One of the things we gave ourselves for Christmas is an adventure, with cousins, and we’re heading out for our first 5K Run.

Hopefully we survive the craziness and I’ll have pictures to post later.  And for the record, we will be walking more than running as a family.  Training didn’t happen the way we wanted, especially since Bud didn’t get to start his physical therapy for his ankle yet (first appointment next week).  But, we’re going.  We’ll complete the course, and someday, “when it’s in the budget,” we’ll work towards another.

Cookie Wall

Yikes!  It’s been months since I updated.  And now I’m here for a shameless plug public service announcement..

It’s Girl Scout cookie time again!


Here’s our cookie wall, of cookies all ready to deliver.  When are you going to order yours,?

$4 a box:

  • Savaannah Smiles – a bite-sized, powdered sugar coated, lemon-wedge cookies
  • Trefoils – traditional shortbread cookies
  • Do-Si-Dos – peanut butter sandwich cookies
  • Samoas – crisp cookies coated in caramel, sprinkled with coconut and drizzled with chocolate
  • Dulce de Leche – bite-sized cookies with caramel chips
  • Thank U Berry Munch – Crispy rice delivers a satisfying crunch, with white fudge chips and cranberries
  • Tagalongs – Chocolate coated peanut butter patties
  • Thin Mints – chocolate mint wafer cookies coated with chocolate

I’ve got a Girl Scout waiting to get you your cookies.

Thank you.

It’s Rachel’s day

Rachel, early days.

It’s been 12 years.  If Rachel had stuck around for mortality, she’d have hit a milestone, graduating from Primary and moving into the Young Women’s program at church, her first step at leaving behind her childhood. But, Rachel was fast-tracked for this life, and left it all behind after three short months.  I never know what to say about our experiences with and because of Rachel.  She is an eternal part of our family.  Ian and Ivy miss the sister they never met in mortality, and look forward to meeting her in body, not just spirit, someday.  We love celebrating her life, and are very proud to be her parents.

I wrote this when she was 8.

I wrote this when she was 9. (I just copied the year’s previous.)

I wrote this when she was 10.

I didn’t write when she turned 11.

We celebrate by putting up our Christmas tree and starting the decorations.  Bud is working on homework right now, trying to finish up his second class at Western Governor’s University, an on-line, accredited university. He’s working on an accounting degree so he can take the CPA exam when he finishes. Ivy is sewing plush things.  Ian is playing with some friends while we’re babysitting for a friend who’s working on her first semester at law school. I’m holding down the fort, looking at the hurricane of Christmas boxes, purple fleece shreds and all of the accoutrements that the 3 young heroes need.  It’s a good day, and I’m grateful for all that I have been blessed with, trials and all.  (Although I would whole-heartedly accept a brief trial-free respite … it never hurts to dream; and I know that it’s through the trials we gain the blessings of heaven.)

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from my web to yours.


Now We Are Six

Without further ado, let me present to you my six-year old (single lost tooth and all):

Helping make cupcakes, while showcasing his gap-tooth smile (one lost, the one next to it is loose).


Eating a pretzel, getting ready to blow out his candle.


We celebrated with an Angry Birds (or throwing things at things) party.  We used our Toydle fort kit, with paper plate pigs clipped to it.  We threw stuffed birds, balls, bean bags, socks and water balloons.

Fort with pig targets and the older brothers of one of Ian’s friends taking aim.


When they were done with the pigs, and there were a few water balloons let, I asked them what they wanted to do with the remaining balloons (thinking they’d want to throw them at each other).  The overwhelming response was to try to hit me.  I ran; I dodged; I got hit, but not wet, by a few balloons (they didn’t pop, just bounce off and leave a bruise), and soaked by a single balloon popping on the plastic balloon thrower thingy I was holding. Then we played everybody’s favorite game: pick up the balloon pieces.  Then snacks, cupcakes, and homemade ice creams (vanilla, chocolate, cinnamon honey swirl vanilla yogurt, and mixed berry sorbet) ended the day.

Today (Sunday) was the actual day, so a quiet celebration was held with waffles for breakfast, being sung to at church, waffles and macaroni and cheese for lunch, presents after lunch, and specially requested tuna casserole for dinner.  Now, they’re just waiting for me to finish this, and we’ll have some more ice cream.

Reading Ian’s new Magic Tree House book together.

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Getting Around

Jump in where you’re at.  I remember that’s something Flylady says.  (Haven’t followed her much lately, but 10 years ago I did. Some of her basic principles have stuck with me.)

