December 31, 2006

What a Year!

We had an amazing year filled with many blessings and a few challenges. Since I did not do a Christmas letter this year I will do an overview of our year here. Mostly personal with a few school items covered as well.

We started the year with Serona's 31st birthday and a lovely wine tasting to celebrate. Then we went right into Rhiannon having a tonsillectomy. Unfortunately her recovery was long and trying ending up with pneumonia and dehydration, thus January was a hard month for us all. We did some dinosaur preschool activities, some snow safety and science activities, ice melting experiment, and enjoyed a visit from grandma.

In February Serona spent majority of the month traveling to a conference in Orlando and then two weeks in London and Ireland. I began teaching a Narnia class for our homeschool cooperative focusing on The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe. We also had an awesome Mall Scavenger Hunt at the Mall of America, focused on our Learning the 50 States lesson plan, curled up on the couch with a lot of read-alouds, taught Mama Do You Love Me to Ciaran's preschool class, practiced Learning to Fly and enjoyed the snow and cold of a Minnesota winter.

March brought a very fun unit study with two other families as we studied Mozambique, in picturesI created one of my favorite lesson plans ever for a gender split class on the books I'd Be Your Princess and I'd Be Your Hero. Ciaran began formal Miquon math. I put together a useful list of websites we use in homeschooling for our support groups curriculum fair. We ended the month celebrating Ciaran's fifth birthday.

April brought warmer weather finally and the much missed sun back to Minnesota. We got back to came out of hibernation. Rhia continued on her Illustrated Bible. We anxiously awaited the first signs of the frogs. We spent time on our Easter lesson plans and I put together an overview of our curriculum choices for the year and Rhia continued to amaze us with her reading list. On a fun note Serona and I had front row tickets to One Man Star Wars Show. Ciaran began t-ball in 45 degree windy weather! He also finally celebrated his birthday party from the month before at a local nature preserve. He waited so he could hear the frogs.

We finished school in early May, here is our year review. I found ketchup in a drawer, played at the farm. The highlight of the month and maybe even the year was our family trip to Walt Disney World! You can read day by day synopsis if you really want (yes we blogged from Disney because we are that geeky!). Arrival Day, First Day at the Parks, Day at the Castle, Epcot and Magic Kingdom, Star Wars Costumes in 90 degree weather - Magic Kingdom until 2am!, Pirate Pool and heading home. You can also read our Tips and Tricks for Walt Disney World with little kids.

Well it is tough to top a trip to Walt Disney World but our summer that started in Orlando continued to be a great time. We filled our days with nature hikes, days at the pool and beach, playing at the park, examining frogs, tadpoles, a drama camp, and performance. I wrote a bit on why we love field trips. Serona and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary. We would take our special time to celebrate in September though.

July brought Rhiannon's 7th birthday tea party, visits from the Maine grandparents, the New York grandparents, and a special robin's nest under our deck that we followed from eggs to fledglings. Rhiannon even went horseback riding.

August brought two more major vacations - this time to New York and California. For her birthday my parents paid all expenses for a weekend vacation to New York City for Rhiannon and I. We had an amazing time spending time with the grandparents, enjoying the extended family at a reunion, surprising my future SIL at her wedding shower and enjoying Manhattan including the American girl store, Rhia's first ever broadway show, Beauty and the Beast and dinner at the View. In between we filled our time with the rock wall, a visit to the Irish Fair, a special day of family worship, and Sirah's 3rd birthday! Rhia broke her arm and wore a bright red cast. I managed to lose 30 pounds over the course of the year. We headed off to California for my brother's wedding at the end of the month.

September started with us in sunny Southern California. Serona wanting to move here because of the ocean and mountains, weather and family. We spent our time here with family, at the beach, hiking, at their beautiful wedding, and then Serona and I finally celebrated our anniversary with a little getaway to Temecula wine country while the kids visited with Grandma and Grandpa. We returned from our fun 2 week California vacation and jumped right into school. Ciaran started Kindergarten this year and Rhiannon 2nd grade here at home with me. We went on several field trips: River Rendevouz, Oliver Kelly Farm, and a botany class. Ciaran and Sirah began Letter of the Week studies, PE in the garage and resumed classes with our homeschool cooperative. Rhiannon really enjoyed her American girl class on Felicity and Kaya.

October brought some fun lessons, a visit to the alpaca farm, and art museum tour. We started political campaigning with the kids. Ciaran started reading on his own. Academy brought more fun classes for the kids and for me, including this Kirsten class. We started volunteering at our local chapter of Feed My Starving Children and loved it so much we go back once a month. We tried to spend as much time outside in quiet moments like this before the cold snap began.

November brought a very unexpected time for our family. The month began as we expected, knee deep in political work for the upcoming election. We had a big group of little girls over for a special American Girl movie night , rock climbing, and all the usual things. Suddenly Serona found himself on an impossible and unpredictable project at work what was supposed to be a 4 day project turned into him being in New York City for 32 days straight! He left on Monday November 6th for a business trip to NYC and his return flight was not until Friday December 8th - after he packed for a simple 4 day trip. This was unexpected and challenging on our family, on no one more than Serona though, working 16-18 hour days away from home. The silver lining in all of this was that Serona's company decided to fly me and the kids to NYC to be with him for Thanksgiving. So the kids and I got free airfare for a 10 day trip to New York. We were able to enjoy being with our family for Thanksgiving, enjoy the city, and be together for some of that long trip for Serona.

December started with us in MN and Serona in NY. We finished up our homeschool cooperative classes including my argument class, and american girl class. We spent time making Christmas candy, soap and other little gifts. We enjoyed ringing the Salvation Army bell, returning to Feed My Starving Children and some other little service projects. The kids rehearsed for choir and continued with their Awana verses. We spent time each night after dinner reading by candlelight from a wonderful book called Jotham's Journey and enjoying other holiday traditions. We wrapped up our school work and spent lots of time enjoying each other as a family. After his long time away from us Serona had some time off to reconnect with us and being back in MN. We cherished and enjoyed the days of playing games, watching movies, sleeping late, reading and just being together. We were so thankful to be sharing meals together again and to have him home. The big news this month is Serona's new job. After 6 years as a software consultant he is making a transition to product marketing in a position that seems to be tailor made for him. He is excited and hopeful for the new position which we believe will be all around better for our family and for his career. December ended out with another wonderful week off to celebrate the holiday together. We all enjoyed our new Christmas gifts and downtime together. The kids were filled with sheer joy today when it FINALLY snowed here in MN! We have about 8 inches on the ground and they are loving every minute of sledding and making snowballs. We highly recommend these great sno-ball makers and using boogie boards instead of sleds!

All in all it was an amazing year. It was a year filled with mostly good health and lots of vacations and travels. Many blessings and opportunities. The kids are all doing great, school is going well and we are looking forward to a new year. Hopefully a quieter year but a joy filled one all the same. Many blessings to you and yours this New Year.

Peace in Him,

1 comment:

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