Merry Christmas from the Dowdell family. We hope that this letter finds you enjoying all the things that are precious about this time of the year: Family, friends, and the hope and joy that is ours through our Savior, Jesus Christ.
2004 has been an action-packed year for our family. We spent a great week this summer at the beach in North Carolina with all of the O’Hern family. Piper got a chance to play with her cousins, Jason got a chance to play with the boys surfing, and Shannon played with the ladies sunning at the pool and on the beach. We also got a chance to visit with Jason’s brother Jonah, who was stationed with the marines at Camp LeJeune. It was a bittersweet visit as now Jonah is serving a 7-month term in Iraq. Please remember to keep him in your prayers as well as all the other soldiers who are defending our freedom.
July found us moving into a new home. We stayed in Merritt Island although upgraded to a house about twice the size as our former home. Our new neighborhood has a lot of young families and children and will be a great place for us to stay for a while. We now are finding ourselves facing the daunting task of furnishing rooms that didn’t exist in our former home.
We also found out in March that we were expecting our second child. Finley Claire joined our family on November 7, 2004. She was 6 pounds 8 ounces and 19 inches long…she takes after her father and sister in that she is tall and skinny. She is pure joy and Piper adores her “baby sister.” We are excited to be celebrating this Christmas as “the four of us.”
Piper celebrated her first birthday in January and had a great party with family and a bunch of lab school friends. She is growing up so fast and every day is a new adventure. She loves to go to the park and swing and tumble down the slide in the back yard. Her vocabulary is increasing every day and Shannon and Jason often find themselves spelling out words that they would rather her not hear. Example: C-o-o-k-i-e-s. She is in her second year of Lab School through Brevard Community College where she is in the toddlers’ class and absolutely loves all the fun and creative things we learn and do there. Her favorite activities to do at lab school are painting and playing on the playground. She is our sunshine!
Jason has been busy as well, not only as a father but also in his career. After working at United Space Alliance for 2.5 years and running a successful search engine marketing company on his own, he sold his company to Websourced, Inc. in Raleigh, North Carolina and began to work for them as Director of Search Engine Technologies. He spends one week out of each month in Raleigh and occasionally his family joins him in North Carolina. Jason spends his free time playing tennis with his father-in-law. They are both very competitive, and Shannon often has to hear the play-by-play when Jason gets home. He has also started attending a bible study with some of his friends and is busy as a deacon at our church. Shannon spends her days playing at the park with the girls, keeping the house together, and trying to achieve the ultimate goal of getting the girls to nap at the same time. She also serves on two committees at church and has a new hobby of “blogging.” A blog is like an online diary and Shannon has found it to be an outlet and a way of sharing the good, the bad, and the very ugly of what it is like to be a stay at home mom. You can check it out at www.shannondowdell.blogspot.com and stay up to date with our family through stories and pictures.
We are thankful for the gifts of prosperity and family that God has so graciously blessed us with and we pray the God’s blessings will be with your family this season as we celebrate the birth of our Savior! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
The Dowdells : Jason, Shannon, Piper and Finley