Sunday, June 27, 2010
My parents wrote this about me when I graduated, a month ago today!
If you could personify someone with music, James would be a string of eighth notes. Everything James loves to do is fast, fun and light hearted.
James is the second child in our family. He was born in Lodi, CA and in his almost 18 years of life has moved 8 times; to 5 different states. He is a well-traveled young man.
He has a myriad of interests in his life. He love music and has since he was very small. James loves to make music with almost any instrument and plays the piano, xylophone, harmonica, guitar, trumpet and drums. If James is remotely bored or if he’s not, he’s making music somewhere. At the age of eight, we started James with piano lessons at the suggestion of a friend. James had (and still has) handwriting that is terrible. A friend suggested that the piano would strengthen his fine motor muscles and his handwriting might improve. While his handwriting did improve slightly from the lessons, it almost wasn’t worth having to listen to him play the Indian song, reveille or that circus one that woke us up every morning. He has always played fast and loud and those beginning songs were no different, just ear shattering. But as we look back now, we know that those loud initial songs were worth it. We love to listen to him practice now. He has loved the piano since his first lesson. I think in all the years he took lessons, we only had to ask to practice a few times. He just loved to play. It’s typical for James even now to choose songs that are fast and happy. It’s rare to hear him play something slow or reflective and when he does, we know his mood matches it. He uses music to serve others and will play peaceful, calming music when he knows someone needs it. On the night we waited for President Christiansen to come to our house to set Ben apart as a missionary we were all feeling the stress of knowing Ben would leave the next day for 2 years. James sat at the piano for the longest time playing hymns and classical music. I’m not sure if it was for him or for us, but it gave us all peace and brought the spirit to our home in abundance. It set the tone for the evening.
James’ other big love in life is sports. He is a die-hard Cardinals fan and loves the Colts too. He’s played baseball for Timpview since the summer before he started there as a freshman. Altogether including summer ball, Fall ball and the regular spring season, James has played 13 seasons of baseball wearing blue and orange. They may not have won them all, but James left his heart on the field with every game. He’s played every single position during his 4 years of high school baseball, but center field is where he’s played the most. We love watching him run for fly ball. He’s so fast that those balls rarely get away from him. He made some great diving catches this year too. This year he also hit his first and second out-of-the-park home runs. He’s a leader on and off the field and it’s been a great year to watch him play. He also loves to play basketball and has enjoyed all his Aaronic Priesthood years of church ball. This was our Ward’s third time in a row to win the Stake title and move on to region play.
This year James was on student council and split the video coordinator responsibilities with a friend. He’s made some fun movies and had some great ideas. He’s learned to create special effects that we love to watch. He’s logged more 50 service hours this year in student council. It’s been a great experience for him.
James did his Eagle project as a freshman. He didn’t actually have it awarded to him until he was a sophomore though, because it took him a year to write it up and turn it in. His love for baseball was evident as he chose to paint the dug outs at Timpview for his project. He had friends, family, and our ward family all helping and together they logged close to 150 service hours.
As a baby, James learned to sign. At 10 months he could ask for milk, a cookie or a bath. Sign language has always come easy to him. As a child, we had to send him to preschool to learn how to talk. He much preferred to sign. He wouldn’t talk to people that he didn’t know at all; he’d only sign to them. His sign skills have always been strong, and even though he and Ben have had their disagreements, they could always communicate with each other. Tomorrow night we’ll go to the honors awards where to watch James receive a certificate for the letter he earned in World Languages, from his 3 years of ASL.
We’re so proud of James! He works hard all the time. We know this last semester has been difficult for him with his 2 best friends and favorite role models gone; Ben and Madison. Seeing them both leave on missions has been hard for him. He misses them, but also it makes him want to go on a mission now. He doesn’t want to wait a year. He’s preparing now for a mission and we know that he will be a great missionary next year. Heidi hopes he gets called to the Provo mission so he’s close by. James hopes for something a lot farther away.
So congratulations to James! In the fall he’ll leave for Weber State. He’s planning to major in sports medicine. He know that he will succeed at everything he does and he’ll do it with a smile on his face.
My parents are wonderful! I love them so much. Thanks for everything you have taught me you two!! Also this is my 30th blog post! Congrats to me!