Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Little Vacation to Littleton

Since we had a long weekend (made even longer since no surgeries were scheduled on Friday), we decided to go over to Littleton.  It had been long - too long!  So we headed out Friday morning and got there for lunch.

So that Friday afternoon, Ben and I went to the temple.  It was nice that Ben is my bishop seeing as I had forgotten my recommend . . .  So it was pretty easy to get in.  :)  We had a nice time there.  The kids had a lovely time at Grandma and Grandpa's - it's always especially fun when mom and dad aren't around.  Lucy did some dance/gymnastics show while we were gone:

Then after dinner we had another dance/gymnastics show by Lucy.  Plus, Emmy did a roller-blading show:

As well as Jonas:

For Miles' "show," he taught us about volcanoes and the such:

On Saturday morning the boys all went to Ft. Logan cemetery - a veterans' cemetery.  There are a bunch of boy scout troops that come and place flags at each grave.  So the boys got to help out with that.  Ben said they were there, did a few flags, and then all of sudden a swarm of troops came and all the flags were up!  He said it was pretty impressive.
 Miles placed the flag at his Great-Grandpa Miles' grave.  Pretty neat.  (Sorry about his face - but the one with flash, that shows his face, doesn't show the name on the tombstone.  And we all know what Miles looks like.  :)

 The boys.

This tombstone is Grandma Gwenn's - Jim's mother.

While the boys were doing that, we girls made and played with play-do.  Leanne (sp?), one of Diana's friends (and ours!), came over and brought some delicious donuts (Ben ate 3 that day!  3!).

Later that afternoon we let out the squirrel that Jonas had caught in his trap, went to Chatfield Reservior, and to the bike jumps:

 Of course Lucy had to do the bike jumps, too!

 Whoa, whoa!

 Whoops, a bike crash!  (The 2nd of the day - 1st one by Emmy.  But she was cool and got back on her bike - after some crying, of course.)

 Ouch!  That's definitely something to cry about if you're a kid!

 Miles wanted to go exploring, of course.

 We had a nice dinner that night out on the patio.  The kids table in the front!  And there we adults are in the back - me, Ben, Francis, Diana, and Great-Grandma Dee.

I don't know why I'm posting this picture, but here is Ben slicing up Francis' yummy pineapple-coconut cake.  I don't think Ben has ever eaten as much as he did this past weekend (lucky him though - he won't even show his gluttony.  So not fair!)

That night Ben and I went for a walk and then out to our favorite frozen yogurt place.  Sunday was at church and then that afternoon we watched some fun slides of Ben and his family way long ago.  After that was dinner and then Ben and I met up with some friends of ours that were there as well - we walked on the canal and visited.  It was really nice.  On Monday morning Ben and I got to get out again (thanks to our wonderful babysitters, Grandma and Grandpa) and go on a 30-mile bike ride.  It was so beautiful and lovely and nice.  Leanne came over again and that is just always a treat.  She's just a fun, fun gal and my kids love her so!  As soon as she walked in the back door (yep, she's that good of a friend that she can just enter through the back door!) Emmy ran over to her and gave her a hug.  She was also invited to come to our house sometime.  We hope so .  . . :)

Anyways, another great trip to see family.  Nobody really wanted to leave.  But real-life always calls us back . . . 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Goodbye 3rd and 1st grades . . .

 Well today is the last day of school for these boys.  (Yes, it was kind of a chilly morning - hence the jackets.)

Here's the school-walking crew.  Yes, sometimes we have extra babies that come along with us - usually in strollers, too.  Oh we are a sight to see.  Walking with these four+ takes us about 4xs as long to get to school than if it was just me.

Soon I will go to the school - for the 3rd time today - to pick up the boys.  The 3rd time because:  1st - to drop them off, 2nd - to attend the awards ceremony, and 3rd - to pick them up at noon.  It was a good year and my kids are pretty great students.

I went to Jonas' classroom for the class-awards, before the whole school awards assembly, and was able to see him get the Navigator award (everyone in his class got this - it means you didn't get any pink slips for that quarter), the Reader award (along with a few others), the Social Studies award (along with a few others), 3rd place in reading-days for the quarter, 3rd place in over-all reading days for the school year, perfect attendance for the quarter, and almost perfect attendance for the school year (he missed one day - the least of all his classmates).  Go Jo!  It/he was pretty awesome.

