Victoria is in her final year as a middle school student. She has grown and changed so much in the last year. She is realizing the power of what it means to form her own opinions and the consequences, both good and bad, of making her own choices. She continues to maintain a straight A average in all honors program classes, is an Academic team leader and an extremely talented musician! Most of all, Victoria is one of the most dependable young ladies I know. Mike and I are so very proud of her and although it’s tough to watch our little girl grow up, we look forward to seeing her blossom into the Godly young woman she is becoming.
Our Ethan has just started a new chapter in his life…the wonderful world as a middle school student. Oh the changes, adjustments and newfound freedom it has brought. It was a challenge at first to realize the demands put on a student in the honors program, but he got the hang of it fairly quickly. He also continues to maintain a straight A average. He takes pride in his accomplishments and always has. It is an invaluable quality to always strive to be better despite the situation. This proved to be invaluable this year as it was the first time he was starting quarterback and team captain on his football team. He highlighted his season with a last second, 40 yard touchdown pass to win a big playoff game. He is really learning the true influence being a leader can have on teammates, siblings and friends. We are very proud of Ethan as he is growing into an honorable young man.
Christian celebrated his 9th birthday this year. We knew third grade would bring a lot of challenges with it, being that so many things would be new. He would be getting actual grades, have more responsibilities and reading would no longer be “just for fun”. I was actually worried about how my little boy would transition into this year. However, the joke was on me, because he did great! He is learning how to study, how to manage his time wisely, how to be a good friend, and what exactly it means to lead by example. So far, he has also worked very hard to make all A’s. For sports, he was the starting quarterback for his football team, and he’s the point guard on his basketball team. He’s a great teammate and always plays hard making it very fun to watch! He made a huge step this summer that will no doubt set an example to others, when he asked Jesus into his heart…a decision he will never regret. Christian is always striving to do his best and make as many people smile in the process as possible.
Ready or not, here they come! That’s what we told their pre-k teacher as this school year began. Addeline, with her beaming smile and her fiery personality. Kaitlyn, with her infectious laugh and eyes that could melt the iciest of hearts. Although they are both precious as punch they are so different. Addeline loves to read and absolutely anything related to art. I love planning crafts for the girls, but have found that with Addie Pie, it’s better just to give her the supplies and let her make a creation! She is rhyming, making letter sounds and even putting some together. Dick and Jane here we come! Kaitlyn loves math, being a doctor and a teacher! It is so much fun to eavesdrop while she is teaching her friends how to check for heart beats. Listening to Kaitlyn add up different objects or come up with her own math problem just amazes me. The fact that she is able to invent her own patterns, some of which are quite complex for a 5 year old, just cause me to shake my head. My little girls are growing up right before my eyes. What a blessing these two have been to our lives.
Mike and I definitely find ways to keep ourselves busy. Mike continues to deploy, coach, plans family vacations and is passionate about his running. In fact, he ran his 2nd marathon in November. We were so proud to find him on the course and cheer him on!! My life is filled with volunteering, trying new recipes, keeping up with our ever-changing schedules and trying to nurture a relationship with running…still working on that one.
This summer was action-packed for our family, to say the least. Right before Mike deployed, we spent the weekend in North Georgia hiking and whitewater rafting. Gracious, it was so much fun! While the “big kids” played, the little girls spent the weekend at “Camp Gam”. Although we missed them, it was nice to have some fun with the older kiddos. About halfway into the deployment, my Grandmother took a turn for the worse. When school was over, we packed up and headed to Kentucky. We were so blessed to spend the last couple of weeks with her and our family. Although it is always hard to say goodbye to someone so loved, God was gracious to give us the time we had. We shared plenty of smiles, songs, stories and special moments with her before she took her last breath. A few weeks after Mike returned, we spent about a week in New York for a family reunion. It was so good to see people we haven’t seen in a very long time…and hug some I had yet to meet!! Last, but certainly not least, was a big one. We celebrated my Mom’s one year of being cancer free!
As we embrace the new seasons of life that this year has brought, some more hesitantly than others, we are so very thankful to be together and know that we will never have to face them alone.
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them,
for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."