Saturday, May 30, 2015

Summer Pics, including our newest Biker Rider!

Well another week of summer has gone by.  I lost it this afternoon on Miles.  Then all the others.  Sigh.  Summer is good, yet hard in many ways, too.  But here are some of the *good* moments of summer so far.

 Many of our days have look like this:  friends over, on the tramp.  Or they are all playing on the sidewalk out front, going back and forth between houses.  It's great having neighborhood kids, but it has also caused some challenges.  But it is super fun for the kids so I am happy for them.

 Well, well, well.  Lucy learned to ride a 2-wheel bike today.  She went straight from her pedal-less bike to this bike.  It took her about . . . . 2 seconds to figure it out.  I'm sure this is all do to her year-plus of cruising around on her pedal-less bike.  It's definitely the way to go.  I hate training-wheels!

 I love this picture - Lucy riding with Emmy in front.  So cute.  Everyone gets excited for Lucy.  :)

 Getting her to ride a bike was easy-breezy.  Teaching her to start by herself . . . AIYIYI.  She was a lunatic.  Screaming, crying, stomping her feet.  Then she would do it and start riding and was happy . . . like she didn't just throw a crazy tantrum.  This happened many times this morning.  She just now asked if I would go and help her ride.  I told her I didn't have the patience for it at this moment.  Maybe after dinner . . . ????

Jonas mowed most of our front yard this morning.  He likes it.  I have no idea how those skinny legs of his can push a mower, but I think his angle helped him a bit.  :)

A little video of Lucy riding her bike.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Into the Wild Wednesdays

My friend and I started up a little "outdoors" group last year and so we did it again this year.  I started up a group Facebook page and we post where we will be going each week.  Whoever wants to come, can come!

This past Wednesday was our first outing.  We went to the Colorado National Monumnet and hiked to Devil's Kitchen.  It was a great little hike that had a perfect spot for the kids to run around and climb up rocks.  It was fun.  We got back and ate lunch at the picnic spot there at the trailhead.  Then all the kids starting running up the rocks there and had invented some game that was "just so cool!"  As told me by not only my kids but the others as well.  They played for another hour there and just had a great time.  It was definitely fun!

 Cute girls.

 This was a fun spot for the kids to climb up to.

 They even had to wait in line!  :)

 Cute boys.

 This kind of shows where we hiked to - we were in between some big rocks, etc.

 Miles found this and thence we named it "Frog Rock."  Awesome.  (Can you see why?)

 14 of the 17 kids.  Lucy fell off and then cried.  It wasn't a big fall or anything, but I thought it was kind of fun that I captured her fall.

 Cute and silly Emmy.

A little cave on the way out.

There were 5 of us moms that went - 5 moms and 17 kids.  Just a little outnumbered.  :)

A trip to Memory Lane . . . and more

So I don't think I've mentioned this on my blog, but my parents have been called on another mission for our church.  This time they are going to Frankfurt, Germany!  Awesome.  My dad's mission as a young man was in Germany, so this is extra neat.  Although my dad hasn't spoken German in like 50 years, he thinks he'll be able to pick some stuff up.  :)  My mom is a hard and diligent worker, so I am sure she will learn some German as well.  They leave on June 12th for 18 months.  Crazy.

So, we decided we needed to head over to Midway and see them in person before they head out.

 So Memorial weekend, we headed over.  Don't let this totally fool you that Ben and I have totally gone to the dark side.  :)  We still listened to 4+ hours of books on CDs before the kids were able to finally watch a movie.  Just one.  They only get one movie - and that's only when we are on long car drives.  It was super fun for them (and adorable) and super quiet for Ben and myself.  (Again, on the way back and after 4 hours of books on CDs, they got another movie.)

We got to my parents' home by dinner-time on Friday.  We had a great dinner and then my dad took my kids out for a spin in his "machine."  Ben and I took my mom out for a spin in our new car.  :)

For Saturday, since we didn't have any real set plans and we weren't sure of the weather, I decided to go to Sandy and do some "memory lane" stuff.

 So our first stop was at my elementary school - Quail Hollow.  The kids played on the playground and had a good time.

 Then we walked to my home on Cheshire Drive - what a cute home.  I still love it.  It was fun to be back in my old neighborhood.

