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Friday, May 27, 2016

T minus 78 minutes and counting...

Yep.  It's the last day of school!  Ty made the comment this morning that he can't believe it's over- that it somehow went too fast.  If my 10 year old says this... what the heck is going on??  I thought it flew by too- but I've been known to be crazy- so I usually keep my thoughts to myself.  

Here's Ry on the first day of school... 

And the last...

He seems WAY older to me.  He's bigger yes- but he seems older.  I don't know about wiser- yesterday I caught him wearing 3 t-shirts and his underwear was on inside out.  But I'll give him older.  He's had a GREAT year this year.  I worried about him starting a new school year at a new school- but I apparently worried for nothing.  I swear this kid knows everybody- which I'm just not sure how that works- he gets out less than I do!  

And then there's Ty...


He's gotten massive.  In retrospect I should have put both boys in front of the front door again so I could see how much they've grown this year- but Ty especially.  I had to take 3 steps back just to get him in the camera lens!  He's had an amazing year too.  We have STRUGGLED the last couple of years with behavior in school- and this year... was just so different!  Not one call from the principal.  No notes from the teacher.  No angry parents.  Seriously people- it was an awesome year.  I'll give it to Ty- he has changed a lot this year.  Not just in height, or straighter teeth... he's grown emotionally too.  He is so kind to his sister and his brother.  He helps me whenever he can.  I just... I can't quite put my finger on it... but he's changing.  


Ty was pretty excited this week- he met his class AR goal so he got to go to lunch at the Little Classroom (the only cafe in Declo).  And today he's going home with some friends for a "School's Out" party.  My little boy is definitely growing up.  


 And lastly... all my babies.  They have all grown so much this year- I'm so proud of each and every one!





Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The grounds

So... I thought I'd show you around some more...

The wildlife around here is pretty incredible too.  We see all kinds of birds, skunks, raccoons, foxes, mice (yeah... mice are totally my favorite), porcupines, snakes and deer.  



We even have a an eagle's nest in one of our trees.  It's a couple of bald eagles- last summer they had two babies- it was pretty wild to watch them.



Here's that baby bald eagle I was telling you about.  Most mornings last summer we would find him just chillin' here on the deck.  Mama was way more vocal about us being near than he was.

Here's one view of the river- consequentially it's also one of my favorites.  Sunsets here are absolutely gorgeous.

Out east of us is a HUGE field that the boys have dubbed "the pasture".  I always thought you had to have an animal in it to be a pasture... but apparently I have been misinformed.  The boys LOVE it out there.  During the summer they build a baseball field and a driving range.  And during the fall it became a football field.  Just out of sight of this picture is a large gray shop (4 bays wide and two stories)- we put up a basketball hoop for the boys inside it for the winter so they could play out of the snow.  Kate would more often than not- sit and ride circles around them on her bike.


As you can tell- we like to keep busy and this seems like just the place to do it!

You know it's gonnna be a long long time....

Good gravy it's been a while.  I've decided to pick back up though- and maybe not keep trying to go back and update.  Let's just start fresh.  

As a quick back up... we have moved yet again.  But this time we are back in Idaho.  In another small town.  I kinda like it.  

We are renting a little old farm house sandwiched between the highway (ugh- I know I swore I'd never live on the highway) and the Snake River.  We have the most gorgeous views of the river and valley off of our deck- I'm sure there will be pictures to come.  Seriously.  So gorgeous.  Our yard is massive- more than we will ever know what to do with and the kids couldn't be happier with it.  They have several "secret hideouts" and tons of room to play ball.  


Shaun is working across the highway for Sinclair Oil- kind of a turn around in careers right?  He's been a cabinet maker, a teacher, a bike technician, a tractor salesman and now he's the manager at a gas terminal.  He's a man of many talents- what more can I say?


My kids are loving the schools here...  Both boys are here at the local elementary school- 1st and 4th grades... unbelievable right??  I can vividly remember things about my 4th grade year- I'm not entirely sure how I have a son old enough to be there too.  But Ty has loved it.  We were having a lot of problems at our old school with Ty and other boys and behavior... but it has all gone away here.  It's like he turned over a new leaf and I kind of like "new Ty".  He has some great buddies and his grades are amazing.  He's currently playing baseball (right like that was going to go away) and is super excited for the season to really get going.  

Ry is coming right out of his little shell here.  He's been called a leader in his classroom and we have only heard the very best about him from his teachers.  Everywhere we go- Ryan knows someone or some little kid is pulling on his shirt telling him hello.  On the baseball field they call him "Big Ryan" and he just nods his head with a little grin- taking it all in stride.  


