Dear Friends and Family,
That wonderful and festive time of year is upon us once again. Time for us to send you the annual Smith family newsletter in which we brag about all the goings on of ourselves and our perfect children. We have spent the year entirely at home, so we could devote all of our time to making our house practically perfect in every way. Todd is a master craftsman and not a single project is left to be done around the house. Emilia has perfected all the old artisan methods of bread making, cheese making, butter churning, and (on a whim) basket weaving. All the boys are so quiet on a regular basis that their teachers are becoming a bit concerned about them being entirely too studious and not social enough. Not to fear, Dr. Phil had them on and we feel like we’re really working through their challenges with them now. In fact the other day, Caleb walked a few feet away from Emilia’s side and said hello to a complete stranger! It was a break-through!
HAPPY APRIL FOOLS’ DAY!!!
We Smiths seem to rarely be at home. In the past year we drove all over the country several times. We hung out in Chicago, at Mt. Rushmore, and Devil’s Tower on our way to a family reunion with Todd’s family in Utah and then quality time with all the Bradshaws in Wyoming. We also drove down to Florida twice. Caleb spent much of the cold Ohio winter asking if we could move to Florida. He and Nathaniel tried to further convince us to move by regularly wearing shorts and flip flops all winter long. (Though, when there was lots of snow, they did switch from flip flops to winter boots. Yes, they kept the shorts.)
Todd is still working at Chase bank and is very happy that his employer has nicely weathered the current banking storm. When not saving the world one piece of mail at a time, he can be found at the gym, playing Scramble or Word Twist on Facebook, or arranging music for his calling as ward choir director. He’s also still secretary for the Stake Young Men Presidency.
Emilia is still at home (or more accurately, shuttling boys all over the place in the car), though recently took on several piano and voice students and is very excited to realize that after a four year break, she still enjoys teaching private lessons. Her big excitement of the year was to take a trip out to San Francisco, where she joined some friends and hiked up to the Half Dome in Yosemite. She did a half marathon the previous spring to train for the event. She was also recently called as Relief Society President, much to the shock of all who know her. When not driving in the van, Emilia can be found reading or socializing both in person and virtually.
And now, the newest addition to our family: Jake! After nearly two years of waiting for the right adoptive fit for our family, Jake was placed with us in December. He is 16 and a native Ohioan. He’s a very talented actor and singer and has taken part in two musicals this year, and is now working on a part for a children’s show as well as several one act plays. He also plays the guitar and xbox 360. Like any self-respecting teenager, he likes to sleep and socialize. We are so happy that he’s agreed to become a part of our family.
Benjamin turned nine in March! Benjamin is having a great third grade year and is as affable as ever. Benjamin is still dancing and is on his 4th year of tap, and his 1st year of hip hop. He also recently discovered a love of “long” distance running, and was very excited to come in first in the class half mile. Benjamin loves to read and his parents have realized that they must take his book away when they turn out the light or they will find him reading in the dark a couple hours after bedtime.
Nathaniel LOVES kindergarten and has recently announced that he should just skip right to second grade because he already knows everything. He is involved with Gymnastics and loves running, tumbling, and swinging. Nathaniel has two great loves in life right now; numbers and the Wii. He frequently surprises us with his precociousness on both. Nathaniel also loves biology. When he gets sick he wants to learn all about the viruses that are making him ill. For the school science fair he made a clay model of some of the germs that cause ear infections and he now carries it fondly around with him.
Caleb is almost done with preschool and is excited to be joining his older brothers at full-day school next year. Caleb is still quite the fish and has a great time swimming. He was in heaven both times we were in Florida. Between the ocean and the salt water pools he was a very happy little boy. Caleb is also a devotee of all things Star Wars and every evil bad guy out there. He announced to us the other day after spreading his bread with jam all by himself, “Mom, when I grow up I am going to be a chef who spreads things. Or an astronaut. Instead of all of those creepy things.” (He had previously aspired to be the King of Vampires.)
We hope this letter finds you happy and healthy!