Merry Christmas from The Yees 2013

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The Yee family members are all science aficionados and the lighting our advent candles fits perfectly with that. Eila and Josiah are both happy to show off their reading skills in retelling for us the true story of God who sent his Son to rescue us from all that has gone wrong in this world and to make things right. We love to celebrate Jesus‘ birth and coming to earth, and our home is filled with lots of joy and peace.

We love our extended family and traveling. Summers are great for joining both these passions. Besides trips up north and to Cedar Point with family, we took a driving trip on our own down south to Mammoth Caves, Nashville, Memphis, Oxford, MS and Huntsville, AL for the U.S. Rocket and Space Center too. Brian is still working at ePrize and enjoyed a trip to Cleveland for the Nationals finals for the corporate battle of the bands, where he played at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He tries to fly as often as he can, which isn’t very much. He plays cards with some friends most weeks and has completed lots of little projects around the house. Shannon has continued teaching English as a Second Language at the Westland Library and also co-leading in the children’s program for Bible Study Fellowship. Shannon started running again and even competed in a few races including a half-marathon this fall. She tries to keep the house in order especially since once a week the local Moms In Prayer group meets here. Four-year-old Thaddeus adores being on the go and playing with his friends at BSF and ESL. He loves all things related to sports and whatever his siblings like too. TJ talks nonstop and will tell you all about riding his bike, playing games, his favorite shows, books and characters whether you ask or not. Josiah turned seven this fall and is in now if first grade. Remembering to listen all the time and follow directions has been tough, but he has lots of friends and is doing really well academically. He still loves volcanoes and legos and is super fast on roller blades. Eila is almost nine and is in third grade. She is often lost with her nose in a book, but is happy to play Harry Potter anytime, anywhere. She finished competitive gymnastics in May and has been learning to play the flute and knit in her free time since then.

We are glad to have you as a part of our lives and hope that you will celebrate with us the great of gifts we have in Jesus Christ!

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Oops.

It seems I’ve forgotten that I even had a blog. Oops. I have been busy actually living life rather than commenting on it here, which seems a good choice. Each year I seem to be busier and yet better too. I’ve learned a lot this year. A LOT. I didn’t realize how little I know. Oops. I have been a Christian, with a deep and meaningful relationship with God through Jesus Christ, for over 20 years. I’ve been in more Bible studies than I can count, but I have never really learned to pray or recognized the value or power in praying. Oops. I was really missing out. My mother was always praying and we experienced amazing miracles through her prayers and yet somehow I still didn’t get it. I know that the Craddicks were praying for me for years and through their prayers, I’m certain that I have been protected from many troubles and been blessed. Still, I didn’t make praying a priority. If I woke up at night, I’d pray. What else do you do in the middle of the night?! But this year, I’m seeing the gift of waking up to pray and the power that God works through our prayers. It’s like He has just been waiting to show a bit of His power and Himself to me. Oops. I was really missing out. I’m sure I still am and will learn amazing things even this week. I hope you won’t wait anymore.

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Goodbye Gymnastics

Eila has only been doing gymnastics for a few years, but she has come pretty far and is very good. I feel like we’ve invested so much time and energy and money that I hate to see it end. Yet, she is no longer interested. She loves the competition, but dreads the practices, which are 12 hours a week. She is so tired and while she loves doing gymnastics, she’s not really interested anymore. She will miss the girls on the team, who are her friends. She will miss the coaches, who have been great in every way. She will miss traveling and competing. She will miss learning new skills. She will miss being super strong and flexible. She won’t miss long days, missed meals, rushed mornings and nights, hard practices, or feeling exhausted and burned out. As a family, we’ll miss all that Eila will miss. I will definitely miss the families that we have come to love and count as friends. It is sad to say goodbye to competitive gymnastics, but we are looking forward to more time to just play and relax. We are excited to spend a weekend at home as a family. We aren’t put out at all about the money that we’ll be saving (or more likely spending differently.) Alas, we say goodbye to gymnastics for now.

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As The Saying Goes

Time flies when you’re having fun. We must be having a lot of fun!

I think we really are, but we’re so busy it’s hard to be certain. School, church, sports (basketball for Josiah and gymnastics for Eila, plus exercising for me too), and home make up the routine of our days. We are trying to keep Sundays as our family day and play games, take a walk, or watch a movie together. Brian has been traveling for work about once a month, so that adds a little variety to the schedule. Eila’s gymnastics competitive season is in full swing and we are traveling at least a few weekends each month with her. In January, we went to Toledo and then on to Columbus to visit my family. It was so much fun for all of us – playing games with our cousins, shooting pumpkins, eating well, and just catching up with each other. At the beginning of February we enjoyed a long weekend in Chicago where Brian and I celebrated all of our special occasions for the year with a most delicious and fabulous meal at Moto. We also loved exploring the Museum of Science and Industry as well as doing a little shopping. One of the highlights of that trip was the stop we made on the way home to visit some dear friends. This weekend, Eila and I will take a girls’ trip to Holland; we’ll probably try to squeeze in a little shopping during our time away.

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Dark as Night

I’ve been trying this new thing for the past few weeks. It’s crazy and really unbelievable that I would attempt this sort of thing. I am a woman who values sleep and does not care very much for the morning. I was also a little girl, teenager, young lady, etc. who had strong opinions regarding the high priority of resting until the last possible moment. For some reason, my children (well, my sons) do not share this love for lazy mornings in bed. Over the past several years, I have been awakened quite regularly at a very early hour by a small boy (or two). Just this past month, I decided to stop fighting this awakening and actually get up and enjoy some morning reflection and prayer time. So, I’m getting up when it still dark as night, because it really is still night, as far as I’m concerned, and enjoying a little quiet time reading the Bible, praying, journaling, and occasionally reminding my boys that it’s still night time, which means quiet time. And honestly, it is going great.

