Thursday, December 22, 2011

End of Year update

I would love to say I will get in more than one additional post this year, but I should be realistic.  And since this is probably it, I will try to make it a good one.  And since this will take the place of a Christmas newsletter from our family, let's make it a proper update on this bunch, shall we?  Yes, let's!

Madeleine: Loving 2nd grade at the wonderful school located just behind our house.  She has 2 fabulous teachers and is in a class full of top performers so they move through the curriculum quickly, which suits her very well.  For extra-curricular activity she does gymnastics twice a week.  She is a very graceful little girl and she's doing great in both classes she takes (tumbling level 2 and gymnastics level 2).  She is such a good big sister (almost always to Alayna and pretty often to Ian) and a very helpful child.  Madeleine is looking forward to turning 8 in May and being baptized soon after.  Anyone planning a trip to Houston for that?

Ian: This kid absolutely cannot get enough of video games.  His top fave is Super Paper Mario, which is a really fun game, but since it's one of two games we own (the other being Wii Sports) it may be by default more than anything else.  Luckily he has some other things going on in his life to give him a little balance.  He is still at a nearby Baptist church for pre-K but he has moved into a kindergarten class since he was already proficient in the pre-K skills.  (We plan on him doing kindergarten again next year once he is old enough for K at public school.)  He told me today that he thinks it's pretty cool that he goes to a school where they are teaching the gospel.  I couldn't agree more!  He's playing basketball again through the YMCA and enjoying that somewhat.  I think we all know what he would rather be doing, but again, we are aiming for some balance. :) 

Alayna: Words to describe Alayna....busy, funny, sweet, busy.  Oh, did I say busy twice?  I should have said it 3 or 4 times!  This girl is at the age where she is into everything, and climbing on everything else.  Our Christmas tree has multiple conspicuous bald spots at Alayna-height.  And you better believe that if there is something or somewhere we want her to stay out of, it's a never ending battle to get our way.  But we love her and she is pretty hilarious.  She's a good little talker.  For quite some time she has been shaking and nodding her head.  Awhile ago she added "yeah" to her repertoire.  She's figured out that "uh huh" and "huh uh" can be used to indicate "yes" or "no," respectively, and she's expirimenting with that.  The problem is she says "huh uh" when she means "yes."  I'm sure in no time at all she'll have it all figured out.  We're eagerly waiting for her to start saying Maddie's name.  She's been saing "Eee-uh" (Ian) for a long time and "Mama" and "Dada" too.  Madeleine is feeling a little left out. 

Spencer: Really enjoying work at ExxonMobil.  He is doing such a good job and his superiors are all thrilled with what he's accomplished.  One of his colleagues at the company Christmas party told me that Spencer is single-handedly changing his department.  That might be a slight exaggeration, but a very kind thing to say and an indication of how well he's doing.  In February he will be starting a new position as an Asset Portfolio Manager and he couldn't be happier about it.  It's exactly the position he was hoping to attain and we feel extremely fortunate that he was able to get to it so quickly.  The only move associated with the new position will be down the hall from his current office.  At church, Spencer serves as the Sunday School President. 

Rachel: I find it most difficult to do my own update.  Each day for me is so full of things that are hardly worth mentioning.  And so now a year has gone by and I feel like there's not much to note.  I'll say this: I feel like we have really settled in to a good life here in Texas.  We have made some really wonderful friends and that is such a source of joy for me.  I have not been doing many household projects lately, but I have a feeling there are several in store in 2012.  I love being a stay-at-home mom.  It sure isn't glamorous, but I find it really challenging in a good way.  And I love my kids.  They are just so wonderful.  I think about them and think, "Are those awesome kids really mine?  Wow!  I am a lucky mom!"  Of course there are times when my thoughts are a little less gushy, but that's part of the gig I signed up for, right?  I wouldn't trade it.  At church, I am still the Nursery Coordinator overseeing about 45 kids ages 18 months to 3 years.  

We hope all of our friends and family are enjoying a wonderful Christmas season!  We are grateful for our Savior, Jesus Christ, and this special time of year to celebrate His birth.  We are also grateful to have each of you in our lives and for the happiness it brings us to know you.  Merry Christmas and happy New Year!

(Family pictures were taken in Mesa, AZ in November by Jessica Drew