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Friday, December 23, 2016

Update 2016, the year in review...

Summer Vacation Trip 2016
It's been a great year, with many changes and many things that stayed the same.  As with most families, growing children make you so proud and excited for the next phase in their life while you long for them to not grow up too fast.  Holly is now 12 years old, in the sixth grade and a huge Pokemon fan.  Myleigh is now 14 years old, in the ninth grade, and fancies herself a budding rap star.  
We started the year getting ready for their second oldest sister, Mindy, to graduate from college.  That leaves just three more kids to get through college, now that the first three are done.  

In the meantime, we took a trip to the local aquarium.  I would have thought the girls would have been bored, but, they ran from one to display to the next and we could hardly keep up with them.

The spring brought more work on the chicken coop, and the gardens.  Myleigh only helps when she has to, she is much too busy with her career as a social butterfly. Holly, on the other hand, especially loves to work with the chickens, and her favorite, Nia, has a bond with her that I never  knew could happen between humans and chickens.  When Holly comes outside, no matter where Nia is in the yard, she comes running up to her, stretches her neck up, basically asking for Holly to pick her up.  Nia shows no interest in anyone else, and runs if I try to reach for her, but, Holly, she can pick her up, snuggle her, and walk all around the yard holding her.

You can see in the picture that Nia has her eyes pretty much closed. That's because she is sleeping.  Holly adores that chicken and we have promised that even after Nia stops laying eggs, and is old and fat, we will not eat her.  She will live her life to a ripe old age, and when she does pass away, she will be buried in proper ceremony.

The other chickens like Holly, and she does like a few of the others kind of as pets, but, none takes Nia's place. She was named after a Ninjago character that Holly really admires.

So, to earn money I knew I could entice Holly to have the chickens as part of her chores, at least a few of the tasks that need doing.  She by far prefers to tend to them than to do household chores any day.

For Chinese New Year (Spring Festival), the girls like to go to the Chinese Supermarket in Salt Lake City to shop for snacks and find new pj's.  They love these silk outfits to sleep in, and lounge around the house in.  We also never fail to go to this little Chinese bbq place for noodles, duck, and other yummy things for lunch, and then stop in at the Asian market for dumplings, choco pies, and all kinds of stuff to eat for the New Year celebration.  We save fireworks from the fourth of July for the celebration, and even though we aren't the only people in the neighborhood who have either Asian ancestry , Asian family members or are Asian, we seem to be the only ones that set off fireworks for the New Year.

The girls are very proud of their heritage, and we hope to take them both on a heritage trip back to China when they are both at an age where they can fully embrace and comprehend their history, their personal stories, and the complexities of their birth place.

Yes, we have always told the girls the absolute truth about their beginnings and answer their questions honestly, while being mindful of preserving a deep love for China.

Myleigh became a bit attached to a hen turkey we raised, named Kris. We had butchered the tom turkey last Fall, but, kept the hen because she was so sweet and gentle, and got along with our chickens.  The tom on the other hand was mean and a bully, even to Kris, so, he had to go.

Amazingly, while Kris was not fond of being handled, she let Myleigh pick her up and would sit quietly and contentedly on her lap.  It was so sweet.

Myleigh has a tendency to not take no for an answer, especially from an animal she wants to hold.  She has the confidence it takes to get compliance from even the most aloof.

Summer vacation was amazing.  We took the girls to our favorite place, Akumal, Mexico, and just had a blast.

As summer passed and the new school year began, Holly started on her last full year in elementary school and Myleigh her last full year in junior high.

And then there was Halloween where Holly was Rey from Star Wars and Myleigh was Iphone's Siri.

The year rolled on, with school and holidays, and then at long last, Christmas.  Today is Christmas Eve, so, more pictures to come, but, this is the year in review for now.