This year started out with a bang! In early January 2012, we went to Disneyland and had a blast. Throughout the rest of the year we settled into the routines of work, church, exercise and hanging out with family and friends. This year we got our first gas grill and have been grilling nonstop! For a church activity, we went to clean a neighbors yard and afterwards she offered her gas grill that she wasn’t using anymore to anyone who wanted it. So I guess service does pay off. Rachelle has really enjoyed passing off some of the cooking opportunities to me. It’s been a good rookie year, as I have had a good time learning how to grill different meats, from chicken to salmon and shrimp. It has been fun experimenting with different spices and marinades as well.
This year Aidan and Amelia switched over to a traditional school year and had the whole summer off for the first time. While they enjoyed the first month or two off from school, they were ready to go back to school come August. Overall, I think we still like year round school better overall.
Amelia turned eight years old in March. She was baptized a member of the LDS Church. She began 3rd grade and is excited to be learning her times tables (Honest, I asked her!). She is a very creative girl and enjoys drawing and making all kinds of crafts with clay, paper, paints, etc. Amelia loves playing piano and will sit down and play songs daily. She also enjoys singing whether by herself or in front of people. She is still taking dance classes. This year she is learning ballet. She started playing basketball on an all- girls team with one of her friends. Amelia is full of energy and has an infectious laugh that always brightens our home.
Aidan is 11 years old and is in 6th grade. He is also taking piano lessons and playing basketball. Aidan also loves to create things, but he does it in the form of LEGO’s and origami. He is always taking something apart or building a new creation. One of his favorite video games is Minecraft, which is a game where you spend most of your time building things out of different materials. Aidan is in Scouts, where he had his first overnight Scout camp out with dad. Aidan is calm and steady and is learning how to become a reliable person. Aidan is a good reader and enjoys the Percy Jackson series’.
Rachelle is still serving as Young Women’s President in our ward and is working to overcome the many challenges (Girls Camp anyone?) that come with that calling. She is an active knitter and is always knitting beautiful sweaters, shawls and scarves for herself or family members. She has started teaching Amelia how to knit, too! Rachelle is still scrapbooking, she made these Christmas cards. Rachelle is still working at JetBlue and is now a supervisor in the vacations department. She enjoys working out at the gym and going to the various fitness classes they offer, especially Zumba. Rachelle is an amazing woman who does so much to keep our family going in the right direction. She has an inner strength that we all draw from.
I am still working as a CPS investigator and am now working in Tooele County. Although it is a 35 minute drive, the people there are great. In fact the town of Tooele was recently included in the top 15 friendliest cities in America. I am also serving in our church as Stake Sunday School President and enjoy the opportunities that this brings me. I’m still playing basketball, although I’m a little slower with each passing year, and also enjoy going to the gym (but I’m not doing Zumba). As any father knows, life isn’t just about getting up and going to work day after day. I am enjoying the family that I have been blessed with and am grateful for the opportunity to be a father and husband. I am grateful for the various lessons that I learn from my wife and kids. This past year hasn’t been an exception. I am happy for the peace and joy that exists in our little family which makes a big difference in the day to day events of life. Life outside of the home is chaotic enough and having a peaceful home allows us to better deal with the rest of life’s challenges.
We hope that this Christmas letter finds your family well and that you have enjoyed this year’s Christmas season. We hope that this upcoming New Year can be a successful one for you, and that with the renewing of a New Year, we can all reach new heights and our personal goals.
Merry Christmas from Justin, Rachelle, Aidan and Amelia!!