Saturday, January 31, 2015

A True Scouting Adventure

Well Miles is almost 11 years old.  In the scouting world, that means it is the end of cub scouts and the beginning of Boy Scouts.  Almost.  We have a transition year from cubs into Boys, called the 11 year-old scouts.  And he's just about there!  In order for him to receive his Arrow of Light award (the highest award in cub scouts), one requirement was to go on an outdoor adventure with a Boy Scout troop.  Long story, short:  Ben organized a ward's young men/scouts activity and took Miles (and Jonas) along.  It was a hike to some Indian cave - hiking up and along steep cliffs.  In mud and drizzle.  Sounds exciting, huh?!  The cave looked cool.  The boys were happy when they came home and told me all about it.  I think it was a good adventure!

 The group:  Miles, Kyle (leader), Jonas, Thomas (YM Pres.), Randy (guide, bishopric counselor), Logan, Dillon, Sam, Geoff (YM counselor).

 Check out their muddy feet!

 Going up and up and up.

 This was some plant that they ate along the way.  As Ben just said, "They were delicious."  He can't remember what their name is.  But I guess they were sweet and salty leaves.  No bitterness.  Interesting.

 I love this picture!  Randy is pointing to the little hole (aka, the Indian Cave) they were going to hike to!

 Walking along the steep cliff to enter in to the cave.

They made it inside the cave!  Very cool.

 Miles looking out the window in the cave.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Miles' video of him going to bed . . .

The other night Miles wanted to take a time-lapse video of him going to bed.  So we let him.

Several things to take note:
1.  He has his tablet in his room - which was an exception only for this video (no tablets allowed in rooms!)
2.  He is reading a book on his tablet - which is sort of an exception.  I'm partial to real books.  But he needs to finish a list of books and the library only had the e-book available . . . lucky Miles.
3.  The boys didn't fall asleep until close to 10pm.  On a school night.
4.  Because Miles had two lamps lighting up his "scene."
5.  Miles woke up around 3am, read some in his e-book, then went back to bed.
6.  At 5 am Miles turned off the video and his lights.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The boys' first wrestling tournament (plus weekend recap) **With a P.S. Update**

Saturday was a really big day for the boys.  We weren't quite expecting it to be this big, but it was.  We signed the boys up for a short season of intro to wrestling.  It was only 6 weeks - on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  Our boys have cub scouts on Wednesdays, so they only went on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  The little season ended with a tournament.  We all had expected a smallish tournament (they boys didn't really expect anything since they had no clue what a tournament is), but that was not the case.  There were probably a couple hundred boys wrestling, from all over the Western Slope.

Ben and I knew our boys didn't know much about wrestling.  They have never really done it - besides the past 6 weeks of practice.  They didn't pay super-good attention at practice either!  So we kind of knew and expected them to look a little foolish out there.

Ben's parents were in town and so they got to join in the festivities with us.  We were there for the "9 am" start, but things didn't get rolling until 10 am.  Then Jonas was up first.  He was pinned in probably about 10 seconds.  Sort of what we had expected.  Then Miles was up a bit later.  Miles shocked us - to put it mildly.  He was determined and looked strong.  He didn't quite know what he was doing, but he wasn't going to get pinned and was trying his hardest to pin the other guy.  And, low and behold, Miles won his first match!  It was totally crazy.  I felt like laughing and crying at the same time - it was really just crazy to see him out there.

I won't go match by match, but Jonas did improve with each match.  (The boys had 5 matches!  It lasted all day - until after 4pm!  Kuddos to our kids to sticking it out all day, even though they really didn't want to and just wanted to go home.)  He ended up getting pinned in 3 of the matches, but lasted longer in each one.  The other 2 he managed to last all 3 periods, but lost.  We were proud of his efforts and that he kept going back out there.  Jonas felt pretty down and "no good," but he still went out each time.

Miles ended up winning his 2nd match - a surprise to him even!  (He thought he was a different color and so didn't realize he actually did have more points.)  One match the opponent didn't show up and so it was counted as another win for Miles.  He lost his last 2 matches.  But he looked strong and held up for the entire match.  Really, the kid has no technical skills.  So if he would now just learn some moves and techniques, he could really be great!  

Both boys were excited at the end of the tournament - Jonas was super pleased with his ribbon (he got 6th out of 6, but still, we were just happy he kept on trying).  Miles ended up with a bronze medal - getting 3rd out of the 6 in his age/weight group.

Both Ben and Jim (Ben's dad) were pretty great wrestlers and so I think it was fun for them to be back in the wrestling scene.  It turned out to be a pretty neat day.

 In the beginning . . .

 Jonas' first match.  Like I mentioned, he was pinned pretty quickly.  I will say in Jonas' defense that this kid that beat him has wrestled for years and took 1st place at this tournament in his age/weight group.

