Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Letter 2010

Please bear with me...this one's gonna be a little hard for me to write and will definitely be different from my usual Annual Letter.  If it seems like I'm rambling a bit, please forgive me...

The Paxton family has had a very eventful year this year, and all of it seems to have been bunched together in about 2 or three months of the year. 2010 started off rather unremarkably, with nothing to set it apart too much.  The kids all finished up the 2009-2010 school year well, and were looking forward to a fun, if quiet, summer.

Jason was due to get new orders, with the possibility of heading to Afghanistan.  In July, those orders came through, with him scheduled to leave in October.  Or maybe that was November.  Or possibly not until February.  Thanks, Uncle Sam.  We appreciate the effort.

Also around that time, the opportunity arose for us to get out of military housing, and move into a house that we would be buying, but the financing (which we had been working on since sometime in March) still hadn't come through.  Nevertheless, we moved into our new house in August. 

Meanwhile, plans were moving right ahead for Jason to be leaving his current command, and to report to his new command for training in October, to be headed out to some vague place known as "The Sandbox" in early November...vague because the orders said one place, but were not quite sure.  At least we knew it was not going to be in Virginia.

In September, the kids started back to school (mostly in new schools), and Laura started her new adventure in graduate school at Regent University, studying Counseling.  Jason was finishing up his final classes for his Masters in Theology.  He was also able to take several weeks to spend with the family, and preparing things like legal paperwork and the cars for his being gone for a year. 

October saw plans for Jason's leaving to really start falling into place.  We had a HUGE party with lots of friends coming by (sure wish EVERYONE could have been there!!).  We had a photo shoot with a GREAT friend (Thanks, Jimmy!).  (Didn't he do an amazing job?! - most of these pictures are from that shoot)  We spent lots of time shopping for things for him to take, and spending time with friends before he (or they) left.  We also spent a lot of time unpacking the house, getting settled in, and doing things like getting TVs mounted.  Jason was scheduled to report for the drive to training in South Carolina on Saturday, October 16, so the night before we went out to celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary, and had a really good evening talking through a lot of details.  One of the best parts of the night was finding out that Jason was going to be going to a "vacation spot" for this deployment, and would be there with a wonderful friend from a previous command.

As I write this, we are just over a month into Jason's actually being off of American soil.   After Jason left for training, the financing for the house finally came through, and I got to do the closing by myself.  Yeah!!  We're home owners!  We had a quiet Thanksgiving, and are looking forward to Christmas spent with family.

Frances has had a good year, though one without any answers to the medical issues plaguing her.  The neurologists have given up on finding an answer.  I believe they are still convinced that her issues with numbness are psychosomatic, which other testing has proved wrong.  Meanwhile, she stayed busy this fall with Marching Band, a trip to William & Mary for the Model UN, and in the spring she was able to go to New York on a trip with the band.  As she is a Junior, we have started the process of looking at schools and (!) pricing class rings.  One of the highlights of the year has been getting to know her boyfriend, as he has joined us for quite a few evenings. 
Jon's year has been one of growth - literally - as he has shot up and passed me in height.  He has also matured as an individual, taking on more responsibilities at home and at church.  He is playing the trumpet at school, both in the eighth grade band, and in the jazz band, as well as taking part in the Rhythm Project through the school, which he enjoys immensely. 

Heather has entered the teenage years .  She is in seventh grade this year, and is enjoying being in band, playing the flute for the seventh grade band, and playing the alto saxaphone for the jazz band.  This year her birthday was on Thanksgiving, and we celebrated on the Saturday following, with a few friends coming over, but the birthday party came to an early end when Heather fell at the park and hurt her arm...and was followed by a trip to the emergency room,with a diagnosis of a broken bone in her left wrist. 

Justin is ten years old this year, and in fifth grade.  He is taking part in several different things at school, including studying up for a Geography Bee, playing football at school, and is looking into alternatives for middle school, considering the two magnet schools here, with advanced programs available for gifted students. 

Leah is eight years old now, and in third grade, and doing very well.  She is an amazing kid who loves the animals in the house, sometimes to the point of torture of them.  She is enjoying the new house, and especially the new neighbors.

Katherine has grown to be an amazing little girl.  She will be seven years old this month, and is in first grade, and loving it.  She's smart, and she's a good kid, and loves to learn and grow.

And so our family has had a good (if a *little* busy) year.  We've all grown, and we are all learning, and it has been an amazing ride.  Here's hoping the next year slows down just a little!!


strawberry soda said...

Nice letter, Laura. Thanks for sharing!

singingmomof6 said...

Great letter, Laura. God bless you and your family. And in case my letter doesn't make it out in time, Merry Christmas to you too! :-)