Sunday, April 30, 2017

April Continued

An update on Nora's toe. It's look much better. The bleeding stopped after the first three days and it's been scabbing over and the toenail is growing back in. And we still can't seem to get this girl to keep her shoes on. I guess losing a toe nail wasn't enough. 
 Over spring break Elisa Ludwig and I took the kids to see Beauty and the Beast on a five dollar Tuesday. We loved it! I loved how closely it followed the animated version because I know that one well and could recite a lot of the movie :).
 My birthday also fell over Spring Break. Scott took the day off and after a temp run in the morning, we took our family for a hike up Bell Canyon. It was gorgeous and will be a new family favorite because you can go longer or shorter, and there's a lake, streams, rocks and greenery.

This was the dessert Scott made for my birthday which was perfect as it was maple syrup sweetened and we used some dairy free ice cream and whipped cream to go on top. So yummy! 

Friday morning of Spring Break, I went to Grandma Sugars for a bit and helped her with a project. She made around 50 fudge Easter eggs and asked if I'd decorate them. It only took about an hour and we were able to visit which was fun. She sent these home for my family which they loved.

 Friday late afternoon Elisabeth, Gina, Sara and I headed to Honeyville, Utah where we stayed for the night so that the next morning we didn't have much of a drive to get to USU in Logan for their piano competition. I don't know that I'd ever done a girls night like this before, unless you count when I flew out to visit my mom all by myself last month. We ate dinner at a cute diner, we all had breakfast for dinner, and it was great. Then we went back to the house we rented for the night (airbnb) and watched the newer version of Emma from BBC.

 We've been friends with the Arkells since Elisabeth was born and it's been fun to keep up over the years.

 Elisabeth performed two pieces, Puck by Grieg and Allegro Burlesco by Kuhlaua.
 She took first in the two divisions she performed in which was a pleasant surprise!

For one of Elisabeth's awards, the winner had to play in the performance hall so she got to experience that for the first time which was fun (and nerve wrecking ). She did great!
Here is Bridget, her piano teacher, with all of her students that came and played and they all were honored in some way whether placing or receiving an honorable mention. 

 Here are some Easter morning pictures: treasure hunt for their easter baskets.
Besides the treasure hunt on Easter morning, the only other real tradition we have for Easter is reading the Easter Resurrection Eggs. There are 12 eggs and each egg has a scripture printed inside and an object to go with it, that tells the story of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. 

But this year we decided to start a new tradition to add to those two others and that is that we will read John 20 at the dinner table while we eat; we tried it out this year and it was perfect. The kids were all quiet and listening because they had food in their mouths :). 

 These beautiful sisters had a dance recital this month.
 Annabelle Jazz and Nora in ballet and tap.

 This is what the house looked like one morning after the kids left for school. I thought about taking them out of school and making them clean it up, but I had several errands to run and it would have inconvenienced me so instead I decided to leave it (I was gone all morning and into the afternoon so I didn't have to look at it for long) and once they got home from school, their mess was still waiting for them to clean up :). Before they got home, I did accidentally put a couple of things away but when I caught myself I put them back where they had left them.
For Elisabeth and Emma's personal progress, they decided to see if they could help Saige sit in church during sacrament. Saige was our next door neighbor for several years then they moved, and the next year we moved into their same neighborhood again :). Saige has a seizure disorder and other mental disabilities and though she'll come to church class, she hasn't been able to sit nicely during sacrament meeting so her parents were taking turns staying home during sacrament and watching her. So now, Elisabeth and Emma switch off each Sunday working with Saige. We pick her up at her house, drive her to church with our family, and she sits with us during sacrament. Both Emma and Elisabeth have a bag they've prepared for Saige with some fun snacks and other things for Saige to keep her busy (coloring etc). We have loved having Saige sit with us and it's worked really well so far and we've been at it for a couple of months now.
Scott worked from home one day this month so he could stay with Nora so that I could be a chaperone at the Zoo for Jane's fieldtrip. 
 It was a wet day, rained non stop, but there was a silver lining: most of the animals were out and super active! It was fun to see the the baby giraffe running in circles and to see all the babies of all the animals! Another mom of one of the kids from my group, that met us there, bought our group ponchos which was very nice. And it made spotting my group super easy!
 I found these pictures that 4 year old Nora secretly snapped around 7am while she was laying in my bed. I had woken up late, didn't feel like going out for a run or driving to the gym, or even changing into exercise clothes so instead I did yoga, and some push-ups and sit-ups in my pjs in the comfort of my bedroom. Just keeping it real :).
 Our baby turned five at the end of this month!

 I took this picture after she got dressed in the morning, came up to me, stood just like this and said, "okay mom, how do I look? Do I look like I'm five now?" I laughed and cried at the same time because yes, she does look five which means my kids are growing up too fast! We love our social, cheerful, Norita Bonita!
 On her birthday she wanted to take her friend Anna swimming and to Cafe Rio with us. And of course we had to go back to the house for some birthday ice cream cake.

Though we didn't actually put candles on the cake until that evening once the rest of the family was home (and the cake was half gone...the other kids asked for a piece after school since we had ours early and that sounded fine to me). 
I am the room mom for Charles 5th grade class which means not only do I do the holiday parties, but at this elementary, I also decorate our teacher's bulletin board at the end of the year for teacher appreciation week. I do not consider myself artsy/crafty but good ole' pinterest came through and I found one that didn't look too horribly complicated or expensive and went with it. And of course, the runner in me like this idea with the running shoes and the running trail :). I asked the teacher if I could come into the class sometime the week before and have  the kids for about 15 minutes. During that time I them all write their name on the tennis shoe and then color it in.  

