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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Birthday Buddies

My beautiful Robyn with her awesome morning hair turned double digits!  Hard to believe this is my baby.  She was scheduled to be born on my birthday but after 3 weeks of bed rest she needed to come out.  Amazing to think that they wrote failure to thrive on her chart at 2 weeks!  Now she is a force of nature.  She celebrated her actual birthday by having waffles in bed, taking muffin tops to her class, making her favorite non-nacho meal of BLTs and going to 2!! activity days as the 9 year old group met at 6 and the 10 year old group met at 7.  She thought it was great.  A few days later we went to get her birthday present, a bike.  The one she wanted seems way to big but she is determined to make it work and eat her veggies and grow into it.

She had a great birthday!  Jeremy has been fighting off a bad cold for the last two weeks.  So they waited till he wasn't coughing so bad to do their daddy/daughter meal for her birthday.  She almost always picks Costa Vida.  All the excitement wore Robyn out so she spent a day sick in bed and had to sleep a bunch and then bounced right back.  Jasper is our family nurse.

For Christmas Jason and Kelly and us gave each other a dinner out.  So we picked a resturant Kelly and I have always wanted to go to and spent a fun evening fonduing.

Spencer started his police academy for teens class and has been really enjoying it and learning a lot.  Jeremy tries to go whenever he can and support it.  Jeremy is looking at being one of the police volunteers who help with community events and fundraising.  He has been looking for something to be involved in, in the community and thinks this would be something he would really enjoy.

This week I met with Spencer and his school counselor to plan out his senior year.  They handed us all the literature on scholarships and applications.  I am not quite ready for this step yet!

We had New Beginning this week which meant I got to write a few words and make a bunch of cupcakes.  Worked out great as we used leftover cupcakes for my birthday!  Jeremy helped me set up a power point presentation to go along with my talk.  I have never done something like that before but I think it helped keep the girls attention.

This week I also started my practicum.  That is where I go to a middle school for an hour and a half every morning to teach literacy.  Talk about the blind leading the blind.  I had my test this week about whether I could pronounce all the sounds in phonics correctly.  It is dang hard as you don't say the sound exactly.  Like for q you say coo. 

For FHE this week we packed up the family and went to a Bill Lepp concert, a storyteller we really like.  Think a very articulate Jeff Foxworthy.  Spencer loves him and it was good to hang out and laugh together.  Allison got to go sing at a BYU basketball game with her choir Saturday night and Robyn had a late movie night with friends.  Seems like the older they get, the less family hanging out time we get, so I try to treasure it and make it happen on week nights if needed.

Sugar free January ended Friday night.  We had Jason and family over for dinner and to hang out.  Jason made molten lava cakes for us, which was a big hit.  Allison had a group of friends from school over for a Friday afternoon into the late evening session of hair styling/gaming/movie watching.  Made for a fun Friday evening.

For my birthday the kids gave me a day of no whining.  Although Allison said when her alarm went off at 7 am on a Saturday she was whining plenty in her head!  But they all got up and put on their church clothes and we went to the Provo temple open house.  It is gorgeous and it was neat to see how they stayed true to the historic nature of the tabernacle.

Afterward we all went to Kneaders for french toast.  Taylor ate more than anyone else.  Lately he has been on an eating streak.  Not sure where it is going.

Spencer went with me to do grocery shopping, Jeremy and I had a funeral to attend and then an adult session of Stake Conference.  It was a great day, reminding me of the many blessings of family and friends I have in my life.  After Stake Conference a few friends were able to come over to visit and eat cupcakes.

Jeremy has been taking photos of our kids with technology:

Monday, January 18, 2016

Reality and Birthdays

We had one last night of my parents and before I started back to work.  During the day my parents helped me clean my house, it was awesome.  And we went to meet Robyn to eat lunch at her school.  My parents brought her a huge cookie for dessert.  Spent the afternoon playing games and pretending that school hadn't started again and then we went to Chubbys so Spencer could show off his work place and their awesome hamburgers.

Then it was back to the school schedule full time.  Girls had their auditions for Peter Pan, callbacks for Allison and costume fittings.  Many emotions around here during that time period!  Allison was thrilled to be cast as Nana and an Indian dancer.  Robyn was cast as a Lost Boy named Grubb.  She wasn't as thrilled because of the name but has come to embrace it and be excited about it.

