Monday, December 21

The Christmas Spirit

I thought that all of you could use a little christmas reminder. May it help to take some of the commercialism out of the Holiday.

The Christmas Spirit

My Little Princess

Jolee is so much fun. I love to hear her squeel with joy and coo and laugh. Tonight I layed on the floor next to her and she looked over with this huge grin. The next thing I know she is attempting to crawl on top of me!! I helped her up and she had a ball on top of Dad. She soon discovered that she could get on to the couch from me and found the remote and started pushing buttons. I took that one away and she found the TV remote, then a Christmas card, then another Christmas card. It was soooo much fun.

The scores are in...

Well folks the scores are in and the un-official tallies have been distributed. The verdict.... I PASSED!!!! As some of you are aware I took two of the three certification tests need to teach using my full degree. This occured on the 21 of November. After a grueling 8 hours of testing and 200 multiple choice with 4 essays and a months wait, I passed the professional knowledge test and the subject knowledge for Special Education. I will be taking the elementary education test within the next couple of months. That is not important. The important thing is that when I graduate I will be able to start teaching immediately, well at least as soon as I get a job! YEA for me!!

Sunday, December 20

A girl and her doggy

When did our dog becoming Jolee's dog? One of Jolee's favorite things to do is stare at Chonkiri. Anytime he barks, she is instantly looking for him and trying to see what he is doing. If I am holding her when he is around, she will reach and crane her neck until she can see him. She will even try to push us out of the way. She loves going outside and watching him play. Chonkiri's favorite thing to do is try to lick Jolee (which is so on the NOT okay list). He gets so excited whenever she is around. I am definately up for some serious trouble when Jolee is old enough to play with him. I can already see them working together to get into anything that they are not supposed to.

Pulling Up

Another first. Jolee has now pulled herself up to standing three or four times by reaching up and grabbing onto the couch. She does this more when I am sitting on the couch. I am so amazed at how quickly my little girl is growing up.

My talking little girl!

About a week or so ago Jolee said her first word... Mama! I am so proud of her. She was babbling with Randy and keep saying "mmm" "mmmm" and then Randy said "momma" and so Jolee clenched her little fists made a very serious face and said "mmm" "mmaa" "mama." Since then she now says mama all the time, but mostly when she gets angry and wants me to pick her up right this second. I love it :) It is definately because of me that "mama" was her first word. I replaced all of the words to the songs I sing to her with "mom." For example, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Start" is "Mom-mom, Mom-mom, Mommy Mom." We are now changing the songs over to "dad" so that Randy can enjoy her calling for him too. His favorite thing about her saying "mom" is that I am more than willing to take her when she is cranky because she is "calling me."

Thursday, December 17

Merry Christmas

Since our christmas cards are starting to arrive at thier destinations I will go ahead and post our news letter. I hope each and every one of you have a very merry christmas and a wonderful new year filled with happy memories.

Dear family and friends,

It is hard to believe that another two years has flown by. Where has the time gone? So much has happened that we hope we remember to share it all.

Two years ago Randy found a job that had room for advancement and better pay. He quit Table Talk after about three years and started working for ShopNatural Food Coop. He was the shipping and receiving coordinator and warehouse assistant manager. This position only lasted a brief 6 months when the company went bankrupt and they had to close their doors after 30 plus years of serving Tucson. But, it all worked out. He was planning on quitting at the beginning of the coming year to attend school and was able to keep working until December. In January, he started school full time for the first time since 2000, yikes. While he was attending Pima Community College in the Interpreter Training Program for Sign Language, he learned of a new program that was going to be starting in the fall of 2008. Northern Arizona University was expanding their distance learning site here in Tucson to include a dual major certification program. The program certifies teachers in elementary education from kindergarten through eighth grades and special education from kindergarten through twelfth grade. He applied and passed the interview process to begin. Being the first cohort, everything didn’t always go smoothly, but it all worked out in the end. The good news is that NAU’s main campus is revamping their dual certification program to make it run more like the one here in Tucson from the suggestions of Randy’s class. Randy will be doing his student teaching beginning in January and will graduate on May 7th 2009. Randy is looking forward to starting his teaching career.

Sarah graduated December 2007 and continued to work at the Veterans’ Hospital here in Tucson, but now as a nurse in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). She is working on gaining more and more experience and on becoming a valuable member of the ICU team. She has been working full time while Randy has been going to school and she loves it. She recently switched from working a day schedule to working nights. Surprise, surprise, she thoroughly enjoys living like a bat! Sarah looks forward to changing to part-time when Randy graduates.

The most important and wonderful occurrence in the past two years was the birth of our beautiful daughter, Jolee Sarah Swann, this May. Using self hypnosis and a water birth, Sarah was able to give birth to a healthy 9lb 5oz little girl naturally without the use of any medications (one of Sarah’s super goals)! Sarah describes this as the most wonderful and life-altering event to ever bless our family. Jolee is named after three of her grandmothers; JoAnn (Sarah’s mom), LeAnn (Randy’s mom), and Sarah (Sarah’s grandmother, who she is also named after). Jolee is growing so quickly that Mom and Dad are continually amazed. She babbles constantly and loves to have conversations with her parents (although we are unsure what she is saying). She scoots where ever she desires, rolls (especially during diaper changes), sits on her own, rocks on her hands and knees, and has even tried to pull herself up to standing using the couch. One of her favorite activities is bouncing in her jumper (she has amazingly strong legs for a 6 month old). She has a heart winning smile and giggles and laughs constantly. She recently learned how to imitate coughing causing her GramE (Grandma Ellsworth) to laugh hysterically; she will close her eyes, stick out her tongue, give a tiny cough, and then quickly look to make sure she has made you laugh, so cute. She truly is the light of our family and we love her dearly.

Randy and Sarah continue to be very active at church. Randy is now serving in the young men’s working with the 12-13 year olds. Sarah is now planning and coordinating meetings for Relief Society (the women’s group) and coordinating service for families during crisis, celebration, sickness, etc. Thus, we both stay very busy. Both Sarah and Randy continue to sing in the choir and their knees are shaking as they prepare for a duet for Christmas. These two years have been exceedingly blessed and brimming with happiness. We love each of you and wish you a very Merry Christmas and we look forward to 2010!

Randy, Sarah, and Jolee Swann