Sunday, November 11, 2018

In Which I Go On and On and Annoy Everyone Reading This Post

The week of Halloween is all about the kids.  Tons of candy, school is a joke.
But come November 1st, it's return of the parents!  School, glorious school.
And although these pictures would suggest otherwise, I believe they were secretly happy to be back to normal life. 
Because let's be real, "normal life" at our house is still pretty fun.  This is a game that I swear everyone was a willing participant in.  They call it "Escape".  It regularly ends in tears, but it's good times until that point.
Ha ha!  This humored us this week.
Elinor loves saltine crackers.  And I love her.
Faith in her "Love Doctors" set up in the basement.  It did have to be temporarily rearranged for the D&D guys on Friday night, but I see she's moved it back to it's new set up.
Faith and Elinor.  I took them on a shopping/errands outing on Saturday, and they saw a wall and they needed to do handstands.  I was a little confused myself, but I am enamoured by them nonetheless.  They are gems.
My lovelies went to the temple together this week.  They came home and came into the kitchen to talk to me.  There they were, all four of them in group together and I thought my heart might burst with joy.  I had to take a picture to try to capture and remember them just exactly as they are.  I know the best is yet to come, but it's hard to imagine enjoying them anymore than I do right now.  This is a topic so near to my heart these day and I apologize that I go on and on about them.  BUT SERIOUSLY!!!  I love these girls.  I had no idea how much joy was to be had in a house full of teenage girls.  They are funny and smart and kind and good.  They work hard, they have goals, they love their friends and each other.  I consider these beautiful daughters among the very greatest blessings in my life.  I so wish we had Tessa here with as us well, but it is a joyful thought for us to think that there is one more Foxy Lady we'll get to know after this life.
Both Bethany and Elinor are reading some Jane Austen-- by their own free will and choice.  Because I didn't adore them enough already.
Elinor gets super chilled after morning swim practices, so that is why she is all bundled up reading Persuasion.  
This week I experienced the GREATEST triumph of my entire homeschooling career.  Elinor was having a minor boy-related drama.  (No worries, all is now well). Her tender 15 year-old heart was feeling slightly wounded and she was determining how to proceed.  She said to me, "Mom!  What was that quote from Sense and Sensibility about Marianne after Willoughby broke her heart?"

Now, mind you, I read Sense and Sensibility aloud to my kids 3 or 4 years ago.  A long time ago.  How she remembered this quote, I have no idea.  I told her I'd try to find the quote.
Here it is.
I sent her the picture of the quote.  She responded... "I need a job!"
Ha ha!  She's too awesome!  Yes, there was a reason she is named "Elinor"-- spelled just like the sensible Miss Elinor Dashwood. 
And this one!  She is working hard and preparing for the next phase of her life.  We couldn't be more proud of her.
She had an two amazing concerts yesterday with her orchestra performing Rob Gardner's Price of Freedom.  Oh, there were tears. 
Which brings me to one of the things I love the most about Abe.  He is always prepared with a handkerchief for me when I cry.  Always.  And he always silently hands it to me with very little fanfare, because he knows it is embarrassing to me when I cry.  He is a gentlemen-- straight out of Jane Austen.
It's hard to believe she is a senior, but what a delight she has been to our family.
Alright, alright.  Enough.  They are awesome.  I'll stop now.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

A Very Good Saturday

The very best thing that happened today happened in McKinney, Texas.  Abe's brother's family-- Stuart and Tiffany and their four youngest kids are doing a couple months of "Road School" and traveling all over the country.  Their travels took them to Dallas for a few days and they made contact with Clark.  Clark and his companion met up with them for lunch today for a Texas BBQ lunch. 
Tiffany was so kind to ask if their was anything she could get for Clark and I begged her to find a pumpkin spice shake in the area and give it to him from "me". 
Since Clark was about 12 we've shared a pumpkin spice shake every October and I have missed that tradition this year.  Tiffany delivered!  I can't tell you how happy this made me!
Obviously, I couldn't be there with Clark, but knowing he was in the loving care of his Aunt and Uncle did my heart so much good.  And that meal looks so tasty!
Thank you, thank you, Stu and Tiff!
Since we couldn't join the fun for lunch, we took a smattering of the family for a hike up Ensign Peak.  Bethany was at work, Cannon stayed home to rest since he had dancedfor two hour this morning and had another Nutcracker rehearsal in the later afternoon. 
Elinor was gone for a three day swim team trip and swim meet.  She returned home about 3:30 this afternoon and we were so happy to have her back.  Of course she had a marvelous time!  You'd think that in a family this big, it wouldn't make that much of a difference when one person is missing.  But it is strange to have anybody gone-- it really throws off the dynamic of the family.  We missed Elinor!
The weather was chilly, but beautiful for the time of year. 
We didn't hike at all during October and I think Greta was happy to be back in the pack.  She is a dream.
  A little windy up top.
Okay, this really probably is the final hike of 2018... maybe.

