Instead of sending out a Christmas letter, we decided to wait until New Years, so we would have one more Boling to write about!
Life has been very busy this last year! Some highlights:
Charles serves up life like he serves himself at the table -- except that at the table he never has a problem cleaning his plate.... With a variety of demands and unfinished projects to choose from, there's always something to do that's to his liking! He's not always sure how it happens; for example, the discussion of "We need to drop some things. Should Charles and the kids back off on Civil Air Patrol involvement, maybe quit entirely?" somehow turned into "Charles is the new squadron commander!" At the same time, aging parents and needy extended family meant that he suddenly found himself responsible for three other adults, and learning many new things as he tries to serve them appropriately. Home projects, including the new transportation and its housing also kept things lively, and provided opportunities to work side by side with some of the children who are more capable at some tasks than he is!
Michele is the heart of our home; she keeps everyone else alive and moving. She was kept very busy homeschooling 12 children, arranging the buying of a bus, coordinating the building of a much needed shop on the property, and shuttling the two oldest kids back and forth to college, serving in church (Relief Society 2nd councilor) and out, and keeping the rest of the family organized and on task. Not to mention having another baby!
Alexander (18) is almost half way through his second year in college and really enjoying it. He’s studying diesel mechanics, and is really enjoying working with his hands. He’s been getting real-world experience working on our own bus, not to mention a non-running car that we bought in December. He has his driver’s permit and should have his license the second week of January. He's very skilled with electrical components and can fix just about anything (including our oven when it went out last month). He enjoys playing the piano, and looks for service opportunities all around him. He plans to leave at the end of 2019 to serve a church mission.
Miriana (17) is also almost half way through her second year in college and enjoying it (at least most classes!). She is studying Early Childhood Education and is learning a lot! She is a huge help around the house, taking care of little ones and cleaning things up. She's added accounting to her skills as she administers the books of Maid Time, the business that she runs with Shana, the two of them offering home cleaning and child care services. She still loves volunteering at Birch Community Services (BCS) every week. She too has her driver’s permit, with plans on getting her license this year. She also enjoys playing the piano and serving those around her.
Matthew (15) is working hard toward being able to start college next year in high-level math. He wants to go into Atmospheric Sciences and work for NASA or NOAA. He enjoys playing the piano and occasionally picks up string instruments too – much to our delight. He enjoys swimming (was an assistant instructor this summer) biking, and hiking and anything else physically active. He and Shana hope to climb Mount Adams this coming summer. He is very studious, focused and reliable. He too currently has his driver’s permit (obtained the DAY he turned 15 ½) and plans on getting his driver’s license the DAY he turns 16. He loves numbers, order, neatness and exactness. But he also has a funny sense of humor, and he and Alexander can really “play off each other”. He enjoys volunteering weekly at BCS as well.
Shana (14) enjoys life – there isn’t a better way to put it. She has a love and enthusiasm for just about anything (except math!) that are contagious. She loves to read, sing, play the piano and violin, draw (mostly dragons), paint, write, swim (was an assistant instructor all summer), dive, hike, climb (trees, roofs, rocks, mountains, etc.), tell stories to her younger siblings, be around family, be around friends, go to church, do yard work at a neighbor’s house, and take care of her many pets. She currently has a cat, a bearded dragon, a corn snake, 2 frogs, many crickets (food for other pets), 1 mouse, and 2 ferrets. She is a huge help taking care of younger siblings, especially when Miriana is at school or BCS. When not needed at home, she also spends many hours helping at BCS.
Liliana (almost 12) loves everyone around her. She is happiest when she is cuddled up reading a book, snuggling with Daddy or playing with her various toys and dolls. She recently got her first set of pets – parakeets – and much to her joy (and everyone else’s here) they had 3 very cute babies. She is planning on starting a business raising and selling parakeets. She is also a huge help at home, taking care of little ones – especially Timothy.
Jonathan (10) loves to play with his siblings, both inside and out, and read and draw. He enjoys riding his bike, exploring the woods with his siblings and jumping on the trampoline – especially with his littlest brothers.
Steven (10) loves to build, design and tinker with things (some of the same interests as Alexander). He enjoys reading, riding his bike, jumping on the trampoline and exploring the woods. He loves math and is half way through Algebra II. He has a great musical ear, and can play both the piano and violin by ear.
William (9) loves anything rough & tumble. This is child who does not like to sit quietly doing anything for very long! He loves to live life at it’s fullest. He has no fear (our only child to have fallen off the roof), and loves large muscle movement activities: bike riding, hiking, swimming, wrestling etc… He is also a natural leader and loves to lead his siblings (usually those younger than him) on hikes through the woods and in other games and activities. He has a great musical ear and can sit and play things on the piano, but he lacks the drive to sit still long enough to learn to read music.
Kayliana (7) is very strong-willed! As a “poster child” for oppositional defiance, she keeps us on our toes. She loves active things like swinging, jumping on the trampoline, bike riding and hiking, as well as quiet activities such as playing with dolls and coloring.
Ariana (6) loves to show love! Her favorite thing to do is to cuddle and read a book to someone or have someone read to her. She gives big hugs and big smiles. She enjoys coloring and playing with her favorite doll. She has a musical ear and enjoys picking out hymns on the piano.
Joseph (4) started out life with many struggles but is catching up. His speech has improved greatly this last year, and he's developing very cute expressions and is learning to read. He loves anything with wheels. He has a favorite teddy bear, “Bobby” who was practically a member of the family for a long time. He loves playing outside and spending time with the “big” kids (anyone older than him). He’s a fairly gentle child.
Timothy (2) is cute and a huge handful at the same time. He’s very curious and wants to do everything everyone older than him is doing. He’s "rough & tumble" like William and tends to bully anyone who lets him. He has a lazy eye and consequently has really cute glasses that he actually likes to wear. He loves vehicles – cars, trucks, airplanes – and any animal (especially Shana’s cat and ferrets).
Christopher (newborn) – Well, there’s not much to say about someone less than 2 days old… except that we are so glad he’s here (that he wasn’t late!) and that he seems super healthy and alert and eats well. (Got to keep that 11lb 8oz weight up!) See his birth announcement for more details about him.
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