Friday, February 25, 2011

Having a Snow Day is fun when…



It’s the only one you’ve had in two years.


Your kids have lots of silly cousins to play with and a babysitting grandma willing to host for the afternoon.


You have a husband who shovels with you in the quiet, peaceful dark of the early morning.

The sun comes out for much of the chilly day.




You have lots of hot chocolate on hand.


You’d already had a stay-at-home day planned anyway.

You have this cute kid to bundle up.


Kids come in saying “Mom, my face ees fwozen!” and then trot back outside to play again.


You are leaving on a girlfriend getaway the very next day!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thoughts about Emma turning 12

**For my non-Mormon friends: In the LDS religion, 12 is kind of a big age.  From 3-12, kids attend the children’s Sunday school organization.  When they turn 12, a girl enters Young Women and attends classes and activities geared toward adolescents.  They are able to enter areas of our temples for the first time.  It really symbolizes an end of childhood.**

In the months leading up to her birthday, people would ask me how I felt about her turning 12.  I would answer: “Oh, she’s really ready.  She’s so mature and excited about this next stage in her life.  I’m happy for her.”  I meant it. 

And then 4 days before her birthday, during our family scripture study, we got a knock on the door.  All of the girls in her new Young Women class were there, surprising her and welcoming her with a song and a candy-gram.  Cute, right?


Except I was standing at the door, barely able to be civil.  I was so surprised by my feelings and surprised by the realization that I was MAD at these ladies for coming to take my child and turn her into a teenager!  I knew it was illogical and tried to get over it, but I quickly figured out that night that this transition was going to be a little more painful for me than I thought.


We celebrated with a birthday lunch at Red Robin, jumping at the local trampoline place with her three closest friends and present opening in the car.  As we drove, I listened to these girls talk about BOYS, as they got more and more hyper and goofy, and again had to face the fact:  she is not a child anymore.

Emma's 12th Birthday 2

I got choked up as I decorated her birthday table, and sorted pictures of a baby that will never be a baby again, a kindergarten that I’ll never get to hang out with again, an innocent 8 year old fresh from the waters of baptism that is starting this probably not-so-innocent phase.  I remembered an older friend telling me “After they turn 12, it just goes by in a blink.”


Since her birthday we’ve had 2 Beehive lessons, 1 youth fireside, 2 Young Women activities (all of which she LOVED LOVED LOVED).  She’s already busier, different, more mature, truly-- in 10 days.  Maybe I’m being dramatic, but I can feel the change.

Spokane Temple Family

There are wonderful things about this 12 year old…a family trip to the temple to do baptisms, as I thrilled to introduce her to the peace and profundity that can be found in temple service.  Or family prayers that show a spiritual maturity that she needs and shares with her siblings.  She is a capable babysitter, a good example to her friends, fun to talk to when she unloads after school.

I know it won’t be bad.  I know there will be joy in this stage, too.   scan0001

But I’m allowed to mourn my first little girl, just a little bit, aren’t I?

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's what's on the inside that counts...

Katelyn's valentines box:

Emily's valentines box:

Erika's valentines box:

Payson's valentines box:

Austin's valentines box:


Jane's valentine's box:

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, February 7, 2011

This is what happened in January

Nothing.  Which was lovely.

Okay, not nothing, but apparently nothing I felt deserved any pictures, so maybe I’ll just highlight each person and call it good.




Emma competed in a piano competition.  There was an astounding lack of practicing involved, even after an embarrassing rehearsal in front of her orchestra class.  Fortunately (or unfortunately?), she had an amazing judge that really spent a good 10 minutes giving her tips and the second highest rating possible. 

She’s kind of casting around for something to do after school.  She was worried that she would be too busy (this might be the ONLY way she doesn’t take after her mother) and so didn’t sign up for any extra-curricular anything. We are debating a city choir or sewing lessons to fill her time.  As for now, she plays A LOT with Faith and so maybe we should just leave well enough alone?

She’s also growing like crazy (12 next week!). And so Ryan is constantly wondering why her clothes are so tight.  I didn’t buy them that way, I promise…she’s just turning into an almost teenager apparently.  At least she knows how to put clothes together well…cute sense of style.



He had his first swim meet.  He was really nervous, but had no reason to be as he took 2nd in both events (breaststroke and butterfly).  He LOVES swim practices, even when it/s 12 degrees, snowing and he just got home from Math is Cool.

