As I sit down to write this letter the snow is falling and it is gorgeous outside. I hope it keeps up and we end up with a white Christmas!
2015 was a busy and eventful year for us. On Feb 15th, we welcomed a new nephew, little Noah into the family born to my brother Jon and his girlfriend Dannie. He is such a cutie and we wish we got to see him more as he lives about 5 hours from us.
|Holding my new nephew|
Right as school/tax season were ending, we were surprised to find out that we were expecting baby number four! This little unexpected blessing is a little girl and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome our little princess in January. The pregnancy is going good and everything is healthy so far and that is all that matters.
In June, we got the sad news that my 93 year old grandpa had only days to live due to a large tumor. So my sisters and I along with two toddlers drove straight down to California to say our last goodbyes. It was very emotional and but it was nice to see extended family even under the circumstances. Joe drove down for a few days with our other boys and my brothers to attend the funeral. My Grandfather was a decorated WWII hero, a wonderful man and even though he lived such a full long life, it was hard to say goodbye.
|My Grandma and I|
|Eric and Grandma and I|
|All the Great Grandchildren that we could get to sort of sit still.|
|My handsome Grandpa|
We enjoyed the summer, doing some trips to the lake with the jetskis and the boys did a few sessions of swim lessons. We also started biking together as a family!
|My Three sons on Mother's day:-)|
|Monica and Christopher: He loves to "drive"|
In August, my mom and I took a trip to Seattle to drop my little sister, Monica off at college, which was really fun but hard to leave her there.L We made it a fun trip, seeing family and shopping at IKEA.
|I did NOT like leaving her at college but was excited for her new adventure.|
|Tired at IKEA lol|
|Hanging with Joe's sister Tiffany|
|My nephew Paul and brother Mark came to check out the school.|
|My mom was in heaven at IKEA|
On the way home, we met Joe about halfway and we took the kids to Silverwood Theme park while staying in our camper. It was a little rainy but they all had a blast anyway.
For Joe, this year has brought a lot of changes. In January he left the job as CEO and owner that he has been working at since he was around 17 years old. He grew up at this job, developed connections, knowledge, and had great success in helping to grow a small company into a much larger one. He had really poured his heart into it so leaving was a huge decision. While it was a nerve racking time to be without a job but God quickly opened up another opportunity for him at a wonderful company, Nomad, where he is working as director of IT operations. This company develops and manufactures command and specialty vehicles for the military, fire departments, Dept of Transportation and many more. While it is a little different than what he has done for so long, it has enabled so many wonderful changes for our entire family. His schedule allows him to be home a lot more and having regular hours is so amazing. He has done a lot more travel for work across the United States and is enjoying the learning new things.
He has also developed a love of cycling and this summer, he and Eric did a 100 mile bike ride as a fundraiser for a local charitable organization. Besides snowmobiling, I think this is he new favorite hobby!
I had a year full of a lot of variety. In the spring I finished up homeschooling Shawn for kindergarten, running a homeschool co-op, volunteering in Eric’s classroom, working a very busy tax season and finishing up teaching a highschool geometry class. I had a lot of fun being able to implement some project based learning into the class and had the kid apply their skills a real life project, designing an eco-friendly mall for the future.
|I started off with six students but ended with this great group of 4.|
At the end of school I found out I was expecting our fourth baby. It was definitely an unexpected surprise but now that she is almost here, I can’t wait! This pregnancy has been hard for me physically and I have had to do a lot of physical therapy to be able to function day to day but that has helped tremendously.
I decided not to teach another class this year due to the baby coming mid-year but have been doing some private tutoring and will be doing taxes again very soon.
Eric enjoyed fourth grade, which included an ice-fishing field trip, big creek learning experience, playing Thomas Jefferson in a Lewis and Clark production and participating in the science fair.
|Daddy was a lot of help|
|Great group of friends|
He got first place in the science fair and ended up with his picture on the front page of the newspaper!! He tried basketball for the first time and also enjoyed his 6th year of playing baseball.
|Eric had a great coach this year!!|
After turning 10 in March, he had a big party with his cousins at the local roller rink. Since then he rollerblades when and wherever he can! This summer he did vacation bible school and had his first long camp away from home for a whole week.
|Lego Roller Rink party|
He also enjoyed a Cub Scout camp and biking with Joe. I am so proud of his endurance and stamina to ride 100 miles with his dad. This fall he is in fifth grade and in addition to school has started piano lessons. He has been teaching himself for a while by ear and now is picking up notes very easily. I can’t believe my little baby Eric is 10 and in his last year of elementary school before Junior High next year! It’s going too fast!! He is a wonderful help and big brother.
Shawn finished up his year of homeschool with flying colors. He did a reading class, dance class, science class and co-op classes in addition to the work we did at home. Then at the end of the year, he attended some days at the public school to see how he’d adapt to the classroom next fall.
|Co-op learning about our insides!|
|Loves to help me bake|
Over the summer he continued to excel and by the fall, was definitely ready for first grade. This summer he also played his second year of T-ball, attended vacation bible school and learned to ride his bike with no training wheels! He is very creative and loves math and solving puzzles.
|Shawn and his T-ball coach|
During his first few months at school, he has tested at over a second grade level in both math and reading and is doing an extra class to provide a little more challenge for him. He loves reading so much that I have to force him to put his books away at night! He loves playing with Minecraft on the computer with Eric and running around with his little brother Christopher.
Christopher has changed so much this year. He talks a lot now and is very specific about what he wants down to the color of bowl and spoon he wants to eat with. He began doing puzzles, loves playing with playdough, water play, and drawing on paper. One of his favorite obsessions is Curious George! He still loves to ride on our backs in his baby carrier and is daddy’s favorite cuddle buddy. He turned 2 in June and has the toddler mood swings down to a science.
|He loves Curious George|
|Riding on Mom's back is the best!|
He loves to ride his tricycle around the house and porch and play with his brothers. His newest thing is that he wants to do everything himself! However, he is still very much our baby, so we will all have some transitioning to do once little sister arrives!!
Well, that’s a little bit about our year. I hope you all are doing well and have a great holiday enjoying the most important thing in the world: TIME with those people closest to you.
Joe, Moriah, Eric, Shawn and Christopher