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Sunday, May 29, 2016

School is out and Dad is back

The last week of school means very little school work or for Spencer school time and lots of last activities.  Robyn had her school dance festival.  I was able to leave work for an hour and watch her whip and na-na it with the gusto.  She thought she was so cool that her class picked that song.

Robyn also had field day and a class luau party at a family's office building where they had a giant hot tub, games, Polynesian food and movies (she thought it was the best party she had ever been to!).  And she had grade up day where she meets her new teacher for next year who she is a big fan of, and once again she is in a class full of boys.  And she was introduced to the school with the new student council.  Full week for her.  Plus to celebrate the last day of school, since it was only an hour and a half long, she and her friend went to our local dollar theater and watched a movie by themselves.  Its a little tiny establishment where I know most of the workers, otherwise I would have been too freaked out.  So busy and happy week for her.

Spencer had finals for three days where school ended at 11.  And one day where they signed yearbooks for an hour or two and then he came home.  So basically school has been out for him all week long.  He is working a little more and trying to transition to summer routines.  Thursday night I went to pick up Jeremy from the airport and Spencer has been enjoying his dad time this afternoon:

We were all excited to have Jeremy back and have been bombarding him with attention.  He said he has never worked so hard and with so little sleep but he enjoyed the adventure of it.  He had one free night at the end where he got to go to dinner with his fellow photographers:

He has been trying to catch up on sleep and rest his knees and back since.  But we got to go out for dinner Friday night and catch up on the last 8 days and a bike ride on Saturday.  Saturday all but poor Spencer who had to work went to the pool.  Taylor was in heaven once the rain stopped and the sun came out.  Robyn was so excited to be swimming that she was going on the first day regardless of the weather! 

Saturday we also did our annual bonfire where we roasted corn, brats and marshmallows and burned up so much homework that we have a huge pile of ash outside.  Always a good way to end the school year.

Allison had regular school every day until Friday when she decided not to go sit in a classroom for an hour - with her teacher encouraging her to stay home!  So she had a friend come over after they slept in to make waffles and then spend the day playing around.  She tried out the 8th grade graduation dance because everyone who told her it was lame had never gone.  And she came home after an hour agreeing with the lame assessment.

Saturday the two girls and I went to Thanksgiving Point for their bulb sale.  They dig up all their bulbs from the tulip festival and dump them in crates unlabeled.  You get to just browse through and pick out what you want.  So we brought home a big bag and get to see what they are in the spring!  And then our short errand of returning one thing turned into girls wanting to look for an outfit for family pictures in August.  Shopping with girls has turned into a big new adventure!  But we all had fun.

Rest of the week was the regular routine of piano lessons, me going to work and working on homework.  Since I had two days off without kids this week for one more time I celebrated.  One day I went for a bike ride - without rain or flat tires - it was awesome.  And one day I got to go do a session at the Provo temple.  Awesome days.  Robyn even made us brownies one night.  Kids really stepped up while Jeremy was gone, making treats, voluntarily doing helpful things.  We talked last week about how we needed to be like Redwood trees that hold onto each others' roots and support each other and not like Voles who nibble the roots of trees and plants and kill them.  So its cheesy but I have been saying, "be a tree" often lately.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The home front

Robyn had two teeth pulled Monday afternoon and an expander put in.  She didn't realize how bulky and uncomfortable it would be.  Much tears and complaining while her family all told her about their horror experiences of having dental work done which didn't help.  What did help is that Friday she learned she made it to student council for next year over which she was very excited.  And she and her friend Gillian had their first babysitting job Friday night.  Robyn was a little upset when she learned it was going to be at our house so I was around in case of emergencies "What!?  We have to be supervised?!  Don't you trust us?".  They worked hard and were good little babysitters to three little kids.

