Wednesday, September 03, 2014

School Days

Kindergarten is in full swing! It’s exciting and crazy and worrisome all combined. I know every other mom knows what I’m talking about. I do feel like preschool prepared me for this, since it really isn’t much different from last year. There were no tears from this mom. It’s only half day, and let’s face it, I knew I was going to love those quiet afternoons again, but it’s definitely bittersweet. They look and act so much older to me lately, and the little changes in our routine because of that at home get to me more than them just walking into a new school and sitting at a new desk. It’s always been hard to see them grow up so fast, and all at the same time. But I’m so happy to live in a place with great school and loving teachers, and so close by!

The first day was a little getting to know you meeting, just for the kids. So we took them in and found their desks. They were thrilled to find their names around the room.  They were a little confused that it wasn’t their school from last year, the only school they’ve ever known. But they have always been quick to adapt, and I knew the confusion would wear off fast. The next day was a regular day and we jumped into the routine like we hadn’t skipped a beat. 018012016

We were delighted to see some friends from church in our class! 022

I loved the line-up. So cute for some reason. 023

There have been ups and downs as they adjust to this schedule again. I have noticed that the expectations are different than preschool, and they really expect a lot from these kids (mostly the appropriate amount), and while that was also true for preschool, it’s different somehow. My kids are the youngest in their class, a whole year younger than some classmates. I know they’re fine and will adjust well, it can just be tricky in the beginning with emotions and things. Bennett in particular took the first few days pretty hard. Such a tender-hearted, easily overwhelmed boy. But he’s definitely shown improvement, and I’m not worried.  I’m proud of them all, and love what they’ve reported so far. I’m not the biggest fan of nightly homework, but KC does most of that with them and they actually really love it.

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I love that they love to learn, and I’m looking forward what this year brings. I can’t believe my tiny babies have grown so fast, but I couldn’t be happier with who they’ve become.

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Here’s to to 2014-2015 school year!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Firework Shirts

School has started and that means a lot of craziness and things to write about, but first I wanted to get one more summer post in. The Fourth of July!! It was really fun this year. I always love this holiday, and it gets better and better as the kids get old enough to enjoy all it has to offer. The night before we got to have some friends sleep over because their mom was having a baby! This was very exciting for the triplets. We decorated bikes for the church breakfast the next day, and they all  looked pretty awesome.074

This didn’t last long. We humored them for a few minutes until Ruby was put back in to her bed.078

Last year Melody suggested tie dye shirts for the Fourth of July, and looks like it will be a tradition over here. The kids aptly named them firework shirts, and we all love making them. The kids designed their own this year (with a little help), and they turned out great!175

We had to take two cars with all the bikes.081090Not sure By Bennett added the bag, but whatever.091094

The breakfast was fun and a festive way to start the beautiful day. The cute girls were picked up by their dad and got to meet their new baby brother! We went home for lunch and relaxing until we met some friends at Centennial park. It cooled down a lot and we played and splashed and talked for a good long time. 100101

We decided this was the year we were going to brave the crowds and take the kids to some real fireworks. We’d heard our town puts on an awesome show and headed over to Salisbury Park for the festivities. I knew there would be a lot of people, but I was not prepared for the massive crowds we arrived to. We braced ourselves, and stuck with the plan (usually I’m a path less traveled kind of person, but it was for the children) and the kids were actually jumping for joy as they got out of the car and saw the fun things there was to do. I love seeing them happy.104113115119

They were so patient as we waited in lines for the bounce houses and slides, and those sorts of things, and were just so delighted to be there. There was live music on a stage, and we even bumped into a few friends. Definitely a happening place.121123

What happens when someone asks how old they are.129

Soon it was time to settle on our blankets and wait for the show to begin. Some crankiness started to come out, including myself from the whining, but as soon as the fireworks started, all was forgotten, and we enjoyed them thoroughly. I haven’t seen a real show like that in a while, and it was fun. The kids were amazed! I loved hearing their exclamations after each burst. 135139150

It was a beautiful night, and we managed to get home in about 20 minutes (it was only a mile or two from home) instead of the hour we were expecting. Benefits of parking in the far lot!

Since we never got a chance that night to do the fireworks we bought, we put on a little show the next day. It would’ve been more fun in the dark, but we wanted a decent bedtime, and the kids didn’t know the difference.

