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