Friday, January 16, 2009

A Year in Review 2008

Another year has come and gone, and this tradition of summing up the prior 12 months has become something I've managed to stick with for years now. (Ha! Because I only started it last year!) So without further ado... and with pictures this time...

JANUARY started off with our first visit (of many) to the orthodontist. Eventually we'd find out that our daughter needed quite a bit of work on her teeth, and once she's paid for, our other daughter and one son will be next in line. This month saw us actively practicing what we were preaching, and putting our marriage first. We attended a Couple's Retreat at camp, amidst a LOT of snow, and also did a couple's getaway at the coast with friends. Our youngest turned five!

FEBRUARY was the month of new things! The girls took off separate weekends and attended winter camp for the first time - one of which Mr Nice Guy and I helped out at. We also had a special delivery of mail-order chicks arrive this month. Love at first sight times 15! Raising chicks in the dining room for a couple weeks proved to be very bonding for everyone. Those chicks are now laying eggs and making a ruckus outside. As luck would have it, I'm ready to do it again. We also had about 20 yards of gravel delivered and started making a new road out to where we would place a new barn. Pirate boy turned 8!

Blue Belt Testing

MARCH was a busy month of getting things ready. Princess D had early morning choir practices and a couple of really neat concerts. She also earned her Blue belt in Tae Kwon Do (next one is brown!). we spent many hours digging fenceposts with our new post hole digger, making a road and preparing the ground for our garden. Mr Nice Guy spent part of two separate weeks in Portland at the Toyota Training Center getting ready to teach new things at his job. Whatever problems I was having with my heart got me a two day traveling visit with a Holter monitor, which showed on paper the things I'd been feeling for a few weeks. They told me to de-stress myself. My firstborn turned 12, and I penned my first blog post here on Blogger.

New Fence

APRIL gave us lots of rain, and a little rest. We spent a WONDERFUL few days in Redmond at a Weekend to Remember conference. (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!) The fruit trees we planted a year ago started to look like trees instead of sticks. I planted a ton of vegetable starts. I also spent a weekend at the Women's Retreat at camp and worked like a crazy mad woman to get the sound and the media up and running so there would be no complaints about it like the year before (Note to self: Don't complain about things you can do better at, or you'll get stuck with it). We purchased another Suburban, Mr Nice Guy turned 37 and he got a pair of baby turkeys as a gift. Wasn't that nice of me?

Mom & Dad (not the turkeys)

MAY showed us many new things. My firstborn spent a week at outdoor school, Princess D took her first four day field trip on the Oregon Trail and Pirate Boy and I went to tea. A gorgeous Mother's Day at the beach was followed by my parents' departure for 2 weeks to Israel. I worried about their life insurance, and they worried about nothing really, except sunscreen. We spent Memorial Day weekend camped out at Grove camp in the most horrendous rain imaginable, and we also celebrated our 6th anniversary and my 35th birthday while we were at it. I started my Word Filled Wednesday posts during this month and the post on My Strange Genetic Disease was added, which to this day, gets more hits on google than any other blog I've written. Ever.

Wet camp. Very wet.

JUNE finally started drying out, and we were able to put in a much later than expected garden by the end of the first week. My neice Abigayle was born this week as well. I went to my first President's Club Luncheon as a reward for exceeding my prior year's sales goals with Avon, and Mr Nice Guy and I took the week after school got out for the annual trip with his club. We had a fantastic time in Reno, and came home with new (embarassing) pictures and even more hilarious memories. We got home in time to send Princess D off to a week of summer camp.

Yosemite National Park
JULY took off like a bang! My in-laws arrived from Boise, my firstborn spent a week at camp, Princess D had her 10th birthday and the fourth of July found us discovering an "unauthorized" hatch of baby chicks wandering around in the field! Then, I went and spent a week with High School students at camp and came home with a new desire to put my faith into practice - in real ways. The week after I got home from camp, we left on our first 2 week family vacation EVER. We spent almost a week in Angels Camp California, and I got to reconnect with an old friend from elementary school, Matt Zeugin, and his lovely family. I got to experience first hand what it feels like to lose a child for what seemed like hours. I also learned what happens when a motorhome cuts over into your lane on a mountain road and you have nowhere to go. We spent over a week in Bass Lake, where the smoke from the wildfires kept things hazy, but I still managed to get a first class sunburn in only one day. The power went out the night before we left as the fires crept closer to Yosemite National Park. The last day of July found us in Reno again, only this time with our kids, who had begged us to take them there for ages.

