Sunday, December 14, 2014

Merry Christmas from the Whitings

Dear Friends and Family,

You're probably visiting due to my blog address being on the back of our Christmas cards this year.  I bet you're thinking, "do people still blog?"  And the answer is not so much.  But I do, because every two years, I print my blog into a hardback bound book and call it a journal.  So if you really want the nitty gritty of our life, read your hearts out.  But for the rest of you who probably want the Cliff's Note version, here it is (let the brag fest begin):

Travis's work schedule has been whack a doodle this year.  Three years ago he started his own company drilling for Uranium.  Well due to a tsunami in Japan and an influx in recycled Uranium, demand was down this year and so Travis did very little with the company.  For the first half of the year we coasted along on savings, waiting for it to pick back up.  When it became clear it wouldn't until 2015 again(fingers crossed - he sort of loves this job), Travis got a job around here working for a Modular Commercial Construction company, NRB.  Basically they build commercial buildings on site and break them down and ship them to places where buildings need to go up fast or are too tight for building equipment (a lot of stuff goes to NYC).  Imagine building a skyscraper four floors at a time, well that's what they do.  In church, Travis serves as Executive Secretary and in life as World's Best Dad and Husband.  He's boss at those roles and we couldn't be more thrilled to claim him in our family.

Mary, okay none of this nonsense of writing about myself in the third person.  I'm staying busy volunteering at the kids' schools, in the community and in my new calling as 14-15 year old Sunday School teacher.  I'm still trying to be Super Mom and carve out time and space for myself to workout, read and sleep.  I've been upping my game in the Member Missionary department and going out with the Sister Missionaries whenever I can.  I sort of love it.  So much missionary potential back here, and if I'm not out with them, they seem to be at my house eating, same with the Elders.  I keep thinking all this good karma will go forward with my kids onto their missions.  Plus it's all good practice for all the missions Travis and I are still planning on going on once he retires, no time soon, but I've always been a planner.

Isabella is 12, in seventh grade and a wonderful juxtaposition of miniature adult and small child.  She loves Young Women's and thinks that hanging out with her friends on the weekends without her parents is the best.  Being the oldest she is uber responsible, mature, reliable and good natured.  All of these things sort of throw my world out of whack when she finally does act her age, which is forgetful, sometimes hormonal and occasionally irresponsible.  But I can't complain, because overall she is still a good apple:  a great student, violinist and trumpeter.  She is a little like me in that she constantly finds something to get involved with: acting in community theater, Farm Show Royalty, extra curricular activities like Cross County and anything else that catches her fancy.  She is naturally good at a lot of stuff and a pretty hard worker so she tends to excel and impress me regularly.

Wyatt is turning into a little man, still 10 until January, and I couldn't be more unsure of what to do with him.  Case in point, for Christmas he would like a tablet and then all of this equipment to turn his room into a home gym (a boxing bag, weights, a jump rope, he already has the pull up bar).  I think he needs to burn some testosterone, because if you knew this child at all you would be just as befuddled as me.  He's mellow and easy going and very sensitive.  He's his dad incarnate.  He's very strong physically, brilliant mentally, and just a touch "attitudy" if you insult him, but otherwise patient and independent in equal parts, not your ideological meathead.  He's a pro at the viola and earned his way to District Orchestra despite being partially tone deaf when it comes to singing.  It's an irony I will not ever understand.  He makes me smile and is super quick to give me hugs, so I'll keep him.

Issac, 9, is still my glasses wearing, giggle monkey.  It occurred to Travis and I that he is our only child who hasn't had the "talk" yet.  Yeah that one.  We tried to figure out why and assume it's just because he doesn't care.   This boy lives in his own world of toys, friends and playing.  He can't be bothered by any seriousness.  So this Christmas break, we've decided it's best to have the talk with him whether he cares or not, just so he hears it from us first or comprehends it anyway.  He's a good student, but doesn't really know or care about it.  He's happy to go to school and just as happy to be home.  He's currently obsessed with Legos and he loves Circus Club, yeah a club our school offers that teaches you circus skills.  He is trying to learn to juggle and loves the unicycle.  We got him one and hope that by summer he'll be cruising around on his own without a spotter.  He is also nuts for scouts and waits excitedly each week to attend.

Kody is the glue of our family.  I can't imagine life without this sensitive little creature, reminding us of our roles within the home.  He is just one year apart from Issac in school and has determined that he'd be over the moon if he could get smart enough to skip a grade and be in the same grade as his older brother.  It's not likely, but I love that he's not afraid to think big and aim high.  He's 7 right now and my mind is blown with the idea that next year he'll be baptized, the little caboose of our family - where does the time go.  Kody is smart and funny and cuddly still.  He is the first to crush your esophagus with a hug and strong enough to take down a horse, seriously he can do a 1 armed pull-up and sometimes beat Issac at arm wrestling.  He is my baby, but I try not to juvenilize him too much.  I probably stink at it, but I like how he is turning out.  So that's that.

Our family life is great in my opinion and it brings me more happiness than I ever possibly imagined or even knew existed.  My husband and kids are hands down my best friends and best playmates.  The fact that we can be an eternal family makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world.  Heavenly Father blesses our family daily and we can't help but see those blessings and try and pour gratitude to Him and pay it forward to others.  We feel lucky to know about Jesus Christ, his mortal ministry, death and resurrection and the amazing part it plays in our lives daily.   We love his gospel and find so much joy in attending his restored church on the Earth, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

We hope that each of you know the joy and peace of His message and remember the special time of year we are celebrating.  If you are forgetting or getting bogged down by the to do list of worldly celebrating take a moment and watch this to help center yourself again in a world of chaos and busyness.  We love you and hope you know of your great worth in the sight of the Lord and us.  Merry Christmas and have a wonderful close to this year and a happy beginning to the next!!!

Our Family

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