Friday, January 18, 2019


I'm kind of loving the winter this year. The colors, the coziness inside, the kids' playfulness, the winter birds chirping (we have a group of trees full of robins outside right now singing at each other!) I've never loved winter, but this year I think I do!

Yesterday was a day of birthday prep (Ellie had planned on sledding, but we had rain and rain and rain so we needed some new plans!)  She had a happy birthday celebration with lots of fun inside games and we had a full house of happy girls.

Today, Ellie woke with a sore throat and stayed home from school. I was feeling anxious about getting sick, so I'd been having her stick to her room mostly, but Jordan had a calm work day and extra sick leave so he's taking the afternoon off and reading to her downstairs while she builds paper crafts from her birthday. (Ha, Ellie just walked upstairs to say "Mom, I think Dad's asleep...")

Landon has the day off and spent the morning working on the choose-your-own-adventure story he's writing for a school competition, waiting for a friend to play, and reading, all-the-while with his headphones on for music. Now he's sledding with a friend at the park ( I love that perfect not-too-steep,long, or fast sledding hill! :)

I took Owen and Porter to the school's 'moms and muffins' activity this morning and loved starting reading the first two chapters of Frindle with them.

I asked Landon if he'd like to play a game or something and Isaac said "I'd like to!" with more enthusiasm so we 'built' the caterpillar puzzle and played with the marble game with Porter till it was time for kindergarten.

Also, Jordan and I bought tickets last night for an upcoming trip to New York - and for the first time since we've had kids, we bought tickets for just the two of us (!!)

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Parent Teacher Conferences

At the last SCC meeting for Mount Logan, we were talking about Parent Teacher Conferences and what improvements might be made. Someone asked a teacher how many of the parents who came were those she actually needed to see. And I loved her response - 
"Well, I know what you're asking, but I need to see them all! Some I need to see to talk about what their kids can do to be more successful in my class, and some I need to see to talk about how awesome their kids are doing in my class."

Sometimes we've skipped out on conferences, but we went yesterday and I felt like it really was good for Landon (and me) to just meet his teachers in person and hear about the good things he's doing. 

And I loved how he walked into each classroom with a cheerful greeting for his teachers and left each room with a friendly "Have a good night!"

As we went from class to class, we walked this stretch outside and I loved how Landon without even thinking walked the whole pathway in the snow (rather than the shoveled sidewalk :) It reminded me of this funny elementary drop off day -

There had been a ton of snow, and I had pulled up right in front of the main doors at the school. There was a neat pathway all shoveled - a straight shot from our van door to the school. Instead of taking that shoveled walkway though, Landon hopped out and ran a super wide semi circle to the door right through the piles and piles of snow. 

I sure love this kid. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Ellie Anne!

This little Ellie girl is 10!

Here are a few cute stories in honor of this little/not-so-little girl I love!

A bike riding girl (maybe my favorite post ever :)
Two-year-old Ellie Anne
Ellie presents
The Great Quantifier

Ellie at 10 loves:

playing with legos, making origami (especially cranes) and other paper projects, reading (especially when she can get to bed early and have extra reading time at night), having after school jobs finished, playing cello along with me playing piano, planning activities/events, playing in the snow, having fun projects to work on, and many more happy things!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

that January clean up time

This weekend, I finally hit the point where the loveliness of our empty living spaces was overcome by the chaos of all the bedrooms filled with all the stuff. So, the boys and I worked hard and got all the bookshelves and books (oh the books, books, books, books!) put back where they belong.  (I love these little helpers!) The kids requested a piano move, so we switched things up a little with some bookshelf swapping around. And I tried to clear out our books a bit so that they could all fit back on our shelves.  I also tried to only bring back out the things that I really wanted so that we could still keep a little of that great clean feel!


+ I've found that with our new carpet, all the little things that end up on the floor don't bother me as much - it turns out board books and duplos and hair ties and crayons are lovelier on clean carpet!

+ Here's my goal by the end of the month - I want to get our whole house clean (tidy) (all the rooms clean, all at the same time!)  That sounds ridiculous because, aren't most people's houses usually tidy? BUT, that's my goal and I'm hopeful we'll make it! :)

+ Because I wanted to finish by the end of the year for the donations tax deduction (and because I was prepping for the house mix up with the carpet install) I was working hard at the end of the year to clear out any extra stuff that I could send to DI. And I thought (seriously) we were going to be pretty well set till even next year maybe... But, we're two weeks in and we've had one drop off already and another big bag full almost ready. (Where does all this extra stuff come from?)

