Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lucky 13

As of 6:25 this morning, we are officially parents of a teenager. Yep, Jonas has reached the ripe old age of 13. (According to Shawn's calculations, we will be parents of teenagers for the next 6,422 days, 917 weeks, or 9,247,680 minutes - or roughly 17 years and 7 months - give or take a few hours -until Peter turns 20 on March 31, 2029. Whew! Let's hope we survive!)

Poor Jonas got stuck being the one to break us in. He may have things a little harder, but there are advantages, too. I'm sure he's gotten away with a lot because we had no idea what we were doing. Either way, I am so glad to have him. He even posed nicely for me in the birthday hat. We'll see how many more years I can make that happen.
Samantha took the close up of the present opening because she feels that is the most important part.
A gift card - every teenagers favorite gift.
Jonas didn't ask for anything (he never does), so sometimes we have to get creative and hope we find something he likes. So he ended up with some rock climbing gear. (I've only agreed to gym climbing thus far.)
He also made no special requests as far as cake goes, so he ended up with a frosted cake blob. I've made this yummy brownie cake so many times. (It was the go-to birthday cake at my house growing up - and I've made it several times since.) However, things just didn't go quite right. It could be that I tried making it as a round cake instead of a sheet cake or that it didn't quite get time to cool completely (I was trying to finish it up before he got home from school.) Either way, it just wouldn't hold together. It was a bit of a disaster to look at but still tasted great.

Jonas loves these specific jelly beans from sweet's so I made a special trip to the candy factory to get some for him. As you can see, he was over-joyed.
Still can't believe it's true - I really am the parent of a teenager. Thanks for making me a parent Jonas!

Monday, August 29, 2011


It has been so painful for Duff to have to wait an entire extra week to start school. She was ready! All morning long she kept asking me, "Is it afternoon yet?"

"C'mon Mom, it's time for my first day of school pictures."
I hope this happy attitude lasts beyond today.

She stopped at the doors to have a picture taken with her friend, Jakell. They're not in the same class but will carpool together. Of course, Peter wanted to be a part of everything, too.
Duff walked right in and found her seat and was ready to go. She didn't seem sad at all, but I sure was. Can't believe we're here already.
But it was the very hardest on Peter. He just couldn't understand why his buddy wasn't coming home with us. He was very unhappy with me for leaving her there, and just kept yelling , "Mo-om, Duffy home!" in his angry voice. I know he is going to be lonely, but I hope he adjusts quickly.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Very Hot Afternoon

Before school started, we had planned to go to Tracy Aviary, but as things were winding down, it quickly became apparent that we weren't going to fit it in, so Michelle and I decided we would go on the first Friday after school started. At the time, we didn't know it would be 100 degrees, but I'd already told my kids, so we were committed. (Joey decided it wasn't worth it to go out in the heat, so the girls invited their friend Hallee instead.)We were all mesmerized (and totally disgusted) watching the King Vultures tear apart their fish.
I used to keep parakeets as pets, but somewhere along the way, birds kind of started creeping me out. (Probably after watching, "The Birds." In which case I guess I have to blame the Boydens because I'm pretty sure we watched that with them back in the pre-children days.) Despite that, I still always think that eagles are beautiful and majestic looking (even if their talons and beaks are a little intimidating.)
Peter spent much of the time running around flapping his arms and "tweeting" like a bird. (Of course, we are talking actual tweeting here, not the social networking type.)
We stopped at all of the photo spots although I didn't actually take photos of all of them. Mostly I was trying to move from shady spot to shady spot while emptying my water bottle.

We forced everyone to stop for a group photo. I think Peter was still trying to fly and didn't appreciate the interruption. (It was just after this photo that a kid fell into the water. Fortunately, not one of ours. I felt bad for the poor kid because the water was disgusting, but as far as I could tell, he just walked right off the edge of the walkway, and it was a little funny. I didn't stoop to taking a picture of the scene, but in hindsight I kind of wished I had. That's the sort of thing that makes these little visits memorable.)
The kids had all brought swim suits to run through the fountain at Liberty Park, but it was the consensus that full water immersion would be required to cool down, so we headed to the Tennis Club to swim instead. (Had I seen this coming, I would have brought my own suit. I didn't have any plans to be "that lady" running through the fountain, but I certainly would have gotten in the pool. As it was, the kids played and I was hot.)

(Almost) everyone returned home refreshed and hungry and ready to enjoy our weekly pizza and movie night.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Aquarium

One of the advantages of being home with Mom after everyone else has gone off to school is sometimes, you get to go on little adventures. Today, it was the aquarium.

The penguins were definitely the favorite. The Duff and Peter just laughed hysterically as the penguins jumped and dived and zoomed past them.

And a picture of Peter on a frog. Next time, he'll have to wear his frog boots and frog hat to complete the scene.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Stopping to Smell the Roses

This is why I love having a toddler. I am constantly reminded to stop and notice the world around me. I love his enthusiasm about everything. It's sad that that dissipates as our kids get older.
This is also why it takes us 2-3 times longer to walk home after dropping the girls off at school than it does to get there. It's alright, though. Like I said, I need the reminder to not always be rushing through life. So take a moment today, and stop to smell the roses.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First Day of School - Take 2

Now that everyone is feeling better, we get another chance at our first day of school (on day 2) pictures. Amelia was up and ready, jobs done, back pack on with PLENTY of time left before it was time to go. (It was awesome.)
As you can see, she has not yet been corrupted by her older siblings and is still excited and happy to go to school. She is heading off to 2nd grade.
Samantha puts on a good show of being upset that school is starting, but her social side definitely enjoys being in school. I loved 5th grade, I hope she does, too.
And just for a fun time lapse comparison for the grandparents, here's the difference between the first day of junior high...
and the first day of kindergarten. A lot changes in 7 years!

Now here's hoping that I am ready to take on another school year.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Shawn's Birthday

The celebrating of Shawn's birthday was pretty minimal. It fell on the last day of our Bear Lake trip which meant that he got a couple of Happy Birthday wishes from the kids (and possibly a couple of, "Wait, it's your birthday?" comments.) And then the morning was spent packing up a week's worth of stuff and loading it all into the car, and cleaning up the condo. Fun, huh? Then we piled into the car and drove home where it was time to unload and put away all of the things we had packed up just a few hours before and clean the boat and so on. This took the majority of the day. I also didn't have any presents for him since I had been busy trying to get ready to go to Bear Lake and there's not a whole lot of shopping in Bear Lake, although I did offer to buy him a lovely Bear Lake t-shirt for his birthday, but he declined. Late in the afternoon, we went and spent a gift card at Salt Lake Running Company, that he already had and then later that night (after going home to put kids to bed) we went out to eat. So no presents, no cake, no candles. All in all it was a pretty sad day as far as birthdays go.

But when he went into work this morning, this is what he found when he opened his office door:
lots and lots of balloons stuffed in there that spilled out all over the floor.
And fortunately, since he hadn't had the opportunity to unwrap anything, everything in his office was wrapped in paper towels, so he got to spend some time unwrapping after all.

So thanks to the people at the office, Shawn got sort of a birthday celebration. We'll try to do better next year.

Not Our Typical First Day of School

I never quite got into the whole groove of summer and now it's gone...just like that. How did we get here already? None of us were quite ready for the first day of school, but here it is anyway. Jonas is headed off to junior high - and not very enthused about it. I am really hoping he has a good day!
First day of 7th grade
And, well, that's it for our first day of school photos because I have not one...
but two, kids sick in bed.
Not quite how the day was supposed to go, so we'll try again tomorrow. I guess this year we'll have second day of school photos. Peter, however, is as excited as ever to start the day.