Nearing the End of 2020

These last few months have felt like a test of patience and faith.

I have been pleasantly surprised with my adventure with homeschooling with the girls. I am lucky in the fact that they are eager to learn, so it doesn’t feel like a chore and dragging them to the table.
Bailey is in first grade, so we are working on reading and sentence structures and time and money and basic math. She is an avid reader, and I keep a reading log of the books she has read so far during her daily reading time, and each time she finishes a sheet, it makes my own book loving heart so happy! I am also so proud of her and the work that she puts into her education. She yearns to learn and understand. I am thankful for the flexibility of taking breaks when brains start hitting the wall, and I have learned when she starts to hit that wall. It has brought us closer together, and I know she loves the one on one time I (try my best) to give her each morning. She is maturing and has grown so much emotionally and spiritually and physically. She has such a pure kind heart that is a gift she was born with. She has an obedient nature, and I feel lucky that at this stage I don’t feel like I have to worry a lot about her, I can trust her judgements. She has such a fun sense of humor, and plays so well with her sisters. She also loves to play Minecraft with her Dad. She’s our little gamer. Her and Adam have built worlds full of houses shaped like candy canes, bee hives, temples, pumpkins, flags, animals, christmas trees, and aquariums and lava volcanos and gardens galore! If you can imagine it, they can create it! I love it!

Claire is in Pre-K, so we have been working on tracing words and sounds and recognition, as well as some basic math and counting skills. She also loves to learn and she puts in the effort. Claire will sit and work on a concept or letter until she figures it out. She has the patience to sit in the difficulty. She has now also started preschool with the high school program she did last year. We felt that since it is only a couple hours a week, the masks wouldn’t be too hard for her, and it would give her some classroom experience before she potentially goes to full time kindergarten next year. She loves it. And she is thriving. She is so creative. She colors elaborate, beautiful pictures, and is really proud of the fact that she can write all of her families names! She lives in her own little world sometimes and will create these elaborate stories and playtimes. She particularly loves playing Mommy, and I often find her little baby dolls or stuffed animals tucked into makeshift beds in various places in the house. It’s the most adorable thing ever haha. Claire also started speech therapy in October because I felt she could use some help, and I am very thankful I did because she definitely needed more help than I knew how to give her. Her speech therapist is amazing and Claire puts in 1000% of effort in each session. Claire is an inspiration for me in dedication and hard work. When she is on her own, without knowing anyone is watching, she will work through the mouth exercises and letter sounds she struggles with. She wants to be heard and understood and I am so glad that there are people who are trained in helping people to communicate more effectively. I am excited to see where she will be this time next year 🙂

Sophie is our spunky bundle of fun. She loves to be at the table when I’m teaching the girls and will play with play doh or the math blocks, or write gibberish with a pencil on paper to feel like she is doing school too. Her favorite days are Fun Friday’s because we usually do Bingo with lifesaver gummies and create fun crafts 🙂 She understands so much from being around her sisters, and will play pretend with them and follow their rules for the game (for the most part haha). She is now fully potty trained! My last one! No more diapers or pull ups! It’s glorious. She loves being independent and doing things on her own. She loves to build blocks and will create endless “cakes” to sell in her little shop haha. She loves playing tea party and cafe with her sisters and playing with the nativity sets we have around the house right now. She is my last baby, and watching her grow is bittersweet. I love every stage her and the girls are in right now,….but knowing that my baby is getting bigger and bigger is tough on my momma heart!

We are in a good routine with schooling and schedules and it’s been nice! I have my little school nook corner at the kitchen table, and I have a bulletin board that I call the “Wall of Fame.” The first couple months I used it as a trophy wall to showcase the things the girls have done 🙂 And then in November I decided to do a thankful tree, where everyday of the month we all wrote down 1 thing we are thankful for, and 1 person we love on heart shaped leaves. It became quite the fluffy beauty by the end of the month! And I feel it brought a sense of love and gratitude in our home from focusing on that each day. 🙂 Now that we are starting December and the Christmas season, I made it a Light the World calendar that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints do each year. I tweaked the activities to make them something the girls can do, and we will do one each day of the month. Light the World is a program that focuses each day on Christ and becoming closer to Him this season. Here is the link to the website that explains it if anyone is interested .

Something that has been rough for me is the fact that my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in October. It blind sided everyone and it took me a bit to wrap my head around it and accept it, but I have faith that she will be okay. She is a fighter. I need her. My girls need her. The first night she told me, when we weren’t sure exactly how far along or what the plans were yet, and it sent me into a spiral. Im only 30! I cant lose my Mom! I slept in my girls room that night and listened to them breathe while I silently cried and thought about all of the potentially missed memories and advice, and my fear that I could one day die young as well since it could now run in the family (my nana had breast cancer too). It definitely helped put things in perspective for me and in what truly matters in life. FAMILY. Luckily her doctors are very optimistic. It’s an aggressive cancer, so she started chemo very quickly, but they have a good plan in place, and she has been a trooper. I feel confident that I have many more years with her! My girls pray every single day for her and for her cancer to be healed, and I am a believer of prayer for sure. She was going to come and visit and be here this week actually, but because of starting chemo, she had to cancel. But that’s okay, because she needs to focus on getting better so we can make new memories! We have plans this coming July to meet in Florida at a condo on the beach (for Adam and I’s 10 year anniversary too!) and that is going to be our cancer free celebration beach vacation! She’s got this.

My brother Danny is on his mission! He was supposed to go to Chile, but with covid he was reassigned to San Antonio, so it has been neat knowing he’s over near our neck of the woods! I love the fact that we can have weekly facetime sessions now on their missions, and I love that it brings missionary work and the spirit of the lord even stronger in our home because of his service and talking about his experiences each week. I have seen him grow and his testimony blossom. It’s weird seeing my baby brother be an adult! But I love the relationship we have and I am proud of the man he has become. Of all my siblings actually! I feel very blessed to be so close to each one of them and I am so proud of who they have become. Aj is in the military and is a strong man of faith and is hilarious and always has me crying with laughter. He is so sweet to my girlies too 🙂 And Bean got a job at Primary Children’s in Utah and she is killing it! She is a child life specialist and is blessing so many families with her tender heart. My girls are jonesing for fun Aunt Bean to visit again!

I feel very lucky to be surrounded by so much love and family. Adam’s family is so wonderful and I am thankful for the deep meaningful relationships I have made with them. I feel lucky to live so close to them and get together for holidays and fun moments and memories. Adult siblings hanging out is just the best guys haha. And the girls love their cousins!

I am really excited for this Christmas season to end the year on a much needed hopeful note. I feel like I am emotionally crawling to January 1st, but I know the Lord will strengthen me, and I am so blessed. I have faith that as long as I turn to Him and trust in Him and His plan for me and my family, then I cant go wrong. He is the source of happiness. And I rely on that!

Have a wonderful Christmas season, and enjoy the massive random photo dump of our little family’s lives 🙂

These are our Bits O’ Bertoch

Cassie Bertoch


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