Thursday, September 30, 2010

Time to Say Good-bye

The kids have been in school for 6 weeks now.

The day before Emma turned six it officially turned fall.

Emma has been six for a week now.

I guess its time to say good bye to summer...can you tell I'm a little hesitant to? Maybe I'm expecting to pull some magical powers out of my non-existent hat. The power to turn back the hands of time. To go back to the endless, carefree summer days. But alas I can't find that hat.

It was a good summer.

Super, S U P E R l o w key.

All routines and schedules completely dissolved and we.just.were. It felt sooo good.

I had a flashback of the early days of motherhood. The simple days.
{{contented sigh}}

It was the complete opposite of the summer of 09 when I was never home and constantly on the go. I didn't want to go a n y w h e r e. And we didn't. Except for camping. I love camping. It makes me happy.

I personally read 14 books this summer. {{even bigger happier contented sigh}} Reading is the perfect getaway. Amongst them were the Love Comes Softly series and many of Shannon Hale's books. And one truth was born this summer: I have a love for Christian Romance. Laugh if you will but I'm standing firm in my conviction. I love a good chick flick love story. I know with Christian Romances they will be clean and even make your soul feel good as you come to know the Lord and accept His divine grace and mercy as you are born again in His everlasting love {yes sometimes skim reading is necessary for the preachy parts.}

Looking back I'm pretty sure that I was more depressed than I'd ever like to admit during those warm care free months. Couponing was a needed blessing.

The kids and I made a TO DO list for the Summer. We called it our 60 Days of Summer. We made a big poster and hung it on the door to the preschool room. We didn't accomplish everything on our list but we sure had fun. I'm pretty sure that is what matters most.

While I blogged about a few of these as they happened our complete 60 Days of Summer consisted of:

having an ART camp, putting together a Popsicle/lemon aide stand, going to Roaring Springs, going on a hike, plan and executing a dinosaur dig, watching an outdoor movie, running through the sprinklers, making an ice cream, camping out at Strawberry, learning about our flag on flag day (June 14th), making and eating rainbows, having a PJ day, watching Toy Story 3 in the theatre, making smores, pull weeks, bake cookies {impressive since it was another GREEN summer}, D.I. closet sale, make recycled ART, have RBF {a.k.a. Root Beer Float}, make a home made slip n' slide, have a dance off, go on a father/son cam pout, design a board game, wear red white and blue, have a sleep over at our house, throw a Why We LOVE Dad party, mail a care package to Elder Richards, have read-a-thon, go fishing, go swimming as a family in Vale, BUG day, go to the library, camp some where new, go to the Nampa water park, have a picnic dinner, go to the Dollar Store, have a water melon spitting contest, blow bubbles and host a BBQ.

{June 2010}

Good bye summer, you were good to us this year.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Austin had his first Parent Teacher Conferences on Monday after school. They sent home a paper asking us to list goals for the school year as student and parent. After we talked about them with Senora Mason & Mrs. White they also set goals for Austin. I like it. Goal setting is good, achieving greatness is better.

They had lots of positive things to say about Austin. He is making friends and already becoming a leader. There have been a few minor behavior issues {that are consistent with his behavior at home.} I feel like it comes down to learning how to be responsible. So that is my big push right now, "I love it when my responsible second grader puts away his homework in his folder." OR "Did my responsible second grader..." We'll get there, right???

My concern is to keep him challenged during English week. Obviously it isn't a problem during Spanish week. I start volunteering in the classroom next week. I'm ready and I'm excited. I need to be involved.

Senora Mason read with Austin today and she had high praise for him. She couldn't believe how quickly he is grasping the concepts and reads & pronounces with ease. She is very excited to see how much Spanish he will learn this year. It is always encouraging to hear such comments.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My SUPER SIX year old

Happy, Happy Birthday Emma Lynn!

September 22, 2004 {Ames, Iowa ~ 8.1 lbs & 20 in}

First Birthday {2005}

Second Birthday {2006}

Third Birthday {2007}

Fourth Birthday {2008}

Fifth Birthday {2009}

This has been almost the most emotional birthday for me yet. {{but I want you to know that I didn't actually cry.}}

There are just so many changes going on with my girl right now. She is really growing up. And it makes me so happy to see the girl she is growing to be. I'm proud of her. My heart smiles when I think about her. And I love our relationship.

One example of her growing up...when I asked her what she wanted for her birthday the maturity of her response took me back.

"Well...I have enough toys so I don't need any more toys. I have enough clothes so I don't need any more clothes.....BUT I would love more shoes...AND a chapter book!"