He also feels the need to steal my phone and take 7200 self-portraits.  I find stuff like this: 


every day.

He’s become a huge reader as well.  He’s finished 39 Clues and is on to Harry Potter.  He loves to stay up late reading AND he loves to wake up early to read.  I wish he needed as little sleep as Emma…all these early mornings/late nights have resulted in some forced early bedtimes due to grouchiness.



It’s so funny/pathetic how much she DIES to have any sort of one-on-one time with an adult.  She gets so excited about her 20 minutes Speech Therapy at school and was on cloud nine when she got to go to the Stake Baptism Preview with just Mom and Dad.  Ryan has been spending a few minutes at bedtime with a different kid each night and she’s always convinced it’s her turn.


After a letter regarding Jane’s lateness was sent home last month, she is proud to announce she hasn’t been late in 5 weeks.  Of course there are many tears, and even a few last minute paid rides to school, but we are celebrating around here.


She gets along great with Seth, less great with Emma and Gabe.  My latest argument solving tactic involves sending the disagree-ers out to the COLD garage to “work it out”.  I tell them I’m happy to work it out for them, but since it “drains my energy” they’ll need to restore my energy with a chore.  They usually opt for self-mediating…and the 20 degree temperature in the garage seems to hurry them along.




He really really really really really really really really talks a lot.  Really a lot.  I have no way to properly convey the amount of talking that goes on.  It’s cute and funny.  And exhausting.  (Really.  Try having someone talk in your ear for 4 hours straight.  See if you say, at the grocery store “Seriously.  You cannot open your mouth on more time till we are in the car or you are in trouble.”)  It’s also not particularly socially acceptable, so we are working on when it’s his turn and when it’s the rest of world’s turn.

He also really really really really really really really really does a lot of arts and crafts.  Ask anyone if they’ve ever been around him for more than 15 minutes without him sitting down to cut, draw, tape, glue, or color something.  Look for him in the Louvre someday.




She is SO GOOD right now.  A friend commented the other day “She seems to have really matured in the last few weeks” and it’s true.  It’s like a few rational switches have flipped on in her head and we’ve only had 2 rage-induced barfing episodes in the last 6 weeks.  YAY! 

She is talking like a 3 year old.  It’s so fun.  Honestly when someone who is 3 feet tall with a little munchkin voice says stuff like “I show you how I draw a dog.  Oops, mom!  Dat not a dog!  I sink dat a balloon I draw!” you pretty much want to die of cuteness attacks.

While talking like a champ, we sometimes worry about her hearing.  She grunts “huh?!” about 48 times a day.  It doesn’t sound funny when I type it, but I really think she acts like a 88 year old man, with a cone to his hear (“Eh?!”) half the time.

Cute stuff that I have to record:  She calls all of her siblings “guys”.  Like:  “The guys home from school afer my nap, mom?”  or “Hey!  I hear guys now, mom!”.  She also is big into arguing “Yes you was, Sef!” over and over.  And if she’s doesn’t know something she tells us, “I not know!”  And also, in case you were wondering, “I not Yike that salad, mom!”



Same stuff.  His work paid for everyone to go to a hockey game, with a catered dinner on the floor of the arena.  We left the little kids at home and had a great time. 


He’s exercised every day since the New Year and is pretty proud of it.  Head over to our sports club around 5:30 and you’ll see him riding an exercise bike, with a BIG huge marketing text balanced on the handlebars.


Also, he’s been Mr Fun FHE lately.  We have a guy in our ward, who seriously is one of the best jump-ropers in the nation.  Seriously.  Ryan asked him to meet us at the church and do some demonstrations.  Best Family Home Evening on record. 



I’m doing better.  I think the no-sugar (yay! Down 14 lbs), extra prayers, less computer and counseling appoinments are making a difference, I think.

I truly have the most active, fun group of friends/ward and have a girls night, or a couples date or a recipe group or a play group to go to 3 days a week.  I’ve actually NOT done 2-3 things, in a effort to put my energy where it’s most needed, and Ryan’s been shocked.  Mostly it’s rejuvenating, but I’m trying to strike that balance.

I pretty much wrote the most boring summary ever—was there a single piece of humor in these last 10 paragraphs?  Whatever.  Now I can go cross this thing off my list!