So, we (Chris and Isabelle, really) have decided that we should update and post frequently on our blog. This may appear to be a "New Year's Resolution" but I prefer to think of it as a change for the better. As many of us, I don't tend to do well with resolutions set at the beginning of a new calendar year, but rather the beginning of a school year or just when there is a schedule change in general - it's easy to add in something new. This blog thing, however just happens to coincide with the new year. So now that I've rambled on about that, here's an update on our life:
Isabelle turned 11 in September and has begun the countdown to entering the Young Women's program at church. She is frequently noting her lasts: "this is my last year in Primary," "this is my last time performing in the Primary Program," "this is my last Stake Achievement Day Activity." Entering the Young Women's Program means she'll have a whole new set of goals to work on (Personal Progress), she'll get to hang out with all the youth on a regular basis (ages 12-18) and within just a few months she'll be able to enter the Temple and do baptisms for the dead. You may or may not know, but we are anticipating the building of the Philadelphia Temple and Isabelle has calculated that she will already be 12 or 13 years old by the time it is dedicated.
In school, Isabelle is in 5th grade. This is her third year playing cello and she just recently began private lessons. She has a good ear and enjoys piano, cello and singing. She was even going to sing with us in our local performance of Handel's Messiah, but she had such a bad cough that just would not go away despite the rest she got and the many gallons of water she drank that she had to bow out gracefully. She was sad when she missed the dress rehearsal and I reminded her that we are Tabers; Her dad and I have been attending and singing in performances of the Messiah since long before she was born and we will likely be singing the Messiah every year for the rest of our lives, so not to fret as she will have plenty of opportunity in the future to participate.
Now that Izzy is in 5th grade she was eligible to try out for the school play. She did and she was given the part of Ethel in The Music Man (she's the character that starts out the Pickalittle, Talkalittle song). She is so excited she can hardly stand it. She was also one of 150 children chosen in the entire school district to be a member of the District Chorus. So it seems, her career in musical dance theater and performance has begun...
Chase is 8 1/2 years old and ever the daredevil. His latest endeavor is mastering his skills as a skater. The neighbor kid across the street is a couple of years older than Chase and happy to show him the ropes. He has a grinding rail and several ramps and has been teaching Chase how to make all the necessary adjustments to his board to help him increase his skills (bow hunting skills, nun-chuck skills...).
In school, Chase has taken up violin and seems to really be enjoying it. I am enjoying the relationship it is nurturing between Isabelle and Chase. She will often help him tune his instrument and sometimes they practice together. I love strings and what a treat for me to hear my children play them in my own home (I know, I know, it probably sounds like their swinging cats, but they both try really hard to follow their teachers' instructions and play properly). So for Christmas we stole Izzy's iPod and put a Yo Yo Ma album on it and wrapped it up and gave it to her. And Chase found a CD of Itzhak Perlman in his stocking that we'd had in our collection.
Both Isabelle and Chase are avid readers and have already read all of Rick Riordan's books, the Harry Potter Series and the Hunger Games. Chase is nearly finished with the Chronicles of Narnia, Izzy loves books by Shannon Hale and Jessica Day George, and both children have read The Invention of Hugo Cabret. It is hard to get them to turn lights out and go to sleep at night or even to keep enough books around for them to have something to read!
Chase is becoming a brick artist (Lego builder). He is always coming up with new and interesting things and has made a goal for himself to tell several scripture stories through Legos. See youtube link below:
He is also enjoying Cub Scouts. Over Christmas break his pack went caroling to a nursing home, which he really enjoyed.
Heather. What can I say about Heather. She is ever with a smile, even when she's being naughty. She is now 3 and learning to write her name (well, the letter H, anyway). She is still great friends with Dora but has branched out and now loves to play board games with anyone that will give her the time of day. She is the most social of the three children in that she is not interested in playing with toys unless there is someone there to play with her. In which case, she plays kitchen, babies, Barbies, Build-a-bear or make-up (which really means going into Isabelle's room and trying to get away with going through Izzy's things). She eats all day long, and her first choice is string cheese, but usually we can get her to eat other heathy snacks too, so I guess it's not so bad. She is affectionate and keeps us laughing. She is as fearless a risk-taker as is Chase, but she hasn't figured out she has limits yet, so it will be interesting to see who, between Heather and Chase, will hold the record for World Parkour Champion first.
Chris is teaching seminary this year and loving it. It has been a bit of an adjustment for a night owl to get up early every morning, but the seminary kids seem to like him and we are seeing many blessing in our family as a result.
Chris is especially happy that he is still married to his trophy wife. In fact, they just celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary in August. How can that be! She doesn't look a day over 30! (Neither does he...)
I am ward organist and 2nd Counselor in Young Women, which means I work most directly with the 14-15 year-olds. We have a great youth group in our area and I feel really lucky to get to work with them. I kind of thought I might be called into YW once Izzy's turned 12, but I guess the Lord had other plans (or needed to prep me a little more).
I have developed several health issues over the last couple of years, but I have a great team of doctors and really supportive family so I am working out the kinks of managing RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis), Type 1 Diabetes, Hypothyroidism, and Bunions (no more pretty heels...). But that's a whole other blog in itself so suffice it to say that while I am taking a myriad of meds and learning to balance my "let's do everything big" mentality with my lesser amount of energy, my health issues are not my identity. I am still a little coo coo, love to embarrass my children, go on day trips and road trips, date my husband, sing in my car like I'm a rock star and I'm trying to figure out how to get famous so I can be on Dancing with the Stars.
We've had a fun and adventurous Christmas break, watching movies, playing Wii, playing with friends and taking trips to Harrisburg and Hershey. We just finished reading the Book of Mormon as a family and we are grateful for the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ and for our knowledge and relationship with Him. It is because of Him that families can be together forever. And it is because of Him that we can find joy in this life as well as the next.
Happy New Year and may you find ways to love and serve and recognize the many blessings in your life throughout 2012.
With love from the Tabers.