We had a lot of snow and the coldest temps on record. I'm talking it was so cold we had almost 10 days of no school and one that was cancelled by the governor to protect the kiddies who have to wait at the bus stops. Seriously, it was so cold in below 0 weather that your face would hurt if you went outside even to get the mail!!
This ratty boy turned 4 years old this year. He's actually a pretty neat kid....very affectionate and full of conversation. He started his second year of preschool in September and definitely gives his teachers a run for their money!
We had 2 Spring Breaks to contend with this year which meant I had to get creative with the field trips. We made it to the Jackson Street Roundhouse/Train Museum, the History Center, and the Science Museum all in one week! It was a lot of fun for the boys and Jane. Maria and Molly didn't get a break from the online school. Monica's break didn't line up with the boys' and Jane's so she just spent the week resting at home. Tough life, I know!!
April saw awesome weather and another classic Easter Egg Hunt. Check out Jane's socks and sandals and those baskets made it yet another year! The boys and Jane are at the ready to scout out all the eggs in the front yard. Demolition had not begun yet so it was easier to stay clean in the sloppy spring weather. Phew!
Gabe made his First Holy Communion this year which was very special. He made it just before the onslaught of remodeling. Lucky kid!
Our sweet Elizabeth was born right after the school year was over. Literally, school was over on a Friday and she was born on Monday morning! We had the perfect June weather for having a newborn among us. Grandma came up from Texas and spent a month with us which was awesome. It was great to have her around to help with the remodeling and baby blues for me. It was a tough last month of pregnancy and first month with a newborn. I'm saying now that I'll never do that again, but you all know me too well to believe that!
Monica and Maria were sporting the red, white, and blue at the Italian American Club 4th of July picnic. Maria has probably until next summer with her braces. She's looking forward to having a million dollar smile like her older sister!
August saw the end of the remodel! We gained a larger garage, a wider entryway, an updated look, and a beautiful patio and garden to welcome visitors. The siding is growing on us as is all the extra space. To live through a remodel with a newborn is no small task so we are grateful it's all over!
September had everyone except Maria and Molly back to school. Lucas, Gabe, and Jane went to the Spanish Immersion school and Monica headed back to the high school. It wasn't until October that I decided to enroll the last homeschool holdouts into our parish school. So far so good. Everyone's happy and I have more time for the house, the baby, and Nick. I also get an occasional nap which is quite welcome!
Lucas turned 10 this year! My big boy, awesome helper, and handy man hit the double digits with a killer party for him and his friends and brothers at Zero Gravity. It was a fun time and easy for me and dad to celebrate how wonderful he is. He deserves it for his go with the flow attitude. His is such a helper to me at this age. I hope he knows how much I appreciate all his help and companionship with my many projects!
Paul and I celebrated our 16th Anniversary by going to the Minneapolis Christmas Market. It was so cold but fun to have spaetzle, Gluwein, strudel, and hot apple cider among all the German booths of ornaments, Nativity scenes, and Christmas stars. It was magical!
This last month of the year has been fun. I finally volunteered at the Spanish school for Lucas's class winter party. I was in charge of pictures for posting to the school site. We had fun with all the photo props!
We managed to get all our stockings except Elizabeth's (she didn't have one yet) hung up on the mantle. I'm glad Maria photographed the mantle because the plan for 2015 is to remodel the family room and kitchen. The mantle is going and we would like to make a build out over the brick to update the space.
Elizabeth is now 6 months and started sitting a week ago. She's also eating solids and sleeping through the night!!!
I also ventured out in 1 degree weather yesterday to take 5 of the kids sledding. Yes, I'm crazy, but we did have a lot of fun laughing and giggling down the steep, icy hill of hard-pack snow.
The plan for New Year's Day is skiing at Trollhaugen for the whole family. It should warm up to 20 degrees so it won't be as bitterly cold as it was sledding. My hope is to get on the slopes. We'll see how that goes. I consider myself a pretty valuable member of our family so being flat on my back with a broken arm or leg doesn't sound too good. On the upside, I'm super excited to start the 5th season of Downton Abbey.
Of course, I'm the only one in the house that's excited. Everyone else is excited about all the numerous electronic devices we've allowed into our home. Yes, we've succumbed to secular parenting, but we still try to lecture the kids on the evils and perils of social media, online gaming, and the like to which they usually yawn and go back to playing and posting! Well, you win some....
Happy New Year from Our Home