Here is our annual Christmas Letter 🙂
Click on it to enlarge for easier reading
These are our Bits O’ Bertoch. Cassie Bertoch
Once again, it’s been months since I have done a catch up. This year was a bit busy with the three kiddos I guess!!
Sooooo. Claire started preschool! And is LOVING IT. I was a little nervous because I know she sometimes likes to have her own space to do her own thing, but she is so happy to be there and is thriving and such a sweet friend to everyone. Makes my heart happy!! Bailey is doing amazing in Kindergarten, and everyone around her talks about how kind she is. She was highlighted at her school for being such a great friend and sweet to others. Im such a proud momma of my school loving, smart, sweet girls!!!
We had a great Halloween in October. It was actually a really nice night. We weren’t freezing and it wasn’t raining! The cousins all had such a good time being together and enjoying the tradition of trick or treating. This was my first year that I was able to sit back and watch all of my kiddos be so adorable and trick or treat; Sophie got right in the thick of things too! (There was candy involved, of course she was! lol). I was thankful that Claire was feeling better to be able to trick or treat. She had caught the flu the week before and she was down for the count. 6 Days of yucky, poor thing. She missed her school trick or treating and the ward trunk or treat. (Her school was so sweet and collected her candy for her and gave it to her when she got back.) So I was so thankful she was able to enjoy Halloween! All three of them did! It was great.
Then my sister Celine came to visit! That was so fun and much needed! I hadn’t seen her in over a year and we definitely needed some sister time. The girls loved having Aunt Bean in town to play with them and read to them and teach them really fun games like red light green light. It was a jam packed week of quality time. I think Celine and I really needed that 🙂 Specially since she is about to embark on her internship in January, and then she is getting married next year!! She is engaged and I couldn’t be happier for her and Sam. It makes me so happy to see her happy!!!! I am thankful we will be driving up to Utah in July, because boy were the girls so sad when she left. Bailey sobbed the whole way home from the airport, and moped for 2 days! Broke my heart! But it makes me happy they love eachother so much 🙂
After Celine left, we had Thanksgiving! It was so fun getting together with the cousins and Stacey and everyone, and playing in the cul de sac and bringing family traditions together. I am so thankful to live near family and that all of our love buckets and our tummies were filled 🙂
After Thanksgiving, my mom visited!!! The first week of December! Which is the first time she has ever visited my neck of the woods in Houston during the Christmas season. We jam packed it with all sorts of holiday fun! We went to see the Houston Zoo Lights, which was magical and crazy and busy and fun all at the same time haha. They had a couple fire pits, and they sold smores packs, to make your own smores! The girls loved the roasting marshmallow part, but hated eating it haha. It was a fun night though, full of beautiful lights and dancing in the moonlight. We also went down to Galveston and rode the Polar Express! It was so fun! This is our 3rd Polar Express experience, but each time we have done it in a different city, so each experience was unique. This one focused more on the inside story of the train and had actors acting out the movie and they were so animated and wonderful, it felt like we were really on the polar express! The girls were in heaven. It was so awesome having my mom down here to see us. We sure love Nana so much! She spoiled us rotten! And we appreciated all of her love. The girls were also devastated when she left, but luckily she will be back in March for spring break and to celebrate the girls combined birthday! It’s always easier when you know the next time you’ll see eachother before you say goodbye 🙂
The last night my mom was in town, Bailey came down with the flu. A pretty rough one. She was down for about 6 days of high fevers and not leaving the couch. She was pretty sad to miss so much school, but thankfully she is feeling back to her happy, bouncing self and miraculously, the younger two came out unscathed! Hallelujah! I know the Lord was watching out for us, because I was so worried we would stagger the flu through Christmas. Bailey was able to go school the last week before Christmas break, and Stacey and I were able to go to her cute little Kindergarten Christmas party!! She was so happy to have momma and grandma there in her own little world.
