Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas 2013

The funny thing about adventures is that we don't always recognized them as such when they're happening. Our family's 2013 adventures were sometimes like that. We shared a family trip to Utah, a front row seat at a raging forest fire in Cache Valley, a weekend camping and soaking at Johnson's Shut-ins, road trips to Dubuque (IA), Rochester (MN), and the Upper Pennisula (MI) to visit friends, and a family 5K/Fun Run (Little Man didn't run, AT won 1st in his age group and Beemer came in 4th in the Fun Run).

First things first: AT's chin is still luxuriantly fuzzy. One of Grizzly Dan's adventures this year was a Jeep Rescue Mission to Utah in order to get a vehicle back to St. Louis after his Geo died a fiery (okay, just smokey) death on the freeway. Taking full advantage of gear-head friends and family members, he was able to get the Jeep road worthy and return. He didn't realize how much he missed working on it. He also took all three kids camping several times (giving Pulcheria the night off). This summer he decided Beemer was having all of the fun with martial arts, so he joined her class and has progressed to second-degree yellow belt. Occasionally he thinks about working on his dissertation.

Pulcheria's big adventure this fall was surgery in October. She's excited to have it over and anxiously looks to being cleared to run again. She has really enjoyed book club – the socializing and snacking are highlights of her month (she also likes the books). In March, she drove to Utah with a friend and their combined five kids – a true adventure in every sense of the word and they made great memories.  Her most recent exploit began in October as she now serves as Relief Society President.

Beemer is nine and in third grade. She is a fantastic swimmer and would spend all her free time in a pool, if allowed. She has advanced in Youn Wha Tae Kwon Do, earned her green belt and took 2nd place in a tournament in April. Her favorite non-aquatic activity is reading, but she also loves to spend time with friends. She wowed us in her roll as Great White in her school play in March, and again as a Narrator in the third grade production of The Holly Jolly Pirates of PiƱataville. Beemer's newest adventure is learning to sew. So far she has created a new blanket and an adorable stuffed owl.

Firecracker is rearing to be six (February). She started kindergarten this year, and while she misses her friends from preschool, is loving all of the adventures kindergarten brings. Her first order of business was to use her magic powers to turn her “arch-enemies” (her words) into friends. She loves riding the bus with Beemer and recess with her friends. Her major accomplishment this year was going off the diving board all by herself, followed closely by learning to read. Firecracker started gymnastics this year and surprised everyone with how fast she progressed – so much so that her teacher tapped her to try out for the tiny team this spring.

Little Man is two and is obsessed with trains. Ask him any question and he will probably answer “Blue choo-choo.” He also loves anything to do with cars, blocks, and dinosaurs. His favorite thing to do is to go for walks and he is insulted anytime anyone goes without him. Because he was trained by his dad and sisters, all birds hoot like owls, except for hawks and falcons. They growl. He insists on getting your attention when he sees something exciting and will either turn your face or pull on your pants until you acknowledge him. Everything is an adventure when you are two!

We send you our love and best wishes in all of your adventures in the upcoming year!