Family December 2013

Family December 2013

Thursday, June 12, 2014

End of the School Year


This was a busier than usual end of the school year full of lots of endings.  We enjoyed attending Nicole's spring homeschool choir concert!  They did an outstanding job.


I included one of Connor's contruction projects in my post.  He loves to take pictures with my camera and usually there are dozens of his creations included.  He still loves architecture!  He also enjoys exploring. 


On the first nice night of the year, I hurried home from my internship and took the kids to the Link River trail to see the Klamath Falls.


The original falls were replace with dam and some of the water is diverted in an old wooden pipe that is full of leaks.  It is quite beautiful to watch the water shooting out and the moss growing on the outside.


The falls were never huge, but they are even smaller now....only about 6 feet tall.


At some point Danielle confiscated my shades.  She looked pretty cute in them.


You can see one of the falls in the left corner of the picture below:


This is the dam covering up the old falls.


And here are the rest of the mighty Klamath Falls:


Nicole and I had a fun time coming up with an animal costume for a birthday party.  We made a snail costume out of old packing paper.


What a relief to have the kid's school year at an end.  I only have 5 weeks to go to graduate!  It is so close I can hardly stand it!  Hopefully next year will have a little more normalcy to it!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Before and After

 

I always love to see before and after pictures from house projects, and I amazingly remembered to take a few shots to show the stark difference in my boy's room.  If they were 3 and 4, they would love this room, but being 11 and 14, they wanted a more mature look.  They chose a soft blue and green for their respective sides of the room.  This bedroom is ridiculously huge, and it looks even bigger now with the new paint color.  Eventually, I will get a few more math and architecture decorations up, but for now it is pretty spartan.
 

The closets looked almost yellow next to that vibrant blue, but with a new color they take on the beautiful wood tones once again.
 

We have an extra bed in the room, so that whenever we have company, Brandon can sleep in a bed downstairs.  We even kept the extra mattress for other company.  It is nice to have the room for them without feeling crowded.


This is the view of Andrew's side on the left and Connor's on the right.

 

Andrew's new corner is in the blue he chose with green behind the bookcase.


Connor's side before:


And after:


I used one coat of Sherwin William's primer and then one coat of their highest grade paint and it worked wonders!  I will never buy Wal-Mart paint again.


This is Connor's green side.  It is actually a richer color than the pictures let on.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Emerging From the Dust

My goal when I started this blog was to have at least two updates a month.  During the last couple years with my increased busyness I lowered my expectations to once.  Last month was the height of my craziness and though I longed for a spare moment to write something down, I never had that moment. 


I am relieved to have my internship behind me...not because I disliked it, but only because of how out-of-control my life was.  I absolutely loved my internship and everything I learned, but there were sacrifices from all of our family to make it happen.

I must admit that I wasn't the best homeschooling mom much of the year.  My kids were given a lot more responsibility in their education and less instruction.  They felt a lot of pressure.  Few reprieves from the pressure were available, because I spent those spare moments catching up on home and doing my homework.  We had far fewer field trips, playdates and activities.  I felt enormous loads of guilt as I left my children once again to head out to my internship, while repeating my mantra of the year, "This is only temporary!"

I had little time to do all the activities that I love, missing two years of book club, neglecting my scrapbooks, and settling for a less-than spotless house.  I juggled a mighty load and dropped more than one ball.  My quest for perfection was thwarted until I finally settled for competency. 

Looking back, I remember a favorite quote, "Sacrifice is giving up something good for something better."  I have always had the dream of being a counselor, and while I still have much to learn on that journey I am starting the realize that wish.  When someone is willing to share the shadows of their lives with me I deem it a sacred trust.  I feel it a privilege to walk a path of healing with the clients who come into my life. 

I also feel that we all have grown so much with this burden.  My children have found themselves capable of more than they realized.  When they had to wait an extra 15 minutes or 5 hours to have help with math they often figured it out on their own.  They found new ways to entertain themselves without playgroups or field trips that were quite creative and ingenious.  We were definitely closer as a family with fewer distractions to pull us in a dozen directions.  I also know I will savor the moments that I once took for granted....reading a book for fun is a joy.  Playing a game without a care is bliss.  Going on an unhurried walk in the sunshine while chatting with my kids is a delight.


I am down to my last semester and have already been offered a job upon graduation.  The nice thing is that I set my limit and will only work 1 1/2 days a week, so that I can place my focus back on where it belongs.  It will take a summer and longer to dig myself out of the past few years, but we will all emerge better people for the work.  I am especially so grateful....  To my husband for making dinner several nights a week when I got home after him, for my kids with their tolerance for frozen soup or lasagne yet again, and most of all for Heavenly help that inspired and then strengthened me to do that task required.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Danielle turns 4!


Danielle's birthday fell on a Wednesday this year, which is a crazy day for us, so it was a rushed birthday.  She is in love with anything "My Little Pony" right now and made it easy to please her.  We just bought her a few ponies and she was happy.  I also braided her hair across her head like I do for Nicole, and she looked so beautiful and so old!


