With just a little editing and slight rearranging, this is all Gabrielle. She loves to write poetry and stories, so I thought it would be fun to have our Christmas letter be in the words of our oldest...I was a little shocked when she began reading me her version of:
An Ansolabehere Christmas
Imagine for a moment, yourself driving along miles and miles of golden, perfectly ripened wheat. There is a gentle breeze that is blowing along the fields and it appears they are waves rolling across the sea. This beautiful scene is wrapped in the glow of sunset causing the mountains to radiate a purple hue.
The scene is captivating and nearly causes you to miss your turn…a little dirt road called Winchester Dr.
And that is where our Montana story begins!
If you do not already know, this is Gabrielle and I am going to give you a little glimpse into an Ansolabehere Christmas! This is our first Christmas in the bigger house!! The house we moved out of was a small 3 bedroom so we are very excited to be in this MUCH larger home!! 6 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms!!
As you pull into our yard at the end of Winchester Drive, you will probably notice Abraham riding the family dirt bike. He loves that thing, along with every other mechanical device “that will probably result in a hospital visit” as my mom is always saying! And that pesky animal chasing him would be Noah. We got Noah the year Abraham was born, which would make him 77 in dog years as Abraham is about to celebrate his 11th Birthday.
You have come for a visit at a perfect time because the weather is still mild, it is just spitting snow. BUT, just wait for what they call a “Montana Minute” because it will change very soon…I hope you brought 4 wheel drive!!
In the front yard, you see Ezra and Isabelle playing on our very old swing set. It is probably something most of you would have seen in your elementary school playground. Ezra and Isabelle are ALWAYS together…I think they probably should have been twins, they are best friends. They play like it…….and they fight like it!! ;)
Ezra turned 8 this year and Isabelle turned 6.
Amazingly, Ezra had no major accidents this year like the time he swallowed a battery and the Dr. had to x-ray him everyday until he…well,…ummmmm passed it.
Isabelle, however, did have a scary stay in the hospital. She had complications with croup and we got her to the hospital just in time…if it had taken much longer, they would have had to put a tube in her neck to get her to breath. YUCK!
Now, I will invite you inside!
Don’t mind all the Christmas decorations, put up “way too early” in my dad’s way of thinking. He also says it looks like “Christmas puked in here.” My mom DOES NOT AGREE!!
Can you smell that?
A mixture of pine and cinnamon candles with whatever mom is cooking now.
I do have to say that our California family, Papa and Nana Huang, have a church and rescue mission in San Francisco. That is where my mom met my dad because she was in inner city intern there and married their oldest son. “A hunk” I have heard my mom say too many times!
Anyway, we miss them a lot and still want to do things that we were blessed to be a part of while we were there so, mom says we cook. Thankfully, we all enjoy to cook! Mom gets us all together and we think of people we can give a meal to…dad helps too, mostly with giving mom grocery money and by taste testing!!
My brothers, sisters and I were able to do a bake sale this year…we earned almost $350 dollars and sent it to Red Cross for the Japan disaster. We hope to do another one and give the money to the homeless shelter in Havre, MT. It feels good to do those things.
God says, “To whom much is given, much is required”. And we are always being blessed with so much…so we should give as much as we can too, right?
I hope to go to San Francisco someday soon and serve with my Nana, Papa, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins!!
We haven’t been able to see them in a whole year.
The last time we went to California was to say goodbye to my dear Papa Jean. He is spending his 2nd Christmas with Jesus this year but we have lots of wonderful memories of him…especially at Christmas time!
Sorry, got a little side tracked!!
Oh…did you hear that? Yup, that would be my littlest brother, Canaan. He is LOUD and LOVES his Trucks, Tinker Toys and Toy Guns…..A LOT!! If you had come a year ago, that little brute would have looked much different. Mom says we are all miracles, but Canaan is a real live honest to goodness miracle. You can always read his story along with many other stories on my mom’s blog: www.treasuredheirloom.blogspot.com.
Mom will have another little one March/April of next year and we are all praying that this pregnancy and delivery are smooth!
We will be naming her Joelle-Marie! A pretty French name…Joelle means Jehovah is God and Marie (which is my middle name) means wished for child.
Just so you know, I also have a blog and you can come visit it anytime! This letter is about my family, but there you can get to know me a little better!! By the title, you will know that I LOVE my horse, Dart, so much!!
Oh, and now, here in the school room is Sophie!! All hours of the day, she will be found here coloring in her coloring books or her “school books” as she would call them!! Sophie turned 4 this year and I think she is the smartest 4 year old I have ever met (She can color better than me…seriously). The things she says sometimes are just so funny and crack me up!! She said in the car the other day, “Do you see this finger? It has magic in it, so when I point it at you, you are going to stop bugging me!” to Isabelle who is her buddy in the car.
If we had more time, I would take you to my Auntie Katy and Uncle Justin’s house. We ride our bikes there as much as we can. It is 1 ½ miles to their house and that is where my horse is. Him along with lots of chickens, rabbits, a goat, a couple geese and A LOT of dogs live there. It is a fun place.
I wish I could also take you to my Nana and Papa Darlington’s ranch. It is the most beautiful place I have ever seen!! They live in the Bear’s Paw mountains. That is where our family likes to hunt and spend Thanksgiving and Christmas! We love when we get to spend the night, which is usually everytime we get to go out there because it is almost an hour drive from our house.
Then, we could go to my Auntie Kiki’s (she had a beautiful wedding this year in Lincoln, MT at my Great Grandpa Fred’s house) so you could meet my new Uncle Jim and my two beautiful new cousins, Maddi and Miyah.
I would even have my Uncle Jade take you hunting, he helps my mom and dad find their big bucks!! He also has a beautiful daughter named Aspen…I love to play with her when she is here!!
If we had lots of time, we could go to Arizona to see all my Papa Rick’s art. He is the best artist EVER and inspires me to draw, paint and write. I am not very good yet, but he just tells me my art is beautiful and to keep practicing!! Hopefully if we went there we would be able to see my Great Grandma Pat, Uncle Freddy and Auntie Senia too!!
Since there really isn’t enough time…or space on my paper…
There is one last thing I should show you before leaving! Our GARAGE!!
This is a place that for the first time, I DO NOT like to go in. But, I will just for you.
Hanging up are all the deer that my mom, dad, auntie Katy, uncle Justin, Uncle Rick and Papa Roger shot!! I did tell you that we have been so blessed, right??
They all gave us their deer this year so that we could fill up our freezers!!
The only bad part is we had to cut them…OOPS…I just got LOUDLY corrected….THEY had to cut them up!! I wouldn’t touch them with a ten foot pole!! I DID at least look at the disgusting things finally though!!
They all (well, my Auntie Katy, mom and all the other kids) just finished cutting and packaging the last of the 5 deer. You might wonder how they know how to do this…well, my Papa Roger is the best butcher ever (my family is full of the best) and taught Auntie Katy how to do it, so she taught all of us!! Mom remembered how to do most of it, just not as well, from when she was growing up.
Anyway, I had better go!! My dad just walked in from another long day in his autoshop (he never complains and is the happiest man I know, but we always try to make the house nice and peaceful when he gets home so he can relax) Also, Backstraps are ready and supposedly “calling my name”!!
Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!!
With Love, Gabrielle and the Ansolabehere Family
Philip, Rossie, Gabrielle, Abraham, Ezra, Isabelle, Sophie, Canaan and Baby Joelle-Marie!