2005 flew by with lots of projects and fun family events.
After finally finishing our remodeling of the house in January, we took a short break and had an Open House, then moved on to the yard. We finished hauling away all the "volunteer" trees, poured a patio, a mowstrip for a front garden, and widened our driveway in exposed aggregate. Aaron put in a new sprinkler system in the front and back, and finally it was time for SOD! What a day that was. Talk about instant gratification. Our final project was to put up a new fence to provide a much needed side yard on the south side of our house, and put in gravel in both side yards. The must-dos are finished now, and it's just fun projects from here on out!
Christina is still working at the Center for Youth Citizenship, for almost 2 1/2 years now. She was promoted in July to Program Coordinator and advanced to salary exempt status which gives flexibility with her hours. She continues to learn a lot (good and bad) about the public school system and has continually increasing responsibilites in the office, designing the marketing materials and maintaining the website, along with projects specific to her own program, Free to Learn, a character education pilot project.
Aaron's family's business, R&M Electric, continues to stay very busy, and Aaron finished his schooling this year.
Our niece Addie Mae will be two in January and keeps us all laughing in this age of discovery. Both of Aaron's brothers and their wives are expecting babies in May. In fact, in a "only in the movies" twist, they have the exact same due date. The jokes of car-pooling to the hospital started immediately, and when it gets close, I'm sure there will be bets on whose water will break first. The whole Roper family is looking forward to 2 more little ones running around.
In November, Christina moved up to teaching 4s & 5s sunday school at church with my mom, after teaching 2s & 3s for over two years. I'm looking forward to having kids that are all potty-trained, and can actually respond to my questions and interact during story time. Aaron started working with the high school group at church in March. He leads the small group for the freshman and sophomore guys, hosting them at our house every other Thursday night...yikes! He also helps out on regular group nights and at sunday school.
In March, we took our first big vacation since our honeymoon and went to New York City! There was a great deal on flights at the time, so Aaron couldn't refuse. Despite his hesitancy, he really enjoyed riding the subway and seeing the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Times Square, etc. We also attended the St. Patty's Day Parade, ice-skated in Central Park, visited Ground Zero, walked on the Brooklyn Bridge, ate at the "Seinfield restaurant", saw "The Producers", ate at the Tavern on the Green, went to the top of the Empire State Building, and tried (but failed) to get into SNL. The last couple days of the trip we rented a car and went to the Orange County Choppers showroom, stayed in Stockbridge, MA and visited the Norman Rockwell museum, and drove the southern Connecticut coast, staying in very cute, very old inns. It was a great trip.
Other 2005 highlights were: celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary in Lake Tahoe, Aaron's brother Billy's wedding to Stacy in March, big 50th birthday parties for both our moms in May & July, Christina's sister Monica's graduation from The Master's College, two "cousin weekends" Christina had with her sisters and Carr cousins in Galt and San Luis Obispo, a trip to Alcatraz for Christina's 24th birthday, and several dirt-biking trips in Yerington, NV where Christina continues to improve her hill-climbing.
To see pictures from the past year and weekly chatty news updates, visit Christina's website at croper.keepandshare.com.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas!
Aaron and Christina