Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Finale

2016 was a good year to the Miller family. I hope it was as good to everyone else too. Some of our favorite highlights were spending a few weeks this summer in Idaho and Utah with tons of family, and taking a Disney cruise in September with friends. It had been a while since we've done a 7 day cruise, so we really had a good time. 

The kids have been busy as ever.

Karalee Ilyana
Karalee just earned her 4th degree brown belt in Tae Kwon Do. It sure is fun to watch her do her thing. She performed some of her forms in the talent show on the cruise. It is not easy to test for the brown belt. The test was 2 1/2 hours long, and the kids got so tired. They have to do all of their forms, plus kicks, punches, and pushups. For this test, she also had to do sparring. It was pretty fun to see the girls barely tapping each other, and the boys next to them, full on brawling. She really enjoys sparring, though, even when she spars with the boys. She says that she gets hurt more playing basketball because in sparring, they are hitting and kicking in a way to not hurt each other, but in basketball, people just ram her unexpectedly. She has really enjoyed playing basketball again. Her team is undefeated so far this season. For 5th grade, they get to play full court press in the last 2 minutes. It makes for some exciting games, and it's great for Kara because defense is her strength. All of their games so far have been won in those last 2 minutes. Kara also took a Tae Kwon Do samurai camp with Evie. She really enjoyed getting to be a leader and an example for the younger kids. She participated again this year in a math competition. Last year she only qualified for the district level, and this year she passed at district, and gets to go on to the state competition in the spring. She is pretty excited. She qualified in individual and team both. If she qualifies at state, then she will get to go to Nationals in May. She has been taking 7th grade math this year, and likes going to her math class at the middle school every other morning at 6:45. Just kidding! She kind of hates getting up early and catching the bus in the cold, but she does like her teacher and the class. They have enough advanced 5th graders in the district, that they have their own class of just the 5th graders (and one 3rd grader). She is doing pretty well with pre-algebra and I can still kind of help her, though Ben is much better with it. When she is in Algebra, I will not be of much use. It took me 3 tries to pass that class. She is participating in special chorus again this year, and likes to sing. She also did Girls on the Run again this year, and I got to be a coach, so that was super fun. I liked being with the girls and helping them be motivated to run, and see their confidence grow. Kara missed several practices due to the math class, and also misses choir practice frequently. I appreciate the school and head GOTR coaches for including her anyway. At CCL she is in the gifted art component again, and for first semester they got to pick their own art related project. She chose to learn to make bows and purses, and then start up a shop to sell them. Her goal was to earn money to pay for her 5th grade trip to the Smoky Mountains. It was hard to be hands off, but I let her do it herself, and she got a lot more done than I thought she would. She did use a good amount of time designing her business cards and logos, so I suspect that was her actual favorite part of the project. She has sold some of the bows, and still wants to get a shop set up. Kara got a hamster for her birthday. She takes great care of Sprinkles, and sometimes I forget we even have her because Kara really does all of her care. She even pays for a pet sitter when we go out of town, and has typed up a 2 page care sheet for whoever is watching her. We have let Kara babysit her sisters a couple of times, but I think she would do better with other kids who are not her sisters. She still likes to fight with Keirsten too much. 
Kara's goal for 2017 is to stop eating green beans. I am not supportive of this goal. The person she most admires is Lucy Heartfelia (an anime character) because she is awesome and celestial. When she grows up she wants to be a geologist. For Christmas she got a few rock kits where the stones/gems are embedded in plaster, and she excavates them with little tools. It makes a big mess, but she really loves doing it. She had an archaeology class at CCL last spring, and they did similar things with plastic bugs the teacher put into plaster.  
This year, Kara finishes up at 59" (crazy!) and weighs in at 73.6lbs. She is finally catching up to some of her friends in height, so my worries of her shrimpiness may have been unfounded. After more than 2 years in a size 3 shoe, she finally hit size 4, and is edging up toward 4 1/2. I am glad because Kiersten had gotten to size 3, and I hated having them in the same size shoe. 

