Wednesday, December 27, 2017

# benjamin # books

2017 in Review

2017 is almost gone. Can you believe it? I know that I can't. It seems like just last week we were watching the ball drop and then the boys and I went back to playing games for a while before I chased them off to bed. But, here we are and since it's been a pretty big year around here, I thought that it was the perfect time for a year in review post. Positive things only because I don't think it's healthy for any of us to dwell on the negatives...just take what you can from them and move on. It's all any of us can do and remain (mostly) sane.

So, how did we do? Read on to find out!

Roger -
This kid had a pretty huge year. Back in the Spring, he was chosen not only for the Thornapple Jazz Festival All Star band, but also for the District 10 MSBOA All Star Jazz band. As if that wasn't enough, as soon as school was out, he attended the Aquinas Jazz camp and followed it up by leaving for Dominica less than 36 hours later. We both want to say thank you to those who helped get him there. It was an expensive trip and he couldn't have done it without his sponsors. While there, he helped remove fishing line from the coral reefs, went scuba diving, and studied invasive species which included catching and measuring tiny lizards and all sorts of things. It was an amazing experience for him and he still talks about it!

Since he's been back, he hasn't exactly rested on his laurels. He now has a job working at the local movie theatre, is an officer in Business Professionals of America, and is an honor student. As if that wasn't enough, he was/is leadership in his high school band and helped out a lot with marching band. Jazz season is upon us now and he's lead tenor in the high school jazz band. Perhaps most exciting for this Fall was his auditioning and being chosen to play with the Kalamazoo Youth Jazz Orchestra. Needless to say, he's one busy kid and this mom is a tiny bit relieved that he'll have his driver's license soon.

Ben -

Not one to let his brother look busier than him, Ben dove into working with the high school varsity teams again this year. He started the year with his second year of managing the varsity boys basketball team. It wasn't the most stellar of seasons, but his work running the camera for all of their games was highly praised. As soon as basketball wrapped for the year, he jumped right into working with the baseball team. It was a lot of hiking to the field, but he made some really good friends who helped out with rides and really enjoyed being outside and wearing the "infamous" duck hat. You'll have to ask him about

Summer came and found Ben working out at the YMCA summer camp, helping out in their kitchens. He really enjoyed it and learned some great skills that he can continue to hone. Once school came around again, Ben started his senior year. Yep, this kid is graduating this year! He worked hard with the football team, joined the Key Club, and helps out wherever he can. On top of that, he got to attend two Michigan State football games to cheer on his Spartans. We're back in the swing of basketball season and if he's not behind the camera, he's at practice encouraging the guys to work hard and to rebound.

Katrina -
As for me, I'm tired just writing about everything my boys did this past year. I know that I probably missed a few things too! As Ben says, "in all my free time", I was blessed to work with Nick and we published not one, but two books. Nick is an amazing storyteller and I am truly honored that he invited me into a universe that he created and said, "Here, it's yours now. Have fun." I'm incredibly proud of The Tether : None Good and The Tether : Except One. 

While most of my time belongs to getting the boys where they need to be or attending their events, I have also written a supplemental "novella" to go alongside books 1 and 2. In fact, with any luck, I'll be sending it off to Nick tonight for him to check out and to give me feedback on. I have some ideas for it that I'm hoping our readers will really like.

Looking back at 2017, my year doesn't look nearly as impressive as my boys, but knowing that I'm a big part of their years makes it all worth it. I'm looking forward to another "action packed" year. There will be more sports, more jazz, and more books and I'm thankful that I get to share those moments with all of you.

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