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Kitchen Family Update

Kitchen Family Update

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Published by Klon Kitchen

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Published by: Klon Kitchen on Dec 25, 2010
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Greetings from the Kitchens!
Winding down 2010, we are in awe of God’s blessings. The birth of NorahGrace, Klon’s shift to a more flexiblework schedule, and Tracy’s fruitfulnessin homeschool are just a few of thegraces we enjoy.It is impossible to share all of the waysthe Lord is showing himself to be kindand loving to us, His children; however,we hope this brief newsletter providesa glimpse of His glory. In the followingpages you will find “Tracy’s Take” on thekids, Klon’s “state of the family,” as wellas a few prayer requests and book recommendations. Of course, we’vealso included tons of pictures.You too are among the blessings andwe hope you are spurred on by thisnewsletter to consider and recountGod’s goodness to you.
A Year of Blessing
Where do I (Tracy) begin? It's been abusy, but fun, year! We beganhomeschooling Ava this year. I was alittle concerned with how the logisticswould work out, but God has proven(once again) to be kind and gracious tous. All of the kids are thriving with thisnew schedule and I am enjoying theadditional structure it adds to our daysand weeks. Although I am oftenexhausted, I find great joy in my role athome caring for our family. I am tryingto trust in God completely for thestrength and energy I need to fulfill this job he has called me to.Ava enjoys learning and lovesimpressing us with her knowledge andskills. It has been a joy to teach her! Sheis very crafty, and often comes out of her quiet time having constructed acowgirl outfit out of paper or musicalinstruments (again, made out of paper)and posters for her
. We are tryingto encourage this creativity while alsoteaching her not to waste ourresources by flying through paper at analarming rate! She also enjoys writinglong stories and songs. She continues toshow a soft heart and is a wonderful bigsister. Ethan and Liv would do justabout anything she asks and she ishappy to be their leader. She is eager toserve the family and is extremelyhelpful around the house.Ethan has really come out of his shellthis year. We are still occasionallysurprised by him when we'reentertaining. He has started replacingAva as the conversationalist at thedinner table! He has always been verygood at puzzles and the alphabet. Ihave included a small amount of instruction for him in ourhomeschooling and have beenencouraged by his progress. His favoritetoy right now is Mr. Potato Head andhe has started regularly asking me if hecan play with a tortilla or a pickle. (If you don't understand that, you shouldgo watch Toy Story 3.) He is a verysweet boy and still enjoys theoccasional snuggle with mom.Liv is, well, Liv. She is wonderful,energetic, talkative and...crazy. Shecontinues to be big for her age andquickly learns how to do whatever thebigger kids are doing. And that is why Idon't feel like a horrible mom forcontinuing to think that she's turning 3and not 2 on December 28th. :) Manypeople think that she doesn't talk at all,but she actually doesn’t stop talkingwhen at home with the family. Sheresponds to music and singing morethan the others did and has starteddoing her own solos in the car. Shesomehow finds a way to be both agirlie-girl and a bully, so we are workingon her people skills. :) She is very happyto be a big sister and is constantlytrying to help baby "Wo-wa".We’re still learning about Norah. Shehas been a wonderful baby and we'vebeen blessed by her easy-going natureso far. She loves to sit up in the Bumboand look around. She is still learning toroll around from back to chest andthen back again. It is not unusual to seeher strangely contorted as if she gotstuck halfway through a roll. We look forward to getting more glimpses intowho she is as she grows.There are still many times that Klonand I look at each other and saysomething to the effect of, “Can youbelieve we have four children??” Each of these children are such a gift. Klon and Iknow that we do not deserve thisblessing and that we often do notparent as we should. Praise God, He isteaching us more each year about oursin and our failings, but even moreabout His grace and mercy. One of theverses I’ve carried with me throughoutthis year is Psalm 37:3 “Trust in theLORD, and do good; dwell in the landand befriend faithfulness.” My prayer isthat each day I will not seek perfectionas my goal, but that I will befriendfaithfulness to the One who has beenso faithful to me.
Tracys Take: A Year of Growth for Our Children
AVA (02/13/05)ETHAN (01/19/07)OLIVIA (12/28/08)NORAH (07/13/10)
Our family is strong and thriving as2010 comes to a close. This yearbrought some difficulties and sorrowsbut many more blessings and joys. Inthe final assessment, we now knowmore of God’s grace and provision thanever before and so we are profoundlythankful.Tracy and I have grown in our love forone another and for our children. Jesushas allowed us to deliberatelyencourage each other in word anddeed and we are trying to incrementallyremove unhelpful distractions from ourmarriage. Living this kind of “simple” lifein a town like DC
which is anythingbut simple—isn’t easy, but we are tryingand enjoying ourselves.My transition into academia is alsofacilitating a general sense of routineand stability within our home. Forthose who do not know, I am serving atwo-year academic rotation at theNational Defense University’s Collegeof International Security Affairs. Thisnew position allows me more freedomto meet with church members andfriends during the day as well as returnhome at a decent hour ensuringsufficient time with the kids beforebedtime. Even with this easy schedule, Iam tempted not to serve Tracy and thechildren when I come home and toreserve my energy instead for my ownpursuits. Nevertheless, the Lord haskindly grown me in this area andoccasionally shows me the joy thatcomes with laying down my life for thegood of my home. Tracy, for her part, isa model of service—constantly pouringherself out cooking meals, cleaning thehome, changing diapers, preparingschool work, and about 1 million otherthings each day. In this, she is the mosttangible picture of Christ-like service Ihave ever known and this spurs me on.Apart from her faithful work in thehome, I have seen great growth in Tracyover the last year. As has been herprayer, her capacities for grace andkindness are expanding rapidly and Imust confess that I am the primarybeneficiary of this increase. She isfaithful in the spiritual disciplines anddaily strives to place her hope inChrist, rather than in me or myprovision. She is a faithful wife, a lovingmother, and a godly woman whom I amblessed to call my own.Our children also are flourishing. WithNorah’s arrival, we now have fourchildren under the age of six; solidifyingour status as
within the culture of Washington, DC. Even so, it iswonderful! Ava, Ethan, and Olivia lovetheir new baby sister—though Ethan issometimes not sure what all the fuss isabout. The biggest challenge is notencouraging the elder three to takenotice of their youngest sibling, but isinstead, teaching them that it is not ok to pick up the baby when she cries. Onmore than one occasion, we have leftthe room for some forgotten item onlyto return to see one of the olderchildren attempting to lift Norah on totheir lap—typically by her feet. Foranyone from Child Protective Servicewho is somehow reading this letterplease understand that we have put astop to this and everything is nowunder control.I will refer you to Tracy’s previouscomments for more on the kids exceptthis final thought: our children are aconstant joy and, save only our love of Christ and each other, they are thegreatest objects of love and pride wewill ever know.Finally, we are thankful. Thankful for themany friends and family members whohave invested in us over the last year.Your selfless giving was often the verymeans by which God lavished his graceon us. Whether it was through prayer, afriendly phone call or conversation,whether it was by Skype or by email,you have conveyed your love for us andso shown us just how blessed we are.It is because of these many blessingsthat we are able to minister to others.Please know that, even if we rarely seeyou, we understand you to be a vitalpart of our lives and ministry and welook forward to the day when all of those who know Christ are joinedtogether and the days of distance andseparation are put to an end. Until thatday, praise God for His faithfulness toour family and to yours!
EPH. 4.32
Klon’s “State of the Family”

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