Our Dear Family and Friends,
Merry Christmas! We realized we haven't actually written our annual letter for a couple of years (though Kevin posted an online one of his own last year), so we thought we'd better do a 'real' one this year. Though we haven't written for a while, please know that you remain in our thoughts and hearts.
So, here are some of the happenings of this past year in our family:
In July, we (Kevin, Dana, Megan & Riley) went to Seaworld and Legoland (both in San Diego), and …drumroll… we got Kevin to the beach! Oceanside, CA. Even got him in the water, then took photos for proof. Fun trip.
Kevin is still working (Yay for having a job!) at AccessData. Still teaching primary. Still ward choir president, but Riley (and Megan) quit, so he has to welcome everyone on his own. In January, he was walking through slushy snow to choir practice, and he slipped and fell. Broke the fibula down by the ankle. Spent the next 10 weeks in a cast, then a walking boot. However, he hiked Mt. Timpanogos twice last summer. The first time was with his sister Diane and niece Mercedes, they only made it about two thirds of the way to Hidden Lakes before a storm hit. They were soaked to the bone by the time they back got to the parking lot. It snowed up on top. The second time, he miscommunicated with his cousin Russell, so he soloed it. Then in October he got pneumonia. It's been an eventful year. He is glad to have the whole family here for Christmas.
Dana finished working with her sweet elderly neighbor at the end of last year, so she hasn't been 'employed' this year, and is really loving that. She was working with the 10 yr. old scouts in Webelos, but has recently been called to serve in the Primary Presidency (again). She's really enjoying working with the children in the Ward. In June, she took a 'sisters' trip with Dena & Vicci to Zion National Park for a weekend of hiking and celebrating Vicci's 50th birthday. In October, she got to take a '25th Anniversary Friends' trip with her friend of 25 years, Tammy Fairbanks. They went to Newport Beach (all vacations/trips/travels should include a beach), Balboa and Laguna Beach, then attended a seminar in Riverside. They also got to run up to Yucaipa and Oak Glen and revisit some hometown haunts (Dana's hometown, Tammy's mission area). That was a fabulous trip! It was great to have Dena & Vicci come visit for Thanksgiving and tackle some Black-Friday shopping!
Heather (21) is finishing her final (4th) year at Arizona State University. She is graduating in May with her Bachelor's in English Literature, with a minor in Italian. sì sì. This past summer she spent 9 weeks on a missions trip to Japan helping college students with their English conversation skills and helping the long term missionaries in Sendai connect with those students. You might be wondering why she went on a missions trip to Japan when she's minoring in Italian. Don't ask her - she doesn't know. She also has been working as a writing tutor at ASU. The other question you won't get an answer to is what she'll be doing after she graduates. Her New Year's Resolution is to figure that out.
Kaitlyn (20) can't remember the beginning of this year. She is finishing her Bachelor's in Media Arts & Animation at The Art Institute of Phoenix. She did the accelerated program, which takes 3 years, so she's actually graduating before Heather - in March. She was able to spend 1 of her 3 free weeks up here in Utah this summer, and enjoyed biking, hiking, boating and walking. She was especially grateful to be able to be outside in the summer, as she can't do that in Arizona. She was also working in the school's mail room until the summer. She's been busy working on building her portfolio in anticipation of graduation and developing her resumé. Stay tuned for next year's family newsletter to see what she decides to do with her degree. She is also currently accepting donations to her transportation fund.
Megan is 10, she's not in college, and she's not finishing any degree. Actually, she is going to finish grade school (in a year and a half), and then she has two more schools before college. She doesn't have any fancy words to say like Heather and Kaity. But this past year she participated in U-10 competition soccer (The Jaguars. Rawrrrr.). In the fifth grade (Northridge Elementary - Miss Burton) she is taking Chorus and Ballroom. Aunt Diane came up in August, and Megan had a High School Musical marathon/slumber party with her sister Riley and cousins; Sadie, Shelby, Morgan & Sarah. And no one else. She loves all things polka-dotted, striped, and green (not all together, though). Her favorite stuffed animal, an elephant named Winx, has become a member of the family.
Riley (8) is now in the 3rd Grade and loves school, mostly because her friends are there. And she loves her teacher, Mrs. Ker. She also enjoyed playing both Spring and Fall Soccer. Her big event of the year (and of her life!) was getting baptized in June. We are very proud of her decision to follow Jesus and keep the commandments. Now her sole purpose in life is to get an iPod. She also has enjoyed beginning piano lessons, and seems to have a love for music - she's also been playing violin in the school orchestra.
Winx says, "Hello everyone. I am 2 or 3 years old. I belong to Megan, and I am the cutest elephant you ever saw."
We hope you all have the happiest of Holiday seasons, and a very merry New Year! We have been so blessed this past year by all our associations and relationships with you all. We thank you for your love and support. We love you all, and are so happy to have you in our lives. We love the Lord and are grateful for the peace and joy the gospel brings. We wish you all peace and joy in your lives.
With Great Love,
The McCoy Family