I was so bad and did not send out a Christmas letter last year. Our family is doing well. Jason still works for Alabama Power and drives 45 minutes to work (on the interstate-thank goodness we are close). He loves his job as civil engineer and enjoys being in the office at times and out in the field at others. He still serves in church as the Elders Quorum President which is an organization of men who hold the priesthood and are ordained to the office of Elder.
I returned to UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham) last semester to finish taking the 4 classes that I lack in order to graduate with a Bachelors degree (Major in Math, Minor in History). This semester I'm down to 3! I started college right out of high school in the fall of 1995 and have taken "baby" breaks to have 4 children. I'm so close to finishing now I'm starting to get excited! However, it is extremely frustrating at the beginning of every semester now that I have really difficult classes. I have to have my sisters talk me into staying in school even though it is hard. I also serve in 3 church callings. I am Music Leader in Primary-this is the organization for children, Activities Committee Chairman-I'm in charge of planning and holding church socials, and Activity Day Leader-this calling involves being a leader for 8-11 yr girls in a program called Faith in God. (The girls set goals for themselves and work on achieving them.)
Jamie (9 yrs) wants to take gymnastics. She has changed her mind from soccer to gymnastics. She does well in school and I just ask her if her homework is done. She has friends one day and then fights with them the next, but I guess that is normal for girls this age. She takes piano lessons every once-in-a-while from mom, but doesn't practice much. I think she can be a great pianist one day if she decides to put in more effort. We have an 8-11 yr girl program at church called Faith in God that she participates in.
Katherine (7 yrs) played soccer last year but is now looking forward to being in a gymnastics class like her sister. She is the best speller. They usually have a few extra or bonus words and it is rare that she gets even one of those wrong. She is planning to be baptized in March after her 8th birthday, and we are very proud of her. Katherine is very loving, but don't make her mad because you will see knitted eyebrows and a big frowny face. Taking piano lessons seems to be a chore for Katherine. Counting and keeping the rhythm is the most difficult part. Now when it comes to singing, she does excellent. And reading too comes so naturally for her that sometimes she can sound out a word that is difficult for Jamie which makes her older sister mad. I even go a request from Katherine's teacher to test her for being gifted, but I haven't decided what to yet.
Ethan (5 yrs) is the clown of the family. He does the silliest things to make people laugh. For example, he often hits himself in the head, rolls his eyes around in his head, and falls to the ground. Sometimes it is difficult to get him to be serious enough to do homework. Jason is very excited about Ethan starting baseball this year. It was Ethan's choice to play baseball instead of soccer this year. This will be the first organized sport he has played. (I better hurry and get done with school so I can be the "soccer mom.") Ethan had a rough start to kindergarten, but has now settled into the routine of going to school and getting along with his classmates. He loves to play cars with his little brother, and they have plenty to go around. Ethan and Jeffery share a bedroom, and Ethan puts up with Jeffery's restlessness well. Although sometimes they play instead of staying in bed.
Jeffery (2 yrs) is 2 hands full! It seems like he is always into something. And his temper tantrums are awful when he doesn't get things his way. On the other hand, just like his brother he is hilarous at times. Jason pretends to eat Jeffery, and now Jeffery really does eat or bite Jason's cheek! I make this little growling noise at him. Now when I do it, he makes a little growling noise back. On the mischieveious side, I found him in the bathroom on day sitting on the counter with his feet (he had on pjs with the little footies) in the sink full of water. He had pulled medicine out of the medicine cabinet which was floating in the water around his pj-clad feet.