Thursday, December 31, 2009

Here's to a Happy New Year and a mini Year in Review

This year has been filled with many ups and downs. We've had some truly great blessings and we've had heart-wrenching tragedy. I told Cary last night that I always get really sad after Christmas, when it is all over. I don't know why, but I have been that way since I was a young girl. I love the feeling of Christmas and I love the whole month of December. As we approach the new year, I do so with some sadness, some anticipation, some joy, and with much love for my whanau.
We started off January with the purchase of a new *cough* mini-van. I never thought I would love driving one of those little family mobiles, however I DO! Call me crazy, call me a dork. I'm sure I have been called much worse. I'm grateful for our van and I'm grateful we have been blessed with it.
I don't remember much happening in February. That has to be a good thing, right?
March held Gabby's 6th birthday and my 9 year anniversary.
In April Bug turned the big 4 and their biological sister left our home to live with her former foster parents. There were so many mixed emotions about the whole situation, but we knew that it was the best thing for her, for the girls, and for us.
Gabby ended her kindergarten career in May and was so proud of herself. She went from being 2-3 levels behind the other kids, to right out in the forefront. We are so proud of our little Gabbalella. We also found out in May that our "former kids", whom we had for six months the previous year, were back into foster care and they, the state, wanted to place them with us again.
5 kids, are you crazy?!
Yes, Please.
After much prayer and much worry and some hard work on the end of our RFC and caseworker, the kids were placed with us in June.
July sped by with many trips to the pool and tons of late days at the parks. It was a busy summer, but it turned out to be a lot of fun.
August ended with all five kids starting school. Bug started a new preschool and she has been excelling! She, too, has come such a long way since they were placed with us 1 year and 3 months ago.
September was a fantastic month! I turned 31 *sob cry sob* and I share my birthday *day* with one of my boys. He turned 11 and was quite proud to do so. September was the month that we were able to adopt Gabriella Moana and Keeleigh Beonna. They became, officially, our daughters. My dad shared this incredibly special day with us and helped lighten the mood for me on the way up to Salt Lake City. Cary drove with his Mum in the front beside him and I rode in the middle, next to my Dad. I look back at that drive, and that whole day, with so much more joy than I thought I was experiencing that day. I remember after the legalities were out of the way and we were walking back to the van. We had just stepped out of the elevator and were in the underground parking. I clung to my dad in a big bear hug and said, "Well it's official now Grandpa! I am so glad that you came with us today! I love you Dad!" With tears welling up in his eyes, he hugged me tight and told me how much he loved me, the girls, and Cary. He spoke of how proud he was of us.
And, if you will allow, I would like to leave the rest of that memory sacred in my heart. It was a very special day indeed.
October was the best, worst, happiest, saddest month of my life. Our whanau became forever as we were sealed for time and all eternity in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple in American Fork. Days later, my dad left this mortal world to rest for a while with whanau who were waiting to welcome him. As the tears run down my face now, I think of how much I miss him and how much I wish he could have stayed longer. Not for him, mind you, but for me. I have said before that I would do many things differently. That is still the case. I love him and I know he knows that. I miss him dearly. Every.Day.
November came and we buried my Dad. Thanksgiving came and we had a relatively quiet day. My younger boy asked me if we could have a Thanksgiving like in the movies, and we did. It warmed my heart to see their jaws drop, literally, as we came together to thank Heavenly Father for all that we have and to :)
December has been a pretty good month. We have been able to do so many things as a family and have so much fun. We were blessed beyond measure at Christmas. It was a beautiful day filled with fun pressies, much love, and a wonderful whanau. All of the kids were blessed with toys and treasures that they have been itching to have. Cary and I were blessed with much, much more.
Today is the end of 2009 and I can't say that I am sad to see the year go. I'm looking forward to a fresh new year. We have many more changes that are upcoming. I'll keep you posted.
I'm not going to do a resolution list. I have many changes, however, that I am going to make and I will keep you informed on how they go and what they are. :) I am going to do one each month and will share them here.
I hope that this year brings each of you much love, much peace, and much happiness.
I'll close with my testimony. It seems only fitting.
I love my family. I love my husband with all of my heart. He has been my rock for me this year, through joy and sadness. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I'm grateful for the sacrifice that He made for me. I know He loves me too. I'm grateful for the Gospel. I know that it is true. I am grateful for my ward family, for my bishopric, and for the Anderton Family, especially. I am grateful that I belong to the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know this is the true church and I know that Joseph Smith restored the Gospel. I know that President Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet of God. I have a testimony of prayer. I know our prayers are answered. I have a testimony of tithing. I know we will be blessed if we keep the law of tithing.
I KNOW Families can be together Forever and I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who allows it to be so.
Things things I know and say in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


Kristina P. said...

That was beautiful!

I wish you a happy and peaceful 2010.

Dawna said...

What a glorious year you have had...such blessings! I know you miss your father and I am so sorry. It makes me tear up to read your posts about him. I never met him, but he must have been a great man to have such an incredible daughter. You have certainly touched my life. Love ya Manda Lou!

Amy C. said...

I hope you don't mind I found your blog from your link on face book. Blogs are great and I find much joy in mine. I love your touching words and am anxious to hear more from your family now that I've found your blog.