Christmas Letters

Merry Christmas 2015

Jonathan changed from being Scout master to primary chorister. Each Sunday he grabs the children’s attention with a magic trick before they start to sing. It’s the quietest moment at church! This summer he bought a used O’Day sailboat. The family first sailed Otsego Lake in NY while camping with the Davises, then later on Mascoma Lake NH. In the fall Jonathan and a friend went mountain biking on the Killington resort trails. Unfortunately his friend went off a jump wrong and Jonathan had to call medical help up the mountain. Jonathan followed an ambulance twice to two different hospitals that night and stayed by his friends side until the diagnosis of concussion, hurt shoulder, ribs, and broken hip were stabilized.  This autumn Jonathan received a prestigious award at work. He continues to enjoy playing club hockey on the Dartmouth Thompson arena ice. In Jonathan’s spare time he’s worked on writing two apps; to automate green houses, and a task manager.

Alissa tried her first spin classes this year, and participated in the color run with Eldon. She went on a girls trip to NYC and was happy Britta Davis could meet her there as well. She had lunch with her cousin Gary and Brynn at Max Brenner. A broadway show, frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity, witnessing a proposal in central park, the Guggenheim museum, a bagel with lox, were all highlights. This year Alissa read, “Pavilion of Women”, “Founding Mothers,” “Letters to a Young Mormon”, “The Moonstone”, “All the Light We Cannot See”, “Help,Thanks, Wow”. A trip to Denmark to hug her Far, Peter Rasmussen was 8 years over due! Time spent with Katja, sister Christina, and brother Lukas was wonderful. Aunt Hanne helped Alissa and Eldon discover the city of Copenhagen, and the artistic connection she had with her grandmother Ruth and great grandfather Aage. Uncle Arne and Torben, cousins Jesper and Morten were fantastic hosts as well.   

Eldon (10) graduated from the Bear den to Webelos in cub scouts. He enjoyed a LEGO robotics camp this summer, as well as participating on the Quechee swim team. In the fall his football hopes were dashed with two broken arms. He enjoyed his first international trip to Denmark to visit his MorFar and family. He loved sightseeing on the canal boat, riding public transportation and a nearby zip line. He spent a day at the swimming pool, building rafts with Christina and chasing her down a twisty slide with neon lights. He enjoyed trying foods such as new delicious desserts, frikadelle, fresh bread and fried onions with sandwich meat, and good chocolate. Going on the rides at Tivoli with Mom and Christina was also very exciting. Eldon is currently playing on the 5th/6th grade boys basketball team. This year he fits into his Mom’s black Nike basketball shoes! Eldon is growing into a fine young man. He offers thoughtful prayer and talks at church, excels in academics, sings in school chorus, voraciously reads, loves bicycling, engineering things with his hands, and kindly gives younger children rides on the four wheeler.

Caleb (8) started his year making an important decision to be baptized, following Jesus Christ’s example. Uncle Dain and family as well as Crossett Grandparents, were in attendance, along with supportive friends.  He joined the wolf den and is enjoying cub scouts. Caleb has made great strides in independence this year in his home and school routines. This summer Jonathan and Caleb attended the Ivan Lendl Adaptive sports camp in Connecticut. Caleb has dropped from an individual education plan at school to a 504, no longer needing an aids assistance. He truly has become a star pupil and loves to learn and share answers with his class. Caleb gets his younger siblings to play sports at home, often throwing or kicking a ball. He loves watching football with his Dad. Caleb started knitting a hat with his Grammie Crossett, and has also created many landscape drawings with her and Leah. He also enjoys his new independence driving our automatic 125cc Yamaha four wheeler.

Leah (6) has gained many new skills this past year. She really enjoyed her horse lessons she received as a Christmas present. Leah can now ride her bike without training wheels, and tried wall climbing in a harness for the first time. She enjoys writing, art, and doing creative projects with her Grammie Crossett. Leah attended a summer camp at Ava art gallery where she used different mediums each day to portray an owl, which was her animal of choice. That same week she visited the local bird refuge (VINS) with her family, and saw beautiful owls and a variety of fowl. She enjoyed her new ability to swim underwater and played her first season of soccer. In kindergarten she was given the otter mascot award for having the most rewards for being safe, caring, and responsible. This year she has already gotten the privilege of attending “Mary Poppins” at the local play house with the 5th graders because she had the most otter awards in the first grade. Leah also lost her first baby teeth, two on the bottom!

Brycen (3) loves to sneak into mom and Dad’s bed some early mornings, and truly loves to snuggle. He likes to sing the ABC song, as well as “The Wise Man, and Foolish Man”, “I Like to Look to for Rainbows”, “Follow the Prophet”, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, and “Jingle Bells.”  Brycen has a fascination with tractors and working machines. He is more timid with motion and heights than our other children, and has slowly increased the height in which he feels comfortable swinging. He loves having a turn to say family prayer. He’s quite passionate about it, and when it is another child’s day to say the prayer Brycen has insisted on saying another prayer after them!  A phrase he keeps saying in his prayers is “Thank you for wonderful day!” Brycen has proven to eat the largest quantity of fruit in our family.

Along with his sweet side he can also be full of mischief, a real rascal.  He has an alarming scream, and can flash a teasing smile. He is often getting into things such as his brother’s treasure box under the bed, carrying around his sister’s Barbies, confiscating any flash light or screw driver, doing his own “homework” in a notebook etc. Some of his common phrases are, “Watch this!” or (do this and-) “I’ll give you a hundred bucks.” I don’t know where that bribe comes from but it some how has stuck and sounds ridiculous coming from a 3 year old! He also says at various times during each day, “Mom (or Dad), I Love you!”.We love his giggle, and things he says make us laugh each and every day. As the youngest he’s always striving to catch up with his siblings, such as insisting on carting around chapter books because that what he sees them reading. He takes ownership over all of the smaller chapter books like Jonathan’s pocket sized French dictionary etc.

This November Brycen got into the pre-K program when a student dropped out. The first day he reportedly ran away from his teacher! It happened during recess when she told him it was time to line up and go inside. It was a rough start, but the next day he walked into the classroom and told his teacher, “I’ll be good.” He’s since done better with the routine. Brycen started school being able to recognize his letters very well.

As a family we took two swimming trips to the east coast ocean, one to the vast Oneida Lake, frequented Lake Pinneo, and kayaked as well as swam in the Connecticut River a few blocks from our home. We watched the Hill Cumorah Pageant in July. Alissa, Eldon, and Caleb, played in a piano recital for a local nursing home and continue to practice. We’ve spent countless hours  at the Monteshire Museum of Science, and at home building with legos and on the trampoline. Another joy in the family is that our cat named Holly, has all of a sudden decided to become a lap cat!