The Family Year 2014 from A to Z

It’s hard to believe it is New Year’s Eve 2014 [I started this post a few days ago]. The year seems to have flown by, and I can’t believe how much we’ve manage to do, see, experience, and grow this year. This afternoon I asked my family to come up with something from this year for each letter of the alphabet. This is a task I had often asked my students to do after we read a book or play as it helped them consider all that they had learned about. My family happily took up the challenge. Some things were pretty easy, others were a little harder, some just plain silly. Enjoy this abbreviated list, and Happy New Year’s!

A — aquarium. My wife and daughter visited Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium on the nearly annual Princess Tour, and the family visited the Vancouver Aquarium.

B — beach. We spent a lot of our summer at beaches on Saturna Island, Parksville, and Vancouver, BC.

C — Chicago. The location for this year’s Princess Tour; so much was seen in just a few short days.

D — driving trips. Lots of tournaments and family trips. As a coach for two of my kids teams, I drove to a LOT of practices and games. My wife drove our other child to his activities too. Totally worth every minute!

E — eagles. We saw lots of eagles out west, including the nesting family that lived just above our cottage.

F — fishing/flood/five. My wife continued to teach our daughter the fine art of Dock fishing. Our new house had a flood in August that we are still dealing with. Together, the five of us are strong and we support each other through it all.

G — grandparents. We couldn’t do it without the grandparents. Also, our kids are fortunate to have two great-grandmothers.

H — hockey/horses/holidays/home. Each of these played significantly in our lives this year. In many ways they define the year more clearly than anything else.

I — islands. We returned to Saturna Island for another wonderful vacation, but we added a leg to Vancouver Island to see family and have more adventures.

J — jellyfish. Our daughter continued her discovery and investigation of jellyfish with visits to the Shed and Vancouver Aquariums. She even encounter a few while swimming.

K — kingfisher/Kip. Our daughter’s first art acquisition is a piece made by BC artist who uses scraps of paper to create beautiful art.  Of course, a year isn’t complete without our amazing dog Kip, a four year old Golden Retriever.

L — love/laughter.  You can’t through any year without lots of love and laughter.

M — move. Yep, we moved.  It wasn’t in the plans at the beginning of the year, but half way through we picked up sticks and moved to a new house, new adventures, and new memories. [The love and laughter helped a lot!]

N — nature.  Our adventures last year let us see and enjoy a fair amount of Canada’s nature.  Lots of pictures and memories!

O — oceans/orcas. Did I mention nature? Yes we did return to the Pacific Ocean and we did see orcas at last.  AMAZING!

P — provincials/pool/Princess Royal.  Our daughter made her first trip to ringette provincials this year, all the way in Sault Ste. Marie. A long drive, but it was worth it for the smiles and excitement.  Of course our move to a new house included a pool, so lots of time was spent swimming and relaxing poolside.  And just for kicks, our oldest son capped off his year with a private riding demonstration for the Princess Royal on Remembrance Day.  We’re very proud of him!

Q — quiet.  Yes, quiet.  We all relished the moments of quiet on the beach reading or walking, by the pool sipping coffee early in the morning, or while walking the dog in our new neighbourhood.

R — renovations/ringette.  What would a new house be without a few renovations.  I’m sure it will end soon.  Ringette took up a considerable amount of time for the parents (okay our daughter was pretty busy with it too) as drivers, cheering section, and as an assistant coach.

S — schools/Saturna.  Five people, five schools.  And just to add a little excitement, two of us changed school this year.  As I mentioned earlier, we returned to Saturna Island this summer for relaxation and whale watching.

T — travel.  As much travel as we could manage with our busy schedules: tournaments, conferences, vacations.

U — “U want to do what?” may have been the question asked when we talked about buying our new house.

W — wheelchair basketball.  Never ones to turn down a challenge, our three kids took up wheelchair basketball last year.  It was amazing to see all of our kids engaged in a physical activity together.

X — Xtra work/XMAS.  The new house has meant a LOT of extra work, and the flood caused changes to our annual Christmas plans.  Thankfully my parents helped us solve that little problem.

Y — yummy dinners.  When you have a son who wants to be a chef, the dinners can be really yummy.  We were very well fed last year, and the new year looks just a s promising.

Z — zoo.  Yep, the house and family feel like a zoo sometimes, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Hales A to Z 2014

Hales A to Z 2014 created with

3 thoughts on “The Family Year 2014 from A to Z

  1. What a great idea to sum up a busy year full of adventure 🙂
    Wishing you lots more of the good stuff like “L” – love and laughter – and a lot less of the bad like “F” – floods!

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