Saturday, January 21, 2017


So Jonas had his 2nd-ever swim meet.  As hard as it is to watch your child not be the best, it's pretty awesome to watch your kid try something he didn't think he could do - and do it!  I was so proud of Jonas!

Jonas did four events at the meet:  the 200 yard Free Relay (part of a 4-person relay), the 100 Free, the 100 IM (individual medley - swimming 25 of butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and free), and finishing up with the 50 backstroke.  He did not want to do any 100's, but now that he's 11, there isn't much offered at the 50-level (in fact, I think the backstroke was the only event offered).

I missed Jonas' first event - the relay.  The girls had a play-date in the morning and so I was there just a little late.  But Ben said Jonas did just fine.

Once I got there with the rest of the kids, I went over and said hi to Jonas and wished him luck on his next event.  He was so nervous and said that he didn't want to do it and that he'd never done a 100.  I just told him to try his very best!  He ended up trying and did do the 100 - he was probably 2nd or 3rd to last. Oh well.  I was just proud that he did it!

He did okay in the individual medley, too.  I can't remember if he got last in his heat . . . but I think he did.  But he did it all!  He did get disqualified - which is not to uncommon as kids are still learning their proper strokes, especially in the butterfly and breaststroke.  But, again, he tried it and did it!

His last event was the 50-yard backstroke.  Out of the 6 kids in his heat, he got 3rd (almost 2nd!).  So that was super exciting for all of us and Jonas was super happy about it!  It was a good way to end his meet.

I get frustrated with how swimming and wrestling meets are arranged - having kids just because of age or weight compete in the same groups.  I mean, Jonas is now in the 11 year-old, plus group - he was competing against a lot older kids who have been swimming for years and years.  I wish that the groups could be based on what year competing this is for you.  Doesn't that make much more sense?!

But, anyways, this was another great experience for Jonas and I am super proud of him.  He pushed himself and did things he didn't want to do and didn't think he could!  Yay Jonas!

Monday, January 16, 2017


So we haven't had any big activities going on and so I thought I would bore everyone with an update.  :)

Ben - He could possibly be in his last year of being the bishop.  It seems like our stake is pretty good with keeping bishops for about 5 years.  So we'll see!  We left the kids all under Miles' watch and went on a date last Saturday (that's pretty monumental news).  We went out to lunch and then went to the pottery place and painted mugs.  It was fun and long - almost 4 hours.  I don't think we've ever left the kids for that long with just Miles.  But they all survived and no one killed anyone and all were happy when we got home.  Amazing.

Me - I worked last week and it was okay.  We got a new washing-machine - Ben pretty much picked it out.  Of course we talked about it . . . but Ben is actually the picky-type (about some things) and so I let him do a lot of the research.  :)  But we ended up with a Speed Queen.  The week + without the washing machine was awesome (i.e., I didn't do any laundry!).  The past week has been full of doing laundry.  But the machine is great and we love it.  I am determined to go either cross-country skiing or snowshoeing this week with a friend.

Miles - He got a 4.0 on his last quarter/semester report card.  So cool.  He really likes school.  He has decided - completely on his own as I would have dissuaded otherwise - to join wrestling again this year.  I'm super proud of him for doing it - it's just hard to watch . . . But a lot of friends from the ward are doing it as well and so he has already had a lot of fun - although it's still just "preseason."  His hair is longer than Emmy's.  I'm done nagging him to get a trim (I like it long and so does he - but he does need a trim) and so I told him I'll take him when he asks me to.  Overall, he's a pretty decent kid!

Jonas - Wow, we've struggled with this kid lately.  His moanings and such have intensified.  He can also be really, really rude to his siblings.  It's not cool.  At times, we just don't know what to do with him.  His responses are often of the wimpy-type and usually quite dramatic.  At other times, he can be just fine!  He loves scouts and swimming and is always happy when coming back from them.  He always wants to play with friends - but hasn't been able to as much as he wants to because he needs to be nicer to his siblings.  :)  He can be great, but can also be just plain awful.

Emmy - She is now on the "team" in gymnastics.  Their competition season begins in the fall and so she has all this year to improve her routines.  She really likes gymnastics and doesn't even mind going for 3 hours on Saturdays.  Lucy went to a birthday party the other night and Emmy was so sad that Lucy was going to be gone for a whole three hours - I told Emmy it would be just fine and she could have a little break from Lucy.  Emmy responded, "But I don't want a break from Lucy!"  It was cute.

Lucy - She loves, loves, loves school.  She's happy and a good student.  She loves to play with her friends at recess.  She loves her little pre-piano music class and plunks on the piano quite a bit.  She has practice, i.e., homework, and she'll also just play for fun.  It's great!  She gets to have all her friends from music class (just three others) over on Saturday for a play-date, lunch, and to watch the Disney version of Robin Hood.  Robin Hood is a song the kids play in music and so I was inspired by that.  She is beyond excited.  She lost a tooth this morning.

Brigham - He loves running with me.  He loves being shaggy.

