The year 2012 was a great year for Amanda House Photography and I look forward to what 2013 will bring. But, as I reflect on the year my thoughts turn more toward the personal experiences my family and I were blessed with. I thought I would share those experiences with some of my readers. Enjoy!
In January, we took a day trip to the McWane Center in Birmingham. Our son was fascinated by the aquatic displays and my husband and I decided to re-enact a scene from Star Wars (Han Solo frozen in a carbonite slab).
Later that month, we met up with our two nephews at Little River Canyon. We admired the beautiful waterfall and finished the day having fun at the playground in downtown Fort Payne
Our son learned to ride his little bicycle that he got for Christmas and even offered chauffeur service to the kids in the neighborhood.
We made a quick spring getaway to Fort Morgan, AL. Activities included throwing sand, chasing seagulls, pulling Grandmama’s hair, and destroying cousin’s sand castle.
Our son enjoyed spring time and became fascinated with dandelions.
My sister, mother and I attended our first “High Tea” and made an attempt to become Brits for a day.
We had another family reunion and got to spend time with the matriarch of the family – my Grandmother, who turned 92 this year!
My husband had the opportunity to travel to Belize for a mission trip. They delivered lots of needed items to orphanages and childrens’ homes and worked on a construction project. They finished the trip with a snorkeling and fishing excursion to a beautiful island.
My husband also had to travel to Las Vegas for a business trip and while he was there, he rented a car and drove through Zion National Park – a place we have both wanted to visit. It is lovely!
Our son loved the beach so much that we took him back to Gulf Shores, AL over the summer. He enjoyed the water so much, and also enjoyed his “Outback Encounter” at the local zoo.
Like every good American, we made an attempt at being patriotic – and celebrated my Dad’s birthday while we were at it.
We took another summer excursion to the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, AL. It is a beautiful and peaceful place to visit!
My husband went on yet another mission trip to the Amazon River region of Brazil. The team provided medical care to people along the river. They also held Bible Schools for the children and delivered items such as clothing and hygiene products. He witnessed many beautiful sunsets each evening, met lots of wonderful people, and even caught a piranha!!
My husband brought back a Brazilian soccer jersey as a souvenir for our son. He was REALLY proud of that jersey!
One of the most memorable things I did this year was take a trip to our 50th state – Hawaii. My son, my mother and I stayed on the island of Kauai for a week. It is by far one of the most beautiful places on Earth I have ever seen.
We watched our son grow up just a little bit more. His personality and curiosity about the world continues to develop and it is such a joy to witness.
Our son celebrated his 3rd birthday with family. We threw him a Wiggles Birthday Party – something I never would have dreamed of doing before having a child. Sometimes you just have to “suck it up” and give them what they want.
Our son was finally old enough to enjoy the pumpkin-carving process. He loved watching his Daddy carve it and was intrigued by the final result of a lighted Jack-O-Lantern.
Our son made a Halloween appearance as Johnny Cash – and even learned to sing “Folsom Prison Blues” to make it even more realistic.
My son and I had a free Saturday so we went on a little cultural excursion to the Echota Cherokee PowWow in Danville, AL. Ocie played his drum while the Cherokees danced in the arena.
We celebrated an early Thanksgiving with family because my brother and sister-in-law were home for a short while from their job as team-drivers – which usually requires several weeks of travelling at one time. My niece got a makeover, our son practiced his wrestling skills, and somehow amidst the chaos we were able to snap a family photo for Christmas cards.
We started out the Christmas season with a visit to Santa’s Village. Our son met Santa for the first time and they became great friends. We also learned how sleigh bells are made, got to listen to Mrs. Claus read stories, and our son had a go at driving Santa’s sleigh.
Our son made an appearance in his first Christmas program. He is quite the dancer! I wish he would teach me some of his moves.
Christmas morning was so much fun this year. Our son’s main request of Santa was pretty simple: a green tractor. Santa delivered and he is going to take advantage of the small requests while he can. He hears they get more expensive with age – LOL!
All season long we tried to keep reminders around the house, at church, and with each other, about the real reason we celebrate Christmas:
The birth of our Saviour.
We ended the year with family fun. Old folks can’t take much more than that – LOL!
Well, that’s about it for The House Family’s 2012. Happy New Year to you all, and if you are reading this and don’t know Jesus Christ as your Saviour, I encourage you to seek Him out! If it weren’t for Him, my life would be empty. But because of Him I am a new creation and am able to experience pure joy even in the darkest circumstances.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17