Christmas 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Siever Family!

Well, it has been an eventful year for us and in a good way, at least as the future approaches.

Earlier this year, Kim finally decided he couldn’t stay at H & R Transport. As much as he enjoyed working with his drivers, it was difficult in other areas, not least of which was the inability to attend church each Sunday. You don’t realise what a privilege it is to worship on the Sabbath day until that is taken from you. Viewing General Conference in April of this past year really emphasised the fact that he needed to leave and do something else. After some soul searching, he realised the first step was to finish his degree at the university. Well, to make a long story short, that is exactly what he is doing, finishing is Bachelor of Arts. After that, he will continue on to doing his master’s degree. In total, this will take 3 years. He is a fourth-year student and by the end of 2012 (or maybe the spring of 2013) should officially be able to have his degree!

He worked part time during the summer for someone in our ward, in her immigration company (helping to process immigration applications), Frontera, but got a job with a company he had applied to several months ago, doing exactly what he loves doing: communications. The company is Truehope Nutritional Support and that makes me happier than anything. This company sells a nutritional supplement that has helped so many people who struggle with mental issues. He feels blessed he is in an industry that really helps people and I am happy he is able to do it in an ethical way that I agree with since nutrition is so important to me. The company itself is so wonderful too, very supportive of its employees as well as its customers. You couldn’t ask for a better employer. His direct boss is just amazing too. I don’t say that lightly.

Kim continues as the ward executive secretary, but he also got a stake calling as a substitute seminary teacher. Pretty much every week so far he has taught a class. There are many here in Lethbridge and they are all early morning classes and even though Kim is not in any way, shape or form a morning person, he loves teaching the classes and doesn’t complain about getting up that early. Hopefully he is making some small difference for some students.

Sinéad turned 12 last January 12 and became a young woman. Well, she was already one, but she became an official Young Woman and though at first she thought she didn’t want to leave Primary, she was excited to start her newest journey. Setting goals and participating with the other young women has been a real joy for her. She is in grade 8 and yes, still homeschooling and doing really well in her studies. She has quite the head for math as she starts algebra more vociferously, has started to develop a better interest in writing as she does more of it and of course is the avid reader she has always been. She can’t wait to be 13 in a couple of weeks. She is still playing the violin and has gone back to sewing lessons. She would like to pursue gymnastics more seriously and has taken steps to continue that interest too. She is teaching herself how to play the piano.

Regan had his 10th birthday on April 9 and continues to develop his interests and skills. He plays the guitar quite well and is in grade 5. He still loves Cubs and has his wonderful Akela to thank for making it such an awesome learning experience. He is full of energy and enthusiasm and has developed a strong interest in cartooning, mainly with the Manga model (I learned something new, too). He loves the library and I would like to say that it was because of the books but it’s mainly because he can have more computer time than he gets at home. That said, he still gets lots of books out and though he would rather read graphic novels, he does read other books with not so many pictures and finds he enjoys them quite well, even classics.
He just has to be directed in that way.

Aisling turned 6 this year, September 29, and she is a busy, intelligent little girl. She started grade 1 officially and is a whiz at all her school work. She loves to print and do math and though reading so far isn’t her favourite thing, she is learning it well and I anticipate that once she feels completely adept at it, she will take off with it. She is learning it very well anyway and is advancing in all her learning. She started learning Spanish with a lovely woman from Mexico (who has lived here in Lethbridge for the last several years, I have known her since Sinéad was a baby) who teaches the children in a fun and innovative way. Aisling is in her element. She also started back with piano lessons, and along with the other two she goes to the YMCA for sports and swimming classes. She’s a little fish in the water. She is in ballet each week and is a terrific big sister to her little sister and very patient and loving with her which is helpful to me. Another favourite activity is playing lego with her brother (and younger sister).

Aoibheann turned 2 on March 1. Her birthday party turned out to be a bit of an event as, due to her love of ducks, I thought it would be cute to get duck candles I saw at Bulk Barn. In theory, that was a good idea; in reality, it was a different story. The problem with it was that the candles had to be lit. This rather traumatised Aoibheann and she wouldn’t have anything to do with them as the flaming candles made their way to her on the cake. I wish I had a video camera to have filmed it. Other than that she excitedly turned 2, loves nursery at church (talks about it regularly during the week) and speaks so well for her age. She has quite the understanding too, adores her big sister Aisling and wants to do everything she does, right down to taking over her school work (which necessitates me keeping her busy with her own ‘school’ right beside her sister). She is excited to turn 3 in a couple of months and looks forward to starting swimming lessons when she does so. She still loves ducks, but also loves her dolls. Both she and Aisling often play pretend with their dress up clothes.

Now as for me, it’s the same old. We have our homeschool supply business that is chugging along, no not making us any money, but hopefully one day it will. In the meantime I enjoy providing homeschool supplies more locally for people. I also love homeschooling my children and excitedly look forward to the coming year. I continue to run and probably will start training for a half marathon in the next year or so. In the meantime we are expecting number 5 in mid- spring and so my pregnancy forestalls any planning for a major race. Kim and Regan REALLY want a boy as they feel outnumbered, but either way we will be happy with whoever comes, Quillan or Siobhán.

We have had family visit us a few times this year, Kim’s parents a couple of times and most recently for Christmas. My dad stayed a couple of days when my brother Sam moved back to Lethbridge. Always wonderful!

The wish from our family to yours is that you had a very Merry Christmas and that 2012 is all you want it to be!

Love, the Sievers: Kim, Mary, Sinéad, Regan, Aisling, Aoibheann, and active belly baby.