Our 2015 Christmas Letter

One of the best moments of Luke’s life happened recently at the Detroit Tree Lighting: he was introduced to countdowns! Since then, he does his own countdown each morning and then shouts, “Light the Christmas tree!” In honor Luke’s sweet tradition, here is our Christmas countdown.IMG_1660


The amount of months that Josh studied for his board exam. He passed and we are so glad that it is over! Josh has just reached the end of a long and difficult CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist) program. He has accepted a job at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. This is great news because we get to stay in our favorite city and he’ll get to commute his favorite way- via bicycle. IMG_1680IMG_2134


The hours we drove on our road trip to the Smoky Mountains. We rented a little cabin with friends and found out that our boys love the mountain air as much as we do. We can’t wait to go back!IMG_6175IMG_6415IMG_6292


The number of people that lived in our house for 3.5 months of the year. Our friends and their three kids stayed with us before a big move across the country. It was great chaos and fun and taught us a lot about hospitality and love. Our house is always ready for visitors!

{Update: there were 9 people living at our house. I guess maybe I forgot to count Theo. Props to those of you that caught the error. Just keeping you on your toes!}IMG_8347


The types of construction trucks that Luke talks about daily. Luke turned two last summer and has a studious personality and a heart for adventure. His favorite activities are reading and riding his bike. Luke’s current favorite sentence is, “Best part my day, mama?” (a question he learned at our dinner table). We re-live all the awesome toddler adventures of the day—things like zoos, train rides, libraries, and construction trucks on the block. In the end, his best part of the day is always the same answer: grapes.


The number of Detroit kids we hope to take to SpringHill Camps this summer. Since our wedding, you have partnered with us to send Detroit kids to camp. We’ve taken the same three kids for the last three years and have recognized great personal and spiritual outcomes from their time at camp. This year we know three more kids that we’d like to take. We’d be so honored if you would join with us to help them get there. To do that, please click here and be sure to put “Olson’s Detroit Kids” in the comments.IMG_9150


The age of the students April works with each week. This fall, April began volunteering with kindergartners at the Detroit Public School across the street. Many students enter school without exposure to letters, numbers, colors, etc. and it has been such a joy to work one-on-one with students and watch them grow in skill and confidence.FullSizeRender.jpg


The number family members we fit on our tandem bike to ride through the city. Detroit is very different today than it was three years ago when we moved here- we are out of bankruptcy and sporting many bike lanes on our streets. Our favorite thing is to load the boys up in the bike trailer and head to Belle Isle. We have new places within walking and biking distance opening up every month!IMG_5954IMG_8365


The number of years we’ve been married. We continue to be so thankful for a great love story and that we get to be each others’ teammates even on hard days. Our anniversary was saddened this year with the news that a 3 month pregnancy had ended. The grief still lingers but we find comfort in knowing that our 3rd baby is held in Jesus’ arms. Experiencing miscarriage was another reminder that we know the best people. We’re so thankful for your love, prayers, meals and for walking us through the process. IMG_0481


The number of words in Theo’s first sentence: “don’t touch.” This soon to be 16 month old is attracted to every single thing that is unsafe for children. It’s hard to stay annoyed at him for destroying our house because he’s just the happiest human we’ve ever met. Theo’s favorite activities are wearing hats and playing with balls. He’s a recent walker and is already running. He loves his brother Luke and we love watching them break into fits of laughter together. IMG_1224IMG_2482 (1)


We continue to be thankful for the One who best models love, grace and hospitality for us- Jesus Christ. May you feel peace and joy this season as we celebrate a Savior born for all of us. 

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:10-11

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