Merry Christmas from the Finlaysons!
Or rather, Happy New Year! We travelled to Seattle for Christmas this year, and had no time to write before we left! So we hope you enjoyed a wonderful holiday and that this letter finds each one of you well. We still wanted to send you a quick update about our family.
Kurt still loves his work at Novell, but we just learned that Novell has been sold to another company, so we're not sure what that will mean for his future there. He has two teaching callings at church right now, teaching Sunday School to the 14-15 year olds and teaching Joshua's Sunbeam class (Josh is thrilled to have his daddy be his teacher!) Kurt loves to read on his Kindle, when he can catch a bit of quiet time. He plays basketball a few times a week and still claims to have a three-point shot that's "on fire!". I haven't actually been able to watch him play for years, so I just have to take his word for it.
Priscilla is busy with the four little ones, teaching and organizing preschools, carpooling kindergarten, dance classes, and music classes. I have been taking New Testament classes at BYU this fall in the evening and will continue through the winter and I am learning so much! I just got a calling teaching the New Testament to the 11-year-old Primary class, so my learning is being put to good use. I have had some health challenges this year, but all seems to be on the mend. My Christmas present this year was braces! (Thank goodness the picture was taken before they were put on…!) In two long years, I’ll have perfect teeth!
James is 8, and is now busy with Scouts on Mondays and Faith in God goals that he's working on. Kurt loved Scouts, so he spends time with James in the evenings helping him with it. He is reading the Book of Mormon on his own (with his parents) each night, and does lots of other reading too. He is still passionate about Pokemon and learned to play the trading game over Christmas with his cousins, uncles and Grandpa in Seattle, who all love to play it too! He is in a special writing class at school and loves writing his own stories on the computer. He is getting really good on the piano, and is a great helper.
Alexandra is 5, and taking creative dance and piano classes, both of which she loves. She still colors, paints, and draws, and now loves to beautify herself with play makeup. Reading is taking more time than with James, but she is getting it, thanks to her "Dick and Jane" books. She got a salon chair for Christmas and loves to do all her doll's and Little Ponies' hair, but is never happy about doing her own hair! She has endless friends to play with and is very social.
Joshua is 4 in two weeks. He spent the last year as a 3-year-old in nursery class (he was so bored by the end), so he is really ready for Sunbeams! He knows his letters and sounds and tries to read over Alexandra's shoulder all the time. Dora is still his favorite, and he colors, cuts, draws, and paints as well as his older sister. Luckily, he has a younger brother who is now big enough to play boy games with him (although Kaleb is a little rough for his liking). He loves books and will be a great reader as soon as mom is willing to teach him!
Kaleb just turned 2 but seems like he is 12. He talks well, runs, jumps, throws balls, wrestles everyone in the family ("Mom, Kaleb is choking me!" or "Mom, Kaleb is sitting on me!"), and just keeps up with his siblings. He is just so busy and intense--he loves and hugs and plays, then he demands and screams. Yet his intensity is endearing to us, and his little blond head makes him somehow look angelic...he fools everyone but his own family.
We sure loved visiting all of my family (and some of Kurt’s family too) in Seattle over Christmas and made lots of wonderful memories (including the three –day, 21-hour drive home in the snow)! Have a wonderful 2011!
Love, Kurt, Priscilla, James, Alexandra, Joshua, and Kaleb