Wednesday, October 22, 2014

More Raspberries, Reading

raspberry girl
Ellie stood with me out in the raspberry patch this afternoon, holding the jar while I filled it with berries from the too-high branches. I handed the jar to her almost full, expecting to need a second jar in just a minute. But no matter how many berries I added to that nearly full jar, it never did quite fill up. :)

happy reader
Also this afternoon, we put off homework (for raspberry picking and other outside time while sick Porter took a late nap inside). Landon had all three of his new books from library day today finished before we got to homework time about an hour after school. Somewhere in the middle, a friend came over to play on the neighbors little merry-go-round thing and Landon asked to go play, then quickly came back "And while I spin, I'll read!" During dinner prep (pumpkin soup bowls!), he told me the story of the first Dragon Slayers Academy book (today's were 14, 15 and 16) - fun to hear the stories from Landon with such excitement.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Some Favorite Things by Owen Brough

How we love this happy Owen. 

What is your favorite letter?
       all of the letters in the alphabet
What is your favorite number?
       all the numbers! I love everything!
Do you have a favorite color?
       I love all of them! Actually I love five colors (counting on his fingers) -- one is green, one is purple, one is yellow, one is red, one is green...we already did green? One is blue.  And another five -- what five colors did we not do? (with help) brown, orange, pink, black, and white. Five and five I like!
Do you have a favorite animal?
       What animal has the letter J?  (jaguar)  Jaguar! One that has a Z in it… Zebra! and Horse, Cow, Zebra… A cow is my favorite animal. And a horse is my favorite, favorite animal. I definitely like horses. What does definitely mean? (what does it mean Owen?) It means you for sure will. I definitely like horses. 
What are some things you like to do?
       play all day! play tinker toys, make a square on paper, I'll go do that right now! I mean after this. Play with that new balloon, blanket fight - then we would have to fight with blankets! And then the person that had a blankt on his head would throw it to the other person that throwed it on his head. Would that be funny? Then I would throw it back to him!

Monday, October 20, 2014


Landon had his last soccer game for the season today, and I'm a little sad that it's over! It has been so fun to watch him (and his team) playing. They've gotten so much better and it's just so great to see them  really playing their positions, watching and passing to each other, trying out the footwork they've been taught… And oh, what beautiful days to spend outside! (Not so fun has been keeping Porter off the field/out of mischief…) Such fun though - I'm happy we've discovered soccer :)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Park City by Landon Brough

Landon at Shoe Tree Park
        A couple days ago, my family and I went to Park City. This is what happened --
        First, we went on the Alpine Slide. I got to do it by myself! It is a huge slide on the mountain,  and you get up there by sitting on a chair lift. There's these sled things and you slide down on the slide. The swimming pool (at our hotel) was right below the chair lift, so you can see it when you're going up. I only used my brake one time because I wanted to go really fast!
        Second, we went on a bike ride. It was 15 miles! We rode to the park, and went on a merry go round. We got skittles from the vending machine, and mom never lets us do that, but Dad does! Then we went to another park up some stairs. There was also a restaurant and we got some food there. It was really tiring going on the bike ride. At the last biggest hill, Mom's bike broke down! We walked up that hill, and I pushed her bike up the hill some of the time. It was a really fun bike ride!
       Third, I went to the Blast Shaft for the last time. The Blast Shaft is a place where you play video games and ping pong and foosball.  At first I didn't even know how to play Super Smash Brothers, but then I won! Right by the Blast Shaft are two pool tables. We played pool two times. I got 10 balls in in all. Owen only got 1. Once Dad was on Ellie's team, but I still won because Dad joined in when we had almost lost all our balls.
        I was glad to get a vacation in Park City again! There were lots of other things, but I can't talk about all of them. Some of them were cookies and milk and swimming. It was really fun!

                       Maybe to be continued...

