Monday, February 5, 2024

 Merry Christmas 2023

As many Holiday activities start to fill our calendar, the wrap up of 2023 is swiftly approaching. We are grateful for the opportunities, trials, blessings and adventures we have had. We are again reminded of the love and goodness of our Savior, Jesus Christ. And hope that this last year has brought the same to our friends and family. Without further ado, here are the happenings of the Burkinshaws. 

Emerson (4) is as full of energy and adventure as any preschooler ever. From climbing trees, collecting snails, and taking his beloved “Scooty” to the park, Emerson is constantly on the go. He loves animal books and learning about their different habitats. He is full of information and is willing to tell anyone who will listen, even the young man at the grocery store checkout. He sported a sling for a few weeks after a piggy-back-ride-exchange didn’t end well, but he healed quickly and hasn’t slowed down! Highlights of his summer were going to the beach house in Galveston and hunting for crabs at night. He is Molly’s last buddy at home. Emerson is always up for a trip to Costco or an adventure to Lowe’s. His sweet smile, and perhaps the fear of a meltdown, has gotten him quite a few matchbox cars and Kinder treats while on trips around town. We are so glad he is ours!

Isobel (5) is in Kindergarten! She started this fall with Mrs. Diehl. Isobel adores her and has made so many new friends! She is learning how to ride the bus with the big girls, order her own lunch on Fridays, and remind mom to sign her binder every night. She loves to read books and find all the words she knows as we flip through pages and pages! Isobel has found the magic of bike riding. She rides to the park as Emerson follows on Scooty for the big kids’ soccer games. Isobel loves crafts and coloring. She comes home with all sorts of ideas for books she wants to author and illustrate. She loved the beach and sand castles. Isobel couldn’t get enough of the waves! She would head out with the big kids. Paul and Molly were constantly counting heads and staying close. Isobel still gives the best hugs! We love her!

Adelaide (8) was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Grandparents from both sides came to support her. We are so grateful for her good choices and love of our Savior. Adelaide is still playing soccer. She loves her teammates. She is a quick defender, and pretty tough despite being one of the smallest on the field. She doesn’t back down and will chase after the ball. It’s fun to watch her play!  Adelaide loves to read and write.  She has found new friends in the neighborhood to run around with. She has a watch so she knows when to return home for dinner, and she doesn’t like being late! Adelaide also enjoyed the waves at the beach, but likes the pool better. It’s not as salty! She is a joy to her classroom where Mrs. Barragan cannot get enough of her kindness and willingness to help. Adelaide has continued with piano lessons and loves to learn new songs she can sing along with. She is sunshine!

Esme (9) is growing into one of the big kids! She is the first of the elementary kids awake, ready to pack her lunch, eat her breakfast, and unload the dishwasher. She loves to help in any way she can at home and at school. This is her sixth season with her soccer team, and she loves it! Coach Taylor can put her in any position and knows that she’ll play hard until the last minute. She really enjoys goalie, much to Molly’s anxiety. She is adored by all that meet her. Esme also loves public speaking. She volunteers for talks in Primary, speeches at school, and prayer at home almost every night. Esme had a bike accident at the very beginning of Summer break which meant a cast for the majority of the summer. We’re glad it was waterproof! She got it off right before our trip to Galveston. Esme is always ready for an adventure with Emerson to find toads, chase rabbits, and dig up snails. Everyone should have an Esme! 

Elin (12) is ready to be a teenager! She loves to write up contracts for Paul and Molly to sign to help motivate practicing piano and violin. Elin is very good at following through. She has really blossomed at school, at home, and in athletics. It was her first time competing with the cross-country team at the middle school. Elin placed in the top 10 at every meet! She loves to run and enjoys working at it. Elin is constantly striving to be better in all aspects of her life. She loves being in the class presidency for her Young Women’s group. It has been an opportunity to serve the girls her age. Elin started babysitting. She is beloved by the families she tends to. She is a fun babysitter! We have learned that Elin doesn’t like the dark, and will stay downstairs to “talk” until one of us walks her to her room. It’s a good thing Paul is so patient, because Molly is sometimes just tired! But, we love our “deep” discussions with Elin. She has good insights and questions. She’s a good one!

Ewan (14) decided to ref soccer in the Spring instead of play. He has since decided that he likes being on the field getting cheered for, rather than on the field getting yelled at by parents…So, he convinced Paul to coach a Fall season. Most of the boys had never played, but they sure learned a lot and actually came away with a couple wins and a desire to play for Paul in the Spring. (we’ll see!) Ewan has tried a number of different things this year. He played football again, ran cross-country which he found he’s pretty good at, and is currently on the middle school wrestling team. Ewan has continued in his GT classes, private lessons for the cello, and reading ferociously. He likes to tease his sisters, and “battle” Emerson.  He’s even starting to notice girls! We may be grateful for that…teen boy hygiene is not being ignored! Ewan keeps life interesting, and we are so grateful for him! 

Aislee (15) is now a sophomore! The district opened a new high school this fall, but Prosper High still has about 4,00 students! Aislee doesn’t really like the packed hallways or “G” lunch, but she’s glad most of her friends stayed, and we’re close enough for her to walk home. There is also no shortage of cute boys! The youth in our Stake went to Nauvoo this summer. Aislee had a wonderful time learning about the history of the Church. She has gained a stronger testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith. Aislee has also enjoyed her 5:45am Seminary class and the opportunity to learn about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. She’s learning a lot about time management! Early mornings are hard when followed by late nights! Aislee has continued singing for the high school choir. She has made really good friends, and it has given her opportunities for other choirs. She sang in Jenny Oaks Baker’s Joy to the World Tour a few weeks ago. We are grateful for her goodness!

Olivia (15) is also a sophomore. Boy does time fly! Olivia is full of life and all things fun! She is still playing the violin in the orchestra where she has many friends. She chose not to run cross-country so her schedule would have room for some honors and AP classes. She loves learning about the body! Nauvoo was the highlight of her summer. She loved seeing the Church history sites, hearing testimonies of the missionaries there, and driving the 14 hour one-way bus trip. Olivia loves to babysit, but may try her hand at reffing soccer in the spring with a few of her friends. She’s also glad we live within walking distance to the high school. And, our house seems to be the meet up place for friends after school on Fridays. Sometimes, it seems like we collect teenagers…! Olivia still loves books! We have to take books from the table at dinner so we can have a conversation. We are glad she is ours!

