Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Student of the Month

Annie brought a letter home from her teacher informing us that Annie had been chosen as student of the month, and we were welcome to come watch the assembly when they were awarded their certificates.  It was during Ryan's plan period, so he snuck out and was able to be at the school too.
 Annie was the very last kid to be called up.  The anticipation was brutal.  Annie was working so hard to be patient.

 Annie is our very first child to get student of the month for the first month of school.  We are so proud of her!

And then Emma came home, and told us she was a student of the month in her middle school too.  So we definitely had to celebrate.  We had Chinese take-out for dinner.

Maddie took the news hard.  She has been SO GOOD, and is such a big helper, and does what her teacher asks.  Maddie is really, very sure she will be student of the month in October.

Monday, September 29, 2014


There was a talk in the last General Conference by Elder Bednar about a man who took his new 4-wheel drive pick-up into the snowy mountains for firewood.  The snow was deep, and then man got stuck in the snow, in spite of the 4-wheel drive.  He decided he would get out and cut wood anyway, and later when his truck was full of newly cut wood, he had the traction he needed to get out of the deep snow and move forward.

This last Sunday, we felt like we already had a full load in our life "pick-up."  After the Primary Program in sacrament meeting, which I wrote and helped get ready to perform even though I was released from the Primary Presidency weeks ago, I was in the nursery for my new calling.  Bro. R came by the nursery room and said the stake president wanted to see Ryan and me.

I suppose it's too late to not come to church and just hide, right?  Those meetings with the stake president don't bode well.

After questions about our worthiness (wait- can I go buy cigarettes and liquor right now on Sunday?), the call was extended for Ryan to be in the new bishopric.

Ryan laughed.

He always laughs.  ("Hey, your wife has two babies in her womb. "  -Ryan laughed.)

And I felt like we should say yes.  We both did.  Right there in that church classroom, the Holy Ghost witnessed to us that this was a calling from the Lord.

Much-less-than-perfect-me felt very overwhelmed.  My husband is married to needy me, has 4 darling, demanding children, has a job which could easily take over his life, and after cramming a master's degree into one year is pursuing his Administration degree with internship in a year.  

Ryan was set apart as 2nd counselor in the new bishopric at church yesterday.  His parents and both of his sisters and their families came too.  

The wife of the just-released bishop came by today and dropped off this beautiful arrangement of flowers.  She said it was a thank you to us for being willing to service, but secretly I think it was out of sympathy.
I've been reading the scriptures and conference talks a lot lately.  The thought that has been sticking out to me is that the Lord gives us challenges and opportunities to grow when we are ready for them.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Fair Time, again

On this, our second trip to the fair, I only had my cell phone with me to take pictures.

The Sun-dola ride.

 This picture suits how I see my kids, especially when it comes to their bedrooms or toy room.  (The little animals....)
 There was a pirate display, where the parrots would take your money.  I think it was a fund raiser for an endangered species.

 We watched the piglet races.
We also enjoyed the hypnosis show.  The kids are old enough to understand and get into it.  A free show that makes us laugh?  We are all over that.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fair Time

We went to the fair today.  We have to go at least once every year.  Thanks to the free tickets Ryan receives every year for putting up an FFA display, and the parking pass to go with it, we are able to visit the fair for pretty cheap.  If Ryan gets that administration job next year, that may change.  So, we made the most of it.

First up, Ryan's display.  You can't even see the part I did from this angle very well.
 Then there was a surf board photo op, surrounded by lots and lots of plastic bags.  I think the point was to think about recycling your grocery sacks instead of throwing them away, but all I could think of was, "Hey, let's ride the plastic.... wave."

 We checked out the produce displays.  We didn't enter any of our garden produce into this fair, unlike the previous one in August.
 I loved that Emma was posing in front of the fake outhouse.
 It was an amazingly huge pumpkin though.
The kids "milked" the pretend cow.  (Water would squirt out.)
 And we saw the turkeys.  Like we never see any at home....

 The kids barn is always a favorite.

Ryan: "Hey, this is an Ag Teacher car."

 The giant ice cream cones.

 Candy Land.
 The music maker extraordinaire.  This thing is here every. single. year.
This was the first year Emma was on the side lines, instead of banging away with her sisters.  She even complained about how loud it was.  Sniff.  My little girl is growing up!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

An Unofficial FFA member

"Hey, while I am at a church meeting, would you make up some vinyl words for my fair display?  Tonight?  Because we set up tomorrow."

Yep, let me get right on that.  Once the kids are in bed...
Who knew I should have joined FFA back in my high school days?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


We love art here.  At any given moment while the kids are home and awake, there's a pretty good chance someone is drawing, coloring, cutting, using glue, tape, feathers, beads......  

