Monday, November 24, 2008

Christmas Letter and 2008 Family update

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Welcome to our family blog. If you want to know more about how our year went then feel free to scroll through our old stories. We started this site shortly after Jumba was born and post every week with stories and pictures. Check back often and you will get a peek into our lives. We have traveled far this year, we have visited family, we all enjoyed another hot Houston Summer at the pool, we promoted Goobers to high school and on Jan 3rd Pooker will officially be finished with high school and onto college work, we survived Hurricane Ike and have grown in numbers, height and faith. Here is a peek:

J and Neen: Well we entered the current century by adding texting to our phone plan and creating facebook pages. I know that you are thinking we must be super hip parents, but our kiddos will be quick to point out that we don’t really know what we are doing. Teenagers communicate in a million different ways and we are just trying to be ready. J earned the incentive trip again with BIC this last year. So we headed to Venice and Verona Italy with other couples from his company. It was beautiful. We loved the history all around us. We learned so much and are very thankful for our dear BIC friends and for Miss Brenda and Mimi who both took time away from their lives to come and baby sit our crowd while we were out of the country.

Pooker (17) has finished up her high school studies with T Homeschool Academy. She has done so much work and we are very proud of her. For the next semester she is enrolled at the local community college to get some college experience. She has done some amazing things this past year. She helped with swim team. She worked as a life guard again last summer. She would tell us, “I was busy saving lives all day!” So how could ask her to do chores at home after such a lofty day at work? She started another job in October to save money for her college life. I have been very impressed with her ability to balance school and work. On top of all that Pooker is very involved at the Church. She is active in LifeTeen, the Senior Core Team, and being a teacher’s assistant for Confirmation Classes. This last summer she was chosen along with 8 peers to represent the parish and it’s 500 youth at the Life Teen Notre Dame Leadership Conference. She was chosen because of her “demonstrated selfless leadership, team work, and spiritual maturity”. She really is a young woman of God and we could not be prouder.

Goobers (14 ) has finished up her grade school studies and has moved onto high school work. She has joined her sister and I for our once a week class, the Catholic Coffee Club. She is maturing quickly. She baby-sits quite often and always returns as one of that family’s favorite sitters. She was a junior coach last summer with our neighborhood swim team and loved helping every day. Goobers is enjoying the active life of high school and is also very active at church. She is in LifeTeen and has enjoyed getting to know her peers on Pizza Tuesdays. She can often be found on facebook uploading pictures from her new camera.

Bear (13) has had a busy year becoming very social. Bear is my favorite 7Th grader around. He is so funny. I think he grew 3 inches last week alone. He is often found babysitting with Goobers, or stuck at home because she is gone. He has been very active at trying to protect his older sisters from every boy out there. Bear was also asked to help out the swim team at the end of the season. He was always found helping the coaches clean up the pool area as practice would end. We have started having home School Physical Education Classes a few times a month. Bear is loving the activity and the social time with his peers. He was such a help during the week after the hurricane. He thinks outside the box and when the electricity is out for a week he was the one that came up with solutions on getting chores done.

Sugar (12) has also grown a few inches taller in the past few weeks. She is in 6Th grade and is now old enough to take on the world. As always she is still very social. She is the one in the group that loves to read. We sometimes find her missing and discover she is hiding in her room with a good book. She also helped with the Cuda’s at the end of the season. She is looking forward to doing volleyball again, unfortunately didn’t get to participate this fall so she is pushing already for next year. Sugar's passion is still fashion design. She is always drawing new combinations.

Moogie (9) is still are very strong willed crazy fighter. She is so strong physically and emotionally. Moggie is the personality that sticks out of the crowd. I guess she needs to be considering she is smack dab in the middle. She is a very active 3rd graders that is hard to keep up with. Her health is great with no residual effects from her open heart surgery in 2005. Moggie had a big year this year. In April we ventured to St. Louis for her First Confession and First Holy Communion. I think her favorite part (next to receiving of course!) was shopping for the dress. It is our tradition that the older sister go with you. It was a fun day to say the least. Moggie got to tell us which way to go and was the center of attention the entire afternoon. She loved it!

Pickle (8) still has a smile that will slay you. He watched Moggie receive the sacraments last year and could not wait until it was his turn. This little 2ND grader is doing things differently than the older T kiddos; instead of returning to St. Louis for the sacraments we are doing them through our parish this time. He was able to have his Fist Confession heard the other day and was thrilled. His communion will be in the Spring. (No worries, we still plan to fly Fr. Tom Keller down to Houston – it might be a tad easier moving one person than taking all of us all to St. Louis!) Out of all the children Pickle is the swimmer in the family. He is a natural and we love to watch him go.

Princess (6) is growing up nicely. She loves the fact that she is in “real” school as a Kindergartner still at home. Princess loves to learn. She is pretty smart and does all that she can to stay ahead of the next one. She loves to be out and about doing things. We have a small religion class with her, Bagel and one friend. We start with religion and then it becomes a park play day. She wants more and more social activites. She has a silly giggle and when I hear it I know I need to find out why she is laughing. You really just never know with her. Princess lost her first tooth on January 1st and still looks adorable.

Bagel (4) is the one that takes care of Princess. They are either fighting like cats and dogs or Bagel is helping Princess with her latest chore. Bagel is so smart that she is doing the same school work that her big sister is doing. She was a huge fan to her siblings this year on the side of the pool and prays that she can be on the team next year. This one can be so quiet and reserved but don’t mess with her. She works very hard to keep up with the big kids. Bagel is extremely funny, but you have to pay attention to her to discover her humor. She loves music of any kind and knows the artist names and song titles. Bagel has to be a tad different, she is showing signs of being left handed. I am having to look into things a little differently as I teach her how to write. She will be teaching the rest of us soon!

Jumba (Cowboy, 1) has been the biggest joy to each and every member of this family. He gets the attention from every member of the family at every turn. He loves shoes. He doesn’t necessarily want to wear them but he still wants them. He has several boots, tennis shoes, and sandals. He will line them up and just look at them. We all just laugh as we watch him. He knows how to make us laugh and cry. It was surprise (maybe even a shock) when we found out Jumba was on the way, but now we can not imagine life without him. We often thank God for him. He really is a gift.

So that is an update on each of us. It was another good year. God continues to Bless us at every turn. Stay awhile a look around the blog. If you click on any of the children’s pictures on the left, a slideshow of that child will pop up. These are just 2008 pictures. I love taking them and have nothing to do with them so I created slideshows. I hope you enjoy. We have a little video from hurricane Ike, you can view it by clicking that picture on the left. On the right you can look through old titles to see what we did last year. We are trying to be as private as we can so we try to only use nicknames on the blog. It takes some getting used to and the picture/slideshows should help.

As always it was an exciting year with us always on the move. We are most thankful for the time with each other, each of you and for our faith. Feel free to peek back at anytime.

May God Bless your 2009!


  1. Love your update...and getting the kids real names. ha ha Hope you have a wonderful 2009.

  2. Great Letter, Shan! The pictures are beautiful. Your family is so blessed to have one another. I feel blessed that your family is part of our family.

    I'm a bit jealous that you were able to get your cards out before me though... LOL!!

  3. Happy New Year! Thank-you for the beautiful Christmas Card. Congratulations Dani on graduating from the Tiemeyer Academy!
    See you soon at church!


I love hearing your thoughts. Thank you for stopping by.