Molly has spent the majority of 2023 coaching soccer games, watching soccer games, walking cross-country courses, listening to orchestra and choir concerts, folding laundry, washing dishes, and so on and so forth. However, they may be some of her favorite pastimes. Her most favorite pastime has been running with Paul. They worked up their mileage over the summer and fall, and are now working on speed. She still can’t beat Paul, but Saturday morning long runs are her favorite! For the last week of school, Molly and Paul were able to fly to Las Vegas to attend her youngest brother’s wedding, and then fly to Seattle to hike in Olympic National Park for a few days. It was amazing! She also got to fly to Utah to attend another brother’s wedding for the first week of school in August. They were both beautiful. She is grateful for a year of growth and learning!

Paul Has continued to heal. He runs almost every day, drives the girls to early-morning seminary, coaches soccer, and rides his bike around with Emerson and Isobel. He has stayed active with goals of handstand-pushups, faster paces, and longer distances. Paul flew to Colorado in August to hike the Rockies with his brother. The year has been full of adventures! We were able to make the drive to Gatlinburg, Tennessee for Thanksgiving with Paul’s family where we stayed up too late, hiked many mountains, ate way too many treats, and most importantly, enjoyed time with family. Paul enjoyed coaching Ewan’s soccer team this fall. The boys really enjoyed him, and have asked if he’ll return in the Spring to coach another season. He’s good at it! 

Well, that’s a wrap! 2023 has gone by quickly. We are grateful for friends and family who have loved and supported us. We have grown a greater appreciation of the words of our Prophet, President Russel M. Nelson, “...Heavenly Father’s plan for us is fabulous, that what we do in this life really matters, and that the Savior’s Atonement is what makes our Father’s plan possible.” Life is hard, but it is what we do with the hard, and how we love each other in the hard that matters. May we remember our Savior, Jesus Christ—His birth, His life, and His love this Christmas as we strive to think with an eternal perspective of what matters most. 

Much Love, 

The Burkinshaws

Thursday, January 19, 2023

 Happy New Year 2023

It seems like the last few years are ones to remember. And, 2022 has been no different! This year has brought with it many challenges, many blessings, and many learning opportunities. Most importantly, it has given us a greater love for our Savior, Jesus Christ, and a greater sense of gratitude for His goodness. Without further ado, here is the 2022 wrap up for the Burkinshaws.

Emerson (3) is potty-trained! Yes, we are out of diapers! Emerson is very independent. He likes to “do it myself”. It may be from the many helping hands that don’t “do it properly”. He loves dinosaurs and can distinguish different species and types. Emerson is a rough and tumble kid who loves to play “steamroller” on the trampoline, practice his acrobatics from one couch to the next, and dive bomb unsuspecting adults if they’re relaxing on the floor. Emerson got to enjoy tube rides with cousins and sliding off the back of the houseboat—highlight of his summer. He loves to give Mommy hugs and kisses before bed and asks for her to sit for a few more minutes when the lights are off. Emerson no longer naps. There are too many things to see and do! He does not have time for rest! We are so grateful that he is ours and keeps us as his. 

Isobel (4) is growing into quite the little lady. She will don the occasional shorts or pants because dresses are difficult when riding a bike. She loves to go for rides with Paul to the park. It may take twice as long to get there. She is very good at braking and notices every flower, bird, or bug. She is getting much better without training wheels. Isobel loved tubing with the cousins and building many sandcastles at Lake Powell. We covered her from head to toe to keep her fair skin…fair. Isobel is ready for Kindergarten much to Molly’s chagrin. She knows all her letters and numbers, can write her name and alphabet, and loves to “read” as she flips through her latest library collection. She is still full of spunk and sass. She makes friends wherever she goes. She sure is a hugger, and has learned the importance of “soft hugs”.  We will take her hugs any way we can get them.

Adelaide (7) is just as full of sunshine as they come! She loves 2nd grade and Mrs. Self, who Esme had for 1st grade. Adelaide loves all the dress up days (oh, so many!), and making sure Mom and Dad can find just the right outfit. Adelaide played another season on the Shooting Stars with Mom as her coach. She blossomed and became one of the top scorers on the team. Her summer highlights included soccer camp with Ms. Anna and spending lots of time with cousins at Grandma and Grandpa’s in Owasso. She’s a pretty good little swimmer and still has the tanlines to prove it! She also loved jumping off the houseboat, tubing, and hiking around the lake with Grandma Maureen. Adelaide loves learning new songs on the piano with Grandma Stacey as her teacher. She is just a joy to have around. We love her so! 

Esme (8) chose to be baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in May with many of her soccer team in attendance as well as supportive grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. We are so proud of her decision to covenant with the Lord. Esme is still just as funny as ever! She loved kayaking, tubing and sliding off the houseboat with the cousins at Lake Powell. She works hard in 3rd grade and couldn’t be happier to have Mrs. Reeves as her teacher. She loves activity days, biking around the neighborhood, and reading. Her soccer team had a great showing the last two seasons. She is a hard worker and a big playmaker wherever she is on the field. Coach Taylor can’t say enough good things about her hard work and determination. She is fun to watch! We are grateful for her good nature and kind heart!

Elin (11) transitioned to 6th grade like a pro. She was absolutely ready to move from elementary school to middle school. From her earlier “slow to warm” nature, she has become quite the social butterfly. She always seems to have friends to meet up with and places to go. We’re glad she has a watch so she knows what time to come home. Elin enjoys playing violin in the middle school  Sinfonia orchestra with Ewan and working on piano pieces. She also completed two more seasons of soccer with Coach Jamie. She, too, has become quite the playmaker, and scored 2 goals in one game. She is probably the tiniest on her team, but has a fierce competitiveness and can outrun any girl on the field. Speaking of running, Elin loves it! She competed in a local race, placing 1st in the women’s division. The highlight of her summer was paddle boarding to many Lake Powell coves with Grandma Maureen. We are so glad to have her as part of our family!

Ewan (13) yes, we have three teenagers! Ewan claims to be a realist, much like his Dad. He still enjoys reading books, taking things apart, and playing soccer. After getting a double hat-trick in the Spring season, he chose to switch teams for the last season of recreation and took a few teammates along. They had an undefeated season with one tie. He enjoyed playing all over the field except goalie. Ewan also tried his hand on the middle school football team. He enjoys his GT classes and 3D printers. His favorite class is GT Math with a teacher that challenges him to explain and defend his answers. Ewan cannot say NO to a good debate. He loved wakeboarding at Lake Powell, and paddle boarding.  He continues to play the cello in the orchestra and get Zoom lessons with our dear friend, Leah. He is preparing competition pieces which will challenge him and keep him busy. He is a joy to have in our family!