I love my children so much. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but I am so thankful for their sweet spirits, and kind hearts, and strong testimonies. They are examples to me everyday of how to be more Christlike. I feel like the days are long but the years are short. I am trying to soak life in as much as I can. I am excited to experience each stage of life with them 🙂
I feel so very blessed with my family. All of my family. My own family unit, my family in Utah, and my family here in Texas (And Washington! And my extended family in Florida!). I am so lucky to be able to feel so much love all around. Not to mention my wonderful church family and amazing neighbors. Next door hosted the most adorable Christmas party yesterday for all the kiddos! So many fun crafts and fun time playing together! I know that the Lord is mindful of me and my family, and knows exactly what we need. I am so thankful!!!
I am excited to celebrate Christmas this week and ponder about my Savior-the greatest gift of all. 🙂
P.S. Here are over 400 pictures from the last few months! In whatever order the blog decides to show it haha. Enjoy!
So a ton has happened since my last blog! It’s hard to remember all the details, so luckily I have a bagillion pictures at the end of this to help with anything I miss!
So we were surprised with tickets to go up and see my family in Utah! It was sooo fun! I hadn’t been in 2 years! In fact, it was funny because Claire and Sophie were exactly the ages that Bailey and Claire were the last time we were there. We jam packed it full of fun: Tree House Museum, crafts, train rides, Christmas lights, gingerbread houses, dancing parties, Legge Festivus games (AJ won of course haha), bowling, aquariums, seeing Santa, early Christmas with Nana and Pop pop, rides up the mountain to see snow…and then enjoying the snow in the backyard a few days later lol. So tons of things and tons of fun! Everyone was home so it was nice to get together with my siblings like old times. Plus my girls fell in love with my parents golden retriever Zoey…sorry girls! No dogs for us! haha. But they were so cute playing with her and playing with everyone there. My girls came back and were bored because I couldn’t keep up with the same level of excitement haha. They still ask at least every couple days or so when we are going back to Utah. Haha.
And then we had a wonderfully fun Christmas season! We saw a ton of Christmas lights (one in particular had a tree synced to a radio station and it would sing the songs. SO cool! We parked and the girls got out and danced in the cul de sac. That was a fun memory i’ll always remember). We made cool christmas candy cane cookies! The girls loved rolling them out and twisting the red and white dough together, along with decorating sugar cookies for Santa of course. We did the Christmas train with family down in Alvin and it was awesome. Cold and windy! But awesome. We went caroling with some friends of ours and delivered goodies! Bailey in particular loved this one. She is my little singer. We went to Kingwood and saw hundreds of nativities from other countries. That was special. They had one similar in Lubbock and we loved it. I really fell in love with the nativity this year. It is becoming my new yearly collection haha.
This season the girls are older and it is so magical. They anticipate santa coming and understand more of the story of Christ’s birth. One day we were reading the book about the little lamb of Bethlehem, and in the book, the lamb watches over the baby Jesus, and we have a little stuffed animal lamb, so Claire runs out of the room, goes and grabs the baby Jesus from the Nativity on the piano, and lays baby Jesus next to the lamb, and then cuddles up with both. My heart couldn’t take it! And then one day I came out and saw Bailey had lined everyone up in the nativity to wait their turn to see Baby Jesus! The girls are all just so loving and tender hearted and kind and I couldn’t be any happier to have the pleasure of being their Momma.
One thing this season that I loved was the fact that I reread the Book of Mormon. I just finished this last Saturday before the end of the year. It was such a profound experience, and one that I will always cherish. Reading it in a short amount of time allowed me to read more everyday, and my testimony has grown ten fold. I have felt the spirit in my life more and have felt a love for my Savior more. The Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ (along with the bible. It is an additional testament) and it is just impossible to read it without wanting to become a better person and do all that I can to live with Him again. I plan to restart it again very soon, because I just cant get enough. If you are looking for more guidance this year as you navigate through life…I invite you to check out The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and particularly get your hands on a Book of Mormon. You can get one free from the local missionaries in your area, who are always so awesome. I promise you won’t regret it. To learn more: www.lds.org
The girls are all growing up so fast and I am trying to keep up! I sometimes get in the hustle and bustle of taking care of the 3 kiddos that I can forget to sit back and enjoy the moment. That is one of my goals for 2019. To enjoy the moments more 🙂 Remind me of that as I tackle potty training Claire starting tomorrow….. 😉
Now here are the tons of pics I promised that fills in between the lines haha (and the photos are not in order btw….so have fun with memory whiplashes! lol)