"Brother and sister, together as friends, ready to face whatever life sends. Joy and laughter or tears and strife, holding hands tightly as we dance through life."

Meagan, Collin and Kaitlyn place their hands beside their handprints, which were pressed into our concrete porch slab that was poured and built back in 2002. Beside their prints are their initials and the year date.

These were the kids' hand sizes when they were 9, 5 and 4 years old. Meagan's hand size hasn't changed much, but Collin and Kaitlyn's hands have doubled in size!  Such a neat memory we can look back on.



Goodbye 2011- Hello 2012

Well before we say Happy New Year, lets catch up with the goings on of the end of the year...
We'll start in November...
One of our November traditions is our "Thankful Tree".   Todd finds us a small dead tree or branch and secures it in a pot.   Every evening after supper we write on a paper leaf something for which we are thankful.  The leaves are then attached to the tree.  By the end of the month we'll have about 150 leaves hanging from our Thankful Tree.  Here are some excerpts from the Thankful Tree...
"A loving dad who takes out the trash when I forget"- by Collin,  "A dad who fixes computers"- by Meagan,  "Librarians who wave late fees"- by Diona, "Warm towels to fold fresh from the dryer"- by Kaitlyn, "Cooler weather"- by Todd... a fun way to remind of our blessings 
November ended the fall Soccer season. It was a good season for most of the teams and the weather was perfect all season long!! It is fun to see the players progress every season. Collin is becoming a great goalie!
Collin's Soccer Picture
We celebrated Kaitlyn's 13th birthday with a celebration and dedication.  Todd challenged her with special 'tools' encouraging her on the path toward become a godly woman. We invited close friends to witness such a special occasion. 

Kaitlyn and Todd discussing her tools
Kaitlyn and her cake. The cake reads "A women who fears the Lord is to be praised... she is worth more then rubies".

Kaitlyn and the Mendez' Family
Kaitlyn and the French family, plus two the exchange students from Korea the Frenches hosted this past year.
Kaitlyn and the Dawson family
Kaitlyn and the Wilsons
Kaitlyn and the Millet family
A week after Kaitlyn's dedication, we celebrated her actual birthday. Kaitlyn got breakfast in bed, and her morning present which was toe socks, candy and a groupon (gotta love deals!) stating we purchased a horse-back trail ride. Meagan and Kaitlyn had a sister date full of horses and ice cream for dessert afterward.
Kaitlyn and Muse

Kaitlyn on Muse
Meagan was able to snap a picture during the ride... Meagan close up with Kaitlyn riding in the background

Kaitlyn and her snoopy cake... the outline of snoopy was made out of bakers chocolate. It turned out really cute!
Kaitlyn got a new mint green colored bike for her birthday
It's hard to believe we now have three teens! Where have the years gone?

Meagan, Collin and Kaitlyn sitting on the couch being goofy
We were able to visit my Grandma Mabel. It was great to see her!

Meagan, Dave, Collin and Kaitlyn with Grandma Mabel
Thanksgiving was celebrated with dear friends in our home. We enjoyed all the good food and wonderful fellowship.
Our yummy feast of turkey, carrots, oyster stuffing, buns, potatoes and gravy, corn and green bean casserole
And you can't forget about desserts! Pumpkin pie, chocolate cookie jelly bars, lemon bars, pecan pie, pumpkin roll, and banana bread.
The menfolk and kids watching "Punkin' Chunkin' "

The kids and mom's played a few rounds of Uno
Then December was upon us!
Many activities during the month of December.. guide dog meetings, inspections and paperwork for the re-opening of our home daycare, decorating for Christmas,  hosting Todd's staff dinner, the annual boat parade and parade of lights, baking and caroling.
Tim and Kavin playing Foosball before dinner
Doug, Kim, Diona and Meagan enjoying dinner
Dinner was great... even the babies enjoyed it
More people and chatting!

We enjoy caroling to people right before Christmas... even Dave came along!
Meagan and Dave enjoying the boat parade
The kids enjoyed riding in the back of Todd's truck for the drive-through light display... even Sadie joined the kids!
Dave and Meagan pose for a picture at their December puppy meeting

Dave wore the harness for the first time!
He looked so handsome!

On Christmas Eve we were invited to a friend's house for a traditional Chilean Christmas Eve dinner,  scripture reading and singing around the fire-pit. A wonderful way to begin our Christmas celebration.

Our yummy Chilean dinner!

Christmas day was a nice quiet day at home, just us!

Meagan and Collin
Todd and I with my Christmas present a Tandem bike! I have wanted one since I was 5 years old!
The day after Christmas Meagan, Collin and Kaitlyn started Horse Camp.  They spent all week mucking stalls, scraping hooves, learning to saddle and bridle a horse, walking and trotting.  Each day they came home exhausted and dirty but excited about going back the next day.  They have decided that a big farm is no longer on their wish list... but a couple horses would be a lot of fun!  They had a great time and were invited to hang out at the stable whenever they like.
Collin picking out Lucky's hooves
The kids on their horses getting ready to play red light, green light.

Meagan really enjoyed working with Cheyenne a draft horse

Kaitlyn on Whiskey Girl
The last day of camp, Meagan, Collin and Kaitlyn were able to trot... they really enjoyed it!
Meagan, Collin and Kaitlyn with Roxane and Roxane's horse Boogie in the background

Before we knew it New years Eve was upon us and time for more celebratory fun! We spent some time at a friend's house in the afternoon then home to watch the ball drop, shoot off firecrackers and bang pots and pans at midnight.

Now we're into the new year! WooHoo! Happy New Year!!
We're excited to see what this year brings!!
May God bless you this year as you live to please him.