Happy New Year 2010
Greetings from all of us in Forest Hills, NY! 2010 was certainly an eventful year for us—both blessings and blessings disguised as challenges. We were able to do a bit of traveling in 2010: Ivy, her sister and mother, with 3 kids in tow traveled to Pennsylvania for a quick trip in February; Andrew took a solo 9 day trip to Hong Kong to attend his school's reunion in April (while Andrew's parents visited from LA); Andrew and Ivy had a mini-getaway sans kids to Newport, Rhode Island in May; we flew to California in July for a family reunion and then to San Diego for 5 days to extend our vacation; and we visited Atlanta for a short trip in August before the work/school grind.

This has definitely been a year of growth for
Julian. Though he no longer totes around his trains, he can still be found sprawled out on the floor moving his cars and trains back & forth, singing and reciting lines from shows. Still, the one thing that Julian has not outgrown is his nap! He has come to be known as a Sunday School truant because he often sleeps through class! For Thanksgiving, when his Pre-K teacher asked him what he was thankful for, he replied, "nap time!" During the school week, Julian's favorite times of the day are when he gets to play in the block center, when he sees his grandparents at pick up, and when he reunites with his sister. Julian just turned 4 in December and though he is not the most talkative young boy, we are confident he can hold his own with his backtalk skills. (yikes!)

Jordan made many moves in 2010. For one, she moved to the top bunk after we transferred the children to bunk beds over the summer. She also moved from Kindergarten to First Grade, where Jordan reminds us, there is no rest time or snack time! She has been enjoying reading, writing and math in school and especially enjoyed learning about other countries and the rainforest. At home, she most enjoys drawing on her easel, playing with Julian (until it turns into fighting!), telling jokes, and dancing. She also has quite an imagination and can be rather resourceful when thinking up ideas for play. One time, Ivy came home to both children pretending they were skiing using the foam borders from their mat! Jordan also dropped her imaginary friend, Ivy, and found a new friend in her American Girl doll, Jordana. More recently, Jordan memorized Ivy's cell phone number and would frequently call Ivy after school to tell about her day, ask about a homework assignment, or more importantly, to report on Julian's (mis)behavior. Something Jordan is looking forward to in the new year is losing her first tooth.

2010 started out as a challenging year for
Ivy. On a random day in January at work, while rushing to get her materials ready for her next class, Ivy yanked out a stuck file folder and took out 70% of the cornea in her left eye. Thankfully with the awesome medical care of her wonderful ophthalmologist friend, the corneal abrasion healed in about two months time. Ivy definitely learned to count her blessings and to not take anything for granted, especially her eyesight! Over the summer, Ivy was a crew leader for her church's Vacation Bible School. Handling seven 4 year olds tired her out quite easily but Ivy was blessed to be able to serve in this way. Ivy continues to find more and more appreciation for her parents who faithfully come to pick up the children from school. We are praying that Ivy's parents will be able to move into her building this year! Though the days can become quite hectic with the daily rush to get things done, Ivy is still extremely grateful for all that God has placed in her path.

Andrew's design studio continues to keep him busy and challenged. His company received some new clients this past year whom have served to broaden Andrew's horizon. Among them were an award-winning documentary film about urban education reform, a Bangladesh-based university that provides world-class education to promising young women from diverse backgrounds in Asia, and a Grammy and Oscar-winning composer. Although he has spent many a night completing projects to meet deadlines, sometimes surviving on just 3 or 4 hours of sleep, Andrew remains extremely grateful that his job allows for flexibility as well. He has been able to attend many of the children's events at school and has even been able to work at home on Fridays to give Ivy's parents a break. One hobby Andrew picked up this past year was bike riding. It not only served as a form of exercise, but helped him when he needed to run some quick city errands or simply clear his mind during lunch breaks. He was also able to take his love for bike riding to a meaningful cause when he joined a bike-a-thon—to raise money for NYC's first long-term safe house for international survivors of sex trafficking—through which he felt truly humbled and grateful by the support he had received.

We wish you and yours many blessings in the year ahead and may you cherish the moments in your lives that form lasting memories.

Much love,

Andrew, Ivy, Jordan & Julian