Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Looking back on 2010 . . .

As this year draws to a close, I thought I’d take a look back at our year - - -

We started the month of January by having our Christmas get-together with the Strawser family.  We also had two exciting events to celebrate that month – the 40th anniversary of our pastor & his wife serving at our church, and the 25th anniversary of my brother’s adoption (affectionately referred to as “Airplane Day”).

IMG_0249(our  family at the Strawser Christmas Party – Jan. 2nd)

(me, with my brothers, at our Airplane Day celebration – Jan. 30th)

One of the most memorable February events, for me, was spending time with my friend Sue and taking her to her chemo treatments.  Little did I know at the time how special those moments would one day become for me.  We celebrated a good friend’s  birthday while watching the Super Bowl at their house.  And, at the end of the month, Ashley and I enjoyed a Casting Crowns concert – we got to meet the members of the band, along with the members of Kutless and Caleb and Will Franklin Chapman.  We took a friend from church and had a great time (so much so that we’re going to another concert together in March of 2011!)

me & Sue at chemo(me and Sue at chemo)

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(Ash & I, ready for our concert – Feb. 28th)

Sue lost her battle with ovarian cancer on March 5th, and life, as I knew it, will never be the same.  We’re all learning to adjust to a “new normal” – but not a day goes by that I don’t think about her and miss her.  Brenda and I spent time in March starting to select a new team for the Homeschool Crew, and my mom took me to Lancaster for my 40th birthday.  I think a surprise party was considered, but I’m not a fan of surprises and this really wasn’t the year.  We stayed at the Steamboat Inn and saw Joseph at Sight & Sound.  Of course, we also shopped.  It was nice to get away.  Unfortunately, we both forgot to pack our cameras.

April was an eventful month.  On the 2nd, we had a lovely Good Friday service at our church.  The following weekend, our family journeyed to the Midwest Convention in Cincinnati, OH to represent The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  I had opportunity to meet several of my Crew Mates there – including my assistant and friend, Brenda.  The girls had their homeschool evaluations on the 13th, and on the 23rd we attended the annual Spring Concert at my alma mater.

spring 041
(the kids on Easter Sunday)

conventions 011  (1/2 our booth at the convention – we had a HUGE end space!)

Picture 108
(me, modeling the new t-shirt I bought at the convention)

In May, Ashley and I helped with the CHAP convention – our own convention right here in PA.  Gracie went to the beach with my parents from the 13th to the 16th.  Ashley and I attended a Stellar Kart concert (in a church that really was not a good concert venue, but she enjoyed it).  We left home on the 21st, Florida-bound, and stopped in GA on the way to visit my friend Renee.  We spent the night with her, then continued on to FL where we vacationed at a lovely resort (compliments of the Suarez family), met some new friends, visited our favorite place – Disney World, and served at  the FPEA convention (which was a bit fancier than the other convention venues we had been to this year).

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(Ian and Sani Suarez at Starbucks, after a day at CHAP)

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(one of our favorite things about our time at Disney was visiting the various resorts on Disney property – here we are at the Grand Floridian)

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(the kids, meeting Lady Tremaine – from Cinderella)

Gracie had her piano recital on June 6th.  We celebrated Brian’s sister & brother-in-law’s 25th anniversary at a nice party hosted by their girls.  We were also able to meet up with a Crew Mate, Amy (who we had met up with in FL the previous month) – when she and her family passed through our area on their way to NY.  I also got to meet up with Sheri, from the Crew.  All these new friends – God knows how to pour out the blessings!

27799_1493936546778_1184971512_31378985_7420615_n(Gracie with her piano teacher after the recital)

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(Sheri and me with our girls)

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(Gracie and Amy’s children, enjoying the Susquehanna River)

We celebrated the 4th of July at my Aunt & Uncle’s house (it’s become a bit of a tradition).  On the 5th, I started the Bible in 90 Days reading program – LOVED IT!  Ashley spent a week with her friend in NY – while she was gone, we had some  fun of our own!  The following week was our church’s Bible School, which Gracie & Ian participated in and Ashley and I helped with.  We also had two reunions this month – one with Brian’s family and one with mine.  

summer 068(Gracie and Ian in the fireworks shirts and hats we made for the 4th)

Copy (2) of summer 117 
(Gracie at the bird sanctuary)

summer 102 
(Brian being goofy, with his niece Michelle)

summer 159 
(Ian at my grandma’s house for the  reunion)

The girls and I braved the heat at the PA Renaissance Faire in August.  Our town celebrated its 200th Anniversary with lots of fun events, including bus tours of local attractions and historical sites.  The girls, my mom, and I went to Sight & Sound to see Psalms of David (thanks to the $10 ticket price for homeschoolers), and we met with my friend Jodi and her kids in Lancaster and spent a great day with them. 

