Thursday, April 20, 2017

Birthday Party for Katherine and Nathan

Katherine wanted to have her birthday party sooner but sickness struck so we couldn't have it. It all worked out and both were happy.

Katherine decorated her own cake.

Nathan was proud of his cupcakes and the toys that  were on display.



Nathan's favorite gift of all. A Cars hat.

Isn't he so cute?

This was a good day.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Random Thoughts

It's been a while since I've posted last - Christmas. I just wanted to get on here and post again just to catch up on some things that I have been thinking about and an update on our children.

Jamie -
She's getting a little trunky with school and all of the activities associated with her age group. She is ready to get out there in the world and see what it is all about. She is excited to graduate from school, seminary and the youth program. She is looking forward to college (in a way) and the YSA program. This upcoming weekend she will be traveling to Tuscaloosa to visit the YSA unit and to see what it is all about. She probably won't be attending U of A but this will give her an experience to what is happening for those who are not in high school. Good Luck Jamie!!

Katherine -
She is trying to get her driver's license so that she can finally see a little freedom and practice what she has learned over the last year while she has had her driver's permit. She has been in Home School for the last 6 months and enjoys it a little more than school itself. She will be our first graduate of the Home School program when that time comes around. Katherine has been working out and watching her food intake for the last 2 or more months and is doing a good job. She is experiencing discipline for herself and is finding out who she is.

Ethan -
Ethan just keeps growing. He started last summer when he past Jamie and Katherine. They were a little upset with him but figured out that they couldn't do anything about it. He played basketball this past season - January & February. It was the 8th grade team and he enjoyed that time. They came very close to beating the top team in the county during the County Tournament Playoffs. Ethan progressed and did very well. He finally started blocking shots better. He was always afraid to because he would get a foul ever so often. Ethan is also doing home school but he is enrolled into public school for (2) classes so that he can play public school sports (Tebow Law).

Jeffery -
He is now in baseball and is doing really good. When he first started, he would hardly swing because he didn't want to get out so he would risk the walk. He would be happy when he got on base. Now, he is gaining confidence and is hitting the ball with authority. He averages 2 at bats per game and is getting a hit per game. He is one of the tallest kids on his team and is not skinny for his age. He is loving the cub scout program, too. He is a Webelos right now and is enjoying the many great activities that they are doing. Jeffery has been in home school for almost 2 years, now.

Julie -
She is such a cutie. Her hair is so wild at times. She likes to put ponytails in her hair for church. She has the cutest little smile. At times though, she is very demanding and snippy. She loves playing with her brother, Nathan. She loves to go outside and play. Right now we have a big sandbox in our front yard that is not really sand but dirt that was left over from our Septic Tank installation.

Nathan -
He is so precious and the older kids just love him and love playing with him. He says the funniest things when you can understand him. He is being potty trained and is wearing these size 4 underwear that are super heroes and star wars themed. He looks so cute in them. He loves to play cars and blocks and loves to be outside with Julie. He is also very sneaky. You'd better have doors closed and locked if you don't want him getting into your stuff. He is learning to climb on the kitchen counters to get what he wants. He goes into the girls bathroom and get into the girls' makeup. He got into Wendy's finger nail polish a while back and now we have proof on the wall.

Well, I just wanted to write about some things that were happening here at home to catch everyone up on our lives (if you are viewing this). Hopefully I can write more or one of the older kids can write on this blog for a project that they have at school. I have some things on my mind that I do want to share but I will do that either on a different blog (I haven't decided, yet) or this same blog.




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
Created by:
JMH

HKH

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.

Monday, December 21, 2015

2015 Christmas

Hello everyone from the Hopper Family. We hope that you are having a great Holiday season so far this year and hope that it will continue throughout the New Year. We wanted to make a post on our blog this year to help everyone know how our family is doing.

Let's start with our youngest - Nathan (1). He is our littlest one. He loves to suck on his four fingers. He is so cheerful and loves to play. He has a very big smile. He is nearing 20 months old. His hair is blonde and may be the only child to have the most blonde hair. He loves his older sister Julie and they are best buds although they do get into tug of war fights with toys from time to time. He loves taking naps at his scheduled times. He is beginning to speak and express his feelings by grunting and growling as he eats his food. He loves to play hide and seek and ride on Julie's plasma car.

Julie (3) is getting more feisty as she gets older and more demanding in what she wants.
She is very bossy toward her older brothers and sisters making sure they do what Mom told them to do. She is at a stage where she is saying so many funny and witty things. For example, the other day she angrily told Jamie and Katherine, "I need my causitive!" Confused the girls asked Wendy what that meant, but she told them Julie just made up that word. Julie loves to wear her pretty dresses to church on Sunday and bring her own set of scriptures to church and when we read as a family. She gets into mom's purse and digs for candy. One of her favorite things to do is walk around the house holding the iPod while she listens to her primary songs. Going outside with Nathan is always fun for her because she gets to put on her shoes (She has several pairs.) and coat. She is also a very sweet and loving little girl. You can frequently find her in Mommy's or Daddy's lap.

