Dearest Family and Friends,
Merry Chirstmas and Happy New Year from our clan to yours! This year finds us even more settled in and in love with our home in Louisiana. Any of the little details we wish would change, are just that ... small details. All in all the big picture is great, and full of blessings.
Ethan, 11 this year has left behind the ranks of Cub Scouts and dove in head first to the world of Boy Scouts. He attended summer camp this summer in North Carolina (without Mom or Dad), and enjoyed himself immensly. While at camp he completed enough requirements to advance three full ranks in scouting, and experienced white water rafting for the first time. In day to day life this meant, he came home knowing basic first aid, knowing basic food safety and how to cook some basic dishes, and knowing more knots than I knew existed. I am positive there are many skills he learned that I left out, but those are the ones I notice most on a day to day basis. This is his second year at St. John Berchmans which is now Berchmans Academy. 5th grade has been a big transition, but he has handled it well. Rhett and I are proud of his growth as a student, and a young man. Other than scouts, Ethan played soccer and is playing basketball this year. Ethan has a passion for history, if you spent just a little bit of time with him a convesation about the revolutionary war, war tactics or various weapons would likely be topics of discussion.
Aiden, 10 this year has also entered the world of Boy Scouts. Because of age however, he didn't begin Boy Scouts until November. He attended winter camp in Louisiana over Thanksgiving break. Ethan was also scheduled for winter camp, but was unable to attend because of illness. I think this actually turned out to be a good thing, and allowed Aiden to experience his first away camp without big brother. He really enjoyed himself, and also came home anxious to share many of the things he learned. Berchmans Academy is a great place for Aiden. He enjoys his school, his friends and all of the activities that go along with school and friends. Soccer and basketball also occupy Aiden's time. Aiden keeps Rhett and I on our toes, and laughing. He has a spirit of joy, and is always pushing boundaries.
Aly, 8 this year spends alot of time being the little sister. The little sister role has her tagging along to many practices and games. Lucky for Rhett and I, she typically does this with a smile on her face. The soccer field remains one of her favorite places. As a second grader, she has begun to enjoy reading for pleasure, and does well in all of her classes. If you asked her she would tell you she loves math, and "despises" french.
Rhett is still working for PHI, as he was last year. He serves as the committee chair for the boy's boyscout troop, participates in the Dad's club at school, and is an assistant coach for Aiden's soccer team. His role as Dad is the one that occupies most of his time and energy.
I am still working for a local non profit. I left for a short period of time and took a full time position doing case management. We quickly decided that a full time job, as well as full time graduate student wasn't condusive to my most important job as Mom. Now I am working about 35 hours a week, and maintaining a full time load in Grad school. I am officially half way done with my Masters degree. Our current plan is for me to finish in May of 2013. My work schedule will likely change some during 2012 as I start clinicals and have to dedicate more time to my school work. The further into my Masters program I get, the more I enjoy it. I am enjoying my time at McNeese, am blessed by great professors who are truly interested in mentoring their students, and am thrilled that the University has a top notch autism/developmental disabilities clinic in which I will get to complete my clinical training. 2012 will take me to several conferences in which I try to get a handle on the things like insurance billing, setting up a private practice, and some specialized therapy techniques. Rhett is nothing but supportive, and is actively participating in making a plan for what happens after graduation.
We just returned from 10 days away as a family. Rhett and I for the most part shut off our cell phones, and enjoyed our time with just the 5 of us. The kids and I spent a few days with extended family before returning home. We are still cocooning at home, knowing that break will soon end and our time will again be dictated by the commitments of life. It seems cliche to remark how fast time passes, but it truly just disappears. I spend my days as a Mom trying to savor every moment with my growing, evolving children.
Rhett and I hope all of you are enjoying your days, and that 2012 will be one of blessings for all of you!
Amy and Rhett
Ethan, Aiden, and Aly
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