[I decided to save some creative time and edited our Christmas letter just slightly for my blog readers. Don't worry, I didn't trim out any of the "good stuff" -- besides, regular readers will have already read more detail in posts through the year!]
As you may know, 2008 was a busy year for Those DeWolfes. January turned out to be very busy at work for me as digitization projects started to (finally) roll in, complete with deadlines but it was also the month that Hubby and I both got new digital SLR cameras. In February, we tackled renovations of the bathroom in the townhouse which turned out to be a bit tricker than we had hoped and coincided with Hubby coming down with pneumonia. In March, Kiddo celebrated her 7th birthday with an hour of bouncing, running, jumping and spinning at Victoria Gymnastics. One of her gifts was a Wii, something that turned out to be fun for the whole family. A few weeks later, Hubby rang in his 40th birthday with a pub crawl and the gift of LEGO robotics -- he immediately set about designing a SwifferBot to go after cat hair and random dust on the main floor. May found us all working on various creative things -- some we started, some we finished and some we shared (Kiddo and I made a batch of recycled crayons and wrote up a tutorial that we posted online).
June was very busy for Kiddo, especially. She went go-carting with Hubby, had major dental work (some extractions and 8 fillings!), dressed like a pirate and walked in the Buccaneer Days parade, rode a ferris wheel for the first time (the only midway ride I can tolerate), and finished grade one! At the end of the month, I celebrated my birthday (turning 39) with a family brunch and a night out.
In July Hubby and Kiddo made a little stop-motion animation film based on Crazy Frog (it's on YouTube if you have yet to see it). After that, we took a much needed family vacation. In a little over a week we drove all the way to the top of Vancouver Island and back, stopping here and there along the way. The goal was for Kiddo to see Port Alice -- and stand in front of the "welcome" sign there. We did that as well as seeing many other communities that were new to all of us -- prior to the trip, the furthest north on the Island either Hubby or I had been was to Courtenay and Comox. It was a great trip, overall, though we were all glad to get home. Unfortunately, that welcome home turned out to be pretty crummy as the Strata had authorized someone to climb into our property and pressure wash the fence, destroying a few hundred dollars in plants and property in the process. Needless to say, that sealed the deal for our wanting to move.
August started with hiring a Realtor and looking at houses but after getting close to putting in an offer, we realized we needed to sell our townhouse first and thus began an intense six weeks of preparation. We packed, and packed, and packed until our storage locker was full. Then we had a home stager come in (a service provided by the Realtor) who told us we still had too much stuff. GAH! So, we got a U-Pack and filled it, too. Meanwhile, Hubby finished his sculpture of Cthulhu and we moved it to a friend's backyard for safe-keeping (there are photos a-plenty online and a video too if you want to get a closer look).
September started with painting and having the carpets replaced then we put the finishing touches on the staging and listed the townhouse September 15th. Inside a week we had an offer which we accepted and were able to use that to put an offer in on a lovely older home that had plenty of quirks -- just about right for us. By the first week of October, everything was signed-off and by Thanksgiving we were living under a new roof just as the real estate market was collapsing across the country!
With the new address came a new school for Kiddo -- she is now attending a traditional school which means wearing a uniform (though it's not terribly strict). She has adapted well and seems to be thriving in the split grade 1/2 classroom; she is now reading at a grade 7 level and is also ahead in math and science.
Right away, we started renovations, replacing the interior stairs (they were narrow and lacked sufficient clearance) and arranging to have the old asbestos-laced insulation removed from the attic and replaced. By late November we were able to get the U-Pack delivered! I did two craft fairs back to back at the end of November and beginning of December which we followed with a trip to the mainland (IKEA!) and then we all settled in to getting things settled -- putting up shelving, unpacking, sorting, and decorating for Christmas.
And then the snow-dump of 2008 hit we got a rare white Christmas in Victoria (in fact it was the first time since 1971 that there was snow coast to coast across Canada).
As always, thanks for reading; I'd like to wish you all the best in 2009!