Allison had her end of the year choir concerts this week.  She had 3 concerts so each one wasn't so crowded.  All of us but Spencer got to go Tuesday night.  (Spencer was off shooting and having a BBQ with the priests and laurels.  He thought he got the best of the bargain).  The concert though was awesome and well all really enjoyed cheering her on.  I think Robyn is rethinking her anti-choir stance.

On Wednesday I drove Jeremy up to the airport for him to fly to Barcelona to be a photographer for a week.  He spent the days leading up to it, wrapping up all his official work stuff and all his unofficial work stuff with the studio.  He is having a great time, little sleep, lots of work and lots of picture taking.

With Jeremy gone and a huge rainstorm the rest of us decided to go to the archery range Saturday morning before Spencer had to go to work. 

Taylor had his dance festival this week.  No pictures, because I got to help his class after I helped with mine.  He enjoyed being wheeled around very fast outside, the sunshine and people cheering for him and the snow cone truck that arrived for all the kids.  Taylor got his new daffos this week.  He isn't sure about them yet.  At first, he just seemed uncomfortable and then he decided he just wouldn't walk in them.  But they are loosening up and his feet are toughening up so they should work out.

This week I took my math placement test for the class I need to take to graduate.  I needed a 70 and I got a 48.  So I will be studying a lot this summer as I can retake the test two more times.  I was feeling bad about the low score but I had assumed I wouldn't pass the first time and then the coordinator pointed out that most return missionaries get a worst score the first time and it had been 20 years since I took a math class!  So hopefully it will come back because I seriously looked at some of the questions and wondered if I ever, ever learned these concepts!

We are off to a park.  Amazing how long a discussion can go to choose which park to go to!  I think we need to implement a kid of the week to make all these important decisions as getting a consensus is really a difficult process.

Sunday, May 15, 2016


Hard to believe that 20 years ago Taylor was born!  We were so young and had no idea what we were in for.  That first Mother's Day going back to the hospital and spending the day in the ER was tough.  Its amazing what a journey it has been.  We have spent the week planting and weeding and mowing for Taylor's annual birthday BBQ on Saturday.  Always a fun time to visit with friends and have kids run around.  And we had perfect weather - which is not usually the case.  Taylor ate his dinner of chocolate cake and whole milk with a big smile on his face.  (For the first time every, I bought a birthday cake and everyone was totally fine with it.  I am trying to be better about just letting things go.)  I am always amazed at the love and kindness that is shown towards Taylor and our family.

As part of the week we moved the chickens out to the coop.  Jasper is extremely motivated to get to them right now so we are having to be super vigilant.   When Jeremy scolds him, this is what happens:

Other odds and ends is that I finished hemming the ottoman cover my mom made me so we no longer have to see Jasper's clawed rips all over the top of it.

I met with the wheelchair guy and the physical therapist to get Taylor measured for all new wheelchair parts.  He has grown quite a bit and his wheelchair currently does not fit him at all.  So the frame will get stretched and then he is getting bigger pads, seat, back, buckles etc.   It will make him much more comfortable.  He gets new daffos tomorrow too as his legs have grown which will help as well.

The girls saw the dentist this week and Robyn had two teeth pulled.  Tomorrow she gets her retainer to hold everything in place while her teeth grow in.  She is super excited about it.  And while at the dentist they opened up swim team signups!  Luckily I had two friends notify me and one of them registered Robyn for me so she could get on the team.  I guess this week I missed another parent come to school event.  I really am stinking at making it to those this year and Robyn reminds me everytime that all the other kids had their mom there!

 Girls had their closing cast party with their theater group this week and are enjoying being at home more.  Friday night they were both living it up with friends and enjoying the summer evenings.

Spencer and Jeremy met with Spencer's school this week about doing a computer coding class for the summer.  Its a pretty heavy commitment of 8 hours a day for 9 weeks and would involve Spencer missing quite a bit of things.  Spencer is getting to practice making some hard decisions on this one as he has to decide for himself and I am trying really hard to keep my mouth shut.

