It's been another very eventful year for our family. Go figure! Here's a bit of what happened..
Ashley, started high school (and outgrew her MOTHER!! urg)! She spent a week or so at the high school in town and quickly decided that the life there wasn't for her. So she joined her brother in Connections Academy, an at home Charter School (we call that home school, C.A. doesn't)! After a little period of adjustment to the added requirements of this school, she fell into place and loves it. She's part of the Student Council, is the 9th grade Class Representative, and has joined the Pen Pal Club. As usual, she is making lots of school friends, and was ecstatic when her friend,Missa, joined Connections Academy this year as well. Ashley loves drawing, any kind of art, puzzles, music, dance-off's with her Aunt Laura, and snuggling with her Sadie girl (the dog). Ashley was also able to go compete in the National Fine Arts Competition, in Detroit! Ash worked so hard to get there between fundraisers, letters to family, and manual labor. She had an amazing time, and thanks all of you for your contributions. It meant the world to her, her life will never be the same after having had this amazing experience.
Jaden is now in 3rd grade, and second year of Connections Academy. He loves that his sister is home doing school with him and Mommy. Jaden is a member of the Pen Pal program at school, as well as the Robotics club. He LOVES field trips! Jaden was also very excited when his 2 friends, Gabe & Daniel, joined Connections Academy this year. Jaden loves going to the library, and the bank (free popcorn). He also still loves to draw, and anything else that could classify as art. Jaden loves playing with his cousins, and working with Grampie and Uncle Jon on the ranch. He's growing like a weed, and will probably outgrow us in a few years! He is still active in Taekwondo as well, and is excelling. He is now a Camo belt, and considering joining the Leadership Program.
Chris had a very busy year with work, the time spent in the office has increased quite a bit. Who knew that was possible!? But, we are so thankful that he is employed and acknowledged for his efforts. Speaking of rewards...His employer sent us both (no kids allowed) to the World Series this year, all expenses paid! It really put a smile on his face like we hadn't seen in awhile. Being recognized for a job well done is priceless. He also hosted quite a few basketball/game nights here at the house, played in a church softball league, participated in another awesome "Wing-off" competition, and hosted a few poker games. In his spare time (haha), he was involved with endless fundraising, and helped coach a drama team into the National Fine Arts Competition in Detroit, Michigan! They had a great time, an experience that won't be forgotten. He is so grateful for your contributions towards the trip.
Sarah is still home full-time, working on school with the kids takes up most of her days. It's not all sunshine and giggles, but it comes pretty close. If nothing else, it's extremely rewarding. She wouldn't trade this time for anything. Sarah started walking even more this year, before she knew it the normal quick 15 minute walks turned into 9 mile walks! She spent lots of time at the pool, and cheering Chris on at his softball games. She enjoyed a few camping trips this last summer, constant bbq'ing, game nights with friends, and lots of evening bike rides. Sarah adores time spent with all of her nieces and nephews, and the rest of the family. She dabbled in a few crafts, really got into her word searches/crosswords, and enjoyed a LOT of desserts. ;)
As a family, we have grown so much closer this year. Our home knows more joy, and is filled with even more giggles. We are so thankful for the time the Lord has given us, and for the friends who share their lives with us. We've also faced many challenges, and have had to say goodbye to things, and people, we hold dear. But, the Lord is ever faithful to lead us into new territory with grace, hope, and promise of a beautiful future. Our love for Him grows deeper by the day.
We pray that you all have had a wonderful year, and that the coming year will be even better. May the Lord bless you as you continue to seek His face. There's no better place to be, than in His arms.
Chris, Sarah, Ashley, and Jaden Mendiola