2008 in Review

What a year it has been in the Stone house!!!  I have to say that I am so ready for a clean slate in 2009.  It got me thinking back to our year and just how crazy it has been… (pull up a chair and grab some popcorn, I’ve got a lot of pictures!)

We started out the year with Ricky hanging drywall and getting things in order to head down to spring training.  Seriously, how nice does a trip to Florida sound right now?  Heavenly!  So, we headed down to Florida at the end of February and made a pit stop in Orlando.  Ricky got to visit some of his friends with the Astros and we took the kids to Disney for a day. 




We then headed down to Sarasota.

Sarasota was awesome!  Our rental house was a couple of miles from the beach and we had such a great time. Here are some of my favorite pics from spring training.







 We stayed there for 4 weeks while Daddy worked so hard to earn a spot on the AAA roster.  I remember heading home to Ohio and still not knowing if he had a spot on the roster or if he was going to start the year on the phantom DL.  He just knew that they told him to report and that was all he cared about.  We spent a few days in a hotel in Louisville and then sent Daddy off for his 15th season of baseball.  He started the season on the road, so the kids and I headed home for 10 days. 

We headed to Louisville early to set up our apartment there.  The kids were so excited and couldn’t wait for the first ball game.  After we spent two days unpacking and setting up the apartment, Daddy came home for the first home game. 



Unfortunately, the first game we got to go to would be the last for them…at least in the US =)  Ricky was released, so we packed up the apartment and headed home.

We figured that baseball was done for now.  Ricky wanted to pursue coaching, but there weren’t any available positions.  Ricky was having fun getting our gardens cleaned up and fixing up the house a little bit. 


We were weighing our options when we got a phone call from Taiwan.  He was offered a position in the Chinese Professional baseball league.  I remember thinking, “Where is Taiwan and do they really play baseball there?”  Sure enough, there is baseball there and that’s where God wanted us to go.  We had to make a two day trip with the kids to Chicago to get passports and visas.  Here are a  couple pictures from our whirlwind trip.  Thank goodness Kalynn was able to go and help out with the kids.



This picture makes me laugh out loud every time I see it.  Think it was a little windy in the windy city that day?


We thought there was no way we would walk away with all the paperwork, but sure enough we did.  So, less than a week later we packed up and headed to Taiwan.  I even crammed in a birthday party for Lily inbetween our Chicago trip and leaving for Taiwan.



It was such a great party.  Even Hannah Montana made an appearance.


What?!?  You don’t see the resemblance?  It was as close as we could get with two days notice =)  He is going to be so mad when he knows I put this on here, but I couldn’t resist!

Then came Taiwan.  Oh, the pictures we have from Taiwan.  I could post so very many, but I’ll keep it to a few of my favorites. (or a few hundred of my favorites!)

Here is Lily on the scooter with her teacher, Mickey mommy.  I was on the scooter with Riley and Meggy Mommy.  We were headed to the night market.


Here is Lily trying not to throw up after smelling the stinky tofu.  It seriously smelled so bad that it made us gag.  They LOVE it there and don’t mind the smell.  The second picture is me trying the stinky tofu.  Can you just tell how great it tasted?  Do you see the girls behind me laughing? 



Here is a picture of us watching Ricky pitch on TV.  That’s pretty much the only time we saw him the first month.  He was gone for almost the whole month.


A picture of the kids with the Lion mascot.  Riley loved this guy and asked about him constantly.


The kids in their rainy day gear.  It would pour for days at a time.  They would put on their ponchos and rain boots and jump in the puddles. 


Riley at the doors inside of a temple.  We went on a road trip and needed to kill some time before the game.  We found this temple and walked around. 


The kids getting ready to go for a swim.  We all had to wear swim caps and the boys had to wear tight trunks or speedos.


The kids first ride on the Taiwanese school bus.


Erin and I with all the teachers from the kids school.  I was so thankful when Erin got there with her kids.  It was so nice to have someone to talk to!


Our sweaty family picture after the game.  It was so extremely hot there!


Packed up and headed home after two very long months.   


Ricky with his torn hammy in his wheelchair at the airport. 


We were SO excited to get home.  The kids got to go fishing with Daddy.


Hang out with friends.





Here is Ricky with the kids after our block party.


What is all over their faces you ask?  Well, they spent the day at Kings Island with friends and had their faces painted.  Then they fell asleep before the block party.  Lots of running around and sweat later, I took these pictures!

Lily getting her medal for the summer olympics at CGA.


We added a new family member, Sarah.


Hanging out with Daddy 5 days after his surgery.


Lily’s first day of Kindergarten.


Riley’s first day of  preschool…in the USA!!


Lily’s first soccer game.


Riley’s 3rd birthday party! 



Enjoying the fall weather.




Then came winter and Christmastime!



Wow!  If you made it this far, I am impressed.  I have to say that I think that I was wrong at the beginning of my post.  I said that I can’t wait for a new year.  I wrote that thinking about what a crazy and hard year it has been for us.  However, after looking through all of these pictures, I realize what a blessed year we really had.  We got to experience so many neat opportunities as a family.  We were able to travel so many places and actually live on the other side of the world  for two months.  I made two lifelong friends, one in Taiwan and one that I’ve only met via email!  Even through all of the trials, God has been so good to our family!   We have  made so many lasting memories this year.

I am excited about what 2009 holds for our family, but I am also so grateful for 2008.  Thanks for taking this time and sharing these memories with me! 

May you all have a blessed New Year!

5 Responses to “2008 in Review”

  1. 1 Chrisan Fields December 31, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    What a great review! I really enjoyed it! Through the ups and downs, you all remain so truly blessed. May the blessings continue in ’09!!

    p.s. The pic of Ricky as Hannah Montana made me choke on the water I was drinking! I took a sip just as I scrolled down…hilarious!

  2. 2 Colleen Endres December 31, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    I loved your review. Even though I’ve kind of kept up… it was awesome to see the whole year at once. Tracy, you’ve been a rock through all of this. When my husband was struggling with cancer he said to me one evening, “How can some of our hardest times be some of our best times?” And it was true. We felt closer to the Lord, closer to each other and very blessed. I see that in you and Ricky. My love and prayers to you for 2009!

  3. 3 Sherah W. January 2, 2009 at 12:39 am

    Great recap! Hard to believe you all fit that in a YEAR! Bless you guys for a healthy New Year!!

  4. 4 the figueroas January 2, 2009 at 1:53 am

    I loved this! Wow! I agree with what the others have said – your family and you are so amazing! What a testominal and what a blessing you have all been!

  5. 5 Andy Brink January 3, 2009 at 9:20 am

    Wow… that was wonderful. I enjoyed getting to see your family and the journey the Lord has taken you on and look forward to hearing about the adventure that lies ahead.

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