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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Mom is doing a happy dance

Dear Friends and Family,

Tomorrow kids are back in school! Should I be so excited about this? It seems like playing with kids and doing "nothing" really tires me out. New Years Resolutions don't start until Monday as right now chocolate is a necessity (thank you Christina for leaving the fudge!). Jeremy summed up my sentiments after church today. As we unload everyone from the van along with the church paraphernalia and winter gear all the kids want to talk about their new classes. Rocky in a frenzy to get to the backyard stopped and peed all over the hallway. Jeremy grabbing a drink with this energy crystal light packet inside is beset by kids all wanting a similar drink. Who of course all grab water bottles that manage to be broken somehow so they drip all over kids, Jeremy and the floor. And kids are all trying to make themselves snacks. Jeremy just told Spencer and Allison to find a quiet place, get a book and go there now!

On Monday I took Spencer up snowboarding at Sundance. Jeremy and Meredith covered the other kids as Spencer and I left at 7:30 (a little ridiculous when you consider the class started at 10). It took an hour standing in line to rent his snowboarding equipment and made me really consider buying him snowboarding stuff for his birthday. Then when we got to Sundance they directed us to park halfway up the mountain on an ice sheet and shuttle down. We got to the lesson desk 5 minutes before lessons start. As it is walk ins only and you can't call to reserve a spot I think my nerves were running as high as Spencer. After all that effort to get there, Spencer had to snowboard! But it was him and another kid with some college freshman guy learning how to snowboard. I watched as much as I could from the lodge but they went up on the lift and were gone. 2 1/2 hours later I meet up at the lesson shack to see Spencer with a big grin and sweat dripping off his head. The instructor greeted me with "well, let me you tell you what happened". Worst case scenarios drifted through my head. But I guess Spencer didn't know how to lace the snowboard boots tight - I certainly didn't. So he kept complaining how much his foot hurt and they would have to rest. I think it was mostly nerves with everything being new and feeling different. So they sent the head of the school up to help get Spencer down. They tied Spencer's boot as tight as possible and then Spencer got it. He made it all the way down without falling and really liked it. After downing a bunch of water and granola bars I talked him into trying the beginner hill by himself so he could solidify the feeling of what snowboarding feels like while he could remember how to do it. As I watched him go off in the lift I started to wonder what I was thinking - he was all by himself! Not a wise mom move on my part. I reasoned that I would see him in 20 minutes. An HOUR later he comes down. Said that the lift goes a lot farther than he had the first time. Guess he went to the TOP of the mountain. But he made it down and felt good about it especially that he didn't fall or wipe out. I watched him stop and its more of a controlled turn/sit thing but he made it. Said he would just rest on the side periodically to catch his breath. Next time I am going with him, that was more than my nerves could handle. So he thought after Monday that he would never need lessons again but could just go all the time! He is starting to get the idea that there is much more to learn besides just practicing a bunch.

I decided Heavenly Father was watching out for us as we left for home though. Our car literally slide on ice backing out away from the cars packed in all around us. Then when we couldn't make the drive up the parking lot to turn - our van slid backwards (I pretended that I was meaning to go in reverse) the entire parking lot without hitting the cars on either side. I think the parking/driving scared me almost as much as my fears over Spencer. He is already asking when we will go again! Got home at 3 and I was ready for bed. As I went grocery shopping that night with Allison I kept telling myself one more hour and that cup of hot chocolate and that warm bed are all mine! So I went to sleep that night tired, happy and glad for my blessings.

Tuesday night we had our friend post-Christmas party. It was a smaller turn out this year but we had fun just hanging out and eating this enormous chocolate cake I had made and everyone else's goodies. Our old neighbors from across the street came and it was fun to hear how the neighborhood has changed. They still do the cul-de-sac of fire and says it has grown to include a lot more people and has become their kids' traditions. That was neat to hear. Spencer's old friend came from when he was 5 and surprisingly they still remembered each other and played together all night. The screaming chicken made several appearance being launched across the party.

Wednesday I took the kids to see Desperaux. We got the book from the library and plan to read it now. I was very impressed with the story. Kids were mostly impressed with all the candy we brought along (thank you Peter and Katherine). I forgot how much Taylor like sour patch kids. His mouth was open, as he made his seal like noises asking for more. Had our few moments - Allison getting lost when she went to the water fountain, Robyn loosing it when she saw me going to get Allison from the water fountain. But it was a fun outing.

