Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Wrap-Up, Because It's The Thing To Do

It seems like everyone is doing a year-end wrap-up, so I feel like I should, too.  I was going to try to be all creative in some way, but this year has been exhausting!  And I was going to try to include some pictures, but my server (where the photos are stored) is not cooperating and my husband is exhausted, too, so I'm not going to bug him about it right now.  In the meantime, enjoy this very boring, wordy list created from the best of my recollection.  (Items within each month are listed in no particular sequence.)

- Mama Flock began.
- Unlimited texting on my regular, unsmart cell phone -- because I was going over my limit monthly.
- Our new Bosch dishwasher was installed.
- Z & O began kung-fu classes.
- We visited the Bosque del Apache, which was particularly disappointing compared with past visits!
- S, H, J began art classes, which continued through February.
- S saw the play, The Hiding Place, with friends.
- J & O began a weekly science class offered at the library for homeschoolers, which lasted through April.
- H built his first Pharoah's Quest Lego set (he'd been waiting forever for the release of these).
- My youngest sister and her family visited us in NM for their first time.
- I went to the E.R. with chest pains and was sent home same day.

- Weather was cold, cold, cold and there was a lot of snow.
- H turned 11 on Superbowl Sunday and celebrated with friends and a football theme.
- Test results showed my chest pains were probably "Costochondritis" (or rib-swelling).
- Hosted a Valentine's Day party with other homeschoolers we knew.
- J & I flew to help my youngest sister and her family move to NM to be closer to us (and for awhile, they lived in our house making it population: 12).
- Took Z to the doctor for a rash that turned out to be some kind of "seasonal bumps" that he may get every winter now.
- C made the meal to feed the youth members participating in our church's 36-hour famine fundraiser (you know, once it was over and they all got to eat again).
- Many dentist appointments.
- H attended a basket-weaving course.
- Z turned 9 and attended his first Monster Truck Rally with Daddy and his brothers; went to the zoo with the rest of the family the next day.
- I joined a women's Bible Study group with my sister and did the study, Becoming More Than a Bible Study Girl.
- H's flag-football team practices and games started back up.
- We bought an income property locally (house number three for us, including the one we live in and the one we used to live in back in New England, which we rent out now).

- Took a walk in the bosque on a beautiful day.
- O taught himself to do near-perfect cartwheels.  Everyone else practiced theirs.
- My sister and her family moved out of our house and into their new home here locally.
- S, J and I attempted to take a Zumba class with my sister and nieces -- we lasted a few weeks.
- H attended Lego Camp for a week.
- C began preparing meals for most of the church's Men's Breakfasts and even shared his testimony at this month's.

- Saw Soul Surfer at the theater.
- Celebrated 19 years of marriage.
- Bought our 15-passenger van.
- C turned 38.
- Celebrated Easter with family and friends, including a backyard egg-hunt and a delicious meal made by C.
- S attended her first prom (I drove 14 teens and chaperoned the dance).
- S attended her first youth group weekend retreat (I drove them up, C drove them home in a snowstorm).

- Started hitting up the yard sales with my sister to get stuff for her new house.
- The guys and kids gave my sister and me a wonderful Mother's Day dinner (homemade and served to us by the most darling wait-staff).
- End of season for H and we attended his team banquet and pool party.
- My mom visited for a few days and my sister and I took her to a ladies' dinner out to celebrate her Mother's Day.
- Bought an Atari game system off (and still have yet to hook it up).
- J lost her first tooth.
- Took H to the eye doctor to get an updated eye glasses prescription.
- Celebrated the end of school year 2010-11 and took the kids to Chuck E. Cheese's.
- H started attending youth group.
- Took J to the E.R. when she fell on her scooter in the road and split open her chin.  They bandaged her up and no stitches were required because it wasn't that deep.  She'll have a scar there forever though.

- Fires in Arizona blew ash all over New Mexico and our air quality was horrific.
- Took O to the doctor for ear infection and respiratory issues (all of us asthmatics were struggling, but he was the worst).
- S turned 16 and celebrated with friends at Hinkle Family Fun Center.
- Two-week road trip to Orlando, FL and back so C could attend a work-conference (and nobody died).
- Celebrated Father's Day on the road.
- S attended a week at camp with her youth group.
- Began attending summer movie series, weekly into August -- saw some great family movies for cheap.
- Went to the community pools at least once a week all summer with my sister and nieces.
- J started kung-fu classes with her brothers.
- All the kids attended and/or volunteered at VBS.

- Our air conditioning broke.  It was hot.
- O lost his first two teeth (two days apart).
- Kids all saw the doctor for well-child checks.  J was diagnosed with asthma (and that makes five of us in the family now).
- Z attended an Isotopes game with a friend.
- H attended a Lobos game with a friend.
- Celebrated Independence Day with a neighborhood bike-parade, swimming at the community pool and an impromptu potluck at the park with family and friends while watching community fireworks.
- Hosted a baby shower at our house with about 40 guests in attendance.  C cooked all the food and it was delicious!
- J taught herself to tie shoes.  Not that she really ever wears shoes with ties (she's pretty much a croc-girl year-round).

