Sunday, September 22, 2019

A few little moments this week

+ Waiting at the orthodontist with Landon as he got his braces on (!). He fidgeted with his feet while he was keeping still for the brackets to go on. One floppy shoe fell off and I reached down to slip it back on and got a secret thumbs up in return.

+ Saying goodnight to Owen. After a night-time prayer, he always hugs me back with a great big hug that I love so much.

+ Bowling with the kids (Ellie and the younger boys while Jordan and Landon were at Bike the Bear). Wrestling Isaac (to avoid more bowling balls filling the gutters of the lanes near us...) as bedtime inched closer, and Porter taking his turn then hurrying back to his seat. Without thinking, he did a quick headstand on the chair, then sat down. (These headstands -- I hope I always remember Porter at 5 and 6 years old and his headstands!)

+ Sitting with Ellie on her bed at the end of each day (two tired girls) to read scriptures together.

+ Morning walks with Isaac. (Oh I love this beautiful place we live -- the trees, the mountains, the grassy fields...) And this cuteness -- Isaac noticed the moon up one morning and pointed it out to me. The next day, he noticed the moon in a slightly different spot and asked "Is the moon magic?" Also from Isaac - all of his so sincere and sweet phrases like "You're welcome" and "I love you too."

+ Falling asleep listening to Jordan read to me. (And his patience finding our place the next night when I realize how much of the story I've missed :)

Friday, September 13, 2019

These days

These are the days of...

+ new morning routines forming

+ slowly making progress on improving our yard - new curbing today!

+ better school mornings. We started the school year with a newly revised "short list" of jobs for the kids and even though we no longer have regular trashes out/towels folded/anything dusted, our mornings feel much happier and more peaceful so I'm still thinking it's worth it.

+ potty training (mostly) success

+ basement floor work (especially by Jordan, but with lots of kid help too whenever possible.)

+ rainstorms, hailstorms (with the largest hail I've seen!), and beautiful cool Fall days

+ after school snacks (I'm still at 100% for having a snack prepped or planned each day - woohoo!)

+ early morning orchestra for Ellie a few days each week

+ late afternoon swimming for Landon a few days each week

+ cub scouts and boy Scouts and activity days and young women and primary

+ happy full days that have a couple of the kids asking "please! can I go to bed at 6:30 every night?" :)

Friday, September 6, 2019

Happy Weekend

I went to our school community council meeting this morning, and it felt nice to be finally feeling like I'm ready for this new school year! Then, Isaac and I had a happy quiet morning - tidying up, a morning walk, movie time/shower time, snack time,  preschool time, working in the garden, reading, playing "Hoot Owl Hoot", making lunch together... (and then his sweet "I'm ready for napping now" !)

Our plans this weekend include: 

+ Working on our basement floor -- Jordan was ready for a big project over Labor Day weekend, so we pulled up all the old carpet (with amazing help from the kids!) and started putting new flooring in (also with great help from the kids!). We've kept up work on it through the week, and we'll keep at it.  I can feel though that it may get harder as the weather is now just about perfect for...

+ Some outside adventures! Yesterday Jordan and the kids ran/rode to Yogurtland, and it was still just a little too hot to be perfectly pleasant. But starting today it looks like we're really getting right into those wonderful Fall temperatures. 

+ Stopping by the 1st Annual Brazilian festival tomorrow here in Logan.

+ Picking up some farmer's market nectarines. 

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Back to School / Reentry

I listened to a podcast recently from Emily P. Freeman - Come back with Peace - all about the good of taking a break and her how-to of then returning to real life. And while my own break was not a planned and prepped sabbatical, but just a hard-to-get-better-from round of sickness, I still enjoyed the application. She described the reentry from space and how sometimes it is simple and smooth, while other times it feels more like a series of car crashes. We've not had quite the car-crash roughness, but definitely not the smoothest transition back to school, Fall, and regular life. Mostly I loved that tiny phrase that stuck with me -  'come back with peace' that helped me accept this slower than expected reentry of mine/ours.

It has been a long stretch of sickness, but yesterday morning as I helped the kids prep for school I realized, wonderfully, that I was feeling better! Not quite back to normal, but finally really hopeful that maybe I wasn't just going to be sick forever! (dramatic maybe, but still just exactly how I'd started to feel!) I finished up all the laundry and felt like it was just a little part of the day instead of the greatest achievement of my day :) I had a dinner plan on Monday night and a dinner plan for Tuesday.

The kids have had their own rounds of sickness (Three weeks into school and we've had a stomachache/headache/fatigue bug for a couple of kids, a cough/sore throat/earache bug for a couple of kids, and a nausea/throwing up bug for a couple of kids...) With daily 'please excuse' emails to the school secretary, I finally emailed  yesterday with a "One of these days we will really have all of these kiddos healthy on the same day!"

 I discovered yesterday (we've been in school for 3 weeks!) all of Porter's back-to-school info -welcome to first grade,  school supplies needed, first-day pick up procedures...  all those things that would have been good to find a few weeks ago!

 Still we've made our way through. Some happy sweet days and some discouraging days. And all the days where I thought of sitting down to write here while Isaac napped, but all I could think to write about was the latest  Brough family health update... But today, It feels like I can say "that was hard, and oh, how nice that things are getting better!"

