Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Year in Review: 2009

So many things happen in a year, you're bound to forget things. I know I sometimes can't remember what happened last week, much less 11 months ago! One thing that helps me is to read old blog posts from the year - even though this year's near-screeching-halt in blogging may make things even more difficult to recall.

*We had to cancel our New Year's Day open house because Caleb was running fever on New Year's Eve. He was perfectly fine the next day, so we went out to eat. It ended up being a very low-key day.

*We had to postpone Jacob's and Billy's birthday celebrations because the boys were sick at different times.

*Jacob had to say goodbye to chewy candy because of his orthodontic spacer. They put the wrong spacer in, so we had to get the right one made and put in a week or so later.

*I made a rum pound cake for Billy's birthday - 18 years after the last one I made. My mixer died in the process.

*The van had issues and had to be put in the shop.

*Caleb celebrated his 9th birthday.

*Our homeschool group took a field trip to Mrs. Baird's bakery in Fort Worth. That was a fun free tour, and the boys are eager to go back. Caleb's favorite part was getting to eat a warm, buttered slice of freshly baked bread. Seriously, the boy could live off bread.

*Billy and I went to the Fort Worth Japanese and Botanic Gardens and to Dallas Zoo to take pictures. I was relearning how to use manual settings on my "new to me" digital camera.

*I attended my 4th annual SWIM Spring Retreat, and I taught ladies how to make stretch bracelets.

*Billy and I started thinking about what to do once the lease on the rental house ended.

*We joined a new home group from church. With eight couples, there's a great mix of people in it, and we always have a good time together!

*I worked with my good friend Nino at some group fitness training sessions at church. She taught us some great exercises we can do at home and not have to spend a lot of money on gym memberships.

*The boys went for their annual well check-ups. They're very healthy and growing steadily. Unfortunately their pediatrician was ending his time at the clinic and moving to Rockwall, but we're happy with our new pediatrician, who the boys had seen when theirs was out of the office.

*I took a class on hammered wire earrings at a local bead shop and was asked to teach some classes. The only catch was I had to come up with an idea.

*We became addicted to playing Rock Band. When we visited my family for a weekend, the whole family took turns playing. Not long after we came back home, we had a new Wii, complete with Rock Band and Rock Band 2.

*We took the boys bowling for their first time. It was fun, and I did about as well as they did... :oP

*I got serious about taking more pictures. I'm still working on learning techniques for a more artistic approach.

*We made our first (and last) trip to The Incredible Pizza Company. Pizza, okay; everything else, bad.

*The boys took swimming lessons from a private instructor instead of a local park, and they did remarkably better! Caleb was jumping into the deep end of the pool and swimming across at the end of two weeks. Jacob went from trying to talk his way out of putting his face in the water to swimming across the width of the pool by himself. We're definitely going to use Kathy again next year!

*Our VBS had an outback theme this year. We got to pet a kangaroo on family night.

*The boys made various trips to Camp Mamaw & Papaw and Camp Mimi & Pops during the month. They had a blast and got spoiled. (So did I!) :o)

*I took the boys to the grand opening of the LEGO Store at North Park Center and they participated in building big bricks for the big Yoda the master builder was going to make. They took it down the night they finished it, so we never got to see the end result. The boys now have a favorite store that we have to visit after every dental check up.

*I taught my first bead class at Beads of Splendor on making cage beads. It was a full class and there's interest in me teaching it again. Diana also wants me to teach a class on adjustable wire rings. I just need to get my samples made and the instructions written up.

*The boys and I went with some other homeschool families to a textile design studio to see how the designer works to see her designs from idea to finished product. The kids got to help out with making cording and other things. The boys lost interest after a while, but I would've loved to stay longer and see more of what she does there.

*Caleb got a rapid expander put on his top teeth, so now he has joined Jacob's "No Chewy Candy Club". It's easier now that they both can't have certain things instead of one being able to eat it.

*I took the boys to Six Flags to celebrate their completion of a reading program. It was their first time to an amusement park and they loved riding everything. No queasy stomachs in this bunch!

*We took the boys to the circus for their first time. We all enjoyed it!

*We took our first family vacation! We went to Branson, MO, and had lots of fun. We went to Silver Dollar City (two days), toured a cave (at Silver Dollar City), explored the Titanic Museum, visited a fish hatchery, spent time relaxing at the lake, and played in our resort's Splashatorium. Billy and I hadn't been on an extended vacation since we went to Santa Fe in '97 or '98. I wonder where we'll go next year...

*We found a house we loved and closed on it August 31. We're homeowners again and love it!

*We moved into our new house during the first few weeks of the month. It didn't take long to get settled in, either. We love our new home!

*The boys and I joined some other homeschool friends for a tour of the Trammell Crow Museum of Asian Art in downtown Dallas. (It turned out to be the same day of the failed terrorist attack on one of the landmark buildings nearby...)

*Billy and I took the boys to the Texas State Fair for the second year in a row. Last year was hot; this year was cold and we were under-dressed. Still, we had a great time. Caleb was inspired to make a LEGO model of something to enter in next year's exhibits after seeing that other children had won ribbons for doing that. Billy and I are considering entering some photographs we've taken, and I'd like to enter a few pieces of jewelry. I didn't see much jewelry at all this time.

*The annual Missions Conference at church got me to thinking more seriously about how I could participate in missions more directly.

*We hosted 13 people for our home group's missions dinner. The Spurgeons (India and the Philippines) joined us and shared what their work there is like. They're here on furlough, so they joined our home group for the remainder of their time here.

*I turned 40 and lived to tell about it. Actually, it doesn't bother me at all. It's just a number and you can't do anything about it anyway, so why fret? I feel great and look like I'm in my thirties. :o)

*Jacob learned how to ride his bike without training wheels! He took to it right away, and after several laps with Billy by his side, he was ready to take off on his own.

*Thanksgiving was great, but we received bad news concerning Uncle Mike. His stomach cancer, having spread despite months of chemo and radiation, was winning the battle. He and Aunt Susie made several trips to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Chicago, but pneumonia weakened him severely.

*We celebrated Hanukkah and Christmas with our home group. Steve and Adria taught us about the history and traditions of Hanukkah, and we learned how to play with the dreidel.

*Uncle Mike died in hospice care on Wednesday morning, Dec. 23. We went to his funeral on Sunday, Dec. 27, where Billy was a pallbearer. It's been hard on Aunt Susie and all the family, and now a shadow will be over Christmas from here on.


I haven't posted a slide show in a while, so a look back at 2009 through pictures might be something to work on...

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