Friday, May 30, 2014

Over night at the aquarium

With their cookie money the girls saved up for an over night behind the scenes trip to the aquarium.
It's been really cool! Our guide was amazing and so passionate about the animals.
Samantha, Kylie, Delaney, Laci, Julia, Emma
Katie, Grace, Madison, Reagan
The girls have been totally into it. We walked through the rainforest in the dark, it had elements of creepy...but in a good way.

We got to enjoy a stroll across the catwalk over the shark tank and to see the place where they do autopsies and take care of the sick animals and quarenteen the new arrivals.
We enjoyed a 4-d movie and ate a really good dinner.
Now we're ready to settle down for the night...I wonder how long it'll take th to go to sleep?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

rainy day

 It's raining today.  This made for some wet walks with the dogs.  It also made for wet children at school.

Grace had her end of the year recorder concert.  She did a great job.  Only 3 kids in the whole 3rd grade memorized all the songs and got their "black belt".  Grace was one of those three and she actually was the first to earn it.  The other two were Lindsey and Amy.
 Val and Alec shared some pictures from the cruise.  It was fun to see them again and remember how fun it was.

Have I mentioned how fun it was :)
 We swam with the dolphins, which was amazing.  Expect to see more dolphins photos later.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sister Missionaries

We have sisters serving in the ward now! It's so exciting.  Sister Fafiti is from Tonga and Sister Sotilli is from Italy.  We had them over for dinner tonight and had so much fun talking with them.  

The kids came home from school and went swimming.  Hannah invited Shannon over to swim and Ethan and John went to the pool and Grace went with Samantha and her mom.  Shannon stayed for dinner.

While they were all swimming I made pesto pasta carbonara, which was delish.  We had salad and bread with it and drank 2 gallons of pink lemonade at dinner, everyone must have been thirsty!

For dessert I tried a new recipe and it was tasty and summery.  Fun evening!

Hawaiian Pineapple Pudding Cake Recipe
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time:  
Cook time:  
Total time:  
Serves: 30
This is a moist and delicious cake that our family loves. One cake mix actually makes two 9 x 13 cakes or one big cake in a jelly roll pan. Perfect for your big family parties!
  • 1 yellow cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
  • 3 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 3½ cups cold milk
  • 1½ teaspoons coconut extract
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 20 ounces crushed pineapple, drained and reserve juice for cake
  • 1 pint (2 cups) heavy whipping cream
  • ⅔ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flaked coconut, toasted
  1. Make cake batter according to package directions using pineapple juice reserved from crushed pineapple in place of water.
  2. Pour into two greased 9 x 13 pans or one greased 18 x 12 jelly roll pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  4. Let cool completely.
  5. In a large mixing bowl combine the pudding mixes, milk, and coconut extract; beat for 2 minutes.
  6. Add softened cream cheese and beat well to smooth out all bumps, and then gently stir in pineapple with a spoon.
  7. Spread pudding mixture over cooled cake.
  8. Mix together whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until thick.
  9. Spread this over the pudding layer.
  10. To toast the coconut, spread it on a cookie sheet and bake at 325 for 5 to 10 minutes until barely browned.
  11. Sprinkle cooled coconut over the top of the cake.
  12. Chill cake for about 2 hours or until ready to serve.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


We had such a lovely day.  R took a vacation day and we went to the temple.  Rachel, who is going on a mission in a few weeks, went for the first time and it was wonderful to be there with her. We went a bit early as Rob was invited to meet with the Temple President.  He has the opportunity to serve in the temple and we are very grateful.  It was a very sweet day as we participated in many ordinances and enjoyed worshipping with friends.  In my bridging theme today I could not help but think of the wonderful, miraculous bridge the temple ordinances make between our lives here on earth and our eternal life in the world to come.  It bridges the gap that death makes between us and our loved ones, and it bridges the much larger gap between us and our Heavenly Father.  There is such peace and joy there.