Marks Wedding

AUGUST gave me a reason to be really thankful for car insurance. After we took on a motorhome last month, we decided to up the ante and take on a buck with our other vehicle. August also gave me a couple weeks to really get our garden in shape. For a first time garden, it was a first class looker! I took so many photos of sunflowers and corn and cucumbers that I think I won't need to this year. I took another five days off to travel with my friend Darca to Baker City for a beautiful wedding of a young man that I had known since he was born. I got to meet my neice for the first time, since my brother lives in Idaho now. From there, it was on to Boise, where I got to spent time with my dear friends, Mike & Melanie. I also visited my college buddy, Misty, who I had not seen since... college! I stayed most of the week with my in-laws and got to spend quality time with my nephews whom I adore. It was the first vacation I'd taken without my husband. My younger three kids went along though. When I got home, I also got to reconnect with a dear friend from High School and meet her kids. We closed up August at a weekend of Family Camp with a lot of friends and a lot of mosquitoes. It was also the weekend we made our first trip to Portland to participate in Nightstrike. It changed us.

SEPTEMBER sent the kids back off to school. I became a mother home ALONE for 3 hours every day. Strange feeling. Within 2 weeks we had two MORE batches of chicks, which just made the cute factor at our place jump by another 45%. Princess D got her beloved harp, my Firstborn started Volleyball and we processed LOADS of corn. Mr Nice Guy, along with fellow players, coaches, cheerleaders and administrators, celebrated the 20 year reunion of his football team's Championship. Many pictures taken, many articles in the newspaper written and a good time was had by all.

PHS 1988 Championship Football Team

OCTOBER sent my husband back to work teaching, and brought a new dog into our lives. My step-daughter turned 18, we had cucumbers coming out of our ears, and we got to follow my Firstborn's Volleyball team all the way to the championship game. While waiting for the school bus, my daughters witnessed an accident that resulted in a death, as well as a grand jury appearance (that hasn't happened yet). We also took another trip to Portland to feed the homeless with the Nightstrike ministry.


NOVEMBER sent us one of the most memorable elections in all of history. Our kids were glued to the TV for so many hours that I was beginning to think they'd become politicians. I eventually turned it off for a week. My Firstborn started Basketball, the kids all enjoyed quite a few days off from school, and my husband and I spent Thanksgiving alone together. We made another Nightstrike Trip and our church got a new Associate Minister, which took a big workload off Mr Nice Guy.

DECEMBER brought so many snow days that it cut short my daughter's undefeated basketball season, cancelled the Christmas programs and it also meant that the kids will be going to school an extra week in June. We planned the year before to take a vacation over Christmas, so we spent a week at Running Y Resort in Klamath Falls in so much glorious snow that I really think I might buy a house in the mountains some day. Whatever S.A.D. I typically fight with, was cured for a week.

New Years eve, had my husband and I again without the kids (thanks to one special Grandma), only this year we spent it with many good friends instead of by ourselves. We toasted to new relationships, renewed committments, refreshed faith and an abundant amount of blessings, miracles and simple things that make our life OURS.


Beth E. said...

Shew...y'all have been busy! I'm worn out just from reading this! lol Your pictures are great. Praise God for wonderful families like yours (AND mine)! :o)

Amydeanne said...

funny, i know 3 dogs named chase, and 2 boys lol..

nice year in review!

hugs & prayers my friend!

He And Me + 3 said... were busy...and some of the things that happened where pretty intense. Witnessing a crash that resulted in death. Yikes. That must have been awful.
Losing your child and almost getting run off the road. Wow. God has his hand on you all for sure.
Here's too a safe 2009!

Jen (a.k.a. motor mouth) said...

You care one busy chick!!!!!! So sorry to hear about your kids witnessing a death. I can't imagine! I love they year in review idea. I just might have to copy that ;) although imitation is a form of flattery you know :)

Miriam said...

This is fun! Can you believe how much you accomplished in 2008? And your bounty of chickens? Happy 2009, Friend!

Katie said...

I could add several more things to your already packed list...but lets just keep that between us, shall we :) LOL!

Matt Z. said...

It was great to have you and your family stop by and visit us here! I hope your 2009 is an even better year! Take care and keep in touch.

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Hey there,
Just checkin up on you...
WHAT a year you had! Looking back is often even more eye-opening than when we're trodding through isn't it?
Happy 09 Alexis!
Blessings to you and your sweet fam.

Simple Midwest Mom said...

Sounds like a busy year! Thanks for the inspiration Alexis! Reading your year in review made me think of my own. I think I'll post one over at my blog and I'll your blog a plug! Hope you're doing well, sorry I've been a stranger!

Dana-from chaos to Grace said...

GORGEOUS GORGEOUS PHOTOS!!! WOW! What a year for you guys! I missed a big chunk of it, but I have gone back and read a lot of it!

That sounded stalkerish didn't I? LOL