As 2017 comes to an end, we reflect on all that has happened during the last year.
Dave celebrated 11 years with Microsoft and has done a fair amount of travel – San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, St. Louis, Denver, and Atlanta a couple different times plus a couple other cities. All trips were to meet with customers, so not any time for sight-seeing or visiting friends and family in those areas.
He ended 2016 in the hospital and welcomed in 2017 in the hospital. All the same stay due to severe back problems. It’s been an ongoing thing for several years with doctors telling him it was arthritis. This time he met with a back doctor who was able to determine that it’s not arthritis but disc degeneration in his low back. He will eventually need back surgery, but several times during the year he’s gone in for back injections which have helped.
Since his doctor was able to help him with his back issues, he asked if there was anything he could do about his chronic headaches. Something he’s had for 20+ years and no doctor has been able to determine the cause. Again, the back doctor discovered that he has a slipped disc in his upper spine that has caused the severe headaches all these years. To avoid surgery, they’ve been trying injections. Unfortunately, they haven’t been as successful as the back injections, so 2018 may include surgery for him.
Debbie continues to be a stay-at-home mom, homeschooling the girls and staying busy with all their activities. She helped start a co-op with some other homeschool moms and has made several new friends over the past year.
Lili is 10 and doing 5th grade work this year. She continues to take art classes and is in a Jr. Master Naturalist program thru the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. She also got braces this year and is looking much older these days.
Naomi is 8 and doing 3rd grade work this year. She continues to take acting classes and very much enjoys dancing and singing. She too has had some orthodontic work done. No braces yet, but had to get an expander to widen her pallet so her permanent teeth have room in her mouth. Braces are likely in her future as well, so this is step 1 of 2.
Obviously, both girls are very much into the Arts and we are thrilled they have found things they love. Both have participated in the Variety Shows at Frisco School of Performing Arts. You can see them in the latest show by clicking here. And here is Lili’s artwork from that show.
She had another class before the Holiday break and thru together this Dr. Seuss inspired piece.
Lili and Naomi are so very different from each other and are both amazing, talented young ladies.
Debbie and the girls are active with their homeschool group, co-op and regular trips around the DFW area for educational opportunities.
In January, we took another cruise sailing to Honduras, Belize, and Cozumel.
It’s always nice to get away and spend time connecting more closely with each other.
We had the added pleasure of friends joining us on the cruise. It was their first, but hopefully not our last cruise together.
Over the summer Debbie and the girl travelled to Illinois to visit friends and family. We brought friends back home with us for a couple of weeks before making the trip back to Illinois via Galveston.
Yes, we realize that Galveston isn’t on the way to Illinois from Dallas, but our visitors had never seen the ocean. After spending a few hours at the beach, we headed east thru Louisiana and then north thru Mississippi toward Illinois. It was a nice visit, and all had so much fun at the beach that we plan to go back next year. Hopefully we can make it a longer beach vacation.
We also attended a family reunion and were able to visit with family we haven’t seen in many years. It was so nice to catch up and while I wish visits could happen more often, being spread across the U.S. makes it very difficult. Fortunately, we do have family on both sides here in Texas and are able to have regular visits with them.
On April 29th, we became a licensed as a Texas foster home. Within three days of being licensed we had a 5-month-old and her 5-year-old sister. They were with us for 3 months before leaving to go live with their grandmother.
A few weeks later we had a 2-year-old boy, who was only with us for 2 ½ weeks before he went on to live with his grandmother.
On September 28th we got a 6-day-old baby girl who is still with us and will be here at least until the end of January.
Two days before Thanksgiving we got a 2-year-old little boy, who turned 3 the next day. He too is still with us, although we’re not sure if he’ll be with us during the holidays or not. All is dependent on the outcome in court.
In the State of Texas, CPS tries very hard to place children in a kinship home. It may be biological family members or could be a friend of the biological family. So far, all the cases we’ve had in Texas have moved to kinship care. The little guy we have now may be going to a family member right before Christmas, but we likely won’t know until at least December 20th.
Of course, there is always the possibility that another child may come into our care between now and Christmas. Foster care is a lot of things, but certainly never boring.
In addition to the foster children we’ve had, we have taken in some other foster children for respite care. Some as short as 3 days and others as long as 2 weeks.
Needless-to-say, between our girls, the three dogs and foster children, we manage to stay pretty busy. Yet we’re never too busy to take time out to think of all our friends and family, both near and far. We hope all of you have had a wonderful 2017 and wish you an even more spectacular 2018.