Monday, January 14, 2019

weekend report

We stopped to pick up Landon from a friend's house over the weekend and Ellie, looking at these snow mounds across the street, asked from the back seat "Can I just go climb on that for one minute?"

Other weekend happenings:

+ more anki race track time (I wasn't actually sure Jordan (or the kids) would love this Christmas present, but he (and they!) did and the set seems to expand by an extra piece or two every time it comes out! :)
+ navigating a new parenting challenge we hadn't met yet, and feeling very grateful for a kind friend's advice and support
+ a fun dinner out with the kids (minus Landon who was with friends)
+ a temple trip
+ ward conference (minus Jordan who was home with sick Porter)
+ making blueberry muffins to have ready for school lunches this morning
+ fun Sunday afternoon piano/cello/singing recordings for Jordan and the kids
+ Sunday family gospel study time (we're still figuring this out :)
+ more snow fun for the kids with a half day Friday
+ playing with friends
+ birthday party planning and invitation making with Ellie

Friday, January 11, 2019

little things to remember

Just a few sweet little memories from the last little while:

This afternoon as I put Isaac down for his nap, I said "Momma loves you" like I always do, but today Isaac said back quietly, "I love you too!"

The last few days when I tell the boys it's time for lunch, Porter will say "Yep. And I'm making it!" And then he does! Our counter/sometimes floor are a mess when he's done, but he is a great little lunch chef. He'll ask Isaac "What do you want for lunch today?" And Isaac will answer (almost always) 'cheese roll ups!' (loll-ups). Also, I loved this little picture above of Porter's robot costume and how funny it was watching him try to figure out how to eat in that "Isaac, put my plate right here..."

Landon has loved playing at the mounds with his friends the past few weeks. When the snowplows come through the church parking lots, they leave some great mountains, and one of those at a building by his friend's house was named the mounds (and I think having a name makes it that much more amazing :)  and they've had such a fun time digging/tunneling/etc. there for hours!

Ellie and I have started reading the Book of Mormon together each day, and it has been a great sweet time for us.

Every time it's time for Owen to practice piano, it's kind of an ordeal to get him started. But every time he starts to practice, he keeps playing and playing and playing after his timer stops.  It has been so fun to watch him work on some harder songs for him and really sticking with it, working bit by bit through them till he has them mastered.

Yesterday, we got our first stain on our new carpet (a stepped on/smooshed in clay model of the earth's layers.) I was frustrated and stressed and pretty much storming around... I'd sent the kids out while I tried to clean the carpet, then found Porter and Isaac in the kitchen mixing concoctions of milk, water, hot cocoa mix, curry powder... finally Isaac said to me "How 'bout... you be happy?" and I was so grateful for this sweet boy helping me get over all my grumpyness. (Also, while I went back to working on the carpet, he came in and gave me a little hug and said in a quiet voice "here to help you!")

Thursday, January 10, 2019

hooray! (a dentist report :)

image here
Yesterday we spent the afternoon at the dentist with back-to-back appointments for our whole family, and we had great reasons to celebrate:

1. No new cavities! For any of us! I started to get a little panicked as I laid back having my teeth cleaned, looking up at my x-rays they'd just taken and worrying about every dark spot and imagining the dentist coming back to tell me the bad news... (it's times like these when I use all the calming strategies I learned in giving birth to five children. Seriously though.)

But -- no new cavities for me, or Jordan, or any of the kids -- hip, hip, hooray! (All of those dentist chair prayers answered! A few of us do still have a couple things to take care of from before, but no new surprises :)

2.  I was so scared of the dentist when I was young that even driving by a dentist office would make me kind of sick to my stomach with worry. I remember once watching Full House and an episode came on where Stephanie was going to the dentist and I had to turn it off because it made me too scared and worried!  (And obviously it was traumatic enough to have my favorite show betray me with a dentist visit that I still remember it! :) It has been years since I've felt that bad about dentists, but it has still been a process.  So, sitting in the dentist office for 2 hours as we all had our check ups and cleanings, and feeling fine made me also feel so grateful.

Also, Our friend Kelda works at our dentist's office, and it has made our visits a little brighter to have these little reunions every 6 months or so!