School’s out.  We had a successful 10-week stint at the local charter school for Ivy in 4th grade.  Great teacher, new friends, involved school community.  Odds are pretty good we’ll be back at homeschooling in the fall, though.  But, it’ll be through a charter school which will offer classes once a week, so we’ll still have the chance for group work and interaction, but also more family time.  Not sure what we’ll be doing for Ian, but at least starting him with homeschool, and see if the waiting list pans out for him at the local charter school, just so he can have the experience (but that option may change as we get more settled in our plans; I’m still not sold on the 8-3 school schedule).

One of our biggest challenges as a family is the tendency to prefer sitting still to moving.  We’re homebodies, bottom line.  So, it takes a lot of work to get out of the house, because it’s so much easier to stay home.  But, that gets boring … or to keep it from getting boring, that means the TV, Wii, phones, and computers are being used. And they suck the life force out of us. I watch it happen.

So, I’m trying to change that by combining virtual challenges with real activity.  We live in a great neighborhood for walking and exploring.  One mile (out and back) gets out to the ferry building where we can watch the boats come and go.  Kids were fascinated today watching the enormous (like a moving city block) container ships loading up.  We have an old Navy base across the street to explore, since they haven’t done much development there since it closed over 10 years ago.  There are a couple of museums out there.  We’re next to a junior college, which is fascinating to explore about once a year.  We are less than 2 miles from beaches (which we forget to go to regularly).  Lots of great community parks are nearby too.  If I’d remember to get cash on hand, the twice weekly farmer’s market is within a long reasonable walk.  I’m surprised how wonderful it sounds when I write it out.  Sometimes I feel like I’m the edge of nothing living out here.  (Hey – we’re going to have a Target in our neighborhood in the fall of 2013.  I saw an official sign last week.)

But, to make it more measurable and fun, we’re going to start walking daily, if we can, and tracking it as a virtual journey.  I just have to decide where I want to go.  We can journey through Middle Earth with the Eowyn Challenge.  We may start reading the Hobbit together as a family this summer, so that would be fun.  We could walk along with Bilbo to Rivendell from Bags End.  We could just walk across the United States, since we’re already at one edge of the country.  Next spring, it looks like we could walk to the International Space Station (and here, too, on his blog).

I could pull something together myself, and just travel virtually to where our family lives, spread across the country as we are.  I have a feeling though, we’re going to be walking with the Hobbits first, then into outer space.

Hopefully now that my schedule is more my own, I’ll feel like I have more to blog about.  Spent a lot of time over the last two months trying to decide what I was supposed to be doing with my life at this time.  Over the last two days, with both kids home, I feel like I’ve been living my life. That’s always a good sign.

10 Weeks

So, we stood at the crossroads for a while, deliberating and waiting.  Today we received a phone call that there’s a spot for Ivy in the 4/5 class at the charter school.  We’re taking it.  We’ll have 10 weeks experience before school gets out, including standardized testing in May.  It looks like there will be a science fair between now and then as well.  It’ll be an interesting transition.  My daughter is the only person I know who will have to start setting her alarm earlier during Spring Break (the week before Easter), so we can get used to a new routine.  We’ll have to leave the house by 7:45 if we walk, by 7:50-ish if we drive.  Yikes.  We’ve been enjoying breakfast around 9:00.

I’m still waffling about my decision, loving the idea and much of the reality of homeschooling.  But, I also have to acknowledge my daughter’s own ideals and interests.  She really wants to try this, and I think now is a good time to let her.  If the school works out for us, it’s near by, and it goes through high school.  There’s a chance to create a good, small community.  And, it’s only 10 weeks.  Two and a half months–a great way to do a trial run and see if this is what we all really want.

I’ll get more one-on-one time with my kindergartener, which will be good, and hard.  My two kids have been great friends to each other, I’ll miss watching their daily interactions.  I’ll miss having my girl home.  (I won’t miss occasional sulks when she’s asked to do an assignment that’s not favorable to her.)  I’ll miss her playing on the piano as she passes by.  I’ll miss a lot of things.  It’ll be an adjustment for all of us.

In other news, we finally got a new bed, and upgraded to a king size.  I’m glad I didn’t have to get the mattress up our twisty stairs.  It’ll certainly make family scripture time much less crowded.  Our bed kept feeling smaller as the kids have been getting bigger.

And, do you realize my 4th grader will be 10 in three weeks???? I’m still trying to wrap my head around that.


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