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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Welcome 2016

It's been a while since I've posted here. We've been busy. And not so busy. I work hard to try and find the balance between busy time and down time. Time to spend as a family and time for each of us to engage in our own activities.

Julia continues to enjoy her Irish dancing and playing her violin. She moved up a level in dancing and is now competing at the Novice level. This means her awards are more trophies and less medals. She is happy about adding to her trophy stash that includes the Softball Championship trophy her team won in 2015. As for her violin, she sounds really good! I'm blown away with how good she is considering she has only played for about a year. She would like to add some private violin lessons to her schedule, and we are considering it, but in the meantime we plan on attending more of the children's Irish fiddle lessons that are given the 2nd Sunday of the month. She really had a lot of fun at the one we attended in December and hopes to make many of them in 2016. Her interest in running continues and she has participated in several 5K runs - mostly with her only training being playing tag on the playground. Oh to be young! This year she wants to put more of a focus on her running and she is just waiting for nicer weather to train with Chris. It seems Julia and I are kindred spirits in our fair weathered running bend.

Emma continues to ride her horse every week and loves her time at the farm. She rides after school at a time when she is normally exhausted (school gives her a huge workout and she likes to lay stretched out and relaxed for a bit after her full day) and has been holding herself up nice and straight showing us that her stamina is really improving. She played Challenger league baseball again in 2015 and is already signed up for this year. We've taken a break from therapies outside of school and we all are enjoying the break. This year she is participating in CCD class and makes her First Reconciliation this month and will make her First Holy Communion in April. This is a big year for our girl and it's so good our church was able to work out a class option this year that is wheelchair accessible so Emma can participate in class with some peers. Last year we homeschooled for CCD and it wasn't as much fun for her.

Chris completed another marathon in the Fall and was pleased with his time. He has been training hard and was able to shave off a significant amount of time from his past marathon results. He also participated in a lot of 5Ks around our community and he did many of them pushing Emma in her jogging stroller. Emma LOVES to run and has huge smiles for the fans cheering them on. She loves to run fast so is happy that Chris has mostly taken over running with her since I run much slower. He also coached the school Cross Country team in the Fall. He enjoyed coaching the kids to reach new personal best times during the season and is hoping to be able to coach again this year.

I'm still working on my photography skills and am happy to say that I now see a definite different in the quality of photos I'm taking lately. I joined the local camera club and have been attending meetings and going on some of the meet-ups for shooting and it's been a lot of fun. Our computer lived a long life but retired itself in the summer. I was without a computer for a little bit and am now happily running on a new iMac that is able to run some more powerful programs for photography processing. I've taken the plunge into Lightroom for organizing and editing my photos and it's a steep but fun learning curve. I continue to run at a slow pace - faster than those that are sitting on the couch, though! - and visit the gym for the classes a few times a week to make sure that I'm fit to keep up with Emma's growth!

2015 was the year we became smitten with Zoe (Julia's cat), fell in love with all things Harry Potter, achieved many goals we set for ourselves, and focused on having fun together outdoors.


2016 is sure to bring some major changes to our life! There are quite a few things in the works that have us excited already. I'm hoping to share more of our adventures this year than I did in 2015. I needed some time away but find that I miss capturing the highlights of our year and am looking forward to getting back into blogging again.

Let the adventures begin!

3 Comments from readers:

susan swanner said...

Tracy turned 8 in September 2015, she will be receiving her first Reconciliation on Jan. 30, 2016 and her first Holy Communion in May. I was nervous last year about putting Tracy in classes because I did not know how the other kids would react (we have had bad experiences)to my delight the kids were dogpiling each other to be the first to sit by Tracy or help her with her crafts. The kids at CCD genuinely LOVE Tracy! Reconciliation will be a little challenging because while Tracy understands everything and can communicate with adaptive sign language she still cannot talk beyond grunts and groans (although she can say uh-uh,for no, very clearly). So the priest will ask Tracy "if she has sinned", she will sign "yes" and that will be her confession. Tracy is getting pretty good at her computer, but our speech therapist is moving to Texas so we will have to start all over with a new therapist. With the turn over in therapists, my other children and I are committed to being Tracy's best therapist.
My oldest daughter graduated from homeschooling, started college,got married, her husband went into the marines, and now she is due with their first child. My 16 year old is in 10th grade and is determined to graduate Summa Cum Laude. My 11 year old started 7th grade this year. I have one word to describe homeschooling through high school...INTENSE! Don't do it if you don't want to turn grey! Thankfully we have an excellent, HUGE homeschool group to have weekly PE classes, field trips, and all the socialization we could ever want. The girls are involved in youth groups and nearly everything that that can join at church. The problem is not with the socialization....oh did I mention that the doctors caught breast cancer at a very early stage in my right breast? I had eight "clusters of cells" and the one lump was only 2mm! So August 20th I had a mastectomy. Thankfully, the cancer had not spread and they got all of it with the mastectomy so I did not have to have chemo or radiation! Praise God! So like I started to say above, the problem is not so much the socialization, but just the craziness of "how life happens" for us! LOL! There is always a lot going on. I guess I would say that some slow, lazy days would be nice, but I would probably find something to fill that time with, knowing me, and we would be right back to the craziness again! By the way, my 11 year old, Tiffany started violin about a year ago as well and she is also doing pretty well, she learned to play "Joyful, Joyful" at Christmas time and it actually sounded like Joyful, Joyful! Anybody who has had a child learn violin will understand what I mean with that statement! LOL! My daughter married the "English Country Dancing" instructors son, David (they have known each other since my daughter was six years old and his family homeschooled as well, so we have all taken a hiatus from the "English Country Dancing" and doing the historical reenacting (well, we did, but David's family was busy being extras in movies and TV shows) and we should start back with that in February. "English Country Dancing" is intense as well because there is so much time involved in research for materials and checking historical accuracy with sewing the costumes, but it pays off because it is SO MUCH FUN to do the events, visit historical places, and BE a LIVING PART of history for a short time. WE have done several events where school kids came and the kids actually PUT DOWN there I-phones to play the historical games and said it was FUN! My children have to be educated to answer the questions that people ask them so it is a fun way for my kids to learn history as well.
I am glad to finally hear about Julia and Emma again my long distance friend, I am so happy the family is all doing well. I am glad to hear that it has only been fun that has kept you too busy and not something difficult! We will keep you all in our prayers, especially Tracy for Emma. Take care and God Bless, Susan

Anonymous said...

So glad to see that the blogger is back. I have missed your stories, and loved this one. Keep them coming. Mom

Anonymous said...

So glad to read your updates on your family!