Merry Christmas Everyone!!
Here is my Christmas card to you and a recap of 2012 in the Reed Family.
Mike received a Company award and we got to attend an award ceremony in Austin in March, it was fun to dress up and see him in his dress uniform. Mike joined the 136 MEB a unit based out of Round Rock, just outside of Austin, TX and began working there in April. Since we still live in Houston a wonderful childhood friend, Joe Zaher, opened his house to let him live there during the week and some drill weekends until Mike deployed for Afghanistan. Mike took some days of leave during the months of the summer to spend time with me and the kids before he left in September. We traveled up to Dallas for a 3 night stay at Great Wolf Lodge (wonderful kids swimming resort), go to Legoland, and to go to Stephanie and Robert's wedding (Mike's youngest sister). Mike is now stationed in Camp Phoenix in Kabul, Afghanistan. He has been there since mid September and will return home mid June 2013.
|Award Ceremony (NGAT)|
|Great Wolf Lodge|
|Steph and Robert's wedding|
I have been busy at home with the kids, new baby, and keeping everything running. I was working at Michael's craft store until July as the scrapbook instructor, but I am now on leave until I am ready to go back. I still scrapbook a lot for various design teams, even with the baby, as it is my stress relief during this chaotic time. We have a wonderful garden in our backyard (Mike built these great planting beds before he left) and we grew cucumbers, lima beans, cilantro, oregano, tomatoes, basil, bell peppers, oranges, parsley, carrots, lettuce, rosemary, broccoli, and potatoes. I am involved with Mom's Next and MOPS (mother's of pre-schoolers) up at the church/school Brandon goes to and I am in my second year as the kids crafts leader with MOPS. They are both wonderful groups of mothers to be around for support and friendship, even Elaine my mom had joined as a mentor mom for MOPS! We have hired a wonderful nanny Madison to help out in Mike's absence, she has been great. Both grandparents, Marty and Elaine, have been a huge help coming daily or every other weekend to help out with anything and everything around the house with Mike gone, 2 boys, and a new baby girl.
|Cat at 2 months old|
|Cat at 1 week old|
Morgan turned 6 Jan 1, 2012 so he is now almost 7! He got to snow ski for the first time during spring break in March at Wolf Creek since the whole family got to go to my parent's cabin in Colorado. We even got Mike up on skis for the first time in his life! Morgan finished kindergarten (a rocky year), but he finished tons better then he started with many thanks to his wonderful teacher Mrs. Engle. Morgan joined a summer swim team this summer and had a blast. He got to swim with the 6 and under group and swam the 25 freestyle and 100 free relay. Morgan is now in grade 1 in Mrs. Gehring's class, there are 19 in his class and he is doing way better than we ever dreamed. He comes home and the first thing he wants to do is his homework (of which Brandon wants to do homework now too), then play on the computer. Morgan also joined Cub Scouts as a tiger cub and has already had his first camp out that Grandpa Ray went along on, got to do a FOX 26 news cast (it was broadcast on TV last week), a belt loop day activity, and got to do a tour of a fire station.
|Erin, Mike, and Morgan skiing during spring break|
|Stingray Swim Team|
|Fire station with the Cub Scouts|
Brandon will turn 3 on New Years Eve, and he is trying his best to hold up 3 fingers on one hand to show how big he is. He attends a mother's day out program at Christ Church School m/w/f from 9:30am-2pm to go play and give mommy some time, he loves playing with his 'kids" at "class". He is a really busy little guy who got to play in snow for the first time in March, got his first broken bone and therefore a cast on his arm in March, attended his first wedding, started to swim unassisted, is potty trained, love to play all kinds of sports, went to gymboree class, and became a big brother. He took a little bit to adjust to having a new baby, still has some issues, but loves to show everyone his baby sister.
At the beginning of the year I found out that I was pregnant with our 4th child who turned out to be our little girl Catherine Anna Reed. She was born August 20, 2012 at 7 lbs 14 oz, our smallest baby! She is such a sweet baby, so calm and is all smiles. She loves to watch her brothers and coo at them. She grabs at everything, drools like crazy, and just today she rolled over onto her tummy from her back! She just had her 4 month check up and is still our "little" girl at 13.5 lbs. Daddy got to be there for the birth and he also got to see her at 2 weeks old before he deployed. Cat and the boys now get to see and hear Daddy via Skype as often as possible.
We still miss Kristen so much, but know that she is with us in our hearts forever. I can't believe you would be 4 years old, you are still my sweet little baby Kristen.
We wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year!!
The Reed Family