Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Becca and Bella visit

Becca and Bella came to visit this past week! They got in Wednesday evening and took off again Sunday morning after Sacrament meeting. The kids had a sleepover every night with Bella (which was always contingent upon them sleeping well the night before).
Thursday I sang in a funeral for a dear lady who was the leader of our book club, so I was gone for a couple of hours, and then we mostly just hung out the rest of that day. Friday we went to Salt Lake City and hiked Ensign Peak, then we went to Temple Square to see the updated history museum, and then we met Scott for lunch at Wheeler Farm. 

Temple Square

 On the way home we stopped at Sprouts for some grocery's, so we didn't make it home until around 3pm, and we'd left at 930am, so everyone was pretty tired and ready to just hang out at home for the rest of the day.
 Saturday morning Scott and I went for a 6.2 mile run (we finished in 50 minutes so about 8 minute miles, just a little over), and then Becca and I went to a yoga class at my gym, which was so relaxing. We watched Charles' flag football game at noon and later that afternoon we went to Gardener Village's Witchfest, and Elisabeth and Charles each brought a friend. They had a scavenger hunt sheet we'd printed out at home, with a list of about 20 different statue witches they were supposed to find, and once they found them all they could turn in their sheet at the bakery and get a cookie for 50 cents (normally 1.50). They all enjoyed being on a witch hunt, and we enjoyed going during the day, way more than last year when we went at night! At night the environment is a lot less family-friendly with it's very loud music, lots of teens and adults decked out in costumes and kind of scary, and SUPER crowded so much so that we lost the kids once even though we were being very diligent; it's just you were brushing arms with people everywhere you went it was that crowded, and then the noise on top of it just made it a little insane. But this day-time adventure was a lot more fun.

 That night Becca and I went out to dinner at Omar's Rawtopia restaurant. Becca has been vegan and gluten-free for a long time but just over the past couple of weeks has been doing all raw foods, so this was pretty exciting! She doesn't have any raw food restaurants in Idaho and it was fun for her to be able to try all different dishes. We ended up sharing all of our dishes which included hummus sushi rolls, a falafel salad, and crackers with a dip, and we finished it off with these three raw yummy desserts: pumpkin pie (becca's fave), berry cheesecake (my fave) and vanilla pudding.
Thanks for coming! 

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.