Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Highlights

I love the ending of the year. I love the cleaning that we have been doing today to start the new year with some order in this house. I also love taking a few moments to celebrate the highs and lows of the last year. Obviously 2011 has been a hard year for us, but despite the Nightmare, we have truly had some wonderful moments with family and friends. Here is a quick (well not really) recap:)

New Years Eve last year was such fun as we had a progressive dinner with three other families. We are so thankful to be surrounded by such love here in our county. Here are Hope and David practicing air hockey before the guests arrived here for appetizers.

Rec basketball teammates! This picture is precious to me now, because the boys will not have anymore chances to be on the same team. Kyle was the tallest boy on our team, and David was the tiniest, but it was so fun to see both of my boys on the bench with Daddy coaching:) Because of David's one kidney, rough basketball is not allowable for him now so this picture is precious to me.

2011 was super snowy and here are my three cuties out in the snow:) We had a record number of snow days last year which is always stressful when your hubbie is the superintendent and has to make the snow call.

Pops and David got to enjoy some great VT hoops games last year and this one was a late one and David drifted off to sleep snuggled next to Pops. These two are truly BFF's.

Our three Valentine cuties!

Another teammate picture because they are so cute together:)

Not clear why this one is crooked, but here are Mike and David dressed for the day in their ties. David loves to dress up in his shirt and tie to look like his Daddy and Jeff:)

Easter! AFter having boys for so many years, I relish each year buying Hope a smocked Easter dress:)

Spring also means Little League and in 2011 my boy fell in love with pitching. He made All Stars and got to pitch in a big all star game to help his team. Momma gets nervous watching him pitch, but he amazes us that he remains cool and calm.

Little David had some Little League fun and played Tball! We are hoping he will be able to play some this spring if he has the energy.

At the diner for Hope Madeline's second birthday!!!

Rock Star's seventh birthday! That boy ate about five pieces of his own birthday cake at his party:) We had a joint party here at home for Hope and David with water slides and fun.

Golfing was super popular with Mike and Kyle this past summer, and one night I caught this cute picture of our two youngest waiting for Kyle and Mike to play the hole in our backyard. These two play so well together:)

While Mike was traveling Ashley and I took the kids to Wilderness at the Smokies for some sun and fun. We all had such fun and the weather was great.

We made a big girl room for Hope! We took the crib down and converted it to a big girl bed:)

Our friends from Orange County came and camped at Hungry Mother and Kyle and Brett got to spend some time together. One night I took them to play putt putt:)

In 2011 we learned that we have a water baby! Hope Madeline loved the pool and became quite a little fish. She would jump in by herself and swim underwater.

We had lots of fun times at the lake boating and tubing. Here are Kyle, Clayton and Hunter tubing. David even got brave enough to tube with Uncle Chad and we are so thankful for such a fun summer place to gather with family.

Right after preschool and big school started, we took a wonderful and magical trip to Disney. It is a trip none of us will forget and we are already planning a return trip when David's treatments are all over. It was truly a wonderful trip and it was hard to return to reality:)

Right after Disney, Ashley and Jason and I took David to see Jason Aldean! It was a wonderful concert and David had a BALL!

Here is a sweet picture from Special Games back in October. I love this picture because it shows the love betwen Daddy and son. We are so proud of our special games athlete and this picture melts my heart.

Pumpkin carving with AShley! She is a wonderful pumpkin carver and one afternoon before Halloween we carve lots of pumpkins. This year we went with church to a local pumpkin patch from a family at church and it was so much fun to get local pumpkins.

Down Syndrome Buddy Walk! This is always one of our favorite days to get together and celebrate the wonderful people in our lives with designer chromosomes.

At a fun family halloween party I realized that my man is one heck of an apple bobber! I am one lucky gal to be married to his apple bobbing stud!

The Williams hosted a family day at their farm for church and I took Hope and David. Kyle and Mike had basketball, so we stayed and had a wonderful day. David played so hard with his church friends and it was a beautiful fall day. Such wonderful memories! When we asked David where he wanted his remission party to be, he said "da farm" so hopefully we can party hard there next year when the nightmare is over.

Teaching preschool again has been a highlight of the year. Hope loves her preschool friends and I love teaching. I love the lesson planning, the kids, the families, and it is a perfect job to teach little hearts about Jesus.

This picture is precious to me because it was taken the weekend before the nightmare started. I got this bright idea to go to the lake and take Christmas pictures and Mike was sweet enough to go and help me. We realized when we got there that I matched the kids in red and black so he took my picture with my three babes. Little did we know how drastically our lives were getting ready to change.

That week before the nightmare started Ashley got some cute fall pictures of my kids outside playing in the leaves. This is another fall tradition that we have in our house.

The day before the nightmare here I am baking with my favorite girl. In 2011 I have found how much fun it is to bake with an eager little side kick. My boys like to bake, but my girl loves it! She perches right on the counter beside the mixer and we have made some special treats and memories here in this kitchen.

The night before the nightmare happened we celebrated AShley's birthday! Right after we ate this pizza and cookie cake, Ashley took David to basketball practice. When he came home was the first time we heard him say that his belly hurts.

Despite the drama and trauma this child endured in the hospital for all those days including major surgery, test after test, post-op PT (ouch), chemo and daily radiation, he continued to make us smiles with this amazing smile. We are so proud of our Rock Star for all that he has endured. He makes us all want to be better people. We love you angel boy:)

One of the best highlights of the year was our coming home party when we finally brought our Rock Star home on December 9th-Kyle's 10th birhtday. Our house was rocking with family and a few friends that came by to hug our necks and see the Rock Star.

The Thomas Musser Walk in early December was a wonderful encouragement to us as we saw first hand Team David in action. To get hugs from the Musser family that day was so awesome because they have been down this scary road we are traveling. They are such an inspiration to us.

I really should end with a Christmas picture of my three, but frankly this moment was one of the highlights of the year. I sobbed when I walked this angel back into the school and the arms of his teacher, Mrs. Hubble. I heard the roar of those students as they chanted "David David" and saw all the tears and smiles from the building, and it was a moment we will never ever forget. All those scary moments on 7 central and all those scary doctor consults faded away as I saw first hand the love for our boy. I still bawl thinking of the love flowing in that building that day.

2011 has been a hard year, but also a wonderful year of seeing first hand God's unfailing love and grace when we needed it the most. I believe I have prayed more in 2011 than ever before and I am thankful for a better prayer life. Happy New Years Eve! My man and I are going out on a quick date to celebrate another year together:)

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