We started with a bit of snow early in the year. Little did we know it was the pre-cursor to monsoon season.
We took you for pizza on those cold days. We are usually pretty good through the appetizer bread sticks, then it's time to go.
Valentine's Day: you began sneaking to the counter to sneak food.
Your daddy had laser eye surgery and at the follow up visit, you all did really well when we had to take you with us because no one else was around to drive him.
And the boys three-year-visit and the girls 18-month visit was dispensed with all at once. Yikes.
Ben seemed a bit unsure of it at first. Many nights these days he sneaks down and sleeps on a couch in the middle of the night. No idea why.
The Radio Flyer Wagon. One of the best gifts we have ever received. And it was put to use the second the weather started to clear.
We loved playing with daddy's uniform at the beginning of the year.
And we stayed outside as much as possible even a bit before it was warm enough probably.
The girls couldn't wait to become stuntmen though.
We "celebrated" Easter.
Grandma and I made a trip to Texas with everyone to see Aunt Lori and Uncle Brian and grandpa while Patric was at a long training session.
But daddy always came home. We always loved seeing this uniform show up.
Because it meant there was another workhorse in the house.
Sometimes the kids would make their own rocket ships though.
And sometimes they even played with their toys correctly.
Grandma and grandpa came to visit a lot.
And in May, daddy took all the kids to Kansas for a week so mom could have a little surgery.
And they traveled pretty well on the long solo trip with dad.
Elaine--you were the one that started to hop out of cribs.
The Kings spent a lot of time with us clicking pictures of children.
And then we found Nancy with a pool and no one to swim in it. We were happy to make the place look lived in.
I tried Alida. I tried to get a good picture of you this year.
You played in the pool as much as you could.
Daddy was here for the Fourth of July and we spent it at a fireworks show--the boys loved it; the girls not-so-much.
Since daddy was at National Guard so much, we just went ahead and followed him there one weekend and had a great time at the hotel pool.
And then monsoon season set it. And we went outside anyway.
And we made a visit to Shiloh National Park, where we read on the way out, you aren't supposed to climb on those...
Member night at the zoo was fun.
There were two days that mommy had to be out of town , so daddy saddled up the crew and took them swimming with Aunt Cynthia.
We visited everyone in Minnesota.
And learned about making fires.
And gave Aunt Lori a workout.
All made possible by our current favorite method of mass transportation: Amtrak.
We used our imaginations: when I took away their Transformer toys, they just made themselves into Transformers.
Grandma Montana came and visited.
And this happened more nights than I would have liked this past year, but they just keep piling in sometimes. It's really not as efficient as it looks now that they're bigger.
And all I remember about this picture is that it was an VERY long weekend that ended in five minutes of world peace that amazed me.
Grandpa and grandma came to town a lot to wrangle children.
And I made my first solo outing with the kids to public places. And we lived. And we'll do it again.
And we attempted a family photo...
And the girls were not terribly excited about their toddler beds.
I tried Alida, I really did.
And daddy always came home after being away. And it was always a wonderful reunion.
Elaine grew by like 5 years.
Ben got six stitches that didn't hold the skin together after they were taken out. So it popped open anyway and it'll leave a mark.
That was right after the Thanksgiving weekend emergency room visit for Ben, who turned out to just be really sick.
And we did a lot of passing our time with new activities this year.
And daddy came home for Christmas. And the last time we saw that uniform at the end of vacation, we all knew that we were tired of what it meant to us.