Last year was a great year for us. Marco got a new position at HP and this job has been a huge blessing in our lives. His work hours are great, his boss is very sweet, and he still works 15 minutes from home. With all the time in his hands, he and Ryan (work colleague and friend from Church) created an application for the iphone and ipod touch called HiCard. It's a cute application to send greeting cards. Jen Wegner (Ryan's wife) made the cards. It's been a fun project!
Lilian decided to finish her education at BYU online, and chose her emphasis as management. She's been very excited with her classes and hopes to graduate in 6 years. Yes, 6 whole years! (she only has 54 credits left, but she wants to take it slowly not to take from family time too much).
Julianna learned how to read and write and is loving kindergarten. She's very social and has lots of friends. She's getting better and better with art, and she also loves dancing, singing and reading.
Michael has been doing great at school as well, although he complains his classmates at school only want to play football at recess, and he doesn't like to play. He's been studying science a lot. He loves reading about astronomy, geology and animals. He got a telescope for Christmas and has been fascinated with his new discoveries. Last week Lilian told him that if he got an A in his geography test (something he doesn't like and has been struggling with) she would give him a prize. Guess what he wanted. A Planet Earth Encyclopedia. He got 100 in his test and got the book. He has read almost all of it in only a few days.
Raphael has hair (for those of you that remember him bald), and is very blond (people ask us all the time if he's really ours, especially because he also has blue eyes). He is speaking perfectly in both English and Portuguese. He is very good communicating his feelings and needs. He is a great companion to Lilian. He loves going out with her, and is always happy and affectionate. He loves singing and playing with firetrucks and trains.
In November, we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. As a celebration, we went to Paris and Rome without the kids. Noeli, Marco's mother, and his brother Fernando, were so kind to come over and watch the kids while we were gone. The vacation was amazing. We loved visiting Paris' museums, Eiffel Tower, churches, and eating French food. Our favorite thing was a dinner cruise called Bateaux Parisiens. We ate a very fancy complete dinner while the boat cruised the Seinne river passing the Eiffel tower, Notre-Dame, Louvre, etc. and we listened to romantic live music with violin, piano and singing. It was so beautiful that Lilian cried (ok now you know that's Lilian writing this).
Rome was like a dream. We already expected a lot, and it was even better than we thought. The italians are wonderful friendly people, and everywhere we went, they were eager to help us and talk. Lilian loved practicing her italian. We loved visiting the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Roman Forum, Vatican, Pantheon, fountains, etc. Rome is so beautiful and exotic. We loved the food as well. We can't wait to go back!
We hope 2009 will be great as well and that all of you will be healthy, prosperous, and will find joy. Thank you!