And we've had lots of regular and great life happening in between on the good days-- a celebration and a pirate party for Porter's birthday, the start of swim team for Landon, piano and cello practicing, school lunch making, front yard swinging, preschool time with Isaac, a few neighborhood walks,  even a big house project that we've jumped in to. Oh --and potty training!  And (worth another celebration!) the kids are all still feeling relatively happy about 8th/5th/3rd/1st grades. :)

I'm hopeful today that I'll just keep feeling better and better, that the kids will get well (and stay well for a little while - please, oh please!) And I'm excited to finally enjoy the almost-Fall, back-to-school, new rhythm and routine-making that I've always loved so much.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Ready or not

Back to school prep with help from April 

It's back to school day! 
And thanks to April and her amazing help, the kids all left for school in clean clothes even. :)
We came home from our end of summer trip, ready to spend a day with laundry and then be DONE with the sickness we'd all had through the week. April stopped with us for an extra day or two to recover before heading home, and when Jordan and I both got sick (we thought we'd already been through it!) we were just so grateful for her help! She washed and dried and washed and dried and even laundromat-ed, helped the kids set out their first day of school clothes, search for their lunchboxes, empty backpacks... basically just made all the things happen that needed to happen on the day before school! (Thank you April!!)

And today they're off! 
I got everyone to school and Isaac and I had our first on-our-own morning. A quiet breakfast, morning jobs ('are you almost done?'), watering the garden together, some sick-day movie time, and our first little preschool time that Isaac was so excited about. Cheese roll-ups and our Hap Palmer and 'shake your sillies out' lunchtime music, then nap time and now this quiet time. 

I sure loved this summertime. We had some sickness and some normal sibling squabble type stress. But also so many moments when I felt like I wished these summer days could just go on forever. We've kind of limped into this new phase of back-to-school, but (ready or not) it's here and I do feel at least a little bit of excitement and wonder for what might come our way in this new time. 
Here we go!

Monday, June 24, 2019

Happy Birthday Jordan!

(Those flowers were leftover Springtime decorations, not birthday decorations :)

Jordan had the kids ready for church by about 7:00 in the morning yesterday so they could all get started on a marathon game day for his birthday!

Jordan likes to say that he's old (and to be honest, I remember my parents being 40 and they were old ;) but I still just can't wrap my brain around the fact that we might just be getting old too, so I'm still not accepting it!

For the last two years on his birthday, our family went out on an all-day biking adventure around town with fun stops throughout the day. This year, the day before his birthday Jordan woke up and decided to see if he could run a half marathon (!) 

(Side note: Once in college Jordan and a friend decided on a whim to see if they could run a marathon -- they mapped out their own 26.2 mile route and then they ran it, just like that!)

The kids took turns biking along with Jordan as he ran his half marathon in laps around our neighborhood! And he did it -- he's one tough guy!

The kids picked out such sweet things for Jordan for Father's Day and his birthday, and I though it would be fun to remember: 

Landon: A fancy board game (Splendor) that he saw Jordan was interested in on a game shop stop earlier in the week, and 24 fun-size Reeces 

Ellie: A Father's Day song cello performance and a mini sculpture of Jordan at work in his office, and some Peach Habanero jam and Reeces pieces

Owen: Firewood for a campfire and a batch of his favorite (thumbprint) cookies

Porter: A "Best Dad Ever" wood block decoration and a badminton set to play together

Isaac: S'mores ingredients and a few various tape/baggie/paper creations :)

Happy Birthday to this great guy!

Monday, June 17, 2019

School Time Lessons So Far

Each day for our summer school time, one of us (me or one of the kids) has a turn teaching our group time about a plant, tree, bird, or flower and planning an activity to go along with it.  These little lessons have been so fun - I thought I'd write down a bit about them so far so I can remember :)

Knowing we were going to be planting a few this summer I started with boxwoods, and it has been so fun to see the kids pointing them out wherever we go. (I had everyone first draw what they thought of when they heard the word "boxwood" and they made the greatest little pictures. Then I showed them some pictures of real boxwoods and we went for a walk/scooter ride to go find a few in the neighborhood) For my next turn, I taught about Honey Locusts and about how you can identify a tree by the leaves/bark/etc. and it was so fun to hear the kids pointing out all the honey locusts as we drove to and from Harry Potter camp later that day!

Porter took us on a walk to find a flower he'd picked out the day before, then we talked all about peonies. (He noticed right away all of the ants crawling on the buds, so it was a fun surprise to read in the flower description that you'll often see ants on the buds because they like the nectar). Then we went home and played a double jump rope game spelling out the word "P-E-O-N-Y" as we jumped. 

Ellie taught about peacocks and then we all made word searches using words related to them from what we had learned. For her next lesson, she taught us about cranes and then helped us all make paper cranes (one of her favorite things to do! :)

I stretched the rules for Owen when he told me about the plan he had made to teach about frogs (not a plant, tree, flower or bird, but such a well thought out plan that he got to do it still :) He taught about the stages of a frog's growth and made a little card game up all about it. (Later when it was his turn to play with Isaac during rotations, he taught him also and Isaac could name each card - egg, tadpole, young frog, frog :)

Landon taught about robins and took us on a search for robins with a prize for the first to find one (which we did very quickly right at the park.) I remember several years ago feeling so excited to finally learn what a robin was -- it seemed so silly that I didn't know, and once I did I suddenly saw them all the time! I am loving this school time for how it is helping all of us pay attention and notice these things!