Aaronis still the dad, and husband of our family. He still loves to snowboard, but he rubs his knees a lot more than he used to when he gets home. His career in Real Estate is pretty crappy. He still works hours and hours for clients, but the deals don't close for one reason or another and that equals $0. Not fun. So he has picked up a seasonal job at the Bogus Basin ticket office and for the first time in his working life is experiencing the "perks" of being employed. Our whole family gets free passes to the mountain this year. We had an EXCELLENT day sledding on the Bogus Basin tubing hill (which I HIGHLY recommend) and we even got a free fancy dinner last night at the holiday party. His Real Estate brokerage also has a holiday party, but they charge $20 a head, so we skipped out on that one. Outside of work, he is the best dad in the world and enjoys helping Ian with his cub scout achievements and "organizing" the garage (aka shifting junk from place to place). Does anyone want a 1990s jet ski, a TINY motorcycle, or a ping pong table? And for the right price, he might even give up his recently acquired dune buggy. I love this man. He is my best friend, and although he spends most of his days trying to figure me out, I think we are well matched and he puts up with me quite well.
Brooklynis 10 and AMAZING! She is one of the most pleasant, kind, intuitive and genuine people ever made. She has many friends and talents that keep her busy. She continues to play with her band at Boise Rock School and has sung, played guitar, and debuted the bass at gigs this year. She started playing the cello at school and loves to sing with the ward choir and at school. She also joined the YMCA swim team this fall and is working her way toward swimming in a meet soon. (Be aware - their big fund raiser is starting, so you may get hit up for a donation soon.) She has a wonderful group of girls at church that are in "Activity Days" together, and they have the best leaders ever that are always coming up with fun things for the group to do. And, the snowboarding season is upon us and she'll be heading up the mountain over winter break. With all of that, she keeps our whole family on the run!
Ianis 8 and had a very exciting year. He was baptized in September and joined Cub Scouts. He passed his Bobcat rank in only a couple of days and was the first in his pack to get his Wolf. I am going to have to quit my job just to keep up with the sewing it will require to get his patches on, at this rate. Besides Scouting, he is our bookworm, mad scientist, genius boy. He reads better than anyone in our family, including his parents. He is in the highest level literacy group and is currently finishing the last book in the Harry Potter series. He skipped a grade in math this year, so although he is in the 3rd grade, he attends 4th grade math. He suffers a bit from the "mad scientist" demeanor and his teachers and parents exercise patience, while encouraging him to pay attention to getting papers in his backpack and looking up from his book to hear instructions. He loves playing with his brother and sister, and is especially fond of his friends that are in his "Spy Club". Aaron took him up the mountain last week and he is now able to ride his snowboard without assistance. By January he'll be up on the big runs with his sister and dad!
LucasWhat to say about Lucas? He gets in some trouble, and is the more irresistible kid there is. He is EXTREME in everything he does. There is no mid-range for him. He is 5 and started kindergarten this year. Our school has all-day kindergarten, and sometimes that's long for a little guy. But, he is always doing his best to keep up with the pace of the rest of the family. He still laughs like a pigeon cooing and is the sneaky joker of our family. He makes us all laugh and sometimes drives us to the point of insanity. He won a coloring contest and his prize was to be able to run in the "Beat Coach Pete" race. He got to go to the Boise State football field and meet Coach Peterson. The Broncos are HUGE here in Boise, so it was pretty exciting, but I think his favorite part were the free snacks! He is following his brother's footsteps in math, as his teacher has placed him directly in the 1st grade math group, skipping the kindergarten level all together. He is learning to read, and especially loves snuggling in his bed at night and reading with his family.
MeI am pretty busy. I work full time, teaching Spanish at a progressive private school in downtown Boise. I teach preschool-9th graders, and it's pretty much the best job I could think of, short of not having one at all. The entire faculty is wonderful and it is great going to school with my kids everyday. Although it is a bit spendy, I would rather pay to have them there with me, than have to work without them so close. It is the best going to work with my kids in tow everyday. I am also working on my teaching certification for K-8th grades, so that is hanging over my head this year. I'll be glad when I'm finished and I can go back to simply teaching and not being the student. My family will be glad too. I'll probably be a little nicer, but no guarantees. My favorite things are hanging out with people I love, the idea of playing the guitar and singing more, planting and playing in my yard, flowers, my new camera and the memories it captures, and thinking of why my life is pretty great.
2010 was a rough year in many ways. We were optimistic it would be much better than 2009, but alas, here we are at the end and we're still treading water. I think a lot of families feel that way. This "economic downturn" seems to have morphed into a sinkhole and I'm not sure when we are getting out. HOWEVER, Aaron and I are not letting it keep our family down. We took the LONGEST road trip we have ever done last summer, and made memories that will last a lifetime with our kids. We took advantage of an otherwise difficult real-estate transaction, and got to go to Hawaii for free, while meeting up with Aaron's brother Jared and his wife Caitlin while we were there. I get three weeks off work, for Winter Break, and I intend to recall what life was like as a stay at home mom and bring some of that "homeiness" back to the Williamsfam5. In fact, just today I made Christmas cookies and forced, by threat of ground-ation, the kids to come and help me decorate them. Ah, the sweetness of being home!
I hope this has been a satisfactory update. In case you've missed my posts this year - now you're all caught up. MERRY CHRISTMAS and here's to an improving 2011!