Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Summary of Our 2008 . . . .

Instead of sending out a Christmas letter this year, I decided that I would actually take the time to update my blog with the highlights of our year. Of course, we started out 2008 in Connecticut. This was our second year there and although it is a beautiful state, it sure does get cold!

Grant and Sydney enjoyed taking skiing and snowboarding lessons at the beginning of the year at a ski resort only 15 minutes from our home in Connecticut. Although Luke would have loved to do the same, he was still to young for the lessons which they took. Grant played basketball with a school team for the first time. He LOVED playing basketball even though he has lots of learning to do. Grant and Sydney were both involved with the student council at their 100 student school (K-6th grade). Sydney participated in girl scouts as well as karate.

After finishing up their school year in June, we drove all the way from Connecticut to Myrtle Beach, SC to meet my dad and stepmom, my brother and his 6 year old daughter, and my sister, her husband and their almost two year old son. Talk about a drive which we never wanted to do again! Our trip was a week long and my main objective was to have family pictures taken on the beach. I have always loved the ocean and it's where I feel closest to God. There is something so powerful and peaceful about seeing how far the ocean spreads and listening to the crashing waves. So . . . my dream came true and we had some pictures taken at Myrtle Beach by Kara Stovall. I really liked the way most of them turned out, although I regret not having certain others taken during this time.
Not long after we got back from Myrtle Beach, I went to the Uppercase Living convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was great getting the sneak peak into all of the positive changes which were taking place with Uppercase Living. It was fun getting to meet several demonstrators whom I had only had contact with online!The biggest news of this year is that we made a major move from Connecticut to Tennessee, my home state. Yippee!! Of course, we were sad to leave all of our new friends in Connecticut, but we are so happy to be back in the south. Brad is loving his job here in Tennessee. He especially loves the fact that he is only ten minutes from work. The kids have started making friends and have already found extracurricular activies to be involved in. Grant is playing basketball again through the church we have joined, Sydney is on the spirit squad at school and Luke will be starting Upward basketball soon as well. the kids have all adjusted really well and seem to be doing great in their new schools. As for me, I have been busier in the last three months than I was for the entire two years we were in Connecticut. Shortly after moving here, God blessed me with a wonderful Christian friend who shares many of my thoughts and beliefs. Since then, I have met several other wonderful ladies and have started developing relationships with them. I have joined a local recreation center and exercise three to four times a week. I really enjoy the aerobics, the spin (cycling) classes and even Zumba. I have been able to get involved with a Bunco group and have started studying Moses in Bible Study Fellowship. I have even gone on a scrapbooking retreat. So . . . as you can see, I've been really busy -- but I'm loving it!

Most recently, we got Grant his "own" dog. JoJo is a black miniature schnauzer and has really won all of our hearts. JoJo is as sweet as she can be but she can be quite vocal and energetic, of course. Bandit, our nine year old shih-tzu has finally started to tolerate her and I think they will eventually be friends. Right now, however, it is like a little kid wanting to play with a cranky old man.

Unfortunately, we also had to say a sad goodbye to Sydney's little guinea pig, Coconut. Coconut had come into our lives back in January along with Luke's guinea pig, Lizzy. Coconut developed an upper respiratory infection shortly after we moved here and although we had tried to fight it with antibiotics, she only went downhill. When we discovered that she had pneumonia and it would be unlikely that she would recover, we made the tough decision to have her put down. Sydney, of course, was extremely brokenhearted and decided to get a new guinea pig whom she named Peekaboo. Peekaboo is only two months old and is a very vocal little friend for Sydney.

Our family spent Thanksgiving with Brad's family and we are looking forward to seeing my family during the Christmas holidays. We feel so blessed to have such a wonderful family, good health, a nice home and so many friends. We look forward to the year 2009 and all it holds in store for us!