Saturday, March 5, 2011

Hello, out there!
2011 is in full swing. It is the first week of March, and we can actually see the end of the school year approaching. So hard to believe-this school year has flown by.

Quick update on the kids:

Brad is in 9th grade and is currently enrolled in Electronic High School, an online high school for Utah students who want to either work entirely from home or who want to work ahead or make up credit. He is a full-time student, so all of his classes are through EHS. He is taking Algebra 2, English, Spanish, Earth Science, World Civilizations and Financial Literacy. His school days are usually about 8 hours long, but his grades reflect his hard work. He has a 3.8 grade point average! We just finished the registration process for him to attend NUAMES next year (Northern Utah Academy for Math, Science and Engineering) which is an early college high school. He is so excited! There are only a handful of these schools across the nation, and by the grace of God one of them is in our backyard! We are still working on his schedule for next year, but he will have at least 2 concurrent enrollment classes through Weber State University. College credit, paid for by UT, at age 15. Who would have thunk it? :) This picture was taken at Red Lobster on Brad's 15th birthday. Sorry about the red eyes, forgot to edit before I posted!

Lindsay is in 7th grade and is homeschooling. She is a woman of many talents! Her most current interest is writing adventure stories and illustrating them. She could definitely have a career in writing if she wished. Her stories are so well-written! So now I will begin pouring over curriculum choices for next year that would encourage her in this area. She is also very good at science, but alas, unlike her momma, this is not her greatest interest. I do believe she tolerates the rest of her subjects such as history and math. However, if I were to release this child on her own, she would spend her days buried in books and writing books of her own. I pray she continues in this, she has some real, God-given talent. In November she got braces and last week the orthodontist surprised us with head gear. (I can't help but see Anthony Michael Hall in Sixteen Candles every time I help her put it on) Fortunately, she only has to wear it at night. She is NOT a fan. :) In this photo she is showing off her science assignment...she made an orb web.

Nathan is in 6th grade at LCA. He is still our consummate student...the "do-it-all" kind of guy. He got a 4.0 last quarter! (6th grade is a middle school grade) The basketball season recently ended and chomping at its heels was the baseball season. Nathan is a gem. We are so thankful for his strong character, and his willingness to make good choices when others around him are not. He works hard, takes his responsibilities seriously, but is still a goofball and so much fun. He is officially my height, which he thoroughly enjoys. And, inevitably, in the next month or so I'm sure he'll be taller than I am. After all, he needs to grow into those feet! Size 9 in men's. Really?!?! Yep. This photo was taken after the Awana Grand Prix. He designed and painted his own car.
Kaylee is homeschooling and is in the 3rd grade. Having her dear friend Andrea here with us for homeschooling the last 2 years has been wonderful, and has met her social needs. :) However, the times, they are a-changin'. Andrea moved recently, and it is no longer easy for her mom to bring her to us. Fortunately, she is going to finish out the school year with us. We spent a lot of time praying and contemplating choices for next year, and have decided to send both Kaylee and Hannah to a charter school that opened not too far from us last year. We love the curriculum, and we know many families whose children attend there. Kaylee is our social butterfly, and she is definitely ready to spread her wings. The school also has a pull-out Bible Institute, which I will be helping with 2 or 3 times a week. Lindsay will also help out, and we are excited to do it together. This picture was taken at her 9th birthday party, which was an ice skating and sleepover party.
Hannah is also homeschooling and is in the 1st grade. It was a tumultuous decision for us to send her to school next year, what with all of her health and shyness issues. Her placement there was by far the most prayed over decision we've made in recent parenting years. She has been attached to my hip for 7 years (for better or worse!) and it will be hard to let my baby go. However, we do feel this is where God is leading our family. Her little bff is also going to be attending that school with her, so we are thankful she's got somebody there to tell the teacher when Hannah has to go potty, because it could be a good 3 months before Hannah will utter a word to her teacher. (She never did say a word to her preschool teacher, the entire year in her class...sigh!) I will be at the school at least twice a week with the Bible Institute, and then I will also help out in her classroom once a week. So, it is working out well for me to stay involved and still let Hannah's little wings spread, even if it's just a bit. This picture was taken on her 7th birthday. My little pixie is growing up! :)

So that's the latest with the kids. I love being a mom. It's not always easy, that's for sure. But I can say, with all honesty, that this has been the most amazing ride. Watching them grow physically, mentally, and spiritually is the greatest gift. I so enjoy my teenagers. The only part of raising teenagers so far that has been difficult is knowing this is their last stretch until adulthood. Keeping with the butterfly analogy, I do believe that will be the most difficult part of parenting...watching them fly away. And it is coming at me too, too fast.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas 2010 and the Year in Review

Hello, Dear Friends and Family!

