Monday, January 8, 2018

Evan - 2017 Review

Evan had an amazing 2017. He is now 12 and has grown in so many ways. He is a kind, funny, fun, silly, part kid, part grown up almost teenager.

  • School - Evan completed 5th grade and is working through 6th grade in homeschool. He has really hit his stride. He likes math and reading, and his writing is really coming along. (Evan will be starting Algebra I in a few months!) He also takes classes at co-op: Creative Writing, Outdoor Survival, Greek Mythology, and Art; and classes at Mason: Gym and Spanish. This Spring, he competed in the Invention Convention and was selected to go to the state competition at the Ohio State Fair!

  • Sports - Evan continues to play soccer and loves it. He decided to take a step up from SAY this year and joined a select team. We are excited to see what the new season will bring. In addition, this year he became a SAY soccer referee. Evan also enjoys all kinds of activities including rock climbing. 

  • Scouts - 2017 was a big change for Evan with Scouts. He graduated from Cub Scouts - completing all 5 years and his Arrow of Light. Choosing a Boy Scout troop was a difficult decision. The boys that he was with for the last 5 years, including his best friend, all split into 3 different troops. Evan ultimately chose the one that he felt would be best for him and he has been super happy there. He has gone on many cool camping adventures, has advanced to Tenderfoot rank, went for a week of summer camp with no contact home (!), and was recently elected patrol leader of his group.  

  • Awesome big brother and cousin - Evan is the best big brother and big cousin. He is such a great leader for the kids in our family. Leah and Hudson especially love the special attention that Evan gives to them. He is so patient and kind with them. 


  • Friends - Evan is blessed with so many great friends. He has his two best buddies that are all all back together again after one moved back from out of town. They recently celebrated their birthdays together with a Good Mythical Morning - Will it Cupcake? party. Check out the video here.  He best church buddy Brayden recently moved, but they are staying in touch. He also has great friends from co-op and family friends Kelly and Nicole. We are so thankful that he has so many good people surrounding him as he grows up. 

  • Outdoor fun - Evan is so adventurous. He loves camping, hiking, and anything with water. Here are a few snapshots from some of his many adventures. 


  • Other fun stuff - 
    • Church camp - Evan also went to church camp this summer. He had an amazing time. All the leaders talked about he stepped up and really embraced serving and bible study. He is super excited to go back next year. 

    • Building a computer - Doug and Evan built a computer together this fall! They spend many hours researching parts, ordering, and putting it together. It's currently up and running and Evan is really enjoying it!

    • FC Cincinnati - Evan enjoyed going to FC Cincinnati games this year with Doug and his dad. They had season tickets and really enjoyed their time together. 

Ainsley - 2017 Review

2017 was an awesome year for Ainsley. She is becoming a confident, funny, hard working girl. It's been so fun to watch her grow. She has such a fun personality - not afraid to say what she's thinking and still has her crazy reaction faces.

Here are some of the many highlights from the year!

  • Gymnastics! Ainlsey LOVES gymnastics - truly loves it. After hours of practicing in the gym, she comes home and does more gymnastics! She has even created her own gym in the basement. 
    • In 2016-2017, she joined her first competitive gymnastics team and had a fantastic experience. The coaches were amazing, her teammates and their families were so sweet and formed a tight supportive group, and Ainsley was super successful. We were always so proud to hear from the coaches how hard she worked with a great attitude. At State Championships, she came in 1st in place all around, on bars, and on beam and qualified to compete in the regional championships!
    • In July, Ainsley made the hard choice to switch gyms to a join different team. Her previous coaches moved to another city and it was a good time to make the switch. It was an extremely hard decision. She moved to a larger gym and a more competitive level, and she has rose to the challenge has been excelling so far! Although the gym different, her love for gymnastics continues to grow, and we can't wait to see where it will take her. 


  • School - Ainsley continued homeschooling in 2nd and 3rd grade. She works hard, enjoys going to co-op, and has really taken off with reading this year. Her favorite subject is math and her least favorite subject is spelling. Poppy is teaching science and social studies. Ainsley also takes specials at Mason - Art and STEM. We enjoy the flexibility of homeschooling - going to the Children's Theater, outdoor exploring, reading through Little House and doing pioneer activities, going to museums and field trips with friends. Plus, with 12 hours a week of gymnastics, it's nice to have extra time with our girl!

  • 8th Birthday -  Ainsley celebrated her 8th birthday in April! She had a great family party and then celebrated with her two good friends having a small party and then going to the trampoline park!

  • Trips - We did a lot of traveling in 2017! 
    • For gymnastics, we traveled to Columbus, Nashville, Akron, and Peoria. These were great trips filled with gymnastics friends and swimming in all the indoor pools. :)
    • We traveled with Nani and Poppy on a Caribbean cruise in February. 
    • We visited Norris lake in the summer the Weis family. 
    • In September, we went to Chicago and St. Joseph, MI. The highlight of Chicago for Ainlsey was visiting the America Girl store! We spent hours in the store where Ainsley selected her first AG doll - Tenney!
    • In November, we traveled to Disney and had such a magical vacation. 

  • Friends - Ainsley is blessed to have such good friends - neighbors, homeschool, and gymnastics friends. They love to do gymnastics, play house, barbies, and American Girl. 
  • Just a few of the other fun things we did last year included: 
    • FC Cincinnati games! Doug and Evan has season tickets and Ainlsey enjoyed coming along and cheering!
    • Hiking - with all the wonderful, mild weather, we did lots of hiking. While not Ainsley's favorite, she hung in there on most of our exploring. :) 


    • Kings Island - We spent lots of time at Kings Island this summer, both the rides and the waterpark. It such a great place to connect with friends and be outside. We are so lucky to have it so close by and get to go so often. 
    • Lost teeth - Christmas 2016 was the Christmas of "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth". She's not afraid to wiggle her teeth out and even lost a tooth at Chad and Jen's at Thanksgiving. 

  • Here are a few other highlights from the last year: