Friday, October 20, 2017

Congrats, Swimmer Girl!

We are so, so proud of Elinor!  She did a week of tryouts and made the high school swim team-- and no, not everyone made it.  Our high school (which we do not actually attend) is a 6A division.  Which basically means, IT'S HUGE!  
This girl is practicing in the pool everyday after school and has dry land practice every other morning at 6 AM.  And she wants to keep swimming with her rec. league team just for more time and practice in the pool.  
She decided to drop some other activities she has done in years past to just focus on swimming and school work.  She is happy and we're so happy for her.
This was a recent "recess" at our school.  Dang, little boys are fun.  
Except when they're not... and that little one with the green light saber is taking a nap this afternoon because life wasn't fun for either of us.  The force is strong with that one and it was more than I could take this afternoon. 
Oh, my heart.  I think we're down to about a 70 day countdown until he leaves.  I bet you can guess what moment I am dreading the most---- the farewell moment between these two.
Did I mention that he is now not going to the Mexico MTC, but rather the Provo, Utah one and his date got moved up a day.  Now he will leave on Dec. 28th.
We got to be friends with the Taylor's when Clark was 10 months old.  We recently had dinner with them and it did my heart good.  Rebecca is a really, really good cook, and kids know that if we're eating at the Taylor's, we're eating good.  They try to be sensitive in what they say to me in anticipation of the amazing meal they know they are about to have.  I see right through it, but I appreciate their consideration.
I recently got the box out of the garage that had the few baby girl clothing items I had saved from when the girls were babies.  Mostly I just saved the cute dresses I couldn't bear to part with.  And I'm so glad I did, because Greta now has adorable little dresses!  
Abe still takes pictures of her at church while roaming the halls.  She is at the age when she isn't old enough for nursery, but sitting in class with her is a joke.
I wonder what it would be like to be the youngest in a large family and have everyone adore you and be so happy to see you and interact with you your every waking moment.  She seems to enjoy it.
Greta is a delightful mix of sweet and sassy.  She is so snuggly, but lashes out in rage when thwarted.  She is very happy by nature, but has the absolute saddest, pouty face when anyone tells her no, even in a really nice voice.  She get scared by loud, roaring animal noises.  She likes to smile for cameras and even tries to take selfies of herself.  
She is now past 15 months and while she can stand for a few seconds, will not attempt walking on her own yet.  
We had our Kid's Book Club earlier this month.  The book was Wonder and we had lovely time.  We drew animal-self portraits, had a messy cracker eating contest, and played "The Cheese" tag and "Plague" tag.  Fun kids, fun games.  
The other table.  It was interesting to see what animals each of them saw themselves as.  Faith was a Wombat.  

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

I know this blog isn't read terribly far and wide.
And that's just fine by me.  It's really meant to be a family history record for our family and our future posterity.  I don't enjoy dwelling on the negative here; in fact, the blog is a therapy of sorts for me to write these posts in a way that frames life in a positive light.  That being said, October has felt pretty rough at our house.  It's nothing that can't be dealt with, and compared to many I know and I love, who are experiencing truly difficult, overwhelming trials, I have no business complaining.  
Even so, I have felt rather depressed in spirits as of late.  I am hopeful that our challenges will be resolved sooner rather than later.  To those who have helped us in our difficulties, I am sincerely thankful.
Years ago, I had a Relief Society President I worked with who taught me that anytime there are terrible, hard things happening in your life, there are simultaneously equally wonderful things happening.  So, it seems, it is always the best of times and the worst of times.

