Well, again it’s been a while since I’ve let everyone know what’s been going on, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to review the year to let you know what’s been happening around here. It’s been a couple of years since the last one, so here it is:

January

I had the day off on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and since William had been asking for a long time to make a snowman, we put on our snowsuits and went outside. The snow was much too powdery, and not sticky enough to even think of making a snowman, however, so since we had plenty of drift snow, we made an igloo instead. We’ll have to wait for a bit more snow this year before we can make another one, but we both enjoyed it. Later on in the month, William thought it would be a good idea to haul out the swimming pool and go for a swim, but he decided against it when he was told he wouldn’t be allowed to swim with his winter coat on.

At the end of the month the family went to the skating rink to go skating with the rest of the church. William tried skating for the first time and it went pretty decently all things considered. Niamh had the double-bladed skates on and didn’t do a whole lot, but they both had fun.

February

In February I started helping out with the audio/visual at our church. It was my first time working on it alone in a while (I used to do it on the old system when I was in high school, but they put in a new system which is a bit more complicated, though not too difficult).

In the middle of the month we had a Town Hall Meeting with the Hon. George Smitherman, regarding the proposed “Peaker” Plant to be built inside the Marsh. It’s hard to tell what the meeting was actually for, given that the opening statement given by Mr. Smitherman basically said that he would ignore anything that anyone brought up during the meeting. So it was an interesting meeting, but it was a bit frustrating.

Near the end of the month I brought Alana to the airport, where she boarded a plane and set off to the Dominican Republic. This was the first time she met her sister’s husband. (Alana’s sister met him when she went to the Dominican Republic on vacation a while before. They got married not too long after, but he hasn’t been allowed to leave the country yet). Alana stayed with her sister while she is there, and got a little bit of rest. That meant, however, a fair amount of more work for me, of course. It wasn’t too bad, but after dealing with William throwing up one night, and Niamh throwing up in another night (they seem to do that when they miss their mom), I was happy to see her back the next week.

March

On Alana’s first day back at work in March, she got the news that her company had been acquired by another company (Genevar). The founder of the company was not happy about the arrangement, but couldn’t do much about it, since he had just retired. They switched over later in the year. Alana wasn’t too happy that she had to work 22 ½ hours now instead of 20 hours a week to get the medical benefits, but she has made the adjustments.

April

April was a pretty busy month. Alana had a drill rig come over to fix our laundry line post (which had been leaning a fair amount until then). It’s not something you normally get a drill rig to do, but she knew the company and they did it for free since they weren’t too busy at the time.

Later in the week Alana, William and I went to the Newsboys concert at the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship. It was a lot of fun, though it was a bit different from previous concerts with Michael Tait as the new lead singer.

In the middle of April I went to Toronto General Hospital for my regular heart murmur checkups, and we went to visit my Aunt Jackie and Uncle John in Michigan with my parents for an extended weekend. It was a nice visit, and we go to see my cousin Dan and his family on one of the days. The kids were pretty good for the car ride, and we got to relax for a bit.

Near the end of the month we learned that Alana’s grandmother had passed away. The funeral was held shortly after at her church in Toronto. Alana’s sister Jenn, Greg, and I were asked to be pall bearers along with two of her mother’s cousins and another relative. Her family had several days of warning before her death and it didn’t come as too much of a surprise. Alana and her mother took the funeral pretty well, but her younger sisters took it a bit harder, though still fairly well.

In the middle of the funeral arrangements, we received news on the 25th that my brother Phil’s wife gave birth to a daughter, Violet May. Leah was a bit late, so they induced, but she didn’t have as much difficulty with the induction as Alana did with Niamh. Violet is a cute little one and doing well.

May

On the 7th, William played his part in his school’s musical. The JK and SK classes were together as one group of singers all dressed as ants. They sang, “The ants go marching one by one, hurrah!Hurrah!…” It was cute. The older class had children doing little introductions to the next classes and they continued with bees, butterflies, and various other insects before finishing off with a bow.

Near the middle of the month we started our softball season. I was chosen to be on my brother Matt’s team, and our first game was a win against my brother Doug’s team. Early on we could tell that both of our teams would do pretty well.

William also started to ride his bike without training wheels in May. It was a bit difficult weaning him off of the wheels at first, but he got the hang of it pretty quickly. He had been depending mostly on his left training wheel as a sort of crutch when riding, so he started out by tending to lean to the left and falling over, but it wasn’t long before he was rushing around on his bike and riding ahead of us.

June

In June I was ordained as an elder in our church after having been chosen as one of the four incoming elders to replace those who had finished serving their terms (one of those four being my father) near the end of May. This is my first term as an elder, so there was/is a lot to learn, and so far it’s been a busy half-yearn – but it’s gone well enough so far.

On the 18th, Alana’s sister Christina gave birth to a son, Reed at around 3:00 pm. This is the first nephew for me (I’ve got five nieces now and one nephew). He and Christina are both healthy and doing well.

July

On the other side of the ballpark, William started playing T-ball for the first time. The first half of the season was mostly for practice (they didn’t keep score), but the second half would be scored. There were only three teams for T-ball, so two teams would face off against one another while the third team practiced. William had a nice hit during his first at bat, and did pretty well during the season, considering it was his first year.

During the annual Moorfield tournament I hit a ground ball straight to the pitcher which deflected off the pitcher’s rubber and smacked him in the face. I looked over toward the pitcher, who had keeled forward with his head in his hands. Everybody gathered around and all I could see was blood dripping liberally to the ground. I felt bad about it even though I hadn’t intended to hit it towards him, so I talked with him later in the day, and he didn’t hold a grudge. For the second time in three years we made it to the quarter finals before losing to Smithville (the favorites for the title) by a score of 25-13. We were happy to have had a decent tournament either way.