Copy of summer 217 
(sweating at the Ren. Faire)

summer 348 
(Gracie dressed up for our town’s anniversary)

summer 296 
(the  view from a local landmark – our house is the brick one, front and center)

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(the kids and me at the Wilbur Chocolate Factory)

In September, we had another family picnic (Labor Day) at my grandma’s homestead.  The kids, my mom, and I went to Williamsburg from the 12th through the 17th – the goal was to write an upcoming article about their Homeschool Days for TOS, but it was definitely fun too (well, except for the fact that Ian broke his leg while we were down there!)  Brian’s work picnic was held at a local amusement park on the 25th.  We also enjoyed a Brad Stine concert on the 26th.

summer 475 (Gracie and my mom at the family picnic)

summer 466 (me with Ashley and Ian at the family picnic)

Williamsburg trip 2010 189 
(Gracie during an educational class at Yorktown Victory Center)

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(Ashley participating in a class at Jamestown Settlement)

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(Ashley meeting an online friend at Jamestown)

Ian's cast 009 
(Ian chose a red cast)

fall 2010 017
(no cast can keep this boy from having fun!)

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(thankfully Gracie was nice enough to ride the kiddie rides with Ian)

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(Brad Stine)

The kids and I went to the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg on the 6th of October. We had a Harvest Party with our church family on the 9th.  On the 22nd, the kids and I met up with my friend Jodi and her kids at a corn maze in Lancaster – it was COLD but we had lots of fun together. Gracie’s 10th anniversary was also celebrated in October – it’s so hard to believe it’s been 10 years since we first held her in our arms. I had a jewelry party on the 29th and earned lots of free jewelry!

fall 2010 118 (me and the kids at the National Civil War Museum)

fall 2010 123
(the museum)

Copy of fall2010 039
(me and Jodi, sporting the windblown – and frozen – look!)

fall2010 026
(kids at the corn maze – I think we’ll make this an annual event)

Copy of fall2010 047(Gracie in her ao dai for her anniversary)

Ashley left on November 6th – flying out of BWI – to spend the week in Colorado with a friend.  We had friends fly in on that same date to spend the week with us.  Our church suffered the loss of two very dear members during the month of November.  Ashley celebrated her 17th birthday.  And, of course, we had Thanksgiving. 

college 012 
(Brian and Ashley – getting ready to say “good-bye” at the airport)

college 018
(watching Ashley’s plane take off)

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(Gracie and Ian at the Chocolate Factory)

Wendy visit 046 
(Gracie and me on the Chocolate Factory tour ride)

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(Ian and me on the Strasburg Railroad)

And December has been a month filled with Christmas festivities.  Gracie played her violin at 2 nursing homes (with her ensemble group) on the 4th; they also played at a fancy-schmancy store on the 7th – then she played again for our church Christmas program on the 19th.  We’ve had fun celebrating the holidays with friends and family.

Truthfully, when Sue passed away in March, I thought the whole year would be horrible and unbearable, but God had other plans.  We’ve had opportunities that I never expected us to have, we’ve met people that I never thought it would be possible for us to meet, and we’ve experienced blessings overflowing.  I’m glad He sees fit to mix the good in with the bad.

Looking forward to seeing what God has in store for us for 2011 . . .


Tristan said...

Okay Heidi, I completely love this post and I'm going to steal your idea and do one by month on my blog, maybe Friday. I have to know - did you remember all of that or did you go back through your blog archives? I can't remember that far back!

Crystal's Place said...

Wow, you went on lots of field trips! Thats my goal this year, to go on my trips! What fun!
How amazing is our God to carry you in His arms and give you a year full of beautiful memories. With my Dad going up to Hershey every week it makes me think of you when we were there with Sue. I say little prayers for you often. I know how much you miss her.
Love you dear friend and thanks for the fun post of your year!

Sheri said...

Geez you did have a busy year! I think that is so cool how you met that crazy chick Sheri-yah...LOL
I should do this too cuz I feel most of the year was cruddy, but there are always good things in there. I do know one of my highlights was meeting you Heidi! :0) Nice post!!!!!!! Hugs to you!

Jodi said...

What a year for you! I feel so blessed to have shared some of it with you...praying for all good things for you and your family in 2011! :) (((hugs)))

Twisted Cinderella said...

I am glad that even after your loss in March, your year was filled with good things. Happy New Years! Here’s to a fabulous new year!

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