I feel quite guilty about how poorly I have kept up this blog this year. My intention this year is to use my quiet Sunday mornings (afternoon church this year!) to journal about my family here. Wish me luck. I often feel like Moses, who needed counselors to hold up his arms for him. If anyone wants to lend either physical or moral support, please feel free. I can use all I can get!
Catching up on recent goings on:
Quinn loves swim team. He usually swims the 50 Freestyle and the 100 Breast stroke, although he also has a very nice Butterfly, and really enjoys relays.
His first swim meet of the year was in St. George. Kearns High has a very good swim team, and has for several years, and they are always invited to this big meet in St. George. We decided to use it as a good excuse to get out of town. We drove down with Ryan and Brooklyn, and Quinn took the bus with the team. When we arrived at our hotel, Brooklyn commented that she had never been in a hotel, which is not true, but probably feels true to her. Our last family trip that involved a hotel was probably 6 or 7 years ago. That little comment prompted Robb and I to remark to one another, “We have failed as parents.”
Quinn is not the fastest swimmer on the team or anything, but he is a rookie, and a sophomore, which means he still has plenty of time to improve. He will be playing Water Polo next semester, and he and Ryan are both taking a weight lifting class. The swim coach says the kids who lift weights improve much faster, and more, than those that don’t. For me, it means feeding these already hungry boys even more. Seriously, Quinn must have a hollow leg.
Brooklyn now wears glasses. She was my last and best hope for a child that wouldn’t need them, but she kept telling me she needed to see the eye doctor. She said that when she would look at the board at school, the letters would appear stretched and blurry. The eye doctor said the blurriness was the nearsightedness, and the stretching was thanks to the astigmatism. Which means we now have three children with astigmatism and two with nearsightedness.
She only wears her glasses at school, and isn’t in the habit yet, so frequently forgets to wear them. Hopefully she will get the hang of it this year.
Ryan is my only hope for a kid that doesn’t need braces (knock on wood). Then again, Quinn and Brooklyn BOTH require two rounds of braces, which is super fun. Quinn is nearly done with his second round, and as soon as that is complete, we will get Brooklyn started on her second round. I’m sure the orthodontist just loves us.
Speaking of teeth, Ryan had his wisdom teeth removed. It’s not a fun process, but he handled it like a trooper. He did miss two days of school, though, which proved to be quite devastating, because a few days later he got the flu that the rest of the family was suffering from, and missed a bunch more days of school.
Robb had planned to take several days off work just before Thanksgiving, and was going to get some projects done around the house. He ended up spending his vacation time nursing us, as every one of us except Robb was sick sick sick. We decided to join the current decade and get Netflix. We did that just in time, because we ended up spending our sick days on the couch with Netflix. Not sure what we would have done without it.
For me, 5 days being sick on the couch turned even nastier when on day 6 I learned I had pneumonia. That was one of the least pleasant experiences of my life, let me tell you. I was really glad Robb was around to nurse me through that, because I am really not one of those people who deals with being sick very well.
Eventually, everyone did recover and get back to school, and we will be spending the rest of the semester frantically trying to make up missing work and get the grades back up.
Brooklyn had a belt test and finally received her brown belt. She still really hates sparring, and will tell you she is not a tough girl, but she has a couple things going for her. She is creative, and has made up some killer techniques, and she is great at using her hips to make a powerful rear punch. Plus, she is generally pretty fun to be around, so people like her, which is an asset she probably doesn’t even recognize.
The kids also participated in the Westwind Challenge this year, which is a competition between the three branches of the school. They fought well, and we were really proud of them. The older they get, the more expensive the karate is, but the more fulfilling, too.
Karate has really been the best thing we have done for our kids, and watching them progress frequently reduces me to tears. Quinn is trying to get a job teaching karate, which is turning out to be a process. Now his plan is to be a lifeguard in the meantime. I think I’m going to have to write the owner of the karate school one great big thank you note when Quinn gets his black belt.
One of the bigger things we have to look forward to this year is Robb’s traveling. I say that sarcastically, because we all kind of hate it when he travels. His new position on the server installation team at work means he will be out of the state at least once or twice a month, for a week or more at a time. The overtime pay is nice, though, and we have big plans for the extra income. (And by “big plans” I of course mean “paying off debts.” Being an adult is really the pits sometimes.)
Our family’s word for the year is SIMPLIFY. We are striving to keep the house cleaner and our schedules streamlined all year. I’m hoping we can have a little family meeting each Sunday morning and keep ourselves on track.