Thursday, August 30, 2012

My New Love/Hobby

...Is not actually this pair of shoes.  (Although they are a part of it.)  In fact these shoes are the worst part of it.  Putting on these shoes actually reminds me quite a bit of my days in toe shoes.  Only back then I got to wrap my toes with tape and surround them with lambs wool before cramming them into the shoes, now it's just cramming my toes into the shoes.  (Although maybe the lambs wool would help...)
Anyway, I digress.  In the past couple of weeks, Shawn, Jonas and I have picked up rock climbing.  (All indoors so far.)  I have to admit, at the top of my very first climb, I was nervous and unsure.  I turned and looked down and thought, "Uh oh, this whole climbing thing may not be for me. And I still have 3 classes to get through."  But, by the end of the class I was hooked.  I love it.  It's challenging physically and has a tactical aspect to it as well, since you have to sort of try to plan your routes and find the best hand and foot holds to get you to the top.  It's just fun.  
We've lived just around the corner from Rockreation for almost 9 years now and always meant to go and try it out.  It took us awhile, but we're committed now.  (Obviously - I bought the shoes after all.)  It's a little tough to try to fit in one more thing and I'm still working on that part, but this week I tried getting up a little earlier so I could get my run in and still be to the climbing gym when it opened at 6:00.  It may work out.  In the meantime, I'm just really enjoying the climbing.  And wow, it feels so good to take those shoes off after I'm done!

A Couple of Projects

Admittedly, this whole kids going back to school thing hasn't been ALL bad.  I have managed to do some cleaning and organizing that is impossible to do when they are all home.  I should have thought to take some before pictures, but was just too caught up in the mess at the time.  But believe me, this is a HUGE improvement.  The upstairs hall closet:

The desk drawer in the kitchen.  This was absolutely ridiculous.  It was crammed full of pens, pencils, markers and all sorts of odds and ends, and yet we could never actually find a working pen/pencil to write with.  That's all been taken care of.  No more excuses when it's homework time.

And the downstairs bathroom closet.

It makes me happy every time I open these closets or the drawer.  The pile of stuff to go to the DI is growing and the garbage cans are filling up.  It's awesome.  Unfortunately, there is a whole list of other such projects still waiting on the list.  When will the kids be out of school again?  June?  I wonder if 9 months will be enough time to get this whole house organized again.

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of School

I don't know where in the world summer went.  The whole thing just flew by this year, and here we are  at the beginning of the school year already.  The kids were really good about getting up and getting themselves ready and finishing their practicing today, so they got the special treat of having Shawn make their lunches for them.  (Usually they have to do that themselves.)  I don't imagine all of our school mornings will go this smoothly, but at least I know it is possible for everyone to get up, get ready and practice in the morning.

 Jonas was the first one out the door of course.  We are really hoping that 8th grade is a happier year than 7th grade was.  He is working on having a positive attitude.  (So am I.)
 Then the girls had to leave about 45 minutes later.  Duffy has been so excited for first grade, she could hardly wait.
 She inherited (by choice) Amelia's old backpack.  I love seeing these little kids with these enormous backpacks.
 This is one happy and excited first grader!
 Samantha hasn't been quite as excited for the start of school, (which I totally understand,) but she is so social, I know once she's with her friends again, she'll be happy to be there.
 Plus, I think 6th grade is such a fun year.

 Amelia is in the "happy that school is starting" camp.  She is thrilled to be starting 3rd grade. 

 Showing off her new backpack.

 I'm glad that these 3 have one more year at the same school together.  I think it's fun to have siblings nearby at school.

