Friday, March 22, 2019


With parent teacher conferences earlier this week, the kids have the day off today. We're almost to lunch time and so far today we've had:

- early morning wii time
- morning jobs
- blueberry muffin making by Ellie
- Brazilian dinner planning by Landon (for the service auction)
- Piano lessons for Landon, Ellie & Owen
- this cute playing (above) by Owen and Porter (still happening and I love the sound so much!)
- magnatile creations by all (still going and I love this too!)
- rainbow loom creations by Ellie
- coxinha prep by Landon + friends
- renewing library books by Debbie ('oh, those were all actually do on the 12th...')
- snow on the ground, and a morning of Springtime rain melting it all away

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Watercolor class

I just finished a great online watercolor class that I've been working on over the last several weeks, and these are all the fun things I painted! With Isaac napping while Porter is in kindergarten, I've had a little more free time this school year. And with my newer medication, I've also had more energy and have just felt better in general which has been so exciting!

This class was the perfect thing because whenever I had the time & energy, I could just grab my little watercolor supply box and a cup of water and get to work! And since I was following a specific course, I didn't have to spend any time deciding what to make which I really liked too. Not everything turned out wonderfully, but some things did (I love that lemon and that pear and the tiny little Spring bunting and the leftover paint dashes :)

I felt like I learned a lot about how watercolors work, and it was great to try some different types of things. And I'm excited to keep practicing! I made the 'thank you' wreath of flowers on my own a few weeks after I'd finished that other flower picture with the video, and I felt like just that second try was so much better than the first!  (Here's the class I took - and she has been doing a great daily watercolor project on instagram that I've loved too!)

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Happy first of Spring!

We've been loving these warm Spring days already! About two weeks ago, Porter asked if we could bike to school, so we bundled right up. And since then (except for that snow storm in the middle!) we've had some really lovely days! Some time last week, I took the boys on a walk and we saw some signs of Spring popping up, and there are more and more little green bits coming around (also, lots of mud!) 


Also, Jordan got me a cool digital frame for Christmas, and each month I've filled it with family pictures from that month over the years. It has been so fun to see some of these pictures that we wouldn't normally, like this cute toddler Ellie at our Provo house! (Even though this is also a March pic, that's a lot more green than we have here right now, but it's coming! :)

Tuesday, March 19, 2019


Yesterday I was helping at the school, talking to kindergarten parents about our Portuguese program and helping them sign up for next year. When I got there, there was a sweet third grader sitting at the table helping and she ended up staying for about an hour more - helping and keeping me company so cheerfully :) It was great. I had brought along a podcast and a book, but it was much more fun talking to this happy-to-help third grader!

As I was talking to parents about this I was thinking again about how amazing it is that our kids - in this little town of Logan, Utah! - can be learning Portuguese like this at school. We've had some hard times school-wise this year, even to the point of some intense consideration of home schooling for one of our kiddos. But this DLI program has been a big reason we've chosen to keep going (also, friends!)

Also, it was so fun to see how many people had connections to Brazil! Parents who had served missions there, a family who had lived there a couple of times for work, a mom who was from Brazil... it was a fun surprise!

We had a service auction last month where the youth volunteered their services and the ward members bid on them. Landon's Brazilian dinner had one of the highest bids, and this weekend he gets to prepare it. (On Saturdays lately, Jordan has been letting the kids vote on what we'll do and making Brazilian dinner is almost always on the list that the kids pick out!)

I loved Ellie's response when I told her what I was doing to help out at the school  -- 'why would anyone not want to do Portuguese?' :)   I just love that this is all a part of life for our kiddos.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Basketball Season/Tournament

This Saturday, Landon ended his basketball season with a tournament, and it was really fun to get to spend the day with him cheering, hanging out in between games, and having lunch together in the middle too.

A few things about this season:

* Landon's a good player, but he ended up on a really good team (they won every game they played) with boys a year or two older who were all good friends already... it was a tough team to join! But the kids and coach were nice and mostly I was so proud of Landon for getting through it!

(Also, Landon said on Saturday, "Thanks for helping me through this mom!" which warmed my heart... especially since there were a lot of strong "Do I have to go...?'s along the way too)

* His coach was very good, and also very down-to-business -- no feel-good, Dad kind of talk like other coaches the kids have had. At one of Landon's last games, I found out he wasn't one of the players Dads (like I had assumed) but an older brother (about 21 years old!) Ha! It all made a lot more sense then  :)( Really, his coach was super. Landon learned a lot, and his coach was great at giving all the players time to play - even when a game was close and he might have wanted only his best players in!)

* At one practice (with a good deal of dreading leading up to it) the boys ended with a scrimmage like they often did. They were setting up to choose teams, and the coach said "but, I'll be the last pick" so Landon was thinking "well, good at least I won't be the absolute last one chosen..." But then, one of the boys picked him first! It was such a little thing, but that little bit of kindness really made a difference.