From time to time I cringe at my foibles, the things that carelessly come out of my mouth, the tasks I forget to do, the people I don't help lift, the times I am selfish or proud.  Sometimes I more than cringe, I wish to bury my head in my bed and never see people again...or to move....or...
but in the temple all that disappears as I feel the Saviors love.  It is tangible and lifts me up. Yesterday Rob and I were watching a BYU Devotional given by Brad Wilcox, he spoke of his understanding of the judgement and how it evolved over the years of his life.  He said once he felt like he would approach the judgement seat and there would be the Savior, with a clip board in hand and there would be Brad with a worried look on his face.  Jesus would sadly shake his head and say "Oh Brad, you missed it by 2 points" and then Brad would beg and plead, please look again, reread the essay question, find 2 more points somehow.  Of course that was a light hearted explanation of how it might be.  But as he's studied the Savior's character and has grown to know Him better he now thinks that instead it will be He, our Lord and King, that will be begging us "please come in to my kingdom, please accept the gift of the atonement."  His great love is extended to each of us and nowhere do you feel that more than with in the sacred walls of the temple.

After we were done I was sitting and waiting for Rob (I always change faster) and I picked up the Bible sitting near me and opened to a beautiful psalms that was a balm to my heart.  I am going to memorize it and let it remind me, like a good friend.

Psalms 131
Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.
 Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.
 Let Israel hope in the Lord from henceforth and for ever.
When we got home we got ready for Grace's bridging ceremony.  It is the end of the girl scout year and she is moving from Brownies to Juniors.  It was a fun night.  I really love the girl scouting program and the strength it gives to girls and the qualities it helps them find in themselves as they camp, and play, serve, and work together.
I am looking forward to leading her Junior group, along with Teresa (Samantha's mom) next fall.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial day

Last night we had a young couple from R's work over for dinner.  He's an intern for the summer and is finishing his senior year this fall.  We liked them a lot, very cute.  I hope he gets a job with Lockheed.  It was fun having them, they reminded me of Jenna and Clayton.  They also got married last summer, they were also lively and in love.  

After Becky and I went to do a ward orientation.  That's always a fun part of our calling.  Becky is wise and gives good advice and council.  I appreciate her and Tara a lot. 

Today we went to the Smith's for a big BBQ.  It was a perfect day, lots of fun friends, some of which we haven't seen since the ward split 3 weeks ago! Lots of tasty summer food.  The kids played and jumped and everyone enjoyed themselves.

Earlier in the day R took Grace and Maggie fishing.  

After R went fishing alone and the rest of us spent a noisy afternoon at the pool.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend

kayak fun
Memorial day is the traditional start of summer.  We kicked it off with some awesome weather!  First thing R did was take the girls kayaking.  They had a very nice time out on the water.  Bub and I didn't want to go but we had fun at home and he had Eric come over to hang out.
Today was pool opening day.  I sat poolside with my book while the boys and Grace swam in the afternoon.  R and H went to the movies, they saw Xmen and loved it.  

Around dinner time Laura sent out a text to see what our plans were and we went over, and also the Martines' and had dinner together.  
We were there not 10 minutes when Joseph stepped on something sharp and punctured his foot.  He and David went to the ER and the rest of us continued on.  Poor Bishop he was the only dad there.

We had a really fun time though.  The kids had a blast and the dinner was yummy.  R and H came around 9 and that's about when Joseph got back from the hospital. Around 10 we got home and there was not a word of complaint from any of the kidlets as we tucked them into their beds.  It was a busy fun summery day!

Friday, May 23, 2014


We had a family date night.  Everyone needed stuff at the mall.  Ethan needed new church shoes because his foot grew.  Hannah needed make up brushes because Grace and her friend Mags ruined hers.  Grace had some Justice bucks to spend and we all needed dinner.

We had a fun time.  We looked at stuff.  Had food court dinner.  Father got some fishing stuff.  Ethan got some shoes.

When we got there I checked my email and we had a notice that Grace got accepted to STEM!!!  We are so very excited and thrilled!!
We can not say enough great things about how happy we have been with the program for Ethan and are so glad Grace gets to go too.  It will be a good fit for her.