Wilson - Yes, he is still alive - it amazes us all!  15 years old in May . . . if he makes it.  He shows no signs of not making it, but ya never know.  He loves getting in to our trash 1,000 times a day - even within 15 seconds of us shutting the door on his snout and yelling (really loudly as he is deaf) "NO!"

A few, random pictures:
 Whoops, we actually went skiing to Powderhorn on the 7th.  It was a slightly stressful and frustrating ski-trip for our family, but I think the kids enjoyed it overall.  Jonas tried snowboarding for the first half of the day (no, we didn't get a single picture!  :( ).  Ben taught him and thought he was doing pretty great for a first-timer.  It was a cold day, though, and I was just freezing for it all.  Lucy rocked it.  The other kids are pretty decent, solid skiers and it's fun to go with them.  Jonas outgrew the one-piece that Emmy is wearing in the above photo.  So I asked Emmy if she wanted to wear it - I don't know why, but I love it.  Yep, she got called a boy - but she likes that.  :)  Also, some man told her on several different occasions that she has the best ski outfit ever.  Haha.

On Sunday Emmy tried to surprise Lucy and sew her a skirt.  The idea was super cute, but the execution . . . not so much.  Emmy just doesn't have that much experience with sewing - and we can blame her (not wanting to learn) and myself (not always having the time).  Anyways, we decided to find some simpler projects - which we did, and then decided that we'd go to Joann's on Monday and get some fabric for it.  Well we did go and get some supplies for those projects, but we didn't get around to them today because the girls decided to buy these fleece-blanket "kits" as well.  They were 50% and so cost the girls $10 each.  The kits came with 2 pieces of fleece that we cut slits in and then tied.  The girls LOVE their blankets and so do I.

 Emmy, with help from Miles, tied all of her blanket.  Lucy, with the help of myself and Emmy, tied hers.  Lucy actually did quite a bit and I was impressed with both of the girls.

Super cute!

The end.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Snow Day #3

We have had three snow days since my kids have been in school.  Which is really quite insane considering the first snow day we had was the first one declared in this district in like 20 years!  As it started snowing on Thursday my kids kept talking about a snow day and I was like, "No way!"  Miles' ski-club trip to Telluride was canceled (thank goodness - I did not want him riding a bus up there in the snowy conditions!), but by 9pm school was still on.

But by 9:30 on Thursday night, school was called off for Friday.  I was really shocked and thought it was kind of lame - I mean, we only had like 9-10 inches.  Until I talked to a friend who said it was most likely due to the snow AND cold temps - it was like -1 at 8am on Friday.  I guess my friend had seen a lot of comments on a facebook message board from parents who didn't want their kids standing out for who-knows-how-long in freezing temps waiting for buses that we were already told were going to be late due to the snow.  That made a little more sense.  :)

Anyways, it was a fine snow day.  The kids played out in front for hours and built snow-forts.  In fact, I think the boys built them all, one for each of them.  The kids came in and had hot cocoa - it was a quintessential snow-day.  :)

Ben and I (and Brigham) even got to escape for a bit and went cross-country skiing for about an hour. in the late afternoon  It was pretty great - and freezing!

 Miles and his fort.

Jonas working on his.

 The front of Jonas' fort.

 Emmy in her fort.

 Lucy peeking out of her fort.

The last one:  Miles inside his fort.  :)

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Out with the Old . . . In with the New

Here are some pictures reflecting the end of 2016:

December, what a month!  Decembers are always busy - but in the most fun way.  :)

Here are our year-end interviews of the kids:  (If you want, you can click on them to make them bigger and easier to read!)

Now on to 2017 . . . like last year, we decided to go cross-country to celebrate the New Year.  Seeing as New Years was on Sunday, we went the day after.  We went up to the Grand Mesa and it was grand.  It was cold, but once we got moving for a bit, we warmed up.

 The gang skiing!

 The girls did really great, including Lucy.  She cried at first due to her hands hurting and being cold, but she hung in there and got all warmed up and had a great time - and did great.  We did a big loop that probably took us like 1 1/2 hours.  We were moving slowly, but it was still good.  :)

 Jonas had a great time!

 Miles would cruise ahead of us and then stop to eat the snow.  That's my Miles.

 Brigham was in HEAVEN.  He loved it!

 Both of us having fun in the winter wonderland.

 Brigham even got to pull the kids.  Sometimes it didn't work out and a kid would go down.  But they all (except for Jonas who didn't want a turn) had some good runs by Brigham.  Go, dog, go!

 Lunch time!  Boy was it cold when you stopped moving and had to help kids get their lunches.  Brrrr.

Ben and I then left the kids in the car and took Brigham and did a loop on our own.  It was lovely and great!

Brig loved it and accumulated even more icicles on his beard.  :)  What's he looking up at, you ask?  Just the car-trunk - he hates it and hates it even more when it goes down.  Brigham is not a fan of the car!

Anyways, a fun way to begin the 2017 New Year!