 Then we went to my favorite bagel place (favorite, as in I ate a bagel there every day for lunch my senior year), Rich's Bagels.  Yum.  The kids must have been starving b/c they all got more bagels!  It looked just the same and my honey whole-wheat bagel tasted just like I remember:  delicious!

 Then we left memory lane and drove to Scheel's.  It's some huge sporting goods store - like Cabelas, but more athletic gear and less hunting.  But I had heard about the huge Ferris Wheel inside and so we decided to go ride it.  Holy Moly it was pretty frightening!  I think Lucy was the least scared of all of us!  I hated (as well as most everyone else) the loading part.  We had to just sit there, swaying/rocking, at the very top as the bottom seats were loaded.  Not cool.  But once it started going around and around, I was fine.  I don't even think Ben liked that part.  :)  But it was still a "fun" thing to do!  I don't know how that works.  :)

It rained while we were in Scheels.  Then we drove home, ate dinner in Midway, then relaxed that evening.  Sunday was church, a cool hike/walk with Ben and Miles and Wilson, yummy dinner, watching clips from some PBS show (showing the capture of Saigon) that my Dad wanted to especially show my boys (it showed the types of helicopters he flew; plus, he was actually there at that time), etc., etc.  A nice Sunday.

Monday morning I went running and Ben rode my mom's bike next to me.  Then we took the kids swimming (we had taken them Saturday morning, too).  Then we just packed up.  My parents are trying to get rid of lots of food since they will be gone for 18 months, so we got lots of "extras."  It was a great weekend!

Auf Wiedersehen!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

2014-2015 Class Pictures

Emmy's 1st grade class with Mrs. Brummitt.

 Jonas' 3rd grade class with Mrs. Reich.

Miles' 5th grade class with Mrs. Pearson.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

It's an End-of-School-Year Wrap

 Jonas has been a part of an after-school guitar program offered by our district's music teacher.  On Tuesday evening they had a little sing-a-long.  It was cute and fun.

 Jonas had a fun time at the sing-a-long, but he didn't love the guitar lessons.  Sigh, we need to find something this kid is passionate about . . .

 We got got a hand-me-down tramp a couple of months ago and Ben and I surprised our kids with it this morning (their last day of school).  So fun!  It's been fun and a hassle today!  We're hopefully ironing out the kinks.  If we make it through the day with no broken bones - it will be a success!  (We've had our 4 kids on it, plus 5 friends/neighbors.  Not all at once thankfully!)

 Crack the egg . . .

 Half of my morning was spent at the assemblies at school.  Emmy got a science award.  She also got an award in her classroom - "knowledge of words."
 Jonas got a science award as well.

I didn't grab a picture of Miles - but he earned some award from the P.E. teacher (maybe something like, "Safety first.")  I'll try not to go in to a hugely long story about Miles' "perfect attendance" award.  He should have been awarded it at the assembly, but wasn't even given an "outstanding attendance" (missed 2 or less days) award until after the fact.  He told his teacher and she passed it on to the principal who then announced it and had Miles stand.  Still, it wasn't right and so I emailed the secretary and principal and explained a whole bunch of stuff (like how Miles wouldn't go skiing, wouldn't let us drive home on a Monday, etc., etc. because he wanted to earn this award).  I asked the secretary to double-check his attendance record.  She did and he had not missed any days of school.  (He had checked out 4 times - only one of those times were before noon.  And, Miles made us check with the school to make sure he wouldn't be counted as absent if he checked out early.  We were told he wouldn't.)  He got his certificate right before school was let out.  (Sorry, that was a bit longer.  But it could have been longer!)

It was silly, but this really affected me for many reasons.  I was sad for my child who had worked hard for something and wasn't appropriately recognized.  I was worried about being an annoying parent, but instead the secretary told me to never be sorry for advocating for my child.  I was grateful for her support.  I was frustrated at Miles' teacher who seemed to just want to brush this off and didn't encourage Miles to talk to the office about his attendance (I would have, but I didn't get a chance to speak with him before they left the gym.)  Okay, that's enough.

Anyways, I think I came up with a new tradition for my kids' last day of school:  a Candy-gram.  It was fun and the kids liked it.  Especially eating the candy.

