school is O.U.T.

The last day of school was Monday

I made these for the kids' teachers and the school office staff - they've helped me a lot this year. I got the popsicle idea from eighteen25. The "write-on" idea was my own. The "stay cool" label gave me the idea for a popsicle party.
So while the kids were finishing up their last hours at school I was setting up popsicles and cookies and lemonade - I felt like I was a kid on a corner setting up a little lemonade stand. I tried to make it fun and festive...it was windy and my decorations blew all over the neighborhood. Nice try, I told myself. I picked up the kids from school and we had a fun little "bon voyage" school party. It was fun. The kids were happy.

Last week was quite the week; every one in the entire city of Mountain Home, it seemed, wanted to squeeze every possible thing into last week. I'm serious, it was exhausting, BUT a lot of fun. {Besides all the last minute school stuff, Cameron and I were in charge of our ward BBQ - I cooked 80 pounds of BBQ pork plus a lot of other stuff for Sat. I also decided that it was a good week to can pickles - glad I did it, they are the most expensive pickles I've ever bought :) but now I know I can do it. We packed in FIVE baseball games and I did my visiting teaching. All of that on top of the extra gluten-free, etc. stuff I had to make and bring with me to all the activities we were in.}

Here's Isaac with some kids from preschool. We went to the zoo. He is shooting Rhino's with his "gun scope". I let Austin miss school so he could go with us. A trip to Sonic for slushies on the way back to Mountain Home made it a GREAT day.

Later in the week, I spent the afternoon with Austin. I loved loved loved his Kindergarten graduation. He was adorable with his arms folded, the way they make the kids walk down the hall, singing his graduation song. And he is so so happy to be going into first grade. He is ready, that is for sure.

The next day I spent the afternoon with Landon's class. He wanted me to watch his play (standing behind a mask, reading lines from a book - but still fun to watch) It was his turn for birthday treats, so I got to eat the donuts I brought in for the class with him. It was also Field Day, and Family BBQ day, so I got to hang with him all afternoon. It's fun watching him with his friends.

This week has been nice. Sleeping in. Hanging out. No one's "bored" yet. We just finished Landon's last baseball game so our evenings are a little more quiet (but don't worry, Austin starts baseball on June 7!) And we had a little Family Council this morning (minus Cameron - he was at work) and came up with some ideas of what we want to do this summer: Friday Fieldtrip Days, Science experiments, visit our Grandparents. We also made up a little schedule and decided on summer chores. The boys decided what order they would do their chores, workbooks, piano practice, and screen time in. Hopefully, this will make it so I can remind them less, we will see.

They're already working on their chores (and they're happy about it!) And, I'm not the slave-driver it might seem. We are working on this little patch of dirt together and then we'll do some planting. It's going to be a psuedo-garden. The boys each picked out their own plants; I'm hoping we will be reaping the rewards of our hard work later in the season.

Aside from this little disaster, that resulted from a fight over the step stool, we're getting along well and settling into summer vacay just fine.

Here is a little video clip from Isaac's preschool celebration. I forgot my camera but had my point and shoot video. He loves loves his preschool songs and his teachers both tell me how much they love when he sings.


ready.very ready.

we're all wearing shorts."smoothie pops" are loaded in our freezer.the windows are open and the air is FRESH.the sky is blue.the kids have end of the year field trips.the trampoline is up.baseball 5 times a week.we've used our grill 3 times this week.the rain has finally stopped.WE ARE READY FOR SUMMER!


