Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in review

Well, as I sit down at my computer, there are only about 8 hours left in 2013, and I don't really have a lot to say.  It's sort of strange to look back on the last year.  It feels like we didn't do anything, but yet, we really did a lot.  I suppose I could try to look back on the entire year and wax poetic and all that jazz, but I'm not going to.  Instead, because it's late in the day, and I have a baby with croup and double ear infections and I'm tired, our "year in review" blog post is just going to be a video of some of my favorite pictures of the year and the text from my Christmas letter.

Happy New Year!
Bring it on, 2014.

Hello to all our family and friends.  We hope that 2013 has been a great year for you and your family.  In the Howden Home, we had a pretty good year ourselves.  Everyone got a year older and wiser (ha!).  Ross and Annie celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary.  Annies brother got his LDS mission call to Lithuania.  And, we made an extended family trek to Disneyland, surviving plane flights with a then seven month old.
Ross had a busy year at work, wrapping up a multi-year project and starting another. He traveled to France, Switzerland, Latvia, and Poland this year and was able to see some pretty amazing places, when he wasn't stuck in an office.  He also is the Scoutmaster, our boys’ baseball, soccer and basketball coach, and Quinns personal travel system.  He willingly carries that heavy baby everywhere! Ross has also made sure that we have indulged in his hobby, eating great food, as much as possible this year. 
Annie is constantly running out of time!  It's amazing how chaotic life can get with three busy, growing and hungry boys.  In addition to her domestic duties, she has taken up sewing and made 10 quilts in the last four months, perfected her skills as a short order cook and is wrapping up the last of her classes to renew her teaching license.  It’s been three years since she took an early retirementand feels pretty lucky that she gets to hang out at home with her boys every day.  It is pretty crazy how fast life is flying by.
Elliott will turn 7 in January and is the smartest kid we know.  He is in a dual immersion program at school and spends half his day learning in Spanish.  He loves school and his teachers.  He is the nicest boy, is almost as tall as Rossmom and takes good care of his little brothers, especially Quinn.  He is a hard worker and a fantastic reader.  He is always hungry, a good little athlete, playing baseball, soccer, and basketball and he loves to swim, ask questions, and play Star Wars Angry Birds on his Kindle. 
Wyatt is 4.5 years old and a pretty good kid.  He is in his second year of preschool, is learning to read like a wild man, and is pretty athletic himself playing t-ball and soccer. He is obsessed with all things Lego and Star Wars and hums the "Imperial March" as he walks around the house.  He loves to watch movies and eat cheetos, is always willing to sit on your lap and has an infectious laugh.  He regularly surprises us with his insights, knowledge and great feats of tattle-telling.  He is also a great brother and when he isn't trying to annoy Elliott, he is being a best friend to Quinn.
Quinn turned one in September and is the sweetest baby boy in the world.  He is a walking, babbling, funny little kid with a unique personality.  We don't know what we would do without him to entertain us every single day.  He always wants to be outside, loves to eat books (yes, eat themwe sometimes read them, too), play with dinosaurs and watch Sesame Street videos on YouTube.  If he could, he would live in the bathtub.  He loves his dad and his brothers the most, which is probably as it should be.

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