Friday, August 18, 2017

Last Minute Madrigal

Last week on high adventure, Joseph heard from a friend in our ward that there was an opening in the high school Madrigals singing group. Originally, Joseph hadn't bothered to audition because 1) his schedule is already overloaded with musical stuff and 2) he was hoping he'd need the elective class period for SBO (so sad, but he still loves to watch the campaign video he made, it was so good!) So anyway, he toyed with the idea and then threw out an email on Monday to the choir director to see if he could audition for the open spot. He got a quick reply from the music teacher, who said Mr. Larson (the band teacher) gave him a good recommendation and asked Joseph to come in on Friday.

During the week Joseph has been wondering what song to sing and he got some practice tips at the party from the singers in his Voodoo band on Wednesday. If you will recall, back in February, Joseph had a little solo in Voodoo - that solo opportunity started during a rehearsal where neither of their singers were there and Joseph joked to the assistant director "You should let me sing..." Micah took him up on it and to everyone's delight it was fun. Even his brother Ethan was surprised and said "Wow, that wasn't horrible!" (How's that for a brotherly backhanded compliment!) So the band made the plan for their Peaks Festival performance for Joseph to steal the mic as part of their show - here at 2:13.

Yesterday Corey and Ethan expressed their concerns about Joseph auditioning for Madrigals. Cause Madrigals is a big deal! Corey was concerned that there would be more to the audition than just singing a song and that he should find out and prepare more. Ethan just didn't want him to do it at all... When Joseph told him he was auditioning, he said Eth looked physically ill... "What?!? Noo!!! Joseph, nooooo!" Followed up with several days of comments such as: "You're such a bad singer. I don't think you should audition cause I don't want you to embarrass yourself. He will literally just laugh at you." - repeated everytime Joseph tried to practice or prepare at all.

Corey's concerns were more gentle on the surface but they run deep. All Corey knows about Joseph's singing, is that once upon a time (May of 2013 to be exact), Joseph was signing karaoke with all the confidence in the world and Corey was cringing for himself and anyone else in ear shot. Unfortunately, I wasn't there to document, so no one remembers the details of the event or knows the songs Joseph sang or why it was bad or if it really was that horrible. Even Corey can't remember... "I can't remember what he sang, but I'll never forget how it made me feel..." Yeah, apparently Corey's memory was scarred from that little family time on vacation. It was then and there that Corey decided that even though Joseph sang loud and proud, he just wasn't meant to be a singer.

I, however, said I thought he'd be great and could easily make Madrigals. I thought he was a shoo-in. I was in concert choir back in the day, and it was my unprofessional opinion that any guy who could read music and had an ear could make it. Thus: Joseph's got this. If he was a girl he wouldn't, the girl groups are more competitive, I know this from sad experience (sniff... I didn't even make the Highlights group) I could sing some songs well, but I never had the confidence in public. But put me in the high school locker room with a few friends and I could sing Phantom of the Opera pretty darn well.

So, with his father and brother casting doubt, he turned to Talmage who put the idea of Buble in his head for a song to sing. But this morning Joseph was still undecided between Buble or Harry Conick Jr. "Red Light Blue Light". But when couldn't find a backtrack for Harry he started practicing Buble. Unfortunately, Joseph's voice was a little hammered from yelling and singing at the back to school stomp last night, doh! So this morning, Joseph was singing loud to Ethan's "Stop singing!" comments as he tried to warm up his voice. He transposed everything down 3 half steps and settled on singing Everything by Michael Buble.

