First up, Evelyn starred in a commercial for Hovercams and began work on her next musical theatre production: Aladdin as Raja- Jasmin's handmaiden. She's been a champ at having a graceful, good attitude as a supporting cast member instead of the star. It was a hard pill to swallow at first, but she is putting in her best effort and I'm so proud of what an awesome kid she is on and off stage. It
is so fun to watch her gain confidence and make plans with friends. Last weekend, Evelyn invited a friend to the church dance. They had a great time. She loves hanging out with her buddies from TCA at the movies, mall, SeaWorld, you name it. They are very close and very sweet with one another. I'm so glad she has these great friends to help her through middle school. Couldn't ask for more awesome families to associate with . I sure hope she finds good friends at Poway High next year! I'm definitely praying for that! Evelyn has been busily working on her science fair project-- an experiment hypothesizing that the key of a piece of music can influence one's mood. So far data has been collected but not analyzed. I'll keep you posted on the final results soon.
This month, Anna experimented with a few dance classes but in the end, decided she'd prefer to spend her time doing gymnastics. She also showed extreme bravery and chose to get her ears pierced! Anna is our most social child and LOVES to spend time with her friends. Birthday parties, play dates, you name it- she's there with bells on. She loved watching the BHMS production of Annie with Nora, Millie and Jojo. Whenever Nora can come over for a visit is a good day in Anna's book. Anna is looking so grown up with her front teeth missing! I'm not sure I'm ready for her to grow up! She's my baby. And the only child who still gets excited about holiday crafting:) At the soccer games, Anna has a whole slew of friends to spend time with. Get that girl a snow cone and a couple of friends and she's happy for hours on a soccer field. I'm so lucky to have such a flexible and happy go lucky child as my caboose.... cause we spend a LOT of time on the go.
So many fun and exciting times in the life of Dane this past month. Trip to Vegas with the 06 team as a sub! Dane was thrilled because Braxton came with as well. Ordained a Deacon and an official priesthood holder! It's been so cute to see Dane pass the sacrament at church. Poor guy was so nervous he truly couldn't sleep the night before. But he's done so well and is such a handsome little guy. He loves attending young men. It helps that Blake is the YM President and that he knows the boys well already from previous activities at our home and just attending middle school with a few of them. They are incredibly inclusive and kind. We are so lucky to have such great kids in our ward. This past weekend Dane went camping and air-softing with the young men. He LOVED it. I was excited this month to accompany Dane on social studies field trip to the Science Museum at Balboa Park. I know Dane won't want me around pretty soon- so this was a nice invitation he gave me. Of course, I ended up with the hardest kid in the school in my group:( and I'd already heard all about him from Dane so I was very nervous. And of course, he didn't listen to a word I said and at the end of the day I was terrified he'd start to target Dane at school because of my interfering in his life- haha. Imagine my relief when Dane reported a few days afterward that the kid thought I was the nicest lady ever. I'm glad we survived it. Middle school is scary! Being there with all those kids really drove home that concept. Dane is such a good kid, I feel badly that so many around him swear and talk crudely and bully and put others down. I pray he stays sweet and innocent despite it all!
Grant has had an AWESOME month. I am SO proud of this kid. We have all sorts of interventions in place and they seem to be helping. Sure we have our bad days here and there. Mondays are not easy. Anxiety is still a constant when it comes to our morning routines, but Grant is pulling through and working really extra hard every day to make sure he's at school. He doesn't want to repeat 3rd grade and he knows Blake and I will no longer force him to go. It's really up to him. He is grateful not to feel trapped. Medication is helping, along with therapy and 4 phone calls a day from the school. Grant calls me at the beginning of recess, end of recess, beginning of lunch and end of lunch. It's a good system. I'm thrilled with the progress he is making. Grant started playing lacrosse this month and is loving it-- all except for the helmet part. It's kind of hot in there and he's not used to that feeling. But he's tough as nails and is loving the intro to a new sport. Grant is working towards hopefully being able to get a puppy. As much as I DON'T want a dog, I may give in if I see Grant continue to push through his challenges. In the meantime, he's constantly visiting our neighbor's dog- Penny. He loves her so much and they are best buddies. Proud of all of Grant's soccer achievements this month. He won the first round of state cup and the tournament prior to that. Grandma and Aunt Stacy came out to be a part of that special day. It was so fun to have them there. Best cheering section ever! Grant had an appointment with Blake this past month to fill a cavity. Well, as Blake started to fill the cavity, he realized it was pretty deep and maybe since it was a baby tooth- he should just yank it out. ACK! 45 minutes and 5 shots later, the tooth FINALLY CAME OUT. The root was so deep it was a nightmare for everyone involved. Man, I was proud of Grant for his bravery, and proud of my hubby for being so awesome. Haha! It was a crazy day at the office. One last note on Grant's behalf.... at school, his favorite part of the day is when he reads with the preschool children. They love him so much and he is such a great buddy to them. Grant is such a tender heart that brings so much joy to our family.
We had visits from Ella and Garret, and the Konolds all the way from Idaho!! Loved hosting a fun New Year's party for them with all of our friends. Such a fun night and it was sad to see them head off again. We enjoyed spending the MLK Jr holiday down at Mission Beach playing around at Belmont Park with the Jones. Loved celebrating Amy's birthday with delicious Cafe Rio pork and her favorite banana cream pie. We had a great time helping Chandler finish up his Eagle project-- a checkerboard for Design 39. The kids and I had fun helping to paint the squares with the awesome stencil he bought. So proud of Chandler!
This month I have kept busy planing singing time and music lessons at the school. I've spent countless hours learning and rehearsing piano pieces for chorus which started last week. It's been quite the feat to perfect these pieces to record for the kids. I did a little home improvement-- adding a bar table and stools behind the couch and adding a little extra to the family room mantle. I cleaned out the guest room closet and the pantry! I still have MY closet to clean and organize which I dread. I've started meeting and organizing and crafting for Aladdin star grams. That's been fun! Currently, trying to decide on our t-shirt slogan. Already looking ahead to funny valentines I can send to the kids. They adore The Goldbergs and Studio C so I think I'll put together something with those themes in mind! Next month I'll be presenting a course at Women's Conference in our Stake on childhood anxiety and how to manage it. It's quite ironic after all we've dealt with on Grant's behalf. But it will help me to be a humble presenter and one that understands that mental health issues are so complicated and never simply "fixed".
Life is good. So grateful for my wonderful family. So grateful for quiet, rainy months.