Cinderfella gets some help with his shoes from "Princess Harming". Poor boy, it's miserable having 5 adoring sisters:)

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Grace and dad went fishing tonight with Pete. They brought home dinner.

It's light until almost 9 now which is great.

I am tired today , for no special reason but I fell asleep on the couch this afternoon which is unusual.   It is allergy season so maybe that's it. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Hannah bakes

Hannah taught herself how to make bread this week.  This is loaf number 10 or 11.  It's been delcious!

End of year concert

Julia, Lindsey, Grace, Maggie and Arden.
Our cello adventure is over tonight.  It's been fun and while Grace has enjoyed it she only plays at school and has not practiced at home.  Frankly she's about as good as the other kids but I don't want to pay a monthly rental on an instrument that isn't really getting used.  Next year she is eligible to chose a band instrument and I am hoping she will do that and continue to enjoy playing in a group. I am thinking the clarinet would be nice because she LOVES the recorder and can play a lot of songs on that.  I think the clarinet would lend itself nicely to those same skills.  She is saying she wants to play the piccolo.  We hope to sway her.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


We recently bought a pushing mower because we want Ethan to take over the lawn job.  Yesterday after school he came home and got out the mower and went at it.  I was pleasantly surprised that he remembered that Dad had asked him the  night before and that he went to do it.  Go Bub!
Ziva and Lu enjoy a cuddle. 
Last night we had the missionaries over for dinner.  Last week I was chatting with my good friend Amy and she was saying that when she was a young girl she had a mormon friend.  That friend would often have the Elders over for dinner and then she'd tell Amy about it (like girls do).  This sounded so exotic to Amy.  Which it would.  We have really enjoyed sharing a meal with the missionaries over the years and we have heard about their lives from far flung lands like Utah and Idaho.  Usually.  Sometimes though they are from somewhere really interesting and different than where we live.  Last night we had Elder Fisher, from Bountiful Utah, who I really like, he is a darling missionary and Elder Raavaastd, from somewhere in British Columbia 17 hours north of Vancouver.  He regaled us with tales of shooting bears, breaking horses on his family farm, working in a mine and breaking bones on his snowmobile, flying to youth conference and living in a place where winter lasts 8 months of the year and in the summer the sun stays out 20+ hours a day.  We were spellbound.  I love it when our family sits around the dinner table sharing time and stories together.  I especially love it when the conversation is lively and our world gets a little bit bigger.

After we had a nice lesson then when they left we played Uno.  It was a great night.
Hannah and Ziva hanging out Sunday night during scripture study, Han is reading on her phone.
This morning when my alarm went off, 5:30am, the sun was already coming up.  Summer is coming!!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

many fish

Rob went to the funeral today.  He and some of his coworkers drove to Va Beach together. He said there were a lot of people there. They were gone most of the day.  They did get home a couple hours earlier then I thought they would and we had time to go to a little nearby pond where these two fishermen caught many many fish.  Maybe 30 between them.
 Ethan has to build a rocket for science.  Today he and John worked on it.
Grace had Maggie over to play.  They went to the park, and played with the gerbils.
Hannah went to a camp clinic at the Calllihans.
Fun story:  Every wednesday as we drive to church for activities Grace asks me why activity days for girls is twice a month and cub scouts is every week.  Every week, whether she has an activity or not she asks.   She complains that it's not fair and says are girls less important than boys?  It's very pleasant of course. Finally a couple of weeks ago I told her to stop asking me because I didn't know but if she really wanted to she could write a letter to Sister Wixom (the general primary president) and ask her.  To my surprise she did. We put it in the mail and I haven't heard her ask since so I didn't give it another thought.   Then today Grace got a letter from Salt Lake.  She answered her.  It was very sweet.  The letter thanked her for asking and commended her for liking to go to activity days.  She said that the prophet had prayerfully made that decision and that he loved her and wanted what was best for her.  She encouraged her to pray for herself and to keep going and enjoying activity days. She told her how important families were.  As Grace read the letter a very sweet spirit filled our home.  We both felt it and Grace was comforted and touched by her words.  I am very grateful that the questions of a 9 year old girl are important to the Lord and that He sends His servants to speak for Him and to help His children.


