Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Year in Review

{The Sanstrom Seven ~2009}

I can't believe I am going to post these before I send out my Christmas cards, but my brother did a great job {again} with our family pictures and I just have to share them.

Also, I am hoping that my mom's FAVORITE cousin {shhh, don't tell the others} will get a chance to come on by to take a peek!

This has been a big year for me. There have been lots of ups and downs (you can read about them a few posts back). Jeff and I spent a good chunk of the year running around and just trying to keep our heads above water. We also had a LOT of fun watching our kids grow into themselves. It almost seems as though I can watch them get bigger during dinner.

{Meghan Alexandrea}

My oldest daughter is turning 16 in just a few more days. It's a little crazy if you ask me! I hope to do a little blog with some photos over the last 16 years, but I hope for a lot of things! We'll see how time goes and if I get any scanned in. {I promise no naked baby pictures or any of you on the little blue potty in the living room, Meghan!}

Meghan's passion in life are horses. Mainly (I could have used "mane-ly" but resisted the pun) her Arabian named Silver. This time last year, she could barely ride Silver, and after a few lessons with Mike Zebarth {how can I sing this guy's praises? He's FANTASTIC} and hours and hours of practice, she is earning 1st place ribbons and riding bareback. These two have a bond that is amazing to watch. I can't wait to see how she does next year in 4H. She is beginning to work a bit with our mare Hunny. I hope she gets her trained soon, we really need another rideable horse!

She is a Sophomore in high school and doing a great job. Somehow she manages to get her school work done, work with the horses and help me out each day. This girl is my right hand woman around the house. She often knows and does what I need before I even have to ask her. She is such a blessing to me!

{Taylor Katherine}

Taylor is a 6th grader this year. That means that next year I will have TWO daughters in the "Teen" group at church. Am I really this old?

She may only be 11 but, most days I feel like she's turning 30!

Tay is interested in horses as well. This was her first year in 4H and I have to say I am still a little surprised when I see her heft that saddle over her horse's back. I'm not sure she's quite as enamored as Meghan (there was nothing horse related on HER Christmas list) but she still loves to ride and it comes to her naturally.

Lately she has been studying wolves and is very interested in them. She also loves to read and has devoured most every book in our house that is age appropriate. Janette Oke and Louisa May Alcott are two beloved authors.

I have heard mention that she is writing a book but, have not been invited to read it yet. If Meghan is my right hand around the house, Tay is defiantly my left! She is quickly learning all the ins and outs of homemaking. I'm not sure she enjoys the cleaning part {but really, who does?} but she loves to cook and makes one terrific Fried Egg Muffin!

{Kennedy Grace}

My little Kennedy is 10. That makes for {THREE} kids in double digits!

Kennedy is growing up to be quite a beautiful young lady. This girl is my dreamer. She loves to write and comes up with some wonderfully creative stories and poems. She also loves to draw and color; my fridge is often covered in her creations. She is another avid reader and enjoys books on slavery and the depression.

Kennedy is my most soft hearted--the little things are important to her. She will be the first one to give you hugs and hold your hand in the store and when she is making and giving little gifts she is thrilled!

Managing our little Chicken Operation is Kennedy's job. She feeds and waters them and collects their eggs daily. She is also in charge of selling their eggs to friends and family.

Kennedy is a {HUGE} help with Zoey. She has taken Zoey under her wing and mothers her like crazy. She loves to teach her all kinds of little cute faces and sayings.

{Nathaniel Grant}

My baby boy {he would die if he knew I was calling him that!} is turning 7 in January. It is so fun to watch him learn. He is starting to get the hang of reading and in church today kept pointing out his sight words on the screen as our Pastor read from Psalms. It was a {VERY} exciting moment for me to see it all beginning to click.

For someone who's "girl trapped", he is all boy. The BB gun he got for Christmas last year is his prize possession and he defends our home against the pesky squirrels and birds. {Lucky for the squirrels and birds his aim needs a little work.}

At every opportunity, he is at his dad's side helping him with anything he can. When he can't be with Jeff he does lower himself to entertain {or annoy depending on who's talking} his sisters.

He begs each day for school but really only wants to do History and Math. It's okay with him if we work on Language but groans and complains when we get to Phonics. As much as he says he hates it-the look on his face when he reads his sentences can only be described as ECSTATIC!

{Zoey Isabella}

Zoey turned 2 in September and is talking and jabbering more and more every day. How badly she wants to be big! It is happening faster than I would like.

She mimics the actions she sees her siblings do--she stomped her foot and said FINE! the other day. (She did get a little swat on her behind and a firm taking to because of the attitude--but dog-gone it, she was so CUTE when she did it!) Then she batted her eyes and said "Oh tay, mama."

She also has most every person around her wrapped around her finger. Every person in this house runs whenever she calls--{ESPECIALLY} her daddy! Each of the kids tries to influence her in some way. Meghan is passing on her love of horses. Taylor loves to cuddle her and read her stories. Kennedy puts the paper and colors in front of her and helps her to make pretty pictures. Nathan has taught her to fall down and die when he says "bang!".

{The Most Fabulous Five}

Look at them; aren't they amazing?

I know that in a blink it will be Zoey that is turning 16. Between now and then I will savor every moment. I am so incredibly {BLESSED} by them.

How is it that God chose ME to be the one to nurture them and teach them and love them? To BE loved by them?

Jeff is such a wonderful husband and daddy. He takes the time to make each child feel special and loved. He teaches them about life and shows them how to work. The way he lives shows them about sacrifice and giving. The way he loves shows them how a man should be. He helps them to find their dreams then encourages them once they find them.

This man is my life. These children are my heart. This family is my breath.

They make my {HEART} sing.