Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 Recap/Happy Holidays!

Where has the year gone??  I am regretting that I haven't kept notes on our doings on this much-neglected blog.  But since I am not giving up entirely for the year, I'll try my best for an informative but not too wordy recap of the highlights from 2012.

Alayna- Turned 2 in July.  She is one sweet and sassy little girl.  She is a very articulate speaker and we almost can't get enough of what she has to say.  Just tonight while we were reading scriptures she's listening then saying, "what's beseech mean?"  and "what's advocateth?"  In her cute 2 year-old voice it's just unbearably sweet.  We realize we have had enough of her voice for one day though when it's after 10 pm and she is still talking to/yelling at her sister keeping her awake.  We're still finessing bedtime, as you can imagine.  She is my constant sidekick at the gym, grocery store, etc. while the older two are at school.  She has lots of little buddies in the nursery at church including two kids who we have a weekly playgroup with.  She loves her baby dolls and is a very loving little "mommy."

Ian- Turned 6 in October.  With his Fall birthday, he is one of the oldest kids in his Kindergarten class.  You may recall that he did a Kindergarten program last year during his Pre-K year so although he has a handle on the curriculum for the most part, he really enjoys being at school.  He loves the atmosphere of being around friends and getting to do lots of brain-stimulating activities.  His favorite class is art, but I think he enjoys all the specials (art, PE, music, computer) almost the same amount.  In September, he started piano lessons and soccer.  He and Madeleine were on the same team and they both did fantastic.  Ian is really fast and he seemed to pick up the rules pretty quick.  He's also progressing well in piano.  He played Honey Bee and Jolly Old St. Nicholas at his first recital earlier this month.  He loves Super Mario Bros. on the Wii and anything Ninjago.

Madeleine- Turned 8 in May and was baptized in June.  (You only have to go back one blog post for that full story:)  This girl is rocking and rolling in 3rd grade.  We lucked out with her teachers because they assign very little homework.  She is expected to do the majority of her work in school including big projects, which makes me a little anxious, but she is doing really well and loving school.  Especially because two of her friends from church are in her class at school.  Pretty remarkable since there are 9 or 10 third grade classes.  Again, she was great in soccer.  The teams had kids from Kindergarten through 3rd grade so she was the oldest on her team and the tallest.  She'd like to do more soccer in the future but she's really hoping to play basketball next.  Althetics seem to come naturally for her so it will be interesting to see if she decides there's one sport she just loves.  Santa brought pogo sticks and she has already mastered that.  Even jumping with no hands!  Since turning 8 she gets to go twice a month to Activity Days with the girls her age at church.  She's doing really, really well at piano.  She's got a great ear and figured out how to play quite a few Christmas songs.    

Spencer- Working as a project manager at ExxonMobil.  He's really enjoying work and is constantly learning and growing.  He is also working on a second master's degree, this time in construction management.  Thankfully he's working on it slowly (one night a week, online) so he still has time for the family.  It will take a while to complete but he loves what he's learning about and feels like this degree will be a great addition to his professional skills.  He keeps fit doing Insanity workouts, which are awesome.  About once a month he plays the bass with a bluegrass band.  At church he is the choir director.

Rachel- Same old, same old.  Cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.  I remember at the end of last year predicting more projects around the house and it turns out I was sort of right.  I redecorated the girls' bedroom, including making lovely headboards and refinshing a vanity.  Painted a bathroom too.  Not much, but honestly, running a household and caring for this family is one big ongoing project, right?!  I'm still an avid gym go-er so I can get some exercise and some me time all at once.  Spencer and I both sang in our stake choir's Christmas program.  That has become one of my favorite parts of the Christmas season.  I am still overseeing the nursery at church.  A job that has become much simpler since since our ward split about 6 months ago.

Additional highlights:
- A trip to San Diego at the end of April.  We got to see my sister Angela and her family, a few friends from LA at Disneyland, Curtis and Amy and their kids and Drew.  This really deserves a post of its own.
-Coldplay live at the Toyota Center.
-Two  camping trips.  One in the heat of late Spring (maybe this should be a lowlight) and one in early November (highlight).
-Spending a day and a half in San Antonio with my sister Erika and her family.
-Madeleine's baptism, complete with a visit from Grandpa Gus and Grandma Sandi.
-My sister Maggie and her family stayed with us in October.  NASA, Children's Museum, family time.  Sister time seeing Gotye in concert.
-Thanksgiving with another sister!  Olivia and Ben came down from Billings with her kids and stayed for a week.  Indoor Schlitterbahn, Museum of Natural Science, and NASA again.  Also great Texas BBQ (Rudy's) and Tex-Mex (Pappasito's).
-A couple running events for me.  A mud run one weekend and a nighttime 5k the next.

We love you all and hope you forgive us for not sending a tangible Christmas card.  We are so grateful for our Savior, Jesus Christ, and for the Christmas season to celebrate His birth.  Striving to be like Him and live His teachings brings us immeasurable peace and happiness. We are also so very grateful for all the amazing people in our lives. We are truly blessed!  We wish you all a wonderful 2013!