I enjoy thinking back to our cruise, pretty much daily.  We had such a fun time.

This week I exercised 4 times. This is amazing.  Yesterday morning was surprising to me.  Rob and I stayed up way too late on Thursday night, like until 1am.  Then morning came, as it always does,  very early.  Plus it was raining, a lot.  Raining, tired, both valid reasons not to exercise...yet I wanted to go.  And I did.  Have I turned over a new leaf? improved my character? become someone new??  We will see.

Last night R took the boy and the little blond one to an Eagle Court of Honor.  I wanted to go too.  5 boys in our ward earned their rank and I was excited for them.  R said it was nice.  Lu said it was boring and she didn't get the taco bite refreshment that she wanted because they were gone when she got there. 

I went to the high school to watch Han in her one act.  It was a very interesting evening.  I was looking forward to seeing her and she was very excited to be picked so that was fun.  There were 6 one act plays presented.  I think I was the wrong audience for the evening.  Hannah did great and she was so cute.  That part I loved.  She had a stage "kiss" on the cheek and played a darling love interest.  The play was snarky, insulting, Dr Who-ish and disjointed.  In trying to be out of the box it came off, at least to me, very strange.
The next play portrayed a moral dilemma minus the moral compass to solve it.  The characters on the side of right were spineless and confused. There was no resolution and it made me sad for our youth as they try to navigate a world of confusion without the guide of strong social mores or belief in absolute right and wrong.
The next 3 were about mental illness.  I enjoyed two of them in a bizarre and disturbing way.  One was about schizophrenia and I thought it did a good job.  The lighting and costumes and contrast between the "sane" and "insane" were powerful.  The one on depression was my favorite but mostly because the boy in her her brain (she was writing and exploring her main character) was done so well.  Without saying anything he was funny and poignant and understanding.
The 3rd one was hardly worth mentioning as it was such a stereotype and silly.
By the 6th play (3 hours in to the evenings entertainment) I just wanted it to be done.  This last one was called 13 ways to blow your college interview.  I found it to be so out of the realm of things that might actually happen that it was ridiculous.  It was like when Gracie comes up with a scenario that will never and could never happen and wants to explore it fully and argue with whatever thing I say.  

Then we were done.  And we came home and went to bed.  

Thursday, May 15, 2014

18 more days...

Grace could not take the bad news this morning that we still had more days of school left.
One might wonder what I do all day with my kids in school.  I wonder myself sometimes.  It's a weird and wonderful time of life.  Today was a typical day.  We got up at 5:30 and by the time everyone was out of the door it was 8am.  During which time I hurried children along, drove Hannah to seminary because she wasn't ready when the carpool came, made some lunches, made some pancakes and unloaded the dishwasher.

When they were all out the door I sat down to watch Modern Family, (funny and inappropriate and if I was a better person I wouldn't watch it, for the record).  Then the dogs and I went to meet Jodie and Rachel and Jack for a walk.  We walked down the hill to check out the new houses and catch up with each other. 

When I got home I threw in a load of laundry and cleaned the kitchen and sent some emails regarding camp, and our upcoming assignment to feed dinner to the men of the stake between meetings.  Then I  got on my swim suit and headed to the college pool (third time this week!) for some aquatic exercise. I really like it except today I was distracted because 2 minutes in I had to pee.  But I didn't want to crawl out and drip into the bathroom so I just waited.  It was my least favorite day this week so tomorrow I'm stopping in the stall even if I don't have to go. 

Then I came home and took the dogs out, took a shower, and ate lunch.  After that I headed to the basement to try to fix my sewing machine, that the girls broke a couple of weeks ago.  I have tried a few times with no luck and had decided to take it apart.  This is very scary because I am not mechanically inclined but there was a sewing miracle. It came apart, and got put back together, and then it worked.  I don't know why but I was glad.  I sewed Ethan's patches on his scout shirt and went to work on a quilt I am making for Grace's brownie leader.  It's almost done and looks pretty cute, in a homemade by a kindergartener kind of way.  I'll probably have Grace help a little so I can say we made it together and it won't seem so lame. 