Poor Kate ended up in preschool again.  Shaun and I had a LOT of conversations about this- and decided that we couldn't in good conscience send Kate to Kindergarten this year- knowing that she would then only be 17 when she graduated from high school.  I know that there are others out there that were in this same situation and ended up sending them anyway- it probably worked out fine.  But we are not those people.  We enrolled Kate into a preschool/gymnastics class three times a week and she is also thriving.  She is so excited that she has figured out a front roll and has almost figured out a cartwheel- since Kate has the balance and coordination of a stick- this is HUGE!  I wish I had videoed her when she first tried the summer-salt... I thought I was going to die laughing.  She ended up with both her legs wrapped around her teacher's head... and she wouldn't let go.  


As for me... I'm settling in to life as a country girl.  It's definitely different than what I'm used to... but at the same time- I love the room to breathe and the room to create who it is that I want to be.  I'm taking more pictures these days and in my spare time (I'm sorry- what's that?) I'm substituting in our local schools.  I just finished an 8 week stint in the kindergarten- it was SO much fun.   


Anyway- I'm hoping to be better at putting up pictures of our ever growing kiddos and share some of our stories and thoughts as we embark on this new adventure.  


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Runnin' Utes Preview Game

My dad invited us to go with him to the Utah Men's Basketball Preview Game... the kids were so excited.  They love basketball season- there are a lot of home games and that means more chances for the kids to go.  As much as they love football games- they usually only get a chance to watch those on TV.  But basketball games are up close and personal!  Grandpa JB inherited his dad and his uncle's seats on the second row and the kids are totally spoiled.  They absolutely love it!

My Girls

I have found that life is much better when I am surrounded by girls who understand me.  Or at least put up with my brand of crazy.  Deborah and Brooke are two such girlies... they have little girls kate's age and we just have all kinds of fun.  Today we went to Gardner Village to check out the witches.

Family Home Evening

I hate a love/hate relationship with family home evening.  I know it's something that we have been challenged to do, and I know what a difference it can make in our home when we are consistent with it.  But some days... the kids just make it so HARD to want to spend another minute with them.  How terrible am I for admitting that??  But you know those days... the ones where they have spent every second arguing or screaming and I've had a bad day and Shaun's in a crummy mood, it's seriously the last thing in the world I want to do.  And sometimes I bag it.  I shouldn't but I do.

I didn't tonight though.  It was actually a good one.  We found these books a while ago called, "Who's Your Hero?" and my kids LOVE them.  It makes FHE go much smoother when I just use one of the stories in it.

This was the end result tonight... silly kids with smiles and crazy eyes.  THESE days make me grateful that not all the days are like THOSE days.  If you know what I mean.

Spud-Nick

We don't always get the chance to run away to Idaho for Spud harvest, but when we do, it never ceases to amaze me.  There is so much going on just for a potato.



We always try to pick out the biggest one we can see to get a picture with though... The one Kate is holding is seriously bigger than her head!  Dinner tonight??

Stupid Homework

Do I sound like I'm still in school?  I whine a lot about homework because I hate having to sit down with the boys to do it.  I've already done my time... why do I have to do it twice??

Actually- Ty is pretty self sufficient when it comes to homework.  He only needs me once in a while to sign something or to check his times tables off.  Ryan on the other hand... needs help with EVERYTHING!!  It's not his fault- it's the way the kindergarten is designed now I think.  But it takes us forever every night.  Or at least it seems that way.

I had to laugh though- when we had all our stuff spread across the table- it seemed pretty daunting!

Conference Weekend

We normally don't do a whole lot on a conference weekend.  Once in a while we'll go up to Idaho to visit Shaun's parents or sometimes we'll run up to the lake.  But this weekend, my parents suggested lunch in the canyon between sessions.  It sounded beautiful- and the weather was cooperating, which made it even better.

Flag Football

Ty gets to squeeze in one more year of flag football before moving onto contact.  I'm so relieved.  And he ended up on such a fun team this year.  His coach used to play for Utah, so Ty is a little star struck- he totally eats up everything Coach says.



Personally- I just loving sitting in the sun and talking to the other moms.  It's good times.

Jammie Day

Kate's cousin, Cam is going to Children's Discovery this year too.  He is in the year behind Kate and so he's in a different class- but they both go on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Cam's mom asked him what he thought Kate was going to have on her jammies today at school and he immediately replied, "A PRINCESS!"