Here are some pictures we drew today.
 Maddie drew our minivan.
 Annie drew.... someone?
 A monster.
And our minivan.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Administrative Internship

The Administrative Internship has really and truly begun.  Ryan has been putting in many an extra hour, going to meetings, conferences, sports, and even a dance since he started.  But last week was when the homework aspect started.  As if spending an extra 540 hours working in addition to his usual job wasn't enough.
So, it is after 10 pm, and I am catching up on blogging and watching my dear husband still diligently working.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

More About Pie

Someone at church offered to let us come pick apples at the house they are renting.  Free apples?  We'll be there!  We filled up a big sack, came home, and set to work using them up.  We made fresh applesauce to go with dinner, and an apple blackberry pie for dessert.
 I find myself strangely fascinated by food.  Aside from pictures of my family, I think food is my next favorite thing to photograph.  It's a shame we are too eager to eat it, and don't wait for it to cool all of the way.  We end up with ugly pie.  It was sooooo good though.
We made a good dent in the pie.  We are slowly working our way through the gallons of blackberries we froze this summer.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Happy Autumn

It's September.  I figured it was time to put away the spring and summer decor, and bring out the fall stuff.  In the middle of the switch, Ryan wanted to know if I'd like to run to the feed store to pick up pig and poultry food with him.  As a date.  Because that's how we roll.  And we are enjoying the fact that Emma is old enough to watch her sisters.  

We came back to this:

The little dears found some of the boxes of Christmas decorations, and dressed up for the holidays!

Monday, September 8, 2014


Clearly, we care deeply about presentation in our household.  I don't know why this cracked me up as much as it did.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Target Practice

This evening as we were checking on Grunter (hey, the kids named him), I noticed some creepy, beedy little eyes looking at me from the pig shed.  They were attached to some scurrying feet and a tail that disappeared into Grunter's food box.  Ryan ran inside to grab the BB gun and I watched a mouse or two go back and forth.
Ryan got at least one.

Bleck, mice still creep me out, even when they are outside.  I wanted to grab Merlin and Emrys and tell them what for.  We don't keep two cats so I can see mice running around.  Geez.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Musical Developments

 With a certain someone starting middle school, it was time to choose an instrument for band.  Emma made the decision at the end of last school year to be in band as her one elective class.  She was disappointed none of her other friends wanted to do band, but this is what Emma wants to do.

Wednesday evening, we went to the Ted Brown instrument night, and picked up a used clarinet to rent.  It looks brand new.
Emma immediately put it together and started squeaking practicing.
She played, and played, and played, figuring out the fingering as she went.  Her band teacher had shown them some notes on the instrument at school, and she found the fingering chart in her band book.
Today after school, Emma found me in my bedroom cleaning and organizing.  (This is the story of my life right now.  And let me tell you, it goes so much faster and easier when I clean and organize in an otherwise empty house.)  I had music playing, and I was in a groove.  Emma brought up her clarinet and proceeded to squeak serenade me with songs from the first two pages of her band music book.  At first I just sighed and turned off my iPod.  But then I realized my middle-schooler likes me, and she was really eager to show off her budding musical skills, and I should be appreciating it.

And I did.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Class Time

I realized I forgot to post the pictures of Maddie and Annie at their classrooms.
 Maddie with her teacher, Ms. P.
Annie outside her classroom door.

The twins were so happy with their first day of school.  They talked my ear off as I picked them up from school.  Maddie especially would have rather taken the bus home, but the bus system has burned me more than once.  (Um, 2.5 hour bus ride home for a kindergartner on the first day is way too long.)  Ryan was "admin"ing at Elizabeth's elementary school, and said the buses actually left on time today to go home.  Who knew?

Annie and Maddie spent much of the afternoon and evening touching each other.  It breaks my heart a little to see them have to be split up during the school day.

A New Leaf

Well, this morning was it.  I spent a couple of nights lying awake in bed, thinking that I haven't done everything I wanted to do with my girls, and I've wasted tons of time, and I shed some tears in bed last night.  My babies are all grown up, and will be spending much of their day away from me.  I don't know if it's been really hard because they are my babies, or because I'm losing two of them at the same time, or what.  Annie and Maddie were so excited this morning.  They were up early enough they could have gone to middle school with Emma.

 We took lots of pictures.  Their backpacks are classic kindergarten style.
 Silly faces.
Pictures by the front door.
 And one more with Elizabeth.
We piled in the minivan and drove to their school fairly early.  I've been there, done that with waiting until near the start time.  By the time I parked, walked them in to their teachers, got them settled, took them to the restroom (curse you automatic flushing toilets- you can read about Elizabeth's experience here (it's pretty hilarious), and back to their classrooms, it was really close to school starting.  Annie and Maddie were totally cool with me leaving.  They walked right in and didn't look back.  (Is that better or worse?)  As Elizabeth and I pulled out of the parking lot, there was a huge queue of cars waiting to enter the school, and I was glad we had come early.  Then I dropped off Elizabeth, and came home to a very quiet house.  I keep thinking Annie and Maddie are getting into something they shouldn't.  It's weird.  I've been looking forward to this new phase of my life, and dreading it at the same time.  I look forward to doing errands in a much more efficient manner, not worrying about dragging kids with me every time I need to do something, and having time to blog, and organize, and do projects, and maybe even exercise without constant interruptions.  And I know I will enjoy these things.  I could even watch a movie this afternoon, and I just spent the whole morning catching up on my blog (like 20 posts, gee I was behind).  But right now I am sad.  I miss my little rug rats.  A whole lot.  My volunteer application is already into the school district, so all is not lost.  There's a good chance I will get to see those kids of mine during the day.