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Wow! I have been procrastinating for so long that 2009 seems forever ago! Once again though, we had a very busy year. Keeping busy seems to be working for us for now.

Well, the year started off with a bang with our new annual end-of-winter, in-between-our birthdays, friends-and-neighbors party! We are so lucky to have such wonderful people in our lives! Easter was spent at home with Mama and Papa and our good friends, the Manukas family. We also had a beautiful gathering of friends for Mia’s birthday. The highlight of our spring though was Andrew’s First Holy Communion. We are so proud of him! I can’t believe he is getting so big!

Spring also starts the second half of soccer season, and also baseball season. Soccer begins in the fall and then basketball covers winter. Andrew loves them all! Also during the summer he did basketball camp, tennis camp and golf lessons. He certainly keeps us on our toes! In addition, he attended a theater camp with his good buddy Alex, where they performed excerpts from High School Musical. He also attended a grief camp for kids which was very nice. He seems to be doing just fine. What a strong and happy boy!

All these summer activities didn’t stop us from our usual trips to visit the family, but we were also able to enjoy a fantastic week at Hilton Head Island with the wonderful Dahl family! Mama and Papa and cousins Doreen and Anna were also there. It was great to have a vacation where we had to do nothing! Just decide whether to go to the beach or the pool!

We also enjoyed a super week in NJ with Mama and Papa. We love to see all our family and friends when we are there! Andrew especially loves to see his cousin Matthew and was fascinated by the new babies in the family. We also visited another “family,” the Cake Boss family! Yes, we took a trip to Hoboken to visit Buddy and get some cake. Andrew loves to cook and now likes to bake cakes. Just what mommy’s thighs need… We also spent a great day with Mama and Papa at Liberty Science Center.

Next stop was in Toronto to visit Grandma and Granddad. Cousin Abigail was there too! One of the highlights of the trip was a day at Niagara Falls with Abby and Aunt Sarah and Uncle Stu. I had forgotten how amazing the falls are! We did get a little wet on the Maid of the Mist and even had a chance to visit the butterfly gardens and reptile house. Andrew even got to hold a baby alligator! He was very excited about that! As always, we had a fun-filled trip! On the way home, we stopped in Ludington, Michigan to take the car ferry across Lake Michigan to Wisconsin. The Badger is the last steam powered great lakes car ferry. Andrew was really looking forward to this, as the boat was out of commission the year before. When we got home, it was time to celebrate Andrew’s 8th birthday! We had a bowling party with LOTS of his friends!

He started third grade with a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Mieth, and still sees his former teachers in the hallways. They are all so great and will fondly be in our hearts forever! Andrew surprised us with his interest in the fall musical and was one of the leads with a solo! Who thought that squeaky little voice could sing so well! We were so proud and amazed!

We spent Thanksgiving at home with Mama and Papa and Christmas in Toronto with the fabulous Edge clan! And yes, we did it. We went back to Disney World again just after Thanksgiving! We were joined by our wonderful friends, the Schweid family, and we had a fantastic time. This was our first trip back without Mia, but we have only good memories there. Good memories of how much we all loved being there together and of what a happy place it is for us.

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