Anyways, I always get a little sad on the last day.  Not sad to have my kids home for the summer, but just sad that another school year is over.  We'll miss their wonderful teachers and all the good stuff that elementary school entails.  We'll still be there next year, of course, but it will be different.  Not necessarily bad, but different.  And that's what makes me sad.  A teacher who has wanted Miles in her class ever since he was a kindergartner, will not be returning to the school next year.  She taught 4th grade . . . Miles had finally made it and then she leaves.  So sad.  In fact, no 4th grade teachers are returning.  Big changes for next year, that's for sure.

Hopefully we can have a fun summer and not drive each other too crazy!  Happy Summer!

Monday, May 20, 2013

This and That

Just some random things I finally took off of my camera:

Miles built these some Sundays ago.  Please do not watch if you experience problems with vertigo.  Even if you don't, you might after watching these.  Literally, I starting getting a little nauseous after the 4th video I had watched . . . 

The boys, with help from Aunt-e's Fort Kit she gave them for Christmas, made this fort (oh, and with help from their dad, too!) last Friday night and slept out:

Jonas learned how to play the "Family Home Evening" song on the piano.  He learned it rather quickly for a kid who has never taken a lesson in his life.  At least I think so.  Ben taught him.  I can't even play it looking at the notes . . . So cool for Jonas:

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Black Canyon Ascent is like . . .

childbirth.  That's right.  That was my analogy of the day:  running the Black Canyon Ascent was like childbirth.  How so?  Well, it's pretty darn painful!  It's a brutal, yet somewhat shorter of a run - 6 miles, but with a climb of 2,000 feet.  Yowzers.  Also, just like with childbirth, you forget the pain and do it all over again.

I ran it last year.  I will most likely run it next year.  (Childbirth is still the most painful of the two, of course!  Duh.)

I talked two of my friends into doing it with me.  They signed up to walk and so headed off at 7:30.  I waited around until 8, when the runners were to go.  (I ran in to my GOTR coaching budding, Coach Jessica Dahl, and Jonas' teacher, Mrs. Laurie Dodd, there, too!)

And it was hard.  So.  Very.  Hard.  Honestly, this is one of the hardest races I've done.  Harder than my long runs and maybe even my 1/2 marathons.  (Maybe not harder than my marathon - but that was so long ago I don't really remember!)  This is the only race where I have felt the great desire to walk (both times).  I have to greatly talk myself out of that.  Most other races that is not even an issue.  But this one.  Ugh.  In a good runner's way, of course.  :) There is no gradual uphill, nor gradual start.  Immediately you start up on a steep incline.  And you get no real relief until after the 5th mile.

At mile 5 was when I saw Ben and our carload of kids heading up the road.  Only 1 more mile, I said, I can do it!  It was fun and even a little energizing to see them.  I loved it.  As I got near the finish line, Lucy tried to run with me.  Cuteness.

So I still liked it - I liked it even more once I finished and got to eat MnMs, pretzels, and drink Gatorade.  Awesome.  My friends did great, too, and I don't even think they hate me!  We stayed for the awards and raffle drawings, and then headed out - perfect timing too as it started hailing on us as we walked to the car.  (Poor Emmy was going on like day who-knows-what of fevers and not feeling good.  Ben actually ended up taking her in this evening and she has an UTI.  Sweet thing.)

Here are my stats, just because it's fun:
Division place (female, 30-39):  4th out of 26
Overall place:  43rd out of 163
Gender place:  19th out of 113
That does include both runners and walkers.  I'm happy with it.

