What a fun filled year 2017 was! The best thing about this year is our house. We’ve been here a whole year now, and we just love it. We love seeing the deer and antelope in our yard; we even had a momma deer and her baby call our backyard home early this year. We hosted several birthday parties here this year, and the kids enjoyed gaming in the living room, playing hide and seek outside and swimming in the pool. We’ve done some small projects, like painting, adding a feature wall in the master bedroom and other small projects to customize it. In March, we hosted my niece’s wedding, having the ceremony in the front yard and the reception in the backyard. It couldn’t have been a more perfect day. But a 16 year old house does come with it’s challenges—we’ve had pool repairs, a pipe leak and replaced the hot water heater. Our goal in 2018 is to make the house more energy efficient (and do more décor!)
|Merry Sithmas from Magic Kingdom!|
This year Mark celebrated his 10 year anniversary with ARC. His job has been such a blessing to us, as it have provided stability for us. At church, he leads the boys group, Royal Ambassadors and is a handbook leader for our AWANA club. He’s had to take on a lot of projects this year, such as mowing the huge yard, removing brush and maintaining the pool. He also really loves decorating for the holidays both outside and inside the house. I’m thankful that he helps me with most of my project ideas.
We had a quick getaway this summer, which included going to Schlitterbahn by ourselves. We hope to take a memorable trip somewhere in 2018 to celebrate our 20 year anniversary.
This year I got promoted (temporarily) to Children’s Minister at Hays Hills! I took the part time job in May and will continue until the search for the full time position is over. I am applying and really hope to be chosen to stay permanently. I also started a part time job working online from home moderating product reviews in the spring. I enjoy the work, and it is a good companion salary for the church job. I did cut back on subbing and haven’t done any this fall. I still really enjoy crafting in my free time and have designed wood signs and items this year. I’m also busy shuttling kids to all places and am looking forward to the older boys learning to drive soon!
Xavier is 16 and is a sophomore in high school. He survived his AP class freshman year and has added more advanced classes to his load this year. He seems to be doing better at keeping up this year. He’s enjoying working in the shop in technical theater and improving his acting skills. We hope he’ll make his acting debut this spring. He has been an actor for our Children’s Worship at church, so we have no doubt he’ll do great! He’s fun to be with and makes friends wherever he goes (he may or may not know their names, though). He plans to return to Alade Genet at Spring Break.
Riley is 15 and also a sophomore at Hays High School. He participated in Varsity marching band this year and made the show this time. He really is so great at playing the trombone. He loves youth group and this year is helping run the sound and video on Wednesday nights. He is becoming a mature leader in his peer group. He even was an assistant teacher at Heroes Camp this past summer. He, Xavier, Pierce and Tyler also participate in Breakaway at our church, which is fine arts group that performs to music with a black light show. He does prefer to spend his time at home in his room, but we love when he joins us to eat and to watch TV at night. He is now over 6 feet tall and is the tallest in the family! We have no idea where he got those genes.
Pierce is 14 and in 8th grade. He loves to read; last year, he was awarded “Top Patron” at the Dahlstrom Library. Schoolwork seems to keep him busier this year, but we often catch him grabbing Kendall’s books and reading them. He’s really into playing online Battlefront with his friends who moved away this summer. The boys also play Clash Royale, which this mom is totally clueless about. Pierce is a great helper and is our go-to guy for any technical or assembling issues. He loves going to church every Wednesday and Sunday.
Elizabeth is 12 and in 6th grade. Starting middle school was a big change for her, and we are still adjusting to the demands. She joined the band just like her brothers and is enjoying playing the flute. She also is taking dance and theater. She is doing the 6th grade Rite of Passage class at church and working hard to learn about the Bible and about growing up. She stays busy with her crafting and creativity. Seeing and playing in the snow was very exciting for her. She spent much of the morning rolling snow into the shade to keep it from melting.
Tyler is 12 and in the 7th grade. School comes easily to him, and he is excelling at playing the saxophone. He worked hard to be one of the first to earn their gold certificate for completing an extensive list of scales. He has been a wonderful sidekick for me in Children’s Ministry, regularly attending Children’s Worship and running the media and slides for me. He also will joyfully come help me put AWANA supplies away after Wednesday night activities end. He loves to play Battlefront also and is eager to see The Last Jedi movie with his friends.
Kendall is 7 and in 2nd grade this year and is continuing to love school. She is the only kid who was disappointed when the first day of school was canceled. She loves to read and can read just about anything. She prefers stories about horses and dreams about having a horse of her own. She also loved the snow we had, playing in it, building a snowman and having a snowball fight with Pierce. She is a great friend at school and at church, coming alongside those who are new or needing help.
2017 has been another year of changes and surprises for our family, but we are so thankful for where we are. We made some great memories this year, and we have a lot to look forward to in 2018. Our extended families are doing well, and we are excited to spend time with them during the holidays.