Friday, December 11, 2009

Leavens Family - 2009

For those who get our Christmas Letter, via snail mail, this is the same text. Otherwise, enjoy the highlights from the Leavens Family in 2009:
Paul’s just finishing year 11 at Microsoft. After some changes at work, over the summer, Paul is now the Director over the Beta Group and a Technical Training Group. He’s also had some changes in church responsibilities, as of a few weeks ago. He is now on the Stake High Council. It’s pretty much a shift from one frying pan to another and should prove to be a welcome change and challenge – he’ll do just fine! Paul has gotten himself into tiptop physical shape again and now adds training for triathlons to his schedule (did one in June). He had a great time skiing, at Whistler, with Steve again and he and the kids spent many Fridays skiing at Stevens Pass. While, there were no BIG Mountain climbs, for Paul, this year, he did take the youth on three amazing, albeit challenging, hikes around Mt. Rainier at our Ward Youth Conference. (Note to others: when the National Geographic Hike book says, “Easy” – DO NOT believe it!)
My time and activities continue to revolve around my mom gig. Just when you think you’ve got things all CALM and MANAGEABLE, BAM!, your oldest graduates and ditches you for college! But never fear, the parenting continues long distance! I very much enjoyed my visit with family and friends in AZ, ID, UT and WA and am always planning and looking forward to further gatherings. Visiting with family and friends brings me some of my greatest joys. I’m now in the Relief Society (the women’s organization in our church) Presidency in my ward. Paul and I will celebrate our 20th anniversary a couple days after Christmas. Still happy and going strong! I’ve got a number of family history goals for the new year that consists of jiving my records with those at, scanning thousands of Leavens slides and Boyles photos and transcribing grandma Leavens’ journals. I’ve got a treasure trove, here, that needs to be shared!
The theme for Brianna’s year was CHANGE! She turned 18 in May and finished high school with a bang, on June 11th. She endured her senior year, to the end, with her experience as an editor on an award-winning yearbook staff, being the highlight! She was accepted to BYU, in February, and began on August 31st. She is learning the fine balance between hard work and having a great time. (You should check out her “stick figure dancing,” for her ward’s variety show, on Facebook.) She’s adapted well to being away from home for the first time - and so have we. It sure is a strange/different dynamic shift with her gone – we loved having her home for Thanksgiving and are excited for Christmas!
Mackenzie is 15 and a sophomore at Snohomish High School. She was NOT happy that Brianna had the audacity to leave her, this fall. She kept telling her, all summer, “Don’t leave, Nanna! I don’t wanna do your job!” The truth FINALLY came out. Kenzie HAS stepped up and is doing just fine with the new, “Biggest-Kid-at-Home,” role. Kenzie kept busy with Stake and Ward Youth Conferences, EFY and Girls’ Camp this summer. She’s is doing well in school and learning to manage the added load of tougher classes this year. The countdown is on until she’s 16 – “How long, Kenzie?” I ask, into the other room. “145 days!” she yells back.
Carly turned 12 in March and is a 7th grader at Centennial Middle School. She is in Young Womens now and was THRILLED to attend her first year of Girls’ Camp, in August, – as we knew she would! Middle School has been an adjustment, but she’s rising to the occasion and figuring out the routine and added responsibilities that come with having 6 different classes. While the routine of Middle School is new, Carly continues to do what she does best - add more and more friends to her collection. For example, she came home, the first day of school, with a list of her classes. But instead of homework to do in each class, she had listed all the kids she already knew in each one! She’s also gotten two awards, thus far, for helping others and showing respect! Qualities that will see her far! She LOVED her Drama class, first quarter – who couldn’t see that one?!?! And is really enjoying her Contemporary Dance class she’s taking. Performing is in this girl’s blood!

Aaron is 9, in the 5th grade and the last one at Machias Elementary. It was bittersweet to have the “old” school torn down in June. Machias is using the Freshman Campus, in town, for a year and a half, during construction of the new building. Aaron’s having a great year in Mrs. Chlebowski’s 4/5/6 class. He knows the routine now and has some good friends that he pals around with. He’s a good student and an avid reader. Aaron continues to LOVE cub scouts and had just as much fun at day camp, in July, as he did last year. A new thing, he enjoys, is observing and taking care of wild birds. What started out as MY hobby has turned into HIS. He fills the feeders and can tell you all about the different birds that visit our deck. Aaron got 5th place again, in the Great Pumpkin Race and just completed another successful soccer season. He’s also looking forward to the new ski season – let’s go for NO toboggan rides down the mountain this year, OK?!?!?!

I increase my interest and study of the Constitution and Founding Fathers and am continually watching the state of things. While we enjoy more freedom than anyone else, at any time in human history, I watch as these freedoms are being threatened on all fronts. I am prompted, daily, to study and share what our Founding Fathers fought so hard to establish. President Ezra Taft Benson once said, “I reverence the Constitution of the United States as a sacred document. To me its words are akin to the revelations of God, for God has placed His stamp of approval on the Constitution of this land. I testify that the God of heaven sent some of His choicest spirits to lay the foundation of this government, and He has sent other choice spirits to preserve it.” I’ve enlisted in this preservation. LET FREEDOM RING!


Holls said...

I always enjoy your christmas letters and they are always the first one to arrive..YIPEE!!

Holls said...

this is jean not holls.....oops!

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