Monday, May 31, 2010

Summer is Almost Here (Whether the Weather Says So or Not!)

So, clearly, I have released myself from the obligation of the daily blog. Just couldn't make it happen with the craziness of the end of school stuff. I may try to backdate some of the things I've missed.... we'll see.
Despite the lack of sunshine and warmth, summer is approaching. How do I know? There is a boat in the front yard. The girls have been dying to take the cover off and see what it looks like. Today was their lucky day.

Peter was pretty excited to be sitting on a "big" seat. (All last year, he slept under the seat while we were boating.)

Yep, the girls are decked out in their swimsuits as if it were 80 degrees as opposed to the 58 degrees that it is.

Samantha, my own little Punky Brewster fashionista.

Peter trying out the wake surf board. You can just see how he's imagining riding the waves.

Don't bother telling the kids that the boat is parked on asphalt and nowhere near the water, because I don't think they really care!
We're ready. Bring on the heat! (Oh, and someone ought to warn the deer.)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Activity

Sunday afternoon, we walked over to Wasatch Lawn Cemetery to meet Grandma Cathy and help put some flowers on family gravestones. The kids helped trim the grass around the edges and chose which color flowers to put on each gravestone. Cathy told them a little bit about each of the ancestors that were buried there. (11 - with the family coming originally from Sweden)
Then we went to find my Grandma Backman and left flowers for her, too. (The kids and Shawn also came across a geo cache box and now we are all excited to search for more of those!) Everyone was worn out after that so we didn't go visit my Aunt Linda, but we wished her a happy dirt nap, nonetheless. (Her words, not mine.) Happy Memorial Day to all!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Great Outdoors

Peter loves, loves, loves to be outside. If the front door is left open, he is on his way. (Unfortunately, the front door is left open rather frequently, so this is often where I find him.)

He is at the perfect "toddling" stage. We all laugh at his wide stance and wobbly steps as he toddles along.

Here he is walking up the middle of the street. I believe he was in pursuit of his older sisters who took off on their bikes. Where is this kid's mother?

And, yes, here he is eating an acorn. Delicious and nutritious I am sure.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Jonas' Class Play

Jonas' class has been studying the revolution and put on a play about it. Jonas was John Jay. He did a great job memorizing all of his lines and performing it. Other than being told 2 days before that he needed a costume, I had really no part in it. The best part about it was, that I went in kind of expecting to be bored, but it was really funny and I enjoyed the whole thing. (Kudos to the authors!)
John Jay talking to Betsy Ross

I think this was a post performance rundown before the second performance.

Here's the whole cast with their teacher, Mrs. Davis. (We have loved her!)

Peter was a big hit afterwards. He was just swarmed by all of the kids. Jonas loved it.
As much as I adore my babies, it is so fun to watch my bigger kids grow and mature and do and experience new things. They continue to amaze me with what they know and how they handle themselves. I will add video for those of you who may like to see it, if I can figure out why my computer won't upload it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Jonas' Piano Recital

Another performance, done. Ah, the joys of springtime: piano, ballet, and harp recitals along with the numerous school performances. I can almost see the end. I always love to watch Jonas at a recital because it is so nice to see the payoff from all of the begging and pleading for him to practice. (Plus he plays the pieces at their regular speed as opposed to how he plays them at home - as fast as he can get through them.) He never seems to get nervous and I see how well he handles himself in front of an audience.Not so fun at a recital is a very busy toddler. He was more than a bit disruptive, (as were all of the other kids actually.) Fortunately, the organ was turned off.

For your listening pleasure, if you so desire: The duet is a fun one to watch because I was with Jonas turning pages, and Shawn was filming, so the other kids are just running amok. A little embarrassing, but makes for good memories.

Monday, May 24, 2010

"Mom, It's Snowing Chicken Feathers!"

That is indeed, what it looked like this morning, but, I have a serious bone to pick with Mother Nature! Eight days until June. I am completely out of patience with this now. I was all geared up to deal with the rain today, but this is ridiculous!

Some Weekend Photos

There is always a stage with each of my kids where their curiosity is rather, well, destructive. I was really glad that the toilet paper roll was almost empty when Peter discovered the joy of spinning it and watching it come undone. Now I have to watch him like a hawk and keep him from doing it with the new roll. But first, I have to go put all of the DVDs back on the shelf.
Amelia and her friend Hallee played "pioneers" - (inspired by a primary activity.) I just wish I had gotten pictures of them pretending to milk the cows and shooting at buffalo with a bow and arrow.

And finally, I always need these little visual reminders of times when my kids are playing together happily.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Ahhh, Saturday. That favorite day of the week when you finally get to sit back and relax a little. Oh wait. I must have that confused with some other day of the week. In the 15 minutes of semi-sunshine that presented itself today, we tried to do a little yard work.Because after all, "the family that works together.... fights a lot about who's doing the most work." (At least I think that's how the saying goes.)
We really did accomplish quite a bit in the front yard, even if the kids are still not totally sold on the idea that everyone needs to help to get things done.
We had a little help from our neighbor, Ryan Robinson, in pulling out a bush. I think we may need to get us one of those. There are a whole lot more trees and bushes I would like to see go. It's all in the 10 year yard plan, which unfortunately, is always still 10 years out.
Eventually, it became a race against the rain. The rain won, but we did get the front gardens all cleared out.

Friday, May 21, 2010

One of the Things About Having 3 Girls...

