January was cold and snowy, but absolutely beautiful! Cinnamon and Paprika helped with a community service project with Girl Scouts to hold a Pretty Princess Ball (father-daughter) dance.
Allspice was selected to represent the Boy Scouts in the annual Report to State. We all went to the state capital. We had fun touring the capital and learning about our state government.
|This is Allspice with our Attorney General (L) and Lieutenant Governor (R)|
We spent many hours getting ready for Cinnamon and Paprika's Irish dance show! They danced to a sold out crowd of more than 700 people! Allspice found himself knee deep in Chemistry.
April was all about brush cutting. We cleaned up downed trees and limbs from the last winter, thinned trees, and cleared brush. All in all, we spent a combined effort of 265 hours cleaning up 14 acres!
We celebrated Mother's Day and visited Dan's folks in Walla Walla. For Mother's Day, I received a bundt pan from Cinnamon, who still bakes me cakes with it!!!!
June was spent reading and studying. Cinnamon and Paprika danced for Elk Days and helped teach at an Irish dance camp. Allspice was a flag bearer for the first annual Flag Day Parade. Father's Day was spend doting on Dan :) Oh...and of course, there was some fishing!
July brought the familiar signs of summer. Wildlife was abound! We began a new adventure hosting a foreign exchange student from France. I spent time with some dear friends and kayaked for the first time across what seemed to be a very long lake.
|I am on the left, by the way.|
In August we went on our family vacation to Bend, Oregon. We visited Crater Lake and the lava beds surrounding the area. We spent time in pitch black lava caves, hiking, seeing geological wonders like the pinnacles, and had a wonderful time! I even managed to find some snow to play with!
September brought some changes. The kids began studies in earnest again, working on dual credits to earn both college and high school credits. The girls began new Irish dance classes with a new group called the Haran Irish Dancers. Grandma Shirley came for a visit and we enjoyed going to the fair with her. The days were still warm, and Dan still manned the BBQ!
We spent some time outdoors raking pine needles and getting ready for winter. Cinnamon and Paprika danced for the Fall Festival of Arts. Allspice continued to lead his scout troop as the senior patrol leader. All three volunteered to help with our church Halloween Carnival.
November was filled with baking and cooking. We traveled to Walla Walla for Thanksgiving. Dan, Allspice, and Cinnamon spent time deer hunting. And we celebrated two very special 16th birthdays.
The final month of the year was spent celebrating. I had a birthday and turned....never mind. Allspice reached the magical age of 18. Dan turned 50. Cinnamon and Paprika danced for a group called Musical Strings. Allspice reached the end of his Boy Scout troop days with fond memories and a twinge of sadness. He will continue scouts through the Order of the Arrow, but it was the close to a very long chapter in his life. We spent the month of Advent preparing and enjoying our family. We are so blessed. Christmas was a time of joy and family, reflection and fun, quiet and peace, laughter and the blessings of a wonderful feast.
As I look back on the year, I realized just how blessed I am. The year had its ups and downs, but we weathered the storms together and we sailed the calm waters hand-in-hand. God is so good to us! Thank you Lord for the gift of family! I look forward to the new year and the new adventures that await.