Sunday, September 1, 2013

We're back...

Well, it's been almost a year since my last blog post. I'm not sure exactly why I stopped last fall, but it was probably a combination of lots of things - our first year homeschooling, coaching Joseph's soccer team, Sarah starting dance classes, Joseph and Sarah starting piano lessons, attending a homeschool co-op every week where I taught a Spanish class to 3rd-6th graders, teaching an online Spanish 101 course for the college, writing the Primary program, singing in the annual Christmas concert, arranging and performing in a flute trio, and David getting called to the High Council (meaning he is super busy on Sundays) -- either way, blogging fell off my to-do list.

So, I decided to start again. I'll tell you a little about what we're up to now and do a "flashback" post every now and then to share some pictures and stories from the past year.
For Grandma Carol - This is the bike you helped Kathryn buy.

August has been a crazy month. We went to Redding for a week and celebrated Joseph's birthday there. (That trip deserves it's own post...I have tons of pictures!)

At the lake

They built this in Redding...can you guess what it is?

7th Birthday - Wild Kratts "Cheetah Power" cake

Along the way, Sarah and Rachel got sick and had terrible coughs, which they passed to the other kids while we were all trapped in the van for the 12 hour drive.

The week after we got home the older kids went to a "Little Farmer" camp at a friend's farm here. They had a great time learning about all the different animals and life on a farm. They got to collect eggs, milk the cow, pick veggies from the garden, make butter, and do lots of fun crafts too. (Sorry, I didn't get any pictures of that). But, their favorite part was swinging on the rope swing that went over the creek and then "accidentally" falling in the water. =)

This past Tuesday was Sarah's first day of school. She is attending an elementary level Montessori school that recently opened here. Her teachers are great and her class is small (11 kids, 2 teachers), with mixed ages from 1st through 3rd grade. So far she is really enjoying the peaceful routine, personal attention, and ability to choose her own work during most of the day there. One day she went on a nature scavenger hunt with her class at the adjacent city park. Another day she played a rousing game of chess with a classmate.

First day of 2nd grade

Joseph and Kathryn are starting homeschool on Tuesday, and little David will start preschool at Montessori in the mornings a few days each week. We decided to NOT do soccer this year, at least not formally. We plan to play a lot of family games in the backyard. Sarah's going do ballet again and, new this year: Celtic soft shoe and hard shoe (tap). All three of the older kids will be taking piano lessons of some variety (either a private lesson, group class, or lesson with mom).

David and I are "back to school" too. Classes have started at the college again and David is teaching his regular load. I'm teaching Spanish 101 online again (this is my 3rd year now). We're doing a homeschool co-op again this year. So, it's looking like another busy fall. I'll try to keep you all updated.


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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Random Photos from the Summer

I need some roasted green chile in the worst way, so I improvised.

Our kids like beans, a lot. They think it's fun to sort and clean them too.

What a great big sister. Sarah loves to read to her siblings.

David cut down this tree limb that was hanging over our front yard. It looked so much smaller when it was up high. I took this far away picture so you could an idea of the size of that thing.

This is the "before" picture of our blue bathroom and our next project. As of today, the old floor is out, the blue tub is gone, and the blue toilet just came out tonight. So far, we only have the new tub in, but flooring and a new toilet are coming this week (I hope).

Look closely. David is IN the exersaucer with Rachel.

One of the few times he slows down during the day - nap time.


David and I went bowling with our good friends Martin and Carrie and had great double-date night.

David found this awesome jacket that someone had left at the bowling alley who-knows-how-long-ago. He called it lucky and wore it for a few sets. He actually got a strike this time. =)

Chillin.... we had the entire place to ourselves. No joke. Who knew that 6pm on a Friday night would be so quiet at the Orchard Lanes? I guess everyone comes later for the cosmic bowling (w/ black lights and disco balls).

First day of homeschool - at "recess" 

The next Gerber baby? =)

New tub, in process

What kid doesn't love painting?

Last Friday, this little guy wore the same pair of underwear all day long. So I took a picture and bragged about it to my mom. Then 5 minutes later he peed his pants. Oh well. (And, there's the finished tub in the background...we've only used it once because the floor is all ripped up and it's kinda dirty in that room).

Monday, August 20, 2012

Zoos, cousins and photo shoots, oh my! (Days 4-9)

On Tuesday we went to the zoo. (Kathryn was pouting a few feet away during this photo.) It was super hot outside and the zoo was overflowing with people. I couldn't believe how packed it was for a non-holiday, beginning of the week kind of day. The zoo also seemed rather small compared to Nashville...then I heard that Nashville is one of the largest zoos in the country and I realized I had been spoiled there.

From Tuesday until Friday, we stayed at Ashley's house. Her new baby Scarlett was such a doll. I was hoping she would still seem like a tiny newbown. She is around 7 weeks old here but you probably wouldn't guess it. Scarlett was a 9 pound newborn too (like Rachel) and she already seemed so "grown up". =)

Rachel loved her right away. She grabbed her hand and just kept looking at her and smiling, like she was greeting an old friend.

Joseph slept in Benjamin's room and they woke up early each morning to play together.

They both love reading.

My mom and I spent a lot of time shopping for coordinating outfits for our extended family photo shoot on Saturday. David was kind enough to watch most of the kids while we were out. I had my hair cut the night before the shoot--a risky move, I know--but I was happy with the way it turned out and I'm now the proud owner of bangs...again.

All the kids...these are just candids from my cell phone. We were just waiting for everyone else to get there.

More candids. Kathryn didn't hardly crack a smile the whole time. Davey would only sit in that red chair.

Sam was cracking jokes in Spanish, so only a few of us were in on them. Here's (almost) the whole crew getting all set up for the big group shot. Little Davey was being a stinker, not wanting to sit where the photographer put him.

In the end, the photos turned out pretty nice, considering we had 10 adults and 7 very young children.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Trip to Utah, Days 1-3

I realized that I had not updated our "weekly" blog for over two months. Here's what we've been up to...

We spent the better part of the 3rd week of June crossing things off our to-do list and packing for our trip to Utah. David spoke at the bi-stake youth conference Friday afternoon, then we loaded everyone up and drove away at 7pm.
Everyone was happy to be on the road. They had been looking forward to our trip to Utah for several months. We drove to McCall that night (about 3.5 hours from Lewiston), and stayed in a hotel. Joseph threw up his dinner and many road trip snacks about 10 minutes before we arrived at the hotel, at 10:30pm. 

Everyone settled down and went to sleep fairly quickly, except for Sarah. She was awake and bouncing around, literally, until 2am.

On Saturday we drove the remaining 9 hours to Utah Valley, in time to hang out with cousins at the Rookstool's house.

On Sunday, Josh gave his farewell talk at church. He entered the MTC a few days later and is going to South Korea.

Here are all the girl cousins playing dolls together. I loved how the older girls were so sweet and played with my younger ones.

We got to see most of David's family that weekend, including his parents. We enjoyed staying at his sister's house. The kids loved playing with their older cousins and jumping on the trampoline. In fact, this week someone asked Sarah what she did on her trip to Utah -- she didn't mention the zoo or aquarium or farm or dinosaur museum or the bounce castle. Nope, the first thing she said was "I got to jump on the trampoline at my cousin's house!"

Rachel was a little sick and rather grumpy for the first several days of the trip. One night she woke up every 30-60 minutes all night long. But otherwise, she was still a sweetheart. Here she is discovering her toes (age 4 months). The white afghan was knit by my grandma LouAnn just for her.