2011 was an interesting year, both for our family, and for the country/world. There were good moments to balance out the bad; fun days to balance the mundane and routine. We had many new experiences, and enjoyed lots of favorite traditions. It’s interesting to look back and see what we did, what we learned, what we survived, and what we celebrated!
January 2011 was a fairly quiet month–we were busy recovering from all of the Christmas festivities! We did observe the 25th anniversary of Challenger disaster, and I began pondering making some changes to our curriculum for third grade.
February 2011 brought a rite of passage for Bunny, who got her ears pierced, (although they later closed up following an earring related injury). Ladybug discovered a new tactic for trying to get out of doing something she didn’t want to do. Ryan got to travel to Vienna, Austria. This was good for him, but bad for me, as I didn’t get to go along. We did have a chance to learn all about Austria in school, however, and even sample a Sachertorte Ryan brought home with him. At the end of the month, we found out we were expecting a baby.
March 2011 was our worst month of the year, as we found out that we lost the baby we were so happily expecting. There were good days, though, including Turkey’s birthday, which was also the day he got his first pair of glasses.
April 2011 meant the Cardinals Opening Weekend. We couldn’t go to Opening Day itself, but we did go to Kids’ Opening Day, which was the second game of the season. We also went to a Karfreitag service for the first time, (a German Good Friday service), followed in two days by Easter services at our church. One of our favorite events of the spring was celebrating The Royal Wedding.
May 2011 brought our 10th Wedding Anniversary, which we celebrated in style with lunch out, a tour of Busch Stadium, and then the Cardinals game that evening, as enjoyed from the Commissioner’s Box. In school, we learned all about baby birds, thanks to the robins that built a nest low in our Japanese Cherry Tree. Moose graduated from the Early Childhood Program at his school at the end of the month.
July 2011 found us working on a bird project to document all we learned about the life cycle of birds. Bunny finally mastered the monkey bars after much practice. We sadly watched the final Space Shuttle launch. We were cautiously optimistic as we once again learned that we were expecting a new addition to the family. A new tradition was born this month–Park Day. We were not surprised but still dismayed to learn that our favorite bookstore, Borders, was going out of business.
August 2011 had us hosting what can only be described as an “Epic Markelparty” when a group of Ryan’s co-workers came to our house for dinner and Rock Band. A new school year began–third grade for Turkey and Bunny; Kindergarten for Moose. And Moose lost two teeth, much to his surprise!
September 2011 was the first time we went to the Greek Festival at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in St. Louis. We saw a baby buffalo at Grant’s Farm. We got to meet an actual astronaut, much to Turkey’s delight. Lance Berkman, our favorite Cardinal, signed a one-year extension with the team. Against all odds, the Cards made it to the playoffs.
October 2011 was a very exciting month, although it started off a little somber with the death of Steve Jobs. We celebrated our fifth anniversary in our house. McDonald’s added a peppermint mocha to their menu. The Cardinals inexplicably won the World Series! We also learned that we’re having another little girl!
December 2011 meant the welcome return of our full Advent routine. We had another opportunity for a German worship service–this time “Der Weihnachtsgottesdienst.” In school, we learned about Christmas throughout American history, which was a big change from our usual studies of Christmas Around the World. We baked a lot of cookies, and, of course, celebrated Christmas itself. I completed the WordPress “Post-a-Day Challenge,” even though I wasn’t sure I would be able to stick with it when I started.
It was a busy year, with a lot of blogging. We read a lot of books, for school, for fun, and for holidays. I shared a lot of recipes, hymns, and quotes. I also uploaded more pictures than I ever have before! 2012 will be, I’m sure, just as interesting and unique as 2011 was!