Thursday, December 31, 2009

Saying Goodbye to 2009

2009 has come and gone. It has been a good year for our family, perhaps a tad too busy for my liking and that explains my lack of blogging, but looking back I see how truly blessed we have been.

January found me happily caring for my sweet newborn baby Faith (and recuperating from a C-section). I tried to keep everything else to a minimum so I could have plenty of time to just enjoy my baby!

In February we blessed Faith, said our last farewells to Great Grandma Spendlove, who returned shortly after to her heavenly home, and celebrated Xiaoyi's (our foreign exchange student from China) 16th birthday! We also had the privilege of going as a family to the Draper Temple Open House. It was a neat experience for Vaughn and me to share with our children and non-member Xiaoyi the beauty and importance of the temple. I attempted to participate in our neighborhood's Biggest Loser Challenge but I found it to be frustrating because I couldn't make enough time to exercise! I struggled to keep up with nursing a newborn, caring for 8 other children (Xiaoyi included), the housework, laundry, and meal preparations.

By March I figured out how to make time for walking. Vaughn and I had a contest to see who could log the most miles on our ipods with nike plus. I had to be creative and entertain Enoch and Faith in the stroller while I walked, or get up super early, or walk after everyone was settled for the night. I logged 72 miles, not enough to beat Vaughn, who had LOTS of free time to walk ALONE, but an accomplishment nevertheless! I still struggled with my daily chores but the walking helped me to feel good in spite of being overwhelmed.

Bad weather interfered with my walking and in April I struggled with depression. (I should learn from this!!!!) As Activity Committee Chair I pulled off a successful ward Easter Egg Hunt with LOTS of help and support from my awesome committee.

I felt better in May but I longed for solitude-a luxury not easy to come by as the mother of 9 (including my Chinese daughter)! Enoch turned 3 in May! (Amazingly enough I even posted about it.) Josh turned 14! And Ashley received two awards at Maeser's Award Ceremony: Top Latin Student and 11th Grade's Top Socratic Seminar (History and English) Student! Another highlight of May was our annual family vacation to Bear Lake over Memorial Day weekend. As always it was a lot of fun to stay in Grandma's and Grandpa's house and play and swim with all of the Kearl family.

June brought relief from the stress caused by school (except for Cami's summer school) but it was still a busy month. Rebekah had a birthday and turned 7! We took a little day trip to Silver Lake. Rachel went to Bear Lake with Aunt Amy for a week. Xiaoyi returned to China. Uncle Will and his friend Steve came to visit from Texas and took everyone (but Grandpa and Grandma Spendlove-they were still in Europe) to dinner at KFC! I was in charge of a ward breakfast in conjunction with the primary's bike parade. Ashley, Cami, and Josh went to Youth Conference. Josh had Scout Camp. We helped build our ward's float and then we (Vaughn and I) were put in charge of getting it to and from the parade route (not an easy feat just ask Vaughn) and making sure we had enough people to pull, ride on, and walk with the float for the two Lehi parades. I was really grateful to have that whole project done!!! And Grandma and Grandpa Spendlove returned from their mission to England!

July brought a trip to Yellowstone for Josh with the young men and leaders; a Spendlove family visit to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple Open House; my Seminary Council Reunion mainly made possible due to Facebook; girls camp for Ashley, Cami, and Vaughn. (Yes, Vaughn, he loves to volunteer at girls camp as a priesthood holder every year); our 19th wedding anniversary; a Kearl family cookout in the mountains; an awesome Spendlove family vacation including a day spent enjoying the amusements of Park City and a camp out at Heber Valley girls camp. July was a fun month!

We began August at Bear Lake for Raspberry Days and lots of time at the beach! I found my turns on the wave runner to be exhilarating! Our last blast of summer fun was a spur of the moment camp out in the backyard. Vaughn and Faith passed on this one but the rest of us had lots of fun! The rest of August was spent preparing to go back to school-lots of school shopping, assessments, and meeting of teachers and then all too soon school was in session. Also in August was the blessing of being able to attend the dedication of the Oquirrh Mountain Temple and the surprise of ward boundary changes, we suddenly found ourselves in a new ward.

September brought Cami's 16th birthday and her first date to Maeser's Homecoming Dance! It was also the month I trained at Velocity during their Pound for Pound Challenge (Velocity donated 1 pound of food to the food bank for every 1 pound we lost.) I lost 6 pounds and saw a lot of fitness improvements. It was a lot of hard training but I loved it!

In October we got to go as a family to Vaughn's mission reunion and meet Elder Neil L. Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve, Vaughn's mission president in Bordeaux, France 20 years ago; Ashley retook the ACT test after MUCH preparation and improved her score by a considerable amount; Cami, Josh, and I biked the Provo trail with Grandpa Spendlove; and of course we celebrated Halloween!

November was a birthday month: Rachel turned 9, Ashley turned 18, and Vaughn turned 29 again! Cami's good friend, Jared died and we mourned his passing. We celebrated Thanksgiving with the Moore and Kearl families and keeping with tradition we saw Fantastic Mr. Fox with the Spendloves. I went the day after Thanksgiving with my brother, Rich and his wife, Amy,and my sister, Jodi and her husband, Naaman, to Nephi to visit my sister, Marci, who had her sweet little baby, Makinlee, 3 weeks early! Ashley and Cami were good enough to tend for all of us (11 little kids) while we made this excursion. Saturday night Jodi and I made an extra trip to Nephi to spend the night with Marci in her hospital room when we found out Makinlee was having difficulties and needed to be transported to a hospital in Provo. We didn't want her to stress and worry alone. Then Sunday morning after an uncomfortable night spent in a hospital recliner, I wrote a talk in the hospital parking lot and drove home just in time to speak in Sacrament meeting with the family in our new ward.

The craziness has continued in December! An opportunity to take a CNA class for free presented itself and I seized it! During the first 3 weeks of the month I spent 54 hours in class and 24 hours at a nursing home doing clinicals. I was super busy but I loved it! It was a thrill to be back in a learning environment. I did miss class one evening in order to celebrate Noelle's 11th birthday! I took my final and finished the course on the 17th. Then it was a mad rush to make up for lost time and prepare for Noelle's birthday party with friends, Faith's 1st birthday, and of course, Christmas! (I'm thinking that since December 21 was kind of a blur, I shouldn't have to add another year to my age! Am I right?) Thankfully, we had a very merry Christmas! And life has finally slowed down enough for me to catch my breath just in time for 2010!


Corilee said...

You must keep an extensive and detailed calendar to remember all those events, hollidays, birthdays, and the comings and goings of such a large family.

What a blessing this entry will be years from now when you look back and read this. May I make a suggestion? Go back and choose one event a month and write in detail about it. I wish I had written what an average day entailed in my life as a mother of nine. And I never did write a whole year's worth of events as you have done.

Keep up the good work. It will ALL be worth it in the end. I've NEVER been sorry I had a large family. And I'm so incredibly blessed that they have all settled in Utah Valley

May the Lord bless your efforts with success beyond your wildest dreams and may you be blessed with the righteous desires of your heart.

Much Love,

Aunt Corilee

ems said...

Good for you making such wonderful goals. I hope they will work out well.

I just noticed in the comment you made on my blog that you said you wanted to learn how to do picture compilations. The program that I have been using lately is so easy and it's free. It's called Picasa. If you just google picasa, you should be able to find a free download somewhere. You can't do a lot of customizing with it which is why I used photoshop at first. However, it is incredible fast and I have found that I actually get around to doing it with picasa because it doesn't take so much time. :) Good luck and let me know if you have any trouble finding it.