Kara's 2016 Favorites:
Favorite Color: seafoam green
Favorite Animal: Bengal tiger
Favorite Food: fetuccini alfredo
Favorite song: 24K Magic by Bruno Mars
Favorite Game: minecraft
Favorite Movie: Gremlins
Favorite TV Show: Adventures of Puss and Boots
Best Friend: Brooke
Favorite Playtime Activity: Lincoln logs
Favorite Toy: cotton candy machine
Favorite Non-playtime Activity: watching TV
Person she would most like to see right now: Hoser ( This is a cat...)
Favorite Outdoor Activity: playing in trees
Favorite Outfit: jeans and orange t-shirt that says, "I don't sweat, I glow"
Favorite activity with Mom: Watching movies with popcorn
Favorite activity with Dad: Playing Zelda; Hyrule Warriors on Wii U
Food she doesn't like: green beans
One thing she dislikes: The way divers at the Olympics stretch their arms before diving

Kiersten Joy
Kiersten has so many interests that we have to say no to a lot of things she wants to do. I really try to let her try things as much as we have time for. She loved her dance class earlier this year. Right after her recital in June, she definitely wanted to take dance again, but it ended up getting pushed out in favor of other sports, but she still gets jealous when I take Evie to dance class, so I think she might want to do it again in the future. She loved softball this year. We were with a different league this year, and I liked it better. We didn't have to travel very far for her games. She loved practicing at the batting cages, and also loved softball camp this summer. It was the hottest week of the summer, but she wants to do it again, so I think that's a good sign. Her team got to begin pitching for fall ball, so that really changed the game for them. She was not interested in learning to pitch, but really likes getting hits. She is really close with the girls on her team, and they have a great time playing together. She also played soccer again. Her team scored 4th place in the pre season tournament, and ended up winning their soccer division for the fall. She loves playing goalie, and really is pretty good at it. I couldn't do what she does out there. She got to do Girls on the Run for the first time this year. She absolutely loved it, and I had a hard time keeping up with her. It's sure different than running with Kara (who I have to drag along with me at times). She also really soaked up all the lessons on self esteem, being kind, being positive, etc. That was right up her alley. She is also playing basketball for the first time. She is one of the most aggressive players on her team. In her first game she sort of backed off a bit, so I told her to pretend that all of those girls are Kara, and that actually helps her play better. She loves few things more than beating Kara at games/sports. At CCL for the first semester she was in a sound studio class. She enjoyed learning about music and recording. For her final project, her group got to write and record their own "album". She was very proud of that, but also nervous and a little embarrassed for us to hear her singing on one of the tracks. It was really cute. She also did kaleidoscope classes on viral videos and art history. She liked making her own little art museum inside a shoe box. She is also eagerly looking forward to her fencing class that begins in January. 
Kiersten's goal for 2017 is to not fight with her sisters. She will likely not be successful. The person she admires is me, of course. She said she admires her mom because I'm nice and take good care of her. She has hopes to be a football player when she grows up. She can not be dissuaded from this dream, and there is no reason she should have to be. I hope she gets to see it come true. Kiersten weighs 57.2lbs, and is right on Kara's heels at 53 1/2" tall. Next year she will be tall enough to ride the Batman and Mr. Freeze rides at 6 Flags, so she is looking forward to that. 

