We're Jason, Beth, Lee Anna, Sawyer, and Sarah Claire, a family of five living, learning, and laughing lots in Northern Africa.
We hope you can learn a little (and maybe laugh a little too) as you read about our latest adventures.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Remembering 2008

I love New Year's. I love looking back on a whole year's worth of adventures and remembering what an amazing ride it's been. And I love looking ahead at a blank slate of a new year and wondering what surprises are in store. I love the feel of a fresh start, and the chance to reflect and make deliberate choices that will affect my life and the lives around me this year.

One of my favorite things to do around this time is to talk through the last year and list the major events that we can remember from each month. We've been doing that as a family over the last few days. This year, we thought we'd share our list with you. If you've been reading our blog all year, then you'll be able to remember right along with us. If not, then this will give you a little glimpse into what 2008 has been like for us. It's been a great one!

(Hint: You can click on the words in yellow to see the original blog post about each event, or click on the name of the month to see all the posts from that month.)

Here goes:
January started off with a bang, as we finished up a wonderful visit to the states for Christmas and New Year's. We had a blast catching up with lots of friends and family members, eating way too much of the foods we can't get here, and making countless trips to Wal-Mart.

February's highlight was our Nile Cruise! It was such a treat to get to see so many famous, historical sites--not to mention just relaxing as we cruised up and down the river. And, of course, it didn't hurt that it was all FREE!

March was a month full of activity. The first milestone was
getting a car. After two-plus years of riding in taxis, a brand new car was an incredible blessing. It still is!

The second highlight was Easter. We had a great day
with lots of wonderful friends.

And finally, at the end of the month, we had a fun visit from lots of old friends, including Ross Sawyers, after whom Sawyer is named. Introducing them to one another was a treat.

After March's whirlwind of activity, things slowed down some in April. The temps warmed up and we enjoyed some beautiful sunny days on our back porch. At the end of the month, I headed off on a ladies' trip for a few days and Daddy assumed both Mommy and Daddy duties. For an entertaining read, check out his posts from while I was gone here, here, and here.

In May we celebrated Sawyer's second birthday and took a little family vacation to the beach.

In June we celebrated another birthday, as our little Lee Anna Belle turned four!

To fight the summer heat, we headed back out to our favorite beach spot, this time with some friends. That cool water was just the thing to take the edge off of the intense desert sun.

August was another quiet month. We stayed inside in the air conditioning as much as possible, and I celebrated my 29th birthday. We also looked forward to Mimi & Papaw's visit coming up at the beginning of September.

In September, we welcomed Mimi & Papaw back to Africa and took yet another beach vacation, this time to a different destination. The kids enjoyed their week of being spoiled, and Jason and I enjoyed the beautiful snorkeling!

October was Big News Month, as we learned that we would be welcoming a new ArabMusician into our family next summer. We had fun surprising our parents with the big news, not to mention watching Lee Anna's reaction.


November's highlights all came sandwiched together at the end of the month, including a delightful Thanksgiving Day, our first day of Christmas decorating, and an amazing first peek at Baby #3.


And that brings us to December. It's been a fun-filled, joy-filled, memory-filled month of celebrating the most wonderful gift we've ever been given. Click on the word December above or just scroll down to see the many posts from this month.

Thanks for joining us on this walk down memory lane. We're so grateful to be able to share our journey with all of you, and we're looking forward to the adventures we'll be able to share in 2009.

Happy New Year!

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