We started our year with a visit from Brad's parents. We had a lovely time visiting, and took a field trip to Patriot's Point. What a fascinating place!!!! I was also honored to be chosen as Farmgirl of the Month for MaryJanes Farm What an honor!! We also celebrated S7s birthday (complete with another hunting trip!) and another trip to the zoo. Then God blessed us with a little bit of snow... not much, but we were excited, nonetheless!
February started off as a time for crafting, which I love! Then, life came to a screeching halt, when A endured through second degree burns. This traumatic experience was life changing, but again, God saw us through! She is now her happy self, with only slight discoloration in small areas, and vague memories of it happening. We also enjoyed going to the Above and Beyond Exhibit with dear friends.
March was much more quiet, with continued healing for A3, celebrating St. Patrick's Day, a field trip to the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, and another field trip to Fort Watson and Santee Indian Mound. We were also blessed with a visit from a dear Farmgirl Sister, MaryEllen :) We also celebrated Easter.
In April, we started the month with a field trip to Old Santee Canal Park. On the 5th, we celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary! K of course made and decorated our cake :) For my birthday, we made our way into Columbia for another trip to the zoo. It truly is a favorite place for our family to go! We also made a trip to Bee City. Perhaps one of the neatest things for the month, though, was a visit in our backyard by a bald eagle.
In June, we headed to Charlestown Landing as well as the Charleston Aquarium. K13 also had her last horse riding lesson at Black Bottom Stables. We celebrated Brad's birthday, as well as A3's. The end of the month saw us moving again... this time on to Base Housing.
In July we made a trip to the bowling alley on base. What a lot of family fun!!! We also went peach picking, though we did not get nearly as many as we usually do, knowing we would soon be moving out west.
August was spent primarily at home, other than working at a local goat farm once a week. We spent a lot of time finishing up projects for school. We also celebrated E's 1st birthday. Only a few months prior we learned that both she and I are terribly allergic to cow milk. As such, and since E was still not eating much food, we made a delicious fruit cake for her birthday! And then K became a teenager. But what a delightful teenager she is!!! She requested an eggplant lasagna for her dinner again - which was a little tricky in that it had to be made with goat cheese. It turned out super yummy though!
September was a month of preparing to move... again... but for the final time. It was about preparing to start a new chapter in life. It was about doing things for the "last time." We made a trip up to MD to see our families, and later in the month down to see one of my best friends down in Florida, for a long weekend. We continued to work on the goat farm and at the end of the month we made our last trip to the zoo with close friends. Here are our thirteen children...
October was a month of celebrations and visiting. To start the month, Katie was baptized in Believer's Baptism. Her Grammy came to celebrate the occasion with us. The following day, Brad had his retirement ceremony from the Air Force. Both his parents were there for that. The next day they left and the movers came to start packing all our belongings. Thursday the packers finished putting things on the truck, and it was prefect timing, as we had to evacuate due to the hurricane. We came back the next week, cleaned the house, had our last inspection, and left our life for the past 12 years for a new start... It was so hard saying goodbye to our church!!!! We miss our friends and family from GCBC immensely!!!!
We then spent the rest of October traveling out west... the long way. We went up to Virginia first, to visit dear friends near Newport News. Then we headed to West Virginia to stay with more friends. After that, we headed to Indiana where we had lunch with Wardee, then further south in the state to visit with friends down there. After that we visited for a few days with my aunts in Illinois, and then with dear friends in Nebraska. At the end of the month we ended our journey in Wyoming, and closed on our "forever home."
November was spent getting things ready for winter. We knew the cold weather was coming, and with that we needed firewood, and warm clothing. Unfortunately the military were slow about getting us our belongings, but we made do. We were able to get a fence up for the dog fairly quickly after we moved. Everyone was so excited when the first snow began to fall!!! We also started exploring our new surrounding areas. One neat thing we found was that the town of Gillette collects donated decorated Christmas trees and wreaths that they then auction off to earn money for Hospice. This was voted as our kids' favorite...
December started with celebrating L11's birthday. K13 was pretty bummed she didn't have any of her tools to "properly" decorate his cake, but she made do with bought decorations. The following evening we went and watched the Christmas parade with friends from the church we are attending. We also drove around the park in Gillette to see their Festival of Lights and then later in the month went with my brother and sister-in-love and their two boys to Storybook Island to see their lights. Christmas was extra special this year as it was our first white Christmas (it even snowed that day!!!) in a really long time!
Overall, 2016 was a difficult year for us... but a wonderful one in that it helped us grow.. as a family, as a couple, as children of God.