January brought a trip out to California. It was originally supposed to be a trip out just to visit my dad, but shortly before the trip he had a bad fall and it became apparent that he could no longer stay in the two story home in the mountains he'd lived in for the last 20+ years. It was a gut-wrenching trip which forced me to come to grips with how far his Parkinson's had progressed
that February 4th to a blanket of white and an announcement of no school. The thick white fog that filled the sky that morning gave way to a clear, vibrant, blue dusted with whisps of puffy white clouds. The snow was thick, and soon snowmen started popping up in people's yards (including our own). It only lasted a day, but what a day!
In March I broke my wrist roller skating with my kids, and I got walking pneumonia...both of which I had for far too long before seeing a doctor about. The wrist had hurt like crazy at first, but by the time I had it checked it had practically healed...it was the pneumonia that knocked me out like a two-by-four over the head. I was coughing up blood, and couldn't walk across the room without getting winded. When the doctor said he needed to x-ray my chest I asked if he could x-ray my wrist too, and came home with anti-biotics, a cast, and instructions to lay on the couch and not do anything for the next two weeks.
In the midst of this, our hearts went out to the people of Japan who suffered such devestation in the Tsunami.
I had planned to build a raised bed and start a vegetable garden in April, but was still recovering from the pneumonia and didn't have the energy. The spot where I had planned my garden became a sand-box for my youngest, who helped me keep the weeds out of it by digging it up with his toy shovels and bulldozer. I took it easy and enjoyed the warmer whether and wildlife (birds and bunnies and such).
May is always a month for celebrations... Mother's Day, My Birthday, Our Anniversary. This may brought a new celebration...my sister-in-law's wedding!
June brought our second year at church doing Holy Land VBS. It's been a wonderful experience, transforming our church into a Bible land and then getting to watch the kids experience it. This year we "went back" to Nazareth. I got to be a 1st century farmer who grew up in the same town as Jesus. We had fun decorating peat pots and planting a few seeds which grew in 1st century Nazareth, and sharing our character's stories with the kids.
Texas summer is always hot...but the heat this year was RELENTLESS. After days of staying inside to beat the heat, I started taking the kids to the park at 8:00 at night just so they could run off some steam. Even at night it was hot...though somewhat endurable. In the midsts of a 108 degree day my littlest found this winter hat and scarf and donned it to go outside. I titled the picure "Missing Winter."
The heat continued in August, but we escaped it for a couple weeks when we took a family trip back to California to see my Dad. It was the first time my Dad got to see my youngest face to face, and because of how far his Parkinson's has progressed, sadly this was probably be the last time my kids will get to see their Grandpa. It was bittersweet.
The mice had invaded my Dad's mountain home, and it was not fit to stay in with the kids...so we took our very first camping trip right in the back yard. My boys have been asking me to go camping for a long time (it's either too hot, to cold, or too buggy out here in Texas for me to venture staying outdoors), so they were thrilled. My husband and I learned that the older you get, the harder the ground gets. But we all enjoyed waking up to the sun-rise through the pines, and taking my boys on walks through the same woods I used to walk through was like a salve for sadness.
We took daily trips "down the hill" (never occurred to me how strange it was calling a 5,000 foot mountain a hill was til I came out here) to see my dad, spent a day at Disneyland with the kids, and spent the last two days in San Diego where my husband grew up. The kids loved the ocean...and I thought it was ironic that it was foggy and chilly at the beach, IN AUGUST!. Took so many gorgeous pictures while we were there...browse my California tagged posts if you want to see more.
October finally brought some rain...and my youngest and I spent many days visiting a river near by and enjoying the cooler weather. My poor garden seemed to sign with relief too!
In November our garden TOOK OFF! The peppers that had been barely surviving all summer started bearing fruit. We got radishes and green beans (all firsts for my garden), and in the spot the fire had burned in September, HUNDREDS of carrots and a few cilantro plants sprouted. We had not planted those...they were a surprize left from a couple packets of seeds that blew across my yard year before last, emptying their contents. I love when the wind plants me a garden!
This is what my December felt like...a blur. It wasn't that we tried to pack a lot in. I really tried to keep things simple. But even so, it felt full: winter colds, decorating, lighting candles, bedtime Christmas carols (our family tradition), a school play, present buying, a little baking. Full, but happy, still.