It's Spring Break and I have lots of homework and reading I should be doing so naturally that would be the time a sudden desire to blog again would hit me for the first time in months.
I figure y'all are due an updated though, maybe? Certainly a lot has transpired since the bringing of 2018 and now we are just a week away from Spring!
Mia (8.5) is still going strong in 2nd grade, although she is doing 5th grade math and doesn't even need spelling or much reading because she just "gets it". She has started taking piano lessons and is faithfully practicing every day, often multiple times a day.
Gabe (almost 11) is doing really well in 5th grade and loves reading. His writing skills are coming along and he is extremely precise in everything, including his handwriting. Gymnastics has been a part of his world for about 2 years now and he is absolutely excelling in it! His coaches love working with him because he is so calm, focused, and even strategic as he trains. This competition season has been a very strong one for him and he always loves coming home to show off his grand collection of metals after every meet. We are all so proud of him and enjoy watching him practice his skills all day all over the house.
Ava (13) is ever the loving, nurturing young lady. She is doing very well in 7th grade and gets up before 7:00 am most mornings to get an early start on her subjects. Recently she has started a garden and is enjoying helping Chloe with all the baby chicks we have hatching right now.
Christian (17) is getting so close to his senior year and is loving continuing to compete in speech and debate. He has traveled for several tournaments and is doing particularly well in Lincoln Douglas Debate. He got a job at In n' Out Burger around Christmas time and is thriving there. It has not taken him long at all to receive several promotions and get on the good side of his managers. Everyone loves his hard work and positive attitude. He took his driving test in the middle of an icy, stormy week and PASSED with flying colors, just after purchasing his first
Chloe (19) is loving being a part of our community college's horse program as a full time student this semester. She also got a job at Chickfila and is enjoying that. Reading and writing and photography are all still a big part of her free time, along with caring for the aforementioned hatching chicks.
Mom and Dad are continuing to do an amazing job running our family and parenting all of us. Having adult children is new for them
Church is wonderful and although we are unable to host a small group during this season we are all so grateful to be involved in the ways we can be. Dad has been involved with some leadership things, Ava and Christian are both learning and helping in the technical booth, and I have been singing again every few weeks. The sermons we have been hearing the past several months have been focused on what is the gospel and what is sin and why is freedom so freeing. Here is the link to our temporary website with all the recordings if y'all are interested!
As for me I am also a full time student this semester in Flower Mound.
From one of my lasts shifts at Kimzey's
with my favorite co-wrokers. Shhhhh.....
At Edison before my first day of class.
Here are a few Christmas pictures. We spent the day at home and enjoyed having Mom's family around later in the day.
Gabe...always showing off his skills...
I believe I mentioned in a way old post that we would be going on a ski trip in January and it was a blast! Nana, Grandfather, Aunt Lauren, Uncle Phil, and the 8 of us Linns left the week after New Years to drive to Colorado Springs for a week. We left before 6:00 am and made the 12+ hour drive with only 3 stops! Our three vehicles were stuffed completely and we barely got ourselves in!
Our week in the mountains was so special! The first couple of days we got settled into our lovely rent house, grocery shopped, played games, and got acquainted with our surroundings. Chloe, Christian, and I rediscovered our love of riding bikes and Mom quickly found a coffee shop 5 minutes away (not a Starbucks). Aunt Lauren and Uncle Phil got massages and Nana and Grandfather took advantage of the same opportunity a few days later. The littles found a fantastic new (but actually really old) board game called Survive and played it almost 24/7 the rest of the trip.
With Uncle Phil in charge of dinner we never had a bad meal!
The game area downstairs was awesome!
The kids love their Uncle Phil...
Our first day at Wolf Creek Pass was gorgeous! Mom and Uncle Phil decided to pass on the ski venture in favor of reading and relaxing at the cabin, but the rest of us were excited. The littles had never skied and us older ones had, but it was 11 years ago. The adults are all experienced skiers, but had not skied in many years. All us "kids" got to take lessons and that was a good call. Mia had her own ski class and Christian had opted to snowboard, but the rest of us were together with 5 other teens and adults.
The lessons were well done and the kids and Chloe did awesome. For some reason I had some trouble the longer the day went on. Skiing as a 20 year old was way different from skiing as a 9 year old. Points of interest were me screaming before we were even on a slop, almost falling over on the conveyer belt tunnel, not realizing someone was trying to flirt with me until Ava pointed it out, being asked if Gabe was my son, winning the award for the four worst wipeouts, ending up in a ditch, and getting rescued by a snowboarder.
Yes, a ditch, like, not on the slope any more, but off by the trees and orange tape saying "don't go here". I think the main problem was the bottom of the hill was especially steep and very icy so I kept loosing control and even if you fall "the right way" it's still not comfortable and it's really hard to get up, even more so when you are tired. By mid-afternoon my knees and hips were shot and I could barely stand up so I decided to be done... Unfortunately falling like I did really, really scared me.
Everyone else had a GREAT day though! Even Nana and Grandfather had fun and and Aunt Lauren and Dad were thrilled to be in their natural habitat again. Christian had an interesting time snowboarding, but I've heard that's a lot harder to learn, so it was understandable.
Back at the cabin we were all exhausted and could barely stay awake to tell all our stories.
We all took a couple of days to recover and then Nana, Grandfather, and I decided to stay back with Mom and Uncle Phil while the others went to "conquer the mountain" again. (Seeing as how I was still having trouble walking, I didn't think trying to face my new fear of skiing would be wise.) Christian and Chloe said they enjoyed their second day much more than the first and the littles didn't need any more coaching and made the others work to keep up with them! Dad and Aunt Lauren had so much fun skiing with them.
The best story from the whole day was when Dad got big time body slammed by a snowboarder out of nowhere! Dad lost all his equipment and they tumbled a long way. Aunt Lauren said it was so dramatic she was scared Dad was hurt and she was going to have to get all the kids together by herself. Thankfully they were both fine and once Dad recovered from his shock he was just so glad he was the one who got hit and not one of the kids!
Besides skiing we had some family game tournaments, took a day to explore Durango and go see "The Greatest Showman"
Of course we had trouble with the truck sliding on ice at least once.
We liked the coffee shop we found!
The Herd: Quoted
"Are you ready to go conquer the mountain?" -Mom to Gabe the morning of the second ski day.
"Oh I am going to bring it to it's knees!!" -Gabe
"Watch me and see if my legs are going apart when I spin this way." -Gabe to Dad as he practices a gymnastics skill.
"They seemed pretty close together." -Dad
"Oh, well they are supposed to be apart." -Gabe
"Well they were kind of apart..." -Dad not being helpful.
"So have you figured out a name theme for this next batch of chicks yet?" -Ava to Chloe
"We could do the books of the Bible." -Gabe
"Genesis has had her beginning." -Chloe
"Exodus is on his way out the door." -Me
"Lamentations has been giving his mother a lot of grief today." -Chloe
"Or it could be book characters." -Dad
"We could have Peter Chicken!" -Me
"Oh that's perfect!!" -Everyone
"Peter Chicken who likes to get into Mr McGrandfather's garden." -Me (this is a running joke because our chickens love playing in Grandfather's garden, but only when he is around to see them doing it.)
"Huckleberry Fin!" -Ava
"What about Period Dramas?" -Dad
"Lydia has run away with a duck!" -Me referencing Lydia Bennet from Pride and Prejudice.
"We have to have Mr Darcy and Bingley the ducks." -Dad
"It's a good thing we have so many chicks that will need names, but we don't have to love all the names because we already know most of them probably won't make it." -Me
"Hey, I know we have a bad track record in our success rate with chick survival, but lets not jinx it!" -Chloe
"One of them was crawling across me from one shoulder to the other and over my neck and even onto my head today!" -Ava
"That's the one we should name Polly, like a parrot. But why in the world would anyone want to let a chick crawl on them like that?!?!" -Me
(This conversation lasted the whole of dinner and extended far beyond these boarders, but this is what I was able to remember/the best ideas we had.)