We stated with snaps! What kid doesn’t love those?!180183

Then we moved onto cones and flowers and others. That smell is so familiar from my childhood. So glad to create these memories for them too!193198

Sparklers! They definitely had fun with those. 214217218

An excellent weekend with my family that I love. Already looking forward to making next year’s firework shirts!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dads and Doughnuts

When my boss (have I mentioned a had a little job for a while?)  told me she wanted me to teach a class called Dads and Doughnuts around Fathers Day, I knew I had to ask my  dad to join me as my assistant. He did, after all, make the best apple fritters around when he was younger man working at Winchell’s Doughnuts here in Colorado! He and my mom were more than willing to come, and I was so excited. They brought my nephew Jeff to join in the fun that weekend, and we all had a blast. We didn’t waste a minute. They arrived Thursday afternoon, and the kids immediately stole their attention. They were SO excited to have Nana and Papa and cousin Jeff here. 080082

Brothers BBQ, seriously good stuff. 083

Hail, just one of the many phases the weather went through that day. 084

The next morning we were off to the Aurora Reservoir. They brought the kayak with them, and I thought this was the perfect place to play with it. Well, the wind was ridiculous, and we didn’t ever get a chance to put it in the water that morning. We were pretty disappointed, but we put our chins up and had fun with the many other features that great place had to offer. It really is such a gorgeous, fun place, just a quick 15-20 minute drive from home. 056003008_thumb005013015Love those cute beach bums. 018022_thumb026032

They played on this awesome spinning web thing for so long. Jeff didn’t even want to get off. I might have taken a few spins myself. 038_thumb042_thumb

While the wind wasn’t great for boating, it was PERfect kite-flying weather. I grabbed them as an afterthought while walking out the door and was so glad I did. We got those things SO HIGH. I really love flying kites, and the kids are getting pretty good at it. A perfect way to end our fun morning at the “beach”. By then we cold really seem a storm coming in quickly. We get a lot of summer storms around here.046_thumb048_thumb049_thumb

After lunch, the storm, and a little rest, we noticed how the winds had really calmed down, and decided to put our day pass, and watercraft access pass to use and take advantage of the “glass” water. It turned out to be one of my favorite parts of their trip. There were hardly any people there, it was such a beautiful evening, and we took turns taking the kayak out in small groups. One time it was all the kids with Mom and Dad (Jeff stayed home for a little teenager time) and it was just me on the sand enjoying the absolutely perfect weather. I laid down, put my hat over over my eyes, and just enjoyed that wonderful quiet moment.154_thumb 156117_thumb176185

I also enjoyed when it was my turn to do some paddling. So glad we made the choice to go back.172169149

As if that wasn’t enough fun for one day, the adults hit the movies that night. Edge of Tomorrow didn’t disappoint, and it was fun having a little double date with Mom and Dad. The Mexican Food we snuck in was a highlight as well.

The next morning was the doughnut class. After a little morning prep, Dad and I headed over to Al Dente to set up. It was a full class, and so fun to see kids of all ages with their dads. We made glazed, Bavarian cream, and apple fritters, all my favorites, but really any doughnut would make me happy. I had done a couple practice rounds to make sure I liked my recipe choices, and I really loved the results. 072075077

Heaven, right there. 092105

I sent most of the test batches to work with KC. Phew. 110115

Dad and I had such a great time and everyone in the class looked like they were doing the same. I’m so happy and thankful my dad was willing to make the trip for this. It really made the class, and I think I got a lot of my passion for baking from him. A memorable day for me.205206_thumb207

(That was actually my last class at Al Dente. It’s a little shop about a mile from home. A friend told me they were looking for instructors, and I decided to give it a try. I truly enjoyed teaching there for a few months, but I decided I’d had my fill and asked them not to schedule me until further notice. I really hope to teach again in the future, hopefully out of my home, maybe kids classes? We’ll see. I really, really did love this experience, and it felt wonderful to brush off my chef skills for a few months.)

We had a lot of the day left since were were home around noon, so we packed up a couple cars, loaded the kayak, and headed for Evergreen, a  beautiful mountain town about an hour away. 218222223225226

Evergreen Lake is stunning.227230233235240245246248252259261263

We enjoyed an awesome local restaurant near Red Rocks on the way home and ice cream of course.

We had slower-paced Sunday, during which I gave a talk, and KC taught Gospel Doctrine. On the way up to Evergreen I bounced ideas for my talk  off mom. I always love her insight and felt much more prepared after talking to her.  We had a delicious roast dinner to finish out the day. At some point it looks like the kids attacked my dad.322

The next morning we couldn’t resist a little thrift hunting while Jeff babysat. They are fun to do it with. I’d say I was successful? There were some really good finds that day.325_thumb

Later that day, we made stop at Sonic before heading over to Centennial Park, always a hit with the kids, and everyone else, really. Perfect day for splash-padding!337341343350356_thumb

The kids were so beat from all the fun, this one fell asleep in the car and it was almost impossible to wake her. I call that a win.361

I was sad to have to say goodbye early the next morning, but loved that we were able to pack so much fun in for the long weekend. It was the perfect way to begin our summer, and I always enjoy a visit from my parents that I love. The kids were also sad to see their playmates go, but we know we’ll see them again soon. After all, Utah is just a quick 8-hour drive away.