 Miles' first match ever . . . and first WIN!

 Some congrats from a coach.

 Jonas giving it another shot.

Ugh, that doesn't look fun!

 Jonas did improve as the day wore on . .

 Go, go, go Miles!  Another match and another win.

 He had no idea he had won since he thought he was the other color.  Awesome surprise!

 The brothers' two cutest cheerleaders.

A cute video of the girls getting in to the wrestling spirit!

 More fans!  :)  Of course Grandpa took the picture.

 This was after Miles' first win.  Some post pep-talk.

 Grandma saved the girls and took them home by mid-afternoon.  They had a lovely afternoon coloring.  :)

 Jonas taking 6th place . . . out of 6.  But we were happy that he kept going and got a little better each time.  Jonas was super excited to get a ribbon.  :)

And Miles taking 3rd place in his first wrestling tournament.  So cool.  He was super excited.

 We went out to dinner that evening.  It was fun!  Can you tell what Miles is wearing?  Yep, his medal!  Totally cute.

Lucy on Sunday . . . growing up too fast!

We had a really fun weekend with Jim and Diana.  They came on Friday night and joined us at our schools' "Movie Night."  That was nice.  Then the wrestling tournament all day on Saturday.  Dinner that night.  Then church and Sunday dinner with them.  We watched the 3rd episode of my brother's show, "Building Alaska."  On Monday they played some "Connect 4" with Lucy, ate lunch and then headed back to their home.  It's always wonderful to have family around!

P.S.  So Ben got home from work today and had found out there is another, smaller wrestling tournament on Feb. 7th.  He first asked Miles if he wanted to do it.  Yes, he did!  Then he asked Jonas (they were at separate times) if he did and Jonas said, without hesitation, . . .Yes!  (What?!)  Honestly, I don't know what I think about Jonas doing it again. . . I just don't want to see him lose every match again.  This parenting thing is tough.  But it's awesome for the both of them and if they don't win a match, they will definitely win some experience.  Right?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Telluride, 2015

Last year I had an awesome day with the kids at Telluride and so I was anxious to do it again.  This time I invited a friend for me - plus each boy brought a friend as well (one of the boys was the son of my friend.  :).  We had a great day!  We have had hardly a drop of snow here this year and so luckily we have Telluride to provide us with some snow (though their levels aren't near norm either).  We all drove up together and man was it loud.  Even coming back they were still loud - except for Lucy who had fallen asleep.

We had a full day.  Pretty much like last year:  sledding, bus ride, gondola, bus ride, ice skating, then home!  On Jonas' first run he got slammed in to by another sledder coming down the hill - he got flipped on to his back and was not happy about it.  It took him a while to warm up to sledding again, but he did.  Miles and his friend Malachi went down together for their first time.  It was quite bumpy and Miles' back got hurt (awesome times, huh!).  He only sledded once more - and that was because I made him.  He has decided that he doesn't really love sledding.  But whatever, he is just as content to play in the snow and eat it.

Ivan, Jonas' friend and my friend's son, was a crazy sledder!  Emmy has finally met her match - in fact, he exceeded her bravery.  I could hardly watch him go down sometimes.  :)

After we sledded the kids played at the snowed-in park for a bit and we ate lunch.  (My camera had died by this time - boohoo).  We then took the bus to the gondola and rode it and, like always, it was fun.  The kids were getting tired by this point and were ready to head back home.  But by the time we got back to the parking area, Jonas mentioned ice skating . . . So we went ice-skating.  Even Patty got on the ice.  Even though it had been a while, she was pretty awesome and could still skate backwards.  I think Patty groaned the loudest when I told everyone, "5 minutes left."  :)

Anyways, such a fun day spent outside in Telluride!  Here are pictures in random order (since I downloaded some from Patty).

 A car full of happy and excited and LOUD kids.  :)  Oh, and cute, too.  Miles, Malachi, and Emmy in the front.  Ivan, Jonas, and Lucy in the back.

 Best-buds Jonas and Ivan.

 The gondola taking us in to Mountain Village.

 Crazy Ivan sledding!

 Cute Lucy wearing no gloves!

 Emmy and Lucy being cute . . . Ivan and Jonas being . . . weird.  :)

 Jonas smiling and having fun.

 A bunch of kids sledding.  This is the smaller hill on the side of the big hill.  But it had the fun jumps!


 She's super cute, so we'll show another picture of her doing nothing but being cute.

 Wahoo Emmy!

 Yippee Lucy!

 Zoooom Jonas.

 And Miles.  Haha.  His face looks so scared and miserable.  He wasn't really scared, though, but perhaps miserable.  I just got this picture right at a funny moment.  :)

The girls playing at the park.  There was probably about 2 feet of snow at it.  Lucy could stand and reach the zip-line.  Awesome.

