Saturday, May 25, 2013

Awesome April

April started with Spring Break at our house.  On Monday of Spring Break, I arranged a fire station visit with our preschool group and friends.  We went to the station just down the street from our house and the fire fighters were great.  They were giving us a tour of the station when a call came in.  The kids got to watch and they raced out to help somebody.  They said the call was close so we could wait in the parking lot for them to come back.  We did until we heard another call come in and watched them drive by to go to another call.  We weren't too disappointed because we all had fun and we got to see them go into action!  The captain called and offered for us to come finish our tour.  Because it was Spring Break and everyone's schedule was different, we ended up there with different friends but had a great time.  This time they showed the kids the truck, let them shoot the hose and try on their equipment.  Thank you, Fire Station 11!!

Claire driving the truck

Will's turn

Will riding in the back

Claire listening to people in the front talk

Cutie pie peeking out
Just a little too big

Our group that day with the nice firemen

Carter and Danny had already left to Yosemite for their annual "Man Camp" with Danny's childhood best friend, Gary and his son.  On Thursday of Spring Break I headed to San Diego with William, Claire and my parents for some more fun!  I realize I am not the best at capturing everything (like pictures of anyone besides the kids) but I'll always have the memories (like my dad swimming in the freezing indoor pool (heater must not have been working) and walking down to the Gaslamp District with William looking like this:
He did get lots of attention.  Another great memory was watching The Croods together and William getting stuck in the seat.  That boy!   I really liked the Croods...the dad in it reminded me just a little of my cute dad;)  Claire proceeded to act like a cave girl as we walked back tot he hotel from the movie and that also go lots of attention;) We got zoo passes and had a fantastic time at the Zoo. 


And then after all that fun, we got to go to a super fun birthday party at place called My Gym in Rancho.  The kids love "baby Caleb" (Danny's coworker's son) and I would recommend that place for a party to anyone.  It was great!

All the while, the boys were having the time of their lives in Yosemite.  Danny is in charge of his own post on that one although here is a beautiful picture of Carter boy because I realized I have hardly any of him from this month!
Claire and Danny got to attend a Father-Daughter disco dance at school.  He said he's never heard (at least never paid attention to) the lyrics of Butterly Kisses and he is already getting emotional thinking about Berry Girl growing up. 
Date night

Dancing queen

William sustained a head injury in nursery with a Lego to the dome. 
I am always searching for balance and have plenty of things I am not doing right or don't feel the best about but one thing that is working well right now is our Sunday Special time.  Danny is gone for meetings for most of Sunday and has been for the last couple years.  We have 1 pm church this year and we have a pretty good routine.  Actually, things did change a bit lately because his calling at church was changed to be the first counselor to our new Bishop Naegle.  We are good friends with the Naegle family and are happy to serve along with them.  So our current routine is to relax a bit in the morning, eat breakfast togther and then say good-bye to Dad.  Once the kids are all ready for church, we start our Special Time.  I rotate who I am with and set a timer.  For the alloted amount of time, I do whatever the child wants me to do with them. The other kids rotate through playing on, sometimes I have an art project, playing quietly together, etc.  This picture is from Special Time with Will.  He requested Mr. Potato Head:).  The great thing about spending time with each child is they feel loved and validated and I feel connected with them.  In fact, I am looking forward to my game of Pokemon in the morning with Carter.  It's been a busy week and he has been spending so much time reading Harry Potter (he's on book six) I feel like I never see him.  After we all finish it is usually time for lunch and to pack up for church.  Another Sunday thing we love to do is watch Adventures from the Book of Virtues .  They teach life lessons through classical narratives and it is perfect for the Sabbath. 
Happy Sabbath to y'all!

On Friendship, Preschool and Baking

In my mind, I write beautifully elegant blog posts.  When I sit down to write one, it never ends up so eloquent but I will give the description of this picture perfect moment my best effort.
I have been blessed, throughout my life, with great friends.  Really, really great friends.  Friends who support me, encourage me, laugh with me, inspire me, sweat with me (running buddies, you know who you are), amaze me, comfort me and listen to me.  When Carter was little I had a group of friends who approached me to do a "joy school" (preschool co-op) with them.  We joined and it was great!  I realized I loved teaching and planning and I loved Carter getting social interaction and the weeks preschool was not at my house, I loved the break I got.  It only lasted a while because I sent Carter to a "real preschool" once he was old enough and Claire didn't ever get the joy school days.  Last fall, my friend recommended the book Teach Me, Mommy to me to work with William while both kids were in school.  I really like the curriculum because it is very simple and basic.  It is not learning letters and numbers, it is learning about plants, animals, ourselves, jobs, etc.  In the fall, I would hold "Mommy School" a few times a week with William and would also have it with friends when they came over and with my sister-in-law April before her second baby was born.  In January, I decided to enlist some awesome friends to join me in the co-op.  We have had a blast!! 
I love preschool because it teaches cooperating, sharing, taking turns, patience, listening to someone other than mom and the love of learning.  The picture above is from a day we learned about bees.  I asked William what he wanted for snack and he said cookies.  Also in January, we started a real food diet.  It has been a journey and there have been some concessions I've made (Cheerios and Go-gurt simple, namely) but the blood, sweat and tears have been worth it. I still love to bake and adapt recipes to make it a whole food.   So, on the preschool morning, we decided to make peanut butter cookies, with honey to fit our theme.  The recipe is here.   I changed the flour to spelt flour as it is a whole grain.  As we made the cookies, we counted, took turns and talked about the different foods that went in to it.  
As I snapped the photo, all the thoughts I just wrote down swirled through my much I have been blessed with good friends, how much I love these adorable children and teaching them, how preschool is of divine origin, how I love baking and adapting it to our new and improved lifestyle and how lucky I am to be right here, right now.