This blog is a place for me to share the best of times.  
And the very best part of the month was half of the family performing in the cast of Bluffdale Arts Council's production of A Tale of Two Cities.  It's a musical and if you've never seen it or heard the music (I hadn't until my peeps were in it), YOU REALLY MUST!  Such beautiful music!  And a beautiful story.  I mean, very sad, but very beautiful at the same time.  You know, that whole "best of times, worst of times" thing.
Abe played the part of Gaspard-- whose son is run over by the Marquis' carriage and then Gaspard murders the Marquis.  George played Little Gaspard.  It was really horrible watching George's "dead" body carried on and off the stage.  His acting technique was to close his eyes and be floppy.   And he did it SO WELL!  I didn't see him twitched once in the three shows I watched.  And sometimes he had to lay there quite a while while Gaspard sang and sobbed over his dead son.  
Please note this was a dress rehearsal and Defarge did not wear sneakers, nor did George wear Converse.  
I cried during each show.  It wasn't just George dying.  Bethany got to be a dead young woman who'd been beated and Faith was marched off to the guillotine and the audience heard a hair-raising metal slicing sound.  No wonder we've had a bad vibe at our house this month!
Anyway, I was so impressed with this show.  I think it was the best I've ever seen Bluffdale put on.
Clark got to play and English judge and a completely deranged French president.  Bethany was stunning in the ensemble.  
The show reeked havoc on our family's schedule, but it was also kind of bummer that it was only one weekend, because I'd happily go see it again.  Three times wasn't enough.  Once again, this was a dress rehearsal..
I'm mostly so happy Abe and George got to do this together.  George loved having a mic.  But the remains of the tape they used on the back of his neck has been very difficult to get off.  So he still looks like a dirty street urchin with built up dirt on his neck.  Oh, well.
I. don't. even. know.
Now, I really must say something about Abe.  First of all, in real life, he is no where near as ginormous as he looks in this picture.  No matter.
Secondly, I did not know that he could actually ACT!  He was so good!  I knew he could be over-the-top cheesy.  I knew he could be really animated.  But a dramatic actor?  Oh, yes he can!  I was very proud of him.
And now I know exactly where our children get it from.  
Once again, a dress rehearsal, so the socks and underclothing aren't quite right, but you get the idea.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

October 5, 2017

Faith heading to the finish at a recent cross-country meet.  She's pretty awesome.  When I was a kid we had to run "The Mile" at school once a year.  It was pretty much the worst day of the whole year.  I don't think I ever did faster than a nine minute mile. 
Now, granted, I have in my adult life voluntarily run 2 half marathons and a full marathon.  And I did finish before they stopped timing, but not by much.  So I think I've made up for my youthful laziness, but even still, as a kid, I NEVER would have voluntarily run for fun.  Like I said, she is pretty awesome.  
The cross-country season is quite short-- just barely over a month.
With our good friend and neighbor, Ben.  His older sister is one of the coaches, so Faith has been able to ride to and from practices with them.  It has been heavenly! 
Greta was loving being pulled around by Faith on the tricycle.  These trikes have been with us since Clark and Bethany were little.  They were gifts from Grandma Fox and talk about being well-loved!  All of the kids have used them and they are still completely functional.  They have many years of play left in them.
Peter and his best friend Eric.  I can't wait until they are teenagers to show them this picture!  Oh my!  How cute are they?!
George is flying high!  A happy moment after a not so pleasant even earlier in the day.  He had to get a silver cap on a baby tooth with a big cavity.  Oops.  But in all fairness, for years we went to a very friendly, nice dentist who lied to me and told me all our teeth were perfect and I was such a great mom, blah, blah, blah! 
WELL!  Because of insurance we switched to another dentist, and I swear, each of us are now a giant walking cavity!! BOOOOO!  Is it true?  Do we really now have all these cavities, or does our dentist need more money?  Whatever!  I'm sure the old dentist didn't lie.  Maybe he just wasn't very good?  And I believe that we do now have cavities.   But it is somewhat suspicious.
Greta is such a squishy, chubby little thing!  How delicious!  She went to the Dr. for a check-up this week and got some shots.  Sadness.  But she is in perfect health and getting a little feistier every day!
George and I built a 3-D viewer in our Tinkercrate this week.  It's a STEM box subscription we get each month as part of our science curriculum. 
Complete cool science project--- CHECK!
 Elinor did something exciting and brave this week.  She tried out for the local high school swim team.  Monday thru Thursday of this week she warmed up and then was timed on four different events-- 50 free, 200 free, 100 IM, and 500 free.  She exceeded her own expectations on her times and we will find out tomorrow if she makes the team.  I would be very surprised if she didn't, but we'll know for sure tomorrow.  Fingers crossed!
Team Middle Kids and I went to see The Heart of Robin Hood at Hale Center Theater this week.  There was lots of sword fighting and rock music and it was great fun.  The kids loved it.  I quite enjoyed it, but probably don't need to see it again.
She adores him. 
I think she will be the hardest thing for Clark to leave when he goes on his mission to Texas.
She's pretty attached to me, but she will happily leave my arms for his.
A cast picture.
These three put on a hysterical play a couple days back.  It was called Ink and Squirt.  I believe the inspiration was Frog and Toad.  George was "Ink" the octopus and Peter was "Squirt" the lizard.  Cannon was the narrator who interacted with the audience, which consisted of Elinor, Faith, Greta, and I.  
We were completely in stitches.  
The play consisted of four episodes.  Each one began with Squirt sunning on his rock (the gray chair) and Ink swimming in the ocean (the blue blanket).  Cannon would twist the window blinds open and "the sun would come up."  Squirt always had a dilemma and Cannon would give the audience three possible items to solve the problem.  The audience would cheer or boo for which item we thought would be best.  
It was one of those completely delightful family moments that I want to remember forever.  They are so funny and clever!
In this scene, Squirt (the lizard, AKA Peter) had already obtained an oxygen tank in a previous episode, so he could breath underwater, but he couldn't swim.  So one of the options for the audience to cheer or boo for, was flippers.  A rubber ducky and a light bulb were always the two other possible options.  
Greta was completely delighted to be a part of the audience and was laughing and clapping along with the big kids.
Bethany and Faith had fun with the Cricket and made paper dolls of the whole family.  Top row from left:  Greta, Betsy, Abe.
Bottom row from left:  Clark, Bethany, Elinor, Faith, Cannon, George, and Peter (wearing green, always wearing green).
During one of Cannon's downtown Nutcracker rehearsals this week I took the Littles with me to go visit Andrea, who lives downtown.  She had this fun bean bag toss game wear you could knock the pumpkins teeth out. 
PERFECT for Peter, who, bless his heart, is obsessed with saying he will kick things in the face.  
Lovely, I know.
We should discourage such language.  But frankly, we are amused by it.  Shame on us.
He and I recently went on a walk around the neighborhood where we saw some spooky Halloween decorations on a house.  I commented that they were spooky.  While raising a finger each time, he repeated five times, "I kick them in the face!".  Then he said, "Not (s) pooky anymore!"  Then he laughed a maniacal laugh.  And I laughed.
And that, my friends, is how you create a psychopath.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

