It's been a busy year for us! So much has happened, and time has flown. It really does seem like this season of life contains the longest days, but the shortest years. I have to say that it sure doesn't feel like 2012 should be nearly over, but here we are. Here are a few highlights of our year.
In January, we were still reveling in the fact that we had just been able to adopt Andy at the end of the December 2011. It was a month of adjustment and time spent together.
In February, we decided that a mini-van would both be spacious since we all agreed that more kids would be welcome. Though I inwardly groaned at the idea of having a van (and outwardly a few times, too), we found a van we liked in Chicago (I use "like" loosely) and fun when we spent some time there as a family. We got to see the Bean downtown, and Navy Pier, and eat Garrett's popcorn and Giordano's pizza. Yum!
In March, Andy turned 9, and we celebrated with lots of fun and a massive Cars 2 cake made by mom.
In April, Schoney Piano Studio hosted the last piano recital, and closed for good. I really miss teaching, but it took a lot of pressure off of our family for me to be more available.
May brought Isaac's birthday, and my brother's college graduation from ISU. Between the two occasions, we did lots of celebrating!
June was a whirlwind of weddings. It was so much fun to watch my best friend marry the man of her dreams, and it was fun to be a part of it.
My little brother got married a week later, and I'm thankful for my new sister in law and the way she compliments my brother. It was also a really fun time for the kids to meet more of their extended family, which they enjoyed a lot.
In July, we went to Illinois to spend time with Dave's side of the family. We spent time out at the family farm, followed by time in Chicago visiting museums and, of course, eating more pizza and popcorn.
Before we realized it, it was time to go back to school, or in our case, head to the kitchen table. We started homeschooling in August, and it has been quite an adventure, to say the least!
We've gone on field trips, done science experiments and art projects, and read lots of books. We're thankful for the option of homeschooling.
September, October, and November flew by exceptionally fast. We enjoyed lots of football - watching Iowa State beat Iowa, watching the Bears play, and cheering Isaac on at his flag football games.
We spent the fall enjoying time together at the Apple Orchard, picking pumpkins, learning about the elections, and spending time together.
Many people continue to ask how I'm doing health-wise, and I am always touched that people remember, and feel blessed by their caring. I'm happy to report that despite a recent scare this fall, I am completely cancer-free still, and will pass my 3-year mark of surviving cancer in just a few weeks!
We are truly enjoying spending time together during the Christmas season this December, and treasuring our reason for celebrating.
One of my kids told me a couple of weeks ago, "Mom, this will be the best Christmas ever, because it'll be my very first Christmas as a Christian! Now I'm really excited about the baby in the manger!"
It was amazing to hear his wonder and awe as he spoke of Christmas. And truly, we have an incredible reason to celebrate:
May you feel child-like delight when you think of the Baby in the Manger this season!