Aislee (14) is a budding freshman at Prosper High. With over 3800 students, it is hard to not get lost in the crowd, but Aislee’s participation in cross-country and choir has gotten her noticed by teachers and coaches for her sweet disposition and hard work ethic. She’s still an avid reader and keeps herself busy finding series that she enjoys and taking her recommendations to the librarians. She participated in Girls Camp as well as the FSY program this summer, and loved it! Aislee also enjoyed her first trip to Lake Powell where she wakeboarded and tubed to her heart’s content. She has become quite the babysitter in the Ward and has some regular gigs that are helping her finance her love for Doritos and Pretzel M&Ms. Between Church activities, school, extracurricular, and 5:45am Seminary, Aislee hardly has time for anything else. But, don’t you worry, she’s noticing boys too! She thinks 2 more years until dating is an eternity! Maybe, we can extend it just a little longer…! We are so grateful for her goodness in our home!

Olivia (14) is also a freshman at PHS. She auditioned for Sinfonia Orchestra and made it as 5th chair. Although she had a rough start to the cross-country season, she learned how to race with over 300 runners and finished the season with a PR. Olivia had a fun-filled summer going from Girls Camp in Arkansas, to Owasso, Oklahoma for two weeks, to FSY in Denton, and then to Lake Powell where she conquered her fear of wakeboarding and jumping off the houseboat. She continues to read anything and everything.  She enjoys listening to Harry Potter on the Alexa as she bakes cookies and cleans the kitchen. She also babysits quite a bit to fund her Skittles and Baked Cheetos addiction. 5:45am Seminary comes pretty quickly, but it’s not so bad when she has some-not-so-bad-looking freshmen boys from around the Stake to wake up with. She has also joined the ward choir and recruited other youth her age (14-15 year old boys *cough *cough) to join with the promise of fresh bread or cookies. Oh boy! We can just push 16 years old out just a little bit longer…She’s a good girl and we love her! 

Molly spent the beginning of 2022 enjoying running with Paul and coaching Adelaide’s soccer team while shuttling kids to soccer games, track meets, and other activities. She even got to run a half-marathon at the beginning of June with five of her brothers. Not even 24 hours after she got home, Paul was on a flight to Iowa for meetings. And just 48 hours after his return and a trip to Broken Bow, Oklahoma the very low-key summer plans took a more exciting turn. For more details, refer to Molly is grateful for a wonderful Ward family and community that rallied around our family. The many meals, visits, notes, texts, and prayers buoyed her amid the unknown. Molly was able to rely on the goodness of her in-laws to fill the kids’ summer with swimming and exploring the greater Tulsa area, her brothers and parents who helped shuttle her and the kids to and from Utah for a wedding and much needed Lake Powell time, and countless friends. The Burkinshaws just don’t know how to slow down. The fall has been another adventure with soccer and cross-country filled Saturdays, weekday concerts and activities, and too many doctors’ appointments to count. We are grateful for the numerous outpouring of love and support we have felt.

Paul is here and we are so grateful! Paul spent the beginning of 2022 working in his office/bedroom, gaining strength in the garage, running with Molly, riding bikes to the park for soccer games, shuttling kids to activities, and generally being very active. Ewan convinced Paul to attend his Deacons’ quorum “low” adventure in Broken Bow, Oklahoma. While kayaking down the river, they stopped for some rope swinging fun. Paul had a miss swing, ending in a fractured hip and lacerated kidney. After a picture perfect hip repair performed in Paris, Texas, he was transferred to a hospital in Ft. Worth in order to treat his kidney. We are grateful for skillful and kind medical professionals. Through Priesthood blessings, many prayers,  and amazing service, we experienced so many miracles. Paul is doing much better, and has been cleared for all activities…maybe not rope swinging for a little while longer. He is beginning to jog in the mornings, stretch out all the “gristle” and gain his strength back. We’ll just refer to him as our Bionic Tarzan. We are so grateful! 

Well, that’s a wrap! It has been quite a year. 2022 has given us a greater appreciation of the love of Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven as well as the covenants we have made with Him. We have come through this year a little more grateful, a little more loving, and perhaps a little more cautious around rope swings…! As stated by our dear Prophet, President Russel M. Nelson, “Our Father knows that when we are surrounded with uncertainty and fear, what will help us most is to hear His Son. Because when we seek to hear—truly hear—His Son, we will be guided to know what to do in any circumstance.” We are grateful for another year of learning to better hear Jesus Christ so we may know how best to love.

Much Love, 

The Burkinshaws

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Better Late Than Never (Christmas 2021)

 Merry Christm    as 2021

    What a year! 2021 has proven to be quite the year. We are grateful for the challenges and blessings that seemed to abound this year! It has been another one for the books and has given us numerous opportunities to reflect on our Savior and our Father in Heaven and the matchless love they have for each of us. We are grateful for the opportunity to connect with friends and share how our 2021 went. Here’s a look at the year for the Burkinshaws.

Emerson (2) continues to be as busy as ever. He loves walks and runs to the park. Emerson is very talkative and has an opinion about almost everything! He knows exactly how to get what he wants with his sweet voice and coy grin. His older sisters love to assist him. And, Ewan is his best buddy even at odd hours of the night when Emerson wakes him up. At the beginning of the summer he was a little hesitant with swimming pools, but he has quickly warmed up to the pool and is the first to get his swimsuit on when at Grandma and Grandpa’s. It’s a good thing he can’t reach the deadbolt for the backyard. Emerson loves nursery! He has “best friends” and talks about them throughout the week. He loves Mickey Mouse and cannot get enough of Roadster Racers. He’s the first one up in the morning, and is full of energy! We love our Emerson!

Isobel (3) is so much fun! She is still our busy, busy kid. Child Proof door knobs, locks on gates, and high shelves are the only things stopping her from a world of adventure, we’re sure! She’s still all about dresses and fancy things. Isobel gives compliments and hugs to all the ladies she meets. Her favorite phrases are, “You are lovely!” and “Your toes are so colorful!” She’d probably find a new family if we let her, but we’ll keep her as ours! Isobel took a break with naps, but her body (and maybe Molly more so) realized that she needs rest to be happy, and oh how our home is much better when Isobel is happy! She takes a nap along with Emerson everyday for 2-3 hours. It makes 5pm less stressful for everyone! Isobel is still an independent player. She can spend hours and hours coloring a picture or building towers as long as no one bothers her. We love her so!

