2018 Update: The Story of My Family Told With Christmas Ornaments

Our Davis family story continued in 2018 with another eventful, memorable year.


Here are a few highlights from 2018:

  • Jennifer and I celebrated 11 years of marriage this summer.
  • Also this summer we went on a big family trip to The Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas with Jennifer’s mom, stepdad and her brothers’ families. This was one of those once-in-a-lifetime trips, and we made countless memories. Will especially loved the tallest waterslides there, while Sam and Julie Beth loved the rapid river.
  • I took the kids camping at Desoto State Park this summer, and my father-in-law joined us. The highlights of the trip were hiking to the bottom of Desoto Falls, where we swam in a giant swimming hole, along with cliff jumping and swimming at the Hippie Hole.
  • This fall we went on a family trip (for the 3rd time)  to Disney World with Jennifer’s dad, stepmom and her brothers’ families. Each time we go to Disney World it is always different because the kids are interested in different things each time. Sam is still too short to ride the Rockin’ Rollercoaster, but he can ride almost everything else now. So he had the time of his life. We are huge Toy Story fans (Toy Story Maniacs), so we loved the new Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios. We had some special passes and rode the Slinky Ride 4 times in a row, which made me pretty nauseous.
  • Jennifer got licensed in health insurance this year, which has shifted her role at work quite a bit.
  • Jennifer and I went to see Dancing With The Stars Live! in Huntsville. This was special for 2 reasons. First it was special because Jennifer LOVES Dancing With the Stars. Second, it was special because we were supposed to go see the live show last year, but then we had to miss it because Jennifer got appendicitis and had her appendix removed the day of the show.

Sam finished kindergarten and started 1st grade in 2018. As he has started learning the basics of math this year, he has become obsessed with numbers. He constantly asks me to add big numbers for him, and I can see his mind working trying to figure it out for himself. While it is all new to him, Sam is already showing how much he loves math, and he is picking it up very quickly.

Just like his big brother, Sam decided to cut his hair short and spike it this fall. Jennifer misses his longer, straight hair (compared to Will’s curly/wavy hair), but now all the guys in our house have matching haircuts!

Sam played soccer in the spring and fall, and I was able to coach his team both seasons. He is getting really good and scoring lots of goals, and since Will and Julie Beth both play for travel soccer teams now (with more qualified coaches), Sam is the only child I get to coach anymore.

Sam also plays basketball, and he is usually one of the shortest players on the court. Despite his height, I can already see major improvement in his skills from last winter to this winter. He shoots basketball at home on the driveway quite a bit with Will, and now he is actually scoring during real games. He usually makes a few shots per game now.

Sam ran in 2 (1 mile) “fun runs” this year at local races, and he is getting pretty fast for his age. Whenever he hears about a race, he always asks to run in it, so I guess he got the running gene from my family.

Sam picked his 2018 ornament because he got his 1st Xbox for his birthday. He plays a little bit of Fortnite, but he especially loves Minecraft

Julie Beth had plenty of firsts in 2018. She is a cheerleader for the first time right now during basketball season. She loves it, and she especially loves that their coaches are high school cheerleaders.

Another first is that she joined a new soccer team, switching from rec league soccer to playing for her first travel soccer team. She joined a team of girls 2 years older than her for the spring season and played with them again during the fall season. She plays right defender and does very well for her age.

This year Julie Beth finished 1st grade and started 2nd grade. She still goes to speech therapy, and her speech is sounding really good these days. She talks with such a proper tone now that she often gets asked if she is British!

One fun thing about the new school year is that Julie Beth’s 2nd grade classroom is next door to Sam’s 1st grade classroom. Their teachers are best friends, and their classes go to recess together daily.

Julie Beth has developed a love for reading this year, and she has gotten very good at math as well. Basically Julie Beth just loves going to school everyday.

In 2018 Will finished 3rd grade and started 4th grade. He grew and changed in many ways this year. Appearance-wise, his biggest change was that he cut off his shaggy, wavy hair and got a short haircut with spiked hair.

Like just about every other boy in the world this year, Will spent countless hours playing Fortnite on Xbox this year. Fortnite has been the way that 3rd and 4th grade boys socialize around here. They play online together and talk for hours through their Xbox headsets. Sometimes Will would even Facetime friends for hours from his iPad while he played. Knowing what the pediatrician keeps telling us about screen time, we eventually had to set limits on Fortnite and the Xbox, but it was really only an issue during the summer. During the school year Will stays plenty busy with school, sports and church.

Will continued playing travel soccer with a team that is 3 age groups older than him. It has been quite the challenge for him as many of his opponents have already hit their growth spurts, but he holds his own on the field. He plays striker, and he goes up against many defenders that are close to 6 ft tall. We constantly get compliments from parents of other teams about how aggressive he is and how well he plays, despite being so much smaller than everyone else on the field. Half of his team is playing JV soccer in the spring, so Will is switching to a new soccer club in 2019. He will be playing for a much larger club in Huntsville, and while it will be a 45+ minute drive to practices, Will is finally going to play with a soccer team in his proper age group next year. He was starting to get burned out playing against older players, so he is looking forward to this change.

Basketball is Will’s other love, and he has continued playing with the same travel team that he joined in 2nd grade. The team has come quite a long ways, and they are experiencing a great deal of success on the court. It is exciting to watch, and Will especially loves it because he is such close friends with his teammates.

One fun basketball-related moment came when we went to see the Harlem Globetrotters in January. Will got tickets for Christmas last year, and it was a fun way to kick off the year. I saw the Globetrotters play/perform once when I was a kid, and now my kids can say they have also seen the show.

As much as Will loves his sports and video games, he had much more important matters at church this year. In May 2018 Will decided to give his life to Christ and became a Christian. I was able to baptize him, which was one of the greatest honors of my entire life. I was extremely proud of him for his decision, and I look forward to seeing what great plans God has for Will in the future!