Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Family Letter

2010 has been a year marked by significant changes!
On March 10th we welcomed the newest member of our family, Taylor Ann. She was born almost 3 weeks early and has been a blessing since before her arrival. Now 9 months old, she is becoming more mobile and independent as she loves to explore her surroundings! She adores her siblings and is quite content to watch them play.
At the end of May we moved into a larger house. The house is almost double the square footage of our old house, and is closer to the university where TJ works as the manager of the User Support and telephone call-center. It sits on a half-acre of land and is a long-awaited answer to prayer. We all have room to “spread out” but yet we enjoy the benefits of being closer to town. It is an older home that needs some updating, but we are slowly painting rooms and making it our own. Probably the best part of moving is our neighbors- over the months we’ve been here we have become closer with them and they are a blessing to us, as well. We are so thankful the Lord provided not only a great house, but great neighbors to go along with it!
In August Ta (5 ½) started kindergarten at our new neighborhood school.  Along with the usual curriculum of learning letters and numbers, he also receives 20 minutes of Spanish instruction on a daily basis. In October he and some other students from the school were selected to partake in a Spanish lesson where the students taught the members of the School Board. Ta was paired up with the Superintendent and taught her a quick lesson to show what he has been learning since the beginning of the school year. When the lesson was over, the Superintendent and other School Board members were given a quiz; they did great and it was a fun experience for Ta. Since starting school, Ta has matured and taken on new responsibilities around the house. He is a hard worker and blessing to our family!
Also in August Th (8) began another school year, only this year he started 3rd grade instead of 2nd. He is also at home instead of in the public school. Homeschooling has been a wonderful experience for both Th and me. I enjoy teaching him and more importantly, spending time with him. Th loves to learn and, as a result of homeschooling, we have been able to study more in-depth the things that are interesting to him. For instance, when learning about the gold rush of 1849, we went to a gold mine and panned for gold. As part of our study on the history of South Carolina, he was able to attend school at a one-room schoolhouse and spend the day living as a boy growing up in the 1840s. Highlights from his trip included making homemade butter and completing his lessons using a quill pen. Th continues to prove his maturity level by his ability to take on new responsibilities, especially at home. He, too, is a blessing and I am so thankful the Lord afforded us the opportunity to homeschool.
In November T.G. celebrated her 4th birthday and is excited about having her own room! She no longer shares a room with Teagan and loves that she can have her own space to work her puzzles and color her pictures. She also started doing chores around the house once we moved, and she loves to do her “jobs” of putting away the clean silverware and organizing the shoe rack outside. T.G. is also a wonderful help with Taylor Ann. She loves to feed and babysit Taylor Ann while I am busy around the house. She continues to be a blessing to us all!
Teagan (2) is thrilled to be in our new house. She loves to play outside with her siblings and good friends Braxton and James who live across the street. Over the past few months Teagan has matured in that she loves to play babies with T.G. They pretend they are mommies and cook and feed their baby dolls. It is so cute to watch them push around their strollers and care for their babies. Teagan is such a blessing simply because of her sweet demeanor. She always has a smile on her face and is always willing to lend a helping hand! 
This Christmas season, as we reflect on the past year and look forward to 2011, we look forward to all that the Lord has planned for our family.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Break? What Break?

Th and I are taking a break from homeschooling while Ta and the girls are out of school for Christmas. I was thinking (not really sure why!) I would have a relaxed “Christmas break” since Th and I wouldn’t have school work to do. Boy, was I wrong!


I am still trying to get my Christmas cards written, addressed, and in the mail, gifts wrapped and ready to be shipped for our out-of-town family, cookie dough prepared and chilled so the kids and I can bake them together, plus my usual chores of laundry, cooking, and cleaning. Whew- it seems like it never ends! On top of all that, I am organizing a huge outreach through my church designed for moms in the local area. I have about 6 weeks until the actual event but there is much to do to get prepared. Thankfully so many from my church have volunteered to help me; they are definitely a blessing to me!


Time to get my girls down for naps so I can finish addressing this batch of cards…  in case I don’t get a chance to tell you, have a Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 10, 2010

9 months old today- wow!

Annie Oooh, as we affectionately call you, you are such a happy baby. You love all of your brothers and sisters so much. T.G. thinks she is your mom, and you humor her by allowing her to hold and feed you. Although you don’t allow her to hold you as long as you used to, you still enjoy the attention!
In the past 6 weeks or so you have mastered the “army” crawl. You use your little arms to pull and curl your toes to help you grip the floor and propel your body forward. You are the only one of my children to do the army crawl. You are now beginning to pull up to your knees on things so I’m sure it won’t be long until you are able to stand with assistance.
You still prefer fruits over vegetables, and absolutely will not open your mouth for anything green. Your all-time favorite food is cheese puffs, and you cry until we give you some at lunch time. You have started to say “Ma ma” and “Da da” and when you wake up at night you sit in your bed and call for us. Although it’s sweet to hear, Daddy and I would prefer you to sleep through the night!

Annie Oooh, we love you!

17.3 pounds
27 inches long
10th percentile for both height and weight

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It only happens to Frank...

Th sang Christmas songs and passed out cards to residents of a local nursing home as part of a church outreach. My dad, watching in the audience, received a card from another boy in the group. Apparently the boy thought he was a resident. =)