Stefani's most-fantastical-reads book montage

Crooked Kingdom
Six of Crows
Yellow Brick War
The Wicked Will Rise
Charm & Strange
Their Fractured Light
These Broken Stars
Big Little Lies
I'll Be There
Red Queen

Stefani's favorite books »

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Time in Moxee...

We were dreaming of a white Christmas... and we sure got it!!

Christmas Eve...

We went to Derek's parents house for Christmas Eve dinner and to see our niece and nephew, Abby and Ryker. It was so much fun to spend Christmas with kids who were so excited for Santa to come. After spaghetti and presents we headed home so Santa could come visit us...

Rick and Annette with the kids...

I got a Monet paining from Derek's parents...

Abby racked up the princess gear... shoes, dresses, and Santa even brought here a princess kitchen!! Lucky kid!

Ryker was far more interested in bringing Uncle Derek pieces of wrapping paper than opening his own presents...

Yay for toothbrushes!

I got a new camera!!

Princess gear for the Leapster! Who woulda thunk it??

Abby in her Tinkerbell outfit that Derek and I got her... it was a hit!

This is the look of someone who does not enjoy reading manuels or trying to figure out electronics...
Christmas Morning...
Derek and I exchanged gifts at home on Christmas morning and then we turned the critters loose with their goodies. I think those animals are more spoiled than most of the children we know...

I really do pity our future children... if our animals are any indication, we're going to be obnoxious parents :)

Raja is a prime example of why animals should not do drugs...

What a good dog...

The critters have called a truce for the holidays...

Christmas Night...
We went to Derek's aunt and uncle's house in Wapato for Christmas dinner (turkey and ham... hit the spot after my Thanksgiving disaster...) It was so good to see out of town family and catch up with everyone.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Holiday Letter 2008

Season’s Greetings 2008

I am continually amazed by how quickly the years seem to fly by. As I sit down to write this letter and look back at pictures from 2008 I cannot believe that so much can get crammed into one year and still go by so fast!

Derek is still working at the Department of Revenue. He did make the decision to go back to school this past fall, so for the next year and a half he is working toward his Masters in Teaching on the weekends. It is a heavy workload but he is happy to know that he will soon have a career that he likes.

I am still teaching middle school English and Literature. I really enjoy my job and have had so many interesting opportunities over the past year. Last spring, I organized a fundraiser with my 8th graders that provided pet food and money to a local pet shelter. It was exciting to see our school name and my students in the newspaper and it really inspired me to want to do more fundraising activities. This fall I took a job coaching 8th grade volleyball and had a blast. We ended the season 6 – 4 and it gave me a chance to really get to know some of my girls.

This year was also special for me because I got to realize a lifelong dream. Since I was a little girl I have loved horses (as most of you know) and I’ve always had a special love for Friesians. Last Christmas I was introduced to a couple that live in Zillah who have a whole flock of Friesians and they have been kind enough to let me come and ride. Will and Teresa and I have become great friends and they have taken me along to shows, riding lessons, and even gave Derek and I the chance to participate in a carriage driving show in July. Not only have I had the chance to ride these fantastic horses, but also I have even had a chance to begin learning how to drive them. I did compete in a few dressage shows this year and did well enough that I earned some year-end awards from the riding club that I am a part of. I’m hoping to compete even more next spring.

For our fourth wedding anniversary, Derek and I took a trip down the Oregon coast. It was a fantastic (and cold) trip and we’ll treasure those memories forever. We stayed in Newport for a few days and then drove to Cannon Beach. Later in the summer, I spent some time with my parents out at the beach house. We crabbed, almost broke the boat, attempted minor underwater boat repairs, and even got to take my first kayaking trip!

In June we went to Seattle to attend my Grandma’s 90th birthday party. I got to visit with family that I haven’t seen since I was a little girl. While we were home, Derek, my parents, and I attended a Chicago concert at château St. Michelle winery. It was fun to hear the song from our first dance in concert. A few weeks later my parents came over to visit and we put them to work with Derek’s parents and Derek and I building a deck, roof, and tool shed.

Derek won tickets to a Seahawks game at a Department of Revenue conference that he attended in the spring. We went to the season home opener (Against the 49ers) with our friends and even though the Seahawks lost, it was fun to finally attend a game at quest field.

We hope that this letter finds you in good health and good spirits. This time of year makes me realize how seldom we get to see our friends and family and it makes me cherish the time we have together even more. We wish you the best for the New Year and can’t wait to see you again, whenever that may be. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

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