Ethan came home, he got a snack.  Grace came home, she went to the park.  

I made dinner so the boy could eat before soccer.  It was very disgusting.  I made corn, watermelon, smoothies  and hamburgers.  Ethan didn't want to eat it because I made bubba burgers instead of homemade.  Then Ethan looked for his soccer stuff, couldn't find it.  Grace came home and she ate.

We went to pick up Hannah from play practice.  She wasn't ready so we went back home.  Ethan and I made a batch of cookies, worked on some ideas for his homework and walked the dogs.  Then I went back to get Hannah.  This time she was ready.  On the way home she told me she needs 2 dozen cupcakes for tomorrow and would I please bring dinner to the school tomorrow at 4 because she will be gone from 6am to 9pm.  I said yes to the dinner and told her there was  cake mix in the pantry.

We got home and she said she was starving.  She's been a vegetarian for a little over a week. This is hugely inconvenient for me.  So burgers were out.  I offered to make her beans and rice (with a side of watermelon and corn) .  Nope.  Pasta salad.  Gross.  Tuna salad or sandwich, no way. Potato soup. Uh uh.   Fish and sweet potato fries.  Strike 3.  So I left her to find her own food, which she grumbled about.   And she was mad because somewhere during the time we drove home from school she decided she wanted to bring chocolate chip cookies and not cupcakes and we are out of chocolate chips. 

Now Grace is in the bath and when she gets out I will braid her hair, then we'll call the others for scriptures and prayers and she will go to bed.
Ethan is watching Star Wars Clone Wars and Hannah is reading "To Kill a Mockingbird" and eating scrambled eggs (and the cookies we made earlier). 

Riding bikes after school is always fun!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

1st Class

Tonight at the court of honor Ethan advanced to the rank of First Class. He's making good progress.  He has 5 merit badges done and will earn a few more this summer. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

birthday curse

Yesterday was the big guys birthday. We sure love him.  He spent his big day at work, although he did take a little lunchtime fishing break. During which he actually caught some fish.  So pretty good day, I hope.
We had a party a couple of days ago so yesterday pretty much just involved saying Happy Birthday.  He did want to go out to dinner together, which we are always up for :)
Monday afternoons are busy for us.  It's Grace's barn day, and Ethan's soccer practice night and also Hannah had play practice thrown in so she needed to be picked up at 6.  After all that we headed out.
There is a new Jamaican restaurant in town and he picked it to go to.  I have to say it was a bust.  We got there and the menu looked inviting, it was kind of a tiny little place, which looked promising, but the food was almost inedible. I got the goat curry and liked it fine, the cabbage was also good.  My "mild" curry was pretty hot.  Grace got the jerk pork and it was like eating fire.  E & H both got the curry shrimp, also pretty much too hot to eat.  Rob had the jerk chicken, he ate it but said it wasn't that great. The kids gave it a go but had to eat bites of plantatin or take swallows of soda between bites and ended up panting with their mouths open, crying and laying on the tables.
We drove through Chick Fila after for some mouth cooling ice cream.

That is not the curse though.

For some reason awful things seem to happen on or very near Rob's birthday.  Almost every year.  Top 3 worst: Meridith died on his birthday.  Misha (his beloved husky) had to be put down on his birthday and now this weekend 4 people from work were in an accident and one died.  They had rented a plane and were flying to Atlantic City for the weekend, the weather was bad and they couldn't land so they diverted to another airport and lost the engine.  They tried to get it back but couldn't and crashed.  Morgan Smith, a beautiful young engineer, died in the crash.  The other 3 were taken to the hospital and will live.  The pilot is the father of one of the boys on Ethan's soccer team, he is a test pilot by profession.  The other 3 are in the same group as Rob, although they are on Darrell's team not Rob's, and he knew them well. This had been a big shock of course.  We found out moments before his birthday party.  We're worried now what will happen when he has a "big birthday".

