Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2011 In Review: Part 1

2011 came and went in a blur.  It was a combination of being busy with 3 active kids and filling our schedule with too many good things.  I was never able to keep up with the blog throughout the year, so in an attempt to evaluate retrospectively and not neglect the year completely, I've picked out a few pictures from each month that highlight our adventures and indicate where we find joy as a family.

January: The year began where 2010 left off.  Tyler was in the middle of 1st grade, Laynie was in 2 preschools (5 half-days a week) and Josie and Ava were either home with me or at PWS with me 2 days a week.

January: Our small group's child dedication.  This event was the culmination of this small group and it was awesome to hear each family's mission statement and intentions of glorifying Christ as a family.  Love these families and miss seeing them regularly. 

February: Laynie lost her first tooth 3 days before her 5th birthday! 

February: Laynie celebrated her 5th birthday with friends at Acrofit. 
February: Jason took Laynie to the Father/Daughter dance in League City with a group of other Dads/Daughters.  Laynie had a blast getting her nails done and her hair curled.  They rode to the dance in a limo, what a treat! Should be a fun tradition since both Laynie and Jason have birthdays in February and Laynie is definitely a Daddy's girl :).

February: Ty's first Pinewood Derby with Cubscouts!  These were the 2 "Tiger" themed cars and they both added a Lego car driver.  Looking forward to this year for a new design!
March: Laynie's "Rodeo Day" at Happy Harbour Preschool.  Such a cutie!  I still haven't made it to the Houston Rodeo, maybe this year!

March: Playing at Clear Lake Park.  The kids love to pile into the car and drive to a fun park, especially if we bring a picnic!

March: Picking strawberries at Froberg's with friends!  This was our first year to pick strawberries and it was so much fun!  I actually made strawberry jam!  I'm looking forward to going back this year and getting more delicious strawberries!
March: Celebrating Josie's 2nd Birthday at The Chocolate Bar in Houston.  Pretty sure Josie wasn't feeling that well during this trip, and I probably had a big part in choosing the location :).  Yum!

March: Camping at Brazos Bend with friends!  Love giving the kids time outdoors to explore, slow down, play in the dirt and hang with friends. 

March: Brazos Bend.  Taking a hike!

March: Laynie and Maya at the Kennedy Dance Theatre Gym Meet.  They had so much fun being in class together, especially carpooling back and forth to dance!  This event allows them to highlight their tumbling skills.

April: Whenever the weather is nice, the kids love to be in the sandbox.  I love seeing them out there together!

April: After church, we celebrated Easter at La Brisa with Jason's brother, Ryan and his wife, Heather.  There was an unexpected easter egg hunt while we were there and the kids had a lot of fun.  There were even dollar coins in some of the eggs! Thankful to have family in Sugarland! 

April: Ty was awarded his Tiger badge this night.  Cubscouts has become a great activity for Jason and Ty to enjoy together.  Ty loves learning new skills, including: archery, shooting bb guns, conservation and service with a group of friends.

April: We have neighbors who love to fish and they were able to catch a large mouth bass in the lake right by our house!

May: Field Day at Mossman!

May: Mother's Day Tea at Laynie's preschool, a special day saved for the 4-year old classes at Happy Harbour.

May: Camping at Huntsville State Park.  Josie was determined to ride a bike there.  Love her sweet determination!

May: Huntsville.  One more quick trip to the lake resulted in Laynie and Melissa splashing and getting their clothes soaked!  It was too cute to stop!  Josie was in on the action too!

May: Huntsville.  The boys tried fishing, but no luck.

May: Alaska!  What a whirlwind trip.  Jason had a work conference in Anchorage and I got to fly out for a quick weekend to join him and experience Alaska!  This was our first dinner at Glacier Brewhouse and this was the best salmon!  Yum!

May: Alaska!  On the way to our Glacier cruise.  Beautiful scenery.

May: Alaska!  The view from our tour bus, which was called "The Magic Bus"...ha!  Unbelievable views!

May: Alaska!  Another pic on the way to the glacier cruise.  The weather was perfect, comfortably cold. The glacier cruise itself was amazing, but my digital camera's battery died. Sad, ridiculous technology fail!

May: Alaska!  This pic doesn't do it justice, but this was my favorite breakfast place, Snow City Cafe. Most delicious breakfasts and super fabulous espresso drinks. I could probably live there, or do dishes for free food/coffee?  Little coffee shops with ambiance are my weak spot, for sure.

May: PeeWee School Graduation!  Wow, big children's ESV Bible in tow, Laynie is a preschool graduate! 

May: Happy Harbour Graduation!  Laynie and her bff, Melissa had 2 super fun years at Happy Harbour together. 

June: This picture sums up how Laynie feels about baking.  She loves mixing, measuring, pouring, and tasting! 

June: Last day of 1st grade.  What?  When did that happen?  We all went to celebrate in the heat with popsicles, of course.

June: Kennedy Dance Theatre's dance recital.  Laynie and Maya looked so sweet in their costumes and they danced to I Feel Pretty from the Westside Story. 

June: Saying goodbye to Ava.  We had Ava with us 5 days a week for a little over a year.  Josie and her were sweet little buddies!  I'm so thankful that we had the opportunity to love and play with Ava.  Watching her also allowed us to get back on track financially. She was definitely a blessing.

June: Mo Ranch.  This was our 4th year at Mo Ranch and I can still barely believe it.  The kids have a blast playing with friends, going to their vbs-style classes, and swimming in the Guadalupe River.  We have fun hanging with friends, enjoying God's beauty, teaching preschoolers through stories, songs and crafts and enjoying the blessing of a week together as a family!

June: Riding with Josie!  This pic represents the brief training I did for my 2nd Tri for Freedom Triathlon, held in Pearland.  I trained less for this one, but my road bike upgrade (not pictured) made up for the difference and I shaved about ten minutes off my previous year's time.  I wouldn't call myself a good swimmer, biker or runner, but I enjoy the challenge and the motivation of training for a goal. 

To be continued...(July-December)