Sunday, August 28, 2011

Summer Fun {9}

Family Hike! July 25th (marked off the summer list)

We hiked up to Lake Solitude. For those who might like to know where this is, it's up Big Cottonwood Canyon - starting at Brighton Ski Resort and Silver Lake and then taking the trail heading off from the lake. This was a very nice moderate 3 mile out-and-back hike. Some challenging parts, but nothing scary and not too hard for the kids. I like having a destination to reach when hiking, rather than just "let's follow this trail for and hr and turn around," so getting to the lake was nice. There was a cave that enthralled the kids. We saw a mama and baby moose from across the lake. Abigail did some meditating. We ate snacks. The kids chased some squirrels. We found a patch of snow (in July!). And Miss Elisabeth conked out on the way home.

A great summer family outing!

Counting this one a success. :)

three pictures

Beautiful clouds from my back deck yesterday :)

Abigail had a violin recital yesterday!
This is the first recital she's performed in somewhere other than someone's home. She played Gavotte from Mignon (suzuki Book 2) and she did a really great job.

And look what Zac did! We have an unusually exceptionally tall garage. Seriously. It's something like 14 ft tall (they lowered the floor to decrease the slope of our driveway to make it acceptable to code - but kept the ceiling at the same height). So we've been meaning to do something to take advantage of all this vertical space. Someday. I guess we've been meaning to do that for the 9.5 yrs we've lived here. Sigh. But we finally did it! We had to borrow a ladder to reach up there. And we will finally move the Christmas and camping stuff out of our storage in the basement and put it here instead! I'm very excited. Sometime we'll even add shelves to the storage in the basement so all those remaining buckets will be more accessible as well! wohoo!
Shelves everywhere, everywhere! :)

(still haven't finished the summer posts, btw. Hang in there for me, ok?)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

first days

Today was Elisabeth's first day of kindergarten! The other kids started on Mon. so it was torture for her to wait for her first day - but we made it!

She was very excited - a little nervous - but mostly excited. She and I had lunch at McDonald's, just the 2 of us, to celebrate and she loved that. We even "went in the restaurant" (as she said) which was a rare treat for her. :) She struggles a little bit more academically than the older kids did (aside from Samuel with his unique struggles) but I am trying to just let her go at her own pace and not worry about it.

If there's anything I've learned in my 12 yrs of this parenting gig, it's that no one can force, persuade or push any child to be something other than they are. And they come with their own strengths and weaknesses, their own talents and quirks and personalities. As their mom, it's my privilege to get to know them and hopefully help them on their way. I work on helping them reach whatever their full potential is as magnificent developing humans, and accepting them for who they are and where they're at in any given time.

Samuel started first grade at the charter school. He is also very excited to finally be at the same school as his siblings! Hooray! He is doing really well so far, amazingly, surprisingly well. We think that the combination of being at the school with his siblings and being held back a grade have increased his confidence substantially. He just isn't exhibited the anxiety symptoms that have been such a stumbling block for him in the past, so I am just really hoping it continues but, also, that they won't cut off all his support either. Tricky. But we have a lot of hope for this year!!

Isaac started 5th grade. Nothing really new happening for him. And so far he's been self-motivated and responsible in getting his homework done right after school, which is one of the things I absolutely love the best about this kid. Yay for one child I don't have to worry about in school (for now!).

And Abigail started 7th grade. Her first year of middle school, and first year in public school after her first 7 years at the charter school. Her first time riding a school bus, changing classes, using a locker. Phew, it's kind of overwhelming! I know she's going to be ok. She's going to get the hang of having A and B days (4 different classes every other day) and the most ridiculous policy ever of not being able to bring backpacks to class (they leave them in the locker and can bring a small bag with pens etc to class). But, wow. These first few days have been an adventure (leaving her violin in the hallway when she wasn't sure where to put it, missing the bus home, forgetting her assignments, not being able to get her locker open, etc). Ohh, she is such a great girl - she has so many amazing talents and abilities. I just hope hope hope this year will turn out to be a good one for her.

Another new thing this year was making these little stuffed felt hearts:

Aren't they cute? Got the idea off Pinterest, of course.

Well, then I added my idea of giving them to the kids as soft fuzzies filled with love for them to hold onto or just look at or touch in their pocket to remember how much they are loved when they feel nervous or unsure on their first days.

I goof up in hugely major ways on most days as a mom. You're well aware of that, I know. But sometimes, every once in a while, I feel like I do small things right. And I hope they remember those, too. I hope they remember times like these when I stayed up struggling to stitch and stuff silly little felt hearts for them to take to school. hahaha. Because I love them soo much. :)

I think maybe I should have also made one for myself. I've had at least one meltdown so far this week when I could have used a little extra comfort. It's been a tough week! Lots of nervous energy, paperwork, new schedule and routines, etc etc. We are all trying to adjust. Wish us luck!

And how's back to school going for you??

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Summer Fun {8}

Jumping at Monkey Island with Groupon deals and Roller Skating for free! wohoo! (and checked off the list!)

Kids are getting so good at skating.

Love it. :)

Summer Fun {7}

Visit from old friends!

Mary and I became good friends in VA back in 2000-2001. We both had young families with 1 child living in small apartments (I soon became pregnant and had #2). Then we both moved and left VA sometime the summer of 2001.

Now, we each have 4 kids

and we've kept in touch over the time and distance and still love to get together and chat any chance we can get.

yay for friends! :)

Summer Fun {6}

4th of July!!

(better late than never, right?)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Summer Fun {5}

The same day as the balloons (July 1) - we went back down to Provo to catch a little bit of this Colonial Village that they do . ..

And also go to this free Rooftop Concert. Going to free outdoor concerts was big on my list for the summer and I was super excited to go see Sarah Sample - whose music I already love (I posted about her here). And then they were doing the entire Beatles' Abbey Road album. Different singers, or combination of singers (check it out here). But Beatles' songs! The entire album! Did you know that The Beatles are one of the very few music bands that Zac and I both agree on completely? And did you know that one of my lifetime goals has been to see a Beatles cover band? So, of course we couldn't miss this. Even the kids were excited to hear Beatles songs. I love that about my little family. :)

(ok, now watch out, lots of name-dropping and linkage in this post, folks. Just cuz I feel like it)

And look! Here's the marvelous CJane getting the show started (you know her, right?and here's her blog post about the awesomeness that was that night):

sarah sample:

our kids were so thrilled to hear the music live that I "have on my ipod" - haha.

And look! can you see? There's NieNie of the NieNie Dialogues up there with some of her crew. I was laughing at myself for how idiotically excited this little glimpse made me. haha. So easily star-struck am I, I guess.

And then, Abbey Road begins:

these guys there are from Fictionist. And that guitarist guy with mass of curly hair and skinny black jeans? He is Hum in this blog that I love to read (written by his wife) - I'd recommend it. :)

An especially unflattering pic of me and Zac:

And out little brood of happy concert-goers:

It is true that we left early so as to get the kidlings to bed at a somewhat reasonable time (before 11?) so we actually didn't hear the entire album performed. But it was worth it for what we heard. So much fun.

(and can I get a little virtual applause for dragging the fam along to do things that really I just want to do but creating some really great family memories, even though they aren't easy things to drag everyone along to do? yes? phew. thanks.) :)

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