Friday, September 21, 2018

When you mix up your kiddos names

"Mom, I think we should change my name to Isaac-I-mean-Porter because you say that a lot!"

(We've been through this before!)

Thursday, September 20, 2018

teaching time

Something reminded me today of my first real student teaching experience in college. Jordan and I were dating, and I was teaching a small group of first-graders in a summer school program. We had spent the previous semester learning all about the reading and math programs we'd be using - we had practiced the assessments, reviewed all the pre-made lesson plans, and  passed off practice lessons with this great curriculum for new readers. And then I started, and this great curriculum I'd mastered was totally beyond my little group. So, it was up to me to come up with something new. My days went something like this:

5:00 up, praying for energy to make it through the day!
6:00 leave with my carpool to go teach in Spanish Fork
1:00 lunch + work (in the Engineering Advisement Center)
5:00 classes, running, dinner
9:00 homework + lesson planning/prepping with Jordan's help
12:00 + falling asleep still running through my lessons for the next day

Every day, I'd be starting from scratch to come up with fun creative ways to teach these kiddos (that would also be acceptable for my supervising teacher!  And of course this was before the days of pinterest or TPT, so whatever I could think of of is what I could teach! :) Jordan would stay at my apartment with me helping me cut/color/create whatever I needed until curfew around 11 or 12. Then I'd finish things up for the next hour or two and jump back in the next day. These were intense days! And also, so sweet to remember. We still have a big giant cardboard die that Jordan made for me to use in a math lesson one day (taped up and re-taped many times over the years) that I don't know if I'll ever be able to part with because it holds such sweet memories of Jordan helping me through!

(I thought I knew what tired meant after seasons like this of such little sleep... I don't know what I'd have done if I knew these were the kinds of nights (4 or 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep!) I'd be praying for in years to come...!)

Something that I've realized over the years though is that coming up with these little fun and silly activities - especially at the just getting ready to read stage - is still so fun for me! This morning, Porter and I played with little magnet letters practicing making words while Isaac watched close by, and then I traced their hands and the boys kept running out to Jordan's office to give him their handprints (With Isaac's first crumpled into balls and put into ziploc bags -- "Wrap it up!") These little teaching times are some of my favorite mothering moments, so I'm grateful I got that little crash course so long ago!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

A good day

Some happy things from yesterday -

I took the boys to the park in our little in-between time before kindergarten. We were only there about 10 minutes, but it was a fun little happy time.

I'm reading a book for book group that is just so interesting and had me reaching for it all through the day whenever I had even a minute.

I got to go help out in Porter's class for the first time, and it was so fun meeting more of his classmates. I know I felt like Landon (and his friends) were so grown up when he was in kindergarten, but man these kindergarteners are little! (And sweet! "You're Porter's mom? He's lucky! He must be so happy you get to be here!")

We did quick piano lessons for Ellie and Owen after school, and it is always fun when they have practiced to see them ready to keep moving along. (For Owen this week - learning about 3rd intervals. For Ellie - getting started trying out the damper pedal :)

Jordan was going to go for a quick run with Isaac, which turned into an ice-cream trip with Isaac and Porter which turned into an all boy ice cream trip and a Mom & daughter date night. Jordan ran pushing Isaac while the three boys biked and they tried out a new rolled ice cream place with a stop on the way home for dinner from the Macey's Deli. Ellie and I biked to Kneaders for dinner and dessert with a stop at Lee's for milk and eggs on the way home. So fun to have that one-on-one time with Ellie!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


All through the summer, I was encouraging/nudging  Ellie to consider playing cello in the orchestra this year. (I'd say encouraging, she might say teasing/pestering :) After school started she was still feeling pretty worried about being able to get ready for school an hour early (it is early!) Finally, we went to the orientation evening and she was starting to lean toward a yes.  Then, she got to the sizing station, and asked to try holding both the violin and the cello. And as soon as she sat down with the cello, she looked up at me with the most excited face (like her toddler ice cream eyes!) and the decision was made. Magical!