Adelaide (6) is all about 1st grade. She loves Mrs. Cardenas! She is a great little reader and always takes the part of Piggy for bedtime stories. She played soccer in the Spring and Fall seasons. She scored two goals and is starting to figure out that she doesn’t have to run next to the opposing team, she can take the ball away and it’s not being mean. Molly got to assist in coaching her team and loved watching Adelaide interact with the other girls on the team. There are a lot of hugs, cartwheels, and bows. Adelaide loved being a Shooting Star! Adelaide has started piano lessons with Grandma Stacey via Zoom. She is the first to practice when she gets home from school. She has a good ear and loves to sing the songs and clap the rhythms. Adelaide is full of sunshine and loves everyone! She runs the neighborhood with her friends, and now has a watch so she knows when to be home for dinner. We love our Lady Bug!

Esme (7) is just as hilarious as ever! She loves to tell jokes and make people laugh. Esme has also discovered cute boys...Molly has been finding little notes all over the house declaring Esme’s affection. It’s cute, but also a little worrisome. We’re not so sure we're ready! Esme also played soccer Spring and Fall. Her team is fast! They’re probably the most petite team in their age group, but they sure know how to move that ball down the field. They had a winning season, losing 2 games to the two older teams in their division. Their last game got a little physical, with Esme taking the brunt of some shoving. She ended up scoring two goals back-to-back with her team winning 7-1. She loves reading and writing and math. Her teacher, Mrs. Gee has only the sweetest comments for Esi. Esme also discovered she’s double-jointed in her shoulders, which she enjoys showing everyone, multiple times a day...She’s just so much fun!

Elin (10) has truly bloomed this year! She has been making friends all over the place and really coming out of her shell! She begs almost daily to do something with somebody. The 5th graders in our district attend a three day camp. Molly was one of the chaperones for 150+ 5th graders from our elementary school. Elin loved every minute of it! They had a lot of fun learning more Texas History, walking around the woods, doing the zipline, staying up way too late, and eating plenty of child-friendly fare. Elin also played soccer Spring and Fall this year. She was a little hesitant, but she loves it! Coach Jamie is amazing and Elin gets better and better every game and every practice. Elin has also discovered a love for running. She spent many summer mornings running with her friend, Maggie. Elin is pretty fast and got 5th female in a local 5k. She did so well! We are so grateful for Elin! 

Ewan (12) is finally a Deacon! We can’t believe how much he has grown over the last year. He’s even a middle-schooler now! Eeek! Ewan enjoys middle school and getting to take Engineering, GT Math, Science and English, and Simfonia Orchestra. It keeps him busy, which is a good thing. He spent a lot of his summer running around the neighborhood with friends, reading every book he could get his hands on, and playing on the Switch. He really enjoyed having time with The Uncles when they drove home with Molly from Utah. The Uncles know how to have a good time! He may have also discovered girls, but we’re not supposed to talk about that... Ewan has had a few opportunities to go to the Temple and has enjoyed looking up family names to take and learning more about family history. He loves hearing stories about his ancestors. He’s becoming such a good young man!  

Aislee (13) is thriving, and we are so grateful! She loves reading and researching. Aislee has been doing well in choir where she participated in a Solo Festival in the district. Although she was pretty nervous, she scored top marks in her division! She’s now a teenager, and enjoys some of the freedoms that come from old age, like babysitting! She is a great babysitter! Aislee ran at every meet for cross-country this year and got better with each one. She’s learning that running can be hard, but that she can do hard things. Aislee has always had a very determined personality. She will go far! She’s still trying to convince Mom and Dad that she needs a phone. We’re thinking about it, but thinking is different than actually doing..! She’s also starting piano back up with Grandma Stacey. Zoom is amazing! Aislee likes to make cookies for her friends. We’re glad she’s also good at cleaning the kitchen after she makes the cookies! She is very organized and neat which helps with so many! Aislee is just a joy to have around!

Olivia (13) is also a teenager. Yay! She finished out 7th grade ready for bigger and better things. She loves 8th grade and having more school activities and opportunities. She plays in the Chamber Orchestra, runs cross-country, and reads. She reads a lot! She’s also been babysitting. She’s learning a lot of great life skills so Molly won’t worry too much when she’s on her own. Olivia will know how to make a mean bowl of macaroni and most breakfast foods. She enjoyed going to Utah this summer. Her favorites were boating with Grandpa Tim and hiking at Zion National Park. It was probably the hottest hike we’ve ever done! But, the snowcones from the Tiki Shak afterwards may have been worth it! Olivia has noticed the boys she notices notice her, which is so fun…Oh, middle school. Maybe we’ll keep the braces on for a few more years! ;) She really is growing into a wonderful young lady, and we are so grateful for her! 

Molly spent much of 2021 running, chasing, driving, and biking kids around. With 4 doing soccer, most of our Spring and Fall Saturdays were spent biking and walking to the park for games. This house was chosen for just that reason! We are grateful to live in an area with many opportunities and activities. We have had recitals, concerts, games, meets and many other activities that have kept Molly busy, and she is so grateful for healthy kids who continue to grow and do. After a few weeks in Cedar City welcoming her youngest brother, Kett home from his mission, Molly drove with her 3 youngest brothers and eight children home to Texas. Paul flew home a week ahead of them. The Brothers stayed for a week and Molly enjoyed morning runs, afternoon pool buddies, and late night movies with them. Molly also got to assist on Adelaide’s soccer team. It was a lot of fun! She’s also put together a children’s running club with her neighbor for the middle schools in the area. It has been good motivation for her to keep up her miles so she can keep up with them! There are a lot more years of running, chasing, driving, and biking for her to do!    

Paul spent much of his 2021 doing a lot of running, chasing, driving and biking. He is the rock and support that keeps us all together. He’s still working from the bedroom. He’s been a good sport about the whole situation.  Paul had a bitter-sweet reunion with aunts, uncles and cousins in Wyoming when he was able to attend his sweet Grandma Kay’s funeral. We are grateful for her good example of love and sacrifice, and grateful for her reunion with her sweetheart, Grandpa Gary just days before their anniversary. What a marvelous moment that must have been! Paul has spent a lot of time with Molly’s “honey-do” list as we figure out projects for the house and yard. Paul also got to spend some time hiking with his brother, John in El Paso. They’ll have to do more of those trips in the future! Work is beginning to require more travel as things open up. Although Paul doesn’t necessarily like to travel, we’re sure he enjoys getting out of the bedroom/office! 

We are grateful for another year of learning and loving.  We are grateful for the knowledge of our Savior, Jesus Christ, for his birth and life and the example He has set for us. As Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf has said, “As we emulate His perfect example, our hands become His hands, our eyes His eyes, our heart His heart.” May we find opportunities to be more like Him, and that this new year finds us just a little more loving.

