Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer Plans (a work in progress)

Welcome Summer break!  
In making plans for our summer days, I had spinning around in my head ideas like this with nearly each minute of each day set apart for a specific purpose. Then I read this from a favorite blog and started wishing for slow, lazy, and bright summer days...

Then Landon had his first day of summer break and I quickly remembered that slow and lazy days are not meant to be a part of life in the Brough family right now. :)

So on with the schedules!

We are two days into our summer routine and so far, so good. Here's a glimpse of our daily routines --

*Morning Jobs -- anything that is set in a routine works better for me.  These are all the things we've been usually doing before school (except the new 'Super Helper Job') --

My goal (not there yet)  is to get up before the kids to go for a run, shower/get ready before their on-the-dot 7:00 wake up.  ( I set my alarm one day last week -- for the first time that I can even remember.  With Owen sleeping through the night and Ellie and Landon sleeping great at last, this is quite possibly the best stretch of sleep we've had since before Landon was born... wake up before the kids? It just might be possible!)

More on school time soon :)

Looking at these little lists makes me think -- what simple days. what a simple life I am living. how could i ever feel stressed? or frustrated? or overwhelmed? or exasperated with little mischief that really has no lasting matter...
These lists make up some pretty sweet days.  Full of sweet moments in between and a part of each little item on the schedule.

Hugs and copycat laughs from Owen, walking into the kitchen and hearing Ellie say "Why Hello Miss Mommy! How are you doing?"  A handwritten note, wrapped in a graham cracker box from Landon in the middle of the morning's chaos "Dear Mommy. I'm sorry you're having a hard time. I'm your best helper, right? Love, Landon" 

Here we come, Summer days!

(And just for fun --  some advice I love on making plans)

kids + sled + stairs = 1st day of summer break 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Campout Day

Happy little hikers

We celebrated our first day of Summer break with a campout afternoon in Green Canyon. Some yummy take-out, a little hiking, rock hunting, playing and resting in the tent, building a fire, roasting marshmallows... a great welcome to Summer!

Hard workers
A beautiful spot, just a few minutes from home :)

And the happiest little camper of all


'My Dad is the biggest strongest roughest toughest Dad in the whole Jungle..."

Owen loves to read books. He stands at the rocking chair with a "Buh! Buh! Buh" (Up! Up! Up!) until someone will pick him up and set him in his reading spot and read him a book from his nearby basket.  (Then another and another and another :)

Farewell Kindergarten

Kindergarten Spring Performance
Landon's last bit of kindergarten was full of fun -- A field  trip to the Willow Park Zoo, a summer birthday party class celebration, a walking field trip to Lundstrom Park (the park across from our house), a Pet day, the Kindergarten music program...

We celebrated his last day of school with an adventure (bike ride) to a Landon-choice dinner (Golden Corral). There are some tough hills between there and home and man that Landon was one tough guy! My competitive spirit wanted to push harder to keep up with my five-year-old, but on one of the last hills he passed both Jordan and I with a quiet and serious "I can do it! I can do it!" The celebration was complete with a family movie and sleepover party in the guest room. A happy day for Landon!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fireman Practice

Every once in a while we'll see a few fire trucks across the street at the park with a bunch of firemen working on various things. I'm not sure what they do -- maybe just checking equipment or practicing drills? This past week I took the kids out to play on the round-a-bout and see the firemen at work.  Landon loved running and playing in the mist as the hoses from the truck sprayed up and over the roundabout -- Ellie had fun running from the spray. (And Owen happily wandered until he'd get to close to a major spray. :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012


I love how their so-different personalities show here!

And an Owen guy, happy to be watching the fun

School/Summer Days

These have been beautiful days. Leaving Landon's school last week, I was remembering the feeling of my  BYU days and spring/summer term classes. Sometimes it would be just too beautiful to spend time inside.  I'd be on my way to class and stop for a minute to rest on a grassy hill... pretty soon I'd decide that a short nap in the sun with some catch up study time later on was much more appealing than drifting off in a dimly lit auditorium through an Econ lecture.

(And speaking of college days -- I just found out that I can take  classes here at USU as a non-matriculated student. Portuguese?  Sewing technique?  Photoshop?)

Landon's first day of Kindergarten -- how the time has flown by!

This is Landon's last week of kindergarten (!!) so I've been making plans for how I want our summer to be. I've been brainstorming activities and trying to find resources to work on learning and teaching the kids some Portuguese. (So far, I'm thinking it would be much easier to find activities/books/songs/etc. if I actually spoke Portuguese myself :) I still can't quite figure how the routines of our days ought to go to make things go most smoothly, but hopefully this week I can come up with something. And we'll see how it all goes! I'm excited to have Landon home again.

(Jordan would love to live in Brazil for a few years. I'm still not sure how confident I am with the idea, but we've been talking to the kids a little about it and starting to work on learning some Portuguese.  Ellie asked Jordan the other day, "If I learn Portuguese, can I come with you to Brazil too?" (I think she was worried that she may be left behind if her language skills were lacking!)

Mother's Day

A happy mother's day -- full of love from my little family. 

I love Mother's day and celebrating this role that I get to play so fully right now.  This week I've been working harder to be the sweet mommy that my children were so excited to make flower pots and other great surprises for. My favorite advice that has been on my mind often is a phrase something like this

"When dealing with children, gather all your wits and sit on the floor."

For me, motherhood is best when I remember to sit on the floor :)

And a funny thing -- my song that I sing often when arguments between the kids begin is "I want to be kind to everyone..." So lately, every once in a while I'll hear from Ellie or Landon "I want to be mean to everyone, for that is not right  you see.   So I say to myself, 'remember this' mean-ness begins with me..." (But of course sung so sweetly :)

A delicious made-by-Jordan Mother's Day dinner (with decorating help from Landon :)

With Owen sleeping through the night for almost two weeks now, motherhood is feeling much rosier!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

happy place

Ellie in another 'happy place' - curled up on the couch reading Caps for Sale. 

Just a moment to remember from today - Our grocery store (Lee's) was having a summer kick-off activity today with kids activities and fun summery samples throughout the store. At one point,  Ellie had her hands full with a creamie popsicle in one and a "smoreo" in the other when a worker asked her a question. When Ellie didn't respond, the woman said to me with a smile "I think she's in her happy place." :)
(And another happy place for Ellie that we love to hear -- laying in bed singing songs to herself long after Landon has fallen asleep in the bed across the room. )

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Our Provo House

The story of our Provo House via Animoto
(I've been brainstorming how I could use this fun new theme :)

Later this week we should be officially under contract!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

All boy

Owen is just starting to use some of his first words -- ball, uh-oh, and ROAR!

(And new this past week, Landon's first words "go, go, go!" )