Monday, August 26, 2013

Let the Games Begin

Oh, happy day!  The school year has begun.  I think everyone in our house was breathing a sigh of relief.
To be back on a blessed schedule with many things to do to fill our day and lots of mental stimulation.  
Even those who tried to resist...
... had to succumb to first day of school excitement.
Oh, and I started singing a School House Rock song about Adjectives to get this smirk.  "..So I unpacked my adjectives..."  I was immediately asked to leave the room as I was a distraction.
Faith is a 2nd grader this year.  She was so excited to get on with her school work that she couldn't help herself and busted out her handwriting book a couple of weeks ago.  

Totally off topic--- but I would like to point out that for the first time ever in a picture posted on this blog, that my kitchen counter is relatively clean.  Remember that it has happened and you saw it here.
Cannon is a kindergartner.  As usual he had us in absolute stitches today.  More on that when I can get a couple of videos uploaded.
On the advice of her wise mama, Bethany got her violin and piano practicing done first off. 
Elinor is a 5th grader now.  She will be taking an electricity and circuitry class and she can't wait. 
This is the real shocker for me.  Clark started first period release time seminary over at the Jr. High.  We carpool with a neighbor.  I totally admit that I teared up as he and and Kara (another homeschooler) walk down the side walk to their first day of "school".
  Of course he loved it and was just fine.  And so was I.  But it did seem a little strange.
Here's another picture that is wonderful, horrible, beautiful and upsetting all at the same time.  Clark and Bethany went to a back to school dance of vintage dancing this weekend.  They weren't "dates", but they did humor me for the picture.  This image really is more than my mother-heart can take on a day like today.  My cup runneth over.
I know many long days await us this school year and not everyday will run as smoothly as today did, but it was certainly enjoyable. I wanted to put up this post to refer to in February when I've locked myself alone in my room to eat chocolate while mayhem rules downstairs!  

Creepy Crawlies Science Camp

Clark's and Bethany's final summer science camp was this past Saturday.  All about creepy crawlies.
They made spiders-- which even though they are quite obviously made of pom-poms and pipe cleaners and pose no possible threat to me-- they still make me nervous.
Worms and dirt for the snack.
Then the kids went on a giant bug hunt and gathered all sorts of worms, spiders, potato bugs, snails, and such.  They checked out their collection and then went downstairs to feed Clark's lizard and frogs. 
I hope that wasn't disturbing to any children.  But that's how we do things round these parts.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Us versus Them

Last week our family took separate vacations.
 Abe and Clark joined the boys and men of PiPod for a fathers' and sons' backpacking trip in the Uintas for three days.
They all went together in Andrea's school bus.  Yep, she's got her own school bus.

The little boys and we ladies gathered for a stay-cation at the Flynn's home for three days of rest and relaxation.

You be the judge of who got the better end of the deal.
While the boys were hoofing it up the mountain...
 We mothers were spoiled by the little ladies in the FFT (Flynn, Fox, Thygerson) spa-- pedicures and manicures.
While the boys went cliff jumping into Long Lake (which activity I do not approve of)...
We hung out in the hot tub with the little kiddos.
They got trapped in a tent during a rainstorm and played The Great Dalmuti for five hours.
We discovered a super fun game called Timeline where you have to put historical events in order.  A perfect game for homeschooling moms!
Clark learned how to snare, skin, roast and sample chipmunk.
We enjoyed tea and scones at our tea party.
They scaled a high mountain and eventually found their way back to camp without following a trail (another activity I do not approve of).
 The girls played dolls and we enjoyed movies in the home theater.
 They played with firearms.
We played dress up.
I don't know exactly what they are doing here, but it looks like they are dancing.  And that is something we had in common this week.  We ladies did quite a bit of zumba!  No wait, they're not dancing-- they're zombies.  Zumba.. zombie... close, but not really the same.
I'm sure they were tempted to jump off these rocks into the lake.
We were wishing their pool could have been finished just a few days earlier so we could jump in.  But it was fascinating watching a pool getting finished.  It is ironic that it will be ready to go on the first day we're starting school.
They had a great time with good friends.
As did we.
So what do you think?  Who had it better?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Pooped of Lagoon

