Friday, December 18, 2009

Merry Christmas

For the fifth year in a row we bring you Christmas Greetings from Southern Louisiana.  Although, we have relocated homes, we are still in the same community.  As we brought in 2009 Rhett and I both knew that this would likely be a year of transition for our family, and boy were we ever right.

2009 brought changes in everyone of our lives.

Much is the same with Ethan and Aiden.  They are happy, healthy growing boys who keep us on our toes.  As the school year closed last year, we found that although both boys were still academically doing well ;Rhett and I were increasingly concerned about situations within the school they were attending. After much prayer, thought, and conversation we took the leap and decided to homeschool them this year.  To our surprise both boys were all for it!  It has been an adventure, and I have been pleasantly surprised at just how well it has gone.  We signed the boys up for a homeschool swim league that they participated in twice a week, and both are still very active in scouts.  I do know that at times they miss having a school community, so our continuing prayer is for guidance in making a good decision for them next year.  The boys are enjoying our new place, and becoming quite acquainted with the yard.  There are some big plans in the works as far as tree's to plant, forts to build, tunnels to dig, and ramps to construct.  It is nice that they are at the age where they take joy in creating and making this place our own, and it is definitely enjoyed by Rhett and I.

Alys life is also much the same, other than her world is ever changing as is the case with every 6 year old little girl.  She is still at the Academy of the Sacred Heart. It does my heart good to see her happily bounce out of school every day, greet her teachers with hugs, and know that she is exactly where she needs to be!  Soccer season this year couldn't come fast enough for Aly!  She enjoyed her season, was very disappointed that we had so many rain outs, perfected her skills and scored quite a few goals. It was a good season, and she is already counting down to spring soccer.  She is enjoying her new room, and has no problem keeping up with the boys outside.

I have finally completed my undergraduate coursework, and am gathering grad school applications, applying for jobs, and all of that other fun adult stuff.  My year was different in that the boys attended most of my college classes with me this semester. I would have their assignments mapped out and they would do their independent work sitting next to me during class. I was AMAZED at just how supportive ALL of my professors were, none had any issue having the kids in class and most made them feel more than welcome by asking them questions or including them in discussions.  Several of my professors expressed to me that they were very pleased that Rhett and I were taking charge of their education, and talked about how disappointed in public education they are.  I am still teaching professional development classes at the University, although it has been very slow due to the economy.  We are about 50% organized in our new place, but more and more things come together daily. I am enjoying the progress.

Rhett worked the majority of the year at the same company as last year, but was laid off in November due to the economy.  It, of course, took us a little by surprise, but in every challenge there are blessings.  He is hot on the job hunt, and has had some feedback indicating interviews etc. after the holidays.  In his time "off" he has been able to complete alot of our house projects.  He has laid new floors, changed out switches, door frames etc.  He also has spent quite a few days volunteering at Aly's school.  Being a historic landmark, there is always stuff to be done.  He joined the Dad's club and has helped out with painting, landscaping, decorating for Christmas, setting up for fundraisers etc.  I know he really enjoyed having the time to give, as we are all blessed by the school community at the Academy.  Aly was thrilled to see Dad on campus, and wanted him to sit with her at lunch.  What a blessing for him to have that time with her, something she will surely remember.  The boys have enjoyed having him assist me with their schooling, and I have to say we get it done alot quicker when there is two of us to answer questions.

This summer was much the same in our house, as I once again taught camps.  It however, was a little different as the kids and I struck out on a 16 day road trip to take in some sites and visit Rhetts family.  We drove from Louisiana to Texas to Kansas to Colorado to Utah to Idaho to Wyoming back to Colorado where we picked up Rhett at the airport and continued on to South Dakota to Nebraska to Oklahoma and finally home.  We camped quite at quite a few of the stops, and of course stayed with family in Colorado and Idaho.  The kids had a great time visiting cousins and Aunts and Uncles who they dearly miss.  When I conceived the idea of the trip many told me I was nuts! I have to say though, I thoroughly enjoyed my time away with the kids. Loved camping with them, and how we developed our own little team to set up camp etc. They each had a job, and did it quite well. If time, finances etc allow I would love to do something similar with them every year.  Mount Rushmore was amazing and I was so glad Rhett was able to join us on that part of the trip.

Thanks for taking the time to let me catch you all up on our clan. As soon as I find my USB cord I will upload some family pictures.  I hope this finds all of you in great Christmas spirits.

May 2010 be blessed for you and all of yours,
Amy and Rhett
Ethan, Aiden and Aly