Much Love, 

The Burkinshaws

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Summer of 2022

(This may get graphic) This summer is one for the books. I'm writing about before the normal Christmas letter so I don't forget things. Our summer started the wednesday before Memorial Day. We went to Paul's parent's house in Owasso, Oklahoma for the weekend. We had a wonderful time spending time with grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, and cousins. We got a lot of sun and had a lot of fun! The Wednesday after, the twins left for girls camp. I also had a half-marathon in Utah that weekend. It was a lot fun! We had a good time running down Provo Canyon. We stayed up way too late talking. We got up way too early to run, but we had a good time! I got home Sunday night. Paul hopped on a plane Monday morning for Tucson for meetings. He got home Thursday morning, and within a few hours of landed, drove to Broken Bow, Oklahoma for Ewan's Deacon's Quorum camp. And, that my friends was the real beginning to our summer. Friday mid-morning I got a phone call from one of the dad's on the trip letting me that there had been an accident. Paul was talking, but they were in an ambulance, on their way to a helicopter pad to fly him to a hospital. They suspected that he broke his leg. They didn't know if they were going to send him to Dallas, Oklahoma City, or somewhere else. I said a few prayers, got a couple bags packed, called Paul's parents who were in Oklahoma City at the Temple there, called our ministering family, and waited to know where to go next. The phone call came, and they were flying him to Paris, Texas because there was an orthopedic surgeon who could perform the surgery on his leg. I jumped in the car, and drove over 2 hours to the hospital. I was on and off the phone with my parents, Paul's parents, our ministering family, and the men that were on the trip with Paul. Ewan stayed on the trip which turned out to be a good thing. I got to the hospital and found Paul in his bed with foam slips over his legs. He was still in his wet swimsuit and shirt, shoes and was shivering. After a few hours waiting for some answers, Paul had to use the restroom. There was blood. A lot of blood. I went and told a nurse. They said that he probably had some internal bleeding. They were waiting results of a CT scan and the X-Ray. Turns out, he broke his left femur around the greater trochanter, and had a hematoma on his right kidney. How you ask? Don't worry, there is a video. I won't post it, but don't worry, there's a video. They were going off a rope swing into the river they were kayaking down. Paul went a little higher up from his initial jumps. The rope had a little too much slack in it and flipped him funny into the water. There were some roots sticking up, which he landed on. The doctors moved him to an ICU room to await surgery the next morning. They got him in a gown and warmed up. We waited for doctors to come in. They scheduled the surgery for the next morning. Paul didn't have much of an appetite. The nurses and doctors tried to keep him comfortable with pain medication. I slept on the chair in the room that night. Not that great, or comfortable. The surgery was about an hour and a half. We met with the surgeon the next morning. Dr. Elliott was really nice. He's from Mesa, AZ. We got to chat for a few minutes. After surgery, Paul slept a lot. The pain in his leg wasn't as serious as the pain in his kidney. Apparently, as they were wheeling him into the surgery, the urologist got the CT film and determined that he had a fourth degree laceration of his right kidney. It was pretty bad. Although Paris has some amazing surgeons, they do not have the facilities or staff to treat a laceration like Paul's. So, they started doing the work to transfer him to Dallas. But, there were very few beds available at a Trauma I or II hospital. We waited for 4 hours on Sunday before they found him a bed at a Trauma II hospital in Ft. Worth, over an hour away from our house in Prosper. Meanwhile, I'm texting and calling Paul's Uncle Ryan who is a doctor, and a urologist on our Stake trying to cypher the labs and scans so I can understand what everyone is talking about. Soon a nurse came in and told us that Paul's body was so healthy that it was overcompensating for how sick he was. The urine and blood that was leaking around his kidney was making him septic and he could lose his kidney. I kind of freaked out, inside. So, we got all gathered up and headed back to Dallas. He got in the ambulance and I checked out of the hotel. Sidenote: Do not stay in the La Quinta in Paris, Texas. That is all I will say about that. I was a few minutes behind the ambulance, and Paul told me to go home and sleep. They weren't going to do anything that night. So, I went home. The next morning, I woke up early, drove the hour to the hospital, got there right as visiting hours opened, and then spent the day waiting. A trauma PA told us that he would have a procedure some time that day. So, Paul couldn't eat. I was so afraid of leaving the room. I worried that I would go get something to eat and then they would come and take him for the procedure. So, we waited. We waited for ten hours. At 5:30pm, they came and got him for a scan. It took maybe 15 minutes. When he came back, they told him that he could eat. Our sweet Relief Society President ordered us Panera soup. It was greatly appreciated. At 10:00pm, the urologist came in to tell us how bad his kidney was and that he was debating with the Interventional Radiologist on how to approach this case. I may have gotten a little sassy with him. I was really tired and frustrated. And, no one had addressed the sepsis issue or talked to us about the treatment plan. I was frustrated because I felt like this was an emergency, and no one seemed to be treating it like one. I asked what time they would do the procedure the next morning because I didn't want Paul to not get treated for ten hours the next day, again. We were told that we were 3rd, maybe 5th on the list, but could be bumped if an emergency came in. Wasn't this an emergency? So, Paul sent me home to rest. I cried and talked to my parents the whole hour. I woke up, showered and left before 6am the next morning. When I got to the room, he wasn't there. The Physical Therapist had come and taken him for a walk up and down the hall. I will admit that I rehearsed a really good speech on my drive to the hospital. Watching Paul's frail body walk gingerly up the hall only aggravated me more. After we got him settled back in bed, the trauma PA came in with some nurses doing the rounds, and I had it. I am really non-confrontational. I don't normally say anything. I just let things go and really try to be a peacemaker. But, I could tell that Paul had lost weight. He was in pain. And there was very little being done to treat whatever was going on inside of him. So, I asked if I needed to get him to a hospital that would actually treat him. I told them that I had a walker in the car and that I would drive him myself if they wouldn't treat him or wouldn't release him. I expressed my frustration on the waiting time and how I was told that he had sepsis. Do you know how many people die of sepsis? Yeah, I told them, I looked it up. I told the PA that if I didn't take him home, or if he lost his kidney, my eight children would be going to the best universities in the world, and that the hospital would be named The Paul Burkinshaw Memorial Hospital because I would sue and I would win. I was not going to let him be just another case number, especially when they told me that he was a priority. I asked her if she knew the definition of the word `priority’ and then I told her that it meant ONE, you don't have prioritIES, you have prioritY, and he needed to be first on that list to have the procedure done. She said that she understood my frustration and that if I wanted to speak to a patient advocate, I was welcome to. And then she left with the nurses who all looked terrified of this little 5'2 lady. A few minutes later, the trauma doctor came in and I gave him a less heated speech, but with the same message. He apologized several times. Told me that they should have come in and talked to us the day before about the plan. Paul was not going to lose his kidney and he did not have sepsis. He said that they were fully equipped to do the job, and that they would do what needed to be done. They were letting his body rest and letting his kidney rest. Twenty minutes later, they were wheeling Paul down for pre-op. And then we sat in pre-op for three hours. The nurse that checked us in left for lunch. Paul's IV started leaking all over his bed and gown. I had to go around the corner several times asking what was going on, and it seemed like no one knew and no one knew where our nurse went. So, they cleaned him, changed his gown, called the operating room, and then things started to move. I think I frightened more than a few nurses and hospital staff with my "no nonsense" look. After a kiss goodbye, they wheeled him in for a stent placement. The surgical liaison took me upstairs, and I'm pretty sure the doctor warned her to tread lightly. She gave me a bunch of food vouchers commenting that it looked like I hadn't eaten in days, and a bunch of parking validation stickers. I just asked her if there was a room with a couch so I could lie down for a little while. Forty-five minutes later, the procedure was done. The trauma surgeon and the urologist came and told me that it was the best case scenario. He was in post-op and needed to rest. So, Paul slept. They kept us overnight to monitor fluids and pain. Paul's brother-in-law is from Ft. Worth, and his good parents offered to let me stay at their house while I was going back and forth and didn't know how long Paul would be recovering in the hospital. It was 20 minutes away and wonderful. His mother is an amazing cook! The best scones I have ever had! And, she is the sweetest lady ever! The next morning, I came back to the hospital and he was gone, again. The bed was gone. They had taken him for another scan and to see if they needed to put a drain in his back. They gave him some funky pain stuff that left him hallucinating, not being able to focus, and having a hard time resting. But, they didn't need to put the drain in and things were starting to look better. The urologist was a rotating doctor, so he was already gone. The trauma doctor came in, apologizing again for all the stuff we had been through. I apologized for the emotional outburst to which he said he completely understood and the hospital should have handled things differently. Paul's sister, Jenny was in town and stopped by the hospital for a few hours to visit and check on him. It was good to see her. Again, we just waited. He was doing better, but the pain was getting worse. I went and slept , but came back the next morning to him not having a very good night. He was in a lot of pain and the nurses and doctor were trying to manage it. They were trying to get him off the IV stuff, and move to oral pain meds that would go home with us. So, they kept him another night. The next morning, the doctor wouldn't release him until we had a urologist to follow up with. They also put a catheter in. Not fun. They were really struggling to find a urologist that would answer calls and could see him in a few days at the latest. I had been in contact with the urologist in our stake and he said that he would take the case. However, when the nurses at the hospital tried to call his office to get an appointment, they couldn't get him in until August. The urologist was in surgeries that day, so I sent a text to his wife, and he called Paul in between surgeries and got him in on Tuesday. Paul could finally get discharged! YAY! We got home, but the pharmacy and insurance company wouldn't approve any more pain meds for him. We had to get the trauma doctor to call the insurance company and the pharmacy so we could get everything filled. It was a bit of a mess, and Paul was in a lot of pain. But, we did it. We were able to get all the doctors' appointments scheduled, and pain meds managed. We are so grateful for the many prayers, calls, texts, and outpouring of love we received. We truly experienced many miracles and are so grateful for priesthood blessings. It has been very different being on the receiving end of such an outpouring of service. Our ward was amazing! Our Relief Society President contacted the Elder's Quorum President in Paris. He and a member of the bishopric up there came to the hospital and gave Paul a blessing before his surgery. They offered their home to me so I could shower. We left in such a hurry, I was unable to. Our ward took care of the kids until Paul's parents could get down to Prosper. They took the kids to church, and then took them to Owasso as Paul and I navigated all the medical stuff. The ward provided crutches, a shower chair, wedge pillows, almost three weeks of meals, and much needed prayers, love and support. Our ministering brother is in the Stake Presidency, and brought the other counselor to the hospital in Ft. Worth to give Paul a blessing. They also checked in with texts and phone calls. It has truly been humbling to experience such love and service. We've also learned that one can get a UTI from prolonged catheterization. That was not a fun couple of days. Paul's parents were amazing. They took the kids for two weeks. The kids had a better summer than we had planned swimming, parking, exploring, having cousin time, and enjoying grandma and grandpa. It was such a blessing. Paul is on the mend. His kidney looks good. It's not perfect, but after many scans, it appears to be draining and functioning. His leg is healing. He's no longer on crutches. He has a little limp, but he is working on muscle strength and mobility to regain his range of motion and endurance. He rides his bike, walks around the neighborhood, and is looking forward to running a half-marathon with me in a year or so (hahaha, maybe that's just my plan!) But, he is doing well, and we are so grateful.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Merry Christmas 2020