Either you are stumbling across our blog today by mere chance, or you have received our Christmas Museletter and would like to find out what ACTUALLY happened in our lives this year. Either way, welcome! Many, many blessings be yours in 2011, and please know that each of you is a gift to us.

Hark! the herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinner reconciled.


Monday, May 17, 2010

In the News...

Wow, two months again since an update. I think Facebook has commandeered my creative outlet, which is sad. Guess I need to stay on top of this more. With 5 kids, you know it's not a lack of activity around here that keeps me away!
I have to even look back at iphoto to even see what we've done in the last month.
The first week of April Joe's parents came for a visit. As always, it was so much fun. It was Spring Break so we did a bit of sleeping in, game playing, sight seeing, and the kids did a lot of ice cream-eating!

We also decorated Easter eggs...

And made Easter cookies...

Joe's parents were here for, among many reasons, the Living History Museum for our homeschool co-op. The girls worked hard this year. Lindsay read a full biography on Amelia Earhardt, and did a research paper. Her costume really came together, and she did an amazing job presenting her board at the museum. She was very animated, and stayed in character the whole time. We were so proud of her!!

Ain't she adorable?

Kaylee chose Cleopatra (following in Lindsay's footsteps from LHM of 2008 in AZ) and she read 3 books and helped prepare her poster. She wrote her notecards herself, and then didn't need to use them, as she knew her answers so well! She also did a great job. So proud of our girls!

Kaylee's favorite part of the whole thing was putting on the makeup and wearing all the jewelry. I think she'd take the job of Egyptian Queen simply for the fashion. :)

Here Andrea (I homeschool her also, she is Kaylee's good friend) is posing as Sacajawea. She also did an amazing job. They were so cute!

Gramma came out to support the girls. She also provided many pieces of each girl's costumes, including some of Kaylee's jewelry and Lindsay's scarf.

Daddy gets a chance to interview Cleopatra.

Josiah O as Isaac Newton, Daniel O as Neil Armstrong, and our girls.

In other news, Moo Lim Do continues to be a favorite activity around here. Look at that form! Brad is ready to test for his next belt. Testing fell over Joe's and my anniversary weekend, though, so he'll have to wait till the next time around.

Also in the news (literally, it made the paper!) Nathan was "Prince Edward" in our school's musical review and had a duet performance with the young lady who played Giselle. They were great, and though Nate didn't particularly enjoy his costume (being the consummate athlete-type, velvet just wasn't his thing), he looked wonderful.

Also also in the news, the girls each passed their next levels of ice skating. :)

And our friend Chris ran a marathon and raised nearly $2,000 for HopeKids!!

Lindsay and I helped at the HopeKids Dinner and Auction. She decorated 2 tables in honor of her best friend Abby, who passed away in 2005. I can't believe we forgot to take pictures of the tables. Lindsay did the work herself and she did an amazing job. The tables were filled with all things Abby loved- Ariel, pandas, Barbies, Polly Pockets, Jamba Juice...and she also filled Ariel gift bags with gummy bears and we gave each guest seashell candle holders as party favors. She loved doing it and hopes she gets to do it again next year.

My aunt Bobbie retired after 30 years of teaching preschool. Wow!! All of the people at the party could attest to how wonderful she was at her job.

Brad "graduated" from Awana this year, finishing his 9th year. So proud of all he has done, and all the Bible memory verses he has stored up in his heart! Gramma came to support the kids (she does a lot of that, doesn't she?) :)

Nathan (with his friends Tyson and Noah) finished up his 3rd year in Truth and Training. One year to go, then he will move on to Trek. Nathan gives 100% to everything he does, we are all motivated by him!

Kaylee was awarded "Sparky of the Year" because she was the only Sparky to complete all 3 books. We're so proud of her! She graduates into Truth and Training, and is excited to get the green t-shirt. (Kids are so funny!) Great job, Kaylee!!!

