We woke up this morning to see the neighborhood covered with a dusting of snow. It seemed to be just what we all needed to get into the Christmas spirit. We look forward to the yearly Christmas shows put on by the kids’ classes, the parties we attend and the hustle and bustle that comes with every year. But there is something about the snow that makes us want to hunker down at home and bake cookies or gingerbread houses or sit on the couch snuggled in a blanket and look at our beautiful Christmas tree and reflect on the past year and those who are so important in our lives.
Hailey is almost five which is hard to believe. Mostly due to the fact that she acts like she is about twelve. She started her second year of preschool at Ross Park. Hailey played soccer in the spring and fall and t-ball over the summer. She was not as sporty as we imagined she might be (not at all J) but she had fun and was thrilled to receive her first trophy – and popsicles. Hailey likes to paint, color or anything crafty. She loves girly things like Barbies, princesses and dress-up, but is just as comfortable making mud pies on the porch steps or picking up bugs or dead mice (don’t ask) in the driveway.
Evan is seven years old and in second grade this year. He really enjoys learning and is always eager to come home and share some new fact or tidbit that he learned during class. Evan has continued in Scouts as a Wolf and attended his first day camp over the summer. He played Pee Wee Little League this year and surprised all of us with a bit of natural talent at the sport. His team made it all the way to the play-off finals where they came in second place. He was thrilled with his “big” trophy and even was awarded a game ball for MVP in one game earlier in the season. This fall he decided he wanted to take Karate and is enjoying it – he has even earned his first belt. Evan spends his free time playing board or computer games, LEGOS, and anything where he can use his imagination.
Spencer is in fourth grade this year and turned ten over the summer. We are starting to see the “tweener” tendencies beginning in our oldest child – i.e. messy room, laziness, wanting to stay home alone instead of hanging out with the fam. It doesn’t seem possible that our “baby boy” is embarking on the preteen years. Spencer played inner city tennis over the summer and constantly grumped about going but always did well and had fun while he was there. He has continued with his acting classes and Scouts as well and is a Webelo this year. They have been able to do a lot of interesting things through Scouts. He even attended his first overnight camp last summer. Of course with Dad as your leader, it seems less of a big deal. Spencer keeps busy with LEGOS, TV, YouTube, hanging out with friends and he recently started up Destination Imagination after school.
Trent is still at R-P high school. He just wrapped up an amazing fall show of Peter Pan and is already looking toward The Sound of Music in the spring. He took on the Children’s Theatre class this year just to add to his never ending “to-do” list. He is a hard worker and seems to be busy all the time.
Jen continues to stay home and keep everybody fed, clothed, washed and somewhat organized. If the rumors of all day Kindergarten next year are true, she won’t know what to do with herself! (Yeah, right!) For some reason we imagined that as the kids got older, things would get easier; we were greatly disillusioned as things seem much more crazy and more busy as they grow.
Our family trip this year was a “circumnavigation of Lake Michigan”. We started out through Chicago onto Wisconsin where we stayed for a weekend with Jen’s sister and family. Then we headed north from Madison through the UP of Michigan. It was a great trip and we were gone for over a week. We saw Kitchitikipi natural spring, explored the ghost town at Fayette, shipwrecks in Munising, the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, fed bear cubs, played in Tahquamenon Falls, swam in Lakes Superior and Huron, hung out under the Mackinac Bridge. It was awesome – so many amazing memories. We are fortunate to live in such a beautiful state.
We feel lucky and blessed by so much in our lives, especially getting to share it with our amazing family and wonderful friends. We wish for you a year filled with health, hope, happiness and love.
Love – Trent, Jennifer, Spencer, Evan & Hailey
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