Here’s an update that Robin wrote about our family adventures this year.
Merry Christmas, Everyone!
2010 has been a very eventful year for our family. The biggest, of course, has been our change of address. After only one month, we were able to sell our dear Riverton home of ten years, and almost immediately found a great location to build a brand new home. We had visited Traverse Mountain several times in the past and fallen in love with it, but never thought we would be able to live here. However, thanks to some changes in the market, we were able to get into a much bigger and more beautiful home. We enjoyed the building process immensely, and were excited to create our dream house.
While our house was being built, we imposed upon the hospitality of Andrew’s mother, Vicki, and lived in her home for ten weeks. For six of those weeks we also shared her home with Andrew’s brother Aaron and his family! It was a fun experience, but I think we were all relieved when we were able to move into our new home in June.
It has been wonderful having the mountain as our backyard. While it’s mostly rocks and grass, it has its own wild beauty. We have no neighbors behind us, and have enjoyed seeing some wildlife from time to time! Parley and some friends saw a porcupine up by the small caves behind our house, and there is a large herd of deer that has been wandering around the hills ever since the first snowfall. I love seeing the gorgeous view of Utah Valley and Utah Lake every time I drive to the store.
Our neighborhood is full of young families, and all of us have been able to make some friends pretty quickly. Andrew wasted no time in getting not one, but three new callings: Building Clean-Up Coordinator, Stake Sunday School Presidency, and a committee to help families protect themselves against pornography. However, the time requirements for these assignments are much less than his former calling in the bishopric, so we’re not complaining! I have been called to be the Music Chairperson, and have enjoyed mining the musical talent of our ward by scheduling musical numbers, organizing the Christmas program, and, of course, playing the piano whenever needed.
Andrew continues to work at U.S. Bank as a Business Banking Officer. In October, he was transferred from the Salt Lake area to almost single-handedly handling the Utah Country market. It’s technically a shorter drive, but thanks to I-15 construction, not much of a shorter commute. In May, Andrew and I were lucky enough to go on a memorable vacation to Hawaii, courtesy of US Bank. Andrew has won this incentive trip because of his hard work in the fourth quarter of 2009. We spent a couple of days on the main island of Oahu, visiting some college friends in Honolulu, climbing the Diamond Head volcano, and going to the Polynesian Cultural Center. Then we took an inter-island flight to Maui to join up with the other U.S. Bank BBOs at a beautiful resort on the beach. It was an amazing experience, and we are grateful to our family for helping us with the babysitting so we could go!
Our kids are all doing well. Parley, our oldest, is eleven and a half, and growing rapidly. He already wears a size 8 shoe—only one size smaller than Andrew! He is ruling the school as a sixth grader, and recently performed an awesome karaoke-style duet in their class concert of the song “Fireflies” by Owl City, complete with choreography. He is looking forward to playing the trumpet again when our school band gets started in January, and just earned his Tenderfoot in scouts.
Brianna is nine this year and just had her first official sleepover with a friend! She continues to love anything art-related and has been taking art lessons from a neighbor’s sister for the past few months. She and her friend Lexi both love animals, especially horses and cats, and both plan on being veterinarians when they grow up. Brianna has enjoyed having her own room in the new house, and has carefully decorated it with stuffed animals, her artwork, and a large pile of rocks and pinecones.
Six-year-old Lily is our little drama queen. Her sunny, outgoing personality is a joy to be around, however, that sunshine can turn stormy at the drop of a hat, and she can throw a temper tantrum like you’ve never seen! After months of her begging, we finally signed her up for gymnastics, and she is already moving up to the next level. She is incredibly flexible, and I wonder sometimes if she doesn’t have a career ahead of her as a contortionist.
Sweet baby James is still the baby of the family, and everyone adores him. But at three years old, he’s really not much of a baby anymore. With all the kids in school full time this year, it’s just him and me most of the time, and that has taken some getting used to for both of us. There’s no one else around to entertain him when I need to get something done, but on the other hand, we’ve both really enjoyed the one on one time together. After focusing mostly on the older kids for so long, it’s been fun going back the world of a preschooler. I’ve enjoyed pulling out the “Blue’s Clues” and “Bob the Builder” videos, and remembering what it’s like to explain the idea of trick-or-treating or the story of Santa to someone who’s just old enough to “get it”!
We hope you all had a great year as well and look forward to 2011 and the wonderful new things it will bring! Love you all!