Sunday, December 6, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

Merry Christmas from the Hendriksens!!

- TJ continues to plug along in grad school, working full time and being a full time dad/husband. I'm always amazed at how well he balances life and how he fits so much in to so little time. During weekends he makes up for lost time during the week by helping so much with kids, chores and to-do lists. He recently registered for his LAST semester of classes and we are greatly looking forward to his graduation date of May 5th!!! Let the countdown begin!!! However, next semester he somehow has to fit in working 40 hours a week, 20 hours a week of an internship and taking his last 4 classes of grad school with a newborn and little boys who miss him A LOT during the week! Not sure how that's going to work..... :)  TJ also teaches Elders quorum every week at church and enjoys watching the boys' soccer and basketball games.

-Tara (me) is SO ready for baby #4 to get here. Each day is a countdown to the scheduled induction date of Dec. 21st but I'm hoping it'll come earlier than that since the other boys all did. This pregnancy is unique in that we didn't find out what we're having!! The world is expecting a little girl to pop out soon but we're planning on another boy! ;) We shall see!! I stopped working in the ER last June and admittedly, miss it more than I thought I would!! But there is a time and a season to everything in life and right now the focus is to get TJ through school and get this baby here! I stay busy with all the boys' activities, driving to and from their school daily, teaching piano lessons to 7 students, and working in the Primary Presidency at church (with over 200 kids in our primary!). Life is good!

- Ty is 5 1/2 years old now and you have to make sure to include the half to his age. This is his first year in mainstreaming into regular school for kindergarten and he is LOVING it. He goes to a private school in Orem called Kids Village that we felt would better suit his needs for his first year mainstreaming. He's actually doing remarkably well there and is already reading full on books and doing advanced math. He continues doing speech twice a week but other than that, no other autism related services! Ty has been loving soccer, T-ball, and basketball this year and loves playing with other kids and making new friends. However, Levi is still his very best friend and they enjoy going to the same school and playing all day long. Ty has made so much progress this last year and we sure enjoy this kid! 

- Levi is 4 1/2 years old and is in his last year of preschool at Kids Village. He loves school and surprisingly, has already started to read! He enjoyed playing soccer, basketball and football this year even though he's usually the smallest kid out there. We're hoping he goes through a growth spurt at some point in his life. ;) He also does speech and I feel like we're always going somebody's speech between the three boys. Tigee is his beloved stuffed animal tiger that is attached to his hip- we consider Tigee another member of the family. Levi is still very calm and chill and brings a perfect balance to our family!

- Shad is 23 months and will be two in January! It's funny watching him turn into a little person with a personality and opinions! Shaddie's world revolves around socks- that's right, socks that you wear on your feet and specifically, Paw Patrol socks. He either wants to wear 5 on each foot or carry about 10 in his hands and pockets throughout the day. We are constantly looking for his socks and searching the store for the ones he drops. :) He also is obsessed with his brothers and literally, copies everything and anything they do. He can't wait for them to come home from school and talks about them non-stop. Shad also does speech but actually is the most advanced speech-wise at this age than the other boys were. It's also been nice to completely rule-out autism in this kiddo and speculate that 1 out of 3 boys isn't bad! ;) We love our little Shaddie boy- our whole family just dotes on him and the poor kid is going to have his little world rocked when baby #4 decides to make it's appearance! 

We hope this Christmas letter finds you all happy and well! As we've tried to focus on the Savior's birth a little more this Christmas (I think having a Christmas baby has helped us remember it a little more literally this year, at least for me- I sure empathize for poor Mary riding on that donkey!!) we know that understanding that Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace can help us find inner peace and increase our faith in Him. Elder Quentin L. Cook said, "Even with the trials of life, because of the Savior's Atonement and His grace, righteous living will be rewarded with personal peace."

Merry  Christmas and Happy New Year!!

TJ, Tara, Ty, Levi, Shad and Baby #4

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