Christmas Card 2014

2014 
very little change
(we have now lived in Texas for longer than any other place since 2002) 
very little suffering
(unless you count hot, muggy weather)
a lot of happy, everyday life



We are each a little older
three of us are a little bigger 
we are all a little wiser 
and 
we hope we are also 
closer to God. 

The Year in Review

EVENT OF THE YEAR: 
Annabelle's First Holy Communion
It was long awaited. In fact, she felt she should have done this two years ago...and I agreed Yet, it was especially blessed in timing since she received Jesus for the first time on the anniversary of her Baptism.



ACTIVITY OF THE YEAR: 
Reading
Reading aloud. Listening to audio books. Kindle. Reading at bedtime. Reading on the bus. Talking about reading. Some of these I already blogged about here

Read aloud at bedtime: 

Listened to in the car: 
(We use our Audible membership to get most of these books)
Spider Web for Two
(we highly recommend the narrator that is listed in the top two links. The link for the last one is just the book)
Swallows and Amazons Series (we are on our 7th)
Peter Pan (we really loved the linked narrator)

Read aloud at Lunch or Breakfast: 

Read and discussed by Mama and/or Papa: 
The Goal (and other books by Eli Goldratt)
The Pheonix Project
(here is my blog post about this book)
Hold On To Your Kids
(this book had an especially big impact on me!)
The Family That Overtook Christ
(HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!)


SPORT OF THE YEAR: 
Soccer....wait, the kids just insisted I call it FOOTBALL 
If you look closely, there are two games being watched on two different computers. That is dedication!

Not American Football....Premier League Football to be exact. We have watched more of this sport this year than all other sports combined in the first 12 years of our marriage. (read how it started here)
In fact, it even influences our vocabulary. 
On the wall in the loft where we watch TV is a list of words used by the (primarily British) sportscasters during a game and in reference to a play, player or official. We look them up, learn to spell them and use them. Currently on the wall:
eccentric 
gloaming
cynical 
sublime
"lifeless carcass" 
"spot of bother"


"ONLY IN TEXAS" ACTIVITY OF THE YEAR: 
Swimming in an unheated pool from March to November
For most of the summer the kids were in the pool every afternoon...the only way to handle the heat and humidity. 

March 2014
Does it look cold?


TOPIC OF THE YEAR: 
The Theory of Constraints
Both Jim and I discovered Eli Goldratt and the business novel. The first was The Pheonix Project which was recommended to Jim by someone at work. This novel about IT (information technology) got Jim excited about looking at his job in a new way and confirmed many things he was already thinking about. His excitement rubbed off onto me and so I read it. The inspiration for the Pheonix Project was Eli Goldratt and his best selling business novel called The Goal. Soon Goldratt became a household name and we both spend lots of time reading, discussing and watching YouTube videos about the Theory of Constraints and how to relate it both to Jim's IT world and to everyday life. 

HUNTER OF THE YEAR:
Jim, who killed his first snake
The girls came upon a large copperhead along the back part of our yard. We were thankful they were wearing their rubber boots and watching where they walked. They informed Papa immediately and he came out and made good use of the shovel. Good eye girls!
Jim says this photo is deceiving...it was at least six feet long!


MEMORIES OF THE YEAR

Grandma's visit in May
Taking Grandma with us to Dallas to see Michelle Graduate from University of Dallas
Trip to California in June
Sailing with Uncle Michael
Declan's Soccer classes
The kids take Taekwondo again, this time with Mama
Declan breaks a board with his foot
Carol breaks a board were here foot
Annabelle breaks a board with her hand
MaryKate refuses to do violence to any innocent piece of wood
Hanging out with our friends the Haddox's
Playing bocce with the Swartz's
Annabelle talks me into singing a lullaby at night, and now I do it every night




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