Monday, October 26, 2015

A busy month

Last week when I loaded the burb with groceries at Sams Club, I had to fill every corner to make everything fit. I had stopped and snapped a picture because it feels quite representative of my life right now. Being busy makes me happy so I am happily very busy. 

This fall Andy had his first season of flag football. 

He loved playing on a team with his buddy's. They are quite the little group of athletes.  We really thought they'd have a loosing season since they are 1st graders playing against 2nd graders, but they held their own and won every game except their last. 

Caleb also played flag football this year.  He had mixed feelings about it after playing tackle last year.   It felt like a bit of a demotion, but he got to play quarterback a lot and was easily one of the best players on his team.  It felt like he was the star of most of the games. 

I think the sense of unity that comes from the commitment of playing on a tackle football team is important.  I think we will seriously consider tackle football next year.  Caleb's sport of the month currently is lacrosse.  He wants to play catch with his Lacrosse sticks constantly. 

We keep having "one last trip to Lagoon" for Frightmares.  The weather has been AMAZING this fall.  It is the 26th and we still haven't had a freeze.  We have been enjoying it!

UEA (aka Fall Break) was SO GREAT for Josh and I.  We took our kids to Lagoon on Friday and ended up leaving 4/5 down there for the weekend and we LIVED IT UP with one kid.  My older three kids went with April for a couple of nights in a hotel and got totally spoiled by her at Boondocks and other super fun places.  Ali went with my sister Christie and her daughter Kate for the weekend.  All four of them were supposed to be home on Saturday night, but actually got here about 24 hours later than expected.  Josh and I didn't waist a moment working or catching up.  We just PLAYED!

One highlight of the weekend was going to the USU vs. Boise State football game.  We scored free last minute tickets to a sold out game - how does that happen?!! We decided to sit in the front instead of our assigned seats.  USU killed Boise who happened to be a ranked team.  We tried to take a picture of the score board.  It was one of the most exciting games I've ever seen with Boise State giving up 7 turnovers in the first half. 

It was epic enough that the student body stormed the field!

We also went four wheeling, out to dinner (a couple times) and enjoyed sleeping in!

Of course my kids mostly keep me on my toes.  Ali is such a doodler.  I love her art most of the time, but she has a habit of coloring on EVERYTHING!  She has colored in all of the dings in our walls, some with pink pen.  Her name can be found in most rooms of the house. You can see from the picture below she was doodling while eating her dinner. 

It is totally normal to wear goggles while you eat soup, but before bed, right?

With the beautiful weather the leaves have been slow to fall.  We did find some on Saturday when we helped my mom work on getting her yard ready for Fall.  Her heath is not looking good.  It is so sad to see her suffering.  We are hoping she will get answers soon, but she has lost 60+ lbs in the last 6 months.  It is so hard to know how to help when she is in such a bad condition. There may have  been some fun involved in raking her leaves! Andy was the best worker and the best player. He was determined to get those leaves raked so he could play in them!

After we filled 3-4 bags with leaves Caleb decided it was time to bury children in the bags. Good thing we had Caleb's friend Kamdyn there to help encourage Caleb to work, or at least to show him that kids do work. 

We had a gal just recently move into our ward with her two pet goats.  The kids were excited to feed and meet the goats on our Sunday walk.  I feel that we could not be doing any more to create happy memories with our family. Life is beautiful!!

The thing that has been taking a very large portion of my time this month is teaching 7/9 of my Joy School turns.  We have 8 children in our Joy School this year, 6 boys.  They are adorable, and Johnny loves it.  I taught the entire Joy of the Earth Unit, which is very conducive to field trips so we got out and enjoyed the beautiful earth. One field trip was to the Tueller's back yard.  They have an amazing garden.  The children also got to see their bee hives and gather eggs from their chickens.  The fact that food isn't produced at the grocery store is a new concept for some of them. 
Tyson, Johnny, Quinton, Berkley, Walker, Kate, Myler (missing Ben) 

We also went to Stokes Nature Center in Logan Canyon to use our five senses to explore the Fall Season.  I love the canyon this time of year!!