Joseph left at noon for his audition and we all anxiously awaited his return. (Actually we all just went about our normal day.) But when he got back we remembered where he had been... Ethan was the first to see him "Did you make it" Yep. "Really?!?! WHAT?!?" I see Joseph - "How did it go?" "It went well..." "Yeah?" "Actually, it went freakin' awesome!" Corey came out of his office with a "What?!?" Joseph said that he started with the song, and instead of just singing a sample of it, Mr. Gunderson had him sing the whole thing. "Do you know why I let you finish the whole song?" He asked. Joseph: "Why?" "Cause it was so good!!! That was fantastic! I definitely want you..." He took Joseph over to the piano to test his range and such and after a few minutes asked "Where have you been?!" "Over there in the band room..." So he stayed and sang some scales and such and found his comfort zone, Joseph could go pretty low "I could even have you sing bass..." And Joseph got pretty high too "Even without falsetto! Wow!" Sing this note... "Good ear too!" after he sang them back on pitch. So, yeah, he's in! Mr. Gunderson is in touch with the counselor to help J get his schedule rearranged. Joseph was pretty pleased. He teased his father and Ethan "I just want you both to admit that I'm not as bad of a singer as you thought..." Corey's teasing reply "Well, now, let's not get carried away here..." I shouted over as I washed dishes "I NEVER DOUBTED YOU, JOSEPH!" "Thanks Mom!" came his reply. "I doubted..." Corey admitted. They kept talking and teasing, and I'd throw out another "I knew you'd make it, I BELIEVED IN YOU!!" which Ethan quickly followed up with a joking "Shut up Mom!" said in a funny voice like he was trying to sound like a cranky old lady or bratty ungrateful teenager.

So that is our Madrigal story of how Joseph committed himself once again to take on even more stuff this year. (update with a photo of some sort tomorrow!) But good news, as Corey said... "The Music Sterling Scholar just got one step closer..." Corey also said "I wish I could whiz up to people on a whim with a bunch of confidence and have them love me and give me the prize..." as he implied the un-fairness of Joseph getting this "Where have you been all my life?!?" with seemingly no effort while Corey continues to claw and struggle in a mud pit with his friends as they reach out for help with work and it feels so hard and messy and slow. He wishes he could just fly in like Joseph, not really knowing what he's doing, and have them just say "We've been waiting for you! Here ya go, you win!" Well, we're glad for our kids to get a lucky break now and then, even if we haven't yet. It will come sweetie, just keep on keepin' on!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

School Challenge

Last night, Corey issued a new challenge to the kids. Before issuing the challenge, he had asked them for some feedback on the Park City Challenge, how it went and what was good or bad about it. And the overall report was that there wasn't anything bad about it! It was all good. Sure, it was work, but the kids liked how they felt after working hard! I know we ALL enjoyed living in a clean home, they were pleased with the things they accomplished, and they enjoyed their reward (well, except for Wesley who was sick and didn't get to use his pass, we'll make it up to you Wes!)

So, since school is fast upon us, it's time to get ready to take on the school year. They can work hard and they need to work hard in order to survive. Ethan and Hyrum are both . Corey began the meeting by showing them a video or Mr. Strickland calling Marty McFly a slacker. Thus the introduction to level 1 and the different levels of productivity in this school challenge:
  1. Slacker
  2. Solid
  3. Super Star
  4. Celestial
If the kids can't complete the basics (like getting to school on time or practicing their music for 1 hour), they are at the Slacker Level (dark gray).
If they complete the basics and stay on top of their homework, they are Solid (lighter gray). If they get out of bed by 8:30 on Saturdays they are Superstars! And, if they're eating vegan, they are celestial! Ha, Corey made that level to tease me.

Here is a 7 min video of the presentation and discussion of this new challenge. This is about how noisy our meetings usually are... Kinda hard to communicate things or feel like you're being heard. But that's how it goes around here. Also, it's hard to keep track of your thoughts when you have to keep making comebacks to the teen that pushes back on every statement. I usually can't handle it, Corey does better than I do.

Can you hear some of Ethan's comments? After Corey gives a verbal list of all the things he does in an effort to show the kids they are capable of doing more, Ethan says "And look at how stressed you are!" "Exactly..." "I don't want that to be me..." It made me laugh. We've got this teenager on the record! I'm hoping this video will make you laugh later in life, Ethan, as you have your own teenagers! Ethan also told Corey yesterday that he can get me to say yes to anything. "Whatever I ask her, she'll say yes the second time I ask!" Corey didn't believe him. And for good reason. Because Ethan failed to mention that I say yes the second time because he changes the question to a negative. For example, as we drove home after his eye exam today: "Can we stop by Arctic Circle?" "No..." "Can we not stop by Artctic Circle?" "Yes!" "Thank you... I just like to hear you say yes."

Natalie said a few cute things last night too. As we were going to bed, she said she was too scared to sleep alone on our floor. I replied "Ok, you can go sleep with your sisters in your room!" No. Corey said "Can I get you a big stuffed animal to sleep with?" "No, I just need a human. A boy human." I put Daniel on the floor next to her as he drank his bottle. "There! Daniel will help you not be scared!" She laughed at our joke, "No not Daniel! A BIG boy human!" She was trying to imply she wanted her father. It was cute.

