Christmas Letter 2009/2010
This year can be summarized in one word “volatile”. We have had incredible ups and incredible downs. Let’s start with the ups shall we? Tracy and I got to start the year off in Costa Rica for our 20 year anniversary. Let’s just say it was incredible. If you didn’t keep up with it, you can search in the blog and there are a lot of blog posts dedicated to the trip, including zip lines, monkeys, sailboats, beaches, iguanas, coate, and much more. Costa Rica Day One The trip was life changing for us, and hopefully for the better. We thank nana for coming down to our place to take care of the kids, or let the kids take care of her as she likes to say, while we were gone.
The bad news, is once we got back we had to face our greatest fear, giving Jo back. Jo at Build a BearWe really never believed it would come to that, but unfortunately it did. So Jo has been out of our house for several months now, and we still think about her every day. We have been blessed to have her come and spend a couple weekends with us. In fact, I have learned to love weddings, because it gives us an excuse to have Jo so she can go to a friend’s wedding. It’s also nice people are getting married. But it has definitely been one of the hardest thing we have ever had to deal with. She was an integral part of our life for so long that it is like taking an appendage away. DrizzleWhen we get to see her for short bursts of time, we become giddy with excitement, and then just as quickly, deeply saddened and remorseful and questioning whether or not it was worth it to go through all the pain and anxiety to see her. But it always is. We would appreciate continued prayers in this matter, as we continue to believe that God’s work is not done here.
Another huge down event was the passing of my Grandfather. My favorite Story Teller Grandpa was a huge influence in my life and the patriarch of hundreds of Alaskans. Shoot, there are 10 in my family alone. I personally was very fortunate to have three dominate male figures in my life growing up; My dad, my grandpa and my uncle. Each of them had their own strengths, and each of them had their weaknesses. I didn’t know it at the time but they each influenced my inner being in their unique way, and each was instrumental in making me who I am. I picked the best from each of them and ran with it. So I guess that makes me perfect with no weaknesses . Unfortunately, my grandpa and my dad are no longer with us, and I miss them both greatly, but I know I will see them again.
Speaking of dad, he had a mountain in Kodiak named after him, a real mountain. (Kodiak) So the ceremony was this past fall and we took the whole family over for the weekend celebration. It was a grand ole homecoming and we acted like fool tourists even though not long ago we called Kodiak home. It was awe-inspiring to see all the effort and circumstance put into the weekend. Unfortunately, as Kodiak has a way of doing, the weather kept us from putting the memorial plaque on the mountain. Hmmm, I guess we will have to try again…. next deer season! That’s the way dad would want it. So if you have a hankering to kill some deer, err put the plaque on Godfrey Mountain, let me know.
In other exciting news, depending on your point of view and experience with the teenage species, we now have two 16 year olds, and two 13 year olds in the house, a recipe for good times all around. Alli and Dorian both go to Soldotna High School full-time, a first for any of our kids. Alli takes drama, as that is a natural fit for her. Dorian likes espanol and basketball. He made the JV team this year so we are looking forward to his games. Apparently he has a knack for irritating his sister at school, which is not only his job, but his duty. The getting up “early” and homework load was quite overwhelming, at first, and they both were ready to be homeschooled again, but they found their grooves and are both doing great, or so they tell me every day.driving me crazy
Alli, meanwhile, decided the best way to get out of having to make her dad drive her to dance every night was to have surgery on her busted up knee. It worked. Personally, I think I would’ve went another direction. She keeps telling us she is ready to get back into it, and I catch her quite often making up her own routines in the kitchen. I have offered to teach her a few moves, but they are probably a little advanced for her, even though she refers to it as “old school”. I’ll show her old! Popping and locking
Livy and Jeremy moved up into the big kids group at Church and have been allowed to travel to some of the fun functions. Livy is still playing the piano and Jeremy beats on the drums in the garage, but he has also started taking guitar lessons. Jeremy played comp soccer again this year and had a great season in defense. I was tasked with coaching Livy’s soccer team, and other than losing my voice, it was a lot of fun. Jeremy has his own armory full of airsoft guns, and as fast as he brings money in, it goes out to another air soft gun. I know this, if things go bad in a few years, I am going to hang out at his house for protection.
Ben, Kassie and Jake are still running around the house like maniacs. One highlight for me is to have Jake in AWANA games now. It is fun to see him competing, although he has absolutely no clue what he is doing. He and Isiah, his best buddy, were on the same soccer team, and there was a lot more socializing than kicking going on. But they had fun, as we sat on the sidelines freezing.They are also on the same team in AWANA games, and like soccer, this is a lot more socializing than playing going on. I still haven’t figured out what 6-year-old boys have to talk about. Probably scabs, toots, and girls. AWANA
Ben played comp soccer again and their team had a really good year. Ben moved to defense, like Jeremy, and did awesome. He works hard and his cheeks turn red just like mine. His uncle Brad gave him a mohawk at the tournament in Fairbanks (unbeknown to mother), and that was probably the highlight of his summer, other than catching fish.Mohawk
Kassie is growing like a weed. Her legs are longer than mine. She has taken a liking to gymnastics and seems to be doing well at it.I guess when you can reach all the bars with your legs, it comes easy. If you see her, I will guarantee she will have a smile on here face, cuz thats how she rolls. If you want to see her shrug her shoulders, just ask her a question, any question.
Some other highlights of the year; in one of our yearly fishing trips, we spent the night in a nice little cabin in Anchor Point and Dorian caught a very big halibut, about 160 lbs. worth.Dorian Halibut Dorian also went to fine arts in Florida after his photo won him great accolades and lots of points. Jake has been coming into his own and providing us with endless moments of laughter with his quotable quotes, such as this random thought in church ” I don’t want to be surrounded by monkeys!” or as we walked out of Fred Meyer’s into the cold and gasped for breath: ” that was not awesome”, and dozens more which I always forget to write down.
As for Tra and I, well it looks like we will be heading to Costa Rica again in the new year. Tra has helped out a lot in church leading worship, and thanks to me being in the sound booth, she sounds great! But in reality we only have one wish, and that is for Jo to be back home. So it looks like the wheel keeps going around and around.
All in all, we have to give God the glory and praise for another year for our family, and despite the heartache and lows, we cannot complain, for we have been blessed beyond anything we could expect our deserve. Every day we give thanks, and every day we are amazed at how he has formed this fantastic family from two teenage college kids in Springfield Mo. one with a mullet and the other with a frizzy perm, I’ll let you guess which was which.
Thanks to everyone who reads and comments on the blog and I will work to continue it throughout the year. I welcome any comments or topic suggestions and I speak for all of us when I say, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!