1. Today is Payton's 12th birthday! This is a big milestone because he is now old enough to join the Young Mens organization and receive the Aaronic Priesthood. He had his interview with the bishop on Sunday. And both sets of grandparents are coming to visit next weekend for his ordination. I can't wait to see him passing the sacrament with Conner very soon!
2. Sunday was his last day in Primary. For the past month he has been milking the "this-is-my-last-month-in-Primary" plea and getting to do LOTS of volunteer gigs in sharing time and singing time. As we drove to church we pointed out the fact that this was his last Sunday and he sighed with relief: "Thank goodness. I'm so tired of singing head, shoulders, knees, and toes!" We reminded him to not brush Primary off so easily, because it's a pretty great place to be when you're an adult!
3. He also received his Faith in God award on Sunday by the skin of his teeth! Truly. He spent the morning before church memorizing the last of the Articles of Faith - number 13.
4. This winter he joined the Archery Club at school. He has loved it. And he's a good little archer! Aside from weekly practices at school he has also gone to an indoor archery range each saturday for some additional shooting. He tried out for the State Tournament team, and while he didn't make it, he is motivated to practice and improve for next year. To that end, we gave him a Genesis Bow for his birthday today!
5. He finished his first semester of middle school with straight A's! We are super proud of him. He has been a good, diligent student. He manages all of his own work, gets it turned in on time, and pays attention in class. I was a little nervous when he started middle school because the work load increases quite a bit, but he has shown me that I had nothing to worry about. Last week he got to attend the Straight A Luncheon for the second time this school year -- nothing beats a plate full of bacon and churros at the buffet!
6. Last week he was called to the counselor's office and was surprised/excited to learn that he was chosen as Student of the Month by his Reading teacher! It's a pretty big deal in such a large school. Each month, every teacher nominates ONE student among the 4-5 classes they teach to be the student of the month. This week we will attend the Breakfast of Champions with him to celebrate his achievement.
7. He took an art class first semester and loved it! Last month they had their art show and he was so excited to show off his work. Below is a Kokeshi doll that he made. Can you tell who it is supposed to be? Here's a hint.
8. One of the things we love about Payton is his knack for the best witty little remarks at just the right moment. But you have to pay attention because he isn't loud about it. We were reading scriptures as a family last week and came to Helaman 2:13 -- "And behold, in the end of this book ye shall see that this Gadianton did prove the overthrow, yea, almost the entire destruction of the people of Nephi."
Without skipping a beat Payton said under his breath, "spoiler alert."
9. He always goes to sleep with his light on, 4-5 blankets piled on top of him, and he is out sooo fast.
10. He is preparing for the Junior piano festival and I love watching him practice. He has the most entertaining performance touch on the piano - it just makes me smile! Delicate, but deliberate with a little bit of flair. :)