Last report for yesterday - the caterpillar report. We had one male butterfly today, we have 16 chrysalis, 5 big caterpillars, 4 small. Also, my neighbor brought me 6 of her big caterpillars on Tuesday night cause they are taking a trip to Yellowstone. But the caterpillars have all been sick - oozing green stuff. Maybe one of the milkweed is bad? One of them looked so in pain that I froze it, he was followed by one last night that was writing in the same way, and then I located a missing one, it had fallen in the water of the cup she had tinfoil over. My caterpillars are in glass jars with clear plastic bags. I felt bad for him. Note to self, keep the glass jars. I'm going to keep a box of my monarch supplies for next year - little clothes pins, small containers to hold the leaves, rocks to put in the glass jars (helps the milkweed stay upright).

Monday, August 14, 2017

High Adventure at Lake Powell

Last Wednesday night, Joseph, Ethan, and Hyrum left for the weekend. They were headed to Lake Powell for High Adventure, a weekend away with the young men and their leaders from our church ward. I'm waiting for the boys to send me their photos, but here is a still of Ethan that I got from a video that one of the boys shared on youtube.
Neither Corey or I have ever been to Lake Powell, which is probably kinda sad to admit. They said it was great and that I would love it. I'm sure I would. We'll try to go someday! From this video it looks like they had a lot of fun.

Saturday, August 12, 2017


Hi. So I'm really behind on life in pretty much every way. I read this article last week about the busy-ness of today's world - it does make we wish for a simpler time. Maybe that is why I'm taking such good care of the caterpillars right now - it's simple and doesn't take much time or effort, nor do the kids (or caterpillars) come behind and undo my work. Although they do leave a lot of frass to clean up and I have to make sure they still have leaves to eat. But it's still pretty easy. Perhaps that's why it's a good escape from life - and it makes me feel capable. So for a quick update on those magical creatures - We had 3 butterflies this morning, and we had 7 yesterday! It was really fun. Here they are just up over the fence on our neighbors pretty hibiscus flowers!
We have a lot more still coming. We had 15 in chrysalis already and we had 6 turn into chrysalis today, four yesterday, and we have 8 more caterpillars in various stages. It's fun and reminds me of the simple things in life. It's my small attempt at living in a little house on the prarie or in the big woods.
I think Corey and I are both on survival mode. He's running at full speed more than I am. The little ones make sure I never get much of a fast pace going. My mode is generally a slow walk cause I'm pushing a stroller or holding a baby while Corey's mode could be compared to that of a man on a mountain trail running for his life, trying to find a way through the brush with a mountain lion in pursuit.
"... many entrepreneurs harbor secret demons: Before they made it big, they struggled through moments of near-debilitating anxiety and despair--times when it seemed everything might crumble. It's like a man riding a lion. People think, 'This guy's brave.' And he's thinking, 'How the hell did I get on a lion, and how do I keep from getting eaten?" - from the article The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship.

So my problems are easy compared to his, although I guess he and I are in our problems together! I need to plan meals and cook, I need to clean and do laundry, I need to budget and pay bills.... I'm trying to catch up with blog posts from June still... The house does look a little cleaner right now cause the kids have been helping me a little bit for the past hour (after I was on the verge of tears). Ugh. The lazy days of summer are almost over. School is on the way. I think this next week I might kick it in high gear and pretend the school year is underway, that way it won't throw me into shock. On the bright side - the kids are only in 3 schools this year instead of 4, so that's good.

I'm ready for fall cause our yard is an unkempt mess. I planted flowers and tomatoes once upon a time (2014 to be exact), but now I don't even bother. The weeds overcome the flowers and the deer eat the garden, so I give up. I'm struggling just to keep dirt free of weeds, never mind planting flowers in it. If we could pull the weeks or do yardwork together regularly I'd be happy and call it good. But I haven't pulled any weeds since Corey's birthday (not counting the milkweed I've been harvesting daily for our caterpillars) And I wouldn't have pulled weeds then if my angel friend and her girls hadn't started doing it first. So I'm ready for the frost and cold to just come and kill all the plants for me. Too bad that is still months away. My apologies to our neighbors who have to look at our yard! Sweetie, maybe I am ready to wave the white flag - feel free to arrange for yard care and a maid at your convenience.

