Slideshow Image 1 Slideshow Image 2 Slideshow Image 3 Slideshow Image 3
Sunday, October 2, 2011

Double Digits

Dear Family and Friends,

Allison is officially double digits now.  Her birthday festivities stretched through a couple of days all of which she carefully planned out.  Robyn rolled out of bed early with a smile to make her breakfast in bed Wednesday morning.  Then Allison packed a cooler full of little milk containers and toted a container of Trader Joe's dunkers to hand out to her classmates at recess.  Jeremy showed up at her school with take-out in hand to eat lunch with her in the lunch room.  On birthdays at our house you get the day off from all jobs so Allison enjoyed playing with friends and then her favorite meal of ravioli, presnts, more playing as she showed off her now roller-blades, topped off with a bubble bath in mom's tub.  My favorite quote of the night was Robyn who was having a tough time with Allison's day - "Just because its your birthday doesn't mean you get treated like a queen!  She should get treated like a normal person, just like the rest of us!"  Accompanied with tears and stomping off to bed.  You can see some of the attitude in this picture:

For Allison's birthday my parents gave Allison Betsy.  Betsy was a doll that my mom got as a little girl from her mom.  When I turned 10, my grandma made a new wardrobe for Betsy and passed it on to me.  And now Allison has it.  She thought it was so neat, and so do I.  Spencer dashed off to his room before dinner and came down with a sheepish smile and an envelope for Allison.  I love his smile when he knows he is doing something good and is bursting with pride about it.  Allison love his 'present'.

This year Allison had a family party as we alternate years with friend parties. But she is able to invite one friend over.  So Friday afternoon Allison, her friend Andra, Robyn and I went to Color Me Mine, a ceramics painting store.  They spent two hours carefully painting piggy banks and in a week we can go pick them up and they will be glazed and fired for us.  I haven't been there before and thought it was a really cool place.  Now I want to go back for me!  Then we met up with boys and cousins at our house for BBQ pesto pizzas (Allison's surprising choice - with all kids but her going the traditional route of red sauce and pepperoni), cake & ice cream, presents and movie.  So a bit low key but very fun.  Allison was very explicit on her cake, 3 layers of different sizes, caramel cake, with blue writing and curly candles.  Nice to have a girl who knows what she wants.
Allison had her 10 year old physical this week.  They predict on the growth charts that she will be 5 foot 1 inch.  I told her as long as she hits 5 feet, that's all that counts!  She is just excited that she is ON the growth charts - 15% which is pretty respectable.  I am just used to 100% Spencer or 80% Robyn!  And he assured me that she will not take after me and stop growing at age 10.

Other news of the week - I had parent teacher conferences for all the kids.  You would think I could figure out how to get it all done in one afternoon but nope - 4 separate trips.  I decided that junior high conferences stink.  You wait in line for each teacher instead of having an appointment with just one teacher.  Kids are all doing good in school.  Brought up having Allison skip up a grade again but I think I would rather have her graduate high school at age 18 and just go up two grades for math class.  Spencer despite him taking full responsibility for homework etc this year is doing great.  One problem he has is that in graphic arts and photography, two of his favorite classes as he tries to be like his dad, he just won't shut up.  So we told him to limit himself to two questions a day.  Sometimes that kid needs a filter when he gets all excited about a subject.

Taylor has had a good week.  As you know constipation is a real issue for Taylor that he constantly battles.  Just goes along with all his other problems.  But this week it all came out, and didn't stop.  It became quite hilarious.  One message from his teacher, "In all my 20 years of working in special -ed I have never, ever had a situation like this.  I cannot imagine where all of this is coming from".  So Taylor has been having a smile on his face this week and his baritone giggle has been heard again.  Still refuses to walk for us, especially with his daffos.  Now though it isn't that he can't, he just doesn't want to.

Jeremy has taught the photography merit badge this week, one night to our ward and one night to another.  He had fun with it.  He even got to do a senior's photo shoot this week.  He loves his photography.

For past General Conferences I have always made up work sheets for our kids.  Robyn came down Saturday morning to ask where her M&Ms were.  The memory on that girl - ask her what she is getting for her 8th birthday and she will tell you I am giving her a parakeet - as that is what I said a year ago.  Anyway this year I decided that those sheets were causing more disruption than help so instead each kid has to show me notes for everything President Monson says and then for two speakers.  So far it has been a much more calm conference and kids are listening better.  It seems like you have to keep changing things up to keep them interested.

Last night for Priesthood session with Jeremy and Spencer off for enlightenment and a supply of grease and shakes at JCW's, the girls with Taylor along for the ride and I threw a girlie potluck.  Our curse continued though as though despite sunny 90 degree days at 6 on the dot, it began to storm.  (Every party we have had this year has involved rain).  So the party was moved indoors and was a lot of fun.  When the rain stopped kids ran around outside while Allison and friends entertained a bevy of little girls with their skits upstairs.

Finished reading Brandon Sanderson's book The Way of Kings this week and really liked it.  Then I found out that it was a projected 10 book series and my enthusiasm waned a little.  The first book was the size of a dictionary!  And I read a fun book called Mr. Darcy Broke my Heart.  I like both books a lot.  I canned a few peaches this week and tried a new way.  You put sugar in the bottom of the jar, add some boiling water, peaches and then the rest of the water.  A lot easier and less messy but we will see how well it actually works.

So life is good, busy and full of the everyday fun that really doesn't translate very well into a letter.  Why hearing Allison say to Robyn as they play cars, "Come on honey, Its time to go wild" makes us crack up, I don't know, but we do.  We put up our Halloween decorations this week so our house is looking suitably fallish.  We are still running around in shorts as though the mornings are cool, the afternoons are hitting 90.  One of my favorite times of the year.

Happy Birthday to Claire!  Love, Heather


The Skeehan Family said...

Ahhhh, now I see why Taylor was so giggly when we talked earlier this week :) :) :) That made Dan and I burst out laughing, I LOVE IT!

And I had no idea Spencer loves photography like Jeremy - that just makes me so happy - maybe it's because it is something I love too? Or just seeing Spencer really loving something always makes me smile.

And what a little lady Allison is - she just seems so grown up, yet young and sweet like she's supposed to be. Good job Mama.

And Robyn - oh she makes me giggle. She and Claire really are two peas in a pod - Claire has a memory like no one I know... and then that picture of her when Allison's opening presents - could have been an identical picture to when Claire was opening presents this morning... SO hilarious. We had so many many tears this morning when Sammy realized the doll ballet dress wasn't for her baby... sad sad day.

And the heirloom doll- SO brilliant. Just had to say it. We have a couple of those. I heart them.

Meredith said...

"One free day of being nice"?! HA I laughed out loud on that one. Knowing Spencer, that really is a very nice and thoughtful present.
I love how traditional your family is...the brother that teases his sisters and then does something totally cute like that for their birthday.
And just loved reading all the birthday stuff and update in general. Love your family and you still continue to impress me with how brilliant you are Heather!