Courtney. As always, Court is staying busy with work and girls. Girls, girls, girls! He often finds himself on the other end of tears (from big girls and little girls alike) with a look of bewilderment on his face. I’m always afraid that one day he might bolt, but so far he’s holding steady. Last week he competed in the Elder’s Quorum Pinewood Derby. Although he had great design plans, they were laid aside for diaper changing, story reading, and other such manly pursuits until he ended up with a last minute job- a skinny little plank of wood (don’t ask) with four wheels. The girls were so, so excited for the big event and I threatened him that the five of us gals might show up with pink “My Dad Can Derby!” shirts, but we refrained. Anyway, he actually did quite well and the whole thing got me to thinking how his pinewood derby career is a lot like the rest of his life. Too often, his own hobbies and interests are put aside so he can be the daddy to four little girls who adore him (but don’t always show it). He’s still my favorite guy.
Me? Well, I’ve been quite busy polishing up my run for the “Meanest Mom of the Year” pageant. I’m feeling quite confident that I’ll finish with a real good showing as I am reminded daily of my remarkable skill set in this arena. I’m a little shaky in the swimming suit portion of the contest, but feel that I can overcome that deficit by a stronger than normal performance with my talent choice. I don’t mean to brag, but I am extremely well-suited at slave working my children (their words, not mine) and eliciting astronomical amounts of tears at frequent intervals.
Ryenne. You wouldn’t believe how she’s growing up. We can’t, anyway. She is in fifth grade this year (eek!) and will be in Young Women’s in just over a year. That’s freaking us out just a little bit. She has been starting to do a little babysitting for us and so far everyone has been alive at the end of each endeavor. (We have to carefully inventory her and Emmy’s moods before we leave them in each others company with out a referee). She is still taking ballet and participated again in the 4H livestock show at the county fair with her lamb, Pork Chop (so-named because she threatened to turn him into one whenever he was naughty, although we tried to convince her he would actually be classified as a lamb chop.) Lucky for Pork Chop, he was never turned into one. In fact, we are now the proud owners of this four legged friend. (Once again, don’t ask).
Kate. Our Kater-bugs was baptized in June. She loves gymnastics, reading, and learning about pretty much anything she can wrap her brain around. Kate also worked with the lambs this year (thanks to Grandma and Grandpa Jones) and was quite the trooper. Judging by the amount of weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth she exhibited every time we walked the lambs, I am not surprised one bit by the fact that she cannot wait to show a lamb with Ryenne in the big leagues this next year. Just in case you’re wondering? I can’t wait either.
Emmy. Skippy is still our little firecracker. She entered kindergarten (finally, she says!) this fall and is having a great time with her new friends. Emmy loves ballet and can frequently be found teaching her little sister a few new moves. She is currently missing her four front teeth, and is just about the cutest toothless gal I have ever set eyes on. Just tonight I asked her to go brush her teeth and she replied (read this in your highest pitched, whiniest voice for best effect), “But! Mom!!!! Why should I have to brush my teeth when I don’t even have any?”
Claire. Oh, Claire. She is about the busiest, spunkiest, happiest (when she’s not kicking you in the shins) gal that we’ve had so far. She is her dad’s girl, hands down. I feel mostly sad about that at night when she’s turning circles beside him on his side of the bed (hee, hee). Just the other night he turned away from her in bed to cuddle with me when she sat up, grabbed his cheeks, and ordered (still asleep, mind you) “Not that way, Dad! Look at me!” Claire loves to watch the girls do ballet and has taught herself a number of dances by watching their recital dvd over and over. Her favorite dance is The Good Ship Lollipop, which I’m willing to bet you have seen her perform if you have been around her for more than a few minutes. She wears a tutu and a “leitertard” every. single. day. (No exceptions).
In July of the past year, Claire broke her right arm and was in a cast for six weeks. Just two weeks after she broke her arm, Emmy fell off her bike and broke her thumb, giving us the honorable distinction of having been the only family having two siblings casted on the same day at the orthopedic clinic. The two girls sported matching casts for the remainder of the summer (and you can bet we answered more than a few well-meaning questions by the doctor). One month after Emmy’s cast was removed, she slammed the same thumb in the car door and we headed back to the doctor, this time coming home with a splint. just last week Claire broke her left arm and is now wearing a cast again. Soooo. . .I guess I can’t say that we’re not good at anything. Turns out we have a few talents, after all.
All in all, we have had a great year. Four giggly girls make for a lot of excitement. We can’t remember the days before they were around, and what’s more, I don’t think we really want to. They are what makes our world go around. (And around. . .And around. ) Most often, life seems to be spinning beyond our control and we are slowly learning to let it. Seems the only thing we really can control is how much we appreciate the ride.
We hope all is well with you and all those we love. We thank Heavenly Father for you and for all we have been given and look forward to another year of life, love, laughter, and of course, lessons.
Speaking of lessons, it seems we did learn a few this year after all. While the girls couldn’t think of a darn profound thing to say, they did come up with a few jokes and knew that your life wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t share. Lucky you, we are now ready to impart a tiny bit of our profound wisdom. Ahem. . .
Love you all, Courtney, Kelly, Ryenne, Kate, Emmy, and Claire