Monday, October 24, 2016

Volunteering at the school and selfies

I find lots of selfie's on my camera on a regular basis, mostly from my girls. They make me smile :). 
I'm the room mom for Charlie's class this year which basically means I plan the holiday parties. I was the room mom for Annabelle's class last year. I try to switch off each year so that all my kids get to have me as their room mom at some point in time. It's flattering that they all want me there, but at the same time, I don't really LOVE being the room mom because it's one more thing I need to accomplish in my already busy schedule, but I figure there's a time for everything and this is the time to be involved and in 7 years this time will be over. I also try and get into my kids classes and volunteer; though right now I'm only going to Annabelle's class regularly. Next term I'll be helping with PE in Charles' class as well. This is a little more tricky because it's every week and I still have Nora with me, so I don't want to do too much, but I do like to be involved and the kids love having me there so I try. While I read with the kids from Annabelle's class, Nora will color and when she gets bored she pulls out my phone and plays StarFall (an educational game)....

and it looks like she takes selfies :).

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Overnight Oats, Tree, Pumpkin Patch

A neighbor I run with has overnight oats in a jar, once or twice a week, and I'd heard about them before from other friends, so I decided to give them a try this week. And I really liked them. It was nice to have a filling, and healthy meal/snack that I could grab out of the fridge and eat, especially since I'm often busy and so by the time lunch rolls around, I'm really hungry and don't always feel like taking the time to make a big salad or something else. In this recipe I had: 1/2 c rolled oats, 1 Tbsp chia seeds, 2/3 c almond milk, 1/3 c plain greek yogurt, 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup, 1/4 of an apple grated. Then I stir it up and put it in the fridge for 4+ hours, more like 8 if you do quick steel cut oats. 
 We transplanted this tree to our backyard on Saturday from our friends the Wilcox's house, and Sunday morning it was leaning against the fence. I think we need stakes. Whoops! We will fix that asap.
 Saturday morning before we did the tree, Scott and I ran 11 miles. Scott is preparing for his first half marathon in two weeks so we've been doing long runs together on Saturdays. So needless to say, at the end of the day, after digging up trees and digging holes for trees and running around, we were so ready for bed. But before bed, we had told the kids we'd take them to a pumpkin patch, and so we did.

Monday, October 17, 2016

AC Fall piano recital

Jane had a couple of friends over after school last Friday and they were tumbling and dancing down our front entry way.
At the end of each day, we gather in the living room where we read scriptures together and pray. Nora fell asleep during our scripture reading time, with this pencil in her hand and her scriptures are tucked under that blanket :).
Charles and Annabelle had their Fall piano recital which was made up of duets. Annabelle played Celebration and Cinnamon Popcorn. Charles played Sonatina for Two and Rhythm and Boogie. 

Our neighbor friend Stormy hung out with us Tuesday and Thursday this week while her parents were both working. She went to a nursery class with Nora Tuesday while I attended some classes on strengthening marriage and family, and then she was able to join Nora in her preschool class on Thursday. We had a couple of free ice cream cone coupons for chick-fil-a (that we've had for months), and so we went over there after Nora's dance class (Stormy and I did some grocery shopping at sprouts during dance). 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

N date, firepit, headstands and Gingerbread Pumpkin Trifle for book club

About a week ago, Elisabeth and I went with our friends Gina and Sara to the Salute to Youth symphony concert in SLC. We met up there with her piano teacher and lots of her other students so we could support Matthew who was one of the three pianists chosen to play with the utah symphony. It was amazing!
 October is Nora's date month and she decided on Sweet Tomatoes, probably because they have a soft serve machine :); which is fine with me because I love all their soups and salads and if we're being completely honest, their blueberry muffins and tapioca pudding!  Since she's at home all day, we decided to do a lunch date rather than dinner. It worked out perfectly and she(and we all) had a wonderful time. They just really love and soak up that one-on-one time with mom and dad.
 Monday night as part of FHE, we used our newly built fire pit! It turned out great, we love the way it looks and it's larger-than-our-last-firepit size. Tearing out the sod was a beast for Scott and I, but it looks great now and we're happy with how it all turned out.
The girls and I like to do head stands and handstands. We documented it this week :). They also love to do sommersaults and other acrobatic things, but I tend to get dizzy with a lot of those other things that require a lot of movement.

 I hosted book club at my house this past Thursday. We read The Anatomy of Peace by the Arbinger Institute. I had read another one of their books, Leadership and Self Deception, awhile back and really liked it. I served fruit salad (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and mandarin oranges with a little bit of their juice, drizzled with a little honey) and these 1/2 pint-sized gingerbread pumpkin trifles. They are amazingly yummy! Scott and I have made gingerbread multiple times over the past couple of weeks because we just love it (put a little coconut whipped cream on top and it's perfection). This is layered with gingerbread, then a pumpkin puree and whipped cream spice mix, and then whipped cream, repeated.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Power in the Book of Mormon

I love that Nora loves to eat bell peppers and carrots with hummus! Making good choices. 

