Merry Christmas – our 2008 card & letter

December 27, 2008

xmas-2008-final1

It’s hard to believe that another year has gone so quickly!  We were fortunate to welcome many friends, both new and old into our home this year.  The boys’ maps of the world received many new stickers this year from as far away as Denmark, Brazil, Colombia, Korea, the UAE, and Russia!

We were able to go on vacation not once, but twice this year!  In March, we left the girls with my parents and headed to Disney World for a week with the boys.  It was wonderful!  We flew out of Boston, visiting with friends along the way.  Disney exceeded our expectations and the boys were the perfect ages!  We went non-stop from opening to closing of the parks and fit in as much as we could.  We have some adventure seekers on our hands – the roller coasters were their favorite!  A highlight of the trip was driving to Titusville to watch a night launch of the Space Shuttle.  The boys were proud to have had their first “all-nighter” and it was definitely an experience of a lifetime!  We have promised the girls that we will go to Disney again with the whole family at Christmas in five years time.  We’d better start saving now…

My parents went above-and-beyond this summer and took over the B&B for a week in August so we could take the whole family on our first-ever summer vacation.  We rented a cottage on Malpeque Bay in PEI and enjoyed our time together very much. (We only hope that they will offer to do the same this year!) 

D’Arcy is teaching Grade 9 & 10 Science at Hants East Rural High for the third year.  He officially resigned from the Halifax School Board in April and we were thrilled to learn in November that he has been granted a Permanent Contract with this School Board.  He is currently writing a Thesis to complete his M.Ed program at ST. FX, and we are looking forward to an October 2009 graduation!  He continues to be involved in the kids’ activities as a Cub leader, skating supervisor, and basketball coach.

Evan turned 10 this year and is in Grade 4.  He is involved in Cubs, basketball, baseball, flag football & curling and this year joined the Jr. Band as a percussionist.  (Doesn’t every B&B need a drummer?!)  He continues to excel at school and has a passion for reading, geography & spelling.

Alex turned 8 in August and is in Grade 2.  He is also an excellent student, although school is more challenging for him.  We continue patching his eye, and he has improved from being legally blind to being one letter away from legal driving vision.  He had eye surgery in April to correct the turn in his bad eye and what a difference it has made!  Alex swam up from Beavers to Cubs this year, and is involved in basketball, baseball and music lessons.  He sang & played the piano in the Music Festival and won an award for “Outstanding Male Novice Voice”. 

Sarah just turned 4 and started going to Preschool two mornings a week.  She loves it and each day asks if it’s a school day.  She has started dance lessons and someday aspires to be “a dancer on the stage”.  She also has joined in with her brothers at skating Tuesday nights.  Sarah had a three month stint of eye patching this spring, but that was enough to get her eye corrected again.  She wears her glasses ALL the time, including in the tub and to bed! She’s very outgoing and quite a character; D’Arcy recently asked me, “Does she EVER stop talking?”

Olivia has just turned 2 and is going on 6.  She feels that she should be able to do everything her siblings do and took it upon herself to potty train just after her birthday!  What a girl!  We have had a few big scares with her this year when she has come in contact with some of her allergens, and we were regulars at the hospital for a while.  Things are much easier now that she doesn’t put everything in her mouth and August was her last anaphylactic reaction.  We have a wonderful support system, our friends & family seem to “get it”, and we’re learning that living with pea/nut, egg, soy, dairy & multiple other food allergies isn’t as overwhelming as we’d initially thought.   

I have continued to volunteer at the boys’ school, both in the library and as Co-President of the PTG.  Sadly, their school will close in just a few more days, and after Christmas they will be attending a new school which will have a population of 560 kids from grades Primary – 5.  They are thrilled they will take the bus & stay for lunch from now on, and I suppose their parents will get used to it!  I have continued to serve on the Board of the  B&B Association and was delighted to be asked to join the Board of the Tourism Industry Association this year!  It is an exciting time to be involved with Tourism and I am enjoying working with the big picture in mind! 

            Our parents & siblings continue to enjoy good health and the McDonahs have added two new members to the family this year – Morag & Brian were married in May, and Michael & Emily added the first great-grandchild, Phinn, to the mix in October!  We are blessed!

We hope that this letter finds you, our family, friends & colleagues, enjoying the Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love that the Christmas Season is intended to bring! 

With best wishes for many blessings in 2009!

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