Sunday, February 9, 2014

A New Year, A New Goal

I know, I know-- we haven't ceased to exist the last few months, I just haven't kept up on things.  With instagram and facebook, I have found easier ways to journal.  However, these other avenues probably aren't the most effective means of journaling our family events because I don't take the time to write very much.  I have decided to return to the blog and begin anew.  One day, I hope my children and their children thank me for the time I put into writing some of the things down that we do.  It takes constant motivation and re-motivation for me to stick with it.

I will attempt another quick catch up on events that have happened since school started and hopefully keep up with things that are going on.  I think the best way to do this is to summarize what each child has been up to and possibly a family summary.

Luke-- Luke turned sixteen and entered the world of driving and dating.  I found it really interesting that he wasn't super anxious to get his driver's license.  I remember turning 16 and couldn't wait to get to the DMV.  Things have changed.  Luke isn't the only one, most of his friends aren't anxious to get licenses either.   I finally got him in to take the test which he passed on the first try and we got his license.  I have been just as happy as he has to have it.  It is nice having another driver in the family.

It has also been fun watching him enter the dating scene.  Because his birthday is so early, he doesn't have a lot of girls his age that are eligible to date yet but he has had fun dating those that he can.  He has gone to a few dances and done some other fun activities.  I know he is looking forward to more of the girls his grade turning sixteen.

He has made some good friends in high school and has had some good experiences.  We have gotten a couple of emails from teachers expressing how much they enjoy having him in their classes.  He is in the band where he continues to play the trumpet. They are preparing to go to California soon.   Luke has also been working at James' dental office as a dental assistant.  He usually works on James' day off, I think he feels like an employee then and not a son.  I have been impressed with his dependability and hard work.  He is growing into a fine young man.

Lindsey-- Lindsey is by far my busiest kid.  She is rarely home but can be found at cheer practice, National Honor Society Meetings, Mock trial, study groups, and hanging out with friends.  She is taking a full load of honors classes and an AP class.  She is extremely self motivated and wants to be the best at everything she does.  I sometimes worry that she is doing too much but when she gets overwhelmed she takes some down time and rallies herself.

Lindsey's biggest struggle so far this year has been dealing with friends.  She wants good friends but the ones that she hangs out with are starting to get boyfriends.  Lindsey then gets left out of activities because she doesn't have a boyfriend--nor does she want one.  She has been called a "goodie-goodie" more than once in a derogatory manner.  I try to tell her that this should be a compliment but I don't think teenagers see it that way.  I am proud of how she maintains her standards despite these trials.

Heather-- Heather is finding her way in junior high.  Her talents aren't as loud as Lindsey's but they are there.  She loves to sing and draw and excels in both areas.  She is friendly and easy going.  She is an avid reader and always has a book she is reading (or devouring).  I have to remind her to leave her room and do other things.

Heather is one of my most dependable kids.  She is always so willing to help and to serve.  She has a special relationship with Ashlyn.  For a while Ashlyn would ask for Heather over me.  I can tell in Heather's face that she loves the fact that Ashlyn loves her.

Heather is also very smart.  She excels in all of her schoolwork and has stayed very organized.  I have only had to run one paper to the junior high that she has forgotten.  This is saying a lot because it seems last year I had to go about three times a week between Luke and Lindsey.  Hopefully she can keep this up.  It will save on gas and time for me.

Savannah-- Savannah is loving fourth grade.  She loves everything about school.  She loves her friends and she loves learning.  I am not exaggerating when I say that she would prefer going to school than having time off.  She is dedicated to school.  When she comes home she immediately does her homework and gets quite upset if I can't drop what I'm doing and help her.  She works very hard.

Savannah also started playing piano.  I finally gave in and let her quit violin.  Now, I realize I should have let her quit a year earlier.  I made her keep playing because I thought she was making excuses and didn't want to practice.  I now know that she just really did not like the violin.  She practices the piano without being reminded and memorizes almost every song she assigned to practice.  Her music experience has been a parenting lesson learned.  I should have listened to her feelings and not been so worried about my own agenda.

Savannah also has a special relationship with Ashlyn.  She usually asks if she can wake her up when she gets home from school.  I have had to start adjusting Ashlyn's nap time to ensure she gets a long enough nap before Savannah comes home.  I am blessed to have so many helpers.