Danielle has grown so much.  I knew she would transform this year, but with my internship, I think she has matured that much faster.  She asked for a sun cake, after having a rainbow cake last year, and I was happy to accommodate her.  We had exactly 40 minutes where we were all home to eat dinner, open the rest of her presents, have cake and ice cream and then head to the church for scouts, activity days, and young men's!  It was a wild night, but I think she still enjoyed it.


We recently had a rock show in town that was a lot of fun.  I was fascinated to see how they polish those smooth stones into perfect spheres.


A dinner table was also set up made completely of different rocks.  I still can't get over how realistic it was!


It makes me hungry just looking at that bowl of jello or the yummy drinks.  The loaf of bread looks amazing.


I also found a picture from when Nick and Karla were in town when we climbed the hill behind our house.  Glad that I have at least one photo to commemorate that wonderful visit!


In other news, I was just called as our Young Women's President today, so we won't be slowing down any time soon.  It will be great!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

What's red and white and takes a lot of heart?


 I had to share the totally cute Valentine's hairdos that I gave my girls.  I wish I could take credit, but I found the directions on http://www.cutegirlshairstyles.com/


Danielle had her first Valentine's party at her preschool, and we thought it would be fun to make heart cookies for all her friends as well as a large heart to decorate for each family member.  I always like projects that everyone gets into.


The first Valentine's Day that I knew Nathan, I made him heart shaped cookies with pink frosting, and this year I was feeling nostalgic to carry on that tradition. 


Last year we were apart on Valentine's Day.  He was alone in Klamath Falls, and I was with the kids at a BYU traveling dance concert called All About Love that was good to distract me, but still made me miss him.


This year it was so nice to be settled and able to make cookies and have him come home for the evening and join us.


It was also nice to make the house as messy as I wanted to and not worry about cleaning it to show potential buyers.


I prefer soft sugar cookies, though my mom is partial to the crunchy version, because that is what her mother made her.  Somehow it skipped my generation.  My kids are all unified with me that the soft ones are the best.


Of course the most important part of the sugar cookie is not the cookie itself, but the frosting, preferably homemade.


I think Danielle ingested more frosting than cookies, and that's saying a lot, because she ate plenty of cookies.


Who can resist an almost 4-year old though.


We ended up with enough cookies for her class and some to spare.


For our date, we traveled to Ashland, where Brandon was having a basketball game.  We had dinner at the most delicious restaurant.  I will eat there from now on whenever I make the hour-long drive.  It was hand made pasta with roasted organic vegetables and so delicious.  I had the butternut squash and walnut ravioli topped with basil cream sauce.  It was hands down the best meal I've had since Atlantic Fish in Boston.


After dinner we watched the second half of Brandon's game.  He has gotten increasingly better this season, and I am proud of how hard he has worked.  Considering we just moved here this year, he has a bunch of great friends and fits right into the team.


His coach was full of positives, saying that he has one of the best shots on Varsity and JV and that he is a great player.


Danielle has been to a fair share of his games this year, but she really doesn't enjoy basketball as much as her ponies.


Brandon had 100% shooting for free-throws this season.  We were especially impressed when he was fouled attempting a 3-pointer and made 3 free throws in a row!


So, what's red and white and takes a lot of heart.....Valentine's Day and Pelican basketball!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Stromboli, a trip to Portland, and Quilts


We had a wonderful visit with Nick and Karla's family.  It all started the night I made stromboli for dinner and the visit was so fun that I somehow don't have any photos of the entire week.  Ah well....


I did remember to snap a few shots of my boys when we went to Portland for their Lego Robotics competition.  The submarine at the OMSI was definitely their favorite.  Of course, I neglected to actually take a single photo of the competition itself.


Not that there was much to photograph.  One of their six team members puked on her way into the building and the competition went downhill from there.  They had to make major adjustments to their various competitions which threw them off.  They didn't do nearly as well as they had done in practice.  It was a bummer, but they were happy to make it to state.




Portland is an interesting city.  Connor, who is my big architecture buff, loved all the bridges.  They were stunning as we came into the city.  Especially considering the entire drive on I-5 was in the fog.


We had dinner our first night at the Stepping Stone Cafe where Connor enjoyed their Mancake featured in Man vs. Food and Diner's, Drive-ins and Dives; while I had the best Chicken Fried Steak I have tasted for many years.


 We happened to drive past Deseret Book and were so excited we had to stop and buy the family souvenirs.  After a little shopping we discovered that we were close to the Portland temple.  Word and pictures do no justice to the magnitude of the Portland temple.  It is massive and has the same impact as the Salt Lake temple when you get to see it in person.  It was simply spectacular!


During Christmas break I had a little extra time to work on quilts.  This is the one I pinned to start quilting for Brandon.  I may actually get to it by Spring Break.


I did manage to get Danielle's quilted, so she has a matching one with Nicole's.


I finished Nicole's last Spring Break.


I also finished Connor's quilt which is my personal favorite so far.  I love the orange and dark blue squares!


Truthfully though, I don't know why I bother making them quilts.  This is what their beds really look like 99% of the time.  I imagine a day when they are all moved away and beds will stay made and the house will be clean much more of the time.  Hopefully, I do a better job taking pictures, because I know I will miss these times and long to have them back.