 The room mom's were given access to the office supply rooms so I prepared ahead of time and figured out how many of each die cut letter I needed, went in, and Nora and I quickly got all the letters cut and the butcher paper that we needed. We did this over two days. Day one was tennis shoes colored, die cuts and butcher paper on the board (took about 1 1/2 hours), day two was just stapling all the tennis shoes and letters/signs on the butcher paper, which only took me about 20 minutes which was nice because that happened to also be Nora's birthday and I didn't want to be in there too long.
 We bought this used Twin Bed probably 10 years ago that Charles has been using and it's not in the greatest of shape. I don't know if you can tell from this picture, but the boxspring is broken in several places (that could very likely be from him...he is a boy and tends to rough things up, and jump on things etc). We've also had to replace some of the wooden slats and they tend to fall out on their own.
 We have one guest room for now but it's nice to have extra bigger beds for when we have multiple families coming to sty with us (like next month for Memorial when we get my brother and sisters families!!! Wahoo!). So we got Charles a Full sized bed this time, that way when we have guests, he can go room with someone else and they can use his room. We got him a bed that sits higher off the ground because we want to be able to see when he starts shoving junk under there. And he loves that he can fit under the bed. It's kinda a hideout.
 Charles was awarded his tenderfoot advancement at scouts this week! Way to go Charles! Scouts teaches these boys some good skills.
 I cancelled my gym membership this week because of all the lovely weather we've been having (I much prefer to exercise outside)...and then this happened. Luckily it's still good for another month. I took this as I pulled out of the driveway and was headed for the gym for a run :).
 Because of our close association with Stacey and Mark Haggin and Mark's conversion, we've been able to develop a close relationship with the missionaries in our area and have had them over for dinner a few times. Last night, as we waited for the food to get on the table, the kids handed the Elders(Priebe and Singleton) a yarn-crafted jump rope and they took turns jumping while the food finished up.

Beginning of April

We are busy, busy right now with all the recitals that have been thrown on top of our normally busy schedule of lessons and practices. I'm looking forward to a slower paced summer with more time at home. 

Currently we have 3 kids in piano(Elisabeth, Annabelle and Jane) and Charles just switched from piano to guitar. So four private music lessons a week, plus all the daily practice that goes with it. Also, Elisabeth and Jane are in tumbling, Annabelle and Nora were in dance but actually just finished up last week, and Charles is in baseball. We also have scouts for Charles, Young Women's for Elisabeth, Activity Days for Annabelle, and I am a cub scout leader. Basically every night of the week, except Saturday and Sunday, we've got things going on, and usually multiple things. Yes, I am definitely looking forward to a slower Summer. 

I've never wanted to be one of those parents that fills their kids schedule with all sorts of extracurricular activities; I want them to have free time and time at home with us, and they do, but because we have 5 kids, even if we say, 'one private music lesson and something else (like sport or sewing class etc)" that ends up being 10 things in a week! And we don't make them include scouts, yw or activity days in their 'something else'. This is a phase of life, just like all the others we've passed through thus far, and I'm grateful to the Lord for the energy and strength, and past experiences that have prepared me for this time where I need to do more and be more for my growing family. 

And speaking of doing more and being given strength, I have a half marathon coming up next week and I've been doing the Hansons Training Plan that my sister-in-law told me about (just found it online), which means I'm running 6 days a week, 2 faster, harder workouts, 1 long run, and then a few easier and slower runs.
It's been really good, and I can tell I've gotten stronger and faster but I'm also getting more tired and need more sleep at night and that what I eat really matters especially the night before one of my either faster or longer run days. I am sure loving bananas these days and I never really did before. Here's a shot of one of my tempo runs, which basically means I'm running at my race pace. I did seven miles that morning at an 8:14 average pace. I actually am hoping to run my race at an 8 minute pace, and I have gotten a tempo run faster than this, but it'll be close on race day.

It may be hard to tell from this picture, but I am sopping wet. That's 14 miles of running in the nonstop rain. The visor may look pointless but it kept rain from falling directly on my face. This was my first time running 14 miles! Woot woot! And being a Seattle native, I'm not afraid to run in the rain...we did everything in the rain. 

This is a text that was shared between me and my sister-in-law who is a good runner and has given me lots of good advice and help throughout my training. My text is in the green. 

 Speaking of doing hard things, our little Nora is on lesson 88 or so from her book 'how to teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons'. We started this book a few months ago and she's doing awesome!
We've also put some sight words on our kitchen wall that she's been working on. The ones on the left she's got down, the ones on the right we're currently working on, and the ones above we haven't gotten to just yet. This girl will be ready for kindergarten, and just on about 15 minutes a day of work! Nice Nora!

 I LOVE general conference weekend! We love listening to the uplifting words of our living prophet and apostles from the comfort of our own home (or from the conference center if we get to go; tickets are free, you just have to be lucky enough to get some). Saturday we mostly listened to conference while we ate fun foods and played games and Scott listened in the basement as he framed :).

 Saturday afternoon, Annabelle and I were able to go to the conference center with Stacy and Mark Haggin and the missionaries for a session (thank you Stacey for the tickets).

 I was able to go on a field trip with Elisabeth this month which I think was my first time joining her on one of these. When you're the oldest with four younger siblings, it's harder for mom to leave for an outing. But now that it's just me and Nora at home, and Nora is 5 this month and more independent, I was able to leave her with Lindsay Geilman, a good friend, which was so nice.

 Stephen and Marie came out for a visit from CO, and stayed with us for a week. They've been out three years in a row so their visits may be a yearly tradition. Stephen and Marie are not LDS, but they have done some humanitarian work with their church, so Marie and I and our littles went on a tour of the Humanitarian Center and Welfare Square in Salt Lake City. I am amazed by all the good works!