Matthew-- Matthew is doing awesome in first grade.  His teacher tells me all the time how impressed he is with Matthew's reading skills.  I noticed at school everyone calls him Matt.  It took me a while to get used to this when I would help with his class.  People would make comments about Matt and it would take me a few seconds to realize they were talking about Matthew.  He'll always be Matthew to me but to others he is Matt.

Although Matt does well in school, he doesn't love it.  He loves it when school is out and there were a few days when he told me he was sick despite a lack of symptoms.  I had to make the rule that if he doesn't have a fever he has to go to school.

I think one of Matthew's favorite things to do is play with Ashlyn.  However, it is not Ashlyn's favorite thing to do because his idea of playing is Ashlyn's idea of picking.  He likes to bug her and chase her and annoy her.  She takes it for a while and then starts fighting back.

Ashlyn--Ash is growing faster than I would like.  I can't believe that she is as big as she is.  Her vocabulary is quite developed for her age.  I love this age, when they start to communicate and their personalities come out.  I feel so blessed to have her.  She has made me realize how much I love my other children.  I know that sounds strange but it's true.  It seems I have forgotten so much of the growing up of my other babies because there was so much going on with five kids under the age of 8.  Having Ashlyn at this time of my life brings back all those memories and feelings of having my other kids and I appreciate them so much more.  What a blessing this has been for me.

Ashlyn is a mommy's girl.  She takes me over anyone.  I am enjoying that while it lasts because I know she'll outgrow it.  She cuddles and talks to me and loves to be with me.  She also loves to be with her siblings which gives me a break when needed.

That is a rundown on all that is going on with the kids.   James and I have been busy fulfilling our various roles as mom and dad, caregiver and provider, bishop and relief society.  We love all that we are doing and feel so blessed in every way.

Monday, September 2, 2013

End of Summer Bees Game

Summer really flies by for us, especially because half of our kids aren't out of school until the first of July.  When you throw in girl's camp, high adventure, youth conference, EFY, family reunions, sports camps and the various activities James gets to attend as bishop, we come up with a quick and busy summer. 

There was no shortage of activities for each of my kids.  Luke would choose EFY and tennis camp as his favorites, although high adventure was a blast for him.  Lindsey loved EFY and experienced BYU's cheer camp for the first time this summer.  I think she got the busiest kid award this summer with girl's camp, youth conference, junior high cheer camp, two parades and hanging with friends.  Heather wasn't out of school until July but managed to get a few trips to Lagoon with friends, girls camp, and visits with cousins before she fractured her foot playing mini-golf (that's right, she tripped in the hole.)  Savannah and Matthew also got out in July and spent a few weeks relaxing and visiting family before they headed back to school.  Savannah said she missed school and was ready to go back.

One of our favorite activities was hosting a Fourth of July party at our house with the Anderson clan.  There was a lot of food and fun that ended with a firework show provided by the uncles.  With aerial fireworks being legal, we get a whole new dimension of firework shows.  It was exciting but there were a few drawbacks-- ash kept falling on us and Ashlyn got burned when a firework shot the wrong way.  It was all good though and a lot of fun.

Our last weekend of the summer, we met up with Taylor and his kids and went to a Bee's game.  We had a lot of fun watching the baseball game and chatting with each other.  The evening ended with a firework show set to music.  It was a great way to end the Summer.

So Long 6th Grade

Heather is moving on from elementary school to junior high.  In July she finished her final days at Bluff Ridge Elementary and participated in the 6th grade graduation.  Bluff Ridge always has a fun assembly that honors the sixth graders on their last day.  Each "graduate" is recognized and reads where they will be in twenty years.  Heather said she will be a renowned author of fantasy books.  I could definitely see that happening.  Heather constantly has a book in her hands and loves to imagine different worlds.

Sixth grade was a great year for Heather.  She had the best teacher in the sixth grade (according to Heather).  She made a lot of friends, had the lead in the play, participated in Lego Mindstorms, and enjoyed all of the 6th grade competitions-- except for dance.  She thought it was "creepy" to dance with the boys.  Now it's on to bigger and better things as she enters Junior High!

Heather Plays Ball

Heather had a great softball season this year!  I say that because I got to coach her team so she better say she had a great season.   We had a lot of fun together.  We didn't win all of our games but we won a few-- we beat the team that Heather was on last year and that made it all worth it.  Heather played first base most of the season and sometimes played third.  She does well at any position you put her at because she thinks the plays through and knows where to throw the ball.  She is a great hitter and usually started the game as the fourth hitter to get the runs in  or as the first hitter to start the team going.  Hopefully she will stick with playing a few more years and can maybe go out for the high school team.