Sunday, May 28, 2017

First week of Summer

May 21-27

I love summer!  It's so nice to have a little slower schedule and to have the kids here with a little more free time.  It has been toasty HOT already which is a crazy contrast from the long cold winter we had this year.  No complaints from me though!

Okay, first of all.  Look at Sadie.  She is spayed.  These puppies are Annie's puppies not Sadie's but she can't resist nursing them.  The crazy part is that she actually has milk.  Have you ever heard of such a thing?! I love natural mothers...

I am so happy to have kids home!!

I have tried to figure myself out--why do I feel so much more balanced with the kids home?  It wasn't always this way for me.  When everyone was really tiny and I was nursing babies and not getting nearly enough sleep it was really stressful to keep kids occupied with something that wasn't fighting, TV or video games.  I didn't always succeed.  We used to have to have a seating chart for the car just to keep kids from killing each other as they tried to get to the front seat first.  Yikes.  It was super worrisome then but now I find it oddly charming.  I miss those days when I regularly had a car packed with six kids.

As the boys got a little older, they started driving themselves and making their own schedules.  It wasn't long before Austin was in all the same activities as Dallin and Landon and suddenly I only had three kids in my car!  It's crazy how fast that happens.

I've really enjoyed having older kids as well as younger.  It's a different type of parenting with 16, 17 or 18+ year olds.  I enjoy more of a support, encouraging and re-directing role.  There are definitely the moments where choices have potentially long reaching consequences that are terrifying for a parent. But those moments have also bonded me to the Savior more than almost anything else in my life.

So back to the nuts and bolts of summer.
We have the same system that we figured out when the twins were about 12.  Everyone gets a zone.  It used to be just a room when I had five kids who needed assignments.  But now we have zones.  Front room, entry, dining room and hall.  Kitchen.  And back family room (that includes puppies).  Jackson has the bathrooms and he's actually really excited about it.  I think we'll just keep him with the same assignment all summer!

So how is the system working? So far Jenna earns an A+ for always doing a great job in her zone.  Benson is a C+ and Austin isn't even on the grading scale yet.  He gets his jobs done but requires constant reminding. That kid is ridiculously busy! He has his Jump Company play and football workouts and young men.  I'm really hoping we can find a way to have him participate more in Young Men next year.  It feels like he misses everything. We need to have a good, better, best discussion...

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Last week of School!

I love it when kids get out of school!  This year was no exception.  I am seriously the worst public school mom ever.  We limped across the finish line for Jackson in Kindergarten this year.  Jenna and Benson went to three classes each at the middle school this year and they barely managed to get through the last week also.  

First day of school--cinnamon swirl pancakes. 
 Last day of school?--the last hotdog bun left in the bread drawer.

This is Jackson and I three minutes before the starting bell.  Still in our pajamas... (we did make it to school eventually...)

Last day of school for the big kids?  I didn't even try to make them go--I just gave everyone their summer chore assignments.  :) 

Jackson 'graduated' from kindergarden.  This was the best smile he could muster.  I don't exactly know why but he wasn't super excited to sing the cute little songs!  He did sing and smile for most of them but one particularly ridiculous song was just too much for him (too-ta-taw-ta-too-ta-taw-ta-toot-a-taw-taw) and he stood completely still and refused to sing or do any of the moves. Kindergarden was fun but I just can't--for the life of me--get excited about homework or IRI reading goals or timed number tests.  I'm sure they can provide some helpful information to teachers but it's really not been helpful for Jackson.  But the friends and activities and recess were great!

This last one's a public service picture for everyone who says they wish they have my hair.  Because I really want you all to feel content with your own awesomeness.  
This is just minutes before I left to {finally} take Jack to school.  Thank heavens for hair bands.

Happy last week of school! 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Shakespeare and stuff

The kids performed a fantastic play--Taming of the Shrew--for their Shakespeare class this year.  During the first semester they studied Julius Caesar and watched/read 14 different Shakespeare plays! They also did presentations about Shakespeare's time with awesome things like blood sucking leaches and strange medical masks. The second semester the read Taming of the Shrew and then prepared for the play.  All the lines were perfectly delivered.  The younger kids did a fun 10-minute version of the play so the audience would know the plot.  It was fantastic.

The best part was the really great kids they got to hang out with.  Such fun kids!

Jenna had national clogging finals at Lagoon which was also super great. Jackson is big enough to ride all the big kid rides and he loves them all!  This is the first time at Lagoon that I haven't spent the day in kiddie land! No complaints from me...

The water going over the falls this spring has been absolutely stunning.  Normal summer water flow is 200 CFS and this spring it has been 20,000! The highest water ever!  Our crazy snowy winter has filled the reservoirs and made all the farmers happy. We went out to Cauldron Linn which was also amazing.  There is no way pictures or words can capture the power of that much water pouring through that small gap in the canyon.