Monday, May 22, 2017

Countdown to Summer

This is the final week of school for these kiddos.
I think I'm ready...and I know these kids are ready.  However, I will miss my little quiet moments of each  day...but I will not miss homework, packing lunches, and waking kids up in the mornings.

These past couple of weeks the kids have kept us busy with many end of the year concerts.

First up:  Morgan's Hope Of America program.
I love this program!  It's all the fifth graders in the county that perform several patriotic songs.  It's a big deal and it always impresses me how well they do with such a large amount of kids!  
 It's always good fun!

 Morgan and Campbelle.


 Haley has been involved in  concert choir and ballroom dance this year.
This last semester she moved up into the intermediate class for dance!

So last week we attended three shows: one choir and two dance.  Whew!
She was a busy girl!

For dance her class performed the Cha Cha.
I was so impressed!
She did an amazing job!

Now the countdown begins...four more days and I don't have to say...
"No TV after dinner!"
"Lights out!  Go to bed!!!"
"Homework first!"
"Where is your homework!?"
"No computer!"
"Hurry!!  Eat!!  It's already 8:00!!"
"Find your shoes!!"
"Hang up your backpack!!"
(With or without swearing under my breath.)

Four more days.
Gonna make it, gonna make it, gonna make it....

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Graduate

 My little brother, Jeff, graduated a couple weekends ago from Utah Valley University in Biology.
He chose the most perfect day too...mid 80's and full sun!  Days like these are the best after a cold winter.

I drove with my parents at the crack of dawn to watch him walk and receive his degree.
The girls had school and Ryan had work, but luckily we were all able to meet up for a beautiful luncheon at my parents' home after.

 Jeff with his fiance, Jess.






Cornhole!!  
No family party is complete without this game.


It was a lovely day celebrating all his hard work.
Now real life begins, ha!

So proud of you Jeffy Boy!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Utah State Championships


Morgan has been showing quite a bit of interest in racing on the road as well as a bit of mountain biking.  So with a few rides under her belt so far this season we went ahead and signed her up for the State Championships.  Why not, right? 
She was super excited about it!

Ryan raced as well.
This is turning into a family affair!

 My boys.
Staging for their race.


I was so nervous for my little Morgan!
 There were four other girls racing with her in the 10-12 category.
They had to do 18 miles total.  The race started on Antelope Island which has a long causeway connecting it to the mainland, so the girls had to ride the entire length of that causeway, 7 miles out, 7 miles back.  Then once back on the island they rode 4 more miles up and down some rollers to the finish.  

Let me just add here that this island is known for its massive bug population this time of year.  I knew it may be bad, but I had NO IDEA it was going to be as bad as it was!!  You know you're in trouble when you drive up to the island and all the park employees are dressed in bug nets.  Luckily, I brought bug spray, which protected us a little, but we still all got bites none the less.  Clouds and clouds of bugs surrounded us at all times...it was pretty terrible.
 Trying to take a photo was a fail...the girls were too busy swatting bugs away.


Luckily, the wind picked up, which was good for us (it blew the bugs away) but bad for my little Morgan who out battling against it on a very long road!
 No surprise, her little group shattered.


 Coming in to the finish scoring third place!
She was worked!  But so happy!!  
It was not easy out there, and I am just so proud of her!!

As soon as the results were in the wind picked up more and then rain started coming down.  It was pretty intense!  We were all huddled behind the trailer for cover listening to the results being read and the medals handed out.  Most people just took their awards and left, but these girls wanted the whole experience with the podium!!  The three of them left the cover of the trailer and endured the crazy weather for some pictures...I'm so glad they were game. 

As we drove home Morgan talked about her race the entire drive, all hour and a half of it!  She was so thrilled about her first race and so proud of herself.
I was glad that the weather and bugs didn't scare her off and make her never want to do it again.

But then, one of the things she said to us driving home was how sometimes those uncomfortable or scary moments make the best adventures and memories.

Words to remember.

Monday, May 1, 2017

ACL Recovery

This week marks 10 weeks post op.
That seems like a long time to me.
 But the doctors say that full recovery will take about 7 months...so when I think about it that way...I'm not even half way yet.  Yeah...kinda daunting.

BUT, lets not think about it that way...and lets focus on my progress!
 I took this picture about 7 weeks post op.
Still swollen.  
I should take another picture sometime because it's actually looking like a normal knee now.

 I do my therapy exercises everyday...sometimes it's just working on my flex/extension, sometimes I do ALL of the exercises...but I try to get something in everyday.
Currently, my flex is between 150 and 154 degrees, depending on who measures me.

 Last week I ventured outdoors on my bike.  I wore my tennis shoes and I didn't leave my neighborhood.  We live on the bench in the valley so there's a little climb to my house...I've been pretty apprehensive about tackling it given I'm not supposed to get out of the saddle yet.  So, I did a little loop three times around my hood, and it felt great!

 Most days I ride indoors.  
Ryan set up a trainer in the living room...kinda weird when people come over to see a bike in the living room, but since I ride it just about everyday, no sense putting it away.

