Monday, December 26, 2011

2011 Year in Review

We started to remodel/redecorate my Kitchen in January and ended in March.  Click here to read all about it.

We still need to add the white hinges and I still need to finish my curtain for the door.  We also painted the main living room, however there is an over hang (duct) that needs to be painted still and the back doors. 

Todd and I completed our ballroom/social dancing classes.  The very last class we were not as into it, I think because of Joshua's upcoming graduation and Kera being near the end of her pregnancy.  We have talked about re-taking some of the classes because we do miss it but nothing set in stone as of yet.

Our garden was pretty successful this year, I was able to do some canning, however I did not get to as many tomatoes as hoped due to the later start with planting and having to pick them while they were green due to the frost. 

I was able to work on a few DIY projects (I will have a new tab for DIY Projects in a couple of days):

Double Tier Cake Stand
Decorated plates for my Kitchen wall

Nursery Wreath
Diaper Cake

Frame Make-Over
Butterfly Canopy for a little girl's room

So many changes at work due to down sizing and the economy.  I do not think the end is here either or at least the writing on the walls are indicating this.

Travel:  We were able to get out and do somethings this year.

End of July we went to Chicago for a couple of days as a family.  This family vacation Kera did not come due to the baby, however all of the other children went with us.  Our first day there did not go as planned at all due to weather, we spent the day at Shed's aquarium.  
The next day we went to Six Flags and around dinner time we found out that someone broke into our locker and stole his wallet, all of his ids, cards, and a lot of cash was stolen.  We cut the evening short after that and went home.  This vacation was not that great. 

We (Todd and I) took Kera and the baby to Amana Colonies. It was an enjoyable afternoon. 

Todd, Ethan, Noah, and I went to the Iowa State Fair.  It's been a few years since any of us have gone.   We enjoyed the few hours we were there.
Todd and I went to Wisconsin to the House on The Rock.  It was a great weekend vacation for the two of us.  We never were able to take our mothers this past November. 
Todd and I asked the younger two boys if they wanted to take a drive up the Mississippi River, they did not want to go because they thought it would be boring.  It was a wonderful fall drive.  We plan to go next September to the state park we stopped at because they have a butterfly garden and this is during the peak season.

We went to the City of Sand this year. I just heard that the city will be cutting back on funding for entertaining events to make up for some deficits.  I understand the reasoning but I am in hopes we will have another opportunity to go to this function.

The girls moved out in May, however last month was the first we have not had to assist them.  It has been very stressful.

Kera had her baby early... June 6th.  Taj Alan, our first grand child.  He is such a gift and his entire family adores him.  He has definitely bonded this family with one another.

Matthew found a job a week or two before the new school year and was able to enroll in classes.  He is still in the dorms this year, however his dorm mates and he just put a deposit down for renting house next August.  Housing goes that fast,you have to snag one nearly a year in advance to find one down town near the University. 

Joshua had a very busy year with it being his Senior year and being so active.  He made Large Group Speech again but this year it was in Choral Reading his least favorite.  The director did an awesome job with them and the selection that this year's Choral Reading was my absolute favorite Large Group Speech of all time.  They made it to All State, they did not win the Director's Choice but their feedback from him was very positive.

Swing Choir did the best they have done in several years taking 1s in ratings and they even won the Grand Winner once.  Here is a clip of one of the performances.  This is the song they took best male vocal with.  Excellent job signing and well as choreography.  One of my favorites.

He was in the Spring Musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.  He had couple of roles and even had a little solo in it. 

He also participated in a couple of community musicals.  One the Director of his Choral Reading directed and asked him if he would play this very minor role in A Little Night Music.  He was also Riff, leader of the Jet in West Side Story.

Joshua graduated in May and started college at the University of Iowa in August.

Ethan began high school this year and has his driving permit.  He participated with Spirit Week during the week of Homecoming.  I was very pleased that he has school spirit.  He is my very introverted child.
Nerd Day
First Dance...Homecoming

Noah is in his last year at the elementary level.  Noah and I worked on a couple of projects.  Pioneer Westward Ho
and this year a Pyramid project. 

Todd and I have not had much spirit after the summer ended, so many things going on.  In Mid-October we found out my Dad has Liver Cancer while he was here in Iowa City going through testing to see if he could be a candidate for a Liver Transplant, they found another questionable spot (this was November 1st).  December 6th he had surgery to remove the spot on the Adrenal Gland, only to find the gland was filled with cancer so they removed the entire thing.  They also found his liver is worse than they first thought.  He has to go 6 months now without any new cancer popping up nor the tumor increase in size in his liver in order to be on the list for a transplant.  Due to the condition of his liver chemo and radiation is out of the question, the only hope is a new liver. 

I am not sure if either of my older boys will be returning to college in January.  Matthew is due to procrastination.  Joshua is finances.  He did not save any of the money he has made and did not make one payment, he is trying to have this past semester removed.  If they do not remove it then when he does go back he will be on academic probation.  He did not use his time wisely one bit.

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