The only thing that would have been better would have been my kids being nicer - and quieter.  :)  But all in all, another fun day in Telluride.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Another (probably) boring Update, Plus a Video

So I haven’t posted in for. ev. er.  The kids are back in school and we’re just relatively busy with that and everything else going on.  Miles is doing alright.  We’re trying to help him stay organized with his school work and assignments and such.  It’s quite difficult!  J  But he’s seems to be doing a little better since after the holiday break.  Hopefully it will continue.  He has a “girlfriend.”  She actually asked him to be her boyfriend.  She – Keely (not Kelly, but KEEly) is a neighbor and used to go to Northside for the first part of the year but now attends some private school.  They haven’t seen each other in like a week and so I don’t think it’s anything serious.  J  But my favorite part was when some friends were over one day (including Keely) and I guess Miles had told her that he would be her boyfriend.   At one point they were in the basement and I heard Jonas telling them, “Well Miles if Keely is your girlfriend then you have to let her go first on the swing.”  Awesome.  Jonas is smart.

Jonas is now having a few “behavior” issues at school.  His teacher emailed me last week telling me he is not paying attention, being a distraction, etc.  L  We’ve seen similar problems at home – during FHE, scripture study, etc., Jonas just won’t really act appropriately.  It’s frustrating and I’m not sure how to fix it.  All I could come up with is a negative consequence – not my favorite, but oh well.  He now has to color his reading log with what behavior he was at for the day (green = good, orange = whoops, yellow = more whoops, etc.).  So he’ll have more accountability to me and he’ll lose minutes on his Saturday tablet-time for anything other than a green.  He seems more interested in making others laugh than being good.  Hopefully he’ll improve . . .

Emmy missed three day s of school last week.  I’m not sure she even missed three day all of last year.  So it was kind of a big deal.  She was dealing with yet another UTI.  She’s now almost done with her 10-day course of yucky antibiotic and so hopefully we can stay healthy.  We got most of her work for her to do when she was feeling decent enough.  She always runs such high fevers when she gets sick – 104+ is not unusual for her.  Right now I’m watching her at her gymnastics class.  It’s pretty fun.  She does love it.  There is a boy in her school class that loves her, as she tells me.  His name is Kevin.  He tries to kiss her all the time, I guess.  J  I think she likes being liked. . . .  She’s can still pretty feisty!  Yesterday she stated fiercely, “I hate him!”  (Him = Miles)  My friend was with us and heard Emmy and said, “Wow, I’ve never seen this side of her.”  Oh I have . . .  But she can be amazingly sweet, too.  Sugar and spice!

Lucy is dandy.  Except when she’s not.  But for the most part she is pretty great and does well hanging out with me, going on all my errands, etc.  She’s not a super independent player and that makes it difficult sometimes.  She loves her co-op preschool group – they meet each Wednesday.  They are a good bunch.  She loves going to gymnastics as well.  She and Emmy have gotten into coloring lately.  I bought a book for them when Emmy was home sick – Frozen, of course.  J  They are both getting better and I think Lucy is good for her age.  My “homeschool” with her is a little less scheduled than my other 3 kids, but we try and do stuff once or twice a week.  Maybe next year I’ll be more scheduled with her!  (There is always next year . . . )

Ben is doing okay.  His RNFA is going really well and pays off pretty well.  We’ve definitely been blessed and he really loves assisting.  But it is come and go - some weeks he gets a lot of cases, other weeks not so much.  It seems, too, that his schedulers at work are against letting him assist as they make poor scheduling choices that not only don't let him assist, but cost the surgery center more as they have to have more on-the-clock employees.  It's pretty silly.  I'm encouraging him to talk to them, but we'll see . . .  He started working out with me a few times a week - we got ourselves some kettle bells and a video and so that's been pretty fun.

I'm busy with meal planning and making, picking up things and dropping them off on the stairs for the kids to put away, laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, PAC events (this week - Movie Night and next month we're doing a Read-A-Thon), cub scouts, Sunday school lessons, and watching baby Wren.  I'll be doing full-day babysitting for Wren on Tuesdays and Thursdays - except when her mom doesn't have to work.  I haven't had her all day yet - tomorrow is the first day of that - so we'll see how it goes.  She's a cutie and now lets me put her down for a bit so that's good!

This is long enough and so I'll stop.  But here is a video for fun:

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Extra, Extra, Read All About It

So my kids have showed up in the paper and such in the past few weeks:

This was one day at the library during a "techsploration" activity.  You can see Lucy's back and Emmy is in pink.

 Jonas with a "greenscreen" backdrop with Librarian Ann.  (Get it, LibrariAnn.  Awesome.).  Librarian Ann wasn't there - she was just part of the background picture.  Oh and these pictures were in the library's newspaper publication.
 Here are two cuties!  I love the caption.  They were not part of any Home Depot activity.  Those were their work aprons (we got long ago) - they were selling swords at the rodeo.  :)  This picture was in some Fair and Rodeo magazine.

