Lorena loves blogging! I started this blog in Aug, and have had a ball recording all the various happenings in our Family of Eight. I exercise with friends, teach piano lessons, and was a long-term substitute teaching ESL in a local High School. Although very sad to leave the Spanish Branch (I cried for the first 2-3 weeks), I am happy to be back in their English ward and serving in the Primary for the first time in 12 years! I coached Mary's soccer team to an undefeated season in district play, and refereed as well. I have started a stellar career as a matchmaker extraordinaire, this beautiful couple being my first success.Stetson (an Elder that served in our Spanish Branch) and Whitney (my niece) are now happily married after meeting at our Cider Festival in 2007. Yeah! To all unmarried of age reading this post - watch out - you may be next!Joshua turned 16 this year! He got his driver's license, became a Priest and gave the Sacrament Prayer in Spanish with very good pronunciation, and started dating some cute girls! Just hours after baptizing Peter, he went heel to heel with the keeper in a Varsity Soccer game and broke his tibia! He is recovering well, and was very glad to have his music to fall back on when he couldn't play soccer. He is in the show choir, Madrigals and plays the Piano. He has also started singing accapella with some friends in a barbershop quartet, which he loves!
Joseph is almost 15, and a freshman in High School. He loves his Advanced English class, especially since he's the only boy in the class, and has continued to develop his writing skills. He also loves Biology and learning in general. He played well on the JV Soccer team, and on an indoor soccer team as well. He shot an elk this year with Bruce, and was a good companion for horseback riding and duck hunting. In the last few weeks he has taught himself to play the guitar, while still playing the piano beautifully.Jesse is 13 and has blossomed into a beautiful young woman this year! She is obsessed with the piano, reading, volleyball (she was the Libero on her team), etc. Jesse is basically obsessed with whatever she does! She is an awesome defender on her soccer team, and they placed first in their division this Fall. She is an A+ student, a great big sister, an energetic clogger, and a huge help to me around the house. Mary is 11 and likes reading, playing in the snow and thinks it's really cold outside. She is also an awesome defender on her soccer team, made some great strides in piano, and was a great one to ride horses with her Dad! Mary loves to play with friends.
Peter, 8, is his Dad's right hand man. When Bruce needs help on the farm, Peter just seems to be right there to help. He also has been a good horseback riding companion. His class at school did a unit on rockets, and he loved that. Peter is reading well, and is good at Math. He played soccer and the piano as well. (Have you noticed a theme in those two areas?) The biggest event of the year for him was getting baptized by his big brother!
Libby turned six this year and is a great 1st grader! She loves, loves loves - everyone and everything. You must see this post about Bruce pulling her tooth out with a Leatherman. Libby has a special gift for reaching out to all around her, and she keeps us all delighted with her enthusiasm and excitement for life. She is also developing into a fine musician! She loves to sing and piano playing comes so easy to her it's scary.
Our most fun vacation of the year was our annual Llama Pack Trip. This has become a family tradition that I hope we can continue for a long time. This picture was taken at the top of a ridge that was literally in the middle of nowhere - a wilderness for miles and miles around us. On the hike to this ridge we saw not a soul for the whole day. We rolled rocks down hills, yelled, laughed and did whatever other thing you do as a family when no one else is looking.
This is a funny picture of rolling rocks down the hill.
It looks like we rolled Jesse down the hill!
I love this picture of the kids. You can click on any picture to get a bigger view.
Here is the one from 2007.
They grow up a lot in a year!
We wish all of you a very Merry Christmas! More than ever this year we are thankful for simplicity, commandments that protect us as we strive to obey them with exactness, and the love of our Savior, Jesus Christ, whose Atonement makes life worth living; indeed, whose Atonement makes life full of joy, even amid the stress and problems of everyday living.
We love you all!