 Merry Christmas 2020

Whew! 2020 is definitely a year to remember! We are sure there are many who are grateful for the end. Although this year has given us opportunity to face many challenges, it has also given us the opportunity to turn closer to the Lord, to our family, to our community, and to reflect on the many blessings we are grateful for.  We are grateful for the lessons that we learned, and hope to continue learning and growing. Here is our 2020 rundown!

Emerson (1) is certainly teaching us lessons on patience. He is busy, busy, busy! He loves to climb on chairs, tables, counters, desks, stools...he’s a climber! Emerson loves being outside. He comes running to the door when any noise is made in that direction. He knows how to say “shoes”, “more”, “cheese”, “please”, “DADDY”, “mamma”, “nanno” (candy), and many more. His vocabulary grows every day. He’s anxious to communicate in order to get people moving his way quickly. Emerson loves the tub! With his independent eating habits, he may take a bath 3 times a day. He loves to snuggle for hugs and open mouth kisses. Emerson is a budding artist. His artwork is displayed on many walls and doors throughout the house. He knows he’s not supposed to, but his coy smile and sheepish grin have kept him alive these last few months of pencil and crayon discovery. We love him so!

Isobel (2) is only still when Mickey Mouse, Charlie Brown, or Tinkerbell are on the TV. She may have watched a little too much TV as we navigated elearning and a summer without a community pool. Isobel is all about dresses and shoes. She only wears dresses which is proving to be a little chilly this winter. Her vocabulary is exploding! She can talk nonstop! We love hearing her sweet little voice when she is happy! But, you don’t want to make her angry…! Isobel loves to go on walks to the park, put together towers with Magnablocks, and jump on the trampoline. Her favorite pastime is getting “cozy, cozy” with her blanket on the couch and watching a movie with Mom during Emerson’s naptime. She takes naps 3-4 times a week, but we can’t leave her in there for too long...We now own a carpet cleaner ;) We are so grateful for her! 

