Friday, March 25, 2016

Easter Bunny 2016

Because Clark and I would be leaving for his Robotics weekend in Denver for Easter weekend, Abe and I requested that the Easter Bunny come earlier than usual.  When questioned by younger children why the Easter Bunny came so early, we replied that the Easter Bunny comes when we ask him to.
Simple enough.  No more questions.
As per tradition that has no particular meaning for reason, the Easter Bunny brings everyone a book along with a few treats.  I don't think we have the best, most meaningful traditions, but they are ours and we are diligent in keeping them.
Peter was still asleep and we all agreed, that as much as we love him, it would be better for everyone involved if he stayed sleeping as long as possible.
How humiliating for the older children that we still insist that they line up.  When Clark tried to resist, I reminded him he only had to do this this time and once more.
The mad dash for the foil wrapped eggs in the miniature Easter egg hunt.  It's quick and intense, but entertaining to all.
The real beauty of the tradition is everyone is contented and occupied with their fresh reading material all day.
Cannon has been requesting this book for a while.  Abe thought it might be a little over his head, but I reminded him not to underestimate what Cannon can catch.
Bethany finished her book-- Edenbrooke--in one day.  She liked it, but said the main character drove her a little crazy.
George got The Day the Crayons Came Home (or something like that).  It is the sequel to a book we have that the kids love--The Day the Crayons Quit.  Bethany was quick to offer to read it to George and it drew everyone in.  There was much laughter.  We highly recommend.
I liked that Clark and Bethany switched books for the picture.  You can see how much Clark is looking forward to his Regency romance!  Faith and Elinor both got series by Jessica Day George.
When I asked Clark to let me take a picture of him reading his book.
It's not a green tongue.
Six Peeps at once in your mouth is really too much.
One Peep in your mouth is really too much.  Disgusting.
Peter did eventually wake up and join us.  And then he promptly proceeded to alter the girls' artwork.
  The day before we celebrated Easter Bunny, we celebrated Faith's 10th birthday.
She and I enjoyed lunch together at IKEA where we bought her a desk for her room and an art easel.  She's been having a grand time with the easel.  She is a gem and we love her more than we can begin to say.  What joy she brings to our home and to all who know her.
Hmm.  How do I feel about this?  It is time for Bethany to learn how to drive.  Truthfully, I think she will be a pretty good, cautious driver.  But still, I feel a healthy degree of alarm.  Mostly just because, how can she be old enough to drive a car?

Sunday, March 20, 2016


We I'm not quite sure how we made this work, but we did it and it's done and we're glad we did it.
With the exception of Clark, George, and Peter, we were all in Brigadoon with Bluffdale City Arts. 
Since January, the kids have had rehearsals Friday afternoons, the girls have had dance rehearsals Friday night, and Abe, Bethany, Elinor, and I have had rehearsals Thursday nights.  It's not really a huge time commitment until the last week. 
Bethany with her good friend Victoria. 
The last week is Monday thru Saturday 6-10 pm.  That makes for a wild week trying to keep up with school (which we don't), keep up with meal preparation (not that either), keep up with laundry (not even close) and get enough sleep (I WISH!).  It throws the whole family way out of balance. 

Is it worth it?  I think so.  The thing I love the most about doing these plays together is the family bonding time.  The working all together towards the same goal.  The shared memories.  Brigadoon is now a part of our family's culture.  We know the same songs.  We experienced the same trauma of waiting until the absolute last minute for the costumes to be ready.  We understand the same jokes.  We know the same people. 
With a couple of exceptions I don't think our family is particularly talented in the theater.  Most of us are background ensemble material (maybe I just speak for myself).  But I suppose in community theater that doesn't matter too much. 
Bethany and Clark can't wait for the teen production this summer.  We aren't sure what it will be, but they are hoping for Bye, Bye, Birdie.
One of the braver things Abe and I have ever attempted was bringing Peter to the school with us each night this week.  To be truthful, it wasn't pleasant for either him or us.  But Clark was gone with robotics or work and no one else was home.  We couldn't afford a babysitter every night.  So he hung out in the gym with us and Abe and I took turns trying to keep him happy.
This evening (Sunday) he was quite contented to get to go to bed at his regular time, instead of 11:30 at night.  
I do appreciate that Abe goes along with my sometimes crazy ideas.  We really don't have time or energy for such activities, but he was supportive nonetheless.
And I really appreciated getting to see these great legs in a kilt every night!  He's a great sport!

FIRST Robotics Competition Utah Regional 2016

Thursday was the start of the Utah Regional.  The team was feeling quite optimistic about their robot and their odd of doing well.  There were no rounds of actual competition on Thursday, rather just practice rounds.
Friday morning Abe headed over to the Maverick Center early to catch the first couple of qualification matches before he needed to be at work.  The first two (of 12) matches were stellar.  The robot was in fine form and they were ranked first.
Sadly, their good fortune was not to hold out.  Throughout the next day and a half, if something could go wrong with the robot, it did.  They ended qualification matches in 7th place out of 38 teams.  Still respectable, but not what they had hoped or expected.  Out of 8 alliances in the finals, we were the 3rd ranked alliance.
Fortunately, they are competing again this weekend in Colorado, so they have another shot at qualifying for a spot at the World Competition on St. Louis.
Of course I hope they do well and earn that invite to St. Louis, but honestly, Clark benefits so much from being a part of this team that win or lose, I couldn't be more pleased with his experience.
 Saturday afternoon we loved having so much support come out for Clark.  Grandma and Grandpa Cannon, an uncle, and aunt, cousins, some priests from his priest quorum and his Young Men's president.  Clark wished the robot had performed better for its audience.
George wasn't so concerned with who won or lost-- he was just happy to be back collecting buttons from all the teams.  I quote him, "This is just like trick-or-treating!"
When visiting the pits (where they robots hang out when they aren't competing), you must wear safety glasses.  Peter did not love his glasses.
Oh, the torture of safety glasses!  
Actually, you want to talk torture?  Friday I brought Peter along with us and it was not enjoyable.  I wised up for Saturday and paid a babysitter.  Best $25 I ever spent.