Next is Jeffery (9). In May toward the end of the school year, the teacher recommended Jeffery that Jeffery be tested for the gifted program so the gifted teacher requested permission to test him. Wendy and I consented even though we had already decided to homeschool Jeffery after the current school year ended. He was accepted into the program. Wendy began homeschooling him in July because of the helpers she had at home for the summer. Jeffery has already learned to type and write in cursive. He is not as angry as he was before, and his relationship with Wendy is much better (not perfect though). Life in general is much better.
Jeffery played basketball in February and learned a lot about the game. We usually only allow the children to play one sport each year due to the and will play soccer in the spring this upcoming year. Jeffery loves to make people laugh and is goofy and playful. We love him for who he is and are excited to see who he becomes.
He has also been participating in Cub Scouts. He is doing very well and learning so much. He was at Wolf rank for most of the year up until his birthday where he completed all of his requirements. In the past couple of weeks, we had a Pack Meeting where he was awarded his Wolf badge. We are still working on his Faith in God program where he can complete the requirements which also includes learning all of the Articles of Faith.

Ethan (12) has made some major accomplishments this year, too. He started out this year in the 6th grade playing basketball. He made a lot of progress from year 2 to 3. His team went all the way to the championship game but lost. That says a lot because the team was about middle of the pack but in the tournament, they went a long way. Year 4 of basketball will hopefully be good too. Ethan has the coach of the team that beat them in the championship game last year, so that is really good.
He is now in the 7th grade this year and is doing very well in school. He picked up the reading bug this year too. He is reading like crazy almost every chance he gets. Sometimes that is good and sometimes that is bad because he neglects other responsibilities that he should be doing. He gets the reading gene from his mother.
Ethan attended his first Scout Camp this past year. It was at Camp Sequoyah in Delta, Alabama. He attended Scout Camp at the right time. It was in the high 80's that week with low humidity. The next week was in the 90's with high humidity. Whew! I attended 2 days with him. He has worked on a lot of badges and on December 16th, the troop had a court of honor and he has advanced in rank. He is currently working on a few merit badges - Communication and Family Life. I am working with him on the Family Life. We just started and if he will put his favorite books down, he can accomplish this badge very easily and learn a lot during the process.
Ethan has also grown a few inches since the beginning of the year. He is now taller than his sisters and may be taller than his mom. If not, he will get there soon. He is a deacon at church and passes the sacrament. He also conducts the music in the priesthood hour. Wendy is very proud of him for conducting the music. He is becoming a good leader among his peers at church and at school. He also home teaches with me and teaches some of the lessons. We are very grateful for his growth and progress as a young man and look forward to seeing how he grows.

Katherine (14) is becoming a beautiful young woman. She is still playing the piano - although sporadic at times, but she is playing. We wish Jamie, Katherine and Ethan would play more often but we leave it up to them to increase that talent or not.
Katherine played Tennis in the spring for the first time. She enjoyed it very much. So much that she participated in tryouts a few weeks ago. We are pretty sure she made the team but haven't heard anything yet. Katherine is in the 9th grade this year and is attending seminary for the first time this year which started at the same time school started.
She played in the band last year but didn't march, so this summer she went through band camp and marched during the fall. She probably won't play next year because she doesn't like it that much. We have learned through the years that Katherine is very much independent and doesn't really care to please the crowd - which is a very good thing. She enjoys having friends but makes sure that she is not just following the crowd. We love that she is this way. She is taking Spanish this year in school and is enjoying that subject.
She motivates Jamie in several ways to by working on particular tasks that Jamie has to do too. For example, Katherine was making a lot of improvement on her Personal Progress and was catching up to Jamie. This action lit a fire under Jamie to get her to start working on her Personal Progress, too. Personal Progress is a program for young women to help them stretch in different aspects of life such as spiritual, service and skills. While working on those individual attributes, one has to accomplish several tasks and a service project for each. There are 8 different attributes such as Knowledge, Virtue and Faith. See Personal Progress .

Jamie (16) is our oldest. Jamie has played in the band for 4 years now. She enjoys her time in the band and her friends at school and church. She enjoys the challenges of AP courses. She knows that this is a necessary route for her to get ahead during high school so that when she does begin college, she won't have to take much of the general courses before she decides what she wants to do for her degree. She works very hard and makes good grades.
This is also Jamie's first year of driving to seminary and to school. It is so nice to have an additional driver in the family. She is doing pretty well at driving. We are still hesitant of her driving on the interstate due to her lack of practice and experience but she will get better with time.  Jamie also ran track for the first time in the spring. She found out a lot about herself and what events she needs to focus on for the 2016 Moody Track season. She is already working on conditioning for that time. She brought home some jump boxes (or leap boxes) to help her become quicker and work on her leg strength and endurance. I am anxious to see how she will do for the upcoming season.
Jamie is also excited about the prom . She ordered a dress in August (I think?) and it still hasn't got here. It's coming from China so maybe they're walking it over. She loves going to the Church Youth activities, too.
Jamie got braces this summer so she is trying to take care of her teeth. We recently saw a Studio C clip on "Susan Weebers" and busted out laughing because she reminded us of Jamie and her supports.
Jamie and Katherine both attended Girls Camp again this year at Camp Hulaco. It gets hotter and hotter every year. Each camp is different but seems to be fun in its own way every year.

Wendy has had so much going on this year - maybe too much to list. As discussed before, changing Jeffery from public schools to home-schooling was definitely a chore. She served as a walking den leader at Twilight Camp in June and that was a week long event. She is constantly with Julie and Nathan taking care of them and then going places many times during the week to take care of family needs. She also served with the Band Boosters at the Home football games. She also went to the Band Booster meetings so that she could be up to date with what is going on.
She also went to the BSA district meetings to bring back information to the Troop or Pack committees. Yes, she also serves as the membership chairman on the Troop and Pack committees in Leeds Ward with Troop 275 and Pack 3275. It is a very hard job especially during this time of year when charters are needing to be renewed. Last year, our ward bought a membership to a Boy Scout software program that can be renewed annually. It is called Scoutbook. It is really neat and parents and leaders can use this tool to monitor the boy scout or cub scout's progress.
Wendy planned our summer with fun events. We took a trip to Six Flags, Turkey Creek, Cave Spring, Georgia, Oak Mountain and Calloway Gardens, Georgia. Wendy and I also, took some getaway trips to Gatlinburg, TN (after my release). We definitely enjoyed ourselves and needed the time off.
She also has a calling in the Relief Society as a 4th Sunday instructor. She does an outstanding job and members always look forward to her diligently prepared and creative lessons. Wendy does so much for our family and we are so thankful for her.

Jason (me) had a good bit to do this year too. From the beginning of the year I was still serving as the Bishop of our ward and as most of you know, I was released this past November (9th) and called as a High Councilor in the Birmingham Alabama Stake. I am still trying to understand what I am doing and how best to serve the members throughout the stake. I have definitely been blessed to see and do the ward level of church in a lot of capacities and callings and now will get to see it from a Stake level. It seems like your eyes are opened a little each time that you serve in different callings.
During January and February, I was following Ethan and Jeffery around to basketball practice and games and that was fun to do. We are getting it started again to where I am going to practice with Ethan during this month before the games begin in January.
In June, I attended a couple of days at Scout Camp to be a chaperon for our boys in the Scout Troop. I also went to work at the 6th Street Parking for the Boy Scouts in Tuscaloosa to help earn money for the Scouting Fund for the young men in our ward. I didn't attend any games this year but was grateful to help the boys.
I am still working in Birmingham in the Transmission Project Management & Customer Service department. I work with great people. I have changed areas and obtained more responsibility and I enjoy it. I really enjoy working in transmission lines area because that is what I was taught from the beginning of my career at Alabama Power but I also enjoy learning the Substation side of the business too.

Although many things have transpired in our lives this past year, we continue to be grateful for the many blessings that we have received. We are truly grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ, for his birth in the manger, for his teachings that help us be more like him and for his atoning sacrifice so that we may return to live with him one day. We hope to keep Him in our mind during this holiday season and soak up the full meaning of Christmas. We love this time of year for the spirit that it brings and hope that you enjoy it, too. We hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sincerely,
The Hoppers - Jason, Wendy, Jamie, Katherine, Ethan, Jeffery, Julie and Nathan















Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Basketball Time

Well, it's that time again. Ethan and I went to register for basketball at the Moody Municipal building. He looked at sizes and finally got an adult medium for shorts and adult small for the shirt. Tryouts are this Saturday. I am not sure what time yet and then either on Sunday night or Monday they will tell us the teams and practices. Just listening to Chad Dorsett last night, Ethan may have another year in this league if he doesn't make the school team. They let 13 year old players play but just can't be 14 before the season starts - I believe.

We will see how things go. Hopefully he gets a good coach this year. I am not sure if I am willing to be a head coach but can definitely contribute to being an assistant coach.

We are prepping for Christmas. Last night we spent some time setting up the Christmas tree and putting all of the ornaments on there, then Jamie was moving the tree over toward the wall and one of the plastic footings broke, so we had to remove all of the ornaments, garland, and lights then brake down the tree to be thrown away. We will have to pay for a brand new tree - something that we have never done before. We have had (2) hand me down trees, but never have we had to buy one.