Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year's Letter 2014

2013 was quite the year! A lot happened. Most of it uneventful and lost to memory already. Sad isn't it? We stayed busy, did a little traveling, reached some goals and set some new ones. Here are the highlights.

In May we bought a house. A beautiful house with enough room for us to settle in comfortably and never want for more. The kids are safely back upstairs where their clutter is out of sight, for the most part. The front yard is still a blank slate waiting for landscaping brilliance to hit, hopefully this spring.
June and July were full of Girl's Camp, Youth Conference, EFY and a trip to TN. While in TN we picked up a new puppy to train for Charity's mom. Bandit was a treat to have around once Chewy got used to him. In fact, Dorothy felt bad taking him home in September. So she made a trade. Chewy now has a pesky little sister in every sense of the word. Rosalie wants whatever he has, even if there is another one just like it in front of her.

In September, Kiah and Charity also went to a Writer's Conference. They've both got the fever!

November and the first week of December was filled with Nathan "Swapping Up!". He started with our 7.5 foot Christmas tree that he bought for almost nothing off the store floor after Christmas 2 years ago. He swapped it straight across for a 9 foot tree, which he then sold for $100 so he could buy a 12 foot tree that cost $125. He got a 12 foot Christmas tree for $25! He's really proud of that.

The rest of the year sped by before we knew what happened.

Nathan has been at Wal-Mart for a full year now and still loves everything about it. He loves what he’s doing and that spills over into our home life. It’s great to have him back “with” us. Nathan spent half the year in the Branch Presidency until being called to the High Council. At first he was sad about the change since he felt like he was just getting to know people and how to best help our Branch President. However, he loves getting to work with our Stake Presidency and High Council. He’s learning lots, traveling lots and working hard.

Charity’s first book was published in February and she’s spent a lot of time marketing. Her favorite book signings from the year were her release party in Charlotte, NC, the Farmer’s Market in Bentonville, and Hastings in Murfreesboro, TN where she got to visit with some good friends from high school. She’s trying to find the time to finish the second book in the series while also trying to be a better mom and homemaker. She’s working with the Branch’s Young Women and loving every minute of it.

Kiah is a junior this year! Where is the time going? She’s got her driver’s permit but never wants to drive. Here are the things she spends the most time on: school, viola, church and seminary which includes completing her YW Personal Progress for the second time, crafts, reading, Minecraft, caring for her puppy Rosie and watching Doctor Who. She watched Firefly for the first time this year and is considering joining the Browncoats.

Ashlee is chomping at the bit to get her driver’s permit and will probably do so this summer. As a freshman, she enjoys her French class (where she makes better grades than English), choir and going to the football games with her friends. She loves popcorn, cooking, oh and more popcorn! Never mind she still has her braces (hopefully coming off the end of this month), she eats way more popcorn than any normal person should. Ash ran/walked her first ½ marathon last April and is NOT convinced she should actually train and give it another try. She's always saying, “SweeTarts are amazing!” Her other catch phrase is, “Oh! Shots fired.”

Adam started band this year and is making great progress on the trumpet. He practices every day and even goes out into the driveway so the entire neighborhood can hear him. He’s taught himself Taps, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday and is currently working on the Star Wars Theme. He spends hours (I know I shouldn’t admit that!) watching Minecraft videos and then building cities and other amazing things on the game. It’s hard to believe that he will be 12 in six short months, joining the Young Men’s program and getting the priesthood. Once again, where is the time going?

Cole is our entertainer. Just ask him to sing Treasure for you. Seriously, this kid is like a sponge for song lyrics and tunes. He sings and dances with the radio every time we are in the car. Although he’s in his third school (and only in the 1st grade!) he’s finally adjusting to the move. There are loads of boys in the neighborhood for him to play with and that’s been a huge help. And Cole is ALL BOY. For instance, at our church Christmas party he was working on a craft. When he finished he brought it to us and said, “Look, I gave Mary nun-chucks!”
And finally, for your viewing pleasure...


the solomon family said...

Catching up on blog reading today!!! Your family and new home are beautiful!!!!

Charity Bradford said...

Thank You!