Speaking of making good choices, both Charles and Elisabeth finished reading the Book of Mormon this year (as did Scott and I, again)! We've really made it more of a priority this year. We've always read as a family each night, and Scott and I have always read on our own, and a couple of years ago I started putting it on their chore charts to complete each day, but I think they mostly didn't and we didn't really check-in with them on it much. But this past year we really made it our focus; we talked to the kids about the importance of reading it each day and the safety it provides, and now in the mornings, instead of just asking if they've made their beds or done their dishwasher, now I always say, "did you read your scriptures? That's the most important thing on your list so let's make sure to do it first."  I love this quote from President Ezra Taft Benson about their being power in the Book of Mormon that will flow into our lives once we begin a serious study of it, and that we'll have power to resist temptation and avoid deception. I know (because I've seen this in our home) that if we do this, if we really study, not just read the scriptures each day, on our own and with our families, that we can have this safety and power in our homes and in our lives. It's nice not to have to worry so much when our kids walk out the door in the morning and go off to elementary and junior high for 7 hours of the day. 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

General Conference Weekend

Last weekend we had the privilege of  listening to General Conference at home, in our living room :). I remember growing up, we always had to drive out to our stake center building which was about 20 minutes away, and watch from there. Now we can watch on our couches, or at the kitchen table, while we eat lunch :). 
We had a couple of Charles' friends come over and watch with us during one of the sessions, and Annabelle went and watched a session with our good friends the Ludwigs.
Sunday morning session we watched as we enjoyed a brunch.
We always buy some fun snacks and the kids will usually color or do conference bingo or a puzzle or something similar.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Aspen Grove Marriage Getaway (with Hank Smith)

Last weekend I surprised Scott with a Marriage Getaway at Aspen Grove (Provo Canyon). I bought the tickets 5 months prior and knew he'd see a charge on the card so I told him I had a surprise date in September and then just left it at that. A few weeks before, I told him he'd need to be home by 130 on Friday the 23rd and not to ask any questions. He did good. I gave him all the details the night before we left as I wanted him to be able to pack his own bag since it was an overnighter. I made sure things were covered at home, kids had rides to their various activities, and that we had a sitter come to stay the night(thanks Brittany Scott!), and then we were off by 2pm Friday afternoon. We checked in at 3 and went down and found our cabin. We had a cabin to ourselves though we shared a bathroom with other cabins. 
We dropped our things and went for a hike up Steward Falls. It drizzled the whole time but that didn't stop us; I'm from Seattle, where we did everything in the rain! 

It was absolutely gorgeous! I loved seeing all the changing colors!

It was a 4 mile hike and took a little over an hour. We came back, put on dry clothes, and went over to the game room where we played foosball with a couple we just met, and then we played a game of ping pong. Dinner was served at 615 so we headed over to the dining hall after our games for dinner (dinner, breakfast and lunch were all included); we got to meet quite a few different couples during meals as we ate together at big circular tables. 

At the marriage getaways, they have a more well-known LDS speaker come and do several 1 hour classes on strengthening marriage and family. When I signed up all those months ago I was so pleased to find out we'd get Hank Smith as our speaker! We have several of his cds (he's hilarious and always teaches a good message) and my kids LOVE him. Because it was a smaller group with only maybe 250 people, we got to visit with him and his wife which was fun. Here's Scott with Hank Smith. 

Scott and I made a goal at the end of the last session to have more positive interactions at home. We have a lot of great, positive interactions already, but we'd like more. So that's what we're working on now. The other night I called the kids in for family prayer and scripture study (they were out playing the backyard) and I said, "Hey kids, come in for prayer and a positive experience!" They were like, "Huh?" Scott and I chuckled to ourselves :). So far so good!
 Saturday morning Scott and I went on a six mile jog up and down the alpine loop. It was our first experience running up a mountain. It was hard but awesome! It drizzled the whole time which reminded me of home in Seattle, and when we got higher up, it was snowing! So gorgeous!
We really didn't notice all the beauty going up the climb because we were so focused on just getting up the steep mountain. It wasn't until we were on our way back down, when it was a million times easier, that we were really able to appreciate all of God's creations. Which is a lot like life in general. It's sometimes hard to see the beauty and the blessings until after we've passed through a hard trial or challenge. And it makes us stronger which is a wonderful thing!
Saturday before we took off, I did the ropes course. Scott wasn't feeling up to it and I think he was a little worried about getting back to the kids on time, so he decided to pass.
It was fun, and a little scary at the same time. I got to do a little rock climbing which was nice because it'd been awhile since our last climb.

We had a wonderful weekend and are hoping to do this again sometime.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Jane teeth pulled, Webelo leader and EQ 1st counselor

Jane had a big tooth fully come in, leaning back, behind two baby teeth. Those two baby teeth were not wiggly at all so the dentist wanted to pull them which he did this past week. Here's a picture of the teeth, which, as you can see, the roots were not dissolving at all. 
They gave her some laughing gas so she wouldn't get anxious, then they numbed her and pulled them. She was watching a movie as they did it all and didn't even know they'd pulled the teeth until I told it was time to go and she said, "did they pull the teeth yet?" and we told her that he had. 

Afterward I took the girls to Jamba Juice which I'd told Jane we'd do as a little incentive to sit nicely during the appointment. I got this pitaya bowl which is something my mom told me about and it was so yummy. It's granola with pitaya (super fruit) and some other fruit and coconut. 

 I was called a couple of weeks ago, along with Scott, to be a webelo den leader(10 year old boys). We have around 20 webelos in our ward so they have split them up into two groups and we're over one of the groups. And within a week Scott was called into the Elder's Quorum presidency....this has happened the past 4 wards we've been in :), that Scott gets called into EQ almost immediately, and three times now it's been after we've been called to scouts :). I've never stayed long enough in scouts to know much, but I think they're going to keep me in and get me a partner to work with so I should be learning more and I think it'll be fun.