Tuesday, August 28, 2007

On the Water

I think I vaguely mentioned in a past post that we inherited a boat. If not, then hey-guess what? We inherited a boat! Aaron would call it the boat he “grew up on”, despite the fact that he was I think 13 when it was purchased. Anyway-it was the Talmage and Barbara family boat. The last couple of family summers boat. An now-it is parked on the side of my house! As we live in the middle of nowhere and do a fair amount of driving, we often pass at least 3 boating stores, thus Aaron and I have talked about boats; about how much fun his family had, but how it just wouldn’t be practical for our family, even if we could afford one. And even if we could afford one we’d then have to purchase a vehicle with which to pull it. And THEN there is the cost of gas (for said vehicle and the boat), and upkeep and all the other things (life jackets! Oh wait “PFD’s”) that are either necessary or wanted in conjunction with a boat. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. Dear FIL calls and says “hey, come get your boat”, then calls again and says “I’m on my way, I’ll park your boat in front of your house!” He arrived the next afternoon. Surprise!!! And what a fun surprise it has been. After sitting parked in a friend’s barn for entirely too many days, we finally broke out the boat!

Wanting to make sure that everything was functioning well, and that I wasn’t totally clueless about boating, we took the boat out-just the two of us-for a little test run before daring to take the whole family. Aaron and I spent Friday evening out of Utah Lake, just the two of us! What a blast! Although we always have fun together, this was such a treat! As Aaron said “BEST DATE EVER!” I’ll leave it at that.

So Saturday rolled around, and since Aaron had now broken free from the UMA chains, we had the need for an afternoon/evening out. Hmmmmm….what do do? Go boating! ;)
We invited some friends out and took off. Bummer that some friends had to bail, but at least I didn’t have to sit next to a certain very slim someone in a bathing suit! (love you!!) I have to say again-it was a blast! Not only did I get the chance to ski (which I love, although I’m very rusty on it!), but I also wakeboarded for the first time as well. Maybe one day I’ll also get that whole slolam skiing thing down, but Saturday saw no progress in that department! Aaron trusted me to drive while he boarded-whew! Talk about nerve-wracking! But hey, he tried me out on Justin first, and since I didn’t kill or seriously injure Justin, I guess that was good enough for Aaron,. Justin-you are a good sport! Anyone who will let a first time driver pull them when it’s their first time being towed behind a boat, AND smile like that, deserves a big gold star on their forehead! : )

Anyway-we had entirely too much fun (even though we missed some of our good friends-next year for sure!), and fortunately Rheanna was smart enough to bring a camera as somehow I forgot to do so-two days in a row! So the fun pics are thanks to her-and are the reason she isn’t in any pictures. And double thanks to Rheanna and Justin (and the parents!) for providing the transportation to tow the boat! We literally couldn’t have gone without you guys! Thank you!

We are really looking forward to next summer when we have enough weekends to do plenty of adult boating trips with all of our wonderful friends here!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

School Days, School Days

Dear old Golden Rule Days....

(Bright and early was REALLY bright this morning! Out of nearly 30 pictures, this is the closest we got to "open your eyes!" and has anyone ever noticed that "open your eyes" effects the smile more than the eyes?)

The intention was to do this on Tueday, the actual first day of school. How life was more chaotic with fewer kids at home all day I still can't figure out. Fast forward two days later, things are finally calming down a bit.

This week marks a momentous occasion for all parents-school is back in session! Typically all this means for me is that it will be much easier to get things done with my kids, as the rest of the neighborhood isn't constantly banging on the door asking "are you kids done YET? Can they play now? When will they be done?" As we have home schooled, we have always started the school year earlier than is traditional for the public schools here. This may seem just plain mean, but really it's a treat for the kids! Trust me, just follow for a second. Earlier start date and regular end date means less school days in between! AND shorter school times each day! AND more field trips, more days off, more "holidays"....see-it all works out! Well-after months of weighing options, and pros and cons, many sleepless nights, and mountains of prayers and fasting, we made the decision to give public school a go this year. What a huge change for everyone! Malia began 3rd grade, and Taylor 2nd. Alaina will begin Kindergarten next week, and then will be giving 1st grade a try after a couple of weeks, which then hopefully will allow us to better decided where she should be. Malia and Taylor seem to be enjoying themselves, and adjusting quite well to an experience that while standard for nearly every kid we know, is a foreign thing for my children. No complaints yet about long days, and too-short recess, or too much work in class or mean teachers. So far, so good! Granted we are only 2 days into this....