I think he knows her... don't you??

Lions and Tigers and Bears

I got a new pedometer for myself.  I walk a shockingly small amount of steps in a day.  Like really small.  It's depressing.  So we're trying to walk around more.  And since scouts is just down the street, we've decided that we are walking from now on.

We were taking Ty this afternoon, and I just couldn't get over how much I absolutely love these babies of mine.

Soaking up the fall

We live next door to a cemetery.  Did I ever tell you that?  It's not creepy.  In fact- it's kind of nice that the neighbors are so quiet.

We take our walks in the cemetery most evenings.  Well... sometimes we walk.  Other times we ride scooters or bikes.  Tonight it was scooters!

Cowboy Day

Howdy Howdy folks!  The thing I love about teaching preschool, is I can be an idiot, and they think it's funny.  If I'm an idiot at home- my kids are to the point now they roll their eyes with their father.  But my new class thinks I'm super funny.

Anyway- it's cowboy day and we are so excited to go to school and roast marshmallows, sing cowboy songs, play game and ride on a REAL horse.  Does it get better than this?  I mean really...



And the best part is... since Kate is in TWO different classes... she gets every thing twice this year!

Be Still My Heart

I am sure that there is somewhere in the world that time just moves so slow.  So slow that it maybe feels like it has stopped sometimes.  Maybe somewhere where they are shoveling snow.  That always seems to take forever.  But here, here at my house- time just flies.  I just sent the boys back to school- but here we are two weeks later, and Kate and I are ready to go back too.  I am teaching again at Children's Discovery this year, and I am so glad that I get to share it with my Katie-bug.  It's kind of a mixed bag being a working mom- even just a part time one- but I guess if I get to do it with my little one it's all worth it.



We actually decided to put Kate in a 2/3 day split, so that she could be there with me when I was there.  I don't teach her (I will only teach 3 year olds- they are funny.  4 year olds are sassy), but I am still around if she needs me.  She is so in love with all four of her teachers- here's to a great year!

Aw Shucks

We went to Idaho this weekend and got our annual load of fresh corn.  Sometimes we shuck and cut and pack in Idaho, but this time, we brought it home and I put the kids to work.  We shucked and shucked and shucked until we could shuck no more.  It's all good though... when we have yummy corn this winter we'll not even remember it right?  Please tell me I'm right because right now- I never want to see corn again!!

Back to what now?

I can't believe it!  Summer is officially OVER!  Wah!!  School started on August 25 and I was so sad to see my boys off to school this year.  One in 3rd grade...



and one in kindergarten...



Fine then.  If you boys are going to leave us... Kate and I will just have to go to lunch.



Seriously though- it was so cute dropping the boys off this morning.  Ryan was a little worried about it all- but Ty put his arm around him and walked him to his kindergarten line.  I'm not really sure what they talked about, but Ryan had a huge smile when he turned around to wave good-bye.

Howl at the Moon

I am a terrible Akela.  That's scout talk for leader.  I'm not an official one, but I am supposed to be helping Ty at home with many of his scouting things.  We kind of put things off until the last minute around here... so we have been working like crazy people trying to get him his Wolf badge before he turned 9.  Happy to report...



WE DID IT!  Whew.  Now bring on the Bear.

Millions of Peaches

Canning season is in full swing around here.  We have done our jam and our pears... onto peaches.  My very most favorite peach is the lemon elberta and I found some in Brigham City this year and bought two boxes.  But that many peaches calls for that many more hands.  Luckily my grandma and my mom answered the call...



We had four generations working on my peaches this morning.  Kind of makes me not want to eat them.  Oh wait.  The feeling passed and now I need a bowl of peaches.  

We be Jammin'

Kate and I spent the afternoon making Raspberry Huckleberry Jam!  If you could have bottled the fragrance in my house today... we'd be millionaires.

Chicken Little

Our neighbor, Brig, has chickens in his backyard.  And my kids are so jealous.  They are constantly asking when they can have a chicken in their yard.  I'm not really sure what to tell them... I just keep mumbling something about 'in a while'.  Anyway- the kids take every chance they can get to ride their bikes down to Brig's house and watch the chickens.  Sometimes they get to help feed them and sometimes they just chase them around the yard- Brig says the chickens need exercise.  And on special days- Brig even lets them bring home an egg or two.  Normally the kids walk their bikes home and hold the egg in their hand and all is safe.