Today was her first day of orchestra, and we both managed to make it out the door in time (it is early!) and I'm excited to hear all the details after school!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Little things lately

(From Rocky Canyon in Provo in the Spring)

Porter figured out how snapping works, and spent a full day practicing off and on, and by evening he was a pro. Isaac is starting to get the hang of his little scooter, and if it's time to come inside the scooter often comes too. All the kids have been doing great at their piano practice (which is always tough at the beginning of school!) I made cream puffs this week and for the first time ever, they stayed puffy. The kids have been racing to see how quickly they can finish their morning jobs, and it's exciting to not be the one nudging them along! (This morning I was leaving really early for my SCC meeting, and they were already ready to go and playing a game of Stratego!)  Owen and Porter are getting started in soccer again. And as Isaac was falling asleep at nap time today, there was a lot of jostling coming from his tent, then he said "Somersault!" so I suppose that goes along with practicing too :)


Ellie's been loving to read the Harry Potter books and spent about five hours on Sunday curled up with the third book. Porter's learning with the Sam Books, and getting more interested as we go along.  Owen and Porter take turns choosing what to listen to at bedtime between Frog and Toad and Magic Treehouse. Jordan and I started reading Funny in Farsi together, and this morning at the last minute I got to host our book group and talk about it (such a fun book). Earlier this month, I managed to get 3 books in a row that were really disappointing so I've been really happy with each good book since! The other day Landon said something 'you know like in Treasure Island...' and when I told him I hadn't read it he couldn't believe it - "You haven't read Treasure Island?!" I always thought I'd read along with my kids as they found new books, but it has been years since I realized I'd never keep up with Landon :)


I've been riding the kids to school whenever I can, which means three bike trips to the school and back each day (morning/kindergarten/afternoon). Jordan has been riding with Landon and friends to school on their late start days. And he and Landon have been doing lots of long training rides getting ready for Bike the Bear coming up. Jordan took the little boys on a quick kayaking trip after school this week. And Landon's been having fun running some mornings too. Ellie and Owen are getting stronger and stronger biking up the Lee's hill, and Ellie will come home red faced and tired and say "That was a fun ride!" (Yay Ellie!) And I'm sticking with my morning walks with the little boys for company.

Thank you notes

Sometime in the Spring, we were riding bikes to school one morning when Owen had a pretty big sidewalk crash. I ran to him and before I even looked back up from him, another Mom from the school who had seen him fall was already out of her car with bandaids in her hand, ready to help. Every time I see this sweet friend I think of this little kindness. 

Last week one day we were riding home from school when Owen's chain slipped (or something like that...) and his feet were pedaling and pedaling but he wasn't going anywhere. Another friend driving home with her kids noticed, pulled over,  and jumped right out to offer help. So while I hurried ahead to catch up to Porter, she loaded Owen's bike into her car and drove Owen home. 

Thank you friends for watching out for my kiddos and for stopping when they needed a little help.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

A long-term typo

Years ago (five, six, seven?) I made a bunch of little notecards labeling words in Portuguese and taped them up all around the house. Over the years most of them fell down or were taken down, but a cozinha stayed up. And eventually, I got so attached to it that when it did fall down, I'd just tape it back up again. I'd thought every once in a while of making an actually cute little a cozinha sign to take it's place over the doorway to our kitchen. This morning, I was thinking again that the four layers of tape + wrinkled notecard didn't necessarily make the most lovely decoration, though I still loved it up there since it had grown so familiar. And then I noticed (five, six, seven years later...) that it was spelled wrong! The letters were all there but in the wrong order! How did I manage to see this sign every day for all these years and never notice this before? If it wasn't my own handwriting, my own layers of washi tape, I might think someone was playing a trick, but nope, I just really didn't notice this little typo I've looked at every day!