2015 In Review
Another year has whizzed by and now it is time to see how long it will take before I stop writing 2015 on my work. This has once again been an adventurous and event filled year, and for those that care to know more please read on. Those that are now twitterfied, just look at the pictures below and you will pretty much have it figured out. Let’s start with the youngest.
Undoubtedly the most significant thing in our year was Jake and Jo being baptized. They each made their own decision and requested to proclaim their faith and be baptized in the balmy leech filled waters of Nikiski Alaska. The best part was I had the privilege of shoving them into the lake helping them arise, born again. I did make them take their own leeches off though, I do have my limits. We couldn’t have been more excited and we know it is a life changing decision for them, even though 30 seconds after completion they were back to kayaking and swimming in the lake. They both continue to be home schooled, and although daily I ask them if their teacher was mean today, they have yet to say she is, perhaps the fact that she is standing three feet away when I ask has something to do with that. Both of them have become fishing fools. They absolutely love to fish. I keep having to chase them out of Livy’s room as they eyeball her goldfish with rods in hand. “Wait till it gets bigger” I tell them, so at least it will be an appetizer. Patience children, that’s what fishing is about.
Kassandra began attending public school for the very first time in her life. She is taking a few classes at Sohi and absolutely loves it. Her favorite of her three classes is lunch time! The best part is that she doesn’t even eat lunch. I think she must be drawn in by the sweet aroma of school lunch. Heaven knows I have waken from a few nightmares with the memory of that smell fresh in my mind. She continues to smile all day long and has three standard answers for any of my three thousand questions, ” Uh huh”, “I don’t know” and ” a little”. OH I forgot, she had baby! Kassie had a baby. We were so proud, until she had to give it back to the school so they could recharge its batteries. She did a very good job nurturing her baby, mostly by giving it to an ever so willing grandma, or momma as she calls her. I wanted to adopt that little thing, but Tracy made her give it back.
Benjamin experimented with a man bun this year. Enough said. All right, maybe I should say a little more. He continues to attend high school full time, plays guitar for the worship team in church, plays varsity soccer, plays Xbox, plays on his phone, and plays a game called avoiding work, and being awake for long periods of time. He has grown taller than his mom and one brother and has his eyes on me, hence the man-bun. I am baffled by his fashion sense and awed by his hair, and as I recall my mom and dad loved my fashion sense and super sweet mullet when I was in school. Kids these days. Since we have moved close to the school, Ben and his buddies have figured that our little casa doubles as a diner, as they spend pretty much every lunch raiding the fridge. It seems that every weekend he is either at someone’s house, or there are truckloads of someones at our house. I guess it could be worse, he could still have his man-bun.
Jeremy went off and joined the Marine Corp. Jeremy did not have a man-bun at any time in his life, although he has experimented with a sweet stache. He is excited for his new career and wants to shoot guns, especially the .50 cal. He will be stationed in San Diego for some time as he becomes adequate in the shooting of those guns. Soon he will deploy somewhere in the world, and according to him, as long as there is pizza within walking distance, he doesn’t care where it is. We have been fortunate to have him home for the holidays and after boot camp, which was possible because he came home to recruit. He hasn’t been super successful recruiting, and I don’t know why. He usually opens with ” You will work until you body literally fails you and you want to quit, you want to die, you don’t care, you just want the pain to stop, but there is no end in sight. The heat will sap every once of moisture from you body until your tongue swells to fill you mouth. That is what it takes to become a Marine.Doesn’t it sound great? ” Shoot, I almost signed up myself.We are very proud of him, and he has learned to sleep anywhere at anytime, as long as he isn’t hiking, shooting guns, running or taking pictures.