Kandace, me, and Jen.  Love them!

p.s.  Oh, my time was 1:11.  Just like last year!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A long P.S. that got to be its own post

P.S.  I'm going against everything I have believed in and might (might, not 100% sure yet) actually sign Emmy up for all-day Kindergarten next year - instead of 1/2 day, which is where she is for the moment.  Actually, this was not something I was ever totally against.  Just totally against it for my boys.  But Emmy.  I feel differently.  One, she's older.  She could have been starting 1st grade next year.  Two, she's bored being at home all day long, especially in the afternoons.  I'm not that exciting, I guess!  I do spend some time just with her - on "school" stuff, playing, etc.  But then I want/need time to do other things.  So then she's bored and complaining and moaning and groaning.  Three, while she is smart, I also recognize and admit that she doesn't have the skills her brothers had when they entered kindergarten (trust me, though, I'm not worried about that, it's just something I am aware of), nor does she catch on as quickly.  So maybe a whole day would be better for her?  Fourth, she wants to go all day.  She was bummed when I told her I signed her up for 1/2-day.  She's been walking to school with us for the past four years and is ready for it . . . or at least thinks she is.  This is hard for me as I have been opposed to full-day ever since Miles was almost forced in to it (luckily they added a 1/2-day class about 2 weeks before he started school).  But, again, mainly opposed to it for my family, and even more specifically, my boys.  Each child and each home is different.  That is why I hope there always remains on option of full-day versus 1/2-day.  Though I highly doubt it . . . especially when my sister tells me her crazy state of Maryland might mandate a year of preschool before kids enter Kindergarten.  Insanity, is how I feel about that.  Anyways, this P.S. is so super long.  It should be its own post . . . I think I'll make it its own post . . .

Emmy's Last Day of Preschool

We had a great year with our four, sweet preschoolers:  Emmy, Millie (Camille), Jillie (Jillian), and Holly.   Each mother took a week each month and held preschool at our own homes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 8:30-10:30.  The girls baked, practice their handwriting, worked on math skills, always begged for "recess" time, cut, glued, crafted, went on field trips (the pumpkin patch, a nursing home, a house that had miniature horses), and hopefully learned a few things along the way.

Today was Emmy's last day.  She went to Millie's house and then we all (mothers + extra children) met up at the park and had cupcakes (which they had made) and just played and visited.  

We printed up some of the pictures from the year and the girls put them in to little photo albums for them to keep.  Very cute.  On my last day of preschool at my home, I asked the girls what they wanted to be when they grow up and put together a little picture collage.  Each girl got this in a frame:
(excuse the crooked-ness of it - i guess i didn't put it in the scanner very straight!)
When I asked Holly what she wanted to be, she first told me, "a teenager"!  Ha!  I loved it.  Then I asked her again, for when she was really older, and she told me a "chef."  Cute - and she was always so good with her baking/cooking skills!.  Jillie told me she wanted to be a doctor, an "animal doctor" more specifically.  She'd be great as she loves animals and isn't scared of them (like a couple of the other girls . . . my Emmy included).  Millie told me, without hesitating, that she wanted to be a "cowgirl."  Awesome.  When asked why, she replied, "I want to ride horses."  Perfect.  She'll be the cutest little cowgirl ever.  And Emmy.  Emmy!?  What?!  A farmer?!  Really?!  I had to question her about it due to her crazy fear of goats (we went on a walk once and she screamed and cried so hard at the goat that was behind a fence).  I asked her why she wanted to be a farmer and she told me something about living with all the animals.  "Like goats." Okay, whatever Emmy.  It's cute, even if it makes no sense.  :)

I'll miss seeing these girls (children and mothers, included!  :).

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Ben and I are lucky in that 1.  We have great mothers and 2.  We have great mother-in-laws.  Not everyone can say this, we know, and so we do feel really blessed to have a Dixie and a Diana in our lives.

To me, my mother is a woman of great capacity.  You give her any assignment and she will get it done and it will look/be great.  She knows how to work - in her yard (she's a master weeder), cleaning her home, her jobs/employment, plus her church callings.  She is not one to procrastinate and always spends a lot of time on lessons, tasks, etc.  She is not lazy.  She's a crazy fast walker (when she's out for exercise).  She still buys me clothes - every once in a while, and mostly from garage sales or second-hand stores!  She's fun to be around and actively plays with our kids.

My mother-in-law is also a very capable lady.  Despite some physical challenges she has, she has quite the to-do list and got-it-done list!  Her schedule of activities - most of them service-oriented - are impressive and exhausting.  Most of her time is truly spent in the service of others.  She works hard at all the tasks she has.  She supports me in my role of mother.  She is very easy to talk to and fun and comfortable to be around.  She's fun with my children and they love being with her.

My mother and mother-in-law are great examples to me in so many ways.