Yesterday I hit a little milestone!
I finally clipped in AND I ventured away from my hood!
I rode the up the canyon a bit with Ryan (and Piper on the back of the tandem).  It felt amazing!  And I got up the little hill back to my house without a problem, I could do it just fine seated.

It's easy to get down and out and dwell on how far I have to go in my recovery still.  But, days like these give me that push I need to keep plugging away.
Recovery will come...I just need to be patient with my body...it's healing as fast as it can.

Oh, and Happy May Day!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Rocky the Squirrel

Most of you know Rocky.
My parents rescued him about 10 years ago.
They found two brand new baby squirrels (I don't even think their eyes were open yet) laying in their yard...obviously fell out of a tree.  They waited hoping the mom would come back to get them...but no such luck.  So they took them in.  They fed them with a little eye dropper and kept them safe and warm.  Sadly, shortly after taking them in the female died.  The male on the other had was doing great...active and healthy...they named him Rocky.  My parents have a large aviary in their backyard that surrounds a lemon tree and decided to make that his permanent home.

At one point he escaped!  Sad of course...but we thought perhaps that was best, he's back in the wild. 

However, a few days later Rocky came back...beat up, but alive!  He apparently got into a scuffle and decided the wild was NOT for him and he liked it in his little lemon tree after all.



These pictures are from when he was still a young little squirrel.
If you had long sleeves and pants he would zip all around your body...it was pretty amusing!


He also curled up into Haley's hood of her sweatshirt and fell asleep.


Sadly, a couple of weeks ago, Rocky passed away.
We were all sad to hear the news.

Hopefully, he's somewhere enjoying a big pile of peanuts.
R.I.P. Rocky.



Saturday, April 22, 2017

Easter 2017


Last weekend we celebrated Easter!
First things first, the girls hunted for their Easter baskets as soon as they got up...Morgan being the last one up (she almost slept the morning away!).  

We had a leisurely breakfast of French toast and then relaxed (and watched a couple of their new movies) before we headed off to Grandma and Grandpa's for the Easter egg hunt and dinner.

 The girls with their cousins, Jett and Rowan.  Rowan just turned one April 1st!  
Wow, did that year go fast?!  She is such a doll and Rory is absolutely obsessed with her...she follows her around and helps her with anything she needs.  It's awfully cute!


 My mom had the house looking so festive!
And the dinner was top notch!

 And it wouldn't be Easter without the annual sibling picture on the porch!
Unfortunately, this year Andrew wasn't able to be here for the event...sad face.
But the show must go on!


 And just for kicks, Ryan and I posed for a few!

 The opening of the annual Easter balls!!

Every year my mom makes each kiddo a ball that's made of crepe paper.  As they unwind it they find all sorts of little trinkets hidden in between the wrapping.  So they must unwind it slowly so they don't miss anything!  The little ones (mostly Piper) are still working on this concept.  Everything is a race with that girl.

 It's good fun and makes a huge mess!!
They love it!

And also, this year Easter was a beautiful, warm day!
I just love it when the weather cooperates, don't you?

And that's all she wrote.
Happy Easter!
The end.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Spring Break 2017

Usually we try to camp for our Spring Breaks (at least for part of it), but again, my darn knee kept us from doing that.  So we made the best of it and tried to do some fun things from home.

We kicked off the break by taking the girls to see Beauty and the Beast at the theater.  Now, this is a big deal for our family...we usually hit up the dollar theater when we do movies. Sadly however, our local dollar theater closed down recently making way for a larger shopping center...don't even get me started...I'm still mourning about this.  
I don't think my two youngest have ever been to a regular theater!  And let me tell you, they were blown away with the big recliner seats they got to sit in! 
We loved the movie...and it was beautifully done!  And then after we got some lunch.  (Yes, we hit up the early bird showing time...and goodness sake, it's still expensive for a family of six!)  
But anyway, it was a fun day!

Later in the week, we took the kids into Salt Lake City to visit the Capital Building.
But first, we hit up some lunch.
 It was a little vegan eatery that Ryan has been wanting to take us to.
They serve things like Philly Cheesesteaks, Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches, Barbacoa Burritos...all vegan.  Ryan says it would fool any meat eater.  I was skeptical.  But, actually, I thought it was quite good!  The kids however, not so much (except for Haley...I think she liked it.)  But it was a lovely day, and we got to eat outside...I call that a win!



After lunch we traveled over to the Capital Building.  But first, right across the street from the Capital Building was the Pioneer Memorial Museum that we wanted to hit up.

This museum is huge!  I can't believe we hadn't seen it after all these years of living here.  It has all sorts of artifacts from the pioneers that traveled west and settled the Salt Lake Valley.  Clothing, handcarts, wagons, tools, furniture...you name it, they had it.  It was really interesting. 

 And then we walked over to the Capital.
It was such a beautiful day...all the blossoms were out in full force!





I have to admit, all the walking completely wore me out, but it was well worth it.
What a fun day!

Our Spring Break also included a lot of late nights, movies at home, and playing with friends.
Maybe next year we'll be able to get back to back to some camping.



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