Dear Friends and Family,
I am sad to admit that I have not been my best with keeping up this year. I apologize. I do not promise to do better, because frankly, I know I won't. I failed letter writing and thank-you notes 101...I do pretty well with phone calls, emails, and Facebook, but not so well with pen and paper.
So, in a moment of clarity (or is it insanity?!?), I will attempt to catch up with everything our family has done/accomplished/tried/failed/witnessed/avoided in the calendar year 2009. You ready? I know I'm not...
We started out the year, as we do every year, in the midst of birthday season. Our family birthday season starts in November and ends in April. As we began 2009, half of the children had just had their birthdays (Heather, Katherine and Frances), and the other half were still to come (Justin, Leah, and Jon). 2009 being an odd year, all of our children were odd numbers in age...this year saw us add another teen (Jon!)...with ages ranging from 5 to 15.
This year has seen travels to South Carolina for visits with family, and a trip to Alabama for vacation. Jason had a chance to go on a men's retreat in October, and Laura was able to go to Women of Faith in November. We have also has our share of challenges...with two car wrecks and repairs, buying a third car, weathering storms and floods, and dealing with various dramas, major and minor.
All of the children have had a good year in school.
Frances finished her freshman year in high school, and has moved on to her sophomore year. She again played flute and piccolo in the marching band, and is maintaining her good grades, studying at the Global Studies and World Languages Academy. A next step is to actually apply some of the classes, especially her Driver's Ed class, which she is taking right now.
Jon was happy to be finished with sixth grade, and so far seventh grade has proved to be much smoother for him. He is also playing in the band, taking on the challenges of playing the trumpet for the Pep Band and Jazz Band, as well as the tuba for the seventh grade band. He is excelling in some areas, and being stretched in others, but overall is doing well.
Heather finished out her elementary school years well, and is thrilled to be in middle school. She has followed in her sister's steps and is playing flute in the sixth grade band. She has also gotten involved in the Environmental Club at school, and in Girl Scouts. She continues to be her creative self, supplying the family with drawings, and illustrating many of her papers for school.
Justin has moved from third to fourth grade, and is continuing the excellent work. This year he is in the Chrome Club at school (a math and science club for 4th and 5th graders), and also played the part of Fred, Scrooge's nephew, in a play at school. He is having a great time learning about the tech side of the school's morning show, by being part of that team this year, too.
Leah is loving school, and has smoothly transitioned from first to second grade within this year. She enjoys reading and loves to come home and read to her sister, the cat, the dog, or whoever will sit and listen.
Katherine was THRILLED to start move into Kindergarten this year! She LOVES school, enjoys riding the bus, but particularly LOVES making new friends, and spending time with them. She is still at the stage where peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are GREAT, every day....but is quickly growing out of the baby stage...which makes this mommy just a little nostalgic.
Rudy joined our family in September, and has been an interesting addition. The kids love him, and he loves them unconditionally.... ....the way a dog loves.
Pheobe has suffered through another year of captivity...escaping from the house at every opportunity, returning only because of rain or extreme starvation (ok, so not really, but I would swear that is what is going on in her head some days...). She has endured torture at the hands of Leah and Katherine, and various neighborhood kids, and has thoroughly enjoyed putting Rudy in his place on occasion.
For Jason and I, the year has held much more of the same...our work has remained blessedly stable, and our outside involvements have stretched us.
Jason is still in school, working on his Master's in Theology through Liberty University. He has handled well the challenges of full time school and full time work in the Navy. He has also coached softball, played raquetball, run sound for the church, lead a men's group, and is now supervising a major part of our church's structure/organization...and through the whole of it maintained a very high GPA...I am constantly amazed at his ability to balance it all!
I have pretty much been along for the ride, being taxi driver on occasion, and tagging along for others. I am still working from home doing medical transcription, and trying to keep up with the house and children in my spare time. I have had the opportunity at the end of this year to take on a couple of new things, including being my husband's command ombudsman, and I will be leading a women's small Bible study group starting in January.
All in all, 2009 has been a relatively stable year, with minor bumps in the road, but progress and growth, and gratefulness to God for all He has done in our lives during this year.
Merry Christmas to all, and thank you for being our friends!!