Adam, 10, is ever active and has an increasing appetite to go with it. He has participated in basketball and track, and loves to be outside riding his bike or scooter. He continues to play the piano and loves Cub Scouts, where until last month Marielle was Den Leader. Adam is an excellent student and loves learning. When recently given the choice to leave school early for his brother's Christmas program or stay for science, he chose the latter. His artistic skills continue to develop with his love of drawing, painting, and taking pictures with his camera.
Benjamin, 7, began piano lessons earlier this year and is improving rapidly. He loves going fishing with dad; he was the first one to catch a fish in 2010. Soccer and swimming have been his sport of choice this year; as his parents we've seen some great progress. He's almost equaled Adam in number of teeth lost, but may win the grand prize this year because he has another loose tooth and is planning to pull it out on December 24, so that the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus can come on the same night. He keeps us all laughing. He'll turn 8 in February and is looking forward to his baptism.
Andrew, 5, started preschool this year. Like Benjamin, and unlike Adam, he is quite shy and the first couple of weeks were an adjustment but he has made some friends and now loves going to school to learn and play. He'll spend hours at the kitchen table coloring, drawing, and tracing. He is my best helper and has such a willing attitude. If something needs to be done, he's on it with a smile on his face. Andrew gave us a little scare in August with some stomach problems and he ended up being admitted to the hospital overnight. The hospital staff and doctors all commented on what a brave kid he was considering his intense pain. We are often amazed at his memory, but at the same time, we love starting a song with just a few words and waiting for Andrew to sing the rest. Songs from Guys and Dolls are among his best.
Jared, 1, wants to be 5, 7, or 10. He's a quick study of his older brothers. Oh boy! His brothers are so patient with him and so concerned when he is upset. We think the car seat has a new mold just for Jared's bottom as he is in it often while we chase brothers to their many activities. He is such a joy for all of us.
We've been able to take some fun trips to the Oregon coast this year as a family, and Steven, as President of the Young Men, took a group of young men to Central Oregon for a week. Marielle took the 4 boys and went to Idaho for 2 weeks to visit family. While visiting her sister, they enjoyed drives through the breathtaking Tetons, ice cream in St. Anthony, and a day at Yellowstone National Park. After almost 13 years, Marielle decided time after school was better spent with her own children and stopped teaching piano. We must be destined to be scouters as Steven stays busy with the Venturing program and Marielle is now the 11 yr old scout leader. We continue to love gardening, and while we aren't the best at it, we are usually able to enjoy an abundance of fruits and vegetables. We'd like to find more time to camp, fish, and hike. Maybe our letter next year will have more of those adventures in it.