I don't mean to sound like a cynic.
I truly am hoping for the very best, as any parent would. Even if we are to go back to home schooling sometime in the future, I truly believe that this is what is right for our kids right now. How long it will be right-I do not know. Whether it be one year, or ten, we will see. Whether all the kids will follow in this path or some may take different routes, I don't know. I suppose that in itself is a comfort-knowing that there are options, and that I have and can do that which is right for each of my children individually, even if it is something that I would have balked at previously. (10yrs ago the thought of homeschooling was akin to that of natural childbirth! What are these people thinking?!? Nutjobs! HA! My....how we grow and change....)

Anyway-as we embark on this latest and greatest adventure that life has brought us I am looking forward with optimism. I will take the time that Jacob so very much needs with me right now to see to his immediate needs, to get him reading well and establish his educational foundation for whatever his schooling needs become. I will have extra hours for storytime, crafts, outings geared for just little children, and (hold on to your hats) shopping with only 3 or 4 kids in tow! How easy will that be now? YAY! And hey-with 3 little boys who nap and Alaina gone for at least the afternoons...I'll get to those sewing projects I've been putting off, the ironing that builds up so quickly, maybe some work in the basement (when it's ready for me) or *gasp* possibly even a nap! I feel overwhelmed and giddy at the possiblities, yet as a typical mom does, selfish and vastly guilty that my entire day is not now solely devoted to building up all of my children in the various facets which I have been teaching them for the past few years. Ahhhh, the conflict of being a mother!

So-here's to a very successful coming 9 or so months-may all of my children learn and grow, be happy and confident, and most of all enjoy their days. And may I enjoy watching them do so, while appreciating the days gone by without longing for them, and looking forward with anticipation for what life brings, while truly appreciating what each today is.


As promised, pictures from our outing to Thanksgiving Point...

Jacob on the pony ride
Taylor with his favorite goat (well, aside from DeMarco that is!)

Kelsey and the kids

Please note the sign.....good listening, huh?

Frankenstein meets dinosaurs

Taylor having fun with the Dinosaur that the kids built

Me and myherd- a couple whom are obviously ready for naps!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Is your bathroom clean?

Mine is. Thankfully. I usually try to give it a really good scrubbing at least once a week, and randomly as needed-which unforunately isn't all that rare with this many kids. Monday is the big cleaning day. As Aaron's dad was coming to town and dropping by on Monday night (bringing us a boat! Another subject for another day), I gave the hall bathroom an extra good scrubbing. What good timing it was!

I'm going to tangent here (like that never happens with me!) to explain that my kids love water. I have never had to fight my kids to take a bath or shower. Most often I have to restrict baths and showers. My kids just don't understand why they can't all have a bath and a shower at least twice a day. OK-if you need it, sure! Otherwise I am not paying for that much water use! We live in a desert you know....

So-as Dallin also love water just as much as the rest of them I often find him playing in the sink. Whenever it gets quiet or we can't see him in the immediate vicinity or we hear running water, we can usually find him in sitting on the bathroom counter playing in then sink. So that is what I expected to find Tuesday morning when I heard him in the bathroom. Quite to my suprise, he was not in the sink.
Does this mean he's ready to potty-train now?

Where are the days going?!?

Seriously. I had a great intention back in, what was it....March?, to actually catch up. Apparently I just don't care that much until peer pressure kicks in. Thanks a lot Ashley and Rheanna! ; ) Really, had some lovely stories to share about many of the wonderful mishaps we frequently experience here (read back on the quarter, styrofoam peanuts, etc), maybe I'll get there. And yet here I am after having blown off nearly five months, now being asked by friends and family where my blog is. Well-Here it is! Told you it's nothing fancy. The real catch is that now I HAVE to stay caught up so that people really get the details of my fascinatingly sordid life.

Catch up will have to wait for bedtime or naptime (I promise I will do it!), so I'll start new again today and move forward randomly moving back a little at a time. I know, it's hard to read a story when you start in the middle, then go back and read the first two chapters, skip ahead a bit again then go back again, but anyone who knows me well enough to be reading this is smart enough to figure it out!

Today I had the first of what I hope will be many mommy/kid outings with my sister. We strapped up my rowdy herd and her well-behaved, sweet, smiling, petite little princess and went to Thanksgiving Point. She was brave enough to join us for the Museum and the Farm, and despite it being crowded, crazy and hotter than hot, it was a good time! It isn't every day that someone who detests flies and chickens agrees to come to the farm and make kissy faces at the goats. And wishes that the pig wasn't wallowing but was up at the gate available to pet! heehee We'll have to go back again when it isn't 100+ degrees. Many packages of wipes and 6 bottles of Purell later (Kelsey....; ) HA!), we made it back to the cars with 5 children dripping in ice cream bars. Glutton for punishment? I suppose, but hey-it's summer! That's what summer is for! Pics to come as soon as I get them.

Well, as is the norm-the baby is crying for me so it is back to life.

P.S.-Kel-Bell, thanks for a fun afternoon. Let's do it again! Much love, "the skinny Mexican"