Classes started for me this week.  Its a pretty light load so far as I am still only waitlisted for my second class.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Play time

The past few weeks have been full of the girls' play.  They had dress rehearsals daily into the night and all day on Saturdays.  Then they had two performances for schools during two day then they performed 8 more times for the next week at night and one matinee.  Last performance was last night and today they are tired!  It is always an awesome experience and luckily Jeremy volunteers to go do photographs a couple of times for them.  Next post will be cast photos I am sure.

My parents have always been on a mission when my girls have been in plays over the past few years, so they decided to plan a visit around the play this year.  (My mom pointed out that she was sort of glad to be here for the first few days of performing and not at the end because crabbiness grew as the play progressed!)  It was awesome having them here as it also coincided with Women's Conference and my Mom's birthday.

I was able to join my Mom and my friend Brenda for Thursday of Women's Conference and took a "sick" day from practicum and work.  It was awesome.  I felt like every talk was just what I needed to hear and came home with a full head and heart that made sleeping hard and very tired feet.

Friday was my last day of practicum and it was bitter sweet.  I have learned a lot being at Timberline this last semester teaching reading/math.  The kids had made me cards and had me sit in their special chair while they said nice things about me.  Hard not to cry and it was totally awesome.  Plus which some amazing people work in that classroom who I have enjoyed getting to know.  So with that over plus a final earlier that week, turned in last projects and the semester was over.  This week a new semester starts.  Special Education Law class...not super excited over that one.  Plus I am wait listed for sign language so hopefully I get in tomorrow for that one.  They moved another class to the fall plus told me I needed to take a math class which will bring my credits to 15 credits.  So I debated how to make those classes work that semester but decided instead to stop working in the fall rather than in January.  Jeremy and I both thought it would just be too much.

While my parents were here they worked hard on projects around the house for me.  My dad fixed things I didn't even realize could be fixed!  He even tackled our rhubarb which turned out to have the root system of a tree and was a big project to get out.  Spencer now thinks the pick ax is his new favorite tool.  It is always wonderful to have them visit and the time flies by way too fast.   My dad took the girls to the junior high play one night when they only had a matinee during the day.

For my Mom's birthday we went and walked through the Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point.  Then my mom spent the afternoon sewing a cover for my torn up old ottoman before we went to see the girls' play.  It is always sad to see them leave and their visit never seems long enough.  The longer they stay the more I think of things I want to do or talk about!

With no more practicum it meant I was free all day Wednesday and got to go with Robyn to a field trip for the day to Camp Floyd.  It was fun to see her with her friends.  The next day she met me after school to say that I had missed her recorder concert that morning at school and that I never came to those things that were important to her.  Yep knife right to the heart that one.

This weekend I have just dubbed Mother's Day weekend.  Saturday morning my two friend Brenda and Brooke and I did our second traditional run down Provo Canyon and Kneaders french toast at the end.  We decided last year to just make up our own race and thought it should become an annual thing.

Then Spencer, Taylor and I got to go see Civil War and clean the office while Jeremy did cast photos.  Then Taylor and I got to go see the girls' play and cheer them on.  Then we got to go out for ice cream after.  Lots of tears and emotions at the end of the play but they all loved it.  Allison and Robyn each have a close friend that decided that this was their last year in the acting company which was tough for them.

Mother's Day has had its ups and downs in our house.  20 years ago Taylor was admitted on Mother's Day to the hospital and since then it seems there is always something happening on Mother's Day.  But everyone has tried their best to overcome tiredness and crankiness and hurt backs to try to be kind and thoughtful today which I appreciate.  For some reason today it has really hit me emotionally that you try to be a certain kind of mom because that is the mom you want to be, not because of any returns you may get.  I am grateful for a great mom who has been an amazing example to me of someone who always was trying to be the best mom she could.  And I am grateful for all those who mother our children in ways I cannot.  Happy Mother's Day!