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Homemade Deodorant

After trying a few different homemade versions of deodorant, I’ve settled on this recipe:

1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1 T. baking soda
3 T. cornstarch
1/2 T. bentonite clay
6 drops tea tree essential oil

Warm the coconut oil slightly and then mix in dry ingredients until smooth and evenly distributed, then add tea tree oil and mix some more. Store in a baby food jar and apply about a pea size amount with fingers…
It works for me and I like the way it smells.

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Change Has Come

You won’t be surprised to hear that change can be good or bad. Well, I was ready and even excited for a change in my life. The shock of my new hair was really, well, shocking. My children were not fans of my new boy haircut and I wasn’t really sure how I liked seeing so much of my face – with the signs of aging that have somehow appeared just recently, because they weren’t there the last time I looked. That small change took some getting used to and now my kids actually like my hair and recognize me when I come to pick them up.

I usually love the new year and the promise of a fresh start. I feel the same about each new day. I often encourage myself by reminding my kids as I tuck them into bed that we get to start over fresh tomorrow. This new year has brought a few changes that are taking some getting used to, just like my hair. One of those changes, is actually not a change at all, but a return to our normal schedule. Unfortunately, some of us enjoyed our vacation a little too much… Another change is just temporary, but requires adjustments to be made, as Brian is traveling abroad and we all miss the head of the family.

While change has come, I know that more change will come. I am content with how things are and don’t really want any more change, but life is full of surprises – good or bad.

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Change Is Coming

I sometimes get bored with the way things are and feel the need to spice it up a bit. I was feeling that way about our living room. My amazing husband, of course, agreed that it was in need of some updating, as did everyone else who saw it. So, we changed it and after a lot of money and energy spent, it looks great in my opinion. We haven’t really taken any pics that capture it well and our camera is sort of protesting taking pictures, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. Well, I am also feeling a bit bored with my personal appearance. So, I am now occasionally wearing make-up when the aforementioned husband is around. Also, I am going to cut my hair, which has been growing for the past few years. Every couple of years, I get it all chopped off and then when I get bored with short hair or tired of keeping up with the haircuts, I grow it out until the process repeats itself again. I’ll donate the long hair and hopefully enjoy the new look. I may even get some highlights. Changes are coming, exciting changes… for me anyway.

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Merry Christmas from The Yees

We are full of excitement and joy as well as germs and screams as we look forward to Christmas. One of the most exciting parts of this season happens as we light the advent candles and read the true story of God who sent his Son to rescue us from all the bad stuff in this world and to make things right. We sing a song and restrain the boys so they don’t put anything else in the flame and start a fire. As we celebrate Jesus‘ birth and coming to earth, we know great peace even amid the craziness of our home.

Life in the Yee household is predictably unpredictable. Our days are full of laughter and tears as we live life together and learn to function in the world at large as well as in our home. Over the summer, we had a great time traveling around Michigan with our extended families and camping a few times too. Brian has been traveling with work a bit this fall as well. He still plays in the church band and plays cards with some friends most weeks. Shannon starting teaching English as a Second Language again and also co-leading in the children’s program for Bible Study Fellowship this fall. She spends her free time helping at school and feeding the troops. Three-year-old Thaddeus has adjusted well to being the only kid at home during the days and likes to go to his school (BSF or ESL). He spends his time doing exactly what his siblings do or what they tell him not to do. TJ has recently realized that beds are ok and most nights he doesn’t sleep on the floor anymore. Josiah turned six in September and also started going to school full day. He loves Kindergarten now, especially recess and playing with his friends. He enjoys building and learning and knows more about volcanoes than you do. Eila started second grade at a new school this fall as we learned that she really is a pretty smart kid despite the fact that she struggles to remember where her dirty clothes go when she takes them off. She spends all her free time doing gymnastics and ensuring that her brothers know what to do. She tries to squeeze in playtime with friends more and more. Each of the kids will be making their acting debut in the Christmas play at church very soon.

We are glad to have you as a part of our lives and hope that you will celebrate with us the great of gifts we have in Jesus Christ!

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Life with School

I imagined that when I had more than one child in school, things would slow down. I would be able to get so much done around the house and provide great meals for our family. I figured that with only one kid, we would be able to have fun and get our work done and also have time for naps or relaxing each day. I don’t know what I was thinking!

As I write this, I’ve just realized that I only have 5 hours of time between the dropping off and picking up times instead of the 8 that I imagined I had. This might explain some of why I’m not as productive and fun as I thought I’d be. In reality, after playing with Josiah until he has to leave for school, Thad and I usually get the grocery shopping done, have one fun outing (like the zoo or park), help out a school (go to a playdate for TJ) and make a few meals each week. Each afternoon, he naps while I work on Bible study or ESL lesson plans or connect with people or maybe do a bit of a house project. Then I wake him up to go get Eila and we go, go, go until bedtime. Each evening is different, but they are all the same too: eating, playing, working, talking, laughing, crying, cleaning, reading, sleeping.

Fall is here and I don’t want to miss it, but it is tricky taking time to enjoy and experience life as we live it. If you have any tips, please share!

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