December 24, 2010

Brooks Family Christmas Letter 2010

December 24, 2010

Hello and warmest holiday wishes from the Brooks’!  We hope that this holiday season finds you comfy, cozy, happy and well. I often wish during the holidays that the spirit of Christmas would last all year long.  Proof of this being, I put up my Christmas tree the second week of November!  By the spirit, I’m not referring to the trees and garland but more so the sense of good will, of giving to others, of peace and cooperation between people – all symbolized by a gift.  The idea of giving to others on special occasions, as an expression of good will goes back to the birth of Christ.  It is a way of showing that you value someone or something regardless of fiduciary return.

As this past year is coming to a close, and with all that is happening in our world we wanted to pause and reflect on all the blessing that have taken place within our family this year.  We are thankful for so much.  As most of you know we welcomed our second bundle of joy into the world on May 19th, Anna Claire weighed in at a whopping 8 pounds 12 ounces – a whole 2 pounds bigger than her brother!  The birth of Claire was nothing, but extraordinary.  She made her way into the world quietly and with little warning.  In spite of no epidural her birth was almost painless.  If I was assured that all future births were as wonderful as hers I would have a nest full!  Well… maybe not, but it was a great experience nonetheless. 

Claire is a spitting image of her brother – although some (very few) would disagree.  She has those big blue eyes just like Colton that melt you heart in a blink.  I have been asked several times if a girl is easier than a boy.  My response has always been the same; it has nothing to do with gender, but everything to do with birth order.  Claire has been such an easy baby, but I think the majority of that has to do with the fact that this second time around I am much more relaxed and laid back, having a little experience under our belts has certainly made a difference.  Chris and I have also realized that this could very well be our last little one so we are trying to soak up every little baby moment possible.

Colton has proven to be a great big brother.  Naturally there have been those times of jealousy, but all in all he has been great.  He loves for me to lay her beside him in the bed so he can cuddle with her and is the first to rush to clean the slobber off her chin!  Chris and I are so excited to see the brother-sister relationship develop and grow. 

We celebrated Colton’s second birthday soon after the arrival of Claire on a very HOT June afternoon with family in our home.  It was a nice day with lots of food and cake – at the end of the night while cleaning up I realized that we forgot to sing Happy Birthday!  How on earth do you forget to sing Happy Birthday!?  I was devastated and sent everyone a text message telling them they all had to come back so we could sing to him!  Of course, they did not so Chris and I just sang to him ourselves.  Chris put together a slide show of pictures to music of his first 2 years – I sat on the couch and boo hooed like a baby!  Granted my hormones were going nuts from just giving birth, but I was so overwhelmed at the fact that, and still am, the God chose ME to be his and Claire’s mother!  How wonderful of God to think of me! 

We are amazed daily with all that Colton has learned and is learning.  Toddlers brains are like sponges soaking up everything.  We’re partial of course, but we think he is one of the smartest little boys ever!  Most days you can find him with a book in hand or playing blocks in the floor.  Colton still has a found love for Preach and Garry (our Pastor and pastor’s brother – our Sunday School teacher) and loves to go to church.  He has really started to come into his own interacting well with other children, especially at church.  This summer I thought I would try to teach Colton the Lord’s Prayer, but he surprised both Chris and I by reciting it all on his own.  I was stunned when I started “Our Father who art in Heaven” and Colton ran away with the rest.  He loves to sing and his favorite is “Nothing but the Blood” – he refers to it as “The Jesus Song” – we have to hear it at least 3 times a day!  Seriously!  It warms our hearts to hear him sing about our Lord – we realize that Colton does not understand all that he is singing about, but I rest assure he (as do most children) understands more than we often give him (them) credit for.


Chris has been working hard at Brooks Furniture trying to sell furniture in this nasty economy.  He loves his job and enjoys working with his dad and grandfather. He and his dad traveled to China twice this year on business.  The first time was back in April while I was around 8 months pregnant!  To help pass the time while he was away Colton and I spent a week in Atlanta with family – Colton loved getting lots of attention from Aunt Becky, Uncle Tom, Jonathon and most of all Elizabeth.  I of course enjoyed all the shopping Atlanta had to offer.  During their first trip they had 14 people give their heart to Christ!  The second trip was just this past October.  To say I was nervous about this trip was a big understatement!  I wasn’t nervous so much about Chris traveling, this was his 10th trip – I was nervous about being home alone with 2 little ones!  The trip was shorter than normal, only 8 days and frequent visits from the grandmothers helped time to go by a little faster.  During this last trip they had the opportunity to lead 17 Chinese to Christ while doing business.  You see, these trips are not “missionary” trips so to speak – they are business trips, but through the leadership of the Holy Spirit and because of their obedience to the word of God, over the past 5 years they have lead over 250 to Christ!  Most Chinese are Buddhist (works based faith) and have never heard The Good News of the gospel of Christ, but once they do and once they accept Christ as their personal Lord and Savior they are almost always eager to share it with someone else.  I am always so convicted when I hear the stories about how the ones they have led to the Lord are so eager to now share their faith and I often times find myself reluctant to share my faith.  I have been asking the Lord to help me be bolder when it comes to my faith.  We have enclosed a pamphlet (as we do most every year) called “The Steps to Peace with God” to help you in sharing your faith with someone else.  Or maybe you yourself have not accepted Christ into your heart as your personal Lord and Savior – this pamphlet helps explain the necessary steps.  If you have any questions or simply need someone to pray with please feel free to contact either one of us at any time!
Here I am continuing my role as mommy extraordinaire and COO of our home (do you like my self-given titles?  tee hee!).  Most of my days are spent trying to find balance between wife, mom, housekeeper and chef.  Often times I find myself overwhelmed and do not accomplish half of what is on my to-do list, but I am eternally grateful to the Lord and to my loving selfless husband for giving me the wonderful opportunity to stay at home with Colton and Claire.  The Lord has used motherhood to refine me in areas that I did not know existed.  I pray that He will continue to refine me and mold me into the child of God he desires.  An abundance of wisdom and grace are most often on the top of my prayer list, for without it I will surely fail.

I have found a knack for making hair bows and have started an etsy site.  I enjoy it so much because for one I am NOT a crafty person!  Seriously!  But if you’re interested you can find my stuff at thefabulouscupcake.etsy.com.  Blogging has also crept back into my life – you can check out our blog at believingboldly.blogspot.com.   

As we prepare for the New Year, we are grateful to be healthy and active.  We will be spending the holidays with family and hoping not to eat too much – did I mention we are on a new quest for health?!  Yup, we are following a great eating plan from Dr. Josh Axe called “The Healing Foods Diet” – you should check it out at draxe.com.  With that I better bring this to a close, we hope all is well with you and yours this holiday season, and we’d love to hear from you soon.

Much Love,
Chris & Summer Jo Brooks
Colton Michael & Anna Claire






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