Friends and Family,
I had so many good intentions this year. Many of them were seen through. Others were not. I had really wanted to get back into the whole online journaling thing – but somehow got too caught up with being a wife, mom of three, church secretary, Friends of the Library treasurer, library volunteer, and pregnant woman. I can’t imagine why I couldn’t manage to update everyone every once in a while, at least. 🙂 Everyone chooses their priorities, and I guess blogging isn’t a big one for me these days, but I wanted to write at least once this year to recap our adventures…
Our first big event of 2010 was putting an offer down on a house directly across the street from our school district housing unit. The whole ordeal took place between March and June and took up a lot of our time and energy during those months, but we’re very happy to be in our own house now, with a yard and more space, a garage and a view. We feel very blessed to be there (although our girls miss their old tiny house with no yard, view, or garage – go figure).
In March we visited Isaac’s family in Southern California over spring break. We all took a cruise to Ensenada and, although we loved being together, experienced some tough times as some of us got sick. One of us was even removed from the ship and put into an Ensenada hospital, only to be sent home via bus and train back to L.A. It was great to see everyone though, as we are reminded each time we spend the time and money to visit family that it is well worth the effort. Just to see our girls getting to know our families is better than anything else we could ever give them.
We got a dog this year: a Chesapeake Bay Retriever born the day after Tess turned one. He was eight weeks old when the breeder flew him up to Ketchikan. Isaac flew over on the float plane and met him at the airport there, spent the night in the Super 8 with him, and then flew home the next morning. The girls and I met them at the float plane dock, but really, he’s been Isaac’s dog ever since. They say Chessies pick one person to be their master, and Coach (short for Royal Coachman) has definitely chosen Isaac.
In April we found out we are expecting baby #4. The girls were very excited about the news, as were we, although a little shocked at the same time. By the time we found out we were in the process of buying a home AND getting a dog. What’s one more huge life change thrown in there?
In May Isaac traveled with his drama class to the Last Frontier Theater Conference in Valdez, where they were able to hear Isaac’s play L.O.L. read by professional actors and actresses. He also had the chance to see old friends, and even stayed at our old church during his time there.
The summer was busy. I learned about gardening, canning, and sewing. Isaac learned about building fences and gates and dog training. The girls learned how to keep cool in the Thorne Bay sun (by “swimming” in the cold water of the hot tub) and how to pick things from the garden after they have ripened and not before. Coach learned not to bite, how to heel, sit, and come. We were able to gather our share of wild berries, salmon, and deer (thanks mostly to Isaac, although the girls did help quite a bit with the berries, and I helped package and can fish and venison). We had our share of visitors, too. Our friend Vern traveled from Southern California to spend a week with us at the beginning of July. We spent a couple of days up at Whale Pass dipnetting salmon and watching black bears. We had visitors from Valdez, our friends Brian and Jessica with their 2 sons Erik and Jackson in early August. Isaac’s mom visited in late August and taught me a lot of what I know now of sewing. The weather was beautiful for pretty much the entire summer so our guests got to see a sunny Thorne Bay (which isn’t always the case).
My mom visited in mid-September and got to celebrate an early birthday for Jolie, who turned 3. She is a beautiful, caring, intelligent 3-year old who keeps us on our toes. Not unlike her sister Tess, who has started talking so much that we are amazed each day by her ability to negotiate with us. Sophia turned 5 this year and learned how to read over the summer. She is a major help to me with the younger ones, as she spends part of each day reading to one or both of them. She is in Kindergarten this year but really wants to be in 1st grade instead (her class is only half-day and she would rather go for a full day.)
Isaac coached volleyball again in the fall, but this year as the actual coach and not the assistant. He traveled to Ketchikan for a tournament and then to Hoonah. My childhood friend Samantha and her baby Ali came and stayed with me and the girls on his second trip so that I wouldn’t go insane. And I really think I would have – thanks again, Sam.
Halloween was fun – the girls went to the school carnival dressed as an Indian Princess (Sophia), a kitty (Jolie), and a ladybug (Tess). It was great getting to use that ladybug outfit a third time. Twenty dollars well spent.
We spent Thanksgiving at home with our friends Steve and Amy and their daughter Autumn. Amy is also pregnant and is due shortly after me. The two of us struggled to work together in the kitchen AND keep an eye on the 4 children (the guys went hunting), so she finally volunteered to keep the kids occupied while I got the pies put together and in the oven. We had a nice dinner together and were very thankful when everything was finally on the table.
And then there was Christmas. Between volleyball season coming to an end, the community Christmas dinner, decorating, baking, getting the house ready for a new baby – it all seems kind of a blur to me now. The girls loved the lights and the songs and playing with their nativity scene. They loved reminding us what Christmas is really about: Jesus.
The day after Christmas we got on the ferry for Ketchikan to come over and wait for the baby to be born, which is where we’ve been ever since. Isaac’s parents arrived the day after we did and have been entertaining the girls while Isaac and I run errands and go for walks. We are very lucky to have had all of our parents come to help us while we’ve waited for our babies. Many of our best memories together as a family have been in this very town as we wait as patiently as possible for our newest ones to enter into the world. Please pray for us in the following days that God will have His hand on us as we become a family of 6.
We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and we wish you a happy New Year!
The Martin Family