Friday, December 9, 2011

Holiday Letter

Normally I like to send out a photo card with a letter to family and friends for the annual Christmas letter tradition.  However, this year with the recent events in car repairs and the lack of job, I couldn't justify the cost of printing about 100 cards, $40+ in postage, and the cost of the stationary.  I really would prefer to send one to each of you, but this electronic version will just have to do.  Below you will see the letter I planned to send out and a few pictures I would've made into a collage on the photo card.

Dearest Family and Friends,
    Again we celebrate the wonderful season of love and sharing.  We reflect on the past year and remember what has made this year special.  In January Canon and Kat flew to Chicago to visit family.  In March they flew to Maryland to see a high school friend of Kat’s. Early June brought a tornado right through our town, leaving horrible destruction in its path just a few streets behind our house, but our house was hardly scathed.  The rest of June was spent cleaning up from the tornado and packing up the house to move.  In July our little family moved from Massachusetts to Utah.  This trip allowed us to spend Independence Day with family in Chicago and then Pioneer Day with family in Utah.  In August Mark and Kat attended Education Week on BYU’s campus, and we got to have a little bit more time with Kat’s parents before they went back to Chicago.  October brought Canon’s first Halloween where he actually understood what was going on, carving pumpkins, and dressing up, and learning to say “trick-or-treat”.   That’s also when we discovered Kat was pregnant.  Canon turned 2 years old in November and we announced to family and friends about the baby Dahl soon to join the family this coming June.  For more details, you can visit our blog-
    With all that’s been going on in our home, Kat somehow found time to make 3 quilts for 3 new babies this year.  Mark has been searching for a job through much of the year and has started his own law firm to try to earn some money while he still searches.  So far he’s had a few interviews, but nothing has panned out.  Pretty soon he may end up going full-throttle with his business and hopefully end up being a huge success.  Canon has been growing and learning so fast.  His language has improved immensely since we moved to Utah, and he absolutely loves having so much family around. 
    The Lord has blessed us so much over this past year, and even though we’re not where we pictured ourselves to be 5 years ago, we have all that we need.  We have a wonderful marriage, a healthy family, food to eat, a roof over our heads (albeit, the roof belongs to Mark’s parents), and the Gospel of Christ that brightens our lives.  With the many gifts we receive each year, we are forever grateful for the most precious gift of all- the gift of our Savior, the Son of God, the Redeemer of the World.  May each of you feel the gift of God’s love at this special time of year!
                       Love- Mark, Kat and Canon Dahl

Merry Christmas from the Dahl Family!

Catch-up on Random Thoughts

Sorry, this might be a little long, and there are no pictures!

For those of you who prayed for us, thank you.  The job in Duchesne told Mark that he'd know in about a week, by the very latest on Dec. 1st.  Well, they never even called him back.  We assume that's another "big fat no," but it still would've been nice for them to call.  So, Mark has continued on with his law practice, and we keep praying for some sort of success for him.  Right about now, we don't really care which kind of success, whether it's finding a real job or his firm really taking off.  The only thing is that we know it would be so much easier if he could find a job that included health benefits.  (Maybe that's the reason he hasn't been able to find one, because it's the easy route!)

I few weeks ago our bishop called us into his office. (I wanted to make sure I got record of it somewhere.)  The bishop wanted to give us a little bit of counsel because he had been thinking of us.  He said that we just needed to remember what to do what we're supposed to be doing, to be extra stalwart... you know, all the things that we've heard before.  However, what made this visit special was that our bishop promised us that if we're patient and do what we're supposed to, that the Lord will give us what's in store- and it will be "wonderful!"  I always knew that He'd bless us, but the fact that he said, "And it will be wonderful!" really hit me.  Apparently it's not going to be something acceptable and bearable.  That we'll figure out how to just make do.  That gave me a little more hope than I was feeling before the visit.  Is that silly of me to attach hope to such a small word?  Anyway, after the little bit of counsel, the bishop switched around our callings a little bit.  Instead of being the Primary teachers over the CTR4 class, Mark is now the companion of the little autistic boy in our class.  Now Mark doesn't have to prepare any lessons, and they've called a new couple to be the class teachers.  He then called me to be the ward chorister and the assistant choir director.  Honestly, I was super excited because I loved doing that in the last ward.  This time I don't have as much responsibility, but it's still doing what I like.  Our choir director is going to be out of town for Christmas, so I get to direct the choir for the Christmas Program.  :)

The other thing I wanted mention is actually pretty frustrating.  Last week we got the oil changed in our car, and a few days later we took it in to get a glitch in the turn-signal fixed.  Just this past Monday I was driving it a few blocks to do a couple quick errands, and something majorly wrong happened to the engine.  It felt like something came loose and was clanking around under the hood.  The car started sputtering and clanking, and I knew we had to take the car back to the shop.  Turned out that Kent's Auto and Muffler doesn't deal with such extensive repairs.  They suggested taking it to PK Auto because they do more intense repairs.  Our AAA tow guy suggested taking it to a AAA approved shop, McNeil's.  Turns out our best bet is to just replace the whole engine, which will cost about as much as the car is worth.  So it came down to replacing the engine and hoping that nothing else goes wrong with the car, or buying another car that will last us a long time, and will accommodate our growing family.  Looking into it, this wasn't really an easy decision because we can't really afford to do either.  All the money we have isn't enough to pay for the repairs, unless you include the money in Mark's business.  Since we don't really have a job (although I do work part-time at the chiropractor's office) we don't have an income to take on a new car payment.  After all was said and done, we decided to have the car repaired by McNeil's with an engine that has a lifetime warranty.  So we're down a car, but someone is lending us a car for a couple weeks while ours is in the shop.  Ugh!  What a perfect time of year to have such expensive car troubles. Grrr!  Here's to hoping that we won't need any more repairs for a long time!!