The next morning I woke up and discovered that Alana had to bring Niamh to the hospital when I was in Moorfield. William had received a 7-iron golf club for his birthday from his uncle Greg a few days before, and Niamh was a bit too interested in what William was doing when he swung the club, so she ended up in its path. She had to get three stitches in her forehead due to the gash from the club head.

Near the end of the month we held the annual family reunion for Alana’s mother’s half of the family. It was fun – even though it rained. It’s nice to see anyone, regardless of the weather.

August

On the 9th we had a major storm in the Marsh with green skies and a fair amount of wind. We went to my parents’ house and stayed in the basement until it cleared. When the storm started to clear, we went back upstairs and took a look around. There were chunks of willow all over the yard and the willows behind the house had snapped and broken in many places and were badly mangled. Since my brother Matthew was getting married in a couple of weeks, my father wanted the lawn to look nice for visitors and he had been working to make it look presentable. Now it was… less presentable, so Matthew, Hollie and I took Monday off to cut the wood and clean everything up.

On the 22nd, my brother and his fiance Hollie got married. The reception was held in the same place that Alana and I had our reception, and the food was good. It was nice to talk to all of the relatives that we don’t get much of a chance to talk to, and it was fun to celebrate their wedding.

Also this month, Niamh went to an eye doctor and started wearing glasses. She has a lazy eye, so they’re trying to see if they can fix it with glasses first, but they will probably also need to patch up her strong eye sometime as well. She looks cute in her glasses, but she tends to get them dirty pretty quickly, so they require a lot of cleaning.

September

In September William started going to Orangeville Christian School. Orangeville is a fair distance from here (about 40 minutes), but the school is quite a bit cheaper than HMDCS and it’s not too far out of the way from my drive to work (an extra 20-25 minutes), so it’s not too bad getting him there. He was attending a Catholic school for Jr Kindergarten, but when Alana found out the price, we decided to send him to OCS this year to see how it would go. So far it’s being going pretty well. William likes his teachers and his classmates, and he gets along well with everyone.

Niamh went to see her heart doctor on the 21st (she has an atrial septal defect, pulmonary valve stenosis, and ductus arteriosus). Since she is still so small, the doctors want to wait until she is four before they do surgery (primarily to fix the atrial septal defect). We’ll see them again in February to determine the type of surgery that will be pursued.

In the middle of the month both William’s T-ball and our softball tournaments took place. William’s T-ball team came in second place (out of three), and we came in first place (out of ten). William was thrilled to get a trophy, and went around to everyone at the ballpark to show it to them. I was happy to be on another of my brothers’ teams when they won the championships (this year with Matt’s team, last year with Doug’s team).

Starting in September (and going through October), William and Niamh took swimming lessons on Saturday mornings. They seemed to enjoy it quite a bit and it was interesting to watch how they teach them. William ended up passing and moving to the next level, while Niamh needs to do her level over again (she won’t jump in the water or put her face in the water for five seconds yet). They start again in February, I think.

October

On Alana and my wedding anniversary on the 18th we stayed home for a long weekend and had Matt and Hollie take care of the kids at their house. It was nice to be able to relax a bit. We went to see “Lord of the Dance” in Orillia and then went out for dinner at the Keg after a round of glow-in-the-dark miniputt in Barrie. The next day we had brunch at Cora’s and took Symba for a walk out on the trail in the Marsh that we hadn’t heard of until just recently (even though we live close-by and drive by it all the time). It was a nice walk – we’ll have to go there again when it gets warm again. Then we went to Montana’s for dinner. On Sunday I taught Sunday school and the kids came home when we got back from church. Apparently they had a great time with Matt and Hollie, just as we had a great time staying home.

November

In November our church voted on a proposed amalgamation with Newmarket CRC. The vote was defeated when only 41-42 percent of the members of our congregation voted to go forward with the plan. The congregation in Newmarket easily passed the vote, but we needed both congregations to pass the proposal with 2/3 of the vote for it to go through, so the motion failed. The overall result wasn’t too surprising, but I did expect the vote to be a bit closer.

Near the end of the month Alana and I rearranged the whole house. That wasn’t quite so enjoyable, but we’re glad that it’s done. Moving everything around sort of forced us to clean those areas of the house that are nearly impossible to clean otherwise, so the house is probably a healthier atmosphere now than it was before. All-in-all it looks pretty good this way, so we’ll probably leave it this way for the next six years.

December

This past month was a busy one as well. Early in the month, William had his school Christmas program. William was part of the “A-team” with the rest of the boys who were not part of the main cast (the girls were angels). He got to sing a few songs and seemed to enjoy himself. We also were able to meet some of the parents of the other students as well as the teachers. It was an enjoyable program to watch. My parents came out to watch the show as well.

After failing to obtain the required number of votes for the amalgamation, our council decided to recommend that our church extend a call to Pastor Bodini. The church voted on the 13th, and the vote passed with over 88% supporting the call. And this past week (in January) we were excited to hear the news that Pastor Bodini has accepted our call.

I was given the last week and a half of the year off from work, so I was able to spend time with the kids and get a few things done around the house. Even with the time off, though, things were pretty busy visiting relatives and going to Christmas and New Years’ services, as well as getting everything done around the house when Alana was at work. Busy though it was, it is always nice to be able to finish the year off with the family.

So that’s the summary for the year. I hope everyone has a great year in 2010!

John

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