Sunday, May 11, 2014

mother's day

from Grace and Rob
It seems appropriate to me that Mother's day is often celebrated with flowers.  I have been thinking about Eve a lot lately and the brave choice she made that allowed her to become the first mother, and all her daughters the privileged of following in her footsteps.  In my minds eye I can see her sitting in the beautiful garden surrounded by gorgeous flowers and all the cute animals and her beloved Adam and they knew they had a mission.  I don't know what the circumstances were or how the decision eventually was made but I am glad.  I am glad they gave up all the beautiful things to toil and hurt and work together.  I am glad she became a mother.

I am glad that I have had that chance as well.  My children are my greatest joy and blessing!  They are wonderful and smart, unique and funny, each is special to me (like a starfish).

The talks today at church were all really good.  I loved Bro. Darrows talk.  He was very sweet when he was talking about his mother and his wife.  I also loved the Bishops talk he spoke about how the Savior viewed and treated women. It was so very tender.

Lately I have been feeling so grateful for my role as a stay at home mom.  Each day as I walk the pups or am home doing the laundry or making the beds I think about how happy I am to be able to do just that.  I am grateful to Rob for making it possible.  His good job, and never wavering support and the fact that he values me being home and nurturing the family is such a tremendous blessing to me.  I hope I am, likewise a blessing to him and to the little babes that the Lord has blessed us with.
from Dani, Tate, PJ and Greg
I am grateful for my mom.  She is a born mom.  She always wanted a houseful of kids and that's what she got.  She's our biggest champion and loves to be involved with her kids and grandkids and great-grandkids. I am so happy for her good example and her loving influence in my life.

I am grateful for my MIL.  She is not only a wonderful mother to her son, fantastic grandmother to the kids but she is also a dear friend to me. 

I am also grateful for the examples of other women, those in the scriptures, those I have been blessed to know and associate with. My friends and mentors and ladies I love.  The gentle influence of a good woman is a sweet blessing and a powerful tool for good.  

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Birthday Party

We had a birthday party tonight.  44 is a big milestone birthday ;) Not really but we wanted to celebrate anyway.  It's always fun to have friends over. Frankie and Addie helped to put all the candles on the cake, then they helped to blow them out!

Everyone ate yummy yummy food and we had a good time visiting.

The kids played with the dogs and balloons.  They roller bladed around the neighborhood, played at the park and messed up the basement and Grace's room.  Cake was eaten, songs were sung, nobody bled or cried.  I'd say that was a successful party!!!

Friday, May 9, 2014

frozen treats

Rita's Frozen Custard
It was a most lovely day today.  We got up at 5:30, as usual, although Hannah refused.  She said she was "sick".  I think it's just May and she's tired from her grueling high school studies.  It really is a lot.  I eventually was persuaded to let her sleep through seminary.

The elementary school had their annual Muffins with Mom's for Mothers Day.  Grace and I enjoyed some juice and muffins.  When I came home I drove Han to school then started my day.  Paid some bills, ordered some mother's day flowers, did some vacuuming.

After noon R got off of work and we went to Sears and bought a new pushing mower. Now Ethan gets to be in charge of the lawn.  We had just enough time to have a late lunch together and then the kidlets started to come home.

Ethan and R gathered their things and went off to the Aaronic Priesthood Commemorative Camp Out.  I got a report from them around 10pm.  Apple cobbler was cooking, boys were running around in the dark, and it was raining.

The girls and I drove to Prince Fredrick for a new gerbil.  All the ones in our county are boys.  We called every pet store.  Same with Waldorf.  Prince Fredrick  had females so off we went.  We also got some dog treats and a new water plant for Fluffy.

On the way home we stopped for custards.
Maevis, Grace's newest gerbil
Tonight I went to the YCL sleep over. Always a super fun part of getting ready for camp.  This year is going to be great! Can't wait!

Thursday, May 8, 2014


  May 2014
   May 2006
 exactly 8 years ago today my little Lu was enjoying reading lots of books every day!

exactly 8 years ago yesterday Hannah was practicing for her dance recital and Ethan was filling his father's shoes

Today is my friend Laura's birthday.  She wanted to take a temple trip and invited all who wanted to join her to come.  Amy and I went and the three of us had a really fun time.  The grounds are so beautiful, always really, but especially in the spring when the winter is finally over and the flowers are blooming so vibrantly.