Adelaide (5) loves kindergarten! She is the most excited little girl when she’s going and when she comes home. Adelaide will talk nonstop about all her friends (they are all her very best friends), and her wonderful teacher, Mrs. Hutchinson. She is a proud Hutchinson Hippo! Adelaide is a developing reader and loves to sit on the couch with her library books and read all the words she knows. She is quick to point them out during scripture study. Adelaide loves being a big sister! Although Isobel is catching up to her quickly, Adelaide still tries to pick her up and take her around the house. She loves playing with her neighbor friends, and is quick to get her after school jobs done so she can run and play with them. We are so glad we have found good friends in the neighborhood who love ours like their own. Adelaide makes friends wherever she goes! We are so glad she is ours!

Esme (6) loves being back in school! We have decided that elearning is not the best for kindergarten or first grade. It was a hard semester of kindergarten, but we got through it! She loves to read, and can’t wait to go through her books and word lists when she gets home from school. Esme played soccer this Fall and loved every minute of it! She is fast! Esme can run that ball down the field. She liked playing goalie because she could practice her yoga while in the goal…! She’s also hilarious! She loves to tell stories and get people laughing. Esme also loves to run around the neighborhood with friends. We are so glad we live close to the park so she can ride her bike with the big kids. She is a speed demon! She zips around on the sidewalks and would beat Molly to and from her practices. We love her zest!

Elin (9) was not a fan of quarantine. Her prayers were usually laced with “please, end quarantine so I can see my friends!” “Make Covid-19 go away so we can get back to life”. She has made many good friends in the neighborhood. She loves fiercely! Her favorite activity this year has been “late nights”. She gets to have a few friends over for pizza, a movie, and plenty of candy. There’s not a week that goes by that she’s not trying to convince Mom and Dad that she needs to have a late night. She began violin this Fall and loves it! Elin is loving 4th grade. She is excelling in Math and Reading. She enjoys Texas History, and knows all about the Native Americans in the area. She likes to quiz Molly because Molly has no idea about Texas History. Paul lived in Houston during elementary, so he knows a thing or two...We love our Elin!

Ewan (11) has enjoyed a year of running the neighborhood, discovering a treehouse, fishing in the nearby pond, and living his best boylife. Elearning may have been made for him, but he missed the interaction with friends and teachers and getting more hands-on experiences with his GT program. Ewan would get all his elearning work done before 9am and have the rest of the day to devour books, beat his dad at Super Smash Brothers on the Switch, ride his bike with friends around the neighborhood, or pester his sisters. Some days, the latter was his favorite pastime. He may have it down to an art! He recently took up Zoom cello lessons with the sweet lady who taught Molly’s brothers. He loves the challenge, and Molly loves having one more thing to keep him busy and engage his ever inquisitive mind.  Ewan loves building towers for Emerson to destroy, and carrying around his “little buddy”. We’re so glad he’s enjoying life!

Aislee (12) was not too happy about elearning, but she thought having Spring Break for 3 months wasn’t so bad. The worst part of being quarantined was not being able to go to the pool and cool off when the hot and humid Texas summer hit. Although Aislee’s summer plans may not have been realized, she enjoyed bike rides, hanging out with some close friends, and reading countless books. She also discovered more cute boys. How, one might ask when most of their faces are covered? Well, they seem to have cute eyes...Aislee continues to enjoy choir, running cross-country, and debating with Mom and Dad over “reasons 12 year olds should have smartphones.” She may have to take a debate class in highschool if she wants to win. Aislee is the first up in the morning, unloading the dishwasher and preparing her breakfast. She likes to get things done before anyone else begins to rouse. We love her energy!

Olivia (12) is grateful to be interacting with people outside of her house! 2020 brought on some challenges with elearning, social isolation, and not being able to go to the pool. She did enjoy getting her school done quickly and being able to blow through books with Aislee and Ewan. Olivia may have read every chapter book in the house! She too has discovered cute boys and enjoys some playful banter with her sister over who is the cutest boy they know. Olivia continues to enjoy playing the violin, running cross-country, and writing stories. Masks are not her favorite, but she has been a good sport about it. It if means seeing friends, she will find the cutest one we have! Olivia and Aislee are enjoying some “big kid” freedom with bike rides around the neighborhood with friends and going to YW activities. It has been so fun seeing Olivia come out of her shell more this year! She is a lot of fun!

Molly thought 2019 was a challenge! 2020 has proved to be another memorable year. She has seen how the Lord has prepared her for the challenges of this year. She has been grateful for grocery pick-up, having a little experience with homeschooling, and having Paul home for dinner every night. It was nice to have him not traveling as often. We ventured to Utah for a short trip in June. Molly was able to attend her brother, Coy’s sealing to his sweet wife Kara. During the break, we enjoyed some hiking and swimming in St. George, Utah. Molly has enjoyed early-morning runs with Paul, eating lunch together, and being able to pop her head in to say “Hi” when the littles are asleep. She is looking forward to a half-marathon in 2021, getting out of the house a bit more, and seeing family. Again, she is grateful for a healthy body that allows her to keep up with the many happenings of a large family!

Paul’s 2020 hasn’t looked the way he probably planned or hoped, but he has taken what has come the way he does everything--with the flow. He turned a corner of the master bedroom into an office that started with a small plastic chair, a folding table, and his laptop and monitors. It has evolved to a raised folding table, an office chair, a few more stacks of paper, and his monitors. Molly is positive that he is looking forward to returning to the office so his many coworkers won’t hear, “Please, be quiet! Your dad is in a meeting!” There have been so many meetings! The summer brought a large project at work with long hours, more meetings, and stress. But, he got it done! Now that we have 12 year olds, Paul has enjoyed taking Molly out for weekly dates so he can get out of the bedroom he spends 20+ hours in a day! Costco and then lunch or dinner is the norm. They have found a few places they really enjoy, and some that their taste buds did not. There is a lot more variety here than they were used to! Paul is grateful for the opportunity to work, the time to play, and the many adventures 2020 brought! 

Well, that’s our Burkinshaw rundown. 2020 has brought challenges, but many opportunities. We have seen the love of the Lord in the love shown to us by our friends and family. Although this year has been hard, we have found that as we focus on the blessings that come from these challenges and choose to be grateful, we see more good and more things to be grateful for. May we look for the good and choose as President Gordon B. Hinckley has instructed us,  “It is a responsibility divinely laid upon us to bear one another’s burdens, to strengthen one another, to encourage one another, to lift one another, to look for the good in one another, and to emphasize that good.” We know that Jesus Christ lives and that our Father in Heaven loves us. May the Spirit of the Lord rest with you and yours always. 

