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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Palm Sunday

Last night Kelly and her girls came over for a girls night.  Soup and cake, woman's broadcast and stuffing Easter eggs made for a fun night.  Spencer has been waiting for his birthday dinner with Jeremy so they left the girl filled house to go to Spencer's favorite place - Tucanos.  Spencer commented that his stomach isn't as big as it used to be.  Jeremy even let him drive the convertible there and they searched for two geo-caches so Spencer had a great evening out.

Spencer lately has been going out on long walks and bike rides often taking the girls in tow in search of nearby geo-caches.  I love it as it gives him a purpose to go exploring.  This week Spencer had registration for his junior year.  I miss the days of meeting with counselors where they do all the work for you.  Instead we race home from school, Spencer logs onto the computer as soon as it hits 3 and tries to register for all the classes he wants.  Frustration is the name of the game.  But he got into every class he wanted but one and that one he is appealing with the teacher.  Volleyball continues and he still loves it.

Allergies and sunshine hit this week.  Almost everyone in our house in on Clariten.  Taylor sounds like a fog horn as he breathes.  We set up a humidifier in his room which will hopefully help out.  Robyn's allergic reaction has calmed down on her face although her cheeks still feel like sandpaper.  Lots and lots of lotion as I am afraid to use any more hydracortesone.

The girls are in count down mode for their play.  They don't have rehearsals every day but almost for the next month.  They love it but it also tires them out.

Jeremy is wrapping up a bunch of projects which hopefully means he will get some down time soon.  Busy is great but busy all the time gets hard.  But he still finds time to keep our dog looking good - an all kids on deck affair.  While I was at YW this week I get a text from Jeremy - Robyn came home from activity days.  I came upstairs to find her rather unsuccessfully giving Macho (our cat) a bath in the kitchen sink.  Our kids love their pets.

Allison interviewed this week to do PALs next year.  Its where you help incoming 7th graders.  She was excited to be accepted.

Rest of the week was full of odds and ends that keep everything busy.  Had to go back and forth with the pharmacy and doctors to get Taylor's prescriptions figured out.  Ward temple night.  Taking the young women to do baptisms Saturday morning.  And ruining while trying to wash it and then having to replace a rug.  Just life without any too much drama.  And kids who love each other and often even like each other.  I will take it.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Too busy

Robyn's artwork for the day.  Evidently this was done before Jeremy shaved for church!  I love that Robyn is "the best".  I have been loving our weekend.  This has been one of those weeks that make you look forward to two days of resting and catching up on projects and family time.  Throw in some yoga and running with a friend and a night of watching Interstellar with Spencer and a night of watching Imitation Game with Jeremy and I feel like it has been a great break from the week.  It wasn't bad just busier than usual.

This week Jeremy got dumped on twice by me.  He has been working non-stop on some side projects which has meant he has been working all weekend and most nights this week very late.  He is grateful for the work but they all want their stuff done immediately.  And then he comes home Wednesday to find out he needs to go pick up the girls and their carpool from play practice.  Food is all over the counter because dinner and the next night's dinner is only half done.  And the reason I wasn't more on top of this is because I had been waiting for Spencer's bus (more on this later) and the bus hadn't come yet so eventually he would need to go pick Spencer up.  And here is Taylor who still needs to be fed, pilled and changed.  And I am off to have dinner with friends.  I come home two hours later to Spencer successfully home after Jeremy let him drive on the freeway.  Dinner all done and put away.  Kids going to bed.  And with all that going on, a starling who had tried to make a nest in our dryer hose, broke free of the hose, and was loose in our house.
Jeremy managed to save the bird and we repaired our dryer Saturday.

Then just to make sure he still loves me.  I race home the next night to dump all the kids with Jeremy after a long dentist visit and take off with Allison for YM/YW where we hosted the special needs mutual.  At least this time dinner was made!  But he still had to deal with volleyball practice and Robyn with a sore mouth from getting a tooth pulled and having a bad allergic reaction.

It was just one of those weeks that make you glad for the quieter ones.  It was all good - just busy.

On Wednesday Spencer had a competition all day for his Technology Student Association.  His group made a website for it.  We didn't really understand all the details.  He got up at 4 am to make sure he wasn't late as he needed to be at Lehi High School by 5:20 for the buses.  We were there by 5.  He was all dressed up and had meals packed for the day and asked me to pick him up at 5:30 when he got back.  After his late night of volleyball games the night before he just crashed while we waited for everyone to show up.
Turns out that now we know they provide all the meals, you should enter more than one area and that the closing ceremonies START at 5:30 and the buses get back more like 8:30.  And I learned that if we are going to have a son without a phone I need to be more on the ball with itineraries and teacher cell phone numbers.  Just assuming my child will hear all the relevant details and tell them to me does not work in events like this.   But I did get to sit and have some quiet reading time in the parking lot with Taylor for an hour or so while I had this mom teaching moment.  Wish I knew what I needed to know before I needed to know it!

