Monday, October 8, 2018

Conference Weekend

kid creation + kid-taken pic :)

This weekend we watched and listened to General Conference. And also built domino towers and made origami and colored made-by-joel paper cities... Saturday the kids were doing so well playing on their own for the most part, and I got so many little organizing jobs done around the house while I listened - it was super great. Ellie and I got to go together to the Women's conference together at the Stake Center that evening too. Sunday we did our little treat game and all listened together, and I think I heard more of the talks than I have in many years.  (Our children are growing!) And I felt excited and inspired with the upcoming changes too!

President Nelson challenged the women of the church to read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year, and I'm excited for this. I haven't read it all the way through in a really long time, so I think it will be great for me. And, he challenged us to take a 10 day break from any social media. So, I'm still going to write (because I'm so happy to have made this a habit again at last!!) but I'll just wait for these 10 days to publish any more here. And I'll report back on this challenge too!  (I did this last month or so when he challenged the youth to do the same, and I know I did read more books that week!  Also, after the week, I was happy to be able to check back in with the few bloggers and instagram accounts that I follow -- maybe I'll make a list of my favorites in 10 days :)

Friday, October 5, 2018

Happy Weekend

We've had a beautiful week of Fall weather -- perfect 68 degree blue sky days, rain and thunderstorm days, and cozy back-and-forth overcast and clear days. And all with these beautiful colorful leaves everywhere too. 

Yesterday our power went out a little after 4:00. By 6:00 when it was still out,  I was gathering up flashlights and lanterns. By 7:00, I had borrowed a few head lamps from a friend, and then just a few minutes after we got home - lights!  The kids thought it was great fun to have a dark party evening (it had gotten pretty dim inside even while it was still bright outside), and when the lights came on they were excited all over again. 

The kids are out of school today, and it's been a mostly smooth low-key day. We've had a busy few weeks with full afternoons and evenings, so it has felt very nice to have an open-calendar-space kind of a day. 

This weekend, we're watching General Conference and going to a few soccer games for the boys. I think it's time to pull up our tomato plants (and the other garden stragglers :) And we'll see what else, but hopefully some lovely outside time. 

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Some things I Learned in September

I always think it is fun to read other writer's 'what I've learned' posts, so I thought I'd try it out this month too.

About The International Space Station

For Lego Robotics this year, the kids are learning about and doing a project on long duration space flight.  I've been trying to learn a little about it so I can help them along the way. In the process, I've learned about the International Space Station, which if you asked me last month, I could have answered that yes, I'd heard of it. And maybe it's some kind of a building on the Moon? Maybe a project they're working on to build on Mars someday? (The sum of my knowledge)

Now I'm learning! The International Space Station is a giant satellite-like research laboratory that circles the earth about every 90 minutes and has been continuously occupied by people for the last 17 years (Isn't that amazing?)  (I'm watching A Year in Space and since I know almost nothing about space, it has been so interesting!)

About Agricola

I learned that I like to play the board game Agricola. In the last few years, I've sat out of most family game times. I mostly felt like I didn't have the energy to invest in a long game, or the time to stay focused that long.  But in the last few weeks, we've started playing Agricola on Sunday afternoons while Isaac has napped, and it has been really fun. And fun that Porter has been able to start learning too.

About Fish Oil

My doctor recommended adding fish oil to my other medications for my arthritis. Before I started, I was reading about it to see what to expect, etc. and it was so funny and crazy to read all of the conditions that fish oil is used to treat.  It looks like it has been tried as treatment (some effective, some not) for pretty much any condition you could think of. I just imagine a lecture in med school all about fish oil "Here's the thing, if you have a patient and you're not sure what might help them, you might as well try fish oil..."

About our Honda Dealership

I've always avoided taking our vans to the dealership because I kind of assumed they'd charge way too much, etc. But we needed these specific little clips that another shop probably wouldn't have, so we really had to choose the dealership. I took our van in a couple of weeks ago, and they seriously went way out of their way to help fix the problem on our van in the least expensive way possible. I was impressed. And it was a really little simple thing, so I could understand what needed to happen,  and that made me more willing to give them a chance in the future when we need more substantial work done.

