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Friday, December 26, 2008

Annual Christmas Letter Time!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours! We hope everyone has had a happy and healthy 2008! Wow ~ has this year flown by or what? We have had quite a busy year around here. Of course with 5 kids there is hardly ever a dull moment ~ and if there is we have to find out what they are up to!
John turned 15 in July. And 15 = learner’s permit. Yes, our baby is driving! He does a pretty good job of it and gets behind the wheel every chance he gets. He also started high school this fall. The task of putting ourselves in high school mode and adjusting to having a freshman in the house went pretty smoothly. John was confirmed at our church in the spring, graduated 8th grade and finished up 5 years of playing for his club baseball team. They had a great season ~ they placed 2nd at State and got 1st place in a tournament in Kansas City. His freshman football team won their conference title, finishing 7-2 for the season. He is now in the midst of basketball season and will play baseball again in the spring. He is surviving 6 and 7am practices, weightlifting and a heavy class schedule. And thankfully, so are we.
Tommie will be 13 in January. This means there will officially be 2 teenagers in the house. He started 7th grade and has adjusted well to his second year of middle school. Tommie keeps busy with various sports activities too. He is playing basketball with his club team again and will also play for the 7th grade team in January. His first passion is baseball and he got the opportunity to play on a husker league this fall. He really enjoyed it ~ he got to meet a lot of the Husker baseball players and get some one on one advice from the coaches. It was a fun experience ~ except for traveling to Lincoln on Sundays for 6 weeks straight! :o) Tommie is still active in his club baseball team and keeps us laughing with his great sense of humor.
Joey is now 4 ½ years old. If we held a contest for which boy has the busiest schedule, his would be strong contender. He attends preschool 4 mornings a week and finished his second season of equine therapy in October. He has physical and occupational therapy twice a week and also speech therapy twice a week. He loves to flirt with the ladies at Wiggles & Giggles and they are just as proud of him as we are. His teachers and therapists at school take good care of him too so we know he is always in good hands. We are happy to report that over the last several weeks, Joey has taken a few steps on his own although he is not very sure footed yet. He received his very own miniature walker a few weeks ago and maneuvers it around really well. Joey and I had the opportunity to travel to Chicago this summer for the Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation’s National Conference. It was an experience we will never forget. It was so great to connect with other CdLS families and share our stories with each other. Joey also got to be a part of the Littlest Hero Project this fall. This awesome organization connects families with a photographer in their area who provides free photo sessions for children who are afflicted with an illness or disability. The photos are fantastic. Please check out the Littlest Heroes Website at www.littlestheroproject.com if you get a chance. And as always, visit www.CdLSusa.org for more information about Cornelia de Lange Syndrome.
Emma is now 3 ½ years old. She started preschool this fall also and she and Joey are actually in the same class. She absolutely loves school and didn’t even shed a tear the first day she went. It’s hard to believe 4 out of the 5 Riedmiller kids are in school now ~ our babies are growing up way too fast! Emma is quickly becoming a computer expert and loves to play the Nickelodeon games. She also loves to draw and color and these activities remain her favorite pastime. Abbie, the youngest of the crew, is now 2 ½ years old. She spent about the first month after Emma started preschool crying because she wanted to go to “cool” too. She remains Emma’s constant shadow and is right there wanting to do whatever she is doing. For the most part they get along pretty well, although there have been a few hair pulling incidents. Abbie loves to color and draw too so maybe we will have a couple of famous artists someday. :o)
My sister Andrea and her family are doing well. I am still babysitting Cooper who is now 15 months old. He is such a little cutie and loves to play with his cousins. My brother Eric and his wife Sherry welcomed their daughter Aubree Lynn into the world in March. She is 9 months old already, is absolutely adorable, and is very much daddy’s little girl. Shawn’s brother Aaron and his family are doing well too. The twins, Dylan and Lexi, turned 2 in July and Devin is about 15 months old. They are all as cute as a button and keep their parents very busy! :o)
Shawn and I try our best to manage the daily chaos that is our life. He is still working for the city, going on 10 years now. He bowled his 7th 300 game a few weeks ago so he was pretty proud of himself. I keep busy running in circles trying to keep everyone’s schedule straight. I took up a new hobby ~ blogging. A friend of mine inspired me to start a blog about our family and it is a wonderful tool for spreading awareness about CdLS. It is a lot of fun and a great way to keep up to date with our CdLS friends and other families.
That about wraps it up for this year. We try to take things a day at a time and enjoy all the little things life has to offer. We hope everyone has a joyous holiday season and we send you all our good wishes for a happy, healthy and safe 2009.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
With love,
Shawn, Rachelle,
John, Tommie, Joey,
Emma & Abbie


  1. i always want to do this every year, but am so bad at writing it all down at once!! LOL! i either have a hard time finding things to write about or narrowing it down!


    loved the pics and the christmas card! :)

  2. I'm going to have to come back and read this later, but I wanted to say Hope you have a happy New Year!

  3. Great letter. You guys amaze me with everything you get done! Merry Christmas!


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