Saturday, September 27, 2008

Junie B. Jones

I am so proud of Carter. This week he finished his first Chapter book, Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus. I was a little worried it would take forever but he breezed right through. It took about 10 days of him reading to me at night. Of course he struggled with some words here and there like when he read the word "picnic" as "pisnis" (I think he is still laughing about that one). He also has a tendency to look at the beginning of the word and assume he knows what's coming like when he read "electric sharpener" as "elementary sharpener." I asked him how he felt about finishing such a big book and he said he felt really good. You can tell by the smile on his face that he knows he accomplished something. He said he can't wait to read another one. The book club junkie in me is so excited that he loves to read and I hope that love continues to grow!

Tour des Lacs

I am posting this because neither my mom or my sister have a blog and I think they deserve some kudos. Last weekend they participated in the Tour des Lacs. It was a 105 mile bike ride from downtown Spokane through Plummer and Harrison Id. then into Coeur d' Alene. Here is a map of their route. They are totally amazing women. My mom is a little more amazing entirely due to a few extra years under her belt but they both rock! Way to go ladies! Looking way too cute for just riding their bike for eight and a half hours!
We went to Coeur d' Alene to cheer them on at the finish. Jordan and his girlfriend Kailee (in the background) made really cool shirts. They were the official cheer squad but Carter is Grandma Julia's biggest fan!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mother of the Year? I think not.

So today was one of those days where situation after situation reminded me that I'm not even in the running for mother of the year. Here's how it went. I get up, feed the baby, try to convince my kids to eat the same thing for breakfast. I'm not going to make pancakes for Carter and eggs for Sydney. After I get the baby down for a nap, I let my kids watch too much T.V. because I really want to exercise and shower before Kindermusik. I take too long so naturally we are running late. I am frantically packing a lunch and loading the car with the necessities for an afternoon away from the house. On one of my trips inside, Sydney is standing just inside the door and I slam her heel with the door. She is screaming and bleeding. We finally all get in the car and I realize I forgot her backpack. I run back into the house and set the alarm off. I cancel it, grab the backpack and we are on the road. Garth calls from work. He is on the line with the security company; the alarm is going off. I rush back to the house and make sure the alarm is reset (it was, so the detour was unneccesary.) Music class goes fine then I run some errands on the south hill. I talked to my friend about when to trade kids this week and we decide this afternoon would be great. I ditch my kids and do some grocery and birthday shopping. I pick up my kids and head home as we pass by the elementary school at 5:40 I realize CRAP! today is Wednesday and Carter had soccer. I apologize profusely and I make it up to him with a lovely dinner of "leftovers, enjoy" (yes that is a Nacho Libre reference and yes my kids can quote that movie they have seen it so many times.) I clean up dinner and run off to Young Women's to play broom hockey with my Mia Maids. I just got home and kissed my kids goodnight (they were already asleep.) Thank heavens tomorrow is another day!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I am a huge fan of Kindermusik! We were first introduced to it when Carter was very young and Theresa Birch (a long time family friend) was just starting to teach. She approached me because she wanted her first "village" class to be full so she could get a feel for the class. He did one semester each of "Village" and "Our Time" with me and loved it! The year before he started preschool, he did a full year of "Imagine That." That is my favorite age group. They learn and grow so much and it is so fun to have a first experience away from mom (even though mom is watching through the window.) Garth is not as huge of a fan as I am. I think he likes the class and what they learn but doesn't care for the tuition! I talked him into letting Sydney do an "Imagine That" class this year since we decided to forego preschool. So far it is a huge hit! She loves Miss Theresa and her new teal backpack. There was no separation anxiety. I think it helped that cousin Paige is in class with her. She walked right in and participated in all of the singing, playing, dancing, and marching that makes up her hour long class. I am really happy she is in it and I look forward to seeing her have fun and grow in Kindermusik.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Quick Quote From Sydney:

"Carter you be Luke and I'll be Garth Vader"

Book Club

I belong to the best book club in Spokane! