Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2012 in Review

We haven't set up our usual family portraits yet this year, so this was the only family photo I could find of us recently! We've got an extra though (nephew Wesley), but three kids looks good on us, right?
 For Adam, this was a stressful year at work.  He was promoted to COO at his company, with all of the responsibilities and stresses that go along with that.  He survived though, however he wanted a little change of career path, so he will be starting a new job soon teaching test prep for securities exams.  You may or may not know that Adam has several of these FINRA exams that he has taken and passed (I can count 8 off the top of my head).  He's worked with this company before; last year he wrote an exam prep manual for the series 79 and co-wrote another manual with his father for the series 99.  He is also in the middle of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) series of exams (3 parts over 3 years).  Part of Adam's career change will include, we hope, a Masters in Accounting.  Adam will be taking the GMAT soon and if he gets into his program, he will start online courses in fall 2013.

At church, Adam had an eventful year too.  He was really happy with his calling as Stake Financial Clerk, as was I, because it didn't require as much time away from the family and we could still get by with one car.  In July, though, they threw him for a loop by calling him to be Elder's Quorum president!  It's been quite the change, and Adam is still getting used to it.  It means early morning meetings each Sunday, so Adam has to leave ward council early to come back and pick us up for church each week.  Adam also finished up his Woodbadge goals, so he's completely Woodbadge trained now!

I've had a fun year with my Etsy shop.  Things really picked up in February and from then until the end of August it just got busier and busier.  The added income was a huge blessing to us, and I really had fun making all of those purses!  My shop started to slow down in September though, and the holidays haven't really been the success I had hoped for.  We'll see if things pick up again in the new year.  Bridal sales are my driving force, and those will likely pick up again after Christmas.

I have been Katrina's Sunbeam teacher this year, and I enjoyed being able to see her grow and develop in Primary.  In the summer I asked the organist to give me a little refresher on the organ because it's been a goal of mine for awhile to be able to be a church organist.  After a few times practicing, I was called as assistant organist!  Yeah, I totally brought that on myself! :] I have thoroughly enjoyed that calling.  I play once a month, and in January that will go up to twice a month.  My hymn skills have improved and I try to use the skills I learned from my organ class in college to use the pedals on at least one hymn a week.  In July my Aunt Jeanine passed away after a long battle with cancer. I flew out there and was able to spend time with a lot of family that I rarely see.  We all brought back things to remember Jeanine by, and I picked some of her organ and piano books.  Each time I play with them I think about her. :]
Katrina has really grown this year.  She turned 4 in April.  Some of her favorite things are: the color pink, My Little Ponies, her stuffed animals (especially Goldy the unicorn), calzones and fettucine alfredo, and her friends.  Katrina has always been really social and brimming with enthusiasm for life.  She prances and jumps and runs everywhere instead of walking.  In September I started her in a nearby preschool, and she has never been more happy.  She loves all of her friends there and her teachers too.  Everyday I drop her off and she immediately shows the teacher's aide her stuffed animal that she brought along in the car (usually Goldy), and then starts giggling and gabbing about things.  I've had several of her teachers tell me she's the happiest kid they know!  Katrina is very caring and I can always count on her for a hug and a kiss.  She does have a hard time focusing on tasks and listening, but school is helping her with that.  Also, they give her lots of chances for making crafts.  Katrina loves Sunbeams at church.  The theme this year was "Choose the Right," and Katrina learned the song and loves singing it.  She got shy about talks and prayers halfway through the year, but then by the end became really enthusiastic again.  Katrina is a good sister and gets along well with Daniel.  They stay up each night giggling and playing, so sometimes we wish we had two rooms for them, but I'm happy that they are buddies.

Daniel turned 3 just this month.  He is a much more fluent talker than his sister was at his age, and has talked in complete sentences for awhile.  He's also becoming happier and less demanding as he gets older.  His smile completely disarms me, mostly because of his dimple on his right cheek. :]  Daniel is always accompanied by his mini turtle pillow pet, which he holds by its tail while he sucks his thumb.  Daniel will tell you that his favorite color is green, his favorite letter is T, and his favorite animal is a puppy.  Daniel loves Blues Clues and we gave him a Blues Clues Themed party for his birthday this year.  Everything Katrina does, Daniel likes to do too, and I often feel like there is surround sound in my apartment as both kids come up to me and he repeats everything she says.  Daniel will be in Sunbeams in January and is really excited.  He visited on Sunday for the first time as a "Moonbeam" and had lots of fun.  Daniel really loves pretending to be a puppy.  He spends much of the day barking in a high-pitching voice, "A-woof! A-woof!"  Daniel has done pretty well adjusting to being the only one home with me in the mornings, but always prefers when we go on errands rather than when we just stay home.  He's a really good shopping buddy and loves sitting in the cart while I hand him food.  He knows that he'll be going to preschool next year and talks about it all the time.  Daniel doesn't really care about other kids yet, but he does love Katrina and playing with her.

 For Halloween Katrina wanted to be a wizard (or as she called is, a "wa-wa-wizard" because everyone thought she was saying "lizard"), and Daniel wanted to be Green Puppy from Blues Clues.  Katrina helped me pick out the fabric for her cape and I made that and her wand.  I made Daniel's outfit as well.

 We are excited for another new year with lots of changes for us!  Hopefully those changes will include a second car and a bigger apartment, because in July we'll be adding Baby #3 to our family!  Katrina is ecstatic but a little disappointed it's not twins, and Daniel doesn't really care yet. :]  My morning sickness has been crazy and I've literally been laying down for weeks while Adam keeps the house clean and takes care of dinner and the kids, so hopefully that it will lay off in the next couple of weeks.  We hope everyone had a great 2012!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Katrina's Christmas show

We went to Katrina's Christmas show on Friday morning.  The kids were so cute!  They each had a different hat or headband on their head, from santa hats to reindeer ears to candy canes.  Katrina had a candy cane.
 In the above picture she's on the very left.  We noticed that Katrina wasn't singing with very much enthusiasm.  She was also struggling with the words.  Since she's been singing her songs at home with gusto for the last couple of weeks, I figured something was wrong.
 She spent most of "Must Be Santa," her favorite song, picking her nails.  Later on I asked her what happened and she said she was just a little shy.  I had a theory though that maybe she was just sad because she couldn't see us.  Daniel had been acting a bit crazy most of the performance, so I decided to stand up and take him to one of the aisles.  Katrina immediately saw me, her eyes lit up, and she said, "Mommy! That's my Mommy!"  Then she joined in the rest of the chorus with much more excitement. 

You can see her poking her head through the opening there in the back trying to show me her jingle bells and jingle them at me.  For the rest of the songs Katrina participated with her normal enthusiasm, watching me the whole time.  It makes me wish I had stood up earlier!
 After the performance we headed back to the classroom and ate cookies.  Daniel was thrilled to be able to join Katrina there and still requests to have another party at Katrina's classroom.
I've been particularly emotional this weekend after the Sandy Hook shooting on Friday, especially because that horrible incident was taking place at the same time as this Christmas show where we were watching these beautiful, wonderful children sing.  I'm been praying a lot for the families of those affected in Newtown and I've been especially grateful for my children and my blessings.  I truly love my children and wish I could shield them forever from the realities of this world we live in.  For now, I'm largely in charge of what they know and what influences come into our home, and I've been especially mindful of my responsibility to keep those influences uplifting.  Anyway, that's a sad note to end on, but I really am grateful for my kids and husband and for the plan of salvation that lets me know I'll be able to be with them for all of this life and the eternities too.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Happy Birthday Daniel

This post is kind of a photobomb, since it's been a month between posts!  We've had Thanksgiving and sicknesses and Daniel's birthday, and time has just gone by so quickly.  First off, I bought more tubs for clothing storage, and the kids found a good use for them:
 Last week we celebrated Daniel's birthday, as well as his Nana's and great-Grad's birthdays too.  I snapped some pictures of the Christmas decorations at Nana and Poppop's house.

 His Auntie Em made Blue's Clues themed cupcakes!

 Daniel is in LOVE with balloons, and really could be happy playing with one for hours.
 He was so excited about his birthday party and had been talking about it for weeks.  And is in fact still talking about it and wants another one!

 I'm not sure what was inside Katrina's shirt here, but I'm betting it was Baby Rabbit.
 Poppop taking a photo of baby Wesley.
 Daniel got a bunch of Blues Clues themed presents, and he loved them all!  First off was a talking Blue.  He already has all of the phrases memorized in order.
 The real winner was the Handy Dandy Notebook, complete with oversized crayons.
 All the kids liked that one, actually.
 He also got a cute computer that the kids all liked too.

 And from us he got a brand new Sunday outfit, which he wore today for the first time.
 Complete with his very first suit coat!
Happy Birthday Daniel!  You are so cute and such a joy.  We love your weird little songs and voices and alternate personas (Puppy, Green Puppy, Punkin, etc). We love your dimple! We love singing with you and seeing you grow up to be such a smart little boy. Happy 3rd birthday!