Pew Family Year In Review 2013
Time marches on leaving us left to figure out, where did this year go? I know some of it was left on the soccer field, in the laundry room, by my dad's bedside, in the temple and in front of the computer. Here is an update of our family's experiences.
Gwen (7) started first grade, her first full day in school. She loves school and making new friends. She finished soccer in the spring and took this year off but is still taking Irish Dance. They have these competitions called a feis (fesh) which she has yet to do--she wants to just do the recital (her words). She has real ghillies (gillies-Irish fancy ballet shoes) hardshoes that she dances in, she's pretty amazing to watch! She also is a great little swimmer and she loves it too. She would say the highlight of this year was going to Disneyland, her first trip. She went on every ride she was tall enough for at least once! It was magical.
Zane (10) is in the 4th grade and LOVES football. Especially the Dolphins in the NFL and BYU in college. He is the true FANatic! He played flag football and REALLY hopes Mom and Dad will change their mind and let him try tackle next year. He enjoys Jr Jazz which he plays in the winter and made lots of improvement in his swimming too. He continues to progress in scouts and piano even though they aren't his first choice. He LOVED Disneyland, he was so young the last time we went that it was like it was the first time. He was so fun!
Micah (11-3/4)Is the big guy at the elementary school being in 6th grade. He continues to play well on his competition soccer team but was diagnosed with Severs Disease just as the fall season ended. He just got the boot off in November and hopefully it will remain healed. He is fun and enjoys playing most sports with his friends but really wants a shot at indoor soccer—he missed the first session because of his foot. He is a second class in scout—one camping night short of 1st class and is steadily completing merit badges. His favorite is Robotics, he got to build and program a robot with his cousin Jeremy. He is also doing well in school and piano. He misses Disneyland and reminds us all the time. He refereed soccer this year in his spare time with Emily and Izak. We appreciate them earning their own spending money!
Izak (13 & some) is in the 8th grade and got into some criminal mischief. Who would have thought that walking through wet cement with your friends would bring a visit from the police and a visit with a parole officer? Hopefully he learned his lesson; it only cost us over $200. for our part of the restitution We actually laughed a lot about the whole thing, how ridiculous it was! He is playing soccer and they ended the season strong and look forward to futsal over the winter. He has been taking care of Taran's bass guitar and keeping up on piano. He has grown and may be taller than Taran by the time Taran returns next summer! His goal is to have his eagle scout by then. His favorite ride at Disneyland was California Screamin'.
Emily (16) started high school, she is in 10th grade. She loved 9th grade and finished the year as Miss Dorothy in the school musical Thoroughly Modern Millie—Millie's best friend. She did a great job and earned a spot on the high school drama Productions team. She was appointed the sophomore Rep for the Drama Council and got to go to Snowbird for a retreat to plan activities for the students in drama! She is also in choir and taking honors classes, teaching beginning voice lessons and still volunteering weekly at the Ashford an assisted living facility for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s. They recently asked her to work, as in an actual job, helping with food prep and serving the residents meals. She is so happy because that means she can give up her refereeing job in the spring! She went on her first date the week she turned 16, Sadie Hawkins dance at the high school. The theme was Disney so they chose to be the Pirates of the Caribbean. She had a lot fun but secretly worries she won't get asked to a dance. We'll see. Girl's camp was a river run in Moab and she loved it and wants to work there some day as a guide! She loved Disneyland as well and enjoyed meeting Flynn Rider as much as Gwen enjoyed meeting Rapunzel! She was able to go to Cedar City this fall to the Shakespeare Festival and enjoyed being in the ensemble and watching her fellow actors compete. It was a great experience! To her relief she passed her road driving test so now to get those 40 hours done!
Timo (19) had a crazy, busy year! A year ago the age change for missionaries The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints changed for young men to can go at 18 and young women can go at 19. Timo was thrilled with the change and decided to put in his papers as soon as he could. In February he got his call to the Texas, San Antonio mission. He was thrilled, as were we. Tim has 2 brothers who live in Texas and their parents served a mission there in the mission office. After he got his call it was all he could do to graduate with his honors in tact, and he did. He still applied for colleges and was accepted but deferred. So he graduated from high school and had 6 weeks until he left. During that time he was busy getting ready, he also helped my mom get things done at her house and watched the kids while I was at girls camp and he went to his last scout camp. He went through the Draper temple which was a neat experience for us and our family who came. He picked Jdawgs for his last meal together before we dropped him off at the Missionary Training Center (MTC). There he had great teachers and a great district he really loved. He has been in Texas since the end of July and has had a lot of great experiences. Not all have been easy but that is the mission. We are grateful to his companions and the people of Texas for helping him have a great experience. He is happy and we enjoy hearing from him each week!
