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According to Us

One Husband, One Wife, Five Children and Everything in Between

I’m sure I probably say this every year, but I can’t believe that we are on the eve of the new year. There were months that seemed regular speed, and then there were months like October, November, and December, who altogether, seemed shorter than any one month  Especially November. Wow!

 In case you’re interested, I have written one of these for every year since 2010 with the exception of 2011. I guess at that time I didn’t know that this would become an annual thing for me. Silly me!
This one is my favorite. I was so reflective and honest. The year had ended hard and fast. 2015

January: like I just said, 2015 came to a hard close. We were in every way a family in transition. What I didn’t mention in the 2015 post was that, during that summer, we invited one of Alex’s friends to move in with us. All during the month of January, our bonus room was being renovated to prepare for Alan’s mom to move in with us. At the end of the month, the room was complete, and so we became a family of 9. Alex got her drivers lisence, which now seems like forever ago, and I started working full time. This was a HUGE transition year for us. No wonder it went so fast!

I must add, thank goodness for Instagram!

February: a busy but not exciting month. I must confess that my phone took a swim in July when I dived into a pool to save Titus and I lost my photos because I never back them up. 😟 There wasn’t a lot going on for us. Alex had her 2 year check-up from her scoliosis surgery, but other than that, not a whole lot happened. 

March: Spring was in the air, and Easter. I decided a couple years ago that Easter is busy like Christmas but without presents, parties, and 15 extra pounds from cookies and other treats. Alex and Angel both got jobs in March, which I strongly encourage all teenagers to work!  It’s a great discipline for them to know the responsibility of employment. 

This picture is of Titus, who after watching me slice a ham, took to practice using the beloved Sam. 

April: for the kids, this is testing month at school. The school year unofficially begins to unwind. Josiah had drum line tryouts for high school marching band and made it. He and Alan also went to see Blueman Group for a second time. 

May: oh, May! Because of budget issues, the schools closed a week early. (Well, and they used NO snow days). Josiah “graduated” from 8th grade, 2 birthdays, and the beginning of a major family road trip. Family time is my favorite. This picture below is from Mother’s Day. 

June: as I mentioned above, we took a two  plus week road trip west to CA and back. With Alex graduating this year, we wanted to take the chance to see amazing sights none of us have  experienced. We saw the Rt. 66 attractions, Grand Canyon, meteor crater, Las Vegas, Hoover Dam, Hollywood, Disneyland, Santa Monica Pier, Seqoyah National Park, Pacific Coast Highway, San Francisco, Yosemite, Salt Lake City, Moab, my 2 sisters, and Sand Dune Natioanl Park. It was an amazing trip!  It was also a trip that will be unforgettable, but not all for great feelings. 

My husband hash tagged it #santivaction.  When we stopped in Hollywood, our car was broken into. It was a huge bummer because my dslr camera was taken as well as two iPads and my husbands laptop with all his work, lectures, and personal writing research. Then, a couple days later we were camping. Long story short, we left our tent, still packed, on our campground we reserved. While we were gone, someone took it. Just as we were recovering from the loss, while we were in SAN Francisco, we left nothing valuable in our van, but in the morning we got up to go the Alcatraz. We half joked about getting broken into, but as I turned the corner to the van, sure enough someone had broke two windows on the rental. Despite all of that, we had a great vacation. We were able to teach our kids about endurance, and even though there are bad people, there is still good. I told myself that I should blog about this trip; I  have more to share about it. 

Once we returned, kids had camp, work, and summer was overall in full gear. 

July: For me, July means VBS. For the rest of my family, it means hotness and long days. Josiah started marching band and went to Peurto Rico with the church. There were trips to the pool and other outings. For the first time, our garden was decent. 

August: School began and in a blink I had two in high school, plus our bonus Bandy, who began their Senior year. This is also the last school year before Titus will start school. Alan was granted sabbatical for this fall semester, so for the first time in 23 years he wasn’t a student or a professor. He had been working on a couple writing projects. 

September: With Josiah in band, we attended several football games to cheer him on. Alex took a break from theater, which was really good for her. Kiki began to learn the flute, and Tori continues to perfect the sax. Never would I have thought so many of our kids would play instruments. 

October: This is where the year moved into warp speed. I was gone on a retreat for work a couple days. There were more games and marching competitions, fall break and a fall festival. Three kids dressed up for Halloween, and we hosted a Halloween party for the high school drama group. For Fall break, the girls didn’t want to camp “since we camped during vacation”, so we hiked for the day. Then Alan and Josiah camped the night while we slept well in our own beds. 

November: I went, for the first time since I was pregnant with Titus, on a trip to visit a friend in North Africa. My parents came up to help Alan and the kids. After I returned home, 5 days later, Alan left for a conference. Then there was Thanksgiving, and in a flash the year was almost over.  Also at the end of Marching Band, was the beginning of concert band for Josiah. There are two bands, upper and lower. Josiah made 4th chair in the upper band, which is super great especially for a freshman. Also Alex tried for Alice in Wonderland, and got the white rabbit part. She was super excited!!

December: 6 Christmas parties, two band concerts, Christmas Choir performance, 2 birthdays, and a debate competition. I wouldn’t do it any other way, because each of these things means spending time with friends and family. Christmas for me is a time to reflect on what I have been givien and celebrate all that we have overcome. I love my family and who each of them are growing to become. As I reflect on all the transitions we have gone through, I know there will be more changes. We have college on the horizon. And the last Bandy will be starting school. And we will have another driver soon. And who knows what other changes are coming, but I know many friends who have also had a very difficult year. They have gone through nightmares and are left to walk through the ashes forever changed. Never take today for granted. Here is to a hopefully happy 2017 


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