Friday, August 17, 2018

Things I’ve learned since living in FL

  • You shouldn’t buy an ice cream cone in the middle of the day. No one can lick fast enough and it just makes a melty mess.
  • Alligators are shy and harder to find than you would think. Although I have seen one basking in the sun on the grass by a pond. 
  • If you play outside, even at night, you have to take a shower before bed.
  • Bugs are big.
  • Traffic is heavy.
  • English is not the most commonly heard language.
  • Disney signs and stuff in every store and on every road do in fact make one happy.
  • Long legged birds look like dinosaurs walking around.
  • Waffles taste better if they are shaped like Mickey.
  • Sitting on the beach and watching the waves is a great way to spend the day.

Thursday, August 16, 2018


In my prayers each day I try to express a lot of gratitude. Fortunately for me it has always been easy to find things to be grateful for. I have been very very blessed, counting those blessings brings me peace and joy. It makes me more content and it makes me a better person.
In the interest of full disclosure I do my share of asking and lamenting too but I strive to tip the scales way to the giving thanks side. 

Tonight was no different. As I knelt by my bed at the close of day I began to think of things I was grateful for. 
Tonight I was grateful for the lightening storm out the window in “Ethan’s room”. It’s been lighting up the night sky long after the Disney fireworks ended. 
We see the fireworks each night from our window. At least each night we bother to look for them. (You miss a lot of beauty if you don’t look for it).  So that’s something else to be grateful for. 
I enjoy our afternoon rain, and the thunder and lightening that often come with it.
I am grateful for cool morning walks with Ziva while Ethan is in seminary. It’s still dark out as we circle the church parking lot. I like to look up and see the stars and to watch them slowly fade as the sun comes up.
Today I was grateful to be driving my own car again, and for a car wash to clean off the grim that was caked on it. I’m not sure what route between CA to FL detours through a tar pit but they found it and the flex arrived filthy!
I am grateful my family is safe and cozy under one roof with dinner and soft beds, clean towels, laptops for homework, and air conditioning.
I am grateful that Grace is happy with her classes and getting to know people.
I am grateful that Ethan is kind and that he is patient. It is so hard to move in the middle of high school and he, like his sisters before him, is handling it like a champ. It is hard and stressful for me as I worry and pray the first few weeks and months that they will make good friends and good choices. That might be the actual worst part of moving.
I am grateful for my dumb little dog. 
For FaceTime.
I am so grateful that Arrow’s surgery went well. Even though I’m so far away I was able to talk with Anna and know how things were going. 
I am grateful that Tanner is home safe and sound after faithfully serving a 2 year mission. What a great example he has set for all the cousins that follow him. I am so proud of him! 
I am grateful for tech and how it makes our lives nicer. 
I am grateful for my good health and that of my family’s.
I am grateful for the Savior. Sometimes I can’t believe what He has done for us, for me. 
I am grateful to live near the temple. 
I am grateful for the chance I have to repent and do better in my life. For personal revelations. 
And I am grateful for so much more. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

you've had a birthday shout hurray!!

This little girl is all grown up now!
Today is her 19th Birthday!!! 
Of course the years went by too too fast!

We love our Hannakin so much!

Today she is celebrating in Ohio with Nana and Abba and her Sawyer.
I can't believe she's married.  Luckily she still likes bubbles:)

So, as per tradition,
19 things about Hannah

Hannah is an artist. 
She is good at photography, and is very creative.
Hannah is a reader.
Right now I think she's mostly reading stuff for school though.
She is a great student and very smart.
She is a wonderful friend.
She is an awesome cook and a delectable baker!
Hannah is a mermaid, she is such a good swimmer!
Hannah is funny.
She loves to play games and have fun!
She is kind.
She loves babies and little kids and is so sweet with them.
Hannah loves nature.
She is a great adventure buddy.
She love the Lord and loves to go to the temple.
She is faithful and loyal.
She has an infectious laugh.
She is brave.
She is a good wife, daughter, sister, granddaughter, cousin and aunt.
She's a good listener, confidant and friend.

I love this girl like crazy!!

Hannah Birthday Hannah!!!!

starts and ends

 Started the day with seminary.  This week the kids meet at the ward building at 5:50.  Yikes! I was tired this morning (day 2). We had really gotten used to our slide to the right summer schedule of waking but late and staying up late.  Ethan likes his teacher.  They are studying the Doctrine and Covenants this year.
We ended the day with an evening in the temple.  It is such a pretty temple inside and outside and we had a wonderful evening together.  It's SOOO nice to live close.

Monday, August 13, 2018


waiting after church
This morning was the first day of school.  We did a lot of back to school stuff this weekend.  Ethan wanted to get a haircut but he didn't come with us on the afternoon errands and they took longer than we expected so he didn't get one.  I think we did everything else.  We got school supplies, at least things they thought they'd need.  I suspect they will both come home with supplemental lists today.

Grace wanted a new outfit for the first day of school and we had to exchange her reeds since she got the wrong size last time.  Between still learning our way around, and some areas having a lot of traffic, and not everything being super close to each other (at least as far as we know) we were driving far and wide on Saturday.  