Part 2: going to Park City by Ellie Brough

(see Part 1 here)
Getting ready for the Alpine Slide

      I went to Park City with everybody in the family to celebrate Mom and Dad's Anniversary because it's special.  We stayed in a hotel of course, and did lots of fun things. 
     We did the Alpine Slide once. It was so fun! (Probably for the boys to go down the slide) and the girls, me (Ellie) I had to go faster than Mom would feel like! It was still fun even though I couldn't go as fast as I really wanted to.  While we were going up on the chair lift, we saw a roller coaster and people going up slow and down fast like we were going slow up on the chair lift and then going fast down on the slide. 
      Once, we went swimming. It was really fun and there was a lot of bubbles, but there were only two sides that had those. But even though there were only two sides, we could go in both ways so it was still fun. 
      On Thursday, we played Scotland Yard. Me, Ellie - I was the robber. I even won! But we didn't really finish the game. Dad just said so, because we couldn't finish the game because it was late for bedtime. 
      On Friday, the next day, we went on a bike ride to get food. Once while we were going we went on a trail, and there were lots of different kinds of scarecrows! I knew scarecrows were supposed to scare crows. I joked about this - it's really funny - I said they would scare me! We got really yummy hamburgers when we got the place called Whole Foods. 
       On two days, we played a game called Pool. It was kind of funny - it was not a pool! We did not go swimming, that's not what I mean!  It was just a ball game. It was kind of funny because I thought it was called pool because the balls went in the holes like they were going into the pool under the water and then going out. It was fun! The sticks hit a white ball, the white ball hit a colorful ball into a spot, but sometimes we didn't make it. 
        When we went to Park City, I loved the trip! I remembered going there one time before. The end of the story. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

trash to treasure/ treasure to trash

Me? I'm way too cute for mischief!
A few days ago I decided to try reorganizing our kitchen cupboards, getting rid of whatever was out of date or we weren't going to use and finding better spots for the appliances and things we really get to most. Unfortunately, about the time that I had everything emptied out from several of our cupboards and our pantry shelves, I ran out of steam and our kitchen slowly grew more and more chaotic as Porter wandered in and out finding treasures and doing some reorganizing of his own.

Later that evening while Jordan was helping me put everything back together again, we noticed a few packages of brownie mix were missing… after some questioning of the big kids with satisfactory denials, we went searching, and searching, and searching.  Finally Jordan thought to check the kitchen trash, and we soon found that Porter was helping out with the pantry-clean-out. I wish I'd made a list, but it was like Mary Poppins endless bag full of tricks (except that it was a not-nearly-so-lovely garbage can,  full of  pantry foods) The missing brownie mixes, peanut butter, basil and cream of tarter and I'm sure a few more spices, mac & cheese, pineapple, soup, applesauce…

We've found Ellie and Owen's shoes in the trash and other kids toys (that apparently Porter was finished with!), kitchen spatulas and to-be-mailed packages.  Our van keys have been missing for several weeks now, and we're starting to wonder if maybe Porter helped clean those right up too!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

dance class!

(Ellie's favorite so far - the 'firework' dance)
I finally found a dance class for Ellie that is close to home, and I am so thrilled with it. Owen joined too (we had to have one more dancer to keep the class), so it's just Ellie and Owen and the dance teacher's 5-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter. They read a story each week, and pause throughout to dance pieces of the story or dance out one of the characters - then they do an art project that goes along with the book, a little more dancing and they're done. And oh, it's so fun! I just love to watch this Ellie girl dancing so happily! (And Owen working so hard to copy just what his big sister does! :)

from my files (a note for baby-to-be Porter)

dear little one,
how i love to feel you stretch and move and wiggle and kick and stretch inside of me. oh, what an awesome thing it is to have a life inside of me. and soon to give all my strength and effort and endurance and faith to bring you into the world. and then to stretch all of my capacity to love and care for you and your brothers and sister each day. i saw your little heart beating today at my ultrasound. your diaphragm practicing for the moments you'll learn to breath. all your parts slowly, slowly - but oh really so quickly! - growing into my little son who i will meet - maybe tonight! maybe in a few days, maybe next week. but another little son so soon will be here in my arms . to love and cradle and feed and nurture and oh, to wake up with through each night. and you'll learn to smile to walk to laugh and play. to follow along with the adventures of our home. and oh we will love you. and a new lulaby will be yours and i'll hold you and sing. someday you'll join in. right now you'll just learn to be still and to feel your mother loves you so. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


num, num, num!
I think even more fun than enjoying this favorite treat of mine  is seeing the kids enjoy these raspberries. Such fun to go out and pick with any of them :)

