2012 Christmas letter
2012 was a great year for the Yerkes family. We had some big events, and some small, big changes and small. I feel like with Facebook, blogs, and things like Instagram, everyone already know what there is to know about our family, so I am just going to talk about the things that felt most significant to us, and in no particular order.
Family- We had a nice surprise in March when we realized we were going to have another child. We had been thinking about it, but were surprised to find out I was pregnant. I guess when you open your heart even a little to something good, God steps in and makes it happen. And we are so glad he did because Cydney (CC) has been such an incredible blessing in our family. I am still in awe over how much I love this child, and how full she makes our life feel. I am also thrilled by how much her brothers and sister love her too. Dillan constantly asks to hold her, but like most guys, the second she starts crying he hands her over…and says she is hungry. Lexi thinks she is the cutest little thing (high praise from Lexi). Derrick is now affectionately being called “smother brother” because he can’t seem to leave her alone.
Church- The Church is such an important part of our lives, and one I do not talk about much. I love the Gospel, and feel so grateful for what it adds to our lives, for what I know, for the comfort and peace it gives me when I think of my children and their facing the world we live in. This year our family scripture study has been much more consistent than in the past, and more enjoyable. The kids being able to read means they can follow along better, and read some of the verses themselves. My calling has widened my view and helped me work harder at helping my kids relate to the scriptures and apply the gospel principles in their daily lives. If there is one thing that has become glaringly obvious to me this year it is how far from perfect I am, and how much the Atonement means to me. Dillan will be getting baptized this upcoming February, and that has made both Brett and I feel even more strongly about how important it is to make sure he understands what baptism is, what it means, and how wonderful that blessing is.
Money- This is something that feels significant to many people, and Brett and I are no exception. This year was different for us. We decided to stop using credit cards all together. We made a budget, read Dave Ramsey, as well as many other finance books, and decided to make some changes in our habits. We have loved the results. We have less “stuff” and will likely go on fewer trips, but we feel great!
Jobs- Brett has worked at Harvest for the past four years, and in November we felt really good about him making a change. There was little to no room for advancement or growth in that position, so he put in his two weeks. He is currently serving at Ruby River while we look for something that is a better fit for our family than Thanksgiving Point and the restaurant business in general. As for Rachael, I am still working, though less than I have in the past. I have great clients, and still LOVE my job, at least most of the time.
School- We were really excited when Lexi got into the same French program as Dillan. The year started out rough as Lexi was WAY behind grade level. Fortunately, we were able to get her a great tutor, and with private session2-3 times a week, she is now doing really well. Dillan is still excelling at school, and LOVES to read. He reads everything! Lexi still prefers television to reading, but is doing much better than she was at the start of the year. They both are doing really well in French, and it is so much fun for us to hear them chatter away in it. Derrick is in preschool, and loves the social aspect of it.
Vacation- Vacation is very important to our family. We started the year off right with a fun family cruise in January to Mexico. It was so nice to spend a whole week just playing with the kids, not worrying about school, cooking, cleaning, etc. In April Brett and I were fortunate enough to be able to go to South Africa, and visit where Brett served his mission. What an amazing experience. We saw wild animals, played in the ocean, learned of the culture, and best of all got to visit old friends from when Brett served thirteen years or so before. During the summer we stayed closer to home and visited Yellowstone for a few days, enjoying the geysers, wild animals, and most importantly the resort pool! We were also lucky enough to spend a week in Salmon canoeing, river rafting (floating), four wheeling, fishing, cooking, and just having fun. These trips were significant to us because of the fun, the family time, the sharing of stories, and sillies, and the creating of new memories!
Another thing that was new to us during 2012 was the making of freezer meals. Since I spent what felt like the whole year pregnant, it meant I spent the whole year feeling crappy, and having NO energy. Thus, in order to save my children from a diet of only cereal, I had to make sure I had food on hand that would be fast, easy to prepare, relatively healthy, and tasty! When I had good days I would make as many freezer meals as possible to get us through the bad days. We now have a collection of favorites, and life at dinner time has been greatly simplified.
Some favorites from the year:
Brett- Playing softball!
We hope next year we can continue to grow, learn, and experience challenges that make us stronger better people. We are so grateful for the many people in our lives, both family and friends, who have made this year so great for us. We have felt so much love, support, and friendship, and hope you have felt the same from us!
Love, The Yerkes Family