Aloha Friends and Family!
Another year has come and gone so fast that I find myself writing this Christmas turned New Year’s card on the 6th of January. We have had a full year and I guess it just couldn’t be contained by 2013. We started new jobs, travelled to places far and near, accomplished goals big and small and have worked and played as hard as we could, loving every minute.
Though he is still working at BYU Hawaii Dave has changed jobs this year from Career Services to Admissions. Always looking for a challenge and something new he has also begun a doctorate program. He is working towards his EdD with a USC cohort based here on Oahu. Though he misses every other weekend of surfing with the family he is enjoying the program and getting excellent marks in all his classes. Dave has recently been called as the Young Men’s president in our ward and continues to serve as the Roundtable Commissioner for the Hukilau District of the Boy Scouts of America.
I started working at BYU Hawaii in the Theater Department last January as the Costume Design and Construction Instructor and Manager of the Costume Wardrobes. It has been a challenge and an exciting adventure. I also continue substituting at the Elementary school, managing student apartments, and doing custom sewing jobs on the side. I am the ward organist at church, a visiting teaching supervisor, and the ward Girls Camp director. This winter I completed my first two half marathons but my greatest accomplishment this year was finally finishing the family’s Christmas stockings that I started when Heath was a baby. I finished them Dec. 31st at 10am!
Heath is a senior at Kahuku High School and is really excited to be starting his last semester of High School tomorrow morning. He spends his time swimming, playing tennis, surfing, working construction, reading and doing lots of homework. The Eagle Project he’s been planning for two years is finally scheduled to be completed on the 20th of this month. He plans to attend school at BYU Hawaii but is leaning towards serving a mission first. He can put his papers in in March. This year has been one full of mixed emotions for us as everything seems to be our “last time” as a family. So proud of this kid and the direction in which his life is going.
Kirkham is a sophomore. He swims, surfs, hangs with friends, rides his bike and longboard everywhere and is contemplating spending this next summer as a counselor at Pupukea Boy Scout Camp. He is just a smidgen shorter than Dave and has therefore graduated to man status. He works on the car, the motorcycle, the scooter, started watching football games with his dad, and he was a great help with all the heavy lifting when we moved (yes, again). He still has a cute little lovebird named Kiwi that he has trained to mimic him and he thoroughly enjoyed our summer trip to Washington to see friends and family.
Afton is an 8th grader, skinny as a bean pole and only a few hairs shorter than me. She checks her progress daily. She is an artist and musician, plays tennis, surfs (of course) and spends most of her free time with her best friends. She enjoys drawing designs for clothes and she sewed her first dress ever just earlier this week. She took an acting class as an elective this year and may have fallen in love with theater, but she falls in love with everything so we’ll see what interests next semester’s electives spark.
Cora is a 5th grader at Laie Elementary School. She is friendly and kind and talkative and helpful and bubbly and energetic and always, always, always happy. She is great at keeping us on track and toeing the line. She is often the first up, the first one done with chores, the first one ready to leave, the first one to ask if we can do something fun together like play a game or watch a movie or go for a walk. She enjoys reading and learning. She rides bikes, skateboards, ripsticks, wants rollerblades. She charges big waves and prefers to do crazy daredevil stunts over brushing her hair, doing nails and dressing fancy. She is our exclamation point.
We hope this letter finds you well. We enjoyed receiving your holiday cards, pictures and notes. We read and displayed each one and talked about the good times we have had with all of you. We are grateful for those memories and your friendship. Each of you have made us better people in ways big and small and we hope that we, in turn, have brightened your life in some way. And if we haven’t yet we hope to teach you how to surf when you make it out to Hawaii. Give us a call or drop by, we love seeing old friends.
Aloha nui loa!
The Dooley Ohana