( One of the houses we lived in when I was a kid had a raspberry patch all along the side yard with an apricot tree right in the middle.  Coming home from school/church and going out to pick raspberries is one of my favorite memories of living there. This is maybe the one thing though where I remember something being much smaller than as an adult -- though I'm sure that really is true -  I don't know whether it's good or bad, but some of our plants the last couple of years are about 7 feet tall! Thank goodness for this year's new stakes/strings set up! )

Teacher in training

Learning Time
When I was in elementary school, I had a little spiral notebook where I wrote down my favorite ideas from school about things I wanted to do someday when I was a teacher. Things like "hang up cool posters with nice quotes on them" or "have a jar and papers for people to write down who they want to sit by" and "talk to my students about hard times I had and how things worked out".

Last week Ellie was telling me about when she is a teacher someday and the things she will do (which were all very familiar from the conversations we've had about Kindergarten so far :) Things like "I'll have a bucket on the table for them to put their name in when they come in the door." or "I'll have a rug and maybe read one story each day or two if we have extra time."

Most of all, I love to watch and listen to Ellie doing 'learning time' with Owen. It was 'tree lessons' in the summer time - teaching him to climb a tree (she did have to bribe him with cookies for these if I remember right). Now it's ABC time or number time. And oh, how that Owen loves to watch and follow and learn from his big sister!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

playing again

Collage from a Humanities project (I still remember what fun it was picking out colorful pieces from my roommate's fashion/design magazines)

After Conference this afternoon, Jordan got out his guitar from the storage room to play for me. Then he tuned and restrung my guitar and had me put on a mini concert for the kids. What fun -- it has been a long time!

Also, Porter managed to have the perfect sleep schedule for Conference today, and the kids loved their listening-for-treats game and were such super listeners. We all liked Elder Scott's talk (good reminders of the basics for Jordan and me, and he hit on almost all of the major 'treat topics' the kids were listening for - prayer, scriptures, temple, and family,  so that made his talk a favorite for them!).   Hooray for a nice conference weekend :)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

a tiny failed test / fix

This was a favorite quote from last conference (?) that we've talked about a lot in our family. I had a new cute chalkboard and decided to write it up to put on the wall, but made the mistake of using oil pastel instead of chalk (they're about the same, right?) and soon found with my first sloppy attempt that oil pastel doesn't erase like chalk.  So I had the brilliant idea of using butcher paper and a chalk pen to cover up my failed attempt. (This was a process of about 2 months to get this point, projects move slooooooooooowly around here.) But finally, it was finished. That afternoon, after I'd squeezed in minutes throughout the day to get the words just how I wanted… Landon tried signing his name in the corner and discovered that butcher paper doesn't erase like a chalkboard does. I didn't do awesome at following my carefully lettered advice in my initial reaction. But I did learn my lesson and instead of starting over, I now have an even better reminder of responding with kindness next time. 

A perfect cover-up + reminder to really do what the sign says :)

Friday, October 3, 2014

a happy surprise

food storage city
I was brainstorming how to get the kids to cheerfully help bring all the case lot cans downstairs today on their day off of school. Amazingly I got Landon started, and it was only a few minutes before Ellie and Owen were asking to help too. Now, we have the great city of food storage in our laundry room downstairs ready to be sorted and shelved in the storage room. (And the kids enjoyed an hour of helping + city building)

Also today, what fun to have Landon and Ellie and Owen being great buddies on a day home from school! And Porter got to have a babysitter for a short while (and  loved the one-on-one play time) while I met with the physical therapist and started a routine to see if I can help these arms and hands of mine. Now a popcorn and movie party with Jordan :)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Super helper Landon

Favorite summertime (and now Fall) spot

Landon has always been quick to notice when I'm  having a hard time and jump to do whatever he can think of to help out. Today we had a bunch of case lot groceries at the top of the stairs (side note: I just made the most amazing discovery that Lee's delivers case lot groceries !!). After a rough afternoon,  I was putting Porter to bed and Landon came in from soccer practice and asked me if he could take the groceries downstairs to the storage room. I'm so grateful for his tender heart and sweet helpfulness!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

I want to remember

finished with lunch, "Mom, take my picture!"
Every few days Owen will say to us "I need to tell you a secret" Then he'll come close and whisper in our ear in a low, scratchy, lion voice "The cows are standing on my kidneys!"

(From the kids favorite Studio C sketch)