This egg however doesn't know how lucky it is.  I however, know exactly how lucky it is.  Ty decided to bring this egg home in his pocket... since riding his bike was SO much faster.  Does that scream disaster to anyone else??  An egg in your pocket while you ride a bike??  It could have come to a very messy end.  Instead... it ended in dessert.  I used it to make brownies.

Thank you Brig.  And Ty.

Girls Day Out

I have to admit that as much as I love having my boys, having a little girl is pretty awesome too.  Kate and I snuck away for an afternoon, while grandma Janet watched the boys.  We had haircuts...



And went out to lunch.  Kate picked... and she picked one of my favorites... greasy Mexican!  It was a little slice of heaven today.

Best Aunt Ever

So... my sister spoils my kids rotten.  Really rotten.  I mean, really, seriously rotten.  And they love every minute of it.  This summer Miss promised she would take the kids to Cowabunga Bay, a new little water park that was built in Draper.



Kate was a major pansy and wouldn't go down any of the slides unless I actually pushed her down them- we're talking the tiny ones that go about 5 feet in length, but the boys were fearless!  I think Ryan tries so hard to keep up with Ty that he sometimes forgets that he is actually only 6 and some of these slides had me second guessing.  But if he was scared- he didn't let anyone know.  We had so much fun- thanks Meliss!

Monday, August 3, 2015

9 is Super Fine

Lame title I know... but we have another birthday!!  Summer birthdays are our specialty around here (apparently I need a scarier Halloween costume), and Ty turned 9.

As Ty is getting older, Shaun and I are realizing that it's getting a little harder to figure out awesome birthday presents.  A few years ago it was pretty easy- a Nerf gun or a ball and we were set.  Not saying Ty isn't still excited about those things- but I kind of feel like if we are spending the money- it should be for something lasting.  So we settled on a new bike.  A BIG bike.  See... Ty is a small monster (oxi moron I know).  He started out huge (almost 10 pounds) and he really hasn't slowed down- in fact, since his Celiac diagnosis- he's grown even more.  So- he's way outgrown his last bike that we bought him a couple years ago... and Shaun thought he would have a better time picking out his own bike- so the morning of his birthday dawned and we found ourselves headed down to the local bike shop...

Ty had such a good time trying out several bikes in the parking lot and finally settled on this little beauty...



He seriously looks even bigger on this bike than he did before he got on it.  I'm losing my little boy and I think I have a pre-teen on my hands... heaven help us all!

Ty was so excited to get his new bike home- he hasn't been off of it since.  Thank goodness he can't get it in the door or I'm pretty sure he'd be sleeping with it too.

No One Mourns the Wicked

HA!  Remember when I told you I had wicked tickets for this summer... it was finally time!!  Shaun is not a huge musical fan and he's already seen the show once, so I decided to take Ty with me.  Ty actually loves musicals- he went on a field trip when he was in 1st grade to see a musical at the local high school and he has been hooked ever since.  He loves going to them and he loves to watch them on TV.  I think I have a kindred spirit in this one.

Anyway- we also went with my sister and her husband, and my brother and his wife... so naturally we had to grab something to eat before we went.  We settled on a little German deli that is right next door to the theatre- Sigfrieds (my personal favorite).  Ty loves it too, and we bought a little treat to share during the show.



I will tell you- Wicked did not disappoint.  Ty was engrossed from the first note to the last.

Ryan turns 6

Hello!  Can you believe that?  Ryan turned six today!  I'm in awe that my middle is getting so big!  Seriously... I'm supposed to send him to Kindergarten in a month.  I don't know that I'm ready for that!



I sure do love this little bear of mine though- he is such a sweet little man.  He is funny and kind.  And he has a way of talking you into letting him do things that you never would have thought of... his big brown eyes have a way of melting his mama.  I love his quick smile and infectious laugh- here's to another year sweet boy!

For the Love of the Game

Seriously... I found another reason to love summer... more little league!  All-Stars is kind of crazy after just playing rec- we are on the road every day for another game, and sometimes double headers.  Luckily, most of the games are fairly close- the farthest we have to go is Bountiful- which is only 20 minutes away.  But we are doing a lot of sitting in the sun watching ball.

Ry doesn't mind and Kate just makes friends wherever we go- so they are pretty excited with the way things are too.  Shaun joins us sometimes after work when he can, and grandma Janet is always at my side.  Grandpa JB actually volunteered to help coach (shocker I know), and we see him most nights now too.



For the most part though- with enough snacks and a few toys- I think we'll make it through this summer just fine.