There are shows, plays, dances, demonstrations and performances, generally multiple times a day. And none of these things can happen without the appropriate attire. Costumes are apparently required. This was a recent something that I actually didn't even have the chance to see. All I know is that when I got home, it was clear that all 3 girls had been dressed as pirates (as evidenced by the costume pieces strewn all around the house.) So here's Captain, uh Samantha, I guess. (I'll have to find out what her character's name was.)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Duffy's Last Day of School

I don't know what Duffy is going to say to me every morning when she gets up. Before today, it has always been, "Do I go to school today?" She was always pretty excited when it was, in fact, a school day.
Today, was the last day for the year. Mandy had a little party at Olympus Hills Park. All the kids played on the equipment, ran around, ate cookies and had capri-suns. They also released their butterflies.

All the kids are gathered around trying to get a look at the butterflies, or even better, get one to climb on their fingers before flying off.

Pretty exciting stuff.

Duffy and Amelia hanging out on the bridge. (I swear I combed her hair before we left, and even put a clip in. I wonder why I try?)

Peter playing peek-a-boo with me through the back of the bench.

A double slide for double the fun. (And less time waiting your turn.)

Megan, with her cute teacher, Mandy. We are going to miss her!

Most of the class - Ella had to leave early and of course, Charlie moved away a few weeks back.
(Caroline, Ashley, Will, Ainsley, Duffy, Cougar, Garrett, and Mandy and Lulu in back.)

A big thanks to Mandy for all of her hard work and all of the fun stuff she did. I don't know where I would be without pre-school teachers. That's a job that I just wasn't made for, but she is fabulous!

My Very Own Domestique

Those of you with any knowledge of the cycling world can appreciate how lucky I am to have my very own domestique. (A bicycle rider who works for the benefit of his team or leader.) Every time I ride, Shawn pumps up my tires. He makes sure the chain is lubed and the brakes are working, and usually changes my flats, as well. (Or at least closely supervises me as I do it.) Not to mention that he "pulls" me through the wind and up big hills. Not that I'm not willing to do that part, but he is generally faster than I am and therefore, in front of me.I often wonder if I would even like bike riding if he weren't doing all the hard stuff. I hope so, but I'm not complaining about having him around to do it.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Haircuts and Caterpillars

Since Amelia is out of school this week and has been begging to get her haircut short, today seemed like a good day to do that. And since Amelia wanted a haircut, so did Megan. (She actually needed one so it was OK.) I think the girls just love going in and climbing up on a chair and being the center of attention for a few minutes.

We took 4 or 5 inches off of Duffy's hair. (She still wanted to be able to put it in a bun, so it's gone from almost waist length, to just below her shoulders length.)

Amelia ended up with about 31/2 to 4 inches taken off.

And at the last minute, I decided to let them finish the haircut we started on Peter a few weeks ago. I figured, sitting in a little car while watching a video would help him hold still. When Shawn saw that he had a haircut he asked me if they had a head vice or something. No- just a talented kid hair cutter.I still can't believe how much older he looks. All little boy and no baby. I kind of expect him to talk and walk when I see him, but no, he's still my baby in that regard. (Well, he does walk a little.)
He was pretty happy to have a balloon and a sucker.

Here are some not very good shots of the after:
Every time I look at Amelia, I think of Ramona Quimby. But this cut does look really cute on her.
Duffy's hair was in braids, so you can't really see the difference. Looks the same only shorter.
And Peter:
And the other thing that I've been meaning to mention for quite some time, but somehow forgot to take pictures of, is our caterpillars. When they arrived, there were 10 teeny, tiny little caterpillars. Everyday we have watched them grow. This morning, we had 10 very large caterpillars...
...and tonight, they are all either in cocoons or very near to it. This whole process is so fascinating. I think it is one of our favorite springtime things to do.

Once they are all chrysalids for a couple of days, we will very gently move them into the butterfly house and wait patiently for them to "hatch" into beautiful Painted Lady butterflies. (Similar to Monarchs.) Always fun to get up in the morning and see what has happened! I'll try to be a little more diligent in my documentation.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Just One of Those Days...

1 yelling, screaming, whining tantrum that lasted at least half a mile on the walk back from dropping Samantha off at school, 1 full cup of milk spilled on the living room carpet and the resulting crying over said spilled milk (I won't even go into how many times I have told the kids to not take their food out of the kitchen), 6 suitcases exploded all over my bedroom, 2 boxes of cereal dumped on the kitchen floor along with several gold fish crackers, 1 cupboard emptied of all of its tupperware contents onto the kitchen floor, 2 toy cupboards emptied all over the family room in the basement, several laundry piles, and all of this before 11:00 am. It was just too much to deal with. We needed to get out of the house, so I took the kids to the zoo. (Yes, this did mean leaving the mess behind to be dealt with later, but it really was the better choice for all involved.)
Waiting for the bird show to start.
Peter dancing to the music.
Enjoying some cotton candy.
Amelia on the elephant.

I didn't accomplish anything that I had planned to, but hopefully I accomplished something better. The "Miss Hannigan" in me was threatening to come out if we stayed home much longer.
On a side note, the St. George triathlon was a lot of fun. We went down with a big group of friends, which I think helped to take some of the pressure off. I ended up doing much better than I had expected to, which means that I may do another. (Everytime I do one, I swear it will be my last, but I felt really good this time, so no declarations of being finished just yet.) I really like being able to do races with Shawn, but training and racing is really hard to do with both of us. There are 5 kids to be looked after, after all. Thanks to my parents and the Boyden girls for helping out with that during the weekend.

The whole gang: Josh, Katie and Rob Boyden, Chad Dunford, Thierry and Ryan Robinson, Keith Jensen, Shawn and Me
Hopefully, Shawn will post more about this later.