Charles (37): The Geek.
Charles has been busy during the last year and a half! He has now completed nine years at The Intelitech Group in Vancouver. At Church, he is still serving as the Stake Technology Specialist (or, as he tells people, “Stake Geek”). In May, his church service expanded when he was called as the Elder's Quorum Secretary.
He also picked up his old amateur radio hobby he had in the 90's, studied hard, and in May, traded his 16 year-old technician-class license for an “amateur extra” ticket. Earlier this year he raised a 35 foot tall ham radio antenna on the hill above our house (he thought his dishes needed company) and plans to further decorate the hill in the next year. He is involved in the Clark County radio club, and in our stake's emergency communications net. In June, he, Alexander and Matthew attended “field day” (an annual 2-day amateur radio emergency preparedness event) in Vancouver.He is still doing all of the “normal” things that he has been doing in past years: playing the piano & organ, manging his ISP operation for various family and friends, and doing computer consulting on the side. At home he's been busy working on the garage apartment (mentioned a year and a half ago – and there is still a lot left to do), and helping Michele with her various projects!
Michele (31): The Farmer!
Michele has been busy, especially the last few months. She has been actively schooling the kids (our own and others), and for the last year and a half has served as primary chorister. In January she was also called to be the Cubmaster over 16 very active 8-11 year-old Cub Scouts! She is on her 8th year doing the Relief Society newsletter as well.
Last spring we purchased three baby chicks for egg laying. Unfortunately two ended up being roosters. With the help of a neighbor, we learned how to butcher and clean them for dinner! (What's that about lemons into lemonade?) This spring, Michele went “full steam ahead”, providing us 10 chicks and 16 ducklings – all for egg laying (hopefully more than one of each will prove to be females!) -- and constructing houses for each of them. More animals meant more fencing, so that was another big project she embarked on. She also decided (after many failed attempts previously) to have a vegetable garden this year, so she dug up a corner of the yard and now we are actually starting to eat homegrown vegetables! She is enjoying the five new gates that Charles designed, built and installed for the garden, yard and animal areas. She is looking ahead to next year, and thinking about adding milking goats to the growing farmyard....
Alexander (7½): Our budding engineer!
For over two years, Alexander had a fixation with dinosaurs, and learned everything there was to know about them. Then, about six months ago, that interest faded to be replaced with a love of bridges & overpasses, guard rails and how they are all constructed. Any pictures he draws include detailed bridge designs. He creates freeways throughout the hallways in the house with scarves and old neckties. Academically he is doing great! He found that he loves fractions, decimals and percents, and will be starting prealgebra this summer/fall. He reads fluently and is a geography whiz. He is also a daredevil on his bicycle – his favorite thing to do outside. In October Alexander was officially diagnosed with ADHD (no surprise there!) and Tourette's Syndrome (again, it explained a lot). He started medication for the Tourette's, and it has significantly reduced the “tics” associated with the condition.
Miriana (6½): Our budding author!
Miriana has been writing stories for two years now. During the last year and a half she has written and illustrated several “books” of over 2000 words each. She also discovered that math can be interesting, and has mastered long division. Reading for her is an intense passion, and she will spend hours a day absorbed in books written at a variety of reading levels. Her love of Bambi has faded and has been replaced by more “motherly” pastimes. She loves taking care of her baby sister, playing house, telling stories and drawing. After a year and a half of knowing that her eyes weren't very good, we took her in a year ago for her first pair of glasses; we were waiting until she was old enough to know how to properly take care of them. Her eyes are very similar to what her Charles' were like at her age. Miriana was very proud of herself this spring because she learned how to whistle!
Matthew (5): Mother's big helper!
Matthew has found a “niche” in the family: helping mom! He follows Michele around the house, asking for things to help with. He loves doing dishes, laundry, vacuuming, and virtually anything else that mom is doing. Scholastically he also is doing great. He is a math whiz; his mind can wrap around numbers in ways that boggle his mom! He figured out a year and a half ago, on his own, how to use a calculator to come up with the answer to just about any math problem he had a question about, as well as how to do “tricks” with the calculator. This last spring he found that he loved long division because of its predictable pattern. His reading level is around third or fourth grade, and he loves reading almost as much as Miriana does. He also LOVES geography, and can tell you the capital of almost every state in the country! He enjoys riding his bike and is just starting to ride without training wheels. He also just learned how to whistle, and is proud of the fact that he can snap his fingers louder than most adults :-). He also absolutely loves his baby sister, and dotes on her (often to her annoyance). His speech is still hard to understand (many adults not familiar with his speech patterns can't understand him very well), but we are working on this.
Shana (3½): Musically gifted!
While all three of her old siblings can also play the piano, Shana has definitely picked up on it the earliest. She still has her gift for learning things by music – and learned all 13 articles of faith by the time she became a sunbeam (just after she turned three this past January). She is the third Boling child with perfect pitch (trying to keep up with her brothers as usual!). She also finally decided last January that she wanted to know how to read, and once she decided that, nothing was going to stop her! She would beg to read with Michele, and worked through 40-50 pages a day in her reading books. She went from knowing a few sight words to reading at a second grade level in 2 months! Now she happily reads from the scriptures every night with the family. Shana is very active and loves roughhousing with her brothers, but she can also sit and play house very nicely with Miriana. She is a very adaptable, though a VERY strong-willed child. She still throws tantrums regularly (at least three or four a day), much to her parent's frustration.
Liliana (1½): Docile and petite!
Liliana has continued to amaze us in her ability to SLEEP! As an infant she slept 20-22 hours per day! Now at almost 18 months, she still sleeps 13 to 14 hours at night and 4 hours during the day. She is just like Miriana was at this age – a mere 21 lbs. and very delayed in her development; in fact, she is tracking almost to the day in developmental milestones with Miriana. She started rolling around to get things at about 13½ months, crawled confidently at 16½ months, and still hasn't pulled up on anything yet (Miriana walked at 20 months). But she is good at signing what she wants, and can say a few words (like “up!” or “look!”). She loves books, and is starting to enjoy drawing.
Steven (0): Just arrived!
See the birth announcement.