With all the good weather kids have been anxious to play outside.  Last Sunday we went to Robyn's school with family to check out the playground.
And today after  church we checked out a new playground that the kids discovered.  Its sort of a hidden city park by us that I never knew was there.  Spencer has been leading the charge to go geocaching lately.  Robyn and Allison have been taking turns biking around the neighborhood with him.  They have their moments when they all get along and the teenage mood swings align up and it is awesome to be around.  On Monday Spencer had to go bowling to make-up for missing Fitness on Wednesday.  I know its such a weird way to get class credit.  Allison decided to go with him - first willingly than unwillingly.  But they ended up having a great time and bought each other junk food as a way to say thank you.  It almost makes up for the picking and snottiness in the other times...almost.

We have been starting to get our yard picked up - always a huge project.  Jeremy hung up our gate into our garden so hopefully the chickens will stop eating our veggies.  I mowed our lawn for the first time sucking up all the dead leaves and winter debris.  I was one big ball of dust afterwards.  Our trees our starting to popcorn all over and daffodils are coming out.

For St. Patrick's Day I thought I was pretty on top of it.  I bought Lucky Charms for breakfast, packed all green foods for kids to bring to school for lunch and had reuben sandwiches ready to eat at Spencer's volleyball game.  Robyn came home disgusted with her elementary school class for not having a big party and lots of activities and demanded to know where the  traps and surprise parties were.  I informed her that SHE was welcome to do any of those activities after she got her jobs done but that I was not doing them for her.  She has a scrooge for a mom.  Luckily she has a big sister who got quite inventive with a big scavenger hunt, clues and several mysterious phone calls from the local leprechaun.  Both girls had a great afternoon doing this once they realized that I wasn't doing it for them and that I wouldn't allow them to make anything with sugar (cookies are always the fall back in our house and I am trying to get away from that).
Taylor has been struggling a bit with a big increase in seizures.  I think its just constipation preventing him from absorbing his meds again.  So we have been cleaning him out this weekend.  Hopefully this next week will be better and he can be happy with this sunshiny weather.  Right now he is curled up with Jasper in his beanbag by the fireplace.  Always a favorite place.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sweet Sixteen and CA beaches

I have been informed by the male members of my family that boys do NOT celebrate a sweet sixteen.  But today Spencer turns sixteen and he is a sweetheart sometimes wrapped up in a prickley sometimes smelly outer layer.  Hard to believe that he is this old!  Friday to night to celebrate we went rock climbing as a family.  Our kids lasted and hour and a half till arms trembling and sweat dripping they decided they were done.  Robyn was the undisputed champion at scrambling up the walls.  Spencer blamed his big feet and the fact that he is over 6'3" now.  For his birthday we decided to create a new tradition of giving our kids a trip to their grandparents not just for their 8th birthday but their 16th as well.  So spring break he is flying out to CA to work in the bishops storehouse, eat ice cream and lay on a beach.

Saturday, Spencer spent the day geo-caching, eating orange chicken and finding some pie to eat while watching corny sci-fi movie with his cousin Garion.  I was proud of him because some of his birthday plans didn't quite work out.  Kneaders ran out of pie on pie day.  His friend was unable to join him.  We ended up at different rock climbing place than he had planned on.  But he, with a little effort just rolled with it.

And of course he enjoyed sleeping in and getting breakfast in bed.  His pick - breakfast burritos made with tator tots.

And the Halls came over to join in Spencer's ordination to be a priest and to have dinner and play.  It was a special day as his cousin Garion who also just had a birthday was ordained as a teacher.  They seem to get so old so quickly.

Spencer's volleyball season has started.  Which means games every Tuesday night for a 4 hour stretch - play 2, ref 1, rest 1.  This means the girls have been eating dinner out of tupperware on Tuesday night.

First game for Spencer was awesome as on the 3rd set they were down 3-7.  Spencer served 10 points in a row - 8 of which were aces.  Then game point he went right into the net but they won on the opposing team's serve.  He was so stoked.  Hasn't been that good since but he is definitely getting better.

For Christmas this year once again Jeremy gave me the best present ever.  A ticket to go visit my parents for the weekend.  I got to sleep an unbelievable amount, talk and visit with my parents, my sister and Peter and his family, walk around Shoreline, eat some delicious Thai food and visit the beach.  The fog was out, the sun up and the temperatures were in the 70s.  It was an awesome weekend to just re-connect.  And I got to visit with my nephew and niece!  While gone I got funny video and texts from kids as Jeremy heroically took on solo parenting for the weekend ie. Mom, how do you get nailpolish out of the carpet?  Dad cut Jasper's hair and here is a photo of me giving him a bath.  Spencer and me are taking Taylor geo-caching in his wheelchair - we'll be back.  Dad needed to go to work so I made him a lunch and I am feeding Taylor breakfast (this is Robyn), see how happy Taylor is?  They all pulled together and Jeremy handled driving to birthday parties and cleaning the office and everything else so I could just not worry about family.  Best present ever.

