I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I'll try to find time in the next day or two to post some photos from our whirlwind trip to the Tri-Cities to see my family, and from our Christmas celebration here at home.
Here is our Christmas letter for 2010:
Where does the time go? Life seems to be passing at warp speed lately, leaving 2010 as a big blur in our rearview mirror…
Riley turned 4 in February and is in her second year of preschool. She loves everything to do with school; her teacher, friends, art projects, and has taken a special interest in all things math- just like her Daddy! Riley is constantly praised by her teacher for being extremely helpful in the classroom and most recently for showing compassion and encouragement towards a girl in her class with special needs. She also began a combination dance class in September, where she learns ballet, tumbling, and tap for an hour each Saturday morning. Riley is an amazing big sister and we couldn’t be more proud of our young lady with a big heart!
Tyson also celebrated a birthday in February, turning 3, and began his first year of preschool in the fall. He also really enjoys school and retains information like a sponge! He constantly makes us laugh with his big imagination and amazes us with the knowledge he brings home from school- like telling me the bones in my body after learning them on Bob Bones at school! He is equal parts shy and outgoing, and he can charm the socks off of most anybody just by flashing his smile. We’re not sure if we should worry about this yet or not!
Cooper is all boy and has found his inner mischief-maker since turning 2 in early November! He has mastered the smile and what-are-you-going-to-do-about-it look while doing something he knows he is not supposed to, which has been fun! Cooper began full-time daycare in the fall at the same preschool his siblings attend, so he is getting a chance to make friends, do art projects, and learn, just like his big sister and brother. He loves playing with his cars and Legos, and especially loves to follow Tyson’s lead, which isn’t always a good thing! We look forward to watching Cooper learn and grow in the year to come!
Rick continues to teach sixth grade at Alice Ott Middle School, a position he loves and we are thankful for. With so many school budget cuts on the horizon, there seems to be a little more stress involved with teaching, but Rick takes it in strides. Even after nearly 14 years of teaching, Rick still works hard to make curriculum interesting and relevant to his students, which is what makes him such a wonderful teacher! Over the summer, Rick and his friend Aaron, were able to enjoy a few days in Las Vegas- a well deserved vacation! We also have a quarter share of Trailblazer’s season tickets, which we have been enjoying!
I took a break from flying at the beginning of 2010 in order to complete four months of student teaching and complete my Master’s of Arts in Teaching in May. It was a great way to end the four-year journey to become a certified teacher, although the timing couldn’t be worse to try to enter the education field! So, I have spent the better part of the school year substitute teaching, I’ve even spent a few days in Rick’s classroom! I also try to fit in trips with Southwest when possible. I have come to rely heavily on my planner in order to keep my schedule straight! I also completed my second consecutive Portland Marathon in October, this time in the pouring rain. I didn’t improve on my time from last year, which was my goal, but I figure completing it soaking wet is something to be proud of!
As a family, we have enjoyed our new house over the past year, including yard renovations we had done in late spring. We love being a part of the Happy Valley community, and we have enjoyed getting to know the families in our neighborhood. Rick and I also took Riley to Disneyland in July, where she got the full Princess treatment! We can’t wait to take the boys in the future, when they are little taller to enjoy all the rides.
We look forward to finding out what 2011 has in store for us! Wishing you all a very happy and healthy holiday season, and many blessings in the New Year!
Rick, Brooke, Riley, Tyson, & Cooper