It has been a good year.
In January, Michael baptized Samuel and Tom confirmed him. This is so awesome on so many levels. First, that Samuel was ready to be a member of the Church and make the choice to follow our Savior Jesus Christ in every way, including into the waters of baptism. Second, that Michael was a worthy Priesthood holder, that is, holding the same authority that the apostles received from Christ, to baptize his younger brother. Third, that my husband was able to perform the ordinance of giving the gift of the Holy Ghost to Samuel, through that same Priesthood power. I think over the rest of the year I may have slightly forgotten how wonderfully it started.
We also took a trip to Nauvoo (and Carthage) this year. It was over Easter weekend and we also got to see our Illinois family. It was neat to fully immerse ourselves in our Church history, as well as a good look at life in the early 1800s in our country. Testimonies of the Prophet Joseph Smith were strengthened, and we also just had a LOT of fun. It was also good seeing family and enjoying time with them, especially considering what happened in Washington, Illinois about 7 months later.
We traveled to Utah as well this year, and got to see much of our western US family. We spent a week in Payson, Provo, Salt Lake City, hiking, visiting BYU (and getting shirts for EVERYONE!), visiting friends, and playing with cousins. We were offered U of U shirts by a nice old guy. We saw Norman Rockwell's paintings of Scouts over the years. We made a lot of memories and got to see a LOT of temples, as well as a lot of Kansas driving there and back. Wait, no, it was dark through Kansas. We sat through a lot of traffic in Colorado instead.
We saw Michael get his first job this year. He worked as a caricature artist at Worlds of Fun. It was neat seeing him earn money for his mission and college, as well as grow more independent and use his talents to make other people happy. Sometimes it was awkward working with two different work schedules but it works!
Three children learned to read this year. Even though they'd made a good start, Timothy and Christopher both had HUGE breakthroughs early in the year and Liberty had some major learning jumps late in the year. It's neat being able to read the scriptures together and only help with the hard words.
We got a bearded dragon this year. He belongs to Benjamin, but we all claim him. His name is Martin and he has doubled in size since October when we picked him up from Petco. It's fun to see him eat and grow and learn about all of us.
Tom is Program Director for Cub Scout Day Camp. This means he is in charge of all the activities done at Day Camp for 700+ boys from ages 7 to 10. It takes over our lives for a short time in June and slightly before, but he preps starting in October. It's exciting but exhausting.
We found out this year that we are expecting our 4th baby girl. We knew when we started our family that we'd have mostly boys... we didn't expect to have more than one girl, honestly. Liberty was exciting... Juliana was shocking... I guess we don't have a word for this coming baby! Her name will most likely be Virginia.
As a family we started watching the Doctor Who current series, mostly the modern series but we also watch the classics. The kids have really enjoyed all the different Doctors and shows.
We have 4 Scouts (Cubs and Boys) and they all are doing well. Samuel is a Wolf, Nathanael is a Webelos and working on Arrow of Light, Benjamin is now a Star, Michael is a Life and working on his Eagle required Merit Badges and thinking of a project..
Homeschooling is going well. We have Michael graduating in the spring, Benjamin just started high school and seminary as a 9th grader. Emilie is somewhere in 7th or 8th grade. Right now it's all transition and none of us have decided where she is going to be next year. Nathanael is in 5th grade and Samuel is in 4th. All three of them did well in the Geography Bee last month. Timothy is in 1st grade and Christopher is in Kindergarten. Liberty is doing preschool and Jules is working on talking.
Emilie is learning a lot and has recently started making all our bread, knitting a lot of new things, and baking something new each week.
2014 is going to be a great year too, so we can look forward or backward and really enjoy the view.
Happy New Year everyone!