Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011!

Dear Friends and Family,

If you read the blog or follow on Facebook, none of this will be news to you. Nevertheless, some traditions die hard and we feel the need yet again to sum up our year in a page and subject you all to it…:)

Matt’s International assignment at work that had him so excited this time last year ended up taking him to the exotic locations of Salt Lake City, UT and Atlanta, GA. To make up for the lack of adventure, this Spring he dove into a tank of sharks and rescued 2 people from drowning. We were at a Disney water park but the danger and the sharks were very real! To prove that his rescue skills weren’t a fluke, the very next day he used the Heimlich maneuver to save Xander, who now agrees that a hot dog is more than a two-bite endeavor… Matt enjoys serving as the Young Men’s president at church and all of the dutch-oven cooking, fishing, boating, and sail
plane adventures that have come along with it this year. In his spare time, you can find him puking, I mean sweating his way through P90X.

Jenn’s 2011 hobbies have included working through Dave Ramsey’s baby steps (slowly), elevating couponing to the level of contact sport, and amateur photography. Jenn teaches the 10 and 11 year olds at church and traded leading Xander’s Tiger den for Noah’s Webelos in the Fall. Lowlights of the year were a 45 minute adventure capturing and removing a frog from the bedroom and going almost 2 weeks without a stove/oven. Highlights were a Spring visit from Mom, Dad and Grandma (who hadn’t been on an airplane for 31 years!), touching Pat Monahan at the Train concert, and a visit to California (with no kids!) in November.

Taylor (16) was thrilled to have visits from two of his Tucson friends-Kyle Kadous and family in January, and Nathan Young and family during the summer. In July, Taylor and Matt headed to New Mexico for a two week, 100 mile survival hike at Philmont Scout Ranch. Taylor seriously loves his 5 AP classes, taking his metal detector to the beach, eating cereal by the box and
seminary-induced afternoon napping. He recently went on his first date-the Usher and Akon concert with his mom…

Audrey (13) got braces on this year. She loves babysitting, dogsitting and meeting her friends for pizza every Monday after school. For her YW project, she made scrapbooks for herself and each of her siblings that hold all of their school-related keepsakes. Audrey’s favorite summer activity was going to Adventure Island Water Park with friends. She loves her flat iron, Featherlocks and has made the definitive decision that she would like to be proposed to in a gazebo.

Noah (10) recently revealed that when he is stressed out, he visualizes himself in his ‘happy
place’-sitting in science class doing an experiment. He’s made sure that we made good use of our
annual passes to Kennedy Space Center this year and enjoyed attending a presentation by Bill Nye The Science Guy. He also enjoyed attending Webelos Scout Camp this summer and growing carrots in pots on the pool deck. He was bummed that due to cloud cover, we had to watch the final Space Shuttle launch on TV instead of from the front yard.

Xander (8) played soccer this year, lost his first tooth via the doorknob method, and grew his hair out ‘like Justin Bieber.’ That lasted a few months until he announced that he was ready to cut it all off and go back to ‘nerd hair.’ (Glad to know there is a name for mom’s home haircuts…) Xander was baptized in September and was very happy that Grandma Debbie and Cousin Thorin were able to be there. Xander is enjoying being a Wolf in cub scouts and portrayed a fabulous Orville Wright for his Halloween boo-ography report at school.

Meili (3.5) has declared that Daddy is her ‘best friend ever!’ and is enjoying her first year of preschool at Fishhawk Early Learning Center where she has earned the nickname, ‘The Cleaner.’ She has mastered the scooter, finally grown out of size 18 months clothing, and can sing just about any song that Ryan Seacrest plays. Meili enjoys painting Matt’s toenails, playdates with friends at the fountains and the park, and stealing gum out of Audrey’s purse. She was a pumpkin for Halloween and so it makes perfect sense to her that she should be Tinkerbell for Christmas.

We wish our friends and family near and far a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2012!

With Love,-Matt, Jenn, Taylor, Audrey, Noah, Xander & Meili Bouton