Much Love, The Burkinshaws

Friday, January 24, 2020

Merry Christmas 2019

Merry Christmas 2019

As this year has come to a close, we are grateful for the opportunity to reflect on lessons learned, opportunities taken, and lots of change. This year has proven to be filled with change, challenges, and charging along life’s journey. We have learned many lessons and made many memories. Here is our yearly rundown.

Emerson Timothy joined our family July 26 at 39 weeks. He weighed 8lbs 3 ounces and was 19.5 inches long. We are so grateful he made it safely! His delivery could have been scary had it not been for a skillful and patient doctor and calm nurses. Things got quite busy after he came! His arrival was less than a week before the movers began packing up the house! Emerson moved half-way across the country at a week old. He has been a happy and giggly baby. He loves to be held. (All. Through. The. Night.) Emerson is pretty quiet. He’s just the most content baby! We are so grateful for his little spirit in our home.

Isobel (1) has become a very busy toddler. When she is awake, she is constantly moving! Isobel still takes a good 4 hour nap, and is usually ready for bed around 7:30pm. She’s a good eater, but definitely lets us know when she is done  sitting in her chair. She’s learning new sounds and new words every day! Isobel is often heard saying, “Uh oh”, “water”, “more”, and “hot!” She loves to tag along with Adelaide and mimics everything she does. Isobel loves to hold her baby, and act like his mommy. She’ll wipe his nose, try to change his diaper, and give him his pacifier when he’s sad. We love having her in our family!

Adelaide (4) loves being the big kid at home. She’s pretty good at taking charge. Adelaide likes having Isobel follow her around, and loves to hold Emerson as soon as he wakes up for naps whether or not he likes it...She’s in a coop preschool two days a week. Adelaide is the only girl in the group and loves being the “mommy” whenever they play house. She’s learning all her sounds, numbers, and all about the days of the week, animals and who Batman, Spiderman, and Captain America are. We are grateful for the spice she brings to our lives!

Esme (5) is in kindergarten! She thought this day would never come! Esme loves Mrs. Dunbar and art. She’s not a big fan of PE. She does not like Yoga. Esme is constantly moving at home. She loves to sing and dance and draw pictures. She often finds her way to the big girls’ room to claim their things, declaring that she, too, is one of the big kids! Esme is sorely missed by Adelaide when she is at school. As soon as she’s off the bus, they are joined at the hip! Full-day kindergarten is a long day for a 5 year old, and some days bedtime can not come fast enough, but she loves to learn! We are so glad she’s ours!

Elin (8) chose to be baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in May, the day before Uncle Jace got married. She loved that she had family around to share her special day, and the pizza and ice cream. Elin has a sweet tooth and loves candy! She is enjoying 3rd grade with Ms. Harvey and making new friends. She misses her friends back in Arizona and begs to FaceTime most weekends. Elin’s favorite day of the week is Friday for movies and candy. She sure is sweet!

Ewan (10) finally has a brother! His life just may be complete. He is adjusting well to a new school and a new city. He made quick friends with some boys in the neighborhood. Living close to a large park makes it very convenient for bike rides, pick up soccer and basketball games. Ewan asked for a TinkerCrate subscription for his birthday. He loves building and discovering new things. Ewan’s teacher commented at Parent/Teacher Conferences that he’s the sweetest, most thoughtful boy in her class especially with all the girls. We’re hoping that’ll carry over to home with his sisters…! We are grateful for his goodness! 

Aislee (11) has jumped right into middle school life. She has gotten quite involved in choir and the socialization of the preteen world. Aislee has asked for a phone more times than we can count. We’re just going to hold off on that one for as long as we can! Aislee has discovered a larger world of reading than Harry Potter. She has her nose in a book most days when she’s not singing all over the house!  Moving can be hard, but Aislee has accepted the challenge with determination and perseverance. Although she misses her friends in Arizona, she is determined to make Texas her home! Aislee is nothing if not determined! We are grateful for her good attitude. 

Olivia (11) enjoys more space in our new home. She has been able to read in a quiet place! Olivia has also jumped in to middle school with both feet! After homeschooling in the Spring, we worried that the adjustment would be a challenge. But, Olivia has done great! She loves her art and orchestra classes!  She will be starting private lessons at the new year. Olivia is a wonderful helper at home. She enjoys keeping things tidy and organized. It is such a blessing to have her so ready to serve. She’s looking forward to running cross-country as a 7th grader. We are grateful for her goodness!

Molly is probably most looking forward to 2019 being over! This year has been challenging, but there have been so many tender mercies from the Lord. Molly’s mom was able to come to Arizona while Paul and Molly visited his parents in London for a week. They got to see so many amazing things, visit amazing historical places, and enjoy each other’s company. Molly can now say she has thrown-up on two continents! The year just got busier with brothers getting married, going on missions, and coming home from missions. Molly spent a lot of time traveling between Tucson and Cedar City, Utah. After the move to Texas, Molly got a head cold which developed into a really bad ear infection. After a trip to Urgent Care and the Emergency Room with some facial paralysis, Molly was able to get the necessary treatment to help her recover. We’re on the mend! She is grateful for a healthy body that allows her to keep up with the busyness of the family.

Paul has been all over this year! He loved running through Hyde Park, walking around Piccadilly’s Circus, and...driving from Tucson to Dallas. Traveling with seven young children, a newborn, and a recovering mommy across the country is quite the adventure!  As we explored the possibility of moving, Paul interviewed all over. We decided to stay with Ryatheon, but move to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. It has been a great opportunity for the growth of our family. He’s put on the “mom” hat while Molly struggled with morning sickness, rested from delivery, and recovered from infections. He has been quite the trooper this year. He’s glad Molly is feeling much better, and is also looking forward to what 2020 will bring! Sleep, perhaps?!?

Well, that’s our Burkinshaw rundown. 2019 has been quite the year. We tried our hand at homeschooling. We added a new baby to our family. We moved from Tucson, Arizona to Prosper, Texas. Things have changed. Things have been challenging. Things have been good! We are so grateful for this time of year. We are grateful for the opportunity to reflect on the birth and life of our Savior. His example stands Supreme of how we should be. May we remember the Gifts that He has given us. He has given us the gift to love, the gift to forgive, the gift to repent, and a promise of everlasting life. Let us remember the Gifts that have come from Jesus Christ and strive every day to be a little better. May this time of year find you well. We love you all and are grateful for your examples to us.

Much Love, The Burkinshaws