The Best of Halloween Awards 2018

Most Accurately Captures the Spirit of the Season.  George and his haul heading straight to a sugar coma.  Halloween-- the most glorious day of the kid year.  Everything a kid wants with pretty much no limits on how much candy they can eat.
Most Devoted Friendship.  The "Chums" are inseparable.
Scariest Moment of Halloween-- The Chums are not alone.  Enter boys.  Shrieks of terror!
Cutest Trick or Treaters on the Block.  Introducing Greta and her soon to be best friend.  What if they don't get along when they get older?  Not an option.  They will.
Most Coordinated Family Friends.  Why am I so sure Greta and Minnie will be gal pals?  Because George and Peter (brothers) play almost every day with the Green Ninja and Buddy the Dinosaur (brothers) and Minnie is their little sister.  Their mom Annie and I have it all worked out.  It's brilliant and quite convenient-- and remarkable peaceful, considering the personalities of those involved!
King and Queen of All Things Halloween.  They have that one really cool house in the neighborhood and they go ALL OUT!  Our neighborhood is worth coming to for Halloween just to see their house.
My Favorite Trick-or Treaters.  
Oh!? Am I not supposed to have favorites?  Too late.
Most Borderline Inappropriate, and Yet Funniest Moment.  Watching Woody "get drunk" with shots of IBC root beer and then start to laugh and accidentally spew root beer across the table.
Cool As a Cucumber.  Not even phased.
Happy Halloween 2018

Friday, November 2, 2018

Welcome November

Could she be any more delightful?  No, I don't think so.  To hear her little voice say, "I love you!" is pretty much the best thing I've ever heard.  She sings a sad little "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" to herself when she gets put to bed.  She loves nothing more than endless snuggles, reading books, drinks of milk, and sitting on tables and counters.  I've said it before, but she is joy to our family.
I found this... this... uh... creation on the table the other day.  I knew George was involved, but I was completely stumped.  What?  Why?  Why did he tape forks all over a cut-up empty saltine cracker box?  I took this picture because it was just so weird to me.
But then George showed me what it was-- a claw weapon.  And I say it is sheer GENIUS!  This boy has the gift to turn the weirdest, most seemingly useless trash into really cool stuff.  I admit that sometimes I have no idea what is going on in his mind, but sometimes I am totally blown away and I realize his brain works in a way that mine never will.
 The other night Bethany was having a rough time-- as teenage girls tend to do from time to time.  She laid down by me and I brushed and braided her hair for a while and I shed a tear at the thought that she is actually almost grown up and about to go make her way in the world.  Then Elinor wanted in on the mom-talking, hair braiding action.  I don't want them to grow up and leave, so I braided their hair together.  There... that will stop them!
I love how their hair is almost the exact same color-- in this picture at least.  In real life, Bethany's is a little more blonde and Elinor has a little more red.
It wasn't long before Faith found the party and joined in for an official meeting of "The Foxy Ladies".  I'm just going to say it.  I am the luckiest mom in the whole world.
I had a real treat this morning when I went to breakfast with my sister, my parents, and my brother.  Matt was passing through Salt Lake onto his way to a new job in Denver.  It was so enjoyable to be together.
After breakfast Dad and Bev took us to see the school they have dedicated their lives and every spare moment to making a reality.  They have been key players in securing and remodeling a beautiful building in Bountiful for a small private school my dad teaches at.
Aren't they cute?  Older age has been good to them.
We were just missing my brother Chip who had to work.  Luckily Matt got to go to dinner with him the night before.
Bethany partied a little too hard at the recent school dance!  Those are legit bruises from an unfortunate fall, but she assures us her pride was far more wounded than her knees.
Because I have an hour to kill every Thursday afternoon while Cannon and Faith go to a science class in Sandy, I take the three little kids to story time at the library.  It's mostly pretty fun.  Well, Greta loves it anyway.  I suspect that deep down Peter likes it too.  I mean, his behavior would suggest otherwise-- like when he lays down and refuses to do the monster stomp song with the other kids.  Or when the librarian introduced the first story of the day-- Leonardo the Terrible-- and Peter yells out, "Me HATE that book!"  Or when he just plain refuses to participate in anyway except when screaming or growling is involved.  Yeah, good times at library story time.  Shades of Clark.  But anyway, I think he does secretly like it or else he'd throw huge tantrums on the way in.  I think he enjoys being somewhat contrary.  And since he's my 7th child instead of my first, I think on some twisted level I sort of enjoy his behavior as well.  I mean, if I didn't I suppose I would stop taking him.  I would have been mortified with Clark, but I suspect I am humored by Peter.  Getting older isn't all bad.
This little gem arrived by text this afternoon. I love having Clark out on a mission, and I don't really want it any other way.  But I would be lying if I said we didn't miss him like crazy.  Ten months down, fourteen to go!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

A Serious of Unfortunate Elinor Deaths

Elinor is very flexible and sometimes her stretching positions look like she has met an untimely death.
This one is "Fell from a twenty story building".
"Fell from a moving vehicle and lost a leg."
 "Accidentally strangled herself"
 "Smooshed by a steamroller"
"Flipped over the handlebars of her bike"
"Landed wrong in a hurdles race"

Sometimes we have too much fun.