Wednesday night I made fondue and learned a small amount of fondue goes a long way. Since I didn't know that we had a lot of fondue and ate it the next night as well! Kids thought it was great and even Taylor was doing his happy dance - sourdough bread and cheese, what's not to like. I did learn that Jeremy does not like swiss cheese - almost 15 years now, you think I would know that! We pretended we were all going to bed and put Robyn and Taylor down. Then broke out the leftover chocolate cake and started movie night. Since we saw a movie that day I couldn't believe how psyched up our kids were for more movies. Spencer made it till 8:30 and then he was snoring away in front of the fire. At 11 I told Allison I was a mean mom and I was going to bed - she could continue the countdown in her room. So she did and had the bags under the eyes in the morning to prove it.

Thursday Allison went to a friends and I sewed curtains and caught up on the house. Robyn now has her sheer curtains up and one top curtain. It is taking me longer than I thought it would. Jeremy organized a group of friends to go up to SLC to take pictures of the lights. He took several friends who had never done a photo walk before and they all had a good time. Allison worked on her science presentation for Monday with the late night catching up with her - tears dripping down her face as she tried to get the poster just right. She went to bed very early!

Friday we picked up Allison's friend and went to help Lauri clean up her Christmas decorations and get some library books. We stopped and got pizza on the way home and kids thought it was great. Since you can never have too much pizza I tried out my new cook book that night and made breakfast pizza - ricotta cheese, mozerella, green onions and sunnyside up eggs. It was really good! Allison our pickiest even said it was a keeper. Of course it probably wasn't that healthy which is why Allison voted to keep it. Jeremy cheered on Utah and was amazed by their performance. Perhaps Elder Wirthlin was giving them some inspiration/help? Spencer, Allison and I headed out in the rain to get a birthday present for Spencer's friend and new shoes for Spencer. Picking a birthday present is just an agonizing experience. But we've done it enough now that I just bite my tongue and try to wait the hour necessary to scan every toy and find every possible option in order to get the perfect present.

Saturday we packed up in the truck and headed off to the point of the mountain for a friends birthday party. Those roads up there are just treacherous! They are steep and covered with ice/snow. Kids all went sledding in the bitter cold for 2 hours and then we headed to their house for pizza and ice cream. These are our old neighbors so our girls were ecstatic to be reunited with their old friends. Allison ended up spending the rest of the day up there. Spencer, not so cheerfully but he did it, cleaned the office with us. We all decided Allison had to set the table by herself for 2 days to make up for our extra work. She thought it was worth it.

Saturday Robyn helped me pack up the Christmas decorations. Its almost all packed up. I blared Christmas music and felt quite sad doing it. Robyn's "packing" off ornaments was a little scary to watch but she didn't break anything and was very proud of herself.

Tons of pictures follow. Happy New Year to You all, Heather

Allison's new desk with artwork by Christina

Christina making her magic gravy - don't want to know the fat count!

Spencer snowboarding

Mom's vegetable dip is magic. While I made the fondue kids ate an entire bag of carrots and 2 peppers with Robyn leading the way.

True love is your husband being aware enough to say "honey suck it in" before he takes a picture so the pooch doesn't stick out too badly!

Taylor happy

I gave Taylor a book of Calvin and Hobbes saying that he would share it with anyone who cuddled with him. Spencer and Allison take that seriously and lay next to Taylor every time they read it. Wish I had thought of that before.

Robyn before church - dancing to princess music and showing off her bald like head. She decided this week that she didn't like her pullback so she literally ripped it off. One side of her head is all 1/2 - 3 inches long with bald spots periodically. Can't decide what to do. I would just cut it all short but with her thin, fine, wispy hair I think she would look very chemo like.


Meredith said...

I love this entry! A taste of all the sensational personalities on the roller coaster of family life is captured right here. I love your family! I laughed so hard, can't wait to see the bald eagle on Saturday! :)

Christina said...

I think Meredith hit the nail right on the head. (By the way, it is from her that I recently got the link to your blog.) It's so fun to hear the stories and see the accompanying pictures. The kids are getting so big! Thanks for sharing.