Friday, May 30, 2008

Kaittlin Picture

Wanted to include a picture of each kid with their post, but forgot before I published. Here is a picture of Kaittlin last summer in our yard. I have other pictures, probably better ones, but they are still on the camera....maybe later...


Ok, I will start my family update with Kaittlin. She is 16 years old and just finishing up her sophomore year at St. Maries High School. In elementary and middle school she was a quiet, studious child who was apt to be found immersed in a book. She also tended to be a target for bullies. During those years she played T-ball, basketball, and soccer but had to stop all of those sports due to severe leg and foot pain, which we found out later was due to a flat foot issue which is now being treated by Shriner's Hospital.

During her 9th grade year Kaittlin took a weight training class. She excelled at it, breaking a school record within her first 3 months of taking the class. Her weight training teacher was an amazing man who drew her out of her shell with positive feedback and genuine interest. The result has been a unique transformation. She is now confident, goal oriented, out spoken (sometimes a little too much), and afraid of nothing. Sadly that particular teacher has left our district, but he really did change her life.

In middle school Kaittlin discovered volleyball which she fell in love with. Treatment and weight training has made her foot pain bearable and she has played both school and club volleyball ever since. She has recently made the decision to not play volleyball any more. The sport is a very important one here in St. Maries and is highly competitive and very political. She feels like she could better enjoy her high school years without the pressure and drama that seems to come with volleyball.

In her 8th grade year Kaittlin tried track. Her upper body strength, along with the weight training has made her a natural at shot put and discus. She did well both her 8th & 9th grade years and was on track to a state berth this year, but was sidelined with a shoulder injury. She was able to participate in the district tournament, but it was her first meet back after 3 weeks off and her performance suffered. She has also participated in the long jump, which earns her some teasing as she is likely the shortest girl in the entire high school.

Recently Kaittlin was selected to receive a scholarship to the largest throwing camp in the United States. It is located at Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington and is a one week long camp during the month of July. The scholarship will allow her to attend free of charge. We are all very excited about that!!!

High school has not come easy for Kaittlin. She really has to work hard and study for her grades, but she has a goal in mind. She is very interested in attending college after high school to earn a degree in secondary education. She would like to teach science or math.

As soon as school is out Kaittlin is looking forward to starting her second summer as a lifeguard at the city pool. She really enjoys life guarding. She is also looking for a second job this summer to fill in the hours as the lifeguard job is only about 20 hours per week. She does a FABULOUS job of saving her money, most of her paychecks go into her savings account for college, she saves very little out for spending money. She is a GREAT example for her brother & sister, who tend to spend as soon as the money arrives.

Kaittlin has her driver's license, but no car. Therefore, she is most eager to run errands for me or transport the younger kids to their events :). She and her dad are planning on stick shift lessons this summer. We would like to find an inexpensive car for her, but have not located one yet.

All in all, Kaittlin is a compliant, eager to please young lady who is quite responsible. We are very proud of her. She is a teenager, though, and during the past year we had some issues with her not being where she said she was, not doing what she said she was doing. She is learning from that experience that once trust is broken is takes a long time to regain it. It is a valuable lesson for anyone to learn and I think (I hope) that she is learning it. We think that Kaittlin is going to be an absolutely wonderful young adult and can't believe that in two years she will be on her own. Gosh, I pray that we have done, and continue to do what we need to do to get her ready.

So, those are the "Kaittlin Highlights". We will move on to Cassidy in the next several days, although it is graduation weekend so it might take a while.

Oh, yes...Kaittlin wanted me to mention that she HATES the color pink and is quite put out that I chose a blog template that is pink...(I think I will leave it that color until she stops complaining!) :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

St. Maries

I am posting again today simply because I am trying to figure out this site. After my first post I went home & attempted to access my blog. I managed to do that, but cannot figure out why there is not a way for a visitor to leave a comment. I have messed around with the settings & to the best of my knowledge have everything marked the way it should be to allow comments, but no change.

It occurred to me that perhaps I changed something that needed to be changed but it does not affect any postings that have already been done. So I am going to try this post & see if it fixes it.

I said that I would try to catch you all up, since it has been a really long time since some of you have heard from us on a regular basis. Before I make my way through the family members getting you all caught up I thought I would update everyone on where we live.

Nine years ago (yes, nine) we moved from Plummer to St. Maries. Mike had changed jobs a couple years prior & began working in St. Maries. As most of you know, I have worked here for a very long time. We bought a house up on a hill near the nursing home here in town. It is on a loop road which is not on the way to anywhere, which makes traffic very light.

The school system here is excellent, a bit bigger than we were used to in Plummer...about 100 graduating seniors each year. The kids are involved in school, sports, & other activities.

For those of you who have not been here, St. Maries is in beautiful country. At the confluence of two rivers the scenery is mountainous & very "North Idaho". Although we live within the city limits we regularly have deer in our yard & once a moose ran through. The community is very volunteer & service oriented which fits our family very well. There are tons of opportunities to be involved & help other people.

It took a while to "fit in" when we first moved here, however, after a couple years I decided that most of the problem was an attitude problem on my part...I wanted people to come to me & accept me as part of the community rather than going out & involving myself. Once I fixed the attitude I have really enjoyed it here.

All in all we are very happy with our move to St. Maries. I am going to post now & see if the settings I changed fix my problem.


This is my first blog post...I don't know how this is going to go, but have decided to give it a shot.

I have always viewed a blog as an online diary of sorts, where people share their thoughts & feelings, etc etc. Being a relative private person I always thought it was kind of weird to have a blog, why do I want everyone to know what I am thinking & feeling?

However, about 2 years ago a friend of mine was dealing with breast cancer. Her husband began a blog to help keep people updated on her condition. It became a favorite of mine, I checked their blog each morning when I arrived at work before I even checked my own email. After her death almost a year ago he continued to blog, sharing his grief & his struggles & giving us a window into his healing process. It was very healing for me to read his blog.

Recently I logged onto the blog of another friend of mine. A homeschooling mother of 8 children, she uses the blog to update family & friends on her family's activities, etc. I went back to the very beginning of her blog & read all of the posts (about a year & a half worth). I absolutely LOVED IT! Although we do not live a long ways away from each other, busy lives intervene & we do not see them nearly as often as we would like (Tracy, if you are reading this congratulations on your sweet new baby!). As I was working through her posts I came across the one where she posted her Christmas letter...the same one I received in the mail. That is when this idea was born.

One of my biggest guilts over the years has been my inability (unwillingness, laziness???) to get a Christmas letter out. Christmas comes at a very busy time of the year!!! :) That is when I decided that if I posted a blog that I could update more often than once a year perhaps I would be more successful in keeping the people I want to keep updated...well, updated!

So, here I am making my first meager attempt at blogging. I hope that I can manage to somehow keep up. I will spend the next several posts trying to get everyone updated on the progress of each member of our family. Stay tuned.....