She got both items she asked for.

She was beyond excited about today, her BIRTHDAY! "Mom, this is going to be the BEST day of all the evers!" :D Do you remember the simple happinesses of youth?

I brought in cupcakes to her class that we had made together.

and they sang to her.

All she wanted for her birthday was to have a mommy date plus her 2 best friends, Jacqlyn and Stephanie. Emma had everything planned out: I picked them up after school.

and had ice cream at Dairy Queen.

Note: ever since her Aunt Marti's birthday a few weeks ago she decided that she wanted a flower birthday just like Marti's cake. Copying is the highest form of flattery.

They colored a wooden flower

used peel licorice to create a flower and other shapes

played Pet Shops (of course!), did a sticker book and danced. They were very anxious for Kurt and the siblings to arrive. {Kurt was on mom duty since I was busy trying to fulfill Emma's birthday wishes. Thanks!}

We had to fit the rest of the activities in before mutual started. So we had Emma's requested dinner {home made mac n' cheese, corn, chicken nuggets & pears.}

Followed by the traditional opening of presents and cake & ice cream.

Using a birthday present immediately. Good pick!

What a beautiful girl you are Emma Lynn. We LOVE you! Happy, happy SIXTH birthday Emma dear.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Beauty Tips

This edition of B4L {Beauty For Life} is brought to you by style guru Rooster Romans.

1. Lay out all your beauty products on the counter before you get started. This way you are sure not to forget something important.

2. Always wear deodorant. It's never too late to apply.

3. Mascara is your friend. Don't be afraid to use it heavily. Go dramatic!

4. When brushing your teeth use a generous amount of toothpaste. No one likes yellow, rotting teeth!

5. Lipstick is a girl's best friend.

pucker up


Coming Next Month: How to remove pesky mascara and lipstick stains from your walls.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Recruiting over Ice Cream

Friday night was Austin's Ice Cream Social at school. I had bought tickets to "Time Out for Women" way before Austin was accepted to 4R. I really didn't feel like I could miss his open house so I gave my ticket to Cindy.

It was enjoyable to have Austin show us his school, visit with his teachers more, get to know more of the parents and of course have root beer floats.

More than anything we wanted to show Emma Lynn the school. She is always in school when we go so she had never even been there. We checked out the 1st grade class room and even met the 1st grade teacher. And the principle came over while we were eating to introduce herself. There was definitely some heavy recruiting going on from all sides. She handled it well. The phase of the night was "I'm going to go to Austin's school in _____________ grade." She gave us a different answer every time. ;)

I'm so grateful we found a good fit for Austin and that he is enjoying it.

He just finished Spanish week with his teacher Senora Mason

Monday he is back in English with his teacher Mrs. White. They will soon be starting a Magic Tree House unit.

In both classes they have been studying SPACE. {Austin is pointing to his.}

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Something for Spence

I worry about the "middle child syndrome" for my sweet Spence. He is funny and happy and easy going. He is quick to obey, quick to grin and quick witted. But it also makes it easy for him to fall into the middle child rut because some of his siblings require more of my time.

I have wanted him to have something special, his own special activity thing for a while now. He has been doing preschool but...ya know...his mom is the teacher.

I looked into gymnastics a few different times last year but the scheduling never quite worked out. I was more determined this school year (he is getting older) and the fact that we are in Ontario every afternoon also helps.

So today was his first all boys gymnastics class. He has been SO excited. Counting down the days like an eager beaver. He did so well today. I'm smiling just thinking about it. He is such a cute kid! Right before he ran to join his class he said to me, "Mom, I'm going to my very best to do what the teacher says." You could see the determination on his face to do his very best each exercise. He would go back many times to try and practice to get it right. He loved chalking up his hands after every pole exercise. And in true Spencer form he gave everyone a laugh: he was taking his turn swinging on the rings, after three full swings they were suppose to jump down into a circular mat (they called it the doughnut to give you a visual image) and land on their feet. Some how my monkey managed to dive into the doughnut head first. He came up grinning.

I'm glad we've found something special my Spence.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


So inbetween SCHOOL overtaking our life at home, in Ontario AND Vale there have been a few other things going on.


But most importantly Braxton & Brooke have come to play every day.


Spencer and Braxton are seriously the best of friends. They get along so well. They never fight and they always pick up where they left off.

Ruth and Brooke have their moments {especially in the car!} but for the most part love to do all kinds of girly things together.

