Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Christmas Card 2014

Happy Holidays
from the Burkinshaws

With the Holidays quickly approaching, and 2014 coming to a close, we'd like to give a yearly run-down of our happenings. We have learned a lot, and are very grateful for all that this year has blessed us with. We look forward to 2015 and more adventures!

Esme (7months) entered our family on May 7th, one day before Paul's 30th birthday. She came with dark hair, bright eyes, and a happy disposition. Esme is loved by all, especially her older siblings who often beg to wake her from naps, carry her around the house, and tickle her armpits. Although she may not enjoy their escapades as much as they do, she is patient but has quickly learned how to roll and crawl away to the nearest adult. Esme loves to be held, especially by Mom. It seems that she started the “mommy-only” phase a little earlier than the rest. She does enjoy Daddy when he gets home from work. He keeps her off the floor and away from her many adoring fans. Esme loves to splash in the tub, crawl all over the house in search of Mommy, and stand at her little piano making the lights flash. We are so grateful for her!

Elin (3) continues to keep us hopping. She loves being outside with Ewan and making as many messes as she can. Elin is full of spunk and sass. She's not afraid to tell anyone how she feels and what she wants. We were a little nervous having a “new” baby since Elin was the baby for a while, but she adores Esme. She's a good holding, rocking, singing and loving older sister. She has stated several times that she wants “more Esme's”. Elin has really gotten into drawing and coloring with the older kids. She is quite the artist and loves to cut “books” and give gifts to anyone who might stop by! Purple is Elin's favorite color and must be matched with as many hair bows she can find, as long as she has Elsa or Anna braids. Her favorite ensemble consists of purple shirts, jeans, a princess skirt and top, fairy wings, and a crown. Elin makes the world more colorful and fun to say the least!

Ewan (5) is the ring-leader of the “E” gang. He has big ideas and plans for his side-kicks. One morning, as Molly nursed Esme she saw flashes of children running from the kitchen to the playroom. After asking a few times, “What are you doing?” and having the “nothing” reply followed by snickers, she got a very strong whiff of dill. She put the baby down for her nap, and went to investigate. In the playroom kitchen were two little scientists mixing an “experience” as Ewan called it. They had gotten all of the spices and mixed them in all of the play dishes. It was very spicy! Life with Ewan is busy! He loves riding his scooter around the backyard, writing stories, coloring anything and everything, and checking the days off his calendar. Ewan is still a Daddy's-boy and has enjoyed making trips to the hardware store with Paul. He has his own tools, and is anxious to hammer and “fix” anything. We sure are glad he's ours!

Aislee (6) is becoming quite the lady. She loves 1st grade and Mrs. Mulay. She has become quite the reader and speller. Aislee is very detail oriented when it comes to homework. She likes to make all her letters look “fancy”. With the arrival of Esme, Aislee has become quite the little “mother”. She feels that she must involve Esme in all the things the big kids are doing, especially games that need a baby. Aislee is a big help with diaper and wipes runs, burp cloth endeavors, and blanket finding adventures. She still enjoys homework, but would rather be jumping on the trampoline or riding her bike in the backyard. We've had to find the right motivation! Aislee is still doing the piano, and is excellent! She will be playing Silent Night at her upcoming recital and is very excited! We are so grateful for her goodness in our home!

Olivia (6) is growing to be very independent. First grade was a little bit of an adjustment, but she too loves Mrs. Mulay! Olivia loves to read and write stories for everyone! We have to hide paper from her, or she'll go through a whole ream in a week! Olivia is very artistic and creative, and can be found dancing and acting out stories all over the house. She is a whirlwind to keep up with! Olivia is also a fantastic helper. She loves to set the table, and help unload the dishwasher. She is the first to ask to hold Esme when she gets home from school, and can't get enough of “peek-a-boo” games. Olivia has a sensitive streak. She often asks for hugs and quiet talks when she's had a hard day. Olivia is the first to say sorry and make things right when there is a hard situation. We are grateful for her peacemaking skills. Olivia still enjoys the piano, and will be playing Jingle Bells at her recital. She's learning that she can do hard things! We love her energy!

Although Molly was grateful for the end of morning sickness, adjusting to five has been...well, an adjustment. Life just seems to get busier! A few weeks after Esme's arrival, we went to Utah to say “good-bye” to Molly's younger brother, Jace. He is serving an LDS mission in the Phillipines for the next two years. A little over a month later, Molly and Esme took a plane ride to Salt Lake City for another goodbye for her grandfather who passed away due to complications after a car accident. We are grateful for the knowledge of the Atonement and Resurrection. We look forward to a glorious reunion! With Paul's last class of graduate school, Molly became a “single” parent of 5 for a few months. We don't know who was more relieved for that last day of class! It has been quite an experience! With the twins in full-day school, there has been more opportunities in the day for projects. The list seems to get longer and longer. Molly is again grateful for Raytheon Fridays, and no homework for Paul!

Paul turned the big 3-0 this year. Esme's due date was very close to his birthday, and with our track record, Paul did not want to share his birthday and anniversary with babies. We opted for an induction the day before. He also had another week left in one of his classes with a very large group project due. We are grateful to his mother for helping Molly recover and giving him the time he needed to finish with an A. Graduation was greatly anticipated towards the end of September! It has been a time-consuming and busy process, but Paul did it! We are very proud of all he accomplished! He is looking forward to finishing the backyard (this may be Molly talking), having time to read, enjoying a few more minutes of sleep, and spending more time with the family. We also went to Oklahoma over Fall break to visit Paul's parents before they leave for an LDS mission to Brazil in April 2015. We're grateful for their good example of love and service.

We are glad that 2014 is coming to a close! This year has been busy and sometimes difficult. But, we are grateful for all that we have learned. We are especially grateful for our Father in Heaven, our Savior Jesus Christ and for the blessings of the Gospel. As we soon enter a new year, we would like to strive to live the words spoken by President Gordon B. Hinckley, “May each of us be a little more kind, a little more thoughtful, a little more courteous... May we have the strength and the will to walk the extra mile in lifting up the feeble knees of those in distress. May God bless you and may His peace and His love be upon you and embrace your lives with an essence of goodness. We should make every effort to be like Christ—the one perfect and sinless example this world has ever seen.” May 2015 bring your home many blessings!

The Burkinshaws