I usually try to write a little note to add to our Christmas card, but this year I opted to just blog it instead. Mostly because I don’t have a printer, and I’m too lazy to figure out how to get someone else to print it. Yes, laziness rules my life.
The year began with a couple sad injuries for Ryan. He broke his toe and slammed his fingers in the car door within a day or so. He was disappointed to miss a church ball game, but he was rewarded with a giant bag of candy, so it was all okay.
We learned that Brooklyn’s favorite word is perplexing. She loves the way it sounds but has no idea what it means.
We closed our lawn business last winter, a move that has had far-reaching emotional effects on us, in both good and bad ways. And, in November this year, we settled a big ugly loan leftover from a bad real estate deal from several years ago. It felt good to put some of these decisions behind us.
We experienced our first year of all three kids attending three different schools. Ryan is at Paradigm, a charter high school that is nearly 8 miles from our house. He absolutely loves his volleyball and Men’s Chorus classes, absolutely hates his History of the Arts class, and is really enjoying his first year of Seminary. Quinn is at Bennion Junior High, where his grades are passable, and he has made some new friends. He also loves his Men’s Chorus class, but his favorite class is called “Using Computers.” No surprise there. He is also in the school musical, Aladdin, which will be performed in the spring. Brooklyn is in 5th grade at Westbrook Elementary School, and loves her teacher. Unfortunately, what she hates is completing homework and turning in completed homework. We’ve had to press her pretty hard to get this stuff done.
Over the summer, we made an eventful 4th of July trip to Idaho, which involved a midnight car-breakdown and an overnight campout in the Walmart parking lot. It also involved a baby llama and a really fun day trip to Lava Hot Springs. We also traveled to Wyoming for the summer family reunion, and the girls made a trip in April to visit the newborn twin girls born to Robb’s cousin, Jill. They were all fun trips.
All three kids have been growing like weeds, finally. In the final quarter of the year, Ryan grew almost 1.5 inches and Quinn grew more than 2 inches. Quinn wore out of his summer boat shoes in less than 4 months, and Ryan’s dress shoes did not last him much longer than that. Brooklyn is still one of the tallest girls in her class.
We keep plugging away at our karate goals. We recently signed new three-year contracts for both boys. They are both about 2 years away from black belt, though Quinn is a little closer than Ryan. Quinn anticipates testing for high red belt in January, which is the last one before black belt. It’s pretty exciting times. Brooklyn is a blue belt now, so within a few months she will be in the same class as the boys. She is looking really good, and learning really quickly. We’re just working on getting her to actually hit people during sparring… she really hates that part.
Quinn has enjoyed his brief hiatus from orthodontia, but he will be in round two of braces starting next month. Brooklyn just recently completed her first round, so hopefully she will have a couple years before she needs to start round two. The real goal is to keep her from breaking her retainer, as Quinn did when he got in trouble for not wearing it for several weeks.
Scout camps continue to freak me right out, although our Bishop has nothing but the kindest words to say about our boys. I think they are pretty good boys, and respectful to their leaders. They went to Klondike last winter, and scout camp during the summer. Quinn missed the ward youth conference, after an early morning fainting incident, and he wasn’t quite old enough for Pioneer Trek. Ryan loved Trek, and couldn’t wait to show us the video evidence of his experience. The summer was full of camping trips, especially for Ryan. He was all camped-out by the end of the summer.
Robb and I celebrated our 16th anniversary this December. It is crazy to think of all that has happened since 1995.
I inherited a new piano… my great-grandmother’s Astin-Weight is now in my home, and my hundred-year-old Glen Bros. has gone to a new home. It will be weird getting used to teaching on a different piano. I have had more than a dozen piano students for most of the year. It has kept me pretty busy.
We’ve been fortunate to live in a great neighborhood, to be surrounded by family and to have amazing friends. 2011 truly was a memorable year for us, and we anticipate great things for 2012! We love and appreciate all of you!