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Friday, January 2, 2015

2014 in Pictures

It is amazing to me how fast the year can speed by when you have littles. Len’s work continues to keep him busy. He’s been asked to take on several new projects this year, which are all designed to add to his expertise and position him for future promotions. The other thing that has taken up Len’s time has been preparing for his first 5k race. He finished it the first weekend in November and is trying to talk the entire family into joining him in the race next year.

I had a follow up MRI in May with my Houston oncologist. It continued to show substantial tumor shrinkage and I was released from every 6 month MRIs to every 9 months. I will return to Houston next month for another scan. I also wrapped up my year-long private Chinese lessons in June but continue to study at home while the girls are in school.

Both girls started full day Pre-K2 this fall, still at their same school. The first half of their day is fully in Mandarin Chinese while the second half focuses on English. They love the new schedule and have adapted quite well, making friends easily and becoming more independent.

Kate’s big accomplishment this year is her ability to read and write! She had really been applying herself to learning letter sounds and by the 3rd week of school she was coming home with first reader books. Now she reads to us every evening and is visibly pleased with herself! She has also learned to count to 200 in both languages and is learning simple arithmetic. This spring Kate had her first on-stage experience, performing a short group jazz routine that she learned in dance school. Her favorite things to do are swim, practice gymnastics and find money that people have dropped. She amassed nearly $10 this summer in errant change!

Lucy remains incredibly active and social. Her big accomplishment this year has been a mastery of several types of monkey bars, broken arm notwithstanding. Yes, Lucy fell from a high monkey bar on the first day of summer and broke her arm quite badly. Fortunately, a water-proof cast saved the day and allowed her to do one of her favorite things…swim. Her swimming skills have vastly improved and she spent the summer in FL learning to ride the waves at Daytona Beach. This fall she earned her first finisher’s medal when she ran the Spartan Kid’s Race. She is already talking about doing it again. Her favorite things to do are climb, swim, practice gymnastics and paint.

We had a few short trips outside of Chicago this year. Len traveled to both San Antonio and California for work while Lisa visited her Aunt Jay, Uncle Ken and cousin Jackie in North Carolina. It was a rather bittersweet trip with her mom to have one last visit with Jay before she passed away from cancer later in the year. We managed one short weekend away from the girls in January when we went to Lake Lawn Resort in Wisconsin. Although we had planned a big trip to Singapore to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, private school tuition dashed those plans. All was not lost, though, as we spent a good portion of our summer in FL with the Marinis and later at the beach with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

We have been fortunate to have many visitors this year. Early in the year we played in the snow with Paivi, Euie and Euan and later Paul flew to the States from Singapore for work and added us to his agenda. Maggie and Julie both visited from DC, Kit and Keith visited from IN, and Roddy and Gretchen visited from NH. Papa and Meme came from FL, Yiayia and Pappou were here for Halloween and Nana was here for the Christmas holidays. The big surprise for the girls was a sleepover weekend with Sara, Gustav, Leo and Lina who flew in from Sweden. The girls were over-the-moon about this! For Thanksgiving, Jodi, James and their 3 children visited. We met them in China as part of our travel group to adopt our little girls. They, too, adopted a little girl with a cleft palate and it had been 3 years since we had seen each other.

Below is our annual video, trying to cram a year's worth of pictures into 4 minutes!
2014 in Review from Lisa on Vimeo.
Music is "Your life is now" by John Mellencamp

If you are so inclined, you can view our past videos by clicking on these underlined links:
2013 in Review
2012 in Review
2011 in Review
2010 in Review
2009 in Review

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