So, I've got to catch up with blogging. Just finished June as I finally got pictures from Corey and Joseph's trip to Boston. Now to finish July and August. But thought I'd touch base here as to why I'm slow to update - I've hardly sat at the computer at all this week. I'm in a bit over my head. Corey and I are both about at our max. He's reached a new level of difficulty even beyond his last new level, which was impressive. As for me, I'm just trying to breath. Looking forward to a day of rest tomorrow. Last week I felt refreshed after church, I hope to be nourished again by the good word tomorrow.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Great Monarch Year

We're having hopes of seeing a great harvest this year of butterfly farming! (knock on wood...) Last year, if my memory serves me right, we had like 2 or 3 make it, despite having almost 30 eggs. Ok... just looked back at my blog, and this is why I blog, cause apparently my memory does in fact not serve me well. According to a mid August post last year, I documented that we had 4 make it through the life cycle to fly away as monarchs, but it was almost 5... that last butterfly loss was hard for me and almost made me vow not to get involved again. But the months pass by and my resolve grows weaker. Then summer comes and I get excited when I see the milkweed growing in our yard, and I look for and find eggs, just to see... and then before I know it I'm clipping leaves and bringing them in and we start watching the miracle take place.
"Ooh! Look! A little baby! He's so cute!!"
I'm perfecting the process. I should probably get some mesh cages though. We had 3 run away from the milkweed before they made their silkpads. Two of them have been located and one is still MIA.
They make a lot of frass to clean up. The kids are patient with me and my bugs. Though it bothered my hygiene conscious boys to have caterpillar poop close by in the bathroom where they brush their teeth. I just moved them in the bathroom temporarily on laundry day, I'll get them out of here in a bit..
Although it was easier to find them and count them with the mirror behind helping me see where they were all hiding. I love it when they are big enough to hold too, they are really cute little bugs.
Owen likes to see the bugs.  "A bug!" Little cute bugs. We have had some of them die. This one just slowly dried up, not sure what was wrong, but it looked like he wasn't able to completely molt out of his skin.  
I also found lots of larva that I first thought were tachinid flies that eat monarchs, but after further research I think they are milkweed leaf miner bugs, cause we have lots of leaves that look infected and I found lots of larva in the water around the leaves.
So, as of now, we have 13 that made it to chrysalis! One turned black on day 2 and I think is dead but we're leaving it on there for a bit longer. Today 4 more turned into chrysalis, and we've still got 10 more in their last instar - 3 in j-hook right now and 2 are making their silk pads. Then we have 10 small caterpillars in the bathroom and I found 5 more eggs this morning! One hatched this afternoon. I think this has been a great year for our monarchs! I've found all of these as eggs in our yard except for two which our neighbor (and resident monarch expert!) Lisa gave me when they were going out of town. We are excited to see them come out. They are little miracles.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sleepy Hollow Again

Last night Hyrum and Abi made another family activity happen. They were cutting it close getting their points stuff done, but they really wanted to take another trip down to the Sleepy Hollow. Corey had taken the younger kids to a park that was close by it, so the older kids finished up a few tasks and then we went. It was getting late and the sun would be setting soon, but we had about an hour in the gully. Owen liked the water ~
The older kids walked up the stream. Owen wanted to follow their lead, but we took him out and had him come up the trail with us.
I dare say that a little stream like this could manage to fill the gap left in our lives by not having a beach close by anymore (we miss Playa Conchal, Flamingo, Tamarindo... the kids want to go back to Costa Rica). All you need is a place to build castles and throw dirt/rocks. So we don't have an ocean, but we can use this! It's got sand and water and that's all kids need for their imagination to kick start.
Owen loved throwing the little rocks into the stream. I remember when we lived in Virginia years ago, I took Hyrum on a one on one, and what did that 3 year old want to do? Go throw "rockets" from a little bridge into a small stream. So we did, and I loved it. These little kids don't need much, we just need to get rid of so much excess and take a walk out into the natural world around us. Practically in our own backyard. It was a beautiful simple family activity, and I really can't believe that it's so close. We've lived here for over 6 years, I've jogged or walked past here for years but I just found out about this little secret place. Sure, it was a slippery hike down the sandy trail for the little people, but that's ok, a little workout never hurt anyone (I got my heart rate up giving Natalie a piggy back ride back up the hill) (she didn't bring shoes, great!) I didn't time it but it couldn't have been more than 15 min up or down. I think this place is a winner and we'll be coming back often.
The kids have plans to bring folding chairs with reading books ("we'll study if we can go!") and more probable plans for making a fairy city - perhaps with clay or legos? We'll see what they're cooking up in those creative noggins. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

