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Friday, December 17, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010 - Our Year in Review

Well another year has passed by so fast. Every year I say it and every year it is true. It is hard to believe that 10 years have passed since Gary, Buddy (my schnauzer, who is 12 years old this year) and I left Texas and moved to Tennessee. I still remember the day we loaded up the cars and u-hauls and headed east. Five months later Peyton was born. Then the following year Lexi was born. Last Christmas, Dixie, (Lexi's little dachsund, beagle mix puppy) joined our family.

We praise God for all that he has done in our lives, the things he has brought us through. We also hope that he will change us day by day into the kind of people he wants us to be. People more like his son, Jesus. People with hearts for him and for others.

So this year, life and all the activities associated with it have kept us busy. The Spring had us doing some home repairs and landscaping around the house. We had to replace an AC unit, a dishwasher, the kitchen sink and then to top it off the fridge died. So I have almost all new appliances now. (And I must say I love not having to pre-rinse my dishes.) We replaced 3 doors on the house, (which was a planned event). The back two are great with blinds between the glass-no more having to dust blinds. No more worrying about the dogs or kids tearing them up. We also added in a rock garden around our back deck, had more trees removed and painted the deck.

The Summer we took a break from homeschooling. Some of our friends from Texas (Gus and Debbie) came to visit us for a week in May. Gary's daughter, Jessica visited in June and we took in a little sight seeing and went to Bald River Falls. My brother, Mike also came for a visit. We also had some bad storms come through our area, which took out some trees. So we stayed really busy for several weeks cleaning that up. (We sure got alot of great firewood though-which we are really enjoying right now.) We also spent a little time on the lake tubing, fishing and swimming.

This fall we took a trip to Texas to visit family and friends for Thanksgiving. We also decided it was time to get rid of our old 2002 Ford Windstar van-which was pretty much on it's last leg. So we decided to trade it in on a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Just a few days after getting it, we tested it out on our trip to Texas. I love it, and with all the new gadgets etc., I really didn't know what I was missing until now. (I even have satellite radio, which I love, and the kids have a dvd and can play games on it.) Right now the things I love most are the seat heaters, and remote start. It gets things heated up before you climb in on these cold days. The best thing, of course is to know that I have reliable transportation to depend on when I am out with the kids.

Peyton turned 10 in the Spring and is now in 5th grade. He is good at spelling, and doing well in math. He is still playing piano, but only because I make him, he says. In his spare time he loves video games, his favorite is playing Wii Football with Gary.

He is participating in Awanas and 4H. This year in 4H he won blue ribbons in Baking (Biscuits and Cupcakes), and also in Public Speaking.

He participated in Drama Camp over the summer and this fall he played PeeWee football. He played on the kickoff return team and as backup safety. His team went to the Superbowl and lost to the (Giants.) Well, actually they were called something else, but these kids were really giants, -I am not kidding the small kids were Gary's size. (They must grow em' really big out there in them hills!)

He also got to meet some of the State Representatives at a local town meeting. There, Peyton talked with one of them about the law concerning homeschoolers in Tennessee not being allowed to participate in public school sports. This was not allowed, and has just become a new law in the last few days. Most Tennessee High Schools will allow it next year, but it is not yet at the Jr. High level. Peyton was so excited and believes that his talk with that representative- made all the difference. This winter he is playing Upward Basket Ball.

Lexi turned 9 this fall, and is in 3rd grade. She also made a big transformation this year when she donated several inches of her hair to locks of love. We are loving the new "do".

She would be in every activity under the sun if I would allow it. (But I can only run kids here and there so much), so I made her choose her favorite activities. She participated in Broadway Musical Camp this summer, she has been in Ballet, Sign Language and Gymnastics this year too. In God's Girls she earned badges this year in recorder, cleaning, diorama, croquet, and foreign language (Spanish). She is also in Awanas, and can't wait to be able to join 4H next year. She will be in the church Christmas Play this Sunday. She made me change her room decor this year-because she is too big now for flowers and butterflies, and needed to go with a more hip theme-Peace symbols. So she is a tween wanna be. She enjoys listening to music, playing with her stuffed animals and Dixie, playing with friends, going to church, and being with her family. She is a real social butterfly and just loves to be with people.

Gary stayed busy at work this year-which is a good sign in a troubled economy. His company still had plenty of work. In his off time, he worked on the house, and did some fishing. He catches so many big fish here, they have nicknamed him "Big Fish Light". This summer he also got a chance to go out with the Pro's in the Bass Masters Tournament. He spent one day on the water with Andy Morgan, and got to see him in action. He also helps out teaching Jr. Church with Michelle.

I stayed busy with homeschooling, taking care of the house and kids, church activities-teaching Jr. Church with Gary, This fall I became part of the Women's Ministry Team, and attended a weekly bible study. I also taught weekly classes at the local homeschool co-op, ran the kids to zoo classes and field trips, and many other activities. There were many times I had to pick one child up and drop another off at the same time. It is a good thing I can get to the other side of town in just a few minutes. I also led Lexi's God's Girls club . On occasion, I went fishing with Gary. I caught the biggest fish -ever in my life this year- A hybrid bass that weighed 8 lbs. Right before Thanksgiving I sprained my ankle and that really put a damper on my being able to do many things. I am recovering, slowly, and hope to be back to 100 percent after the Holidays.

I also tried to keep my scrapbooks all current, and did well until this fall. Now I am way behind-since we have had so many activities this fall and I missed a two day crop because of my ankle. I hope to do some catching up over the Holidays. I am also working on an album of Gary's life. (Something the kids will have later). Whenever I get a little free time I try to head down to my craft room to do some scrapbooking.

Over the Holidays, we really hope to focus on more family time, less activity and busyness. Time to just enjoy being with one another. The cold weather here really helps us to all come in and snuggle together by the fire. So I look forward to what is in store for us in 2011.

So that is the update for us. May the simple grace of Christ's love be with you this Christmas and throughout 2011.