2009 was quite the year for our family and in an attempt to calm things down and really enjoy our Christmas season together the homemade, personalized Christmas cards took a year off (along with a few other things) and I'm sending our greetings via the blog.
Cameron had a busy spring working on the basement every spare minute. With lots of help from family he framed, insulated and wired the family room, toy room, laundry room and hallway before we turned it over to the professionals. Along with his crazy work schedule and finishing the basement he somehow managed to get in some training for his annual bike race in the fall. In September we took a family trip up to Jackson to cheer him on in Lotoja. It was his best year yet - he finished the 206 mile race from Logan, UT to Jackson Hole, Wyoming in 11.5 hours. At the end of the summer Albertsons sold all of their Utah stores to a new company. Only a few of the stores were not included in the sale and Cameron's was one of them. We were told that if they couldn't find a buyer for the remaining stores then they would be shut down. This was a huge stress for us, because they wouldn't give us a time line on when they planned to close so Cameron wasn't able to look for a new job. We were so afraid they would close the store without giving us any notice and he'd be jobless, but after a stressful fall we found out last week that his store has finally sold to a new company called Ridley's. Merry Christmas to us! It will change over in February and even though there will be some changes with insurance and how he's paid, we are so grateful that the uncertainty is over and that he has a job!
Emily began the year as always - taking care of the house and kids and teaching piano lessons. In January I joined a community choir called "The Sterling Singers" with my best friend which I LOVE. We practice every Sunday night and do choirsides and sacrament meetings and an occasional concert. I was also able to take a trip to Nauvoo, Illinois with my mom and sisters. In May the craziness began when I was released from my favorite calling ever (primary chorister) and called as the primary president in the ward. With over a hundred children in the primary and nursery, primary teachers that keep moving away and a recent change to the ward boundaries things have been truly chaotic! Cameron's help and support (as well as his ability to ignore the giant mess that is our home) have been key to my survival. In September I became a licensed teacher for a program called "Musikgarten" and started teaching a group music class for preschoolers out of my home. I could write paragraphs on how much I have loved doing this! I love that I am able to teach this class as well as my piano students out of my home and be here for my kids every day.
Olivia finished up kindergarten with flying colors, turned 6 and played in her first piano recital in June. She had a great summer playing with her friends, taking swimming lessons, doing a kids day camp through our local rec center, going to the cabin with our family and spending time with cousins. She started first grade in August at the brand new elementary school up the street, loves her class and teacher, joined a Daisy Girl Scout troop, lost a few teeth and as always keeps busy with lots of art projects and fun times with her grandparents, cousins and friends. She is a super big sister and a huge help to her mom!
Caleb is definitely all boy and adds lots of fun and energy to our home! He is taking after his dad in the tall and thin department, loves driving trains and trucks, playing and watching football and basketball with his dad, terrorizing Olivia, going to nursery, joining in with mom's Musikgarten class and "helping" to feed the dog and wash dishes. He turned 2 in November, is a great sleeper, a good eater and those dimples of his just make my day! We have had lots of good mommy/son time since Olivia started school and it's been good to get to know him one on one.
We are so grateful for another happy, healthy, crazy and joyful year together as a family. We are grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and our amazing family and friends. Thank you everyone for keeping in touch - we love you and hope you have a wonderful Christmas season!