About Meal Planning

For a few weeks, I was doing a really great job of making a plan for the week for dinner and after school snacks. Then one weekend I forgot, and it was Monday, and I realized that I spent more time in minutes feeling stressed throughout the day because I didn't have a plan than it would have taken to just write down a plan. (I still haven't gotten back on track though... but it was a good reminder once again that if  can get myself to just take those few minutes to make a plan it really will pay off!)

About the Cello

I'm loving sitting down to help Ellie with her cello practice. So far, we've learned all the parts and the strings and had some tips on how to hold the bow, and I've even successfully tuned her cello by myself once now. I'm so excited for Ellie, and I'm excited to learn some little bits along with her too.

Giving things a name

Every day we walk by this row of trees at the park that drops long brown seed pods the kids love to collect. Earlier this summer, they were collecting the brown and the newer green pods and opening them up to compare the seeds inside - dried up and brown or soft and green.

A few weeks ago, Porter ran inside from our back yard "Mom! You have to see something!!"  And right up in the tree next to Jordan's office, there was one of those long green seed pods growing from the tree! At first I thought he must have brought one home from the park and hooked it on somehow, but sure enough it was growing from the tree. And that may not sound so strange, but it felt like looking up at an apple tree and seeing an orange growing or something. Porter took a turn to show everyone else in the family and they were all just as surprised as me.

I started to do some research to figure out how this tree could be growing one of those seed pods. So crazy! First I learned that the tree by Jordan's office was a honey locust tree. And then I learned that the trees by the park were... honey locust trees. And... they look just exactly the same. They're the same tree -- this should not have been a crazy surprise! Ours is a thornless honeylocust with no seed pods (except one, this year!) and the ones at the park have seed pods. I've looked at our tree several times a day, and I could have described the leaves without them in front of me. But I had never actually looked beyond the seed pods at the park trees!

As soon as I learned the name of these trees though, I also realized that there are so many honey locust trees in Logan! We have two in our yard (I did know that, even before I could name them) A full row at the park, and several more all through our neighborhood. They line the main streets downtown. They are all over, and I'd never noticed until they had a name.

Several years ago, we did a little bird unit for our at home preschool time, and I learned for the first time what a robin was (obviously, I have some gaps in my everyday knowledge!) and what a magpie was. And suddenly our neighborhood was full of those two birds. (Not suddenly, obviously. We have so many magpies that our neighbor makes it a hobby to thin their population in our neighborhood, and I don't think they just appeared when I learned their name :)

For a long time, I've wanted to learn more about flowers - and I'm thinking right now about how magical it might feel if I can just learn their names and then I'll suddenly see them appearing all around! (I'll just have to be sure to study them seasonally so I don't try to find daffodils in November :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Thank you notes

Jordan and I are coaching a Lego Robotics team again this year. Last year we jumped in and very much just figured things out as we went along. I'd usually finish each meeting worrying about all the things that didn't go as smoothly as I'd  wished,  and Jordan would reassure me  - we're doing it, we're learning, and it doesn't matter if things go perfectly! 

Last week we met for the first time with this year's new group of kids, and I've felt a bit anxious about it all as we're still very much learning and I still want to do a good job.  Yesterday at school pick up one of the kids from our team walked past and then called back over his shoulder to me "Lego Robotics tomorrow! Yay!" And it was just the perfect little encouragement that I needed!

Monday, October 1, 2018

A list for Owen / Talents

I found this list on the kitchen counter this morning - I'm pretty sure it was written as a consequence (since I haven't known the kids to spontaneously write lists of all the reasons why they love their siblings... :) But I still thought that it was very sweet to read all of these things that really are true about Owen. 

A couple weeks ago Porter and Owen had lessons in primary on talents, and their teachers asked me the week before for a little list of their talents. And it was so fun to take a minute to really think about the unique things each of them are great at.  I couldn't find it right now, but I read recently by Lisa Clark something like this - how nurturing matters "I've bet most of my adult life on that" but how nature is just so fun - to watch and see how each child is just so much themselves.