Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cinnamon Toast and Applesauce

The kids are enjoying being back to school. Everyone likes their teachers so far.

Our youngest is loving all the one on one time with mom. I have taught him the letters "A" and "S." We have built many puzzles, read numerous books, and he is a great help cooking in the kitchen...not so much of a help at picking up toys, but we're working on it.

Our second oldest loves being in sixth grade. He did have to make a trip to the principles' office yesterday, but fortunately it was as a witness of, not a participant in, an after-school skirmish.

Our first-grader is getting used to all-day school and has made a few friends in his class...his favorite lunch so far is mini corn dogs. Our daughter was excited to get her first homework packet this week and is quite studious. She is at school all day and guess what she plays when she gets home??? School.

Our oldest is a veteran at Jr. High now. He has figured out the new routine and really likes having lots of teachers and challenging classes. He has yet to adjust to the bigger homework load...last night's Algebra homework took him longer than expected...

The best part of back-to-school???? It has to be after school snacks, right? This week the kids are really into applesauce and cinnamon toast! Yum!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Back To School

The first day back to school went well for all the kids.

Our oldest is in 7th grade this year and entered Jr. High. He successfully made it through seven periods, locker opening, lots of stomach butterflies, and a huge new school. He really likes several of his classes and is quite excited for the challenges that he can see ahead...even with an hour and a half of homework on his first day!!

Our elementary group also had a great day. Our sixth grader is in a class of 35, which is just crazy, if you ask me. But he reported that his class was quiet and well-behaved and he likes his teacher...so far, so good. Our third-grader came back with a fashion critique of her teacher's outfit, hair, and personality...all very high scores!! She is such a girl! It is so fun to hear her take on things! Our first-grader was a little nervous about going to school all day (versus half day in kindergarten) and several times before school he said he wished he could just stay in kindergarten with his teacher that he loved. But he also had a great first day and has a great teacher. He loved getting to eat lunch at school and feels like such a big kid!

It's just me and our four-year-old at home. We tried to get him into the elementary school's preschool, but he scored too high to get in, so I get to do the honors. At first I was a little bummed that he didn't get in, but I'm actually getting a little excited to teach him myself and really enjoy this last little one... We had a fun first day at home. We built a 50 piece puzzle, which he loved. Took an hour, but he caught on quickly. We read books, made cookies, did laundry (he threw the clothes into the washer), and practiced riding his bike. I had to get up really early to get my run in before 7:00 and I am just really dragging this evening. I can't wait until 8:30!! Welcome back school routine!! So long carefree summer schedule! It has been fun.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

One Last Thing

Yesterday (the last day of summer) I realized we had one last summer project that was still not finished!

Our first-grader still needed to learn to ride a bicycle without training wheels. I asked our oldest if he would do the teaching since he had such success with our daughter.

In a matter of three minutes, he was off and riding!

Learning to brake took a little longer,
but he spent all afternoon practicing so he could show Dad when he got home and he is now a pro!

Success! He is so proud of himself. I am proud of him too!!

Our youngest wanted to get in on the bike-riding action too!

I think we'll keep his training wheels on just a bit longer.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Millard County Shootout

A couple of weekends ago our older boys competed in a shootout in Millard County.

Their Dad thought it would be a good experience for them to compete in a setting that they were unfamiliar with.

Things were a bit different than the precision matches they are used to, the rules were different and some of the times were different, and some of their equipment was prohibited, but one part was the same: shoot the bullet at the target!

This was the first match they have competed in with prizes rather than awards. Our oldest won his age division (13-15) and came in second overall. He won three knives, a bunch of ammo, and a bore snake.

Our second oldest won his age division (11-12) and won the overall, beating his older brother by 22 points. He won two pairs of binoculars, a knife, a book, a bunch of ammo, and the grand prize:

a brand new .22 Marlin. He was pretty excited!!
This post marks a new milestone for me this summer: I am officially caught up! I have been trying to catch up for months now...but not anymore! Yippee!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Weekend Get-Away

My husband's family has a fun tradition. Every other year they plan an adult get-away: no kids, lots of fun, free time to RELAX. It's great! Every other year we do a fun trip with kids. (It is always fun too, but I personally look forward to the trips without kids...where the adults get to act like kids and not watch any.)

This year we considered several destinations and decided for many reasons that our get-away needed to be close to home. Somehow the idea came up to have a get-away at home....that of all the activities we really wanted to do, we could do most right here! So, two weekends ago we ran away, to my husband's parents home!

All the cousins (except the small babies) babysat each other at various homes and all the adults were free!!

Foremost on our list of activities to do was card-playing. Hearts is a game of strategy and finesse, and if you haven't figured it out, watch out!! Your points total will add up quickly.

Fine cuisine was also a must. We enjoyed one evening with bbq steak, corn on the cob, baked potatoes, salad, fruit, bread, and wow! It was gourmet. The other evening we went out on the town and enjoyed a tasty meal at a local restaurant.

Another activity high on the list was: NAPPING. Naps might sound boring, but they are a coveted luxury! Yes, I'm pretty sure everyone enjoyed a nap or two. We also slept in...and still had a nap. It was great!

High on this couples' priority list was trying to see how many people they could scare with this innocent looking green toy pig. Don't let their serious demeanors in this picture fool you, they will scare you any chance they get....just when you think you are safe, or that no one is watching you: OOIIINK! Yep, you will jump out of your skin!

This poor feller was the brunt of many of their scaring traps. He doesn't scream like a girl or anything embarrassing like that...he just freezes and has been known to fall down and collapse...but that's kind of a family secret, so shhh!!

Several couples went out 4-wheeling up the canyon. They saw deer and turkeys and enjoyed the sweet smell of a recent rainstorm. Afterwards they enjoyed some down time on the shady deck.

Rook is our family's other card game of choice. We played many rounds of that one!

Oh, and junk food with good movies is another must! We watched several and ate many. It was seriously the perfect weekend and we had a blast. Who knew that you could have so much fun at home!!??

The Last Splashes of Summer

School starts one week from today. The kids are excited for school to start: our oldest is starting Junior High and the others can't wait to meet new teachers and old friends. But they are also mourning the end of summer.

What better place to spend the last days of summer than in the pool?

Speeding down the waterslide;

jumping off the diving board;

doing backflips until you can't remember which way is up.

So long summer!

Campout/Gold County Swim Meet

We cut our trip to Oregon a couple days shorter than originally planned. One reason was that our 11-year old desperately wanted to be home in time for his very first overnight campout with the boy scouts. The other reason was for the Gold county swim meet. I sent our 11-year old with a camera, to capture all his fun and exciting scout adventures. He got to learn how to sharpen a pocket-knife, how to navigate using a compass, they got to cook several meals, and they also went on a hike followed by a cool down in some mountain water falls.

When he arrived home, he excitedly told us about all the fun he had.

There were five pictures on his camera...all of breakfast. So there you have it: the food is always the highlight!!

The other reason we cut our trip to Oregon short was to be back in time for the end of season swim meet that the boys both qualified for. The gold meet has the fastest times and the toughest competition. We arrived bright and early for warm-up and check-in.

Our oldest competed on two relay teams. He swam the breaststroke on his team's medley relay. They finished second. He was the anchor leg on his team's freestyle relay. They also finished second.

Our second oldest qualified in the freestyle and the breaststroke. He is super fast in breaststroke, but not quite as dominant in freestyle. He decided that he would try really hard to improve his time in free. He swam a great race and improved his time by over a second. He was really pleased with his performance: 17th place!

Our oldest qualified in freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke. In freestyle he finished second overall.

Next was backstroke. It is our oldest's weakest stroke and he was also determined to really improve his time. He was seeded sixth, but after a blazing fast race, he improved his time by 4 and a half seconds and took second place!

Our second oldest swam a really fast breaststroke race!

The competition was all really close. He took third overall.

Breaststroke was last for our oldest. He was seeded third with some tough competitors. Halfway through he was in second place,

but with the last few strokes he surged ahead and won!

It was pretty fun and he was happy with the results.

The awards banquet was last weekend.

We can't wait for swim team next year. We're trying to convince our daughter to join the boys next season.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Oregon Trip: Highlights from Bend

We had so much fun in Bend with my family. A few activities that we particularly enjoyed were:

Washing the car with Grandpa. He got it clean inside and out...and even vacuumed out all the sand that came back with us from the coast.

Visiting with our awesome aunt in the backyard.

Getting our hair done by our awesome aunt.

And getting foot massages from our awesome aunt after our long hike!

We especially enjoined Grandma's cooking...homemade lasagna and fresh garden veggies!

We spent one morning helping Grandma pick raspberries.

There were tons of them!

We picked plenty (and ate plenty too).

Sleeping in was wonderful!

Our aunt took the oldest boys out to see a cute movie...

in 3-D!

She also took all the girls out for ice-cream!

We met my good friend in the park and got to meet her cute kids.

We also got to catch up over lunch. Wish we lived closer!!

We also went swimming with another good friend and her cute kids!

We went swimming in their pool...during a big rainstorm. It was an adventure!

It was great to see them again...it had been awhile!

We managed to squeeze in a little school clothes shopping.

I especially enjoyed the Central Oregon sunsets every evening.

They are gorgeous!!

We had the perfect vacation! It was hard to have it come to an end, but I am so grateful that we were able to go.