When we got home there was lots to do.  Grace and Dad have been fishing for the big one.  They took off tonight at 5 and tried their hardest.  As of yet the catch has remained elusive. Ethan had soccer practice.  He also has his big language arts project due tomorrow.  This has been a bear.  They've had a long time but he didn't really share with us the extent of the project until last weekend.  (they've had a month) and the work he's already done was minimal.  We've been working on it every day after school for several hours.  At the end of the day he has 41 typed pages and a video presentation.  Some parts are pretty good, some mediocre. I helped drive him to do his work, did some typing for him and a lot of encouraging and critiquing.  He's never had this scope of a project in English and doesn't love to write.  I honestly don't know how it will go.  I think he'll get a "C". I hope he's learned to pace himself better and next time will set a schedule up.  If a teacher gives you 4 weeks to do the work it's a good bet that she doesn't want two paragraphs and a pencil drawing turned in at the end.  It's part of learning.  A frustrating part but an important one.  Hannah hasn't been feeling well the last couple of days and the house is in need of some attention tomorrow. 

Update: after reading Dani's comment I realized I should clarify: it's a portfolio so it's not all original work for example he had to find 4 poems then write commentaries on them. Find an article on his topic and write a commentary, put in photos, etc . It was a huge project nonetheless. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Websters Field

Today I got to go on a field trip with Bub.  They go on some awesome field trips in STEM.  It's an early morning.  Those kids catch the bus at 6:30am to drive 30 minutes to school. They were happy to ride in the car today.  We got there, got our groups and went to the base.  It was pretty interesting.  I often marvel to myself at the kinds of jobs people we know have.

The kids were so good.  They have black polos with the STEM logo for all their field trips so they were all dressed the same and they all carry the same burgundy science notebook.  Those kids were so attentive and respectful.  They took notes everywhere we went, asked great questions, answered questions with amazing insight...and played pen pong as we walked from building to building.  (A fabulous game where you use your science notebook (hardbound) as a paddle and a pen as a ball and wiffle it back and forth.

I am the safest person ever to have in a secure location.  We had to lock our cell phones up in each building and stay with the group but honestly I am no danger.  This is all I really heard "wah wah wah wah wah contamination suit, blah blah blah Interrogation Friend or Foe, yadda yadda random equation random equation blah blah blah". Not because I don't care or didn't find it interesting. I totally do and did but it doesn't really register.  At one point we were looking at some kind of radar and something something fill in the blank when the guy said who knows what's the speed of sound in meters per second? And someone (or two) enthusiastically waved their hands and one yelled out an answer and the others said "he said per meter not per mile!!" like duh?

That was a faux pas if I ever heard one!

I'm really glad he has a good program to participate in.

No pictures because no cameras were allowed but the base is right on the river, so pretty.

unrelated but very funny picture that needed sharing.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

barn girl

Finally after weeks of rain or other conflicts we made it back to the barn. The horses all got shots so it was trail riding for Grace.
When we got there we heard the sad news that Savannah, Grace's instructor, was riding her horse Copper at a show on Sunday where he refused a jump and threw her.  Unfortunately she broke her ankle in the fall. Poor Savannah.

At the tractor supply store we bought a bag of apple flavor horse treats.  Grace always brings a handful along to give as treats.  After her ride with Moses she gave him a few.
Then we stopped by the minis and gave them some.  So cute and tiny!
It started to rain while we were there and rained all night long. Luckily we got our ride in first!

Sunday was interesting.  We got all new auxiliary presidents.  Jodie is now the RS Pres.  I am supportive of that..but sad that we aren't working together anymore :( Leisa Wiest is the YW president. I am very excited, she will be great.  Michelle is the new activity day leader, which Grace is happy about. There were some good changes so it was an exciting week.  It felt awfully small and strange with so many friends missing. That is the way of things though, nothing stays the same.  Rob also got a new calling, one he is happy about I think.  He was called to be the executive secretary.  He'll do a great job.