WARNING: This may be the longest post I have ever made, I apologize for those of you who actually read this blog and are overwhelmed by the massiveness that is this post, however, it was important to me to put a little year in review together for our family and this was a perfect way to do it. It's totally understandable if you choose to not read all the way through (though I would love it if you would) :)
Life is flying us by, I mean seriously, time goes so fast and we are so busy living life I barely have time to remember life!!
I think both are needed.
So today, as we say good bye to 2013 and hello to 2014 I wanted to take the time to slow down a little bit and look back over the last year.
We have had so many great moments!!
Dad and Treyton went to their first Packer game together. Lord willing, I'm certain their will be many more to come!!
Of course, we had a lot of ups and downs this year, and moments where we felt like sticking our head in the mud…. until we realized you can get stuck that way and we learned perhaps that wasn't the best way to handle our problems.
We spent a lot of time working, playing and learning together. We are proud that our children will usually try new things at least once and with a GOOD attitude. They each love learning, in their own ways. Even Treyton who claims to hate school admits that he loves to learn, he just doesn't like the work of textbooks, he's more of a living and learning kind of guy!
Treyton spent half the year growing out his hair, like Clay Matthews, and we were both surprised and proud to see him stick with it, even with people confused him for a girl.
In Feburary we were able to spend a week with our new pup-cousin, Rustie and the kids ALL love Rustie and enjoy trying to wear her out by running around the yard and playing ball. Treyton actually went to the puppy training classes with Rustie and Aunt Toni and learned how to command and handle Rustie the right way.
Titus has changed so much this year, which is no surprise considering it was his first full year of life. He is one our easiest babies and is such a joy to have around. He's easy-going, fun and spunky all at the same time!! He is going to have no problem keeping up with his older brother and sisters.
Looking back over this year, one of the things we are most grateful for is the new level of relationship and fellowship we have experienced in our local church. We have spent many meals and fun hours together getting to know one another, sharing our lives and growing together in the Lord. We are truly blessed to be a part of such a strong, healthy and encouraging body of believers.
Audrey turned 3 this year and while it's been emotional year as her parents, we've watched her overcome, and grow in so many ways. She is currently in two speech classes, which is a gift for her and something she is very proud of!!
Easter came early this year which had us anticipating spring even sooner than normal.
We enjoyed a lovely passover meal together as a family in celebration.
In April, Tim and I enjoyed some time at the Cincinnati Homeschool Convention - this is a really encouraging time for us, and is the time we use to set our big picture plans and goals for our upcoming school year.
This year we were also THRILLED to have the opportunity to see the dead sea scrolls!!
It was awesome and something I will not soon forget!!
The end of April brought the kids recitals for the year, in both Piano and Dance. We are so proud of all the hard work they put into each of their hobbies and while Treyton doesn't always like to practice his piano he does enjoy playing and performing.
The kids always find ways to make us laugh!! They are great playmates and best friends.
Treyton, our huge sports enthusiasts also had the chance to attend his first bucks game with Dad. It was the bucks against Miami Heat.
May brought about a big change as Treyton decided to cut his hair before our family vacation - Dad heard those words and jumped right on it to get the job done :)
Our trip to San Antonio, with our extended family was probably THE highlight of the year. We had a jam-packed couple of weeks and saw so much and did so much, it was a great blessing.
Our first stop, Oklahoma, the kids finally got to meet my brother, Nick and Tim and I saw him for the first time since our wedding day!!
This trip was full of so many memories for me. It made me feel both old and grateful. I even got to see my old house…. nothing like memory lane!!
Texas ---- need I see more - lots to see and do here!
The kids and I keep trying to talk Tim into moving, but I don't see it happening any time soon.
I mean what's not to love? You got:
except for maybe the snakes
and the toe biting birds
Then again, I'm not real sure Texas could handle us ---- or if they would have us :)
Surprisingly, to me, the highlight of our trip was sea world. Eating with Shamu (the real shamu, not the stuffed shamu :)) and seeing the shows took the kids breath away!
Our next stop needs no introduction:
it was a welcomed site to visit Papa Mike and for him NOT to be in a hospital bed!