September 30, 2017

Those eyes!
He is strong-willed and he never slows down.  Lately he delights in saying, "Ha, ha!  Me get the last one!"  or "Ha, ha!  Me winning!"

But he also gives us hugs, and is sweet to Greta, and I adore him completely. 
And look who started standing on her own today!  She was quite pleased with herself!
Her smile is my favorite thing!
She's a little ways from walking, but she's only 14 1/2 months.  That's the age of our earliest walker (Bethany).  Faith was the latest at 19 months.  I'm guessing she will be about 15 1/2 months before she takes off.  
George up in a tree.  Peter on the roof.  Clearly, Daddy was in charge.
Faith and Takara-- twinner cousins at the recent Women's Meeting of General Conference.
Peter at the Water Works section of the Museum of Natural Curiosity.
The perfect place for George to tinker around.
Greta loved the babies water table!  
We were there last a couple weeks back while Cannon was at ballet.  There was almost no one else there, so George and Peter got a private lesson about animal skulls.  George was so excited.
 The boys playing a little D&D in the basement.  
And finally, I present you with "Underwear head".  Which never fails to amuse me.

On His Turf

Over the past six months he has really gotten into hiking and his favorite trails are Oquirrh Mountains at the South end of the Salt Lake Valley.  He's spent many hours exploring and getting to know these mountains.  And he's gotten himself into great physical condition as well.
Last night I asked if I might accompany him on a hike this morning.
 He graciously invited me along.  And he was patient with me as I huffed and puffed my way up the mountain.  SHEESH!  I am out of shape!  I suppose it was good to know how far away I am from where I'd like to be as far as my fitness.
But what was REALLY GOOD, was spending the morning with Clark, being somewhere and doing something he loves so much.  I felt honored to share this place with him.  We talked about school and life plans, the upcoming mission and his childhood, his gifts and talents.  It was wonderful!
We were a little silly at the top.  I blame my lack of proper oxygenation.  I don't even know what I'm attempting to do here.
I enjoyed the morning so much, I am considering begging one more outing with him this fall.  He'll just need to plan a little more time than it would take he and his speedy little friends.
When he's on his mission and if Abe and I get to missing him too much, we'll just go on on one of his trails and look for lizards...
... meanwhile he will be moving on to other life adventures.