Taran (20) still in Mexico serving a mission, he comes home in June! The time is flying by which is weird but true. He has had some great learning experiences and has grown so much. He was in the branch presidency in one area, has trained and is currently a district leader. His letters are always upbeat and inspiring. He has served in some really lovely places that we hope someday to see! He loves the people and the food! We are grateful for the companions and mission president and his wife who have helped in his journey as a missionary and when he finally does come home it will be a little sad. Do you think I can get him to write me weekly from BYU?
Rachelle (40 something) me! the writer, I spent most of the beginning of the year helping my mom with my dad. Around Christmas he was put on hospice. After Christmas she would not leave him alone. This gave us the opportunity to be there often so my mom could have a break. It was still hard and taxing on her. He finally went super downhill in March. We knew the end was coming. I spent more time there than usual, thankfully Tim and my friends helped me out. Once hospice gave us 24 hours but it took him 3 more days until he finally passed. It was the most exhausting experience of my life-- kind of reverse of birthing a child. Instead of euphoria in the birth, it was relief in his death. I felt so bad for him even though they said he was not suffering anymore and I felt bad for my mom who sacrificed physically so much to take care of him. So that is why it was a relief. His funeral was a great tribute to a unique individual whom we love and miss but know he is watching over us! And he is without pain or mental anguish from Alzheimer's. My mom's high school sweetheart lost his wife, rather unexpectedly 2 days before my dad. After the funeral he called my mom and asked her how long she needed to mourn, she told him 6 months and he said, “I can't wait that long.” So in June my mom married Jay Davis, he is the one who baptized her into the church in high school. He is a wonderful man and we are grateful he loves our mom and is willing to 'take care' of her. They have been all over visiting family and friends something neither could do when their spouses were ill. They took us all (all my siblings and our families) to Disneyland and the beach. I cried when we got to Disneyland, I know it sounds cheesy but I have wanted to take Gwen for so long. It was a true dream come true. Thanks to my mom, my dad and Jay for using that money that way. We had a wonderful time, it was magical! We were sorry Taran and Timo missed out but it was the best time to go for everyone else! Now I am home alone without a little person I go to the temple on Tuesdays, sometimes with my sister-in-law Amy when our schedules permit it . I help in Gwen's class every week, I am in charge of the Book Fair—helping the librarian and I am Room mom for Micah's class. I also help with publicity for choir events and drama events at the high school. I am still in YW and enjoyed my first whitewater rafting, which was pretty mild but for one day. We were in beautiful Southern Utah, the beauty of that desert landscape is something else! Both Emily and I lost our shoes on the river, the mud just sucked them off! It was a great spiritual experience too. I am trying to work on getting organized and am halfway done with my craft room. I am also working on Family History stuff, lots to figure out of my dad's stuff. Tim and I had two getaways this fall one to see our niece Erin get married in the Boise Idaho temple in September we drove up with his sisters Amy and Shellie and his parents. It was a short but sweet visit and are so grateful we could go. Mom held down the fort here with some help from Timo's friend Brynn. Then in October Tim had a conference in Las Vegas for Splunk. Learning to use it at his work. My mom and Jay watched the kids and it was quite the feat with all that was still going on! We flew down. Tim was hilarious taking pictures from the airplane because we were low enough you could see the beautiful Southern Utah landscape from above. I got to rest and read and shop and explore while Tim attended training during the day. At night we explored the Strip but one night we went to the temple and it was the highlight of our stay! We were grateful to them for making it possible! I still hope to get into a better schedule with exercising and organizing but things come up!
Tim (also 40 something) is still working at Family Search and is managing a team of Q & A guys. All his team members I've met seem to really enjoy him. Which is no surprise. He is awesome! He still fits in tennis no matter the weather if his friend Ryan can play. He keeps the bishop organized and appointments full as Executive Secretary. He also coaches teams and has taught Emily to drive and takes her driving. He does a good job because she passed her road test. He has done several home improvement projects around the house besides everything else he does to keep things going when I am helping at things or at YW. He writes our missionary sons faithfully each week keeping them updated in the sports world! He is my Duck Dynasty watching buddy! (we watch it on the internet). What can I say? He is amazing!
We've been greatly blessed this year from trips to health to happiness. Sure there have bad and even terribly sad things that have happened but really what matters is Heavenly Father and our Savior were there for us. They comforted us, they sent help, they loved us! So with their help we can still have a happy life, and for this I am so grateful for especially as the year comes to a close and we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. He lives and loves each one of us and wants the very best for us. I know this and I hope you feel His love this holiday season! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Rachelle and the rest of the Pews