So, I didnt get Christmas cards out this year. And sadly, I havent taken many pictures this Christmas season. So, on the heels of many other friends, I am going to give a quick little review of our 2009.... We'll call this The Shannon Family New Year Letter!
Denver: The year has been mostly uneventful for Denver. He continues to work at Boeing and likes his job for the most part but continues to hope for something better eventually. He has been taking advantage of Boeing's tuition payment program and attends University of Phoenix for free. He is not too far away from finally receiving his Bachelors Degree in Business Management. From there, the plan is to get his Masters in Business.....he figures he may as well as long as Boeing is paying for it! He is a Sunday school teacher at our church, instructing the 12 year olds...I think. Sadly, Denver lost his Dad to cancer at the beginning of the year and that has been very difficult for him and his family.... we surely miss Don all the time. Denver's mom came out and stayed a month with us in August. We enjoyed her visit and I know Denver loved having her out here with him.
Vanessa: Well, my year has been a little more eventful. It started with a layoff from my job at Wells Fargo and then continued with the decision to go back to school instead of going back to work. I started school again for the first time in 18 years this past September at the University of Utah. My plan is to finish my Bachelors in English and perhaps a minor in Spanish and then teach at High School or Junior High. I figure if Im going to have to work I would like to be on my kids schedule. Ultimately I would like to be an Editor but that is a job that will have to be found later. I LOVE being in school and just finished the semester with a 4.0 gpa. Another big thing for me this year was the decision to run in a Half Marathon race. I trained for 4 months and in November I ran the Big Sur Half Marathon in Monterey, California. I took the kids and my mom with me and we made a vacation out of it. It was so much fun and gave me a big sense of accomplishment that I followed through with my commitment to run. I have since signed up for another Half Marathon to run in March of this coming year in Moab, Utah....sometimes I think I might be nuts because I dont really enjoy running but the end result is such a great feeling that Im getting hooked on it!
Alec: Well, we dont get to see him enough thats for sure but we see updates here and there and know that he is doing well. He is in High School now and will be turning 16 this coming year. Hard to believe that he was just 4 when we got married....time really flies. Alec is with us this Christmas and even though he is a big ole' teenager now, he is a good kid and nice to his siblings and that is a huge accomplishment for any teenager!
Ian: Ian had a big year! He turned 9 which according to him means that he should have a cell phone and an attitude. The attitude is definitely here but the cell phone wont be making an appearance for a couple more years. He is still a big sweetheart though and such a smart kid. He attempted playing Football this year and that was an interesting time. He was sure excited when it started but quickly realized what a commitment it was and how much hard work it required. He stuck it out though and even though he claimed many many times that he would never play football again, he has already announced that he is going to sign up again this next year! He is still in the ELP (gifted) program at school and continues to excel at just about every subject. Im so proud of all that he has accomplished.
Evan: Evan has been finding his personality this year. Even though he is just 18 months younger than Ian, he couldnt be more different. He does really well in school and continues to amaze us at his competence in every subject. He is especially good at math. He loves animals still and he loves his friends. Evan played soccer this year with the Firebirds and enjoyed it very much. Everyone on his team has been in one of his classes since kindergarten so he was amongst friends. He is such a happy kid most of the time and has a genuinely sweet spirit about him.
Addison: Our little Addie has really found her language skills this year. In the past 3 months she has really turned into a little jabber jaws. She is ALL girl and loves everything pink. She loves makeup and hair and clothes and all things "princess-y".... She has an unbelievable memory and I am constantly freaked out at the thing this 3 year old remembers! I cannot imagine our family without her and love having this little girl in my life. I will miss her when she goes to school. She started dance classes this fall with "Miss Julie". She loves to dance and sing and had her first recital this December. That didnt go as planned when she had a bout of stage fright but it was still cute and fun to see her up there. Her favorite movie is "Mamma Mia" and constantly sings songs from the movie. If she isnt singing Mamma Mia songs, then you will hear her singing Michael Jackson. She is a sight to behold that is for sure!
We experienced some difficult times with Don's passing and my own Dad's heart attack a couple of months after that. Also, Job layoff's and financial strain definitely caused some stress but in the end I feel blessed to have what we do. Cant wait to see what 2010 brings!
Happy New Year Everybody..... here is a slideshow of the additional Christmas pics I took of the kids.