Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Holiday Letter 2008

Dear Friends and Family,

Ahhh. 2008 is quickly coming to an end. If we could sum up this year in one word, it would be homework. Collectively, our family has done more homework this year than ever before!

Abe has been immersed in various calculus and statistics courses as he makes progress toward a master's in statistics at Cal State East Bay with a future graduation date of June 2010. Abe continues his employment at Checkpoint where he can creatively incorporate statistical concepts he learns at school. He runs several days per week, does yoga, and walks with his family on the weekends to stay fit. He delights in listening to fine literature on audiobooks and watching movies that stimulate the mind. On top of it all, Abe finds time to help around the house by washing the dishes and doing the laundry.

Janine is only one semester away from completing her Master of Library and Information Science from San Jose State and has spent countless hours at the computer reading, writing, and creating projects for school. Janine is still sitting at the computer doing homework, NOT cleaning the house, walking the dogs, serving as Webelos Cub Scout Den Leader for the Central Park Ward, volunteering at the Fremont Main Library as a Baby Bounce leader, working part-time for her business, Weston Photography, caring for her children, cooking healthy meals, and exercising at Curves. She is also very tired.

Natalie (age 6.9) diligently pushes through her Saxon math curriculum, reads for hours each day, writes in her journal, and continually engages herself in many artistic endeavors. Natalie is homeschooling again for first grade through Connecting Waters Charter School and has joined the Bayside 4-H Club as a primary member. This year, she is in the Primaries and Beading/Jewelry Making projects. Creative and careful, she has made several bracelets and necklaces with beautiful colors and patterns. Natalie enjoys cooking, playing Polly Pockets, interacting with her puppy, Sam, meeting friends at the park, and visiting the library.

Max (age 4.75), the future engineer, is always building, building, building with Legos, Tinker Toys, Magnetix, blocks, Playdough, mud, and anything else he can get his hands on. Max is also a musical guy, and can be found clapping, tapping, and bee-bopping to the beat whenever a song comes on. All three kids attend class at Country Kids two days per week where they do crafts, make snacks, care for the chickens, play with friends, climb trees, build forts, and run around crazy on Miss Lisa's quarter acre backyard--Max appreciates his time there most of all! Max and Natalie also took some science and math classes at Math Science Nucleus where they experimented with magnets, shape sorting, fossils, and measurement. Their favorite part of class was visiting the gift shop so they could purchase rocks and minerals for their growing collection.

Madeline (age 2.5) spends her busy days writing, coloring, painting, and gluing--usually her medium of choice ends up all over her in the process, but she has lots of fun becoming one with her artwork! Madeline loves to play "mommy" as she carries her baby dolls around in her shirt (so she can nurse them on the go), pushes them in a stroller, and feeds them plastic foods. She is very independent and is constantly telling us she wants to do things herself. In an effort to free up space in the kids' room, we moved Madeline to a "big girl bed" only to find her at 4am curled up with Rosie (our Labrador) in her dog bed in the living room--she just adores her furry friends! Needless to say, we are postponing that move a little longer!

Been There, Done That in 2008
Here are a few of the shows we've seen, places we've visited, and exhibits we have attended over the past year:

  • Marine World USA in Vallejo

  • Pier 39 in San Francisco

  • Honk the Musical in Fremont

  • Gladys Knight concert in Fremont

  • Kids Discovery Museum in San Jose

  • Body Worlds @ Tech Museum in San Jose

  • Into the Woods in Stockton

  • Touch-a-Truck in Thousand Oaks

  • Blueberry picking in Somis

  • Serena's wedding in Sacramento

  • Niles Dog Show in Fremont

  • Lake Chabot in San Leandro

  • Jet Pack Demo @ Hiller Aviation Museum in Redwood City

  • Spookey Slough @ Don Edwards Park in Alviso

  • Llama Day Hike @ Redwood Regional Park in Oakland

  • Disney on Ice in Oakland

  • Plaza Suite the play @ Mission San Jose High School in Fremont

  • Thanksgiving with family in Shell Beach

  • Children's Museum in San Luis Obispo

  • Nutcracker @ Ohlone College in Fremont

  • LDS Temple lights in Oakland

  • Christmas with family in Tracy

  • Walking with Dinosaurs @ HP Pavillion in San Jose

All in all, our family is blessed to be happy, healthy, and well-educated.

We wish you the best for you and yours in 2009,

The Weston Family: Abe, Janine, Natalie, Max, & Madeline
(Also pictured: Uncle Brian, Grandma Laurie, Grandpa Dana, & Grandpa Tim)


Alyson said...

Yeah! I'm so glad you've jumped on the "blogwagon"! It's a great way to keep friends and family informed on your life...without too much effort!
And even though I see you on a weekly basis, it'll be fun to keep up with what you're doing between Sundays!

Susan said...

So great to catch up with you on your blog! Fantastic photos, as always. I've been blogging, too, about cooking with the kids, and other homeschooling things.

Merry Christmas!