Well. . .its that time of year when I start to reflect on all that has happened in the past 12 months and feel guilty that I have journaled NONE of it. . . So I thought I'd end this year with a big bang. . .we have had a few things going on and I thought I would catch you all up to speed. . In June we celebrated our first year in Hot Springs, Arkansas, as well as our 12th anniversary. We moved here with the intention that Dan would venture out on his own and manage his own Hearing Aid store. We bought the store back in 2010 but because of a few "bumps" in the road, he wasn't able to work there. . . a battle we still continue to fight. However, in May of this year we took a HUGE leap of faith and Dan quit his full time sales rep position with Starkey and decided to go out on his own, regardless of all the hangups. Although very scary, it has been a huge blessing and we have seen many miracles along the way. He partnered up with a friend from Oklahoma and since September he has opened up two other offices through out the state of Arkansas and has managed to staff each location with AWESOME people! There has been a LOT of frustraion and a LOT of times when we wondered what we had gotten oursleves into, but all in all. . . .seems to be heading the right direction. He has been working hard and such long hours. . .one night he fell asleep kneeling down after family prayers. I am so grateful he is such a hard working man, and is so committed to making a great future for our family. Not only is he managing three locations, but he also serves as the Exec Secretary in our ward as well as the 1st counselor in the Young Men. We are grateful to see him when we get a chance!
I took a little part/time "job" this fall teaching music at Walker's preschool. I teach about 45-50 kids each day and it is fun (and exhausting)! I basically just play with them and sing songs that I like. It is a Baptist preschool so I really enjoy that we can sing songs about Jesus and really celebrate the true meaning of Christmas through song. I have also been helping out some at the office. I took on the position of "accountant" and lasted about 3 weeks before I fired myself and found someone who was actually capable of putting in the hours and WANTED to do the job. I was primary chorister for the bulk of the year as well as Activity day girls leader. . .they just took away my music calling and gave me a sunday school calling for all the youth ages 12-18. I really like it. . . Plus, I still get to do activity day girls which is a big plus!! Aside from trying to juggle all the schedules and do all the normal "mom" stuff, that is what I've been up to this year.
Tarin, the other mother in our home, started the 5th grade this fall. . .shortly after school started she turned 10. She is such a good big sister to her brothers and sister. She loves school and is an awesome student. She loves to read and especially loves to write. She has a really cute way of putting words on paper and expressing herself. She is also still playing soccer in the spring and fall. Her team is co-ed and she is never more thrilled than when she runs faster or scores more than a boy on the field. I guess you could say she's a little competitive. She is also taking piano lessons and has improved leaps and bounds each year she sticks with it. Tarin has friends wherever she goes and seems to make friends in all the "groups" at school. She has a very compassionate heart and tries hard to see the best in people. She is a great example to me in so many ways.
Ella is our little shining star. Right now she is loving her hip/hop and clogging classes during the week. She loves to put on a show and wear those awesome shoes that make so much noise. After only a month at her new dance studio, they decided to advance her up to the next class. This girl has moves. Lets just say, she is the one to beat at Just Dance on the Wii. Ella entered the 2nd grade this fall and is doing amazingly well. She is really starting to love to read and is very determined to get good grades. She is a little bit of a perfectionist. Which also makes her a great piano student. She started this fall and is moving right along. She LOVES it and NEVER complains about practicing. Ella can always make us laugh. She has a super funny sense of humor and works hard to make people giggle (which can sometimes get her into trouble). She is fun to have around and is really so easily entertained!
Walker is 4 and is in Pre-K this year. He is just a super fun little kid. He would spend his entire day, regardless of the weather, out on his bike. He likes to pop wheelies and go as fast as he can, up and down the road (which is a pretty big hill). Thankfully he USUALLY wears his helmet, but that boy is a dare devil and scares me to death. Dan just laughs because I think he was much the same way. Walker LOVES most things motorized.. .which isn't a huge surpise considering the gene poole he comes from. He would spend every waking hour in the summer on the tractor with Grandpa and asks his dad about 10x a day for a motorcycle ride. He has decided he is ready for a dirt bike. . .I'm not convinced of that yet and luckily I have been able to keep his Dad at bay for a while with the dirt bike idea. Walker played soccer both spring and fall this year. He absolutely loved it. All it took was a bribe of some sort to get him motivated to score some goals, and he was golden. He is a fast little runner and has a really natural athletic ability. It was a lot of fun to watch him play. Walker is a sweet boy and likes to keep the peace around home. He is usually really good about sharing with his baby brother and has just a really pleasant, fun personality. I can't believe he will be in Kindergarten next year. . . Watch out!
Wyatt, aka "the screamer" has definately come to this family as the grand finale. He will turn two in February and is just a crazy little boy. It is hard to believe that he will be two on one hand, and on the other, I think. . . he's ONLY two. . . it has been a crazy two years and sometimes it has been way more that either of us should have been able to handle. Despite all the chaos this boy was born into, he is such a sweet little boy. When I'm not around, my friends say he is a perfect angel. In fact, sometimes they ask me to leave so he will calm down. I must stress him out or something. He is starting to be able to express himself in words, and that has helped with the screaming. He is a little tease and loves to torment the dog, Willie. Wyatt is very social and loves to play with other kids. I think this boy is gonna give us a run for our money. He makes us laugh a lot and cry alot, but we love him and are glad he is a part of our crazy family.
Well, I hope that catches you up to speed. 2012 is already looking like a busy year. Dan and I get to go to Las Vegas in January, then Dan turns around and is heading pig hunting in Texas. At the beginning of February we are all going to Maui to visit Nana and Grandpa, and even more fun, Grandma and Grandpa Welling will be there too. We are looking forward to a DeLong family reunion in June in Utah. Hopefully Ella will be baptized then, so all her family can be there, and that's all I know on the calendar so far! Merry Christmas and may next year bring a few more blog posts!!