Friday, December 19, 2008

Shields Kids 2008


I thought I'd write a little Christmas note here since I'm not sending a letter in a card this year. It seems like this year has gone by very quickly! We are glad to report that we are doing well.

Derek turned 12 in May and is now actively participating in Young Men's and Boy Scouts. He was able to attend the temple for the first time last month, which he loved. He is in 7th grade this year, and continues to excel at school. He plays the saxophone in the band and also played soccer on a city team. He has started getting taller and eating a lot more - I can feel the teenage years upon us!

Dustin is 10 and in the 5th grade. He switched schools this year, and has found everything to be quite a challenge. We are so proud of his determination and hard work. He spends many extra hours studying, and it is paying off. He has even started to enjoy reading more. He loves to play soccer and run. He started back with piano this year, also.

Kaylee is 7 going on 17. She loves playing with friends, pretending, and talking to herself! She is an avid reader and does very well in school. It is so nice to have another girl around the house - even if we both have our moody moments!

Brandon is 5 and has left Kaylee in the dust in the height and weight department. His speech is showing major improvements this year, and he is doing well in Kindergarten. He finds it hard to be the youngest child, and loves it when his brothers will include him in their play. My favorite thing is when he randomly whispers to us, "I love you." I will be so sad when he outgrows this last trace of "little boy."

Roger is still the Elders Quorum president in our ward and he continues to stay busy working for the Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. He is a super husband and father. I am serving as the Cubmaster in addition to playing the organ & piano at church. I still teach several piano students and have started substitute teaching a little bit this year now that all of the kids are in school. I also serve as the treasurer for the PTSO (like PTA) at the middle/high school charter school where Derek attends. We always manage to stay extremely busy.

As we have watched so many of our friends and family struggle with major challenges this year, we are so thankful for our blessings. We have enjoyed relatively good health, we still have employment, and our home and cars haven't had any major problems (knock on wood)! Most especially, we are thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and for the birth and life of our Savior. We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thanksgiving in South Carolina

I'm finally getting around to posting some pictures from our Thanksgiving trip to South Carolina. The weather was nice and chilly, and we had a great time visiting with family.
Abby & KayleeBrandon & Brian
Megan & Derek
Kaylee enjoying one of Grandpa Leckie's signature "seatbelt swings."
A rousing game of family football , organized by Justin.
A stop at Bald Rock near the NC state line. Some of the trees were still colorful, which was nice. (Table Rock in the background).
We hiked down the side of the rock. Kaylee got tired on the way back up. It was steep in places!
Grandma Leckie with most of the Grandkids near Hooker Falls.

We had such a nice Thanksgiving break. It was great to see Adam's family again. We're sad that Emily's family didn't make it this time, though (due to the fact that she was expecting her newest baby any day)!