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