What a busy whirlwind of a year! I remember being told as a kid that life goes faster and faster and I never believed it. Now I’m a believer!
It’s amazing to think that Nathaniel and I celebrated our 9 year anniversary in October. Being married to my best friend has been beyond wonderful. He may not be perfect, but he’s perfect for me, and I am continually amazed at how much alike and yet different we are in all the right places.
This year Nathaniel keeps running away from home, but thankfully he always comes back – he’s taken up running as a hobby and form of exercise. He bought some black Vibram shoes (known around here as “toe shoes” or “Gorilla feet”) and heads out at least two mornings a week for a run. Apparently he missed the memo that said geeks aren’t supposed to be trim and fit.
There have been big changes on the business front – this summer Nathaniel shut down his multi-person consulting company to focus in on Spreedly, and at the beginning of December he took it a step further and stopped doing all independent consulting as well. It’s all Spreedly all the time now, and with a new CEO brought on board (Nathaniel’s now happily serving as CTO) momentum is picking up fast. 2012 promises to be an exciting ride!
I (Katie) was busy most of the year making a baby. Our sixth born – Katherine Serene – was born on August 9th and I am very happy to have another baby to kiss on. I also began “seriously” homeschooling this fall with a planned schedule and all. In my minds eye I had our mornings all figured out and down on paper, only to realize that real life and paper diverge wildly. I have since adjusted our morning school time and am please with the progress that is being made by the whole brood.
Reuben (8) has really taken off in his reading. He started of with the Box Car Children and quickly progressed to the Hardy Boys, Trixy Belden, and any kids adventure book he can get his hands on; a Kindle and the Gutenberg Project have been a big help in keeping him supplied with books. He also excels in math and is amazing his siblings with his talents by counting to one hundred by tens and fives. When not reading and ’rithmatic’ing, Reuben spends most of his time trying to figure out how things work (often by taking them apart!) and then trying to replicate them with household items or Legos. Favorite projects have been making primitive archery sets and trying out kite making. And baking, which I think mostly just reflects his love of sweets. Now if we could just get him as excited, or at least as competent, about cleaning up afterwards we’d be doing good.
Anne Marie (6) is tall and lanky and her curls continue to make me jealous. At 6 she is already growing up into quite a lady – one that boasts she can “fight” better than the boys and enjoys climbing trees. She has learned to officially read this year, and amazes herself when she sees a word and can sound it out. She hasn’t taken off like her brother yet, but I have a feeling I will be finding her curled up with a stack of books in the near future. Her housekeeping skills are also starting to grow, and she loves to help out with Katherine, the first baby she gets to hold by herself. Perhaps most exciting, Anne Marie has learned how to earn and save money this year, and she carefully saved up enough a dollar at a time to buy a guitar just for herself. I have a feeling this will be the first of many wise financial decisions on her part.
William (5) is begging to do math and has asked me to teach him to read; he doesn’t want to be left behind his older siblings when it comes to school. As our official house comedian, William is often funniest (and most philosophical) when he doesn’t mean to be: he was overheard telling another sibling, “‘Poor Poor’ means you don’t have anything in your house, but ‘Poor’ means you don’t have any children.”
Elaine (4) is our first girl who loves to play with dolls and have tea parties. She is also a thumb sucker who one hour wants to quit (because 4 year olds don’t suck their thumb!) and the next hour has found a secluded place to cosy up with her thumb and a blanket. She enjoys playing with Etan and they’re buddies on most subjects of play, especially while the older ones are working. She is looking more and more like her mama; it’s nice to know that at least one of my children decided to take after me.
Etan (2) successfully potty trained this fall. Thankfully, he was one of our easiest, since I was starting to wonder how I was going to keep up on the laundry with two in cloth diapers. He is Daddy’s little boy and they even have a “secret” hand shake which all the boys have now adopted. Etan’s latest interest is in the wooden train set, but I don’t know what he enjoys more, dumping the bins out or actually building and running trains around the track. He has been one of our earliest talkers and it’s a joy to hear his little voice jabbering about life (and parroting most things we say to him). He’s figured out how to forage for himself, and so when he gets hungry we’ll often find a trail of banana peels leading to a happy boy sitting and enjoying his snack.
Katherine (4 months) arrived one week past her due date and now that she is in my arms is well worth every ache and pain it took to get her here. She surprised us with the cutest little dimples, doubly surprising since no one on either side of our families has dimples that we know of. She is our “on” or “off” baby, usually all smiles, but if she isn’t smiling, then she is usually letting you know at the top of her lungs that she needs something. Being the sixth child, I find myself much more laid back and enjoying the infant stage, knowing that it won’t last long.
God has been very good to us this year – we’ve been healthy, well provided for, and have also found a new church home at Christ Church in nearby Cary. We can’t wait to see what the new year has in store!