Thursday, December 21, 2017

In Lieu of a Christmas Card

Well, here we meet again on this long-neglected, humble blog a year later.

Our family did some moving on up this year.  Literally.  In elevation.  We moved 30 miles west of our old town, Reston, to our new, tiny, nestled-in-the-hills town, Round Hill.

This area is a much better fit for our family: quieter, slower-paced, a tight-knit community, great schools, and lots of outdoor activities. We already have a sweet, supportive group of friends.  And it's so beautiful, that I'm constantly thinking, "I can't believe I live here."

We are loving our new house and neighborhood.  It is absolutely full of children and families in our stage of life.  There is a fenced in backyard with a trampoline and hammock that gets lots of use in the warm weather, and a big basement with toys and a WiiU for the cold weather.  We sent all three kids to the basement to play after dinner the other night.  It was PURE MAGIC to have that option! (The basement also has a nice guest room and bath for visitors. HINT, HINT.)

The rest of the year will be told in pictures:
(I can't promise they're in order.)

This past weekend at Harpers Ferry, WV.  Our attempt at a nice family photo.

Hiking at our favorite spot, Cool Spring.  We have since moved on to scooters and bikes. 

Another favorite spot- Dirt Farm Brewery.  We're not actually huge beer drinkers, but we love the location, atmosphere and the friends that hang with us there. 

Sister started preschool this year. This is her and G the first day.  It explains their current relationship quite nicely. She loves her school, her stuffed animals, and peanut butter "swamiches".  Sister turned 4 this year and is as sweet and fun as ever.  And sassy.  We turned on the sassy this year.

In addition to becoming a team leader at work, Joe also became the Den Leader of G's Cub Scouts.  The previous den leader owned a winery that he opened up to the Scout families.  Joe does not own a winery, so he is skating by on his charm and good looks with the parents. Joe and G are having a great time together (camping! whittling!) and look oh-so-adorable in their uniforms.

G is thriving in third grade and making lots of new friends in the neighborhood.  Out here he has the opportunity to ride his bike and make forts in the woods. His current great love, though, is Texas A&M football. We couldn't be prouder!
Joshua had a big transition this year when not only did we move houses, but he got a new school, attendant, therapist, and church.  He's done fairly well over all, but there has definitely been a bit of regression from it.  He has learned to ride a scooter very well, plays with Sister and G more often and just today was given a communication device from school.  It's basically an iPad with an app that will talk for him at the beginning, but will also encourage his own speech.  *(Update- he's not sure he has any use for an iPad that only says words) This is him with his attendant, Chris.  They are pretty great together. 

Our school's color run.  We are so enjoying our new school.  We LOVE the teachers and community.  I have been substitute teaching and am really happy to be back in the classroom.

Our previous home church planted a new one in this community a little over a year ago.  Being a church plant, we have had to jump in and serve more (I'm singing again, for goodness' sake), but we are having a great time and wouldn't have it any other way. 

Joshua hanging out on the back of Quin, one of his favorite children's church workers.

I am busy making our new house into a home. Of course I have lots of projects for Joe.  The biggest one so far has been a new, bigger island. It turned out so well and I could not love it more!

 I got to meet up with my dear friends Mary and Betsy in Budapest in February for a few days.  Such a treat!  Thanks again Mom and Joe for making it happen. 

Joe got to visit our Stephensons in Norway on the way home from a work trip.  He had a little bit of fun.

Mostly, we did a lot of this: spending time together, figuring out public outings as a family, and laughing a lot.  

Merry Christmas everyone!  Lots of love from our family to yours in the New Year.