In place of sending a letter with our Christmas card, I decided to put our blog address on our cards and then post a review of the year.
Paisley is just about 3. She is a bundle of energy and rules the household, pretty much. She loves Pet Shops and Dora and pretending to play the violin and piano. Her favorite question is "Why?" and she makes us all laugh with her funny expressions. Her vocabulary is growing every day and she loves to go everywhere with Mom.
Anya turned 6 in September, and started Kindergarten in August. She loves all day school like the older girls and is on the Wall of Fame for her class for tying her shoes and writing her numbers. She is very social and has many friends and is constantly asking which friend can come play. She plays the violin and loves dancing and singing around the house.
Sierra turned 10 and is excited to be a two digit number. Sierra started playing the flute this summer and is also taking piano and Irish Dance lessons. She is very creative and is always drawing new fashion designs. She collects Webkinz and Silly Bands and loves to read.
Emma turned 12 in October and joined the older girls in the Young Women's class at church. She is home-schooling this year, but still sings in the choir at school and also plays viola in the Elementary Honor Orchestra. She is working on her first piano Concerto as well and really enjoys playing whatever music she can get into her hands and also likes to play a bit on the guitar. She spent a week this fall at the Outdoor Science School in McCall, with the rest of her 6th grade class.
Alexis is looking forward to her 14th birthday coming up in February. She is in 8th grade and ran with the cross country team this fall, winning first in one race and taking 2nd with her team for the season. She is taking advanced classes through the Treasure Valley Math and Science Center and is in the school choir. In February she starred in the lead role of the Junior High production of "The Boyfriend"--a cute musical set in the Roaring 20's. She takes cello lessons and has had several boys already ask her out. Dad has the shotgun handy.
Christa's major milestone for the year was taking Driver's Ed and getting her driver's license. While still limited to daylight driving hours, she is enjoying that extra bit of freedom every now and then. She started high school, and is taking AP Chemistry and AP Calculus through the Treasure Valley Math and Science Center. She was especially pleased with her score of 5 on the AP Physics exam this past spring. She took first place in her division in the Boise Sonatina Festival, on piano, and took first place in her division in the Meridian Symphony Young Artist's competition on violin. She took the first level of Teacher Training at the Suzuki Institute this summer, and now has her own violin studio with several beginning students. She started taking lessons on both instruments at the University, and is really enjoying the perspective of new teachers, and is playing with the Boise Philharmonic Youth Symphony, as principal second violinist. She is the self-proclaimed "Grammar Police," a talent she gets from her Dad.
Most of our family travels involve either music camp or a conference for Ryan's work. This year we were able to spend a few days seeing the sights and a show in New York City, skiing in Montana, enjoying some sun in San Antonio, visiting the Oregon Coast and Mt. Bachelor, listening to Itzhak Perlman in Sun Valley and watching a BYU football game (a winning one!). We were able to pull Dad away from the lab for a few days for a much needed actual vacation, sitting on the beach in Hawaii for a few days over Thanksgiving.
I spent a good part of the first few months of the year trying to get settled in our new house. I'm loving my garage where I can park my car out of the weather, and heated bathroom floors. I'm finally getting the house furnished and decorated bit by bit. I still spend one day a week helping out at Ryan's office, mostly keeping the books up to date and sharing my opinion on whatever the topic of the day may be. I had the last of my 30-something birthdays this year and have a few goals of "Things to accomplish before I turn 40." We'll see how many of those I can make a reality. Mostly I spend my time driving 6 busy children around town and keeping the household running.
Ryan's practice continues to grow each year, and he is enjoying being busy. We started several new business ventures this year on the side, including a lumber milling business, a fine woodworking business, a bee-keeping business, and a gold mining business, in addition to Cole's Organic Fruit Tree and Berry Farm here on the property. He loves listening to TED talks online while he works, and finds all sorts of inspiration for new projects.
We feel truly blessed, despite the challenges that life inevitably brings to all of us. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!