year, and his teachers say he’s like a new kid. He was diagnosed with ADHD last February, and thankfully we’ve been able to adjust our eating habits and schedules and lots of other little things to improve the way he handles the effects of that. He is much more confident of himself and is more willing to try new things, like going hunting with Dad and grandparents (and actually handling the dead animals). He also discovered a new favorite sport this year: hockey. I know, we live in the desert. But after a couple introductory lessons Coleman has decided he wants to keep at it – and he’s pretty good at it, too! He also still plays baseball and soccer, which he also excels at. The boy can play!
Joseph is 6 and in 1st grade now, which astounds me to no end. He’s the biggest kid in his class, of course, but he is still our gentle giant. He started losing baby teeth this year, which he thinks is the coolest thing, and he’s getting to be a real ace when it comes to math and reading. Of course, it helps that he’s learning extra stuff from his big brother, who’s been trying to teach Joe multiplication tables already (and he gets it, at least a little!). Joe has also been trying hockey, though he’s not as steady on his feet (silly ice) so hasn’t decided if he wants to keep at it long term. Soccer, though, he’s the fastest kid on the team even though he was one of the youngest this year. He also played teeball in the spring, and we’re hoping he gets to move up to pitched ball this year, because he loves playing.
Dominic is still here in AZ, though we get mixed messages whether he’ll deploy again or not within the next year or two. He’s still playing with those big toys as crew chief and technician for the Blackhawk unit here. Dom was also pretty proud to get a deer this hunting season (a little 3x3 for those who care). Though he won’t tell you, we’re all pretty proud of Dom volunteering to speak at our boys’ school on several occasions. He also gets “voluntold” for several classes and extra responsibilities at work, which oddly means he’s doing a good job, so they have him do more. And of course he’s still teaching the high schoolers and occasionally the junior high at our church, plus helping out with our own kiddos activities.
Me, I’m as busy as always. I was thrilled to be able to go back to the Dominican Republic over Thanksgiving on a planning trip – and hopefully be able to return next summer as well. I feel like God really softened my heart this time and helped me be able to see a little more “God-like” even back here at home. Of course, on the homefront I’m working 3 days a week at my church office, plus volunteering one day at our local crisis pregnancy center. I’ve become the “soccer/baseball/hockey mom” (minus the minivan), and help out with stuff at the boys’ school as well. I’m still singing at church, and help Dominic with the youth there, too. It has been a joy to see those teenagers mature and grown, even as we have seen those we used to minister to years ago continue to do so.
What have you learned this year? We’ve learned much physically, emotionally, and spiritually around here. God has been so good to us – continuing to provide for us with steady jobs in a crazy economy, giving us safety with vehicles, including a new-to-us car this year, and becoming a central part of our lives, especially in seeing Coleman and Joe grow, “in wisdom and stature”. We look forward to the new year knowing God will continue to work and teach us – and we pray the same for you!
Have a merry Christmas and a blessed new year!
With love, Hilary ,Dominic, Coleman & Joe Rigo
P.S. See, you even get to see the same photo everyone else will get.... :)