Robert and Natalie return to the states for the holidays and the BradenClan makes its annual Christmas Trek to Perry's at Daytona Beach.
A good month. Karen moved back into the Valrico area so we'll see more of her and the triplets. And the "kitchen project" was just about completed. New cabinets, new tile, two new appliances, and wood laminate flooring replacing carpet in the family room. Also the Braden Gang (Robert and Natalie in England) are experiencing great success with their campus mission. Uh, did anyone mention that it's the Braden Gang+ as Natalie is expecting and due in May. Well, maybe the mission activities in England were not all that busy.
This was get-away month, as Bonnie and I slipped out for a four-day cruise to Cozumel. The ship left from Tampa on a Thursday and returned on Monday morning. Yes, we were spoiled. Our Cozumel "tour" was an ATV adventure along jungle trails and there we were throwing mud up in the air ten feet. Good fun. We also got to watch the Tampa Bay Rays win the ALCS. More good fun. Also, Mom returned from her stay in Indiana so we're glad to have her around again.
Bonnie has been spending time with our church's Deaf Ministry, especially in helping with the after-school program. Steve Roberts is now the proud owner of a new home; well, actually, more than 50 homes as - with the help of his father - he purchased a trailer park on a great piece of property that onw day could be work more by itself than all the mobile homes on it. Of course now Steve gets to help play maintenance man and a few other functions needed to keep things shipshape.
This was a busy month. We started with a get away for a weekend at Tradewinds, which was great. Then back to teaching Kindergarten for Anne; starting teaching a three-day-a-week 3-year-old class for Sandra; first grade for Seth; and third grade for Savanah. Plus this was the beginning of my 4-day-a-week work schedule, which I asked for. And then there was the Olympics. I don't know which "sport" I slept through best: gymnastics or synchronized swimming. Actually gymnastics would be better if it were full contact gymnastics, Put two oposing team members on each end of the balance beam and let them try to knock each other off; the last one remaining gets the points. Or for the mat exercise, put two full teams on the mat and let them play King of the Hill, throwing opposing team members off the mat. The last team remaining gets the points. Or maybe for the rings, let opposing team members each get one ring and try to kick the opposing team off its ring, kind of like the American Gladiator TV shows.
This was Family Cruise month, thanks to my mother. Nanny sponsored a total of 22 of us on a great cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Key West to Cozumel and back. Yeah!!! And we are ready to do it again.
Of course the fantastic highlight of the month was Natalie and Robert's wedding on a lake in Fayetteville, Georgia.
For Memorial Day weekend we made the traditional trip to the Hyatt with Sandra and the kids (Steve was sick). To say they loved it is an understatement.
April was Perry's. Of course many months are Perry's, our favorite get-away spot at Daytona Beach.
What happened in March. Hmmmm. Hard to think of anything important. Well, except maybe Robert and Natalie got engaged!!! After somewhere around three years of hanging out together, then getting to be steady, then a couple, then whatever it is called, they finally made it official. And you need to check out that ring! Weddings plans are being decided. My money is sometime in June. Stay tuned.
What do you do when you obviously have too much time on your hands? The answer is that you take on a home project. This is one that we've been fooling with for a while now, so it was time to get serious. Yes, kitchen remodeling! And you know we'd get serious about the time the stock market was taking a dive. But any any rate there we were with computer designs, patterns, and plans. Who would know that it might be easier to buy a new house than put a new kitchen in an old house.
A New Year; therefore New Year Resolutions and the resulting guilt trip for not following them. But I did make mine and decided to post them on my computer. While doing so I ran a search of "resolutions" and was helped to recall that I'd also recorded my resolutions for 2006. Unfortunately they greatly resembled my 2008 resolutions. I guess that is an A for consistency and a D- for execution. This month we were back out at Steppin' Stone Farm twice for volleyball, which was fun and rewarding. But the ultimate highlight of the month was skiing in Colorado with Tom and Marilyn MacIver at Copper Mountain. A wonderful time!