Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

We didn't sent out a Christmas letter with our cards, so I thought I'd do the update here on the blog.

2011 began with Mac accepting a job for Isagenix in Chandler, AZ. He wasn't done with his MBA yet, so he transferred to being a part-time student and was able to go to class at the UofA extension center in Scottsdale. The job was a great opportunity for our family, but the kids and I were still in Tucson, and our lease wasn't up till May. At first I thought we'd stick it out so Kate could finish school in Sahuarita and so we wouldn't lose any money on our contract. Mac had a couple of different places he could stay until we moved permanently - with his Uncle in Mesa and with my sister in Queen Creek. However, after less than two months where we only saw Mac on the weekends, if that, I changed my mind. So one weekend while I was visiting my sister, Mac and I decided to look at houses. We found a great house in SE Chandler and made an offer. We closed in about a month and then moved a few weeks later. It was a whirlwind of change, but we love our house and the area that it's in, and we feel very blessed to have everything work out so well so quickly.

Moving meant saying goodbye to our friends and neighbors in Sahuarita. Even though we hadn't known them long, they had been great friends and we were sad to leave. Kate had to change schools, but the transition was not as difficult as I had anticipated. She attends a nearby CTA school with an advanced curriculum and immediately loved her new teacher and class.

All our girls learned how to ride bikes at the beginning of this year, even Lilly who was still 2 when she could ride without training wheels. We have to give credit to the strider bikes, which helped our girls practically teach themselves how to ride a bike. Other highlights of the year include the following:

Kate learned how to swim and was part of the summer swim team.
Lilly was in a ballet dance class with her cousin.
Avery started Kindergarten and promptly got in trouble for kissing a boy!
The family vacationed in Ogden, Utah for a Larsen family reunion.
Julie & Mac went to San Diego for an Isagenix convention. It was work for Mac, but play for me!
I took a quilting class and made my first quilt!
Mac got two ipads from work - one for him and one for me. They are awesome! Our kids love them so much that they each want their own.
Mac finished his all of his courses and now has his MBA! YEAH!!!
Lillly turned 3, Avery turned 5, Joshua turned 1, and Kate turned 7.

Our baby, Joshua, is big 15 mos-old now who runs around hitting and throwing constantly. He doesn't seem to realize that he's smaller than his sisters, and he is willing to fight them if they have a toy he wants. He has been a challenge for me because he has been so different from his sisters, and because he is very moody and demanding. But we love him and think he's pretty funny, even when he's being disagreeable. He also doesn't like to go to anyone other than me or Mac, so it's hard to get a break. His first spoken words were, in this order, ball, car, cracker. He also knows several signs: milk, banana, please, thank you, cracker, dog, more, all done, and eat are all the ones I can think of. We are excited to see him grow and develop, and his sisters love to help take care of him when they can. I think Avery wishes she could be his mother instead of me!

We hope this new year is full of good things for each of you!

Much love and gratitude from,
Mac, Julie, Kate, Avery, Lilly, & Joshua