Hannah with her friends KaiLi, Darcie and Rachel. She finished her first year as a Sparky and finished her whole book and reviewed it. Yeah!

In case you noticed we were missing a kid, Lindsay doesn't participate in Awana. She was in it through her second year of Truth and Training, and decided she was done. So now she is my assistant (I am the Sparks secretary). She does a great job helping me out each week, and even helps the leaders when needed by listening to verses and helping with general tasks.

Well, there is certainly more to tell, but I'm done for the night. I will do "In the News, Part 2" hopefully sooner than later. Coming up- Nathan graduates from elementary school, Brad graduates from middle school, and good friends come for a visit. Plus some pet don't want to miss this. hahaha

Monday, March 29, 2010

New Read

My new book is quite intense. I'm about 100 pages into it, and I really have to tear myself away from it.

It is really good. It starts in Shanghai in 1937, when the Japanese begin their invasion of China. Her writing is exciting- detailed but not painfully so, and clean. (ie, I don't have to visually weed out gobs of offensive language) I have a hard time putting it down, which is why I shoved it under the bed today while I got ready for my in-laws' arrival tomorrow. Too much to do to get ready- if I'd have picked it up, there would have been no turning back!

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Birthday Downpour

So this past 6 weeks has been a whirlwind of birthday chaos. Beginning with Brad's 14th, then Hannah's 6th, then my 38th, then Kaylee's 8th, and wrapping up with Joe's 40th and my mom's (well, she won't appreciate me writing that, now will she?) it was a virtual storm of wrapping paper, gifts, thank you notes and cake. I don't even like cake, but somehow I end up consuming what must be 3 lbs of it during this 6 week time period each year.

It's been a good ride, though, you know? Being a parent in a sizable family is undoubtedly exhausting, but I really wouldn't trade it for anything. Today I assisted my youngest daughter as she read her first "real" book, I taught my 8 year old her first multiplication lesson in math, laughed hysterically with my 11 and 12 year-olds over the content of our favorite website ( and watched as my 14-year-old gave me his most recent progress report, grinning from ear to ear, as it contained all A's and one B. Every day brings a new adventure- some good, some hairy, but all worth the ride.

Happy birthday, Brad! We thank God for every minute of the 14 years you've been with us!

This sweet little face has been in our home for 6 years now- our little Hannah-Banana!

This lovely crew brought me breakfast in bed on my birthday. (it was 7 am, which makes the gift all the more wonderful!) I love these kids!!!!!!

Last day as 7-year-old and 6-year-old! (can you believe there really are just 2 years between them? Talk about the tall and short of it! :)

Happy birthday, Bug! Kaylee was given the choice of 1) a full outfit from Justice, accessories included, or 2) an ipod shuffle. She chose the clothes. We are in for it, I think. :) She is such a joy, we are continually amazed by her multi-faceted personality.

So there is a glimpse of the last 6 weeks. To go along with all the celebrating, we also had one minor car accident, which left our car in better shape than it was prior to the accident, thanks to a great body shop and a great repair shop. Fortunately, the accident was not Joe's fault, and the girl who hit him wasn't cited because she slid into him when she was unable to stop in the snow.

Now that the Olympics are over, I am ready to resume my normal tv-watching routine. Sadly, I have one. I love the Olympics, so I was almost mourning its ending, but I look forward to The Biggest Loser (yeah, Jillian scares me, too), American Idol, Lost, Psych, and Glee. It's really ridiculous, I know. Last night we watched the Marriage Ref after the Olympics and we laughed hysterically. I have no time for any more shows, dang it! Oh, and Parenthood looks good, too. Sigh. Maybe I just need to pitch the thing out the window. Thank goodness for my DVR or I'd have to watch those shows when they actually come on, and then I'd really be in trouble. :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Meet our new Yellow Belts!

Recently Joe, Brad, Lindsay and Nathan passed their first Moo Lim Do testing, and are officially yellow belts! Woo hoo!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Resurrection of the TV

So after finding out that the tv would cost $400 to fix, Joe resorted to banging it with his mag light flashlight. After four or five good smacks, he put the motherboard back in and turned it on.

It worked.

If that had been me, it would have burst into flames. I am thankful for a handy, if not slightly magical, husband.