The wildlife here may not be described so much as "friendly" but definitely inspire awe!
and the scenery equally as breath taking.
But nothing makes you feel more at home than the chance to see family.
This trip had so much more, but at the risk of taking up even MORE space, I'll stop.
And as exciting as our trip was May was filled with even more - including the kids first fishing experience.
June brought our first camping trip of the year.
It felt to get out there again!!
The older kids both participated in baseball/tee-ball this year
We were blessed with some great coaches.
And finally some nice weather which the kids took full advantage of!!
And I don't think anyone will soon forget the "Milwaukee Zoo Fiasco of 2013!!" :) Where the sky's opened up and poured down on us beautiful, torrential down pours!!
Wet or not, the kids and I still had a lot of fun with Aunt Nana and Ms. Livia's family. We know that one of these years, we will have a non-dramatic experience at this zoo!!
Camping with Papa Luke and Grandma Lex at Point beach was very relaxing and we were able to enjoy the sunshine and water (even if it was a little cold)
We celebrated Dad's birthday with a new trampoline for the family. The kids have LOVED their trampoline, but mom and dad had no idea how much work it would be after it flew away on TWO separate occasions this summer…. sigh…. you live and learn, some things are worth the work, some things aren't…. the jury is still out on the trampoline.
Lexie's birthday present to dad was her big accomplishment of getting rid of her training wheels.
Our annual 4th of July Reunion with our P-Town friends was at our home this summer and we had a BLAST!!
Lexa decided to celebrate her birthday with friends at Bay Beach --- a great choice!
We started school on her birthday this year, which is the best possibly birthday present we could have given her - this girl loves school, learning, and everything it involves!!
And of course there was more camping in July!!
This year my man and I also celebrated 10 AMAZING years together as husband and wife!!! On one hand I feel so young and inexperienced, on the other hand I feel so old!!!
Our annual VBS at church was a western theme this year which was beyond fun to be a part of!!
And you wouldn't have believed it, but we blinked a Rustie grew up on us!! Once Titus was bigger than this little pup, but quicker than we knew it, Rustie became a lady!!
At the end of July on Tim and I's actual 10 year anniversary, Treyton ran in his first 1K race. It was one of my proudest moments of the summer.
Truthfully June and July were such busy months for us, we laid low for much of the month of August, which was nice. The end of the month brought Treyton's 8th birthday
He celebrated with a sports party with his closest friends.
At this time we also had my cousin, John move in with us from Louisiana. Other than one time when he was 7, at his sister's wedding, I had never met John. It has been a blessing getting to know him! And the kids loved having an older play mate around!!
Labor day brought time with family
and good food.
And let's not forget football season!!
And the start of co-op field trips!
Titus' birthday came so fast. I couldn't believe he was 1!!
Our last camping trip of the year was in Door County with Mommer and Papa and John. Probably my favorite camping spot, there is so much fun to be had there!
September also marked the opening of my Etsy shop: LovingLee Created, where I sell my handmade and crocheted items. It was been SO much fun being a part of etsy and having the chance to sell some of what I make.
I'm grateful to have my own personal model's in house :)
Treyton spent every Saturday participating in Flag Football. He really enjoyed it - I did not enjoy the early mornings in the crisp cool fall Wisconsin air, but it brought a smile to my face to see him so excited and focused.
And towards the end of the month (the 27th, actually) Alexa got her ears pierced. This was a very big moment, one that initially she wasn't sure about but now is very grateful for. We had left the decision up to her, and I'm glad we did.
Harvest party at church!!
I also participated in my first craft show, and the following week, my second craft show
Thanksgiving is always big --- and this year was no exception!
Titus got his first hair cut, which was a long time coming, and was harder than I expected to do (literally and figuratively)
We are certainly blessed!!
And while it has been surprisingly cold this December, Tim and the older kids were lucky to make it out Christmas weekend to get some sledding in.
Audrey and I enjoyed some time at home while TItus napped staying warm and cuddling on the couch!!
Such an amazing year, full of adventures, laughs, and memories as well as a few tears and tough moments. But we're blessed by every moment we had the seemingly good and bad. We are grateful to be together and to be healthy and above all that Jesus calls us His!!!