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Sunday, September 24, 2017

School Starts

After a week of full time meetings and working on school paperwork for me, we moved Spencer up to Utah State.  Drove up, helped him unpack and gave him a hug good-bye.  It was a little anti-climatic and felt more like we were just dropping him off at camp.  He texted us half an hour later showing a bowl with a few noodle at the bottom saying "this used to be full of potstickers".  So we knew he figured out the cafeteria.  He had a week to get to know the campus and do a freshman seminar thing before school started.  His roommate ended up dropping out before school started along with 2 other room mates who all happened to be on his side of the apartment.  So currently he has a bathroom and a room to himself.  I am sure that will change at the semester.  We try to touch base weekly and he came home this weekend for a missionary farewell.  Seems like he is working hard, making good choices and figuring out his way in life - never an easy task.  It is just now starting to feel real to us that he is moving on with his life.  Such a strange transition period, where he is still your child but independent in so many ways.

When Spencer came home this weekend we hadn't seen him for a month.  Jeremy thought that deserved a Lucky 13 hamburger on the way home:

That Monday was my first day of school because of 7th grade day.  My first week was little rocky as I had yet to hire 2 aides and none of my peer tutors knew what they were doing along with all my students.  It has just gotten better and better since but it was a bit extreme for awhile I thought.  Now I have 3 amazing aides plus some peer tutors who really know what they are doing (plus some who don't but it is junior high).  I do love the teaching and being with students.  Its just me figuring everything out as a new teacher as well and balancing everyone's needs.  For the first time this week I have been able to walk away from school at a reasonable time and not feel like there were any emergencies I needed to stay up figuring out.

Tuesday, I set up mom lunches and cookies for after school.  But I missed all the big hoop-la of setting off.  Jeremy skipped yoga so he could take pictures of all the kids on their first day.

Allison has a pretty challenging load this year but is embracing it.  She has joined some clubs and is enjoying all the extra activities and opportunities.  She and Robyn are both doing their theater group again and are doing tap lessons once a week plus their regular piano.  It does make for a busy schedule for them.

With all the crazy of school starting I decided why not run a race and loose a toe-nail.  Always a good stress relief!  And a reminder that I need to exercise more and eat less desserts!  I was grateful for a super speedy friend Julie who would wait for me to finish.  With school I haven't been able to run like I used to but I try to fit it in when I can and am grateful for some friend exercise therapy whenever our schedules align.

Jeremy has had a couple of trips come up.  He went to Las Vegas for Labor Day weekend to show off his weight loss results.

He has been doing some longer bike rides when he can.  The cold weather and darkness in the morning has started driving him into spin classes again.

He also got to do a trip to South Dakota for a job and took some time to drive by Mount Rushmore and Sturgis.  He has been super busy trying out all these new opportunities and to figure out which ones to pursue.

Cancer treatment going well still.  Bloodwork is still a bit nuts and he is trying what he can to address the problems with sleep and his gut.  He ran into our amazing neighbor Peggy who just finished her chemo at the same doctor he goes to.

For Allison's birthday "party" this year she invited her friend Kaori to spend the weekend.  This involved lots of visiting and laughing and helping Jeremy do a photo shoot out on the Salt Flats of BYU's Vocal Point.  Plus some birthday cheesecake after which is always a hit.

One project that has been hanging over our head for the past few years is getting our solar panels up and out of our garage.  It finally happened! Thanks to Jeremy and a group he found.  We are up and running and I can reach the work bench again.

We planned a camping trip over Labor Day weekend before Jeremy knew he would be gone.  So I wasn't brave enough to pull the trailer but we borrowed a tent and the girls and I spent a weekend at Mirror Lake.  Coming home and then packing, taking Taylor to respite and being able to go meant we pulled in long after the sun set.  I felt so brave driving these winding roads in the dark and setting up our tent by flashlight with Allison telling us what to do.

It was a beautiful place and I want to go back with Jeremy and paddle boards another time.  Jasper did not sleep the first night and since the zipper was broken on the tent that meant I had to hold him all night long.  It was really, really cold at night.  I was not super happy with him. But thankfully this was a girls weekend which meant a lot of laying around and napping and reading books.  And a few very small hikes.  Next time I am going to be more insistent that we do some more challenging hikes.  But it was fun, relaxing and a good time to just hang out and learn to be a little more self-dependent.  Allison was doing a project for her ASL class where she couldn't hear or speak for 24 hours.  Just when I started getting into my mom inquisitor mode she chose to start her project.  It made for an interesting 24 hours!  We learned that I don't need a swimsuit to swim.  Jasper can swim but doesn't like to.  That even if we forget a pan to cook with we can figure something out.  That little miracles like finding out turn-off in the dark without any cell phone reception or walking into the library and finding 2 new releases from my favorite authors are wonderful.

We were just a little wimpy as we came home Sunday night instead of Monday morning so we could spend a day with Jeremy, having brunch at Kneaders, doing laundry and I could spend an afternoon working at school.  We celebrated the end of summer with visiting our favorite snow cone shack that night with Allison driving us all over to find one that hadn't closed yet...along with A LOT of other people.

The following weekend the kids and I got to go to the Timpanogous Storytelling Festival.  This year they moved it to Thanksgiving Point Gardens which was a beautiful place to explore and a good work out for me pushing Taylor.  Allison chose a football game with friends for Friday night but she joined us Saturday for the whole day.  Of course she had to bring a butt load of homework along with her to make that possible!

This last week was our last elementary school fun run with Robyn being in 6th grade.  So they did it with flair this year.  Taylor and I skipped the colored chalk gauntlet but the girls embraced it, along with Jasper.  I was proud of them as they ran the whole way with some cute friends.

So this meant Jasper got a bath - he is not a fan.

We are thankful for slow nights and enjoying the crazy ones.  I am glad life for all of us is becoming more routine as we each adjust to the new normal.