This wasn't in any publication, but one of the head librarians took it during Miss Ann's "Retirement party" at the library.  We came for her puppet show and party.  We are signing a card for her.  We love Miss Ann and will miss her presence in the library!  She knew us all as "the Maxwells," but also knew each of my kids' names.  She's great!

Monday, January 05, 2015

A Super Weekend

This past weekend was fun - we actually got out and did stuff.  With extended family, so that was a huge bonus!

Friday night everyone arrived.  My parents came over and then we headed over to the hotel to swim.  The water was less-than-warm and it was quite miserable for us old folks.  But the kids had a super time.  Finally it was hot-tub time - that was fun as we went to the outside one, where is was probably like 20 degrees.  Awesome.  We ate there at the hotel and then saw and visited with the others - Derek, Renee and Josten, and then Renee's brother Brian and his family (wife Janice, and 2 boys:  Teddy and Charlie).  We didn't stay for too long as Ben had hockey night (which I made him do since it might be the only time this season).

On Saturday we went skiing at Silverton.  Brian and Janice and their boys didn't make it since the kids weren't feeling super great.  But everyone else came and that made it extra-special.  Emmy said our car-prayer that morning and said something along the lines of, "Please bless us to not get in an accident.  Please bless us to help other people if they are in an accident. . . "  Well we ended up coming upon a car that had pulled off the road and then sunk in the deep snow and got stuck.  We had to stop because of Emmy's prayer.  :)  Several others stopped, including my parents right behind us, and a snow-plow that helped by putting down sand on the road.  The car eventually got unstuck.

We made it to Silverton and as we got to the ski hill, Jonas proclaimed, "I love Kendall!"  We do love that ski-hill, as small as it is.  It feels like "home," in the skiing-sense.  :)

Our kids totally loved skiing and riding the lifts with Aunt Renee, Uncle Derek, and cousin Josten.  It was really fun for our kids!  Jonas really latched on to Josten and they had fun skiing together.  Whatever Josten did, Jonas would try and copy.  It was cute.  :)  Aunt Renee and Miles went on an adventure to explore the mountain side, including an old mine shaft.  Miles was pretty much in heaven.  Lucy, not wanting to ski at first, finally perked up and had a great time.  Emmy did a great job of skiing as well.  My parents hung out at the lodge and got to watch everyone ski.  I think it was fun for them, too!  Our batteries died and so we only got a few pictures (mainly of Lucy; the boys were usually not with us!):

 Look, Ma, no hands!

 Look, Ma, no leash!  Close to the bottom, we would let her go on her own.  She always demanded we do so.  :)

 She loves it!

 Wow, I'm in a lot of shots, too.  That doesn't happen too often.

 Cute Emmy riding up with her dad.  She absolutely loves skiing, too.

Well at least we got one shot of one boy - Miles.

We had a good day skiing.  It was snowing, with snowy roads, on the way home.  I'm always nervous on that crazy Red Mountain Pass, but it's been worse for us and so I wasn't terrified nor even close to tears this time!  Awesome.  (Ben's a great, cautious driver!)

That night we all went to dinner at a local restaurant, Camp Robber.  We were able to reserve a back room all to ourselves and so that was super nice and comfortable.  It was a nice and yummy evening.

Sunday we moved to our new church time of 1pm.  My parents came over late-morning and we just hung out doing not much.  Then was church.  Then a miracle happened:  Ben came home with us!  I think it was a first during his time as bishop.  Lucky us and lucky him.

We then had everyone over for dinner - 15 of us.  The kids had a super great time together running around like crazies and lovin' it.  Then we headed over to Marcus' house.  Marcus is a co-worker of Ben's and when he was over for hockey night we were talking about our weekend, my family, watching Derek's show, etc.  He mentioned that he had the DIY channel and might try and watch it.  Well it turned out that the hotel didn't have the channel, our cable provider doesn't offer it at all - so we didn't have many options for watching Derek's premiere on Building Alaska.  Well Ben called up Marcus on Saturday night and asked if 15 of us could come over and watch on Sunday night.  He agreed, after checking with his wife.  Good man.

So we went over to Marcus' home and had a really fun time watching Derek's show all together.  Really, it was totally fun to see him on TV and see him watching himself.  :)  It was pretty awesome.

 The gang:  (from left to right) Jonas, Derek, Miles, Dixie, Charlie, Josten, Teddy, Renee, Emmy, Lucy, Ben, Janice, Brian, and Jim.  So fun!

 There he is - on TV.  So cool.

And of course this is what happens after a long and full weekend.  Goodnight Lucy!

The only thing missing from this whole weekend?  Erin and her family, of course.