Over the past few years, all of our family photos capture us in the summer or fall. We decided to try out a winter shoot. The photos don’t show it, but we were freezing! In between every shot we were shivering and shaking. Overall, the photographer did a great job making us look better than we actually do. It’s crazy to look back at all our family photos and note the changes in each of our kids and our family.

We celebrated 16 years together this November. We were in Europe at the time and it is common for us in the middle of the day for one of us to proclaim, “let’s just go back to France.” It was such a great trip that brought us even closer.

We could not ask for a better oldest child. Hannah is responsible, hard working and above all she is kind to everyone. She and her younger siblings are very close. Don’t misunderstand, they have the occasional surge of juvenile frustration towards each other, but they laugh way more than they yell. My heart often fills up with such joy when I see them joking with each other or having fun. Hannah loves ballet, guitar and reading. She reads more than anybody I’ve ever met. That is probably the reason she is such a great student. It is crazy to think that she takes the ACT next month and is already planning for colleges. She has an incredible spirit.

Maxwell is the life of the party. He loves friends! He is happiest when he gets to go play with his buddies. For Christmas, he got a sweet red electric guitar to complement his classical and steel string guitars. He is addicted! It is so wonderful to hear him play for fun without threats or commands from a parent. He loves playing jazz music and Metallica songs. Maxwell is smart and tender hearted. He is always concerned about others who need some help or who might be going through a tough time. He has tons of energy and always has to be doing something. This last weekend he rode the Peloton bike in the morning and then rode it again in the afternoon. He continues to be a strong swimmer and loves hanging out with his swimming buddies at meets.

Look at that smile! We love her so much! With her light complexion and super cute freckles, Norah is our firecracker. She always has something awesome to say. Often it is completely random, but totally hilarious. Her sense of humor makes everyone smile. She has a loud voice for such a little person. She is a great student in her Chinese Immersion class. She is amazing at ballet, like her sister. She has picked up classical guitar super fast and works hard at improving. She loves playing with her cousins and it is so funny to listen to the imaginary games they play. Norah loves to play Just Dance on the Wii and it is so entertaining to watch her shake her little hips.

Over the past year, Trumans front teeth have all grown in. He ended up with a handsome smile, but we miss his toothless grin. In fact, it is kind of a milestone for us in that we won’t have any more kids to lose their front teeth. Truman is our most thoughtful child. He often has very insightful things to add to a conversation. The other day as I was eating breakfast he asked me, “Dad, what existed before the earth?” He wanted to have a real in-depth conversation about it. It was great. Truman plays soccer, swims, plays guitar and loves, loves, loves to have Melissa read him books at night. He is also in Chinese Immersion at school. He is pure awesomeness.