Anyway, 2014. Some highlights as they come to me, not necessarily in chronological order.
1. Surgeries, three of them. CI number 2, followed by a bunch of tests leading up to an adenoidectomy and then the pharyngeal flap just a few months ago. It was a long year medically. But the outcome has been terrific. James's hearing is very good, his comprehension amazing, and his speech is finally progressing. Surgery stinks, and James still talks about them and how he doesn't like them. I reassure him that surgery is finished and we move on until the next time he remembers. It was all worth it though.
2. Homeschool. We finished up kindergarten and second grade and I reevaluated what I was doing for this school year. I backed off a LOT on formal curriculum. We read a LOT of books, about all sorts of things. If I can breed kids who love to read, everything else will come. Well, let's make that kids who love to read AND who know all their math facts! Liana is my mini-me-bookworm. She devours books well above her grade level. But make the child write more than one sentence and her hand is going to fall off. Or so she thinks. Aedan is slowly becoming a more willing reader, now that we have found books that keep his attention. James is still working on learning the alphabet, but he's about 75% there. He loves to look at books, though, and he enjoys me reading to him. He will get there. He still has in-home therapy as well as private speech. But we are contemplating sending him to school in the fall, if not sooner. We'll see. Emotionally and developmentally he is still pretty far behind his six years.
3. Sports. Aedan played Upward basketball and enjoyed it. Then we had two seasons of baseball, spring and fall. My boy loves his baseball. And he's good. That's not just me being a biased mom. He really is a natural ball player. We did have a bitter disappointment at not making the tournament team, and there was great outrage both in our house and in many other parents as well who felt he deserved a spot. He graduated to kid pitch in the fall season. Kid pitch. is. rough. Lots of walks, lots of strike outs. Not a lot of hitting or scoring most of the time. But he had a lot of fun and is ready to play again. Liana played her first season of Tball, and was surely the most enthusiastic child on the field at every game. Both of them certainly inherited their father's athletic ability, thank the Lord! Tball doesn't run in the fall, so she only got one season in. And because her birthday is one week past the cut-off, we will
4. Dogs. Our Swiper, who we had for almost 9 years, met his Maker this spring when he ran out of the house and into the street. I enjoyed several glorious canine free months. And now we have a beast of a puppy named Shadow. Overall she's a very good dog, but she's a puppy. A very rambunctious puppy. But she has a nice ferocious bark that makes me feel safer when Jason goes to work in the middle of the night. The kids love her, and she loves them. Oh, and she snores. Loudly.
5. Adoptions. So many children were adopted this year by families I know personally and practically personally thanks to Facebook. They came from China, Bulgaria, the Philippines, and Texas. Also, super good friends of ours started the process to adopt a little boy from the Philippines. God is so good. Every 6 weeks our church lets the orphan ministry run an insert in the bulletin featuring a child/children in need of a family. Jetlee was my April insert child. I desperately wanted a family to come forward for him. He reminds me so much of James. I almost exploded when my dear friend texted me after church on Easter Sunday and asked what they needed to do to adopt him. In a few months, my little Filipino will have a fellow Filipino living just 5 minutes away!! I love love LOVE seeing kids brought into families. In case you don't know, ORPHANS NEED FAMILIES. Maybe 2015 will be the year you hear God speaking to YOU about adoption or foster care!
6. Vacation. We took our first family vacation this year and drove to Texas. We visited our framily who also has adopted deaf kiddos. It was glorious. You can read about it here. The plan is for them to come here this year. But if they can't, I see another road trip in our 2015 future.
7. Church. We love our church. We love our pastors. But the church and the pastors are just people. And people can let you down, frustrate you, and disappoint you. They can also leave you. We had a lot of frustrating moments this year, and a lot of change. Two pastors have left since September. I'm not a fan of change. Or of being upset with people I respect and trust. But it happens. And we remember that we need to keep our focus on God, and trust HIM with our lives and with our church. He knows what He is doing, even when we can't see it and don't like it. No church is perfect; no pastor or leader is perfect. We had such an awful experience 10 years ago, and I think that makes us more cynical and likely to distrust. So we are working through that, and waiting to see what God is going to do next. We still love our church. And our pastors. Especially ones who still buy your ice cream even after you scared the pants off of them in the DQ drive-thru. :)
8. Work. Jason's work, to be specific. We hate it. Hate. It. We are grateful for it, for sure. But the hours are awful. The treatment of workers is awful. Working for free is awful. We are praying for a new job to come during this time of voluntary layoff. And if it doesn't, we will still be thankful. Jason will still do his best to please God at this job. But we will still hate it!
So that's about it. It was a good year overall. I'm having a hard time remembering that tomorrow is January 1st again. I don't do the whole resolutions thing, because I always plan to do stuff and never actually do. But I do have things I want to work on this year, and with the Lord's help, I will! Thanks for following our life and reading all my ramblings. Happy New Year!!!