Friday, March 15, 2019

ten things on Friday

1. You would think these two pictures were taken months apart, but they are both from this week! Certainly in January I might wish for San Diego's constant 70 degrees, but the crazy back and forth we get as the seasons get ready to change is pretty fun too.

2. We've had a shiny red car in our garage this week that the kids think is pretty great. (From a friend who we pick up from school each day "Whoa! This car is way nicer than your regular one!"Ha!)  Jordan hit a rock in the canyon driving back from Ellie's ski day last week and the end result was that we're having to have the van's engine replaced. As we started driving our other van this week we realized it has some issues that we need to have looked at before driving it too much more. So we're driving this bright red rental! And we've been grateful that things are working out as smoothly as they are though even with some pretty big car troubles!

3. I came across this cyclist/artist's site yesterday, and I think the idea is so fun -- he plans out a route and then when he bikes it, his gps maps out the picture he designed. Jordan really likes to have destinations in mind when we go out for an adventure and this seems like it could be a fun thing to try sometime!

4. I've been tending for a friend for a couple days this week, and the boys have had a fun time having an extra friend over to play! We even made play dough yesterday :) Jordan took a half day today along with the big kids and took Ellie and Owen skiing, and Landon's playing with a friend so it's a quieter day with just these littler kiddos at home. (Also, Porter is not a fan of quiet time!)

5. Ellie and Owen have been getting up early this week and working hard to finish all their morning jobs as quickly as possible, and they've done great -  even to the point that they were both starting to wonder what to do with all the extra morning time!

6. We've had young women's activities at our house a few times in the last month or so, and a book group last week and I'm still getting used to these things. We don't have company over much, so even those little things feel big.   And I've felt for a long time like there's truth to the idea of how important it is to just invite people into our homes - imperfect as they may be - but then I also feel really stressed about that imperfectness when it comes down to people arriving in a few hours.  Still more to figure out here!

7. I finished the watercolor class I've been working on, and I liked it so much, I signed up for another painting class. (It's a very different style this time though!)

8. Last weekend, we had a pizza movie party like we do many weekends. It felt extra fun though because we had picked out a movie a couple weeks in advance and we even wrote it on the calendar "Ralph movie night" so we got to anticipate it like a big event for a little while.

9. A few weeks ago I took the kids skating at Cache Valley Fun Park, and when the pizza wait was too long we ordered some soft pretzels instead. As we were eating our pretzels, the kids were remembering their favorite street pretzels from New York and the questions from the kids   went something like this... "When do you think we will go to New York again?  If the kids all saved up all our money and we paid for our airplane tickets to go, would you let us go sooner than you think? How much is a plane ticket to New York? Hmm..."

10. This year, I've been going in to help with Porter's class once a week, and for the last few weeks I've gotten to also spend some time in Owen's class which I love. In Porter's class I get to help with "STEAM bins" with a small group (I love this!) and in Owen's it's the last part of the day when his teacher is gone to a faculty meeting so I just help or join in with whatever happens to be going on.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 14, 2019


San Francisco Fall 2018
Last week I  read a sweet blog with thoughts on the new Mo Willems book, Because (I even ordered the book which came earlier this week and I love it!)  and on her own "because" and how the course of her life was changed by one high school decision. And it reminded me of my own "because" story that I've often thought about. 

As seniors in high school, my best friend Karisty and I were thrilled to be making plans for our time at BYU together. We'd been through the Honors and AP classes together, the extracurricular clubs and activities, the college applications, and the exciting acceptance letters.  I'd be working for her mom in the Engineering &Technology advisement center and we'd be starting our college lives rooming together. We watched for the opening day of Heritage Halls housing applications, and with help from her mom turned in our applications together the moment we could.

At Karisty's wedding (the next year)
I'd looked forward for years to the new start college would bring me - to be on my own! making my own choices! living my own life! I couldn't have been more ready. Somewhere along the way, I realized that I really wanted and needed my own space - even from my best friend. I can remember how terrified I was to make the call to let her know I didn't want to room together after all. But that moment mattered.

Because I made that so-hard phone call, instead of rooming with a best friend from high school, I moved into Heritage Halls and met my new room-roommate Laura, who became a rest-of-my-life friend.

Laura and me at Alta  (and the couch slipcovers that we couldn't agree on ;)

Because I met Laura, I also met Cassie, Andrea, and Jenn who we moved to Alta with after our freshman year of college.

The cheer squad at one of Andrea's marathons (in St. George?)
Because I moved to Alta, I met so many other friends who helped me learn how and who I wanted to be.

One of my favorite pictures -- our friend Kelda & Jordan at Alta
And Because I moved to Alta, I met Jordan! (Who made the great call of becoming great friends with some of my best friends! :)

And Because one sweet night Jordan asked me to marry him, I said yes!

And Because I said yes, we were married and had 5 dear children and have a wonderful family and life together!

(And it was obvious as I searched through my old shoebox of pictures for those college pics --- there were of course so many other little bits and pieces, big and little moments of 'because' along the way too!)