Saturday was Abe's work's Lagoon day.  Everyone was so excited to go and the day did not disappoint!  Around 4:00 Cannon declared he was "pooped of Lagoon".   Good thing he got a second wind for another 5 hours.
The big kids overcame their fears of roller coasters.  They didn't ride the scariest one-- Wicked, but they did all the others.
Abe and are sadly getting a little too old to really enjoy the big rides, so we were quite happy to watch these little guys go on the kiddie rides.
I love bumper cars-- so did they.
Faith's favorite ride was Bombora.  It's a fairly gently roller coaster that she rode on over and over and over again.  Probably more than 10 times!
A couple of other families from our neighborhood were at Lagoon on Saturday as well.  Faith's and her good friend Lois loved the roller coasters.
And Elinor and her good friend Asia were riding buddies.  Here they are on the scary ride called "The Spider".  I would never go on a ride with a name like that.
And Cannon and his friend Chase.  This is a family in our neighborhood that has recently begun homeschooling.  How nice for us!
I do still like this ride.  I didn't do many rides with my older kids-- they were off adventuring on their own, so it was fun when I got to see them.
Clark didn't arrive until after 1:00 pm because he was of on a scout camp.  Fortunately his scout leader was joining his family at Lagoon as well so Clark got a ride to meet up with us.
Alright, now for my soapbox moment.  I am a people watcher.  I can't help myself.  We're such fascinating creatures!  I took a few notes on the fashions people wore and I have a bit of commentary. 

1.  A lot of women wear very non-supportive sandals to Lagoon.  They do look cute- I'll give them that, but yikes!  You're going to be on on your feet all day.  Do you have arches of steel?  I had on really supportive shoes, but by the end of the day my feet were hurting.  More power to you cute, stylish ladies.

2.  This one is about the ladies as well.  I have no problem with people coming in all shapes and sizes.  But I think those of us who come in a little bit bigger shape and size might want to consider wearing clothing that is a larger size than a twiggy girl would wear.  I would appreciate it if you wear clothing that adequately covers your ample top and bottom.  Come on!  There are little children here!

3.  I feel a little bit bad about the previous two comments, but not about this last one.  You see, for #1 and #2 you weren't asking for my attention or commentary.  But for this one you were clearly asking for my attention.  Well, you got it.  And this is what I really think.  Your T-shirts with the snarky/rebellious/immature/self-centered sayings tell me more about you than you might want me to know.  Here were my top 4 obnoxious T-shirt sayings.
     a.  "Normal is Boring"
     b.  "Sometimes bad choices make great stories"
     c.  "Bad Mormon". 
     d.  "Growing old is mandatory.  Growing up is optional"

Alright, that's enough.  Sorry for being stinky.

Now, if you've looked through my kids' pictures and endured my self-righteous soap box, then you get to see my favorite part of the day.
We continued our tradition of doing old-time photos at Lagoon.  I am so happy with this one.  I especially love Cannon's and George's expressions.  They were told to be serious.
And it gets even better here.  They were told to look angry.  Oh my goodness, I could eat George up!

Friday, August 16, 2013

American Mini Warriors

Of all the high-brow activities our family enjoys, one of our favorites is watching a TV show called "American Ninja Warrior."  It is a glorified obstacle course for super athletes.  It is especially inspirational to my little boys.  They regularly play "Ninja Warrior" on their bunk beds.  But when we brought a mattress up to the family room for a house guest to use, they put it to good use as a warp wall to scale.
The game was to run up to the top and hit the black curtain rod holder.  It was a challenge for her, but Faith could do it.
Cannon tried hard...
... but needed a little help from Bethany.
The house guest I referred to was our wonderful English friend, Naomi.  To say that my children adore her is an understatement.  
Faith, Cannon, and George have behaved like no one has ever paid attention to them in their entire lives.  "Naomi, watch me!"  "Naomi, did you know...?"  "Listen to me sing a song, Naomi!" "Did you see my trick, Naomi?" "Naomi, can I sit with you?"
She is saintly patient with them and they can't get enough of her.  In the past couple of years she has stayed with us for several weeks.  This summer we only get her for a couple of days, and maybe a few more a couple of weeks from now.  So, the kids were desperate for their time with Naomi.
Naomi really brings out Cannon's sense of humor.  He's a really funny kid normally, but somehow when he's around Naomi, he is downright hysterical all day long.  He wore himself out with his antics and took a long nap this afternoon.
He sings and dances for her and she videos him.  The favorite activity was watching the videos from last year's visit.
I think she loves Cannon just as much as he loves her.

And I love it when she's here because I get to start speaking in an English accent in my head.  I try to not say things out loud, for fear it might be disrespectful to her, but I do think in an English accent.  And it sounds lovely to myself.