2 AM and Not So Content

It's two weeks later, but here I am again. This time there are a few differences:
- it's a bit earlier in the morning
- Owen is sick
- and I'm not feeling all that content about my lack of sleep.
- I'm also not doing the dishes cause Corey already cleaned up the kitchen last night ("Thanks Honey...")

Owen is having a bowl of his new favorite cereal, Annie's Homegrown Berry Bunnies cereal with rice milk.
He's still being sweet. It's no fun to feel miserable, huh buddy! I'm glad Owen doesn't have a problem with the new non-dairy beverage on his cereal. Owen is eating cereal right now as a reward for taking his medicine. He has a bit of a fever. He doesn't like medicine and has often spit it out  I was really grateful he swallowed it down, and his open mouth cry also helped. He and Daniel have been sick this week. Daniel had a fever one day and that was it, hopefully this will be Owen's only turn. But they've both had major runny noses and boogery eyes. Daniel's poor nose is really raw and sore from us wiping it so much.

So I'm standing here, and my eyes are so tired. I've been up several times during the night every night this week with these two sick boys. It hasn't messed up with my morning walks, but after 6 days I'm really tired. I was hoping to go to the temple this morning but now I'm pretty sure that I'm not going get up for that alarm in three hours. Kinda bummed about that, but I really don't like to go to the temple when I'm exhausted. Makes it hard to pay attention.

It's still been a great week with the kids all working so hard, they've almost been working as hard as Corey and I do. Today is their last day for points. Last night we went over their current totals and they'd all have to do a lot to make it, but Corey was happy with how hard they've worked, so he made a deal that if they get as high or higher as their highest points day this week, he'll call it good and they'll earn their day pass. Wes asked me to wake him up at 5 so he could get started. I told him I could wake him up before I went to the temple if I made it awake in time for that, but with this mid-night interruption, it's going to be later, and that's okay. Sometimes you have to roll with it.

It's almost 3 am, I'm going to try to get him to go to bed.  Maybe he'll lay down in his bed, but I'll most likely be spending the rest of the night on the floor. He was so noisy before we came down, I'm kinda nervous to go back up into our room. I really hope he doesn't wake up Daniel... wish me luck.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Sleepy Hollow Trail

This week, with my old grandma walking buddies out of town (j/k Kathy and Lisa! you old ladies) I've been on my own. Yesterday I decided to go on a jog instead of a walk. On my jog, I went to the Dimple Dell trail and thought I'd see how far I could go in 30 minutes before I had to head home, to give me my one hour of morning rejuvenation. I usually don't go this way (started at the north blue trail and headed south, see map below). In the 6 years we've been here, I've only been out here once before. But I went, and then to really mix things up, I took a trail to the left rather than going straight! (took a left on the green trail after the blue trail turns west...)
It headed down the hill and started back toward home (continuing north on green trail). So I figured since I was headed in the general direction of home, I could probably keep going and hopefully I wouldn't have to back track. So I knew where I was but I didn't know where I was. I just kept going toward home. I took a small trail that headed up a hill (close by the purple trail but a little more to the east). It was steep. Then, lo and behold, I was at Sunrise Point! Wow!
Well look at that. I know where I am now. I wanted to bring the kids and show them my discovery, but I also knew they wouldn't make it up or down the steep hill. And I was ahead of schedule for my return, so I ran other trails (bike trails I think) to see where they led. I found a way that I thought the kids could handle (the purple trail, aka Sleepy Hollow). And I've walked by a big board on the blue trail that says "Sleepy Hollow" but I've never noticed or seen it before today. Weird. I wonder what other things are in plain site that I don't notice...
It had loose sand, but the kids could do it. So today, right after lunch, I told them to get in the car, I want to go for a walk. It was daytime, but it was overcast, so I wasn't scared to be in the sun (which is why I exercise early in the a.m.) They left their Park City challenge chores and told me I could have an hour. Off we went. 
Sophi and Natalie running down the trail after the hill was over.
Sophi with her nature book (a'la Nature Cat) where she could write down her nature findings. She is a serious student. 

