Merry Christmas from the Worcesters!

Dear Family & Friends,

We hope this finds each of you well, and enjoying the season. We have enjoyed another blessed year full of new opportunities, challenges and joy.

The biggest piece of news this year was the arrival of our second daughter, Annabelle Juanita (Abbie for short). We had started talking about trying for another one, and the Lord allowed us to conceive quickly. By the time Gaby went to the doctor, she was already 13 weeks along! Abbie came into our lives on 7/31, five weeks ahead of schedule but was and continues to do very well. We all went home together 3 days after birth, and she hasn't had any premie complications or concerns. As we write this, we are about to celebrate our first Christmas with baby Annabelle, and our first as a family foursome.

Our big girl Ellie turned 2 on December 9th, and she continues to be a very funny, charismatic, strong-willed little girl. Over the past few weeks, it seems that she learns a new word every day, and she's showing more and more personality all the time. And she loves her sister so much! We don't have any problems with jealousy (other than occasionally around meal time) - only that Ellie will smother her sister with kisses! For her birthday this year we took her to Leap Frogs and Magic Castle that week, and she did great climbing, bouncing, exploring, and sliding down things. That little girl is fearless!

I went on a mission trip to Haiti in May of this year, returning to serve with Lifeline Christian Mission along with a few other men from our church, Miamisburg Christian Church, and a couple other churches from across the country. It was another great experience for me, and I'm slowly but surely finishing up the websites from that trip as well as the 2011 trip to Haiti. I have lots of photos, videos and other stories to share. Just need to finish those sites... And I'm planning to go to Kenya, Africa in 2014 for another mission trip!

The year started off well with my job at Comfort Keepers. I led the vendor selection to build two new websites for the company, went to Florida in April for the annual conference, seemed to be getting along well with the new Marketing Director that came along in July, and really enjoyed working with the franchisees and helping them with their online marketing efforts. But on October 25th, I was told that my position at CKFI had been eliminated. It actually worked out to our benefit though as I got another full-time job in a couple weeks and I now make more money, get to work on my Mac all day, and I work from home! At the moment, I "set up camp" in Abbie's bedroom and we'll be building an office / man cave (complete with heat and A/C) in the next several weeks in the basement. It's been a great opportunity for me to do so many different things (web development, project management, and marketing - including social media), and I've worked with my new employer, Human Systems Development, for several years through Design Chemistry and then as an independent contractor.

Many of you have probably heard about the very sad news in our family with young Chris, our nephew. They learned in early April that he has a bone cancer. He's been receiving chemo and other forms of treatment ever since, and although they found some addtional cancer in his lungs on one scan a while back, the most recent scan shows that the tumor in his hip is shrinking! Most of the times we've seen Chris in recent months, he remains cheerful, very upbeat and positive. We continue to pray that he'll beat this, and be able to move forward with the things 19-year-olds typically enjoy in life.

Gaby continues to LOVE staying at home and raise our girls, and is very active in our community. She started running again after Abbie was a month old, and is currently putting me to shame with her drive and discipline. We got a double running stroller that we'll put to good use again when it warms up a little bit, and we're talking about running a half-marathon together again next year. Outside of that, our typical week includes various excursions with the girls, visits with family and friends, reading book on lots of different things, and trying to keep those creative juices flowing in our respective areas. Gaby continues to paint, and my learning new web design stuff. And our girls make us smile and laugh EVERY SINGLE DAY.

We hope you are enjoying this time with your families and the other blessings of the season. MERRY CHRISTMAS and Happy New Year!


Love,

Shaun & Gaby