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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Falling into Autumn

The last week of summer was full of cold rainy days.  Kids broke out their comforters and jackets...and we had the elementary school fun run. 

I was helping with the drinks station at the finish line so I couldn't run it.  Girls helped me collect and load up a bunch of drink coolers and we hoped the rain would stop for at least a little bit.  And right before the race started the rain did stop.  I was proud of Allison who ran the whole thing.  She had a nice super athletic friend who left her friends to run with Allison.  Allison was feeling the pressure to not stop and walk.

And Allison went back to run to the finish with Robyn who was taking a more walk and talk approach with her friend.

Earlier that day had been my big Praxis test that I had been studying for.  Getting into the testing center required more security than going through the airport! But I passed and now I am done.  School is going well and I am getting into the swing of studying and taking tests and writing papers.  Its fun to learn things and then see it in application at school.  It does make for some busy school days though.  I appreciate so much the efforts my family makes to pick up the slack for me.  There is something immensely comforting to come home to a clean kitchen where everyone has eaten and cleaned everything up.

Last Sunday we tried a new fall outing with the family going up to Silver Lake up Big Cottonwood Canyon.  It was gorgeous and cold.  There is a one mile trail around the lake that is accessible for Taylor in his stroller.  And then we shivered and ate Allison's BLTs and cookies.

One of Jeremy and my favorite Provo restaurants, El Azteca is closing so Jeremy and I got to go out to a great Mexican dinner one more time and stop by to walk around the chalk festival.  Our dates don't need to be long but it sure is much needed just to get away for a little bit and relax away from our to do lists.

We have had some cousin time lately.  We had a sleepover one night last week while Jason and Kelly went on a date.  Kids loved running around, eating pizza and watching movies.  Then last night all the girls got to take the train up to SLC for the women's broadcast.  The train was much better than taking a car and fighting traffic like we did last time.

We had planned to go to Cheesecake Factory for lunner but found out that 3 in the afternoon is too late to beat the crowds.  So we compromised and got cheesecake to go and hit up Kneaders for lunner instead.  We learned last year that you don't try to go out after the broadcast!  It was ComicCon weekend so it was a strange mixture of amazing costumers and women in church clothes walking around City Creek.  And all the girls had to get their lips done at the MAC counter.

We didn't get into the conference center this year and ended up watching the broadcast on those super hard seats in the Tabernacle.  It was still an awesome time minus one very grumpy missionary who didn't let Kelly sit with us till the broadcast started.  I love building these traditions with our girls.  While we had our girl night, the boys were building their own traditions - nachos and the new Terminator movie.

Life is busy and happy.  There are all the extra things that get fitted in like shoe shopping for kids and pruning all our trees.  Eventually everything gets done or it wasn't important enough to worry about in the first place.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Labor Day - Play Hard

School started for me on August 26th.  I have classes Wednesday and Thursday nights with 9 credits total.  I don't think I truly comprehended what I was asking my kids and especially Jeremy to do so that I could pursue this.  Jeremy has been feeding kids, driving them places and being the solo parent two nights a week.  And with a smile!  This semester I am taking Instruction for Special Ed, Behavior Management I and Elementary Literacy.  The classes are really interesting and very applicable to where I am working and want to do.  Tomorrow I take my big test Praxis I.  Its this 5 hour thing that is supposed to prove I know enough to teach elementary grades and is required to graduate this program or get hired.  I have been fitting in studying for that whenever possible and will be grateful when its over (if I pass!).  So far the idea of me getting homework done when kids are at school and I don't work is working.

Girls theater classes started up along with Robyn's choir and the last two weeks of Spencer's ACT class.  So days have felt a little too full sometimes.  Because of that we played hard for Labor Day weekend!

Garion came over to join us Friday night and the kids and I headed up for the Storytelling festival that we do every year.  We were there 4-10 on Friday and 9:30-11 on Saturday.  On Sunday afternoon we took naps!  It was awesome to hang out and listen to some wonderful stories.  While we played Jeremy worked and got some things done and we all enjoyed having a weekend off.  Someone asked me if Taylor likes the festival and he truly does.  Some tellers he listens to, others he seems to sleep to and he seems to like the canyon air.  Although at the end of the weekend he is very happy to not be in his stroller for awhile.  We give him breaks of laying in the grass but its still a lot of sitting.  And we figured out to change him off in a corner where we hold blankets around him rather than trying to use the port a potty - much easier.

On Sunday afternoon the Hall's came over for dinner and we got to have a nice visit and hang out and catch up.  It seems like we don't see each other near enough.  On Sunday night Taylor went for a 24 hour stay into respite as Allison had picked Monday for her birthday family activity.  We switch years so every other year is a birthday party with friends and every other year is a family activity.  Allison wanted to tube the Provo River which we have never done.  It was awesome.  We had a great and super cold time followed up by some BYU ice cream.

Robyn was a little nervous to go but she was OK about having her tube tethered to Jeremy.  Then we took a bus up the canyon and they started talking about how you had to walk around the bridge of death and the bridge of no return.  Her eyes got really big.  Jeremy but especially Spencer had friction burns on their arms from rubbing against the tubes while paddling.  Spencer's were a bit intense but almost all the scabs have fallen off his arms now and it just looks like raw meat.  I think he was too numb from the cold water to really feel it.

Least it sound like our weekend was too idealistic let me throw in the details of getting up early Saturday to grocery shop for the day, telling Spencer and Garion to take their grumps and listen to a storyteller for an hour before talking to me again, trying to get the lawn mowed in a swim suit before we had to pick up Taylor and all the usual work that goes into a great weekend.   We have been working on being nice in our house - not sure if it helping.  I get a lot of eye rolls every time we post a new niceness quote or share our act of niceness for the day.  But at least I feel like we are working on it!

This week we got more into the routine of how school works and the different schedules.  Jeremy has spent a couple nights in the trailer with kids and then this weekend took the girls to our ward's daddy/daughter camp out.  They had a great time. 

I asked Spencer with a long list of options what our mother/son night out should be.  His pick?  "Can we please just get a big pizza with everything on it and watch The Lord of the Rings?"  So that is what we did.  And then Saturday while I studied for my test Jeremy took the girls and Robyn's friend out to the city birthday party where Allison was there with her theater group pretending to be a pioneer.  Spencer worked on a neighbor's eagle project painting fences and recalling Karate Kid sayings.  Taylor who has been sick with a cold was happy to lay there while I tried to remember what the different amendments are and what a conjunction is. 

Taylor wasn't feeling good Thursday at school and I just assumed it was allergies like Jeremy and Spencer but by the evening he was running a fever.  He gets so pathetic when he is sick.  He won't eat or drink, won't support his weight and is just miserable.  So he has been home laying in his bean bag for a few days. Jasper considers Taylor his person and has been keeping him company.  Taylor seems to really enjoy having him cuddle up every night and as yet although he will lick Taylor's hands or feet he has yet to ever scratch him or go near his face.