Welcome to the 2010 Christmas letter, online version! We have opted to forfeit the traditional format in an effort to be eco-conscious and to save money on printing costs and postage (and I didn't have the letter ready in time to mail out with the Christmas cards). Thanks for following through and visiting; we have so much to share. As you read you will find links (in red) to other posts on the blog in case you want a more in-depth view at this year in our life. We have had a FANTASTIC year!
Usually I would start this letter telling you all about the kids but I just can't wait to tell some good news about me. You may remember that last year I set a goal to complete my long neglected Bachelor's degree and this year I DID IT! It was difficult, especially while juggling all the other activities of a growing family but on December 17th it was official. My degree is in Fashion Design from Brigham Young University. People keep asking me what I will be doing with my degree. When it arrives in the mail I am going to hang it on my wall to remind my kids how hard I worked and hopefully inspire them to get good grades. Yes, that's it, I will just be a highly trained and educated stay-at-home mom, the best kind wouldn't you agree?!
Apparently the inspiration is already working because in his Freshman year of High School Heath's grades are fantastic! So proud of this young man. Heath has also been busy playing baseball, waterpolo and swimming. He was the only Freshman on the High School Varsity water polo team (no, his dad was not the coach) and his swimming career is looking bright as a breast-stroker (yes, his dad is the coach). He is still a talented musician wowing his friends with his ability to pick up and learn new instruments easily. He concentrates the majority of his efforts on his trumpet, however. Heath continues to work towards Eagle Scout and plans to complete his project during the summer of 2011.
Kirkham too is progressing rapidly in his scouting, sports and schooling. He has enjoyed practicing water polo with his brother's team and is currently on an age group team. He prefers playing with kids his own age. Kirkham has joined his school's Odyssey of the Mind team where they are building an extreme mousemobile: a vehicle solely powered by a mousetrap. He loves his work! Kirkham is our local comedian providing us with lots of laughs and groans in equal proportion. He takes after his grandpas. He also continues to work as our on-site veterinarian and animal trainer. He lovingly cares for the dog and his parakeet, helps me out with my four chickens, and he is teaching his sisters how to care for their new parakeet. He's awesome!
Afton and Cora are inseparable. They share a room, they go to school together, they play together, they have the same friends, they wear the same clothes, they read the same books and enjoy the same shows. So why wouldn't they pool their money and buy a parakeet to share? They saved for quite a while and are very happy with their recent purchase. They are now working to save enough for two Nintendo DS. They are both hard working students who enjoy school. They love to cook, read, write notes, do arts and crafts and design clothes for me to make. Another love that they share is soccer though for this they don't play on the same team.
Coach of the Year. He is currently in the middle of his internship for his Principal's Certification and will be finishing his second masters degree, Educational Leadership, in May 2011. Surprisingly the workaholic took off 6 weeks this summer and bravely piloted the family on a cross-country RV vacation, hiked through the Olympic mountains with Heath's scout troop, and rode his motorcycle down the Oregon Coast as support for a family bike trip.
We hope that this letter finds you well. We look forward each year to hearing from you, seeing your family pictures and reading your letters. We are so thankful for each of you and are blessed to have had you as a special part of our lives. We are also thankful for the holiday season, a time to remember loved ones and celebrate together the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. We wish you a Merry Christmas!
The Dooley Family