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Sunday, February 17, 2013


I am going to write backwards from the great weekend to the not so great start of the week.  Valentine's Day started off with smiles in our house. The girls had their Valentine's that they had made ready to go.  I had left early that morning to sneak some doughnuts over to Jeremy's office - thank goodness for pintrest and all their cute Valentine ideas.  We had our annual waffles and strawberry breakfast:
I had made Valentine's for each of my kids to open that morning.  I am trying harder to focus on what they can become rather than what faults they are struggling with right now.  I sometimes wonder if they hear or retain what I say but its good for me to remember too so I copied them for me to reread:

Dear Spencer,
Happy Valentine’s Day!  I call you my light.  Light allows people to see things in new ways.  Light brings new perspectives to every day events.  It seeks out new things to see and experience.  Light is curious, it will make its way into dim places to explore and see what is there.  Light is courageous again the dark.  It doesn’t matter if the dark tells it to be dim, or to cover up its light, it will still shine brightly and boldly.  It shares it light freely with others.   You can reflect God’s light with your own light into some dark places.  At times light can be a bit over powering causing people to squint and have to take a step back.  But without light the world would be a dark and dim place to live.  You bring a light to our family that can never be replaced.  I love you, Mom.

Dear Allison,
Happy Valentine’s Day!  I call you my angel.  Angels are those who God works through to do his work here on this earth.  You have a gift of truly seeing those around you.  Seeing how to love them, help them and to make this world a better place everywhere you happen to be.   Angles know who they are, that God loves them and that knowledge cannot be taken away.  Angels know they are never alone and that they have an important work to do here on this earth that they cannot be distracted from.  Thank you for being the angel in our family.  I love you, Mom

Dear Robyn,
Happy Valentine’s Day!  I call you my sunshine.  Sunshine spreads warmth and light and love wherever it goes.  It has an energy and optimism that makes people smile and brightens their day.  There is even a hymn about you, “There is Sunshine in My Soul Today”. No day can be dim with you around.   Thank you for bringing a ray of sunshine into our lives.  I love you, Mom

 It was a lot to pack into the 20 minutes between getting dressed and having kids leave but it was fun, short and sweet - the best family experiences in our house are usually that way.  I got to help in Taylor's classroom in the morning with their lunch and then it was off to Robyn's class for her Valentine's party.  (Robyn was asking Spencer why he didn't get lots of Valentine's and parties and he replied that junior high doesn't do any of that fun stuff.  He was a bit depressed about it).  Robyn's teacher is having a baby in a few weeks.  So we went in a different direction with the party and the kids really seemed to like it.  A mom brought in yogurt with strawberries, granola and pink sprinkles for all the kids along with graham crackers and pink milk.  I think kids preferred this to the usual cupcakes or sugar cookies as everything was inhaled.  And then I had sewed a few baby blankets that the kids then tied and decorated butcher paper to wrap them up in.  It has been a fun experience for me to spend more time in kids' classrooms this year and to get to know their classmates better.
That evening the kids enjoyed opening some Valentine's from grandma and coming off their sugar high.  Jeremy and I got to do sealings with our ward and then visit with friends over pie.  It was a packed but fun day.

But our Valentine's wasn't over!  Friday we packed all the kids over to Jason and Kelly's house for the night.  Jason bravely took Spencer along with his son Garion on their deacons' snow camp.  Spencer was thrilled.  The girls enjoyed some quality girl time with their aunt and I even heard that Robyn ate taco salad for dinner without one word of complaint.  She believes that any meal that involves lettuce is a tragedy.  And Taylor just hung out and stayed healthy and happy.  While kids were being safely taken care of, Jeremy and I had our extended date.  We used up some of our gift certificates to go out to a nice dinner, shop for a dishwasher and attend comedy sports.  I realized what a fuddy duddy I am that I was so impressed that we stayed out till after midnight.  Saturday morning we both got apprentice massages and went out for breakfast at Kneaders before going back to buy a dishwasher.  I know that nothing says romance like buying an appliance but I was very excited at the idea of having a working dishwasher again.  It was an awesome long date.

Saturday night Jeremy had a chance to do a photo shoot with some professional make-up artists in Salt Lake.  While Taylor rested up after the weekend with Melissa the rest of us went to our high school's production of Beauty and the Beast.  Our neighbor was Gaston and he and all the cast were really, really good.  Kids were just entranced the whole time.

So the end of the week was packed with fun.  The beginning of the week was full of me getting life and household chores caught up.  I felt really tired out Sunday and Monday morning and figured it was just getting back to life and the days of not sleeping well catching up with me.  But it kept getting worse and by Tuesday morning I was miserable.  So off to the doctor and cheering when they told me that yes I had strep. It was one of those days that I felt truly awful, sitting on the couch and just wanting to cry.  It felt like it took heroic efforts to do things like grocery shopping or to put away laundry.  I thought kids should be cheering every effort I made.  Of course that is not how it works.  So I went to bed before 8 and just told kids to get to bed on time as Jeremy was gone.  I was out of commission most of Wednesday too but then the antibiotics started kicking in.  I think that next time one of my kids becomes sick that I need to be a much nicer mom.  I tend to tell them just to go to bed and don't get up until they feel better.

Spencer didn't appreciate that the pumpkin curry Wednesday night had tofu in it.  I don't think I was up to snuff yet as he and Robyn ended up going to bed right after dinner as I was done with the comments.  The next day Spencer brings home a cook book from the school library he just happened to think that I might like.  He carefully pointed out the recipes for bacon wrapped chicken tenders, garlic marinated steak etc.  Very thoughtful.  Monday, Spencer had a guitar recital at a rest home by us.  He really loves playing his guitar:

Last week we talked about Madonna's by Raphael in Allison's class for art.  The pictures they made look more like Japanese animation to me but they still turned out cool I thought: