Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 Family Christmas Letter

2016 Hopper Family Christmas Letter

Hello all! We hope you had a great Christmas and will have a Happy New Year!

The year was full of trials this year but that was to be expected. Our duty and responsibility is to plow through them and do the best that we can to grow and progress. We had the opportunity to go to Six Flags again this year and go to Gatlinburg for vacation. Here is our family members and a little about what they have accomplished and who they have become.

Nathan (2 ½) - He is a busy body and is always asking for his fashfight (flash light). He loves to play with his cars and his lawnmower. His favorite thing to do is to shoot everyone with his finger gun and always asks to go somewhere, no matter where. Nathan is always picking fights with dad. He loves to speak with his monster voice. He is such a joy and very special in our life. 
Julie (4) - She was born independent and loves to sing to herself when she is supposed to go to sleep. Whenever she receives chapstick she always keeps it by her side. She likes to help out a lot in the house. She loves to listen to books and is already starting on lessons for reading. She likes to pick out her own clothes to wear for the day. She is definitely the one that keeps us in line. She reminds us each night to read scriptures, say family prayers and sing hymns or children songs before going to bed.
Jeffery (10) – He loves to watch and do science experiments. He likes being alone by himself and playing or building with K’Nex or legos. He likes to ride his bike around the block in our neighborhood. Jeffery also participated in baseball this year and progressed throughout the season. This year he has been bitten by a dog, fallen off of his bike and received stitches. This is Jeffery’s second year of Home Schooling and he is getting better and doing his work by himself. He has no trouble with Math or English but is sometimes bitten by the lazy bug.
Ethan (13 ½) – He participated in the Metro Basketball league and did very well. Their team won the Metro Championship. He was also invited to play in travel ball in which he went to several tournaments – Southside, Auburn and Montgomery. He made the Moody Junior High School basketball team and has done well also. Ethan is the family bookworm, especially when it comes to series, not putting the book down until he’s finished. Ethan is a Star Scout and is working on Life Scout. He recently went on an overnight hiking trip that was 5 miles long. Ethan will be starting home-school in January, but is also attending the junior high so he can be on the basketball team. We still have to figure out the Tim Tebow Law on this… so stay tuned.
Katherine (15) – She started driving in April and has seen improvement. Katherine has been homeschooling for 3 months and she is enjoying her time more. She played Tennis in the spring and was improving so much that by the end of the season at her banquet she received the “Most Improved Player” award. Then when she started homeschooling, Wendy found a lady that taught classes so Katherine was obliged to join the class and is enjoying the class. She is working hard on finishing her personal progress she has at least 80% of it completed. She is a huge help to Wendy at home with the children when other circumstances pull Wendy away.
Jamie (17) – Jamie ran track for the second year and made a lot of improvements. She is also in her final year of seminary. She is a senior in high school and is working on keeping her GPA up at a 4.310 (3.9 unweighted). She also participated in her last year of marching band and received all ones at competition (ones are the highest score). She has been wanting to get a phone for so long, so she started working at Chick-fil-a in October and enjoys it for the most part. She will finish personal progress in January and receive her medallion. She has found a new passion for Just Dance ever since her friend introduced it to her in August. Jamie is also the Ward Chorister. Jamie is projected to be at Jeff State CC in the fall. 
Wendy loves to read books 24/7. She is homeschooling three children and loves helping with Math. She loves watching Hallmark movies. She was forced to go on a special diet that is gluten free and dairy free and as a result, lost 60 lbs in 3 months. She hates the diet but knows that she has more energy now. She had hardly any problems walking up Clingman’s Dome. She serves as a primary teacher and serves on both the troop and pack committees. She is very busy and seems to be constantly running with children to appointments and other events.
Jason is on the Stake High Council over Missionary Work and serves as a Temple Ordinance Worker. He loves playing and wrestling with the little ones. He participated in Ethan’s personal fitness merit badge and his muscles have grown since. He is the “Fix it-Felix” of the family. He continues to work for Alabama Power Company as an engineer in the Project Management group. He has been with the company for 15 years.
Although much has changed, we still hope to center the Savior in our lives and remember that He is the reason for the season.
                                                Best wishes to all,
                                                The Hoppers
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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Moody Travel Basketball

This year has been an interesting year for basketball for Ethan. He grew over a span of 5 months to a height of 5'9" or 5'10", somewhere around that height, and began to understand how to play basketball a little better. This year his Rec-League team was the best and ultimately won the league and tournament. They played 6 games during the season and was 4-2 then caught a hot streak and blew through the tournament and won it all. Ethan had several games of more than 15 points.

After the Rec League was over, his coach tried to get a team together and play other nearby cities but to no avail. He then found out about other tournaments in Alabama - Southside, Auburn and Montgomery. So we began to practice every week to gel together as a team. We played a tournament in Southside and got killed. It was due to teams falsifying their age and grade. We were the only true 7th grade team. We played in Auburn this past weekend and got killed in 2 out of 3 games. We still lost all 3 but at least we hung in there with one team. The one team was from Roanoke and they had a "7th grader" who looked like he was a senior that stood 6'4" and was muscled up. He almost dunked the basketball, too.

After the first game, we went to eat lunch and to site see. We went to Auburn's Beard-Eaves Coliseum where we saw a small family practicing basketball, so we encouraged the kids to go down and be on the floor. By the time they got down there the family had left. They began running and shooting the ball and having a good ole time. After a while, we encouraged the coach to go down and coach them up. He did that and they began playing full court basketball practice. It was cool to be able to be there and practice at the most expensive and luxurious place in Auburn. One could not pick a better place to practice.

From there we walked to the baseball field, saw the head baseball coach talking on the phone and got a picture with their backs facing the fields. We were missing one player - Chance Enge.

Then we walked to the football field across the street but could not get in to the stadium but took a picture outside the stadium.

After our little adventure, we had some time to spare so we went back to the tournament but didn't go in so we rested in the car for a time. We played one more game at Auburn Jr. High Gym and then played the last game at Auburn High School Gym (old gym).

After the last game we headed home. It took us about 2 hours to get home and we had to go through a heavy down pour. We got home around 10 PM.