- Took a break from Kung-Fu for the rest of summer (and still haven't gone back, even though the kids keep begging -- it's just so early on Saturday mornings!).
- O attempted to run away from home.
- I witnessed my first-ever live birth.  What a blessing for an adoptive-only mother to be able to experience that (and be reminded what a blessing it is that I've never had to live through that kind of pain, ha).
- Our air conditioning was finally fixed after about five weeks without it.  Thank you, Jesus!
- Z ran away from home and to our friends' house.  They returned him later.
- More dentist appointments.
- C had a business trip, so I was alone with the kids for a few days.
- H, Z and O ran away from home together and spent hours of the day playing in the arroyo near our house before coming back.
- My parents visited and took us to a fancy dinner at Corn Maiden.
- My other sister visited and we played as much Yahtzee and Scrabble as we could manage.
- Rewarded the kids for meeting their summer reading challenge by taking them to Hinkle Family Fun Center.  There O knocked two more teeth loose on the bumper boats and they came out the next evening bringing the count up to four missing teeth (J was so jealous). 
- I got really frustrated one day and decided I would run away (just for a little while) and went to my sister's to cool down and refocus.  I went home after 20 minutes.  Later that night, though...
- S ran away from home for five days.

- After many hours of effort by friends and many, many prayers, we finally got S back home again.  Praise God she was safe.
- Started the 2011-12 school year.
- I turned 38 and C took me away for a weekend without kids (our first in six years).
- Took Z to the eye doctor where he was prescribed his first set of eye glasses.
- Z had first modeling job as he was photographed during the eye exam for an article on the doctor for the local newspaper.
- I started daily walks with the kids.
- H and Z began a science class offered for homeschoolers at the library that lasted through November.
- J had first cavity (filled) and H got first sealants.

- International Balloon Fiesta and lots of balloon chasing and photographing.
- Visited the Hot Air Balloon Museum.
- Saw Dolphin Tale in the theater.
- Took the kids to walk in the bosque -- it was rich with beautiful autumn colors.
- S began a Teen Celebrate Recovery program (and it's been going great!).
- Our church's Family Retreat (this year it was a stay-treat where we served the local community) - C prepared all the meals for participants.
- J turned 7.  She got a new bike (with no training wheels!) and we went to the pumpkin patch, sort of.
- S had her first date (chaperoned) and her first break-up.
- I coordinated the Harvest Festival and Trunk-or-Treat at church and ran the photo booth, while C prepared the food to be served.
- I took the kids to see Charlotte's Web (the play) at UNM.

- One-week road trip to Salt Lake City, UT and back (still, no one died) for another of C's work conferences.
- C took H and Z to see Mad Science: Star Trek Live on stage at UNM.
- I started looking into couponing and finding mild, beginner's success.
- Mama Flock celebrated its 100th post.
- Began the Truth in Tinsel curriculum with J & O.
- Took the kids (and some of our friends) to see the Nutcracker on stage at UNM.
- Hosted Thanksgiving for my parents (who were visiting) and my sister's family. C cooked most everything.  Delicious.
- Made another room switch for the kids -- hopefully the last, for a while.
- J moved out of our bedroom (about time!) and still hasn't tried to come back.

- Started to "forget" to walk daily with the kids as the weather got colder.
- Got way more snow than the past few Decembers.
- Got a new artificial Christmas tree (umbrella-style, with prestrung lights -- la di dah!).
- Took our kids and my sister and nieces to see Arthur Christmas at the theater.
- Took our kids to see Mariachi Christmas on stage at UNM.
- S coordinated a Hats for the Homeless drive.
- Our church's Christmas Dinner Theater -- I coordinated the decorations and C coordinated the meal for the event.
- Took Z, J and O sledding.
- Hosted Christmas for my sister's family -- so fun with nine kids' noise all day long -- and of course, C prepared our delicious meal!  (Don't know if you're seeing a pattern here, but C definitely does tons of cooking.)
- O turned 7.  He got a new bike (without training wheels!) and celebrated at Peter Piper's Pizza.

To recap...
We did some stuff.  C made some stuff.  I taught some stuff.  Many of us tried to escape the craziness that is our family and failed.  We discovered we're stuck with one another.  And that it's a good thing.

We paid for many auto repairs over the course of the year (but I can't remember which months and which repairs -- trust me that there were a lot of them).  We tried to make sound financial decisions amidst a complex economy, all the while remembering that this money we call our own is not ours, but His and all provision is from Him alone.  We learned to trust Him more.

We saw, we played, we went, we learned, we experienced, we celebrated, we grew, we made a lot of mistakes and we grew some more.  Much of it is a blur, but all of it is still somehow quite memorable when we take a moment to really think back.

In the end, I think we're all better people for the experiences we've had this year.  And we are more prepared now for whatever 2012 has in store.

May you be blessed in the new year.  See you then.


  1. This was very informative.

    I didn't realize you started this blog in January! Wow!

  2. Thanks for taking the time to read it. Sorry it wasn't prettier. :-\

  3. It was a very eventful year!!

  4. Again, I don't know how you do it! I love you. Mom

  5. I love you, too. And honestly, without Christ, I'm nothing. Through Him all things (and all this!) are possible.