It has been 2 years since our new ward was created and Steve is still the 2nd counselor in the bishopric. I really think he is enjoying serving the ward. He still has a hard time balancing his busy life, but he is getting better at it all the time. He made a change at work which has been so wonderful for us all. He is still working at Microsoft, but doing something very different. He is a technical account manager... whatever that is. I don't know. All I know is that he is home at a reasonable hour every night (which is wonderful!), and he really likes the people he works with, especially his manager.The fact that he is 30 minutes closer to home is the icing on the cake.
His achievements this year are as follows:
- Took the young men water-skiing
- Shipped Windows 7
- Ran a 5k pushing 2 kids in a stroller and beat the 80 year old man, but not the pregnant lady
- Took the youth water-skiing
- Is at week 11 of almost daily p90x workouts (thanks to his friends)
- Ran a half marathon with NO training in under 3 hours (2:46) and survived (barely)
- Almost sold the motorcycle
- Sold the boat (to a wonderful person)
- And got the "Greatest Dad Award" from me
Not much has changed for me this year. I can't believe that we have survived here in Washington for 8 years. I never thought I would last this long. I did begin jogging a little which helps me stave off the blues (or rather the suffocating grays), but I am not crazy enough for a half marathon. I am lucky enough to be teaching the 12-13 year old Sunday school class... love it! I love being a mom, except when I don't! (Which isn't very often.) And life is very good right now.
Kyah, on the other hand, entered the "double digits" this year. She is growing up way too fast for me. She is enjoying school and is a very good student. She is helpful around the house, especially entertaining the younger ones. She is an awesome big sister. Her only wish is that everyone she loves could live in the same place. Someday that will come. Her latest achievement will go in the Olson record books. She grudgingly finished her very first (and probably last) 5k. It only took a little push and an extreme amount of pulling for her to cross the finish line. I am very proud of her!
Livi loves to run (mostly from the boys) and has run in two 1k events but really wants to do a 5k. She has officially entered the life of a student this year. She had it a little rough in the beginning, but loves kindergarten now. She loves to play with her friends and is outside whenever the weather allows. She has grown so tall and slim... who knew that our chubby cheeked baby would grow up so fast. She loves to wear make-up and has tried to sneak out of the house with it on... ah,ah,ah. I am not sure I am ready for the teenage years. She is always the one with the most laundry and she thinks she needs more shoes. She aims to please which is wonderful and she is a great friend to her sisters.
Melía is sooo cute. (We aren't allowed to call her anything else but cute.) She is a little feather weight and I just can't resist picking her up and cuddling with my spider monkey. She *loves* *loves* *loves* her big sisters. She is doing a preschool once a week with some of her friends and loves to get CRAZY with them. If she could, she would wear her swim suit all day every day. She likes to ride her trike and play with the big girls... and she really isn't so little anymore. She says the funniest things and likes to test out big words. She is usually sweet, but puts on a great temper tantrum show every now and then. She is quick to say she is sorry and gives great hugs. She has also made up a bunch of different kisses that have become a ritual every night before bed. Have you ever done forehead and chin kisses?
And our last little gem is just that. Some of you might ask yourself, "Why did they pick THAT name?" Well, I will tell you. We have a pattern going... it's just not sequential. Indie, Jaxon, Kyah, Livia, and Melía. I J K L M. She just wasn't an Irene or a Natasha... we all liked Indie and that's who she is. She has tons of dark hair and an adorable beauty mark on her cheek. She has the cutest belly that we just have to rub. She mastered walking about 3 months ago and just cut her 4th tooth. She refuses to do sign language since screaming works just fine. She is such a sweet heart. Hugs are her specialty. The second her dad walks in the door she is after him. (He loves it of course) She is just a bit spoiled by everyone. She keeps busy emptying out cupboards and drawers, but she likes to help put things away too. One of her favorite past times is climbing. She is so much fun to have around and we are definitely blessed because of her.
Our family is growing and we are healthy and strong, which is the best blessing of all. We want you all to know how much we care about you. Our lives would be nothing without our family and friends and the cherished experiences we've shared with you.
We want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We love to celebrate the birth of Christ at this season and want all to know that we know that He lives. He loves us and wants us to be happy. He has paved the way for us to return to our Heavenly Father. We are so blessed and we love you!