The Monday I flew back, Allison took off with a group to SLC for 3 days for a club convention.  She was gone till Wednesday afternoon and had a great time competing and playing.  And I learned a valuable mom lesson.  She walked in the door stoked that they had come in 2nd in the state so she could go to nationals.  In Washington D.C. for a thousand dollars for a whole week.  I instantly rained on her parade by shaking my head and saying I don't think so.  So now I have learned that I need to say "wow, we will have to look at that" and give it some time.

Today Allison got her Young Women's medallion for finishing her personal progress.  We were proud of here.  Her goal is to earn it a second time so she can get it in gold as well.

Jeremy has been working a bunch on side projects lately - some paid, some for fun.  Shooting a bunch of frankensteins early in the morning in SLC to doing a product shoot all day Saturday, to roping in family to pose for some prayer photos.  I thought this was very life-like:

Taylor had a visit with neurology up at Primary's last week.  They have a whole new amazing building for all the doctors now.  I felt like I was checking into a super nice hotel.  And it was comforting when they said I didn't need to switch doctors and hospitals for two more years.  We talked about some different options to help Taylor's seizures including brain surgery.  But we decided to just try upping his meds a little - he is already on the high side - to see if it helps.  If not his quality of life is overall pretty good and I don't want to rock the boat too much.

Everyone is enjoying the emergence of sun and warmth again.  I have started tackling our yard and being able to run outside and even went for my first bike ride.  It amazes me how quickly I can get out of shape.  I always forget how painful it is to increase my speed and distance.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Time flies

Wow these two weeks seem to have flown by really fast.  Last week Spencer spent every afternoon doing range for two hours.  This is where he goes to a local high school where they have an enclosed driving range with an instructor in a tower talking to kids over radios in the car.  So he got lots of driving practice (and no, I still can't bring myself to drive with him yet - I am such a wimp) and several good stories.  One of my favorites, "yes car number 3 you have now found the windshield wipers - now find the turn signal".  He had a great time but between that and volleyball it kept him hopping and out of trouble.

Allison has been working with a friend to earn money for the FCCLA competition next week up in Salt Lake City.  She has been practicing her tap dancing rat routine in the garage and singing Shrek songs all over the house.  I was proud of her for setting up a date night at the movies with our neighbor Allyce who is disabled.  She has really enjoyed becoming her friend.  Allison has taken to checking my blog every week to make sure I am not posting anything embarrassing and it has helped me realize that I have reached that point.  So no more talking about mood swings and eye rolling in my kids - just suffice it to say that I have some wonderful teenagers around here and we will all persevere through all the teenage stuff that exists right now.

The girls had their piano recital this week and I was proud of both of them.  Allison was disappointed in herself because she could have been better prepared.  Good lesson learned for next time.

The last two weeks have seen Jeremy busy working on stuff for the outdoors expo his company has been putting on.  It is going on this weekend and seems to be doing well.  He is getting wiped out and is ready to stop being on his feet all day but seems to be enjoying it.  I took kids and a couple of friends down Friday night to explore, shoot BB guns (Allison was thrilled she was the only one to get 4 bull-eyes), get their faces painted and see a very cool reptile show.

Saturday night I took our kids back to attend a hypnotist show.  It was hilarious and our kids were up late laughing and having a great time watching people dance, act and do all sorts of comedy.

We have had a few church things going on lately.  Jeremy got to go up to SLC to take photos of a dinner that the church set up.  With him gone on youth night Robyn and Taylor got to enjoy the benefits of eating dinner at the church and watching YW play volleyball.

We got to clean the church one night while Jeremy took photos again.  Which worked out really well as he had thrown out his back that day.  I even got to go one night after the temple was closed to clean.  It was a neat feeling to be there late at night with the organ playing and spend a few hours polishing and cleaning the endowment rooms all by myself.  Throw in a couple of firesides and life has been full church wise.

I took Jasper in to get his staples out yesterday.  He did not want to go with the vet at all and spent a good thirty minutes after shaking violently.  He has mellowed out since he got attacked but is still grumpy around new people.  I hope he can re-learn to be friendly to everyone again.  He wore a onesie for a few days to protect his staples.  Robyn got her words messed up and kept telling everyone that her dog got a weiner.  I didn't catch it for two days after she had already told all her friends and church class.  We had to explain to her the confusion after we had laughed a bunch. 

I got to go on a field trip with Taylor's class this week to see a play.  Moving seven wheelchairs in and out of a bus and a theater takes a few extra hands.  I learned that I only have to take two college classes to get my level 1 teacher certificate back so I have been looking at doing that and seeing if a part time teaching job can be found.  This year has definitely taught me how important it is for me to be home when my kids are home.

So life seems to pass by more quickly than I would like right now.  I cheer when we get to all just stay home at night and veg.  Thanks to my parents birthday present I went and got a gate for our garden this week.  Now we just have to install it and no more chickens eating our vegetables!  We had a scare this week when Robyn met me after school crying that Jasper had killed a chicken.  Turns out Penny is really, really good at playing possum.  You can even poke her and she won't react.  Many tears were shed till she decided to get up and walk away.