We went to the Geology Museum and saw some amazing rocks!

Here the kids were seriously considering eating a cricket at the Anthropology Museum.  

Johnny tried on the crazy mask. 

I love these little people!!  It is a Joy for me to participate in the "formal" learning of my preschoolers. They make me laugh and bring a smile to my face.  It has been busy and fun!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Go AGGIES . . . and other fun happenings

As if we didn't have enough going on in September we decided to make a more long term room situation for Cara and redo one of our bedrooms.  This navy and blue "air plane" room has served us well.  It was a little sad to say good-by to it, but we want our girls upstairs and our boys down so we made this Cara's room complete with walls in her favorite color, aqua.  

It was a WAY bigger project than we expected.  We added a wall down stairs so now we have an additional large room for Andy and Johnny to share and the office has come full circle down stairs, back to its original intent, an office.  The finished results of Cara's room are quite cute.  I hope she likes it for many many years! 

Did you know that there are SALMON in Cache Valley!!  I had no idea but this year you took a trip to Porcupine Damn and saw them running.  They are 1/3 the size of Alaskan Salmon, but I didn't know that there was such a thing as lake Salmon right here.  It was a beautiful day to see God's beautiful creations. 

Josh's parents, Lonn and Sharon, joined us.  It is always fun to have family along. 

I love the way Ali and Johnny love each other and get along.  Ali is the little mommy and John mostly does what she says.  They are the best of friends!!

The beautiful fall weather has been very cooperative for our endless fun!!
This year we experienced Lagoon's Frightmares for the first time.  I'm a fan!
Good-by Lagoon season passes, you've treated us well!

Last year my cousin Nate and his wife Donelle had a beautiful daughter with down sindorme.  They invited us to participate in a fundraiser to raise awareness of down syndrome called the Buddy Walk.  It was a fantastic day at the American West Heritage Center, complete with . . . 
Subway lunch, my kids favorite!

Horse rides. 

Caleb's last one.  He's aging out.

Face painting.  John chose to be some kind of monster or something. 

Hello Kitty was the painting of choice for Ali. 

And Cara went with a more mature look. 

Josh took the boys (Cara was sick) out to the corn maze that night.  They had the place to themselves and stayed until close shooting guns and throwing tomahawk's. 

USU Homecoming is like a holiday for us.  We make a big celebration out of it starting in the morning with the parade.  The kids have been eating their candy for a week and they are still working on it.  They sure loaded up.  
This year my cousin Emily and her husband Travis and their family drove from Denver to join us!
Our children loved being together, and we always love to spend time with Emily and Travis!

We took the opportunity to head up to campus and share our love for USU with our children!

We are lucky enough to get invited to a leadership reunion each year.  The kids love the raffles.  I love the discounted game tickets and the enhanced homecoming experience we enjoy. 
We couldn't resist the opportunity to take a family group shot with none other than Big Blue!

The girls put on their diva in the photo booth. 

The tale-gate party is fun to hit after the reunion! 

I don't know how Johnny could eat one more treat, but he ate his doughnut and Ali's. 

Andy with Tristan.  

Cara loved being with Kedzie. 

This year's homecoming had an unexpected adventure.  Just before half time I took these three to the bathroom, and Caleb and Andy headed to the grass to play football.  While we were all separated they announced they would be evacuating the stadium due to lightning.  With everyone leaving it was pointless for us to try to get back to our seats so we hunkered down under some steps to wait things out.  The kids loved it!  I was warm and dry and felt very safe.  It was fun to watch the people filing out.  

Andy and Caleb made it back to Emily and Travis.  (I told them to get right back to our seats if it started to rain, and they obeyed.) Emily saw the opportunity to get the boys onto the turf.  The stairs were unguarded so Caleb played football with Emily's boys on the turf, in the rain, while the stadium was being evacuated.  Fun memory!!

We hadn't left when they announced that they would be continuing the game so the boys and Emily grabbed the front row on the 10 yard line.  It was awesome!  We piled on the blankets and watched the Aggies defeat Colorado State. Go Aggies!!!