Thursday, January 9, 2014

2013 with a few bits of 2012

So it's been a couple of years, but better now than never, right? We have lived in Pleasant Grove for 3 years now and we love it so much. Our house looks pretty much the same as when we moved in -- it takes us a good 10 years to fully decorate a place. Baby steps, seriously.


Cedar Breaks
 We took our first real family trip this year in July. Last year we realized that we have always traveled to family or with family for all of our vacations. So after 19 years of marriage we decided it was about time we did something with just our kids. We went to Brian Head, UT which is a favorite spot for Kenneth and Jennifer. We stayed in a condo and spent our days exploring the area. One of our favorite activites was hiking the lava flows. It was so hot back at home, but perfect weather at Brian Head. Sunny in the morning and then late afternoon showers. It was so relaxing.


Lava Flows


Panguitch Lake


Outdoor Theatre
We spent one day in Cedar City at the Utah Shakespearean Festival. We saw Peter and the Starcatchers in the afternoon and in the evening, Love's Labour's Lost. Those were a lot of fun.

We visited several parks in the area to hike and enjoy the views. We went to Zion National Park one day and it was so stinking hot. Dylan doesn't love hiking so there was a lot of excess noise that day. Overall, we think it was a big success, we came home well rested.

In October Kenneth switched jobs. He left TriVir and now works for Alianza. What does he do you ask? Computer stuff and VoIP stuff.:) It was a company that he had interviewed with last year and they had offered him a job, but he stayed with TriVir. In the interim he recruited his brother to work with him at TriVir. So staying was definitely worth it. He is so happy at his new work. He loves what he is doing, loves the company, loves the co-workers, loves the benefits, just very happy. Which makes all of us happy. He has found a new favorite activity in rock climbing with some guys from work. They go early before work. He serves as the ward financial clerk which is his favorite way to serve at church. He's really good at it and they really count on him.

Jennifer spends a lot of time in the car and at the kids' school. With the 4 younger kids all in one school last year she was volunteering a lot. Sophia, Theron and Dylan were in the school play, Annie, and Jennifer spent a lot of time working on the set. She also served on the parent council, drove for field trips, helped with parties, and started substituting at the school's front desk. Needless to say she was very ready for summer break. Oh wait, summer was crazy as well. It was rare that we were all home for a week at a time. Between scout camps, girls camp, trek, family vacation, family reunion, and getting ready for school the summer flew by and seemed nearly as busy as the school year. In May, Jennifer was asked to serve in the Young Women's organization at church. She was nervous about being with girls after being with scouts for so many years, but it has turned out to be a wonderful experience. She especially loves getting the extra time with Sophia. She was just recently called to serve in the Young Women's presidency as first counselor.

Ian has been doing very well in school, 12th grade, and life. He finally found a job in the middle of last summer at a local sno shack. When his time ended there he was able to find another job in the same area of town as a sushi chef/delivery boy for the local Asian restaurant. He still works at the Sno Shack in the summer. He stopped doing cross country and focuses on work and school. He is finishing out his high school career strongly. He will be taking 5 AP tests this year (he took 2 last year) and is working at the local junior high as an intern with an English teacher. He wants to be a teacher. His current plan is to serve an LDS mission after high school and then attend the local university to become a math teacher. He loves working with kids, is hard working and loves to serve others.

Sophia started high school this year, 10th grade. She chose to attend a Science and Math charter school. It is called Utah County Academy of Sciences, or UCAS. It is next to Utah Valley University and she will graduate high school with her Associates Degree. She is thriving there. She makes it look so easy. She loves math and science (thank you, Rawlings DNA). She was nervous to go to a new school that her local friends wouldn't be attending, it is 20 min away, but has made many wonderful friends.

She received her black belt in taekwondo last year. She is proud of her accomplishment, but is happy to not have to go as often. She and Theron try to attend a class once a month -- okay, they are forced to go once a month. Parents who have spent lots of money and time are not allowing them to quit altogether.:) She was Mrs. Greer in Annie, the head housekeeper for Mr. Warbucks. She had a lot of fun doing that. She finished out junior high serving as the treasurer on the student council. She will be turning 16 in a month and will NEVER drive, NEVER date and NEVER have a job working alone at night. Kidding of course, but it definitely feels different with a daughter.

Theron is loving 8th grade in junior high. He was a little nervous to switch schools last year, but grew to love it quickly. He makes friends so quickly and is nice to everyone. He runs cross country and enjoys it. He tried drama last school year and has found a new love. He was a manservant and Franklin D. Roosevelt in Annie. He had a lot of fun and wanted to do more. This school year he competed in a Shakespeare competition in Cedar City doing a scene from As You Like It. He was also recently cast as Curly in Oklahoma! and is currently in rehearsals for that. He also likes to sing and participates in choir. On top of all that he still enjoys all his regular school classes. He is serving as an 8th grade student body officer.

Orion is in 6th grade. He has run on the city track club the last couple of years. He has decided not to do it again. Something about it making his asthma worse. Go figure. He loves school. He is one of my kids that never asks to miss school. He has some wonderful friends at school and loves to learn. He loves social studies and science. He will be a cowboy in Oklahoma! this year. He is a wonderful singer and can't wait to be able to participate in the junior high choir next year. He turned 12 this year and received the Aaronic Priesthood. The first Sunday that he passed the sacrament, Theron was also passing and Ian was blessing. It was a wonderful moment. He is a tender boy, who likes everyone to be treated fairly and no teasing allowed. Unless that person is his younger brother.:)

Dylan, is in 4th grade. He likes school, but not enough to not ask to stay home on a regular basis. He is definitely a mover. He likes to play outside with his friends and loves tennis. He has taken tennis two years now and we can see him improving. He was in Annie as an orphan last school year. He was adorable, but hated how much of his time it took and chose not to do the play this year. With the other boys at rehearsal, Dylan and Jennifer get a lot of alone time, which they both love.

We have added 2 pets since the last post. A small poodle/cairn terrier named Toph, and a gray tabby cat named Shadow Creeper have joined Mitzi, our old lady Shih tzu/basset.

While we still love Kid History
our new love is Studio C.
We love funny things, especially when we don't have to be worried that they are going to take it too far.

We have loved spending time with family and friends this year and sharing our lives with all of you. We are so grateful for our eternal family and the hope that is alive in our Savior, Jesus Christ. Have a wonderful New Year! Obviously this post is all the highlights with very little of the day to day reality, but we are so grateful for all of that as well. Life is good in all its realness.

Love to all, The Rawlings Family