Happy New Year 2013

A little recap of 2012…

We had a fairly uneventful year. We had little things here and there that pop up like every other family, but for the most part, we didn’t really have anything big going on. Jack had a wreck at the beginning of May, but it wasn’t serious and it wasn’t his fault. Dylan turned 10 over the summer, which was a little eye-opening. I mean, wow. I’ve been a parent for 10 years now! He’s in 5th grade this school year, so he’ll be making the move to middle school in August. We are trying to get him into one of the Magnet schools next year, but to tell you the truth, I’ve read a few things about homeschooling recently, and it’s looking more appealing than ever. I know that middle school now is way different than it was when I was that age. I also know that this age group is more impressionable than others and that this is the time where beliefs and morals are usually beginning to take root, so part of me wants to homeschool him so I can make sure that he has a firm foundation in what we know to be right and true. I know that the goal of school is to provide an education, but the kids also take away much more than a book knowledge. And, if they aren’t surrounded by the right kind of influences, they can come away with a bad foundation. It’s a lot to think about. I don’t know that I’d be ready to homeschool him for next school year, but I’d be willing to look into it for 7th and 8th grade.

Anyway, another big thing that we did in 2012 was put our house on the market. We’ve known for a while now (like, since Eowyn was born) that our house is too small for us. It’s not a bad house at all, but it’s really more of a starter home or a home for a small family (1-2 kids) or even a home for someone who wants to downsize because their kids are grown and moved out. It’s a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house and it has about 1300 square feet of living space, with a 2 car garage. It’s nice, but we have outgrown it by leaps and bounds. We can’t really have my family over to stay the night (even though it’s a small family) because we don’t have any space for them. Unfortunately, we took the house back off the market before the holidays started. We hadn’t really had any serious  lookers and I didn’t want to deal with all the holiday preparations and then have to stop and to a quick clean and then leave so someone could come look at the house. It may not have been the best thing, but I just thought that would be way too much stress for me to deal with. So, we haven’t put it back on the market as of yet. We do still want to sell it, but we’ll probably just do it by owner instead of listing it with an agent.

I’ve mentioned before that we started attending a church down here that we really like. I moved my membership to this church back in March 2012 and we started to get more active and really making the effort to go more than just Sunday mornings. I joined the adult choir, which has been a great blessing. I used to sing in choirs all the time and it’s been way too long since I had been out of one, so it has been great to be back in that. The kids joined with the Children’s Choir and have loved it. Dylan is doing Bible Drill classes and enjoys them. I started staying in with the Children’s Choir on Sunday nights to make sure Bella would behave herself and it’s turned into me being one of the teachers. I’m definitely not looking to take it over because the leader is a dear friend who does a great job with it, and I am nowhere near as good at it as she is. But now that I’m able to help and be there, I can take over if something comes up and she can’t be there or something like that.

I think the biggest thing that happened for us in 2012 was the job change for the hubs. He had been employed for over 6 years with a local company and though it was good work, the environment had gotten very toxic. Back at the beginning of 2011, the hubs had been offered another job opportunity doing the same kind of work that he was doing, but for a hospital group instead of a company. We would have had to relocate, but the pay was a considerable increase. The only real downsides of the job involved the relocation. We had made the decision to do it because we felt it would be the right move for our family. However, that opportunity dissolved. The hubs was able to stay on with the local company, which was good. Well, not long after all that went down, he noticed a change in the environment of his work space. He was continuing to do the best job that he could do, but it was being shown to him that they weren’t appreciating it the way they used to appreciate it. After his 5 year evaluation, the hubs decided he would change departments, partly to learn a new aspect of the company, but also because he needed to get away from the bad vibes from the other department. He was pretty happy in the change, too. It was a bit different, but he caught onto it really quickly and was able to pick right back up and start being a top performer again. Then, the 6 year evaluation came up. After that one, it was clear how they felt. It was extremely hard for me to see him work so hard and do a good job and be consistently let down and go unappreciated. It was then that he started to do some serious soul-searching and job searching. I can’t remember exactly what month it was, but a job offer came to him from one of his networking sites. He went back and forth with them a little bit and then we talked it all over. They were a company that did the same kind of work that he was doing with this local company. They had a few home offices, but the difference with this one would be that he didn’t actually have an “office” to go into every day. He would travel to hospitals and stuff, doing the same kind of work that he was used to, but when he was not traveling, he would work from home on his computer. We did some serious praying and discussing about this. It felt like it was too good to be true, because it offered almost exactly what we had been hoping and praying for all along. The pay was going to be much better, the travel was going to be less, and he would be flexible with his hours when he was home.  He accepted the offer and his first day of work for that company was the Monday after Matthew’s wedding. It has been an adjustment, and things are done a little differently than he’s used to, but I think it’s been a good move.

That’s been 2012 in a nutshell for us. Bella-boo turned 4 this year. I’ve always been the kind of mom who wants to do a theme for my kids’ birthdays. At first, Bella wanted an Olivia theme. She loves Olivia. I was all about it, but then I realized that Olivia is really a 6 year old, so maybe we should wait on that one. I talked to Bella a little more and we decided she should have a Fresh Beat Band party. She is super crazy about the Fresh Beat Band because she LOVES their songs. It was a pretty easy sell. So, I worked with royal icing for the first time ever (and have since decided that I definitely don’t want to work with it ever again!) and did my best to work on her Fresh Beat Band cake. I scoured Pinterest for ideas and never found one that I wanted to fully recreate, so I chose a few that I liked and just picked out different features to do.

IMG_4948 IMG_4949 IMG_4953 IMG_4954 IMG_4956 IMG_4957 IMG_4958 IMG_4982 IMG_4985

She had a BLAST and had a great time with her friends from church. The last picture (in the turquoise dress with yellow stars) was taken on her actual birthday, which was the day after her party.

That gets us into 2013 and pretty much caught up. We’re into February now and so far, it’s been pretty smooth sailing. The next big thing that we are anticipating it finding out if Dylan got into the first magnet school that we chose on his application. He also should be eligible for a Disney trip this summer if he can keep making A’s on his EQTs. Don’t tell the kids, but we’re trying to plan a trip down there for all of us at the end of the year. It’s going to take some major planning, but I should be able to enlist Dylan’s help. I plan to get him to help me map out stuff since he will be going over the summer, but I’m going to make out like it’s just for that trip. He doesn’t know that we plan to take the whole family. I may end up caving in and telling him as we get closer to it, but I don’t know. Other than that, trying to get our house sold and buy a new one is at the top of our agenda for the year. Wish us luck!

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