We met up at the picnic table I saw, only this time there was water. There wasn't a stream here this morning, not sure how that works.
They couldn't resist crossing the stream. I didn't want you guys to get your shoes wet... (it's a mom thing) but they crossed the stream and got wet and helped their sisters cross, which was sweet.
But I didn't want you guys to get wet, I didn't know you would get wet, that water wasn't here this morning, I wasn't prepared. I don't like surprises. Ok, that's enough, get out of the water!
We headed in the direction I had gone this morning. Sophi made more discoveries and more studious notes.
And they found more water. Then I gave up. Ok, fine, get in, get wet. But all the sand is gonna stick to your shoes/feet when we walk back up!
They just love being "out into nature"! That's a good thing.
They went up and down the stream. They raised an ebenezer (1 Sam 7:12)
And more ebenezers. Little stone statues up and down the trail. I raised one too. It was fun.
And here is my little 2 cents lesson on evolution: Say you see a stack of rocks like this out in the desert or on a mountain somewhere. Wouldn't you be pretty positive that it was made by a person? By a person or being with intelligence? Could it have just happened randomly? Or given enough time, a million years, the wind and rain could stack those rocks into a pyramid? Some things, you can just tell, were made by a Designer. If you found a cell phone, even without electricity making it work, you would still look at that and you could mostly likely positively state that it was made by someone. Ok, so stacked rocks or a cell phone - they were created. And a rock pile is easy enough for a kid to make, and a cell phone is harder but it can still be made by technicians. And yet, we are going to look at the human brain (which the most brilliant of mankind is only beginning to understand, don't even think about creating one) - we can't make a camera that works as good as the human eye, we can't make a living slug, we can't create life even with our effort and desire to do so. Yet we're going to claim that those things, infinitely more complex than a stack of rocks or a cell phone, just happened? Given enough time, they just evolved and came into being? I don't think so. A pyramid of rocks doesn't just happen (and that would be easy in comparison!), and neither did mankind. Hyrum, pondering these deep and profound words that I shared with him.
Just kidding, I didn't tell Hyrum my deep thought, I just told that to Wes. Wes said "Wow, I've never thought about it that way..." Hyrum here is doing a I'm-looking-off-into-the-distance-pose-for-a-possible-instagram-photo. Looking good buddy. You look very profound. Just like your brother Ethan in his casually looking off into the distance photos.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Playing School

Lily recently found my secret purse where I kept the colored pens hidden. She and Sophi have been carrying them around and coloring up a storm. And if you really want to draw well, then of course you need a teacher! And thus came about the "school" game they have been playing for the past few days. Today Lily was the teacher ~
Sophi and Natalie are her good students. Do you like their desks? Lily's using a rubbermaid lid, the rest of them took all the magnet boards off of the bedroom walls, which makes the nails loose and the nail holes big as they try to wiggle them off and now the boards won't hang up anymore... these silly things that concern a mother!)
And Hyrum (he's such a good big brother) played along with them, but he found it most fun to play the bad kid who doesn't know how to draw well and doesn't pay attention in class.
He wasted a LOT of paper being the kid who couldn't draw... which also made the mother in me slightly irritated and shaking my head, trying not to ruin their fun with my annoyances. What is my deal with paper getting wasted? Do I just need to get over it? Or is it just a mom thing that will always bug me? So Hyrum would scribble on the paper some sloppy thing as he pretended to not be able to spell, then he'd crumble it up or toss it aside and do it again on a new sheet. I seriously need to hide the white paper from these little artists.  Natalie taping her work on the wall - up on her cute tippy toes
Tape is another thing I have to hide away. When I hear the tape being pulled out with a quick and big tear as the kids pull a piece the length of their arms, it makes me jump up from whatever I'm doing and come grab the tape and hide it away. We never have any paper when we actually need to print something, or tape when I need to tape something. Hence why I TRY to have secret stashes of these school supplies, sigh, kids...) But I usually have to look through each paper to find the treasures... cause the treasures are awesome. Overall I'm glad for how creative they are and I like to see them play and see the things they make, and I hope we don't kill too many trees in the process.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Park City Challenge