 There was a bit of mayhem trying to find the right places for everyone to line up, but Amelia quickly found some friends and her class line.
 When it was time to line up and go in, Megan finally showed a little bit of hesitation.  She was a little nervous about the whole thing, but was still pretty happy.  I've been asking for weeks if she wouldn't rather just stay home with me and Peter.  We are both going to miss her so much.  But she has been adamant that she wants to go to school all day and learn Spanish.  Oh, first grade makes me so sad.  (But I'm proud of myself for holding it together and not crying while I said good-bye.)
 And Samantha who was so sure she didn't want to go to school started out with one good friend,
 then added another,
 and still another bestie...
 until she was surrounded with this whole group of fun girls.
 Yeah, I think she's going to be just fine this year.
The question is, will I be OK this year?
The house is pretty lonely and quiet without them here.
Time to focus on the things I can get done while they're gone.  Plus I've got to get ready for the onslaught of papers to sign and homework to check...
Here we go!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Last Hurrah of Summer

Shawn competed in the Utah Half Ironman on Saturday morning: 

and Jonas and I went to a climbing class in the afternoon, so we had to save our last celebration for Saturday night.  We wanted to do something a little different than our usual, but something that everyone would enjoy.  We decided to go to Color Me Mine.  (Of course it helped that I had a groupon to use, too.)
Jonas was insisting that he didn't want to go and that it wouldn't be any fun, but once he decided what he wanted to do, he enjoyed himself - just as I knew he would.

It was funny to see how seriously everyone was working.  Such concentration on their projects.
It took everyone a little while to decide what they wanted to paint, but once they decided, they all got right down to business.

Peter's cute little turtle ended up with about 15 coats of paint - in most spots, and none in others.  I can't wait to see how it turns out after it is glazed and fired.
Shawn was concentrating really hard.
I told him he was making faces - which made him laugh.
The semi-finished products:

We will get to pick up the finished products in a few days.

Even though it was way past bedtime for some of these kids, we couldn't let the last day of summer vacation go without stopping at Nielsen's for some frozen custard.  Mmmmm.
Peter ended up wearing almost as much of his as he managed to get in his mouth.

And Duffy wasn't much better.  She ended up with chocolate ice cream gloves - her hands and arms were completely coated.  There were strict instructions for the younger kids to not touch anything in the car, and then they were all dumped in the bath when we got home.
We are all really sad to see our summer vacation go, but we had a good time celebrating.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Most of this last week of summer, my kids haven't been really interested in trying to cram activities in.  They've been pretty content to just hang around home and not do much.  That's been fine by me - a departure from our usual last week of summer routine, but no complaints from me about it.
On Thursday, I did rally the troops to go out for snow cones.  Samantha was at the pool with a friend, so we had Amelia's friend, Hallee stand in as a substitute.
On Friday, we decided to go to the Brigham City Temple Open House while we had the chance.  Peter sings the song, "I Love to See the Temple" mutliple times a day, so he was pretty excited.  He kept asking me if I was going to push his stroller, so I told him that they wouldn't let us take his stroller inside the temple.  He said, "We don't go inside the temple, Mom.  We just walk around outside."  Well, I guess that's mostly the norm from his point of view, so he was especially excited to know that he would get to go inside.
As usual with the temples, the building is beautiful both inside and out.

(We were not the only ones with the great idea of going to the temple on Friday night.)

These goofball kids.  I may have to start offering monetary rewards for them to just sit nicely and smile at the camera.

One with Mom and the kids.
And the whole family.  It was so hot.  We were all sweltering. 
You can just see the reflection of the tabernacle in the window here.

One of my favorite things about the temple grounds is always the flowers.

Everyone trying to get a view of the angel Moroni on top of the temple.

I was telling my kids how lucky they are to have the chance to go through multiple temples at their young age, since this is the 3rd temple to be built near us in just a few years.  I have very distinct memories of attending the Jordan River Temple dedication when I was 8, but that was the only one I had the chance to go to as a child.  Pretty remarkable how many temples my kids have the opportunity to see.
On our way back to the bus and then the car.  Jonas expressing his unhappiness about the end of summer - or maybe about the fact that we have to climb back into the toasty car (the air conditioner went out) and drive all the way back home in the heat.