In lieu of a Christmas letter (which I have never been able to pull off), I am going to summarize our 2008.
Our 2008 began with Jason still in Montana, doing turn-over to the new supply person, and the children and I in Virginia, learning the area, and the children starting school, including Leah starting Kindergarten in the middle of the school year.
Over the course of the year, we saw...
*Jason driving back across country from Montana to Virginia.
*Laura starting a new job, as a private contractor doing medical transcription.
*Frances finishing 8th grade, and applying to and being accepted to the Global Studies and World Languages Academy.
*Jonathan finishing up 5th grade and moving on to 6th grade at Great Neck Middle School.
*Heather finishing 4th grade and beginning 5th grade.
*Justin finished 2nd grade and started 3rd grade.
*Leah finished Kindergarten and started 1st grade.
*Katherine turned 5, and has spent a lot of great one-on-one time with mom.
Jason has had a very successful year in 2008. He finished his turn-over in Montana in mid-January and drove across country to join us in Virginia, making a stop in Indiana with his Uncle Gary for the night. His new command put him in several challenging positions over the year, setting up a new area, being in charge of building maintenance, and then moving him back into his regular area of supply. He had two momentous occasions this year, being promoted to First Class Petty Officer in November, and graduating from Ashford University with a Master's Degree in Business Management. As we speak, he is preparing to begin another Master's Degree, in Theology, through Liberty. He is also very involved at our WONDERFUL church, Reality Church (http://www.realitychurch.com/), running sound, and with a Men's Brew Group. He has been able to take part in various activities through the year, including a Men's Retreat, and having the fun of playing with fire at various church cook-outs.
The children have all been busy this year, and seem to have adjusted well to their new schools and new friends in Virginia.
Frances finished out 8th grade at Great Neck Middle School, studying hard and playing the flute in the band. She made some very good friends, and kept her grades high. At the end of the school year, she applied for a program within the Virginia Beach school system called the Global Studies and World Languages Academy. She was accepted and started the new school year attending Tallwood High School, and playing the piccolo in the Marching Band. The Marching Band had a very successful season, and Frances is now playing in the Symphony Band. She is also doing very well accademically, and is learning a lot. She has also enjoyed getting to know some very good friends from our church, and was able to attend Winter Jam, King's Fest and Acquire The Fire with her youth group. Frances turned 15 in December, and is really looking forward to getting her learner's permit in June.
Jonathan (Jon) also had a busy year. The end of his 5th grade school year was a bit of a tough adjustment for him, but adjustments were made, and he finished well. He enjoyed the chance he had to act in a play at the end of the school year. He turned 12 in April, and was able to play baseball over the summer, and though his team didn't finish the season well, it was a learning and growing experience. Jon loves baseball, and is looking forward to playing again next season. He is now in 6th grade at Great Neck Middle School, and is learning to play the trumpet. His first performance was for the Christmas holiday concert. He also tried out for the football team, but did not make the team...maybe next year! He is also enjoying helping out at church with setting things up on Sunday mornings, and running the sound for the children's Adventure World, as well as learning in the youth class. He enjoyed attending Winter Jam with Frances, too.
Heather quickly adjusted to her new school, and finished out her 4th grade year very well. She made a lot of good friends, and was able to take part in several new activities. She also played baseball over the summer, and had the distinction of being one of two girls in their level of baseball. She has started off her new school year well, and is learning a lot. She is slowly outgrowing her tomboyish tendencies, finally being willing to wear girly clothes again, though still enjoys her baseball caps and ragged jeans. She loves art, and has the opportunity to apply for a special art class at the Old Dominion Center. Heather had her 11th birthday in November, and is growing by leaps and bounds.
Justin had a very good end of the school year, after having a bit of a bumpy year, with four different teachers over the course of the school year. He played baseball over the summer (fun trivial fact: all 3 baseball players were assigned to the Red Socks teams...a bit confusing for mom!), and his team had a winning season, not losing a single game. He is looking forward to playing again next season. He has made a couple of really good friends in the neighborhood, and enjoys playing PS2 games and having sleep-overs with them. Justin turned 8 in January, and is looking forward his 9th birthday in a couple of days.
Leah started off 2008 with the new experience of attending Kindergarten. She thoroughly enjoyed her class, and finished out that school year well, on par with the rest of her class, though she only attended school for half of the school year. She has learned to read and loves practicing for us. She has made several friends in the neighborhood, and some very good friends at church. Leah's 6th birthday was in March, and is looking forward to celebrating again in a couple of months. She is doing well in first grade, and loves riding the bus to and from school.
Katherine has had a very good 2008, spending her time at home with Mommy. She tells everyone that she is "doing school," and constantly draws pictures for the family, and asks how to spell words to make "invitations" for her friends. She is writing and is learning to read, as well, following in the steps of her brother, teaching herself. She turned 5 in December, and we celebrated for 2 weeks with her.
I have had a busy year, working and trying to keep up with the house, as well as the various other responsibilities that come with family life...taxi driver, secretary, chief cook, bottle washer, laundress, etc. In mid-January I started working as a medical transcriptionist, working from home, and have stayed busy with that all year long. I have had fun, meeting new friends at our new church, learning and growing through the Women's group. I enjoyed spending a weekend in Washington, DC, attending the Women of Faith conference in July, and taking part in the Ambassador Choir reunion in South Carolina in October. As a family, we also were able to visit with family in South Carolina in March and July, as well as spending Thanksgiving with my family in North Carolina, and with Jason's family in South Carolina.
I have taken up several new activities this year, in attempt to keep in touch with friends all over the country. In addition to this blog, you can find us on Facebook....search for both Jason and I on there. We LOVE keeping in touch with our family and friends, and look forward to hearing from all of you over the next year!