Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011

What a year! This year has been a doozy of a year for our family.  How was your year?  As we look back and reflect on the days gone by, we have many events which brought change to our family.
Sweetie and I went on our first international mission trip (leading the team!) together in January.  March brought us back to Costa Rica together as a family! This trip was challenging and a big growth spurt for all of us! Sweetie's back finally gave way, and the challenges ahead of all of us as we climbed over mountains of pain meds, USE OF A CANE, physical therapy, and chiropractor visits, and stomped through the valleys of the side effects of pain meds, surgery, bills, and paperwork. It is a HUGE blessing to shout for all to hear, "God brought us through!" Sweetie is all healed up, and back to playing basketball with the boys!
May and June were spent between home and Michigan as we helped Grandpa get back with the family and closed out his life in Michigan. Lots of road miles logged this year! Oh! In amongst all this, I managed a few days out of town with Best Bud!  The end of May I managed to pick 8 gallons of strawberries (on my own) and with some help, get several jars of jelly put up.  And..let's sister moved back from Navajo land in June to round out the month! July had the family up to our armpits in corn! We blanched over 300 ears of corn in one weekend! We won the "Gluttons for punishment" award this year!
With the boys starting high school, and middle school, all the changes and adjustments that brings, has stretched us all! The boys have learned to balance extra curricular activities, classes from one end of the school to the other, and keep grades in check.  This fall brought all sorts of band activities, concerts, cookouts, fruit sales, soccer games, and two tired parents. We even managed to fit in a project of restoring an old family glider swing!
 On several occasions we tagged each other as we were all heading separate directions!  This year we have definitely learned  how to manage our time better, and to appreciate a scheduled time out for the family!
Somewhere in all this our ever growing teen boys have decided to put us on what we lovingly refer too as the "teenage diet plan".   WE buy the food...they  eat it!  I have gone to the pantry, fridge, and freezer to get something to cook, only to find an empty package, or hear so and so ate it two days ago. So we are losing weight and don't really mean to! Ha!
Somehow we both managed to switch jobs, me leaving behind dress clothes for scrubs and Sweetie leaving scrubs to embracing suits, and business casual! This massive frenzy had us so busy we had the holidays sneak up on us this year! I missed Black Friday, Cyber Monday and we even got spotted out shopping on the day before Christmas Eve! Where did the time go?
Glory to God! We have more blessings than worries! How about you?  As we start a new year, we have set new goals for us as individuals and as a family. What goals have you set?

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Band Concerts

Brian on the right with the black jacket
Both in the same night! Go figure! In our world that is just how things manage to happen!  We have come to expect a certain amount of go- go- go in our lives!
The middle school band put there performance on first and as the first time band parents stood around pointing out their little angel, we smiled at their innocence.  The honking of horns,  tapping of drums, clanging of cymbals, flashing cameras, and video recorders galore came to an end, it was time to race to the high school.  Brian played several different percussion instruments and even had a speaking part. We were very proud!
Cory on the keys
At the high school, the event was much more dignified, as nervous teens gathered around the band director. The lights went out, the spotlight appeared and the night of decibel piercing sound began! Sweetie even humored himself and found the 'app' for measuring sound, and took delight in showing us the needle dancing about in the red danger zone.
Cory proudly played keys and a whistle of some sort, and did a great job of it. Band has really stretched him this semester and he is better for it. (side note:  we got to meet his date to the snowball's parents on this evening - much to he and his girlfriends chagrin) 

Brian ready for the concert
All joking aside, it was a delightful evening.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Snowball 2011

Well...we are now moving into another category of parenting. The dating category.
Seriously, I should have known.... I mean the first day I took Cory to preschool a cute little girl with blonde pigtails came running up to him and planted a big kiss right on his lips! I left the room with her holding his hand showing him the toys! Wow!
Several years later, we now watch a handsome, unsure young man nervously asking his dad to help him tie his tie. His once, 'girls are gross' has been exchanged for, 'she's pretty hot!'  WHAT??
NOW he cares if he smells good, and does everything match! Hmmmph!
I was holding out for a picture, but Cory has yet to produce one of he and his date.  I hope by the time I publish this to have one, if I don't please understand we are dealing with the pendulum swing of teen emotions here, okay?
Seems his girlfriends dad decided to stay and supervise the dance, all night! Ha! As Cory put it, 'he is a tall man who had really big hands.'  He went on to tell us that the dad when he met him, told him he had trimmed his nails with his machete before coming to the dance. Ha!
A few nights later we were able to meet the parents of his date and we shared a laugh over the whole experience. We know this is but the beginning of many date stories, and we look forward to exchanging the same looks we remember our parents sharing with one another when we were dating!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011!

This year we traveled to the 'boro for Christmas with Grandpa and my aunt and uncle. Then came back and spent time with the family in Woodlawn.
A good time was had by all, as memories of years gone by and new memories were made. This year it was Cory's turn to read the Christmas story to the family before we opened presents. He did a great job! We were so proud of him as he read through the second chapter of Luke.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gone with the old - in with the new

Sweetie and I have recently joined the Apple iPhone generation. We have watched as many of our friends and family members have updated their phones over the years..Let me put it this way. I never even updated to a Blackberry. A phone that is just that a phone is fine for me..I don't need internet ect. Or do I?
But when the newest iPhones came out, we were interested.
Polling our friends and checking reviews, we finally took the plunge. Now we have this super amazing phone. This thing has all sorts of things my other phones never had. A person can work from home with one of these things.This updated phone makes sounds and things pop up on it all the time, I can't wait to understand this new language!
The boys laugh, and take great joy in introducing me to this 'creature'. (for those who know me..they know I approach change quite cautiously. Even avoiding it sometimes. Sweetie embraces change and loves to include me in on such changes much to his delight and my chagrin.

So far, my favorite part is SIRI  the part of the phone that in one wasy is a personal assistant. I can push a button and speak to her, she will send a text message for me, or put a reminder of a date and time on my calendar for me! It is great! I'm used to doing such tasks for other people all day long, it is a treat for 'her' to do that for me - and anyone else using the phone.
For now.. I'm excited.