It's been a crazy afternoon with lots of highs and lots of lows.  The ice cream man came and Ben gave Jonas $10 to buy all 8 kids some ice cream.  Does that sound like a summer day or what?!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Miles graduates

Well, well, well.  Miles graduated from Northside Elementary school this evening.  He's got a diploma to prove it.  It's been a full and fun 6 years at this school - he will miss it.  I think the school will miss him, too.  He added a little something quirky to it.  :)

 The graduation started off with the 5th grade music program.  We have a very talented music teacher and she gets all the kids involved.

 He got to play the recorder (along with a dozen plus other students) during one song.

 Yep, even though he is graduating from elementary school, we can still catch him sucking on his arm.  (Okay, it's not really sucking.  I think he describes it more like brushing his arm hair on his lips.  Awesome.)

 There was a slideshow presentation of pictures that were taken throughout the year.  Then it was on to handing out the diplomas.  Here Miles is, accepting a hug and diploma from his teacher.  Ms. Clark, in the background, is the principal.  (sorry about the blurriness!)

 Aw, Miles and Mrs. Pearson.

Such a handsome kid!  (We may or may not have cut it very close to being late due to a father not quite remembering how to do up a bow-tie . . .)

This was Miles' first day of kindergarten (the sign and bear are no longer there, or we would have taken a picture here!).  Looking back at that post, when asked what his favorite thing about his first day was, he replied, "Everything,"

I am sure that's what he'll miss the most, too - Everything.


Jonas began making spiderwebs in their room . . . then Miles joined in . . . then it got out of control.  In a cool way, I guess.  The pictures don't do it justice, but I'll still post them:

Last but not least:  pipe-cleaner spiders to inhabit the web.  (Yes, of course there are more than one spider . . . )

A teenager in the house!

Who could that be?!  Wilson!  He turned 13 yesterday.  Wow, that is pretty old.

He's been a pretty dog great, though, all these years.  Never bitten a child - even though we had wanted him a time or two . . . Sure, he's stolen some food from the table from an unsuspecting person who had to run to the bathroom or something . . . but all in all, he's pretty great.

 We took him out for a "birthday walk" before church.  It was nice and he was tired by the end.  He's getting old . . .

 We really all do love Wilson.

 He got some real stinky bone for his birthday.  I'm glad it's outside!

Here's the cake I made.  I think I've made one like this before.  The missionaries were over for dinner and so they got to sing "Happy Birthday" to Wilson with us.

I think Wilson will be the easiest of the teens that we will have living in this house . . .

The Black Canyon Ascent

Yep, I did this race again.  Please, please remind me next year that I don't like running it!  :)  It's so hard.  It's harder than the half-marathons I've done.  Wow, it's 6 miles all up (okay, there are 2 itty-bitty down-hills, but not even then until the last mile) with a gain of 2,000 feet.  As soon as you start, you are climbing.  I thought in that first mile and a half (the hardest in my opinion):  "I can't do this.  Maybe this will be the year I have to walk some it."  But I didn't.  Slow and steady I once again ran it all.  I finished up with just about the same time as I always do:  1:13.  

 The family passed me at about miles 4 1/2.  I was tired by then!  Miles got this picture of me.  :)

 Emmy met me a little ways back and ran in with me.  Miles met me here and ran with us, too.  That was the most fun part of it all.  :)

Cutie Wren got to spend the first part of the day with us.  Ben was the primary caregiver this time!  He did great.  She did great.  She even put up with watching Emmy's last soccer game in the freezing rain and wind.

The weather for my race was great.  Cool and cloudy.  It could have even had it cooler, but I'll definitely take what I got.  It started raining slightly for the last mile or so.  During awards and raffle prizes, it even started snowing.  Awesome.

I think I have now conquered the "childbirth" race 4 times, so I am done.  Maybe next year some of our family will walk it together . . . that sounds a least partly enjoyable!

Dashing Dolphins

Emmy's soccer team, the Dashing Dolpins, was a great little team.  They won some and they lost some.  There were a few girls that were really amazing.  Emmy did well.  She kind of started to like the defense position because she would just stay on her line with the other two defenders and chat and be silly . . . until the ball came down (usually).  But the second-to-last game I told her to play some offense.  And she loved it.  I mean, she had played it before during the season, but she definitely got in to it much more the last two games.  She even almost scored a goal.

 Her almost-goal.  So close.  Dang it.  :)

 Emmy in action.

Her team.

But spring soccer turned out to be very wet and cold.  I think we need to remember to stick with fall soccer.  :)  But it was still fun - wet and cold and all!