Friday, December 14, 2012

Merry Christmas from the Barbers, 2012 style!

We ordered our Christmas Cards this week and instead of including a "letter" in them,  I mentioned our blog address.  I wanted to have a digital copy of our 2012 recap so here we go!

2012 has proven to be yet another busy year!

January:  We experienced unusually warm weather for Iowa.  The kids enjoyed the time outside a little bit more and we watched many Newell-Fonda basketball games.

February: Austin turned 2.  Grandma Kacky and Poppa G came from Texas for his party.  We finally got a reasonable amount of snow so we could sled and Alexis participated in her first ever pageant at her friend Mia and Mary's birthday party.

March:  Justin turned 31 and we celebrated by using our "Get-out-of-the-trailer-fund" to purchase a house in Newell.  With the help of friends from church, we moved our "stuff" over to the garage of the house while we stayed with my parents for a few weeks months.  Thanks Mom and Dad.  The stay was much longer than anticipated but was a blessing in so many ways.

April:  This might have been the start of one of the busiest seasons of our lives.  We taught all day long, coached Jr. high track (together),  Alexis played soccer, we started remodeling our house, and we celebrated my Grandpa Nieland's 85th birthday.

May: Just when you think things can't get any busier......  We were still teaching full time, coaching track, watching soccer and softball and baseball started.  Justin coached baseball and Alexis played softball.  More house remodeling., Alexis won a poetry contest and read her poems to a crowd in Pomeroy, and we went on a Memorial Day family fishing trip.  Thankfully, we celebrated the end of the school year (May 18th...earliest ever!), because baseball and softball games started. Games every night!

June:  We celebrated the beautiful wedding of Rachel and BJ (best friend from HS to cousin BJ), LOTS of softball and baseball games, we took time to go to RiseFest (Outdoor Christian concert), spent some very quality time at the "apple tree farm" (mom and dad's farm/orchard), played golf in a mother/daughter/son golf league night, and of course, more house remodeling.

July:  July was one of my favorite months.  LOTS of days with the kids at the pool (my favorite), made some good friends during those long pool days, 4th of July parade watching, a trip to Des Moines to visit old friends while the kids had a good time at The Shanks, friend Kristen's baby shower and you guessed it.....More remodeling.

August:  We finally got our house done enough so we could move in.  I'm sure my parents were ready for us to have our own space but I'm not going to was a bit of an adjustment moving back into town. A couple more trips to the pool, daddy ran his first 5K race with Austin in tow, an annual trip to the great Iowa State Fair and Adventureland with Ang and Kenley, and school started.

September: Put some finishing touches on our Kitchen, Alexis turned 8, and another visit from Grandma Kacky and Papa G, co-worker and friend's (another Rachel) wedding in Dubuque, friend BobbiAnn's baby shower,  our first fall in a house with mature trees (beautiful!) and Justin and I co-taught our first Financial Peace University class to 25 people in the Newell area.

October:  Aron (my brother) married co-worker and friend, Crystal.  Our family celebrated the beautiful wedding in Maquoketa, IA on a georgeous fall day.   We settled into our house a little more, took a trip to the Pumpkin Patch in Fort Dodge the kids trick-or-treated.

November:  Beautiful fall weather continued and Austin enjoyed a few days outside with Papa Bruce helping with the Cows. Alexis started pre-team gymnastics in Storm Lake (2 hours x 3 days/week) and we celebrated all of our blessings with a 60 degree day and lunch with my family at my Grandma Donna and Papa Ike's house and we put up our Christmas decor for the first time since we moved back to Newell.

December: Alexis had her first gymnastics recital, Justin shot his first deer (and hopefully last ;) of the season, and we are going to Texas for 9 days at the end of the month.

In addition to the monthly activities above, in 2012....we co-taught Financial Peace University for 9 weeks,  Justin is also serving at youth group weekly, he part of the music worship team on Sundays, we attend a couple's small-group, and more.

As you can see, we kept busy....

Life is busy.  Too busy.  I like being active but not to the point where we have no "margin".  We didn't have much margin at all in 2012.  Our goal for 2013 is to create more margin.   I thought moving to Newell would be the "ticket" for us to live a less hectic life.  It's not.  It's just as busy.  We may not spend an hour a day in the car but it's a different busy.

I hope that you had an excellent 2012 and an even better 2013!

Merry Christmas!
The Barbers