Holiday 2011

Greetings from Idaho Falls!                                                                                            December 2011

We hope this finds you well and enjoying the Christmas season with loved ones.  Here are a few highlights of our year and an update on our goings-on.

Spring break took us on a road trip to central Utah - we had a great time camping in Goblin Valley.  Not really on the way to anything . . . but the Little Wild Horse hike is highly recommended.

Unfortunately, soon after our return, Greg's mother had what we thought was a stroke.  Turns out it was a tumor on the right side of her brain.  It's been a roller coaster since then as we've learned more than we wanted to know about cancer, radiation, & chemotherapy.  She's about halfway through her year of chemotherapy, and has responded well.  Her last scans came back very positive, and we're hopeful for that to continue.

We managed a few fun hikes this year, but much of our late summer and fall was spent at soccer fields around the area.  Patrick, Maren, and Henry all enjoyed playing and the weather this fall was unusually nice and warm, which made watching the games quite enjoyable also. Even with our basement done, home & yard projects keep us busy - the list never really ends.

Patrick is having fun as a sixth grader and keeps plenty busy with school, piano, and sports.  He is participating in the school Student Service Corps, and has liked being on the "Tech Team".  This involves going to school early occasionally and vacuuming the fans on the teachers' computers. (Have to start somewhere, right?!)  He has already started camping with the scouts, and looks forward to sleeping in a tent year-round.

Maren is our fourth grader and loves going to school.  It's getting tough to find an age-appropriate book she hasn't already read.  She recently finished up a season of basketball for the first time and seemed to enjoy that, for the socializing if not the game itself.  She's a good little singer and a big help with her younger brothers.

Henry was excited to start Kindergarten this year and has liked it from day one.  It is fun to see him picking out words on signs and buildings as we drive around town.  He had a lot of fun playing soccer and is quite competitive.  He ran in a kids' race this summer and was mainly excited about "all those people behind (him)", rather than his actual time.

Lucas is Mom's little helper.  He has been a great sport to go to everyone else's games and school programs.  He loves his  "screen time" and can beat mom any day at Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, or Fruit Ninja. Hopefully that hand-eye coordination training isn't completely wasted, as he recently mastered writing his name.  Lucas couldn't be stopped on our hikes throughout the year; he goes strong until he hits the wall.  That's his style with about everything he does.

At almost 18 months, Conrad is just coming into that sweet spot where he's copying words, making animal sounds, and communicating more effectively when he needs something.  He's tons of fun and, thankfully, goes with the flow of everyone else at home.  We have to keep a close eye on him...not just because he's a mischievous explorer, but because friends and neighbors threaten to take him home with them.

Hailey is the mom and stays plenty busy doing mom stuff.  She feels very fortunate to be able to stay home with the kids while they are young.  The rest of the family are good sports (well, mostly) as she tries out new recipes, chore motivations, etc.

Greg has been extra busy at work the last few months preparing for an ownership transition at SCI.  The founder has decided to retire, and so now Greg has a new boss.  The company that purchased them is also in the mortgage services industry, and it looks like it will be a good fit for both companies.

One of our favorite things about this time of year is the chance to reflect on our blessings, and those include our association with you.  We don't post everything on facebook - this is our yearly "status update".  We look forward to hearing from you.  Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a happy 2012!

With love,

Greg, Hailey, Patrick, Maren, Henry, Lucas, & Conrad

4060 Shadow Mountain Trail
Idaho Falls, ID 83404

2011 photos