So... we've been here, busy, and out of the loop... It's been nice! In Oct. or Nov., the family computer caught a virus... badly, and we have yet to fix it. Then my cell phone broke (and broke again) and I lost all my contacts. twice. despite the frustrations, i have spent much less time online and connected to others and have spent much more time playing with the kids, cleaning the house, and spending time with John. It's been very nice to step back. Have I even blogged Halloween?? I have no clue where i even am here.. i have never been a good journal(er?) and that has proven very true here!
Thansgiving was spent once again at the beach with good friends, good food, and many memories... We headed back to the Beachy Keen house for the third year at the OBX. A big storm had knocked out all of the beach access and had washed out a lot of the dunes. It was sad to see so much damage. Ginger and I drove down to the beach access and got stuck in her 4 wheel drive the beach was so messed up.. that led to a looong walk back to the house before we were rescued (thanks popes!) with many adventures for Sullivan and Audrey... we loved ssing our good friends the marshalls, whom we have missed dearly since they left bburg last year, and it was fun to see the regulars at the beach house. We went with 3 current families from our ward and it was so fun getting to know them in new ways... thanksgiving is a favorite holiday of mine. I feel so overwhelmed with gratitude as I reflect on our wonderful year. While there have been bumps, and even a few spikes in the road for us this year, we are well protected, have been surronded with beautiful, healthy children, and have our needs met. We have been blessed with good friends, who set great examples for us, and a wonderful extended family. these is nothing else I could ask for in my life..... there was an experience at the beach that reminded me of the blessing of family and protection where we had a scary moment happen to one of the families children that could have been a very serious accident, and thanks to the careful eye of friends, and the guidance of the spirit, turned out fine...
Once we were home from our trip, it was time to get ready for Christmas! John and I have been working really hard and doing the Dave ramsey thing so we did an all cash Christmas. It was so nice this year to have that stress gone and was a great learning experience.... We cut way back on the extras, and the kids didn't even notice. It was awesome to focus on our nightly Christmas book moments where we shared scriptures, stories, and carols to candlelight. Those are the things I know the kids will remember, as those sweet moments are what I remember from my childhood. It was such a sweet experience to put Christ more centered in our everyday lives as we went through December. Conversations were had with our children that we usually rush through in everyday life. I am grateful we slowed down and really appreciated what we experienced in Dec.
T and Jo started violin in Sept. and we LOVEd the first concert in mid. dec. T was very serious abt. it and played every note to the best of his ability. jo didn't rosin or tighten his bow and prob. didn't even play half the notes, but performed his heart out! It is so funny watching how different they are, esp. when we watch them side by side in moments like that! Also in Dec. we had the chance to go to a local university and watch my little sister perform as a lead in the play liza and the Riddling cave. the makeup and costumes were amazing, and she was so funny to watch. The kids loved the show and the chance to meet the cast afterwards.
A few days before Christmas, we got a major snow (12-18 inches, depending on whom you ask...) and the boys had a blast having Dad take them out every night til 9. we live in a great neighborhood that has some of the best hills in town and also a huge college community so they built ramps and jumps... sore bottoms and cold fingers later, they would come dragging home, all crying from exhaustion, ready for that big cup of hot chocolate where they would plan the next nights sledding plans, much to dads chagrin...
Due to the snow, we had to tweak our travel plans.. we spent Christmas at home adn had a nice quiet morning...or as quiet as Christmas can be with 4 boys getting nerf guns.... and then headed out that afternoon to visit my parents. The next day we went to Richmond, where we were surprised with a ring on my grandfathers girlfriends hand! It was super cute!!!!
New years was spent watching the hokies WIN at our good friends house, then T, CLS, and i headed to Jersey to visit my sister, her husband and their new baby... Heather took us around atlantic city, and my 9 yr old fell in love with it... He loved the lighthouse in the middle of town, the boardwalk and the waves, and exp. all the casinos... taj mahal was his favorite. We are so greatful for their hospitality in having us for the weekend, and was wonderful to be there while they blessed their sweet baby girl!
now? back to life... the kids all started back to school early jan. we have missed several days this past week due to stomach flu, and I am sending all the kids back to school tomorrow... I am really looking forward to that! I went to the dr. a few days before tgiving and was diagnosed with hyper thyroid after losing 7 pounds in 2 weeks and a ton of hair... it has caused me to be super grouchy and tired... I am looking forward to getting that straightened out this coming month... other then that, life carries on... I will be back in 2 months;-)