This year was a lot less crazy than last year (for example, we only moved once instead of twice! And just down the street instead of across the country). We were grateful for the calmer year because it gave us opportunities to slow down, refocus, and center our lives on what matters most - our family and our Savior Jesus Christ.
This year we enjoyed becoming more familiar with Wichita, Jayze's work, and the people in our ward. We also celebrated five years of marriage in July, finished reading the Book of Mormon as a family, and are expecting another baby boy at the beginning of February.
Jayze: Has really enjoyed all the time and activities he was able to spend with Sarah and the kids. Zoo days, Costco runs, playing catch at the park, attending community events, playing games at home, and cooking were some of his favorites.
In October he was invited to run with a couple of our friends in the Kansas City Half Marathon. He had a blast, and it got the running bug in his system again. He hopes to do another running event in 2018!
Jayze is still the Youth Sunday School teacher in our ward (teaches ages 12-18), and it is still his favorite calling ever.
Sarah: Made a goal to write on her blog (sjflake.blogspot.com) four times a month for the entire year and was pretty close to achieving it! She's grateful she wrote more because it's been a wonderful way to preserve precious memories and pictures and keep in touch with friends and family we don't live by anymore.
She was really, really, REALLY excited when we finally bought a second car in October. It's meant going to the grocery store with the kids during the day, more time playing at the park, and running much-needed errands without having to drop Jayze off at work first. It's been a huge blessing in so many ways.
Sarah is still the 1st Counselor in Young Women's and loves each of the girls so much.
Alma: We got to visit him twice this year! Once in February to visit Jayze's family and the second time in September during a mini-reunion on Sarah's side of the family. Aidan talks about him more and sometimes includes him in his prayers at night. For his birthday we visited the police station and dropped off goodies. We're grateful for his influence and love in our lives.
Aidan: Turned 3 years old in September! He is an awesome big brother to Kimball and a great helper to his mom. He knows his ABC's, can almost count to 20, and is potty trained (yay!). He is still obsessed with Lightning McQueen, but after watching Cars 3, started leaning towards Cruz ("the yellow car") and Jackson Storm.
Aidan loves saying prayers, playing catch, running, going to the park, reading books, and teasing Mommy and Daddy. Although he loved nursery, he was excited (and ready) to start Primary in January. His favorite song right now is "Nephi's Courage," (although "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" is a close second since we started singing Christmas songs). We love Aidan and his sassy, sweet self.
Kimball: Turned 19 months old on December 10. He loves going to nursery, playing with cars, reading books, and laughing at bedtime with Aidan. It's been fun to watch him grow from an infant to a sweet, happy-go-lucky toddler. He's a great imitator (since Aidan's into counting, Kimball now "knows" the numbers 3 and 4). He loves repeating words back to us during prayers, scripture reading, and whatever else Aidan tries to get him to say.
He's definitely a Daddy's boy, although he likes coming to mom for kisses and comfort when he gets hurt. Kimball brings an added measure of joy into our home, and we're so grateful for him.
We hope this letter finds all of you happy and well and that you had a very Merry Christmas and will have a very Happy New Year!
Jayze, Sarah, and the boys