As Ben always says in his mother's day card:  we still need our moms.  :)

Happy Mother's Day Diana and Dixie!  We love you!

Friday, May 10, 2013

A Mass Exodus

Okay, so maybe the term "mass" is a bit much, but that's what I feel.  :)

In our ward/congregation we have a number of families that are moving away.  Away from our already small ward.  Boohoo.  We are losing Ben's 1st counselor in the bishopric, and his wife - a primary pianist and seminary teacher.  The primary president is moving - and her husband, a counselor in the Young Men's organization.  The primary secretary is also going - along with her husband, a counselor in the Elders Quorum.  Our nursery leader is moving to another ward.  She is The Best primary/nursery worker.  She is so good and so truly loves the kids she serves.  She is irreplaceable.  There is another family in the ward that has their house up for sale and if they move we will lose a counselor in the primary - as well as 50% of our Young Women that attend each week (we have about 4 active YW total).

Sad, huh?

But that's not where the exodus ends.

Our elementary school will also suffer next year.  Our principal in leaving for a teaching position at another school.  A family with 3 kids at the school - 3 wonderful kids - are opting for homeschooling next year seeing as their oldest would have gone to Middle School and they were not going to do that.  Miles and Jonas will each lose a best friend from that family.  Our neighbors and school-mates are moving - they have two sweet, great kids.  Jake is Jonas' best friend and we'll miss having him and Elizabeth over to our house to play.  There is a teacher, who was in our old ward but moved to another ward, who is having a baby and will not be teaching next year.  So her son, who will be in 3rd grade next year, will not be going to Northside either.

More sadness, huh?

Wednesday, May 08, 2013


GOTR = Girls on the Run

I just finished up my second season of GOTR.  It was a lot of fun.  We had a really great group of young girls (ages 3rd - 5th grades) that were just sweet, nice, and motivated - for the most part (we had like a 2-week slump with our girls when they were just blah  :).

We had four coaches and I totally enjoyed and liked them all - they were so great and made it great, too.  They were fun to be around.

We met every Tuesday and Thursday from right after school - 4:30.  We did a lesson with some warm-up activities and such.  Then we'd run a bit.  The GOTR season ends with a 5K - ours was just held this past Saturday in Grand Junction.  Some girls love the running part of it.  For others, it's the part they like least about GOTR.  :)

The 5k is a neat experience for the girls - and their family.  It's fun to see the families supporting the girls.  It's a huge race with hundreds and hundreds of girls running (around 1,500 I just found out) - girls, plus family/friends that want to join in, too.  I had to take all my kids this year because of a temple trip that Ben needed to attend.  It was fine having them with me - I ran with the girls in a double-jogger I had borrowed, while the boys hung out with another coach's husband and his boys.  It worked out great that way.  But some day I would love to be able to go up on my own (or Ben coming up and watching the kids), so I could focus a little more on just the girls.  The GOTR girls, not my girls.  :)

I was impressed with a lot of these girls - the fast ones and the slower ones.

 Here we are at the 5k, coming close to the finish.  I ran/walked the race with Kara.  She's one of Miles' best-friends.  Go Kara!

 The four coaches:  Coach Dahl (a kindergarten teacher at Northside), Coach Laura (a mom of 4, 2 of which are GOTR girls), me, and Coach Laurie (mom of 3, 1 "official" GOTR, 1 unofficial :).  What great ladies.  Oh the headbands (that Coach Dahl and Laura are sporting) were little surprises we got for the girls on race day.  It was the Best Idea ever as it was so easy to spot our girls!  We'll be doing it every year I'm pretty sure . . .

I'm sure this was taken on a Tuesday.  Every Tuesday (except the one that was a service project which we did inside . . .) was really crummy weather - freezing, snowing, raining, windy, you name it, we had it on Tuesday.  Even our "End of Season Celebration" that happened today (a Tuesday) was rained-out and so we had to do it in Coach Dahl's classroom.  A perfectly less-than-perfect ending to our Season.

P.S.  I got a super-cute hoodie at the 5k - another bonus of volunteering.  :)

P.P.S.  I do have some group shots but felt like I shouldn't post it without getting permission from each parent.  And I'm just not going to do that.  So just trust me, they were a darling group of girls.