As the year ends, we look back with deep thankfulness for the many blessings we've been granted this year: health, family and friends and jobs. But we've grown a lot too; wisdom comes with time (age!) and we've learned so much this year. Here's a snippet of what we have been up to:
Tom celebrated a monumental birthday this year (should we erect a monument?), and we celebrated with a family trip to Catalina Island for a week. It was definitely a memorable trip and we'd love to make it a summer tradition. He also built a fort, and our family hosted a fun Fourth of July Party that Cindy would love to become a tradition, but Tom is not so sure about.
We traveled locally a lot: San Diego, Ventura, Joshua Tree, Los Angeles, Angel Game, many beach trips, Hume Lake, apple picking, Joshua Tree again, Hume Lake again. We listen to a lot of CDs on the trips (mostly 80s music that Tom purchases on iTunes, then burns a new CD or two for each trip). This year Tom and Cindy joined the 21st century and acquired iPhones, which means now the kids are also asking to play games on our phones on the trips.
Homeschooling has been going great. We've had quite a few school projects: solar eclipse, visiting the aquarium, watching the last flight of the Space Shuttle, first day of school, sun experiments...we have a lot of fun and the kids are really learning so much.
Lukas is eight and a half, and in the third grade (homeschool). He is really doing well in school and has an incredible memory. At the beginning of the year, he and Cindy took a trip to Washington DC, which he still talks about. His letter of brotherly love to Konrad is worth noting. He would also like to tell you about his first pets which have subsequently been replaced by third and fourth, and fifth, sixth and seventh pets, playing the saxophone, and Cub Scouts.
Natalie is seven and in first grade (public school). Our big challenge last year was getting the school to cooperate with potty training and boy has it paid off! This year we're working on helping her understand math concepts (she's reading well above grade level). She also had fun meeting kids with RTS, more kids with RTS, and other friends with RTS. You can see some of her school progress and more school progress...she's really doing well.
Konrad is five and in kindergarten (homeschool). He learned to read in preschool so now kindergarten is a snap. We're building good school habits with an easy curriculum so he will be ready for the more rigorous curriculum in first grade. Konrad's highlights include soccer, his first stitches, playing the recorder, and Lego building.
Dominik is two and a half and excelling at preschool at home. We're amazed at how well he counts...we haven't even been working on that with him...he just picks it up from his siblings. In addition to a huge leap in understandable speech this year, highlights of his year include keeping up with an escape artist, turning two, and moving to a big-boy bed. Recently he announced, "I not a baby."
Which highlights how much Tom and Cindy appreciate watching our kids grow up. We know in a blink they will be out of the house, so we treasure each moment and hope you enjoy looking back on this year in review as much as we do.
Tom and Cindy,
Lukas, Natalie, Konrad and Dominik