We hope this letter finds you and yours well. We’ve had a blessedly busy & typical year, but here is the short form for your perusal and enjoyment:
Mary Ann has spent this year jogging, writing, and reading and discussing texts for a Gendering Mormonism class. She's also spending a lot of time in the car with four kids attending four different schools. MA and Rob enjoyed a week in Iceland for a conference and their anniversary, and she was first to spot a puffin. Rob is cranky that her one academic article made it onto a class syllabus at Claremont College, while none of his have yet.
Rob has already received his best presents this year: a publishing home for the book he's editing, and a finished manuscript for his second. As icing on the cake, he was awarded BYU's General Education Professorship this fall, which was lovely recognition for his work with students and his department. In his spare time, Rob has been jogging, gardening and singing with primary kids. He tried fermented shark this year. (“Mmm. Ammonia.”)
Madeline (14) is a whirling dervish of activities. In addition to her intense lineup of classes, Maddie made it onto the JV ballroom team this spring. Between team practices, socials, fundraisers, and swim team, violin, church activities and friends, Maddie is one busy girl! We mostly see her asleep at home. And the girl reads: she finished War and Peace, Jude the Obscure, Les Miserables, Crime and Punishment, and Hard Times.
Will (12) moved up to middle school this fall. He has continued with the trumpet and the swim team, and started attending chess club. He and Maddie are die-hard Dr. Who fans—nerd cred! He enjoyed two backpack trips with his Dad this summer.Turning 12 has meant that Will can now pass the sacrament at church and he got a suit for his birthday. He's hoping for something more fun for Christmas: lots of snow so he can ski!
Sebastian (8) had a big year. He made it on to the swim team with Maddie and Will in April just after his birthday and right before his baptism. We finally have a kid who loves backstroke and butterfly! He has continued with piano and Mandarin Chinese and just got his Wolf badge in Cub Scouts. Sebi is one tall dude—he stands eye-to-eye with his third grade teacher. His pursuit in life: to become a great chef. But he hates peppers.
Joss (4) Rob's father recently called Joss "the exclamation point at the end of your family" and we couldn't think of a more apt description! Joss is raring to go at all times and his fondest hope is to become as big, old, and capable as his siblings. He learned to ride a balance bike, swam until he was absolutely waterlogged, and started BYU preschool with Mr. Brad this year. His catch phrases: “Back when I was a kid…” and “That’s beaooful.”
We feel so fortunate to have you in our lives, and we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a new year filled with health, peace and joy!