Olivia is home and figuring what to do next since graduating from High School. She has been college shopping, hanging with friends, and chasing Jacob around to kiss him on the head. She continues to struggle with the definition of “cleaning your room”, but she is so sweet when she says she is going to, I often forget that it will probably not happen. She has been doing a lot of driving, and getting better and better. However, I forgot to teach her how to turn on the washer spray in Lafonduh ( our older Yukon) so she had to call mom to ask. She is a very talented artist, patient and creative, which we appreciate very much. Perhaps that is the direction God will lead her. If so he will have to do it in a very creative and patient way, as that seems to be her language. Her and Jacob, or little salmon as she likes to call him, are still best buddies. Nobody loves the dogs more than Olivia, and the dogs know where to get their treats. I always thought she ate slowly and ate a lot, but I have become suspicious that fat Shyla and chunky Jinx have found a supplier for their contraband. Perhaps one day she will have an art gallery of fat dogs and the owners that feed them, shoot if she gets really good they may even be playing cards.
Alexandra is in Africa as I write this. She really seems to be enjoying the ethiopian food or vomit as she so affectionately calls it. She has one more semester of college, and then she will have her psychology degree. Personally I think this last semester is a waste of time as every time she is home she quickly diagnoses each of us in the family within minutes. It’ll be just great having a psychologist in the family so I can find out how messed up I am. I am tired of living in ignorance. She has worked very very hard to finish her degree, taking heavy class loads, drinking lots of coffee and loving, hating, loving, hating, loving, hating college by the day. She is a pretty amazing student with a very high GPA and recommendations from her professors. Sounds like the spitting image of her dad. Except I don’t think she was ever on social or academic probation, but there is still time. With one semester left, she may not be able to pull that off, although if I recall I think that is about what it took me.
Dorian traveled to Florida then Dorian traveled home. He is our child most likely to own his own business. He has become a certified trainer and continues to daily lift things up and put them down; Heavy things, very heavy things. It is amazing to see his transformation. He has plans to attend school soon, but for now his main job is to wait until Shyla is almost asleep and incredibly comfortable then pick her up while she growls deeply, say “come on Shyla”, then put her down 30 seconds later, I am guessing it is a side effect of weight lifting. If dogs could give the stink eye, Dorian would be getting it every time he walks in the room. He and Jacob are expert trash talkers, but I don’t know what they are trash talking about. It’s just a lot of lame insults that don’t make any sense. I couldn’t be prouder.
As for us, well Tracy is still singing at church, in the car, and at home. We don’t complain because it sounds great. My favorite is when her and Ben sing together with him strumming the six string. My very favorite is when I throw in a little human beat box and drop some dope lyrics in conjunction with them. Sadly, the song ends soon after that. I guess they know they can’t hang with my lyrical prowess. We have made several trips to San Diego this year and have become experts in the city.More specifically, we have become experts at finding places to eat in the city. Unfortunately those places often serve amazing dessert. Tracy continues to work on our house and my honey-do list is longer than the Old Testament, but I vow to get it all done, probably right before we sell.
Finally, as for me, I have attempted to grow some hair on my head once again, but I think my focus is a little off, it seems to be popping up in other places. I am also attempting to finish that college degree that I alluded to way back in paragraph one. However, having to take some of those classes over has slowed me down a little, especially math. I didn’t realize how hard it is to do math when you haven’t done it since 1986. It also very difficult to get put on social probation on an online school, even a Christian College like I am attending. I guess my glory years are gone. I am experiencing a bit of mid life crisis by way of Crossfit. I pay money to people who inflict on me great anxiety, misery, pain and sweat in the form of pushups, pull-ups, squats, jumping rope and the devil’s tools: box jumps and burpees. For some odd reason I enjoy it, and despite the extreme levels of pain, I keep going back. Perhaps I should talk to a psychologist, lucky for me we have a budding one in the family, or better yet talk to Jeremy and see about becoming a Marine. It sounds like pretty much the same thing.
We expect a lot more changes in 2016. My biggest hope is that my older children will find their purpose in their life. I pray often that God will reveal it to them, and I pray that it doesn’t involve living in my house for another 15 years. We also expect a lot of the same things in 2016, mostly fishing. We love to fish, we love to eat fish and Tracy loves the smell of fish in the house. It’s a win win type of situation. Whatever 2016 holds we are excited to begin the adventure, especially since it will involve our family, our friends and our faith. So for those of you outside of Alaska, come on up and visit. February is an especially nice time of year. For those of you still in the 907, we pray that we can run into each other at least once this year, and we pray that if we do, food is involved!