Hello Family and Friends!
We wish each of you a warm and happy Christmas! 2014 has been a great and interesting year for The Smiths. We have had adventures, experiences and learning this year. Let's see if we can break it down, shall we?
This year started with camping and ended with an awesome Turkey-Bowl. In-between we had a visit to Utah never to be forgotten, lost a sweet grandfather, went white water rafting at Jackson Hole, the boys started school at a wonderful new charter school, aattended many soccer and baseball games, tried to sell our house, decided not to sell our house, added to our animal farm and learned what it's like to have a family with slightly older kids. BUSY!!
Dan the Man
Dan started off the new year by being called into the Bishopric. He is the second counselor and has loved serving in this way. He has also enjoyed coaching Austin's soccer team. He has been able to keep a good core of boys season to season which helps make for a real strong team. Dan loves to coach and is rather popular in the league. There are usually quite a lot of requests to get on his team. He has also enjoyed taking boxing classes this year and is continuing his pursuit of insane races. Next goal: 50 miler. Tannie made sure The Will was all in order when this goal was announce. ;-)
Tannie Fo Fanny
Tannie has had a fun year focusing on her art. It was a 2014 New Years goal to grow her studio this year. It has been a lot of fun making connections in the art and illustration world and her name as an artist is slowly growing. She took a water color class at Laguna Gloria, finally admitted to old age and got glasses and re-branded her whole studio. She has also been teaching drawing classes and will soon be offering them online as well. You can check out her work on www.tannniesmith.com and follow her on instagram for art and family related upkeep.
She always has fun hanging out with all her handsome boys and does a good job holding her own as the only girl at home. She makes up for it by making sure all their pets are girl pets ;-)
The biggest event, beside trying to sell a house, was also house related. Early in the summer Tannie's parents home was hit by a tornado. It took most of the remainder of the year to get the house put back together. There is still some fixes left, but it is finally livable again just in time for the holidays.
Austin is turing into a really fun, creative and thoughtful young man. He is a great big brother that loves to help and make up games. He loves to READ READ READ! He can't devour books fast enough. He is doing great at school and is at the top of his class. He loves playing soccer for his dad and does a great job at goalie. He also loves playing mid-field and quite often gets a few goals in.
This summer he went on a Father/Son campout in which he impaled his leg with the largest splinter ever. A more accurate description would be a branch. Yes he impaled himself with a small tree. You can see the remains above. He was a trooper while the men there helped take it out. Dan fainted like a champ when the limb was successfully removed. Austin still loves to tease his Dad about that.
Logan "The Wolverine" Smith
Logan is the kid with the plan. His mind is always churning and he is constantly inventing new things. A lego kid through and through. One of these days this guy is going to invent something that will change the world. He is just our little brainiac. Earlier this year he went on a domino kick where he would create Rube Goldberg machines from his dominos and toys. The one pictured above was designed to launch paper airplanes. And it did! It flew halfway across the room. It was awesome!
Logan's main event for the year was turning 8 and getting baptized. He loves primary and attending scouts. He also got to see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir live for his birthday and met President Uchtdorf. Pretty awesome birthday for a music loving kid. His goal for next year is to play the piano. Guess mom better start shopping for a piano.
Logan enjoyed baseball for two seasons, but wanted to take a break this season. He hopes to take tennis lessons and try soccer again next year.
Seth and Valerie/Vanessa/Vanalerie are still in newly wedded bliss. Vanessa is now known as Valerie to Utah and Seths family and Vanessa here in Texas. She decided that her middle name was who she truly is :-) However the switch has confused Austin and Logan, so we still call her Vanessa. You can call her Valerie, or my favorite, Vanalerie ;-) Whoever she is, we love her and are so happy to have her as a part of our family.
Seth was recently accepted into graduate school in Arkansas so they will be moving there this summer. This is great news because now they will only be 8 hours away vs. 32. Seth is pursuing a food science degree and Vanessa is still working on her Public Relations degree. However she is considering switching to Fashion Design. Which makes sense because she has such great style!
Over all, they are doing really great. Vanessa had a lot of health issues this past year that have recently cleared up. So she is happy to be finally feeling healthy again. She is also taking Piano lessons and loves to learn new things. Seth is happy in school and has some really great internships lined up. However don't challenge him to a game of Settlers of Catan, he will destroy you.
The Animal Farm
Kona and Wednesday have had a great year with lots of trips to the dog park for Kona and plenty of sunny spots for Wednesday. Wednesday was glad to not sustain any injuries this year and just be a normal grumpy cat. Tannie felt that a friend might help Wednesday feel a little less grumpy. So two weeks ago she brought home a new kitten. This kitten was quickly named Tuesday and has become a fun part of the family. And yes, Wednesday has cheered up since. Success!
Well that was our year in a nut shell. Obviously we stuck to the highlights, but the highlights are what we want most to remember. This year we grew closer as a family and learned how to more strongly rely on faith. If that is all we take away from 2014, then we are happy.
Love too all of you and wishing you a wonderful new year of your own!
Dan, Tannie, Austin and Logan