We are pretty lucky to have so much time with our besties.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Joseph's First

Today Joseph became a DADDY! :D {And obviously Maren a mom!}

Adelaide Rose was born on September 10, 2010 {8 days overdue} at 7:33 am. Weighing in at 6.5 pounds and 19 inches long.

I am bursting at the seams excited for them to experience the joys {and worry and heartache and sometimes stress} of parenting. It is, hands down, the most beautiful journey to take. Heavenly Father loves us so much to entrust us with such a priceless responsibility. They are going to be such wonderful, loving, and doting parents. I wish that I lived next door so I could witness it on a regular basis and be apart of Addy's life.

Welcome, Welcome Adelaide, we're so glad you're here. WE LOVE YOU!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It has begun

Preschool started again today. The official late night, messy morning kitchen, mountains of paper insanity has started. It is now compounded with the running to Ontario twice a day. {Luckily we found a car pool group to help the mornings.} I have to admit that I was a little hestitate and slightly unexcited to start preschool after the latest addition to our life last week. It's going to be busy.

But I remember why I teach preschool today ~ I enjoy it. Ya know, I'm pretty lucky that I can do something fun and creative with my kids and hopefully help others along the way. And you know what else, I've discovered that I like life busy crazy {most of the time!}

Sunday, September 5, 2010

la noticias

It was a very intense week. Big, important, life changing decisions to make.

Our game plan was to have Austin to finish out the school week at 4R (Wed-Fri) and then use the long weekend to make the decision together about his future education plans.

Each day at school got better than the one before. {{He annouced Thursday after school that recess was better today because his uniform shirt was dark blue. What a goof!}}

Friday night he asked, "Can I go to school there for the rest of the year?"

Immediately Kurt and I both felt an overwhelming confirmation of the spirit. What a relief.

We wanted to celebrated his hard work this week so we let him picked dinner {{he chose eating out at Vale's local Mexician ressurant. Totally fitting.}} I also wrote him a card attached to a new box of KNEXs telling Austin that we were proud of him for being brave, working hard and making KNEXions at a new school. His response, "Thanks mom but it wasn't hard." What 7 year old says that after going to school in foreign tongue for 3 days???

Saturday afternoon Kurt and I went to the temple, fasting with this decision. I feel like we have been given an amazing opportunity. I also know that as our family learns Spanish we can become an important tool for the Lord.

We also saw this as an important opportunity to teach Austin how to communicate with the Lord in making decisions. We asked him to fast one meal (his first time) about his decision on which school to join. He also bore his testimony in sacrament meeting. That evening we talked. We asked him how he felt, "I feel good about going to the Spanish/English school." From there we could talk about how to communicate with the Lord.

It was a long week. The first 24 hours after finding out I felt like I was on the verge of puking. {Come to find out Kurt also had similar feelings.} Each day got a little better as we continued to pray, exercise faith and go to the temple until we had confirmation of the spirit. In this process I'm grateful that the school was understanding and gave us a few days to make the decision. I'm grateful that the 3 of us were able to make the decision together with the Lord. And I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to rely heavily on the spirit this week. I'm grateful that the Lord doesn't leave us alone and we can receive love and guidance on our journey.

Now I need to find a good Spanish tutor.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Emma Lynn rode the bus to school today. I took her to Katelynn's house so they could ride together. I appreciate their willingness to help her ease into a new situation. Her direction quote about the experience: "The bus ride was so long. We picked up so many kids. I don't want to ride the bus to school or home ever again."

And Austin had his first day at the 4 Rivers Community Charter school. He was put in the Spanish class so there's nothing like jumping right in. There are lots of things to think about and it seems like we've talked about them over and over. It is a very important decision to make in a very short amount of time. I just want to make the right choice for Austin.

He had a good day. Only positive things to say and definitely not tramatic. But he told some class mates, and the principal that he was going back to his school tomorrow. So basically, thanks for this experience but I'm outy. When I picked him up he said, "I have 4 good reasons why I want to go back to my school and one reason why it will be sad not to come back here." I love that he had been thinking, and calculating with his debate all ready to discuss.

{{good reasons to go to VES according to Austin: friends, lunches, 3 recesses, and he doens't have to wear a uniform. The one thing he'll miss at 4 Rivers after the first day accessment is playing games on the iPOD during centers.}}

{{First day at 4R wearing Wednesday's uniform of light blue polo}}

Ideally he would like to go to school at both locations. Unfortunately we are going to have to make a choice. Our game plan is to finish the school week at 4R and then think / talk / pray about it over the long weekend. Remember us in your prayers as we try to make the best choice for my talented Austy boy.

The world is a stage

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