Kids finished up the semester with finals.  Spencer brought home his ceramics projects which he was quite proud about it - especially his goblet.  My classes started up again which mean I am gone every Wednesday 4-10.  My brain is having a hard time keeping up with the pace and my bum is having a hard time sitting for that long.  It's hard getting back into learning mode.  I am most excited to start my practicum where I help teach every day at a junior high.  I think I will learn a lot.

Taylor had some sick days again where he refused to eat or drink and looked miserable.  Jasper stayed right by him.  I think it was all digestive issues as a bunch of interventions later he was doing well.  That didn't stop us from taking him to the opening BYU volleyball game as a family!  Figured he wasn't contagious and the outing would do him good.

We have been planning for Robyn's birthday party for a while and it finally happened this Saturday.  She sent out cute invitations with tickets for the Hogwarts Express.  She even had one friend RSVP via owl.  Notice the red eyes.  It was perfect timing as the owl landed on our doorstep after an hour of emotions after being cast as a boy named Grubb in Peter Pan.  (I may have made the mistake of telling her maybe its a boy who likes to eat and is always saying where's the grubb? and gets to wear a fat suit - not what you should say to a 9 year old girl).

While I ran to the grocery store for the rest of party supplies.  Jeremy took the girls for a intro to ice skating class to burn off some nervous energy.  It worked out wonderfully.

The party arrived - 14 kids, 4 hours.  We had a great time.  Spencer did Mr. Olivander's wand shop for a few minutes before he left for work.  He did the whole act of helping them find just the right wand.  Jeremy did the sorting hat, playing clips from the movie on a hidden speaker to tell them what house they were in.  We had monster books they decorated, balloons they cast spells on, Allison and her friend Evy did a potions class with proper British accents, Jeremy's friend Kat did amazing face painting and glitter tattoos, had nachos, ate a bunch of Honeydukes style candy and butter beer, and watched a Harry Potter movie.  At the end with Spencer and Jeremy and Allison all having to leave for a job we descended into a little bit of chaos but I can handle chaos as long as I know there is an end in sight!  Robyn loved it all.  Robyn and Allison have spent the afternoon doing all her birthday present crafts.  And of course there were a few pictures...

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Christmas Vacation and Grandparents

This week brought my parents here for a week long visit.  It has been awesome as they have put up with our slothful vacation ways.  We have slept in, eaten too many treats, watched too many movies and basically hung out a lot.  Every day we tried to do something fun where we left our little cocoon we have going on during the vacation.

We went bowling, and ice skating, we got to see the new Star Wars (except for Robyn who stayed home with a babysitter), but she she was consoled the next night with JCW shakes. 

We made wands for Robyn's upcoming Harry Potter birthday party and Jeremy designed some cool invites for us.

Robyn finished here summer reading challenge by finishing the last book in the Harry Potter series on New Year's Eve.  She has been really slow reading the last book because she was afraid of who would die.  She has been given many spoilers by other kids!

New Year's Eve we played games, ate fondue (note to self, pizza cheese does not work!) and stayed up watching movies and eating snow cones.  Allison and her friend Evy left us for a few hours to go to the youth dance while Spencer was happy to hang out with us watching movies.

My mom taught Allison how to knit a hat from a pattern that my sister Christina wrote based on a hat my sister-in-law Mimi bought.  She had to undo many times but it turned out awesome, and she is very proud of it.

Spencer has had to work for a few of these events and he is pretty back to normal with his teeth.  We had his follow up visit with his doctor and everything is healing up so he was given the go ahead to eat what he wants.

On Saturday night Spencer, Allison and I got to go with my parents to do baptisms for the dead.  It was an awesome experience watching my Dad baptize my kids (Spencer had to kneel and sort of duck forward) and confirm them.  One of the highlights of my vacation.  Spencer has been busy working on family search ever since.

We got to go to the Norman Rockwell exhibit at BYU which was fascinating to walk through.

And no trip is complete with going to BYU creamery.  (And yes its sugar free January in our house but kids have opted out of that one)

Only tough part of the week is that I had a tooth go bad right before Christmas Eve and have been on lots and lots of ibuprofen ever since.  A trip to the dentist Tuesday and then a root canal Wednesday for me.  A tooth died under an existing crown and did not go quietly into that good night.  But 24 hours later waking up without constant sharp pain and headaches was so worth it.

Today we celebrated my dad's 73rd birthday.  We made a big dinner of steaks and strawberry rhubarb pie.  I need to improve my pie making skills but Robyn graciously shared her ice cream from the creamery with everyone which covers a multitude of sins.

And today we turn in early ready to jump back into school.  Except for the early morning part - that part is going to stink.