Sunday we went to church.  Rob and I both got new callings.  I am the activity day leader and Rob is a bear den leader.  We are both looking forward to starting and will be working with other leaders so we'll get to know people.  Our ward is very friendly and nice and we enjoyed visiting with more members.  Rob spoke and he did a good job.

Sunday night was the seminary kick off fireside.  We met Ethan's teacher, Bro. Cole.  He seems awesome and he also has a son named Ethan:)  Seminary is at the high school at 6:10.  This is really nice, the kids don't have to worry about getting to school after seminary.  At Ethan's high school there are about 50 kids enrolled in seminary.  I am excited that he will have such a large group of kids to meet with.

first day of school breakfast
This morning traffic was crazy going to the high school.  School starts at 7:15.  We left at 6:30 and he ended up hopping out of the car and running in before I even got to the parking lot.  Around 9 he texted that he just got his schedule and it looks pretty good.  He was hoping to take first aide and that was full but other than that I think he got what he wanted.

AP Calc B/C
US History, honors
AP Eng
AP Psych
Spanish 3, honors
Principles of biomedical
Physics 1, honors.

I am anxious to pick him up and hear how the day went.  Hopefully he'll have someone to sit with at lunch, and hopefully his teachers are awesome.  And hopefully he doesn't get too lost:)

8th grade! What?!?!
When I got home Grace was ready.  Her school doesn't start until 9:25 however so we went downstairs and had breakfast, then came up and sat around.  Finally at 8:10 she couldn't wait any more so we left.  We got to the school early but the parking lot was full and we had to park on the grass.  I went up with her and we waited around until they unlocked the gates and told the parents to go home.

She texted me her schedule too.
Geometry honors
physical science honors
concert band
adv US history
Lang Arts Adv
French 1

Looks like a good schedule.  I hope she likes her band teacher and makes many friends and learns lots and lots.  I can't believe next year she'll be in high school.  We've been doing the school thing for a long time (26th back to school morning for this mom) and it will be so strange to be done (in 5 years).

Ziva and I are alone for the day.  I had to save her this morning.  We were walking out to the grass for her morning walk and saw two small dogs and their owner walking towards us on their way back to the hotel. They were barking and lunging and looked sort of aggressive so I made an arch and walked out onto the grass to give them the sidewalk.  We crossed the parking lot and were just getting to the dog area when all of a sudden one of the dogs appeared out of nowhere and lunged at Z.  He tackled her and was bearing his teeth.  I scooped her up and held her above my head while the dog repeatedly jumped up on to me barking and trying to get Ziva.  The guy ran up, dragging the other barking dog, and said "he got out of his vest".  He tried to get him back but the dog was circling me, barking and jumping onto my chest or back depending on where he was.  Finally he tackled the dog and was holding him.  I said "got him?" and he said "yes, sorry".  So Z and I left.  
People like that give dog owners a bad name.  And I was glad I wasn't Val because she would have had a heart attack.  And I am glad Z wasn't hurt. Or me.  I would be much more mad if I was bitten.

update: both kids report that the day was good.  Ethan had to wait in the office for two hours before they had his schedule ready.  He has one class that he wants to switch out of but the rest he is happy with.    Ate lunch alone, wasn't upset about it.

Grace had her schedule right away but they haven't hired a science teacher yet.  Other than that she said she liked her classes and made lots of friends. 

The lines for dropping off and picking up were CRAZY!!! Like it literally took 6 hours of my day to drive them, wait in lines, and get them home.  Hopefully it's just the first day crazy.  Also they will be riding the bus when we are in our house so then it won't matter...for  me.  For them yes.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Off Friday

The best! Every other Friday off is an awesome perk of Rob’s job. The beach was quite empty today and we had a really fun time bobbing around in the water, watching seagulls fight over goldfish crackers and pelicans dive for fish.
We played ball awhile and headed home when the afternoon storms came rolling in.  Then I did laundry and everyone showered. 

“On the way” home Rob wanted to stop at the hobie shop so we could see the kayak he wants to buy. 

It’ll be fun:)

Thursday, August 9, 2018

one week

dragon's breathe
We've been in Florida for one week.  It's been hot.  Like two shower a day hot, only go out at night and in the morning hot, steam up your glasses hot.  I heard this is the worst time of year.  Still we love it.

Today we went to both schools for the open campus tours.  We searched out a music store for reeds and went to the mall to a) have lunch, b) stay cool, c) leave the "house".

So the mall is super really nice.  It has all kinds of stuff that we didn't have at any other mall I've lived by.  Living where other people come to vacation is kind of weird and kind of cool. There are many amusements available and many family friendly, wholesome recreational, activities too. We tried out dragon's breath.  Luckily we had decided to share one before we got any because no one loved it. It was basically fruity cereal that has liquid nitrogen poured on it.  It's steamy and fun to watch the smoke come out of each others nostrils and mouth.  It tastes okay and kind of hurts your tongue.

Our evening ended with another sweaty round of soccer.  We go out at 9:30-10:00 and it's still a swampy 90ish degrees out.  Ethan kicked the ball over the fence into the the the dark.  We searched quite tentatively hoping not to step on a sleeping alligator and eventually found it! Whew! He only has one soccer ball here so that would have been a painful loss.