Over the weekend, Corey made a list of things he would like the children to do.
Then he asked each of them to tell him which of those things they felt they were doable for them to complete on a daily basis.
He then tallied up each square to be worth one point each and then issued them a challenge, that if they did those things each day this coming week, then he would buy them a day pass at Park City (for the alpine slide and zip line and such) when we go up for the annual Wride Retreat next week. So each kid has to reach a total of 110 points. Today was day one. And wow, what a day it was! (Well, Hyrum always does an awesome job cleaning the kitchen...)
They were up and doing all day, it was awesome. We're always trying new things, and whenever Corey is involved it's especially great, and I'm super excited about this. All the kids felt like it was a great day too. Corey and I were not nagging yet they were still all up and moving and working and practicing music and reading, amazing! It has been my dream come true perfect summer day so far today.
To make the day even more incredible, I loved that Corey even got up at 6 this morning and went on a walk with me! Yes, it was my ideal day. And for the cherry on top - Corey offered (not originally on the points chart) to give a point to each kid who sat still and upright (!!!) and quietly during scripture study tonight. I didn't even get any requests to rub back as I read, wowzers - the quest for Park City points worked better than our old standby to combat complaining and interruptions. I think I could get used to this.
I think the only problem is that we just started this the week before Park City, we should have done it the whole month of July or the whole summer, so that's my mental note for next summer! Although, downside is that this week is going to be so incredibly awesome, that I know I'm going to go into major summer withdrawal when school starts next month (noooooo....) I can already feel the "I wish my kids all homeschooled" depression settling over me.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Lily's Baptism

Today was a special day for Lily. She was baptized today by her father.
She has taken upon herself the name of Christ and is now a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. A week ago, Lily helped me plan out who would say prayers, give talks, and perform music. She and her sisters sang "When I Am Baptized" and they did a lovely job. Here are the older kids waiting for the services to begin... One of these kids is not like the others...
(aka the one with the bottle!)
Lily, we are so happy you made the decision to be baptized! Oh, I also gave her a haircut on an impulse 2 hours before her baptism. We had looked at an old photo of her with short hair, and it's so cute on her short, and she finally said I could. We all squealed at the results. Lil, you always look so cute! Lily is pure joy.

Afterward the baptism and confirmation, we locked up the church and then went home with family for some light refreshments. No one was able to stay long, including our own kids - the soundhouse boys had a performance up in Farmington so they had to head out as soon as they could. So they changed clothes, ate a quick meal, and off they went. Corey took the little kids with him later to go watch the show. It was part of a little city activity called "Rock the Park". Good news is, everyone had fun. I stayed home with Mel, Lily, and Daniel. Bad news: they lost one of Owen's "must have to survive" blankets. Of the 4 I had for him, that's 2 down, only 2 left. I might need to figure out a way to replenish our supply. They all came home dirty and tired, so we put them to bed and we'll all be up early tomorrow to bathe off and get ready for church. Another Sunday in the life of our family. Summer is going by too quickly, less than a month left.

Friday, July 21, 2017

"About Us" Updated

I updated our "About us" page today. It was a bit outdated, as evidenced by the picture of just 8 kids. So the before and after...
So, this is us and our crew. Corey and I are high school sweethearts, kinda.  I was actually probably a little one sided, meaning I was a bit of a stalker.  ;)  But hey, it all turned out, so it's okay!  I, Tiffanie, do most all the family recording here in an attempt capture this wonderful phase of our life with these little people.  I wouldn't have it any other way.
And now the new AFTER:
So, this is us and our crew. 
Corey and I are high school sweethearts (...kinda.  It was actually probably a little one sided, meaning I was a bit of a stalker. ;) But hey, it all turned out, so it's okay!)

Our family has lived in Brazil (20072015) Costa Rica (2010) and Chile (2011)

I'm passionate about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Scriptures (especially the Book of Mormon), FamilyChildrenAmericaOperation Underground Railroad, and being healthy.

I blog about babiesboogersbutterflies and whatever else the day throws at us.

I, Tiffanie, do most all the family recording here in an attempt capture this wonderful phase of our life with these little people.
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