Kiersten's 2016 Favorites:
Favorite Color: ocean blue
Favorite Animal: panda & koala
Favorite Food: spinach (I tried to call her out on this, but she insists it's true)
Favorite Song: 24K Magic by Bruno Mars
Favorite Game: Disney Infinity 3.0
Favorite Movie: Jumanji (Really! After 8 years of sticking with The Little Mermaid, it has           finally been usurped by Jumanji of all movies?!?)
Favorite TV Show: Mighty Magiswords
Best Friend: Teagan
Favorite Playtime Activity: jumping rope
Favorite Toy: purple bear
Favorite Non-playtime Activity: reading
Person she'd most like to see right now: Dustin Colquitt
Favorite Outdoor Activity: playing catch
Favorite Outfit: dress with red roses
Favorite Activity with Mom: snuggles
Favorite Activity with Dad: playing basketball/getting pointers
Food she doesn't like: corn
One thing she dislikes: When everyone fights

Evangeline Rebecca
Evie is such a happy, busy girl. She was so proud to graduate from kindergarten, and become a first grader. Evie played Tee Ball in the spring, and it was pretty funny. She is very excited to be playing softball next spring with tons of her buddies from school. She has loved being in girl scouts. She sold lots of cookies in her first year as a daisy. Now that her sisters have both quit, she expects to have some amazing cookie sales this year with less competition. Evie played soccer this fall, and was on such a fun team. They were terrible, and lost almost all of ther games, but I've never seen a happier group of girls having more fun! She also likes playing goalie like Kiersten, but her strength is definitely at forward. She has a great ability to get the ball and get right up to the goal. It's fun to see where their natural abilities differ like that. She loved swim team even more this year. She still has one year left to be with the 6 and under swimmers, and is expecting to be dominant in that group this summer. She's excited to swim against the 4 and 5 year olds, lol. She enjoyed her jazz dance class, but was disappointed at the recital that the ballet girls had prettier outfits. So now she is taking ballet/tap, and may actually be a little better at those than jazz, so it worked out. She also loved the Samurai camp she took with Kara. On the first day she had a hard time holding still and paying attention. She still struggled a little by the end, but made such a big improvement, that she was awarded the self control award on the final day and got a medal. She really wants to take Tae Kwon Do, but I don't want to get her in too many things at once. I have also wondered if gymnastics might be a better fit for her, but I guess we'll see. Evie has moved past the boyfriend obsession of her youth. It has been several months since a boy, mannequin, animal, or random light post has been the target of her unrequited affection. Now she says she wants to stay single for a while, maybe forever. She told me if she grows up and we won't let her live with us, she will move in with Kiersten and her 10 kids. (Not Kara, because then she'll be surrounded by a million cats). A few nights ago at dinner she abruptly said, "I never want to meet Donald Trump because he might ask me out". We thought that was funny, and strange, haha. Lately she has discovered the fun of computer games, so my current issue is getting her off the computer to play with other things. Sometimes she does take her stuffed animals in and lets them watch her play. 
Evie's goal for 2017 is to cheer people up that are sad. The person she most admires is Daddy because he does good deeds. He is also nice sometimes. Shen Evie grows up, she would like to be a ballerina. So look for her in Swan Lake!
Evie has shot up to 48", and weighs 49.2lbs. She was disappointed to find that Kiersten weighs more than her. She had convinced herself otherwise. She'll have to be satisfied that she weighs more at her age/height than Kiersten or Kara did at the same age/height. 

Evie's Favorites of 2016:
Favorite Color: pink
Favorite Animal: kitty
Favorite Food: mashed potatoes
Favorite Song: Love You Like a Love Song by Selena Gomez
Favorite Game: Animal Trivia
Favorite Movie: The Little Mermaid
Favorite TV Show: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
Best Friend: Lydia and Madeline
Favorite Playtime Activity: playing with stuffed pigs
Favorite Toy: Pua the pig
Favorite Non-playtime Activity: painting
Person she'd like to see right now: Grandma Boot
Favorite Outdoor Activity: trampoline
Favorite Outfit: pink kitty pajamas
Favorite Activity with Mom: snuggle
Favorite Activity with Dad: snuggle 
Food she doesn't like: beans
One thing she doesn't like: When kids are sad. 
Happy New Year! I think these sillies made some good memories in 2016, and it's exciting to think of all the things they'll be up to next year!

Becky's 2017 goal is to keep up with Laundry better. Ben's 2017 goal is to finish fixing the deck.

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