Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Annual Smith Family Newsletter 2010

Hello, all!

Well, another year has passed us by and we find the Smith family still living out their idyllic lives in Ohio. 2009 was a complete delight. Easiest year ever. In fact we were desperately sad when we had to ring in 2010.

Happy April Fool's Day!!!

Not to offend anyone, but we were more than pleased to kick 2009 to the curb! It was a year of too much yuck. But also some really wonderful things.

We'll start with the wonderfulest of them all! Lilyanna Smith joined our family in January (technically a 2010 event, but still...) She is adored by her parents and 4 older brothers. And it looks like Emilia's blue eyes may have won again!! (Emilia views all eye color in her children as a genetic competition between her and Todd. The score now looks to be even.) Lilyanna is two months old now and as long and skinny as Benjamin was at the same age. She is very sweet and such a blessing to our family at this time. Emilia, though initially wary of a girl, has embraced the pink and flowers and patent leather shoes quite nicely.

Caleb. What does one say about Caleb? Caleb is a wonder to us all. He is fearless. In fact we went to see a movie this summer with some friends, and the 12 year old girl sat next to Caleb in the theater in case SHE got scared during the movie. He had a wonderful summer at our local pool club. He is quite the fish and also spent the summer flirting with all the cute middle school girls at the pool. He would flex his 5 year old biceps for them and smirk as they oohed and aahhhed and giggled. Then he'd confidently walk over to me and say, "Yeah. They think I'm cute." He's been enjoying all day Kindergarten this year and has really discovered a love of art. His other favorite love at the moment is LEGOs. A frequent quote uttered by him, "I'm a geek about LEGOs."

Nathaniel is in 1st grade and still knows everything. He also had a great summer at the pool and came so far in swimming (he started off the season reluctant to put his face in the water) that he's decided to join the swim team this summer. When winter weather forced him inside he turned to his LEGOs. Nathaniel has discovered a love of reading and has read nearly 50 chapter books this year. Nathaniel definitely keeps us on our toes and makes sure that when we tell him something we leave no loopholes. Lawyer in training perhaps?? Nathaniel also joined Emilia on a trip to San Francisco in the fall for a wedding, so he now feels like quite the world traveler.

Benjamin is in 4th grade and has set some really high academic goals for himself this year. We have been really proud of his diligence. Benjamin is 10 years old! (Todd and Emilia are still having a difficult time with his double digits.) When he turned nine, he received a present to go to a week-long dinosaur camp in Wyoming. There he learned how bones are cared for and processed in a museum, but also took part in an outdoor dig where the kids actually did find some bones! After camp was over he enjoyed the rest of his time out west visiting with relatives. He's still dancing and doing cub scouts and theater and being a great friend and brother. We are grateful to have Benjamin be part of our family.

Warren (mentioned last year as Jake) had his adoption finalized in August and changed his name. He was also baptized in April. Busy year! Warren, a junior in high school, has been actively involved in Worthington's extensive high school theater department. He can often be found helping to build sets when not rehearsing on stage for a show. He played the part of the Reverend Brown in "Inherit the Wind" and also the part of Conrad Birdie in "Bye Bye Birdie". It is always a treat to see him on stage, and it makes his brothers excited to participate in theater, too. As much as he loves theater, after a visit to New York City last April, he decided that Broadway isn't the place for him. He was unimpressed with the noise, dirt, and bustle of the city.

Emilia is still serving as Relief Society President in our congregation. Between discovering she was pregnant (with a girl even!) and nasty gall bladder issues, life was a little rough for her. But, Lilyanna has been born and the gall bladder has come out and all is well with the world. Emilia is really enjoying having a baby to love and cuddle. She still teaches piano lessons, and is studying to take the GREs so she can apply to grad school in the next few years. Because she is crazy.

Todd still works for Chase in their marketing department. After several years managing their list processing team, Todd recently moved over to support the Retail Strategy team. What this really means is that just when Emilia was able to explain what her husband did at work, he changed jobs. Last year Todd joined Toastmasters and has competed in several public speaking competitions. His humorous speech "Seven Habits of Mildly Effective People" took top prize at several levels of competition.

And there are the Smiths' in a nutshell. Come visit us in Ohio! It's lovely here... Well, in the Spring and Summer it's lovely. But WE are here. That's enough of a reason to come. Happy Spring, everyone! Hope you had a fun April Fool's Day!!


Todd, Emilia, Benjamin, Nathaniel, Caleb, Warren and Lilyanna


Anne Marie said...

Hooray for your April Fool's letter! This is seriously the highlight of my April 1st each year. Quite a year for you guys! Whew! Busy and crazy don't even begin to describe it. Do you think that Todd could post an excerpt (or all) of his "Seven Habits" speech? Sounds delightful.

Melissa said...

I love your April Fool's letter and I look forward to it every year! (I hope you get a book deal one day...) Please tell Todd that I teach the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens and would LOVE to hear his speech! Much love to your lovely family!

Jenn said...

Thanks for sharing your letter - I love it every year and look forward to hearing all the wonderful things that happen to your family. Miss you in NJ - but maybe we will be able to make a trip to Ohio one of these days.... would LOVE to see you!