Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2012 Newsletter

Click here for pdf
(It's a little late, but we finally got a newsletter out to sum up our past year.  The post below contains the text of the document which you can find here.)

The Whitehead’s newsletter for 2011 2012!

For some people Christmas cards and letters are the first thing they do for the holidays.  For others, it’s the last thing.  And for still others, it gets put off and then becomes the Valentine’s newsletter, the spring newsletter, the mid-year newsletter, and finally the let’s-just-combine-it-with-next-year’s newsletter.  Somehow we never got to 2011 and here it is 2013 already!  This is what’s been going on with our family:

Jaden, our youngest, is now firmly in his twos.  He is the entertainment center for our home.  He wants to be a part of every single thing all of us do, which can be very frustrating for us and him due to obvious age limitations.  He loves coloring.  Coloring on paper, books, walls, other people--it doesn’t matter.  He loves balls and it wouldn’t surprise us if we actually finally had a sportsman in our family.  He also loves whatever any of us is currently holding—iPhone, DS, phone, game controller, remote control—which can lead to some interesting tug of wars.  He is amazingly cute and so (usually) well-mannered, that we worry about spoiling him when he can ask for yet another piece of chocolate so politely.  He is pretty proficient with his ABCs and his colors, and he’s a pretty good parrot at the moment which means we need to watch what he hears.  Will Smith taught him a few interesting words when we watched Men In Black 3 the other day.
Spencer ended the year at 10 but will be 11 just a week later.  He’s been working on his Webelos activity badges for Cub Scouts and earned his Arrow of Light.  He’s looking forward to joining Boy Scouts this year (while we parents are looking forward to a break from Cub Scouts for a while).  Spencer continues to love anything that you can ride around on and has quite a collection of skateboards, rip-sticks, pogo-sticks, and other odd gadgets that we find at occasional yard sales.  He also has been fascinated with survival kits and his built several of his own including many that fit in an Altoids tin that can fit in your pocket.  He also loves origami and has invented many of his own paper airplanes.  He has also essentially taught himself how to play piano this year, which is quite amazing both how good he is, and that it has come without formal lessons.  He has been learning Greg’s piano songs and has several of them completely memorized.  He and Greg played a duet at our church for this year’s Christmas program.
Colin is now 12 and became a Deacon this year at church.  He also has joined the regular Boy Scout troop and has earned all his ranks up to Star Scout.  He got to go on a weeklong Scout Camp this summer in Arkansas.  We realized this was the first time he and Spencer had ever been apart for this length of time and this far apart.  Colin enjoys drawing, doodling, and animating.  He is becoming quite proficient at flip-book style animations on a program on his DSi.  He is also really into knives, swords, and guns right now.  We got him a BB gun to chase unwanted raccoons, possums, and foreign cats from our yard which he guards vigilantly.  So please be careful if you want to sneak into our back yard at night uninvited.
Maria is currently kept busy raising the kids and being their homeschool teacher.  She has been serving in the Young Women’s presidency at church for the past year and a half and loves working with them (and getting to do some GIRLY things).  She has gotten back into scrapbooking much more over the past year, including going to a weekend retreat, and has set up a nice scrapbook station that we had to relocate from Jaden’s room (formerly our office) to our bedroom. She still enjoys reading, video games, and shopping (mostly for toys for the kids!), and is hoping to make some life changes to make the transition to 40 a little less painful next December.
Greg is still working at Lockheed Martin for his 11th year.  Looking ahead, it always seems nebulous whether he’ll still have a job there the next year, but somehow they keep paying him.  Here’s hoping we can make it through 2013.  Greg currently continues his trend of church calling collecting.  He is the ward organist, Boy Scout Committee Chair, primary teacher (for Colin then Spencer’s class), and was the 11-year-old Scout assistant leader.  This past year he had the opportunity to perform magic shows for the Cub Scouts at two pack meetings and then again for the Cub Scout Day Camp and another show at his Mom’s school in Utah.  He continues to try and be active and added biking to his routine this year.  Greg had the opportunity to fly out to Utah for a few days for his 20-year class reunion and was able to catch up with many of his old friends and Utah family.
As a family, we decided we wanted to stay nearby this year for our vacations.  We went to a time-share presentation to get a free stay at the Wolf Lodge and ended up with a time-share instead.  We’ve had fun using some of the getaway privileges that have come with it and have visited a water park near Tyler, Texas a few times as well as stayed overnight at four different resorts.  (We still have yet to get to the Wolf Lodge.)  We stayed for most of a week in the Texas Hill Country in October visiting Austin and some of the touristy areas down there where we had a lot of fun.  
Since 2012 came and went without an apocalypse, here’s hoping for a great 2013 for everyone!

Greg, Maria, Colin, Spencer and Jaden Whitehead

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