Usually I have this done BEFORE the end of the year, but well... better late than never.
The Job(s)- Our new year started off pretty slow as my job teaching at a Title 1 school in Dallas ISD kept me pretty busy. While I had been teaching before, this was the first time I was teaching inside an urban school and a middle school. There were some good experiences and I made several friends, but I also witnessed things I never thought I would see a school and/or students do. I managed to get through the year and returned the next school year to finish up my requirements for certification. In November I met all the requirements, pasted all the tests, and I became certified to teach grades K-8 (all subjects) and grades 8-12 social studies. Shortly after receiving my certification, I left my job to spend time taking care of my family. Brian's job at Dean Foods continues to go well. In October, Brian was promoted to Financial Manager and has been making multiple business trips to Chicago and Nashville this year. Dean Foods expects great things from him, and he continues to meet or exceed those standards.
The Kids- Sophie graduated from PreK this year and started Kindergarten. This summer she started her 2nd year doing soccer for the YMCA. For part of the summer, I did summer school with the kids and Sophie did very well at understanding plants, their needs, and helped me create a photobook, which she could read. Connor entered the terrible twos this year and switched schools. Recently, Connor has been staying at home with me and growing in words and getting into more things than we ever thought possible. And this year we made Connor a big brother, and gave Sophie a sister. Ainsley Caitlin Oney was born on July 28th this year and is a favorite playmate already for her siblings. She is held, kissed, and played with often by the two who are thrilled to have their list of siblings growing.
The Changes- Obviously the newest addition to our family has been a big change for the better. She continues to make our life brighter and more interesting as we as parents are now outnumbered by our children. These other two changes to our family were less joyous as both Brian and I lost our last remaining grandparents this year. In late February my paternal grandmother died. While it was not a surprise due to years of declining health, it was made more bearable by finally having our whole family all together in one place. It had been years since everyone had been all together and I truly enjoyed every minute with my siblings and the kids with their multiple aunts and uncles. In December, Brian unexpectedly lost his maternal grandfather to a heart complication triggered from dehydration and a fall. Because of the timing, the kids and I were unable to attend the funeral, as he had to fly out from Nashville to Nebraska to attend. However, all of his family and cousins on his mom's side were in attendance for this unfortunate occasion.
The Adventures- Outside of our everyday adventures at home, school, and our jobs. We had very few adventures at the beginning of the year due to my pregnancy and long work hours. However; against better judgement I did sneak back to Kansas with the kids to visit the farm and family when I was 8 months pregnant. After being put on bed rest for the final 2 weeks of my pregnancy, Connor and Sophie got to enjoy an additional 2 weeks in Kansas without their parents. We did do multiple things in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, such as attending a Dallas Stars Hockey game with the kids, visiting the Heritage Farmstead in Plano, and going to the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens to create a plant book for their "summer school" at home. Our biggest trip this year was to spend a few days in Nashville, Tennessee where we toured the state capitol building and Andrew Jackson's home (The Hermitage) and to Ohio to visit Brian's paternal relatives for Thanksgiving and explore the Amish countryside of Ohio and take a quick visit to Cleveland to visit the Great Lakes Science Center along the banks of Lake Erie. In December we decided to return to Kansas for Christmas, where we spent time in Wichita with my parents, Alma with Brian's parents, and in Omaha, Nebraska with my sister Suzi and long time friends Mike & Lorena, before returning back to Texas.
We are excited to see what 2015 holds for our family and wish everyone the best! May this year be better than the last! Happy New Year everyone!