Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Hello friends and family! We hope you all are enjoying the fun of this holiday season. We are caught up in the craziness of it but wouldn’t change a thing.

McKinley is still one of the busiest people in our house. She is in her 10th year of piano and since we’ve changed teachers this year she is renewed and excited to practice. The new teacher doesn’t compete in any contests so the stress has been removed and she just has to worry about two recitals. She was chosen as the Business Manager for the middle school yearbook and she has developed a love for photography because of her time spent working on it. She is in her 5th year of voice lessons and this year made two elementary and two junior high honor choirs. She started working on the three audition songs for the junior high choir this summer and had to survive three live auditions to make it. She was assigned a Christmas song two weeks ago and decided two days before the school Christmas Choir Concert that she wanted to sing it as a solo. She’s never been brave enough to do that before! She worked hard to memorize it and had many of us in tears as she sang it. She’s also planning to sing a solo and compete in the talent show to wrap up her last year in middle school. She auditioned for our all school musical and will be a nun. Perfect I think since she won't be able to date until she's 40.

Kennedy is in her final year of elementary. How is that possible? She is still playing viola and is planning to audition for an honor orchestra the teacher is forming. She is in her 7th year of piano and also loves the new teacher. She strives each week to surprise the teacher by learning an entire song instead of just the few measure she’s told to work on. She is in her 5th year of voice and is going strong! She was accepted to her second year of Children’s All-State choir and was recently asked to sing in Prayer Meeting at church and to entertain at a Christmas party in a duet with our Aunt and voice teacher. She finally made it to 5th grade and was able to audition for the all school musical which this year is The Sound of Music. The fact that only one 5th grade girl would be chosen didn’t seem to bother her. She was chosen and will be Marta in April! She played on an indoor soccer team last year but this year has decided to play church basketball.

Reagan is following in her sisters footsteps! She’s is in her 4th year of piano. Because of the new piano teacher she can often be found at the piano without being told. She is in her 4th year of voice and just survived a recital last night that had her worried she’d mess up. She was amazing as we knew she’d be! She took a season off of soccer after playing three for an all boys team but started again this summer on a co-ed church league with her Daddy as coach! She is now on an indoor girl’s team and is continuing as goalie (which is what her Daddy has been grooming her for). For every minute that she is in the goalie box I breathe once or twice. I much prefer her being in any other position! She also auditioned for the part of Gretl the five year old in Sound of Music but lost to a very short 6th grader.

Shawn is as busy as ever with soccer, work, computer tutoring, slide scanning, and being an amazing husband and father. He now plays on not one, not two, but five indoor soccer teams! He was a wonderful coach to Reagan’s soccer team this summer and was wise enough to draft her betrothed, Evan:c) He ran in a 5k recently that started near our house. He overslept but decided he could make it with enough time. As he was running to where he thought the starting line was he heard the gun firing and realized he was headed the wrong way. After a quick stop for directions he found the starting line and finished in a good time!

Stephanie, that’s me! I am still blessed to be a domestic goddess and strive every day to keep up with all the things the girls do. Not an easy task! Shawn recently blessed me with a new phone to help keep up. At the moment I am not smart enough to own it. I ran the half marathon in January and was honored to do my part to raise money for Lymphoma and Leukemia research. As I crossed the finish line I was upset with myself for the time that it took me, I knew I could have done better. But as my sweet friend Tracy ran up and threw her arms around me I realized it wasn’t about me or my time, it was about honoring the memory of her son Mitchell and making sure no one else had to lose someone they loved. She has already asked us to run with her next October in San Francisco so I am slowly getting back into running after a few months off to heal a broken tailbone. I actually missed it, who would have guessed!

This summer found us headed to Colorado to visit my Dad and visit some of our favorite places. Dad lives on a mountain above Ft. Collins and the area has so many fun things to offer! We biked the trails around town, hiked a few mountain trails, bought inner tubes and floated the Poudre River, rafted the river, played in many streams and the river, walked all over Dad’s mountain, climbed a thousand rocks, and jumped off the biggest one into the river. All that time making the sweetest memories. An overnight stop in Boulder to see a friend and we were headed to Golden Bell Ranch in the Colorado Springs area. I worked at the camp for seven years and my grandpa built many things on the property. We roamed all around there and visited our favorite tourist attractions.

Shawn, Stephanie, McKinley, Kennedy, & Reagan

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