St. Patrick's Day 2016

It's going to be a long  2 1/2 years.  She has a serious mouth full of metal and is having trouble speaking and eating.   Never having had braces myself,  I can't fully empathize, but I did buy her a couple cartons of ice cream and that has sustained life this week.
 Thursday morning (St. Patrick's Day) was the first of three days of the Utah Regional for Clark's robotics team.  He had to leave quite early, but it warmed my heart that before he left, he helped a leprechaun set up a treasure hunt.  These are the clues.  I was off at the orthodontist with Elinor, so Abe took a few pics of the kids searching.
Searching among the foxes...wait... not those foxes.
The miniature foxes in the china cabinet.
For a first year leprechaun, this was a pretty sneaky hiding spot for the treasure!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Blogging from My Phone

I'm trying something new this morning-- blogging from my phone.  I am currently sitting at the orthodontist's office watching my sweet Elinor get braces put on.
It was an early morning and she has been battling pink eye.  But she was all smiles and nervousness anyway.  One thing about Elinor is that she embraces life. She loves new experiences and is anxious to be involved in everything. I fear she may be singing a different tune in the morning when the soreness and challenges of eating set in.
But she has wanted braces and glasses for years.  At least one of her dreams is coming true today.
But oh, my! She is getting a lot of hardware in her mouth. Besides the braces, she gets a metal palate expander up top and an appliance in the back that is bascally an internal headgear.  I do feel for her.
Okay, this is the last graphic picture. In fact, I fully expect she'll ask me to remove this one. It's so mean what we do to teenagers.

Well, in other big exciting news. This is one of those weekends where everything on our lives converges into one crazy wild ride where we all try to support each other, and just try to remember to eat at regular intervals, and wear clean underwear.
Clark left this morning for the first of three days of the Utah regional for FIRST robotics. It's a very big deal and we could be more excited. Today (Thursday) is really a day of practice rounds and getting the lay of the land.  Tomorrow, and especially Saturday, are the big leagues with qualifying matches, alliance picks, and hopefully onto the finals.
Last night was our final dress rehearsal for Brigadoon.  We've had late rehearsals every night this week. In this picture the cast is recognizing Bethany on her 15th birthday.
The late evenings have been taking a toll. Earlier this week Cannon spent a night throwing up.  Peter had more tummy trouble and Elinor got pink eye. But the show must go on!
 The tweens and teens playing games backstage suring a rehrarsal.  Bethany is a ballet dancer in the show and she has LOVED it. Abe, Elinor, and I and the little kids are ensemble members, in the least important sense of the word, but Bethany is up front and very visible for much of the show.  So if you come see the show, look for her- not so much for us.
Peter has actually been a pretty good little trooper with the late nights.  We brought along a few of his animals, that have been pretty well ignored at our house since Clark loved them.
Bethany did celebrate her "golden" birthday-turning 15 on the 15th on Tuesday. We went to lunch at Pizzeria Limone and then did a little birthday shopping. She was so happy to come home to a room that had been decorated by her good friends,  Rachel and Kara. It was very sweet and I think it made her day.
Yet another fun activity this week was Bethany's orchestra playing as part of a youth music event at Abravanel Hall downtown. She done this a couple previous years, but it's aways impressive.

And lastly, in the thick of all these exciting life events, we had to get the brakes of the mega-van done. Not a huge problem, rather an inconvenience.  As soon as that was done, Abe's minivan started making a bad sound and the engine light went on. Hmm. That's probably not good. Thankfully my sad has let us borrow a car while we get Abe's situated. Exciting times!
But really, in a family of 9 (almost 10), when isn't life exciting? And thankfully, its mostly exciting in good ways.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

Friday morning I had my 20 week ultrasound.  Honestly, the number one concern is hoping for a healthy baby with all of his or her working parts.  And as far as we know, that is the case.  So the next item of interest... WHAT IS THIS BABY???
Not surprisingly, the boys want a boy and the girls want a girl.  Basically, half the family will be disappointed.  We figured the momentary joy of silly string would ease the sting for those who weren't overjoyed with the ultrasound results.
 The revealing moment... IT'S A GIRL!!!!!  Check out Elinor's and Bethany's facial expressions as they realize they will have another little sister after a 10 years and three little brothers.
They were screaming and running around.  Based on Faith's expression, she might have some concerned about being dethroned from her "Daddy's Little Princess" status.  We'll try to ease her transition.
George told me later that day, "Actually, I am glad it is a girl.  Lincon (his best friend) has a little sister too".
That's Clark white tennis shoe... as he tried to run away from what he'd just done to Peter.
Peter does NOT like getting dirty.  If a bit of his food spills, he cannot continue to eat until it's wiped up.  Needless to say, he didn't appreciate getting covered in silly string.
Or perhaps this will be Peter's reaction to a new baby sister!
Clark probably isn't thrilled at this point that it's a girl, but like I told him when we found out Faith was a girl, "She'll probably be pretty cute.  You'll probably end up liking her."
Abe and I are thrilled!  It has been a long time since we had little girl and I enjoyed my three bigger girls so, so much.  I cried during the ultrasound when she said it looked like a girl.  A daughter is a best friend for life and I could not be happier.
It was one of those family moments I hope I can remember for many years.