Last Week

Last Tuesday our family joined the families of the boys in Cub Scout Troop 175 to cheer them on and celebrate their hard work at the annual PineWood Derby. Oh yes, it was an event. And to sweeten the deal our Landon came in second place. He was so proud. He could barely contain the smile after each win. BUT, he was very poised and had great sportsmanship, as he high-fived each of the kids that lost to him. After the last race, the one that determined if he'd come in first or second, his smile faltered. But only for a second; it came right back, as big as ever, as he congratulated his buddy for coming in first. AND, that is what I was most proud of that night. *You've come a long way over the past year, Landon; growing up more and more everyday. I am proud of the big kid you are and the young man you are becoming. How'd I get so lucky to have you as my son?!*
{his car is the gold one...he designed it himself, although Cameron helped cut it out. He bought the paint for it himself too. I offered to buy him a can of spray paint from Walmart, but he insisted on "model" paint from the hobby shop. So Cameron told him since it was so expensive, he'd have to use his allowance. With Easter being the weekend before and our nights crowded by baseball we didn't get a chance to get the paint until Tuesday afternoon. The paint was still wet when we left for the Derby. Cameron had make him stop painting so we wouldn't be late! It didn't slow that thing down, though! And gotta hand it to Cameron, he spent a lot of time with Landon, helping him. He's a good dad.} The next day I left for four days of "me-time". I scribbled out notes, put a diaper bag together, left Cameron some "just in case" ideas for meals, and hugged everyone goodbye, leaving Cameron with a LOT on his schedule. There was something to do for one of the kids every night I was gone.Austin had a speaking part in his Kindergarten show and I was SO SO sad I would be missing it. Cameron said, "he did awesome!" and that was pretty much the report I got. Judging by listening to him practice his parts I'm sure it was fantastic. I love how excited he was to participate; I'm pretty sure he felt as grown up as he looks...can't believe he's on his way to being SEVEN!
Isaac's preschool held their annual Art Show the next night. He, too, was FULL of excitment about his part. He told me on the phone that day, just before they headed out to the show, "You HAVE to come see my art. It is really really good. Are you going to come in the car and see it?!" I wished I could have. But, luckily, Cameron took great pictures and they brought a STACK of artwork home for me to sort through.
Saturday, I got a text: "meet the newest member of our family." Seriously, at first I thought Cameron was joking. But when I looked closer at the picture I realized the motorcycle was strapped into the back of his truck. When I realized he had bought another motorcycle (the middle one: Landon's size), I wished I had done more shopping...LOTS more shopping. Why was I feeling guilty for the pennies I had spent, when he spent, well, lots more?! I'm coming to grips with the new member of our family that lives in the garage, but, Cameron, NO MORE! :) The boys, needless to say, are in heaven. Austin is so excited that he doesn't have to bring his bike to the pits to ride while him and Landon take turns on the little motorcyle.
And while they were doing all that, I was doing this. Thousands of women swarmed BYU for the LDS Women's Conference and I was among them. It's my second year and I hope it becomes a tradition. It was so much fun. So enlightening. A great reminder that, "By Small and Simple Things are Great Things Brought to Pass."
At this point in my life, I often find myself feeling alone in my seemingly mundane, mostly thankless, normal life. I had many points of inspiration and clarity during this conference. I realized that the "sunday school" answers are the things that I need to focus on; the things that will bring great things to pass: boys that will become responsible, loving, righteous husbands and fathers and a daughter who will know her worth and settle for nothing less than the path back to our Father in Heaven. One great moment for me was at the last session when Susan Bednar, Elder Bednar's (a member of the 12 apostles for the LDS church) wife spoke. She spoke of raising her three sons; my life seems similar to how hers was. I realized that this amazing woman - she must be to be the wife of an apostle- struggled with some of the same things I struggle with. She reminded me "not to be like Naimin"; to have enough faith to do the "simple things".
And while I was enjoying the classes I was also enjoying some GREAT company. I don't have a picture, but I drove down to Provo with a friend from here in Mountain Home, Amanda. She is so fun to talk to that the drive seemed to take minutes, rather than hours. It started the week off great. She dropped me off at the dorms to meet up with my "Colorado friends". I have missed ALL of them so much over the last couple years. It was so so fun to see a few of them again! Let me tell you, Women's Conference is NOT for sleeping. How could I? It was one giant slumber party. I laughed my head off for four days straight - in fact, I think my face still hurts from smiling!
We did some shopping in Provo and some in Salt Lake. We also spent the day on Saturday seeing, not one, but TWO movies at the Gateway. We took a peek at the "Project Runway" Fashion show going on (and took a picture with Tom Gunn's poster just to prove it!) We spent some time on Temple Square. We ate WAY too much food. And we talked and talked and talked. Our group changed a bit here and there through the conference. We met up with another CO friend, Jaquie, who lives in Texas now - it was so fun to see her, I was wishing she could have snuck into the dorms for a night to have some real girl-talk. We also stayed in a group with Colleen's friends from college and their friends and their friends... It was a great time, getting to know more girls who I have things in common with.
The week can be summed up with two words: SOUL FOOD...spiritual, emotional, and physical (yes, physical - I practically begged for extra gluten, nuts and dairy at every meal! ;) )

Sunday morning while I waited for Amanda so we could head home again, I spent the morning with my parents and Alina. It was good to be with them without distractions. I grew up wanting sisters and I'm just now (after 7 years) realizing that I actually DO have sisters. (kinda lame it took so long, I know, but when they were adopted there seemed to be so many years between us. Alina isn't a little girl anymore, she's growing up into such a fun cute girl.) It was fun to get to know Alina a little better and chat with my mom and dad. I always feel like I'm their "kid" again when it's just me and them...kinda nice sometimes.

I kept in contact with Cam, mostly through texts because, during the day I was in class from 9-5 and at night I didn't realize what time it was until it was WAY too late to call him. I am so lucky for a great guy that will let me get away. I got two texts from him that will make me smile forever when I think about them. One was, "For the life of me I CAN NOT get the elastic thing in Ella's hair!" It was so endearing to me that he was trying to do a squirmy, short-haired one year old's hair. And also, a video text of the meal he made for dinner on Sat. with all the kids telling me they missed me but how good of a cook Dad is. Watch out Cameron, you're gonna be on dinner duty now!! I came home to happy kids and a clean house; in fact I'm not sure they missed me! The kids seemed to have grown up in four days, especially Ella. She went from walk/crawling to running and became a little tornado of destruction - every article of clothing is on her floor right now because she emptied her drawers one by one while I was making dinner. Thanks, Cameron for holding down the fort {flawlessly!}. love ya.