Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas 2013

I can't believe how quickly time flies... I'm not ready for these little ones to be so grown up! Be sure to read our earlier posts about our vacation to Ohio and Michigan this year.


Zachary is in 5th grade and will be 11 (!!!) on December 30. He is a great student and grumbles about homework, like all kids, but will be willing sit down to knock it out so that he can go play. He has made great progress in baseball and continues to break his own personal records in swimming. He earned the Jamie Hess award for summer swim team this year, the only award given to swimmers on the team, in recognition of his hard work and sportsmanship. He has the lead role tomorrow night in the school play, as the Star of Bethlehem. I can truly see him becoming a young man before my eyes in his thoughtful actions. We are so blessed that he is who he is.

Bella is 8 and a half and in 3rd grade. She and Zachary are both still in Catholic school at our church, which we could not love more than we do. She almost always brings home As and despises homework, putting it off most days as long as we will let her. She scored 24 goals in her 8 soccer games this year and placed in several events at Champs for summer swim team, beating out the majority of the swimmers her age in our area. She still enjoys girl scouts and wants to have friends over pretty much every day of the week. She was cast as Mary in tomorrow's play. She is willingly the super glue that holds together our kids, always wanting to pull Zachary and Annie together to make beautiful "music." We am so grateful that she is in our lives.

Annie is 4 and started preschool this year. She also takes a ballet and tap class as well as swimming lessons. She loves them all and starts off each day by asking where we are going. She is kind, yet energetic, and quick to say "I love you." She continuously wants to play games and even work on letters and writing! We were also just given the amazing news that her kidneys are in great shape (we knew she had complications with them before she was born). I know she's going to be another bright star at whatever she does in life. I cannot imagine our family without her.

Joey can't be old enough to have an almost 11 year old, 8 and a half year old, and 4 year old, right?  Regardless, I had a wonderful year with my family.  I coached Bella's soccer team watching her grow and dominate her league.  Yes, I had a much better coach (me) to star (Bella) relationship than the Redskins do with Shanahan and RGIII.  I also filled in when needed on Zachary's baseball team both spring and fall as a batting practice pitcher and first base coach.  I also was a timer for Zachary's and Bella's swim meets this summer including a promotion to head timer for the Champs meet.  I love playing board and card games with Annie when she asks (and she asks frequently).  Our favorite right now is UNO.  We also spent quality time as a family at Kings Dominion once a week from April to October.  Zachary, daredevil that he is, took me on thrill rides that I never thought I would ride such as Intimidator and Crypt.  I am one lucky guy to have such a wonderful wife and 3 spectacular kids.

Heather is so blessed to still be home with the kids and making a little extra money by working for a local puppet theatre company. She is serving her third and last year as the school PTO president, and also still working on the annual school auction. She does still spend an awful lot of her day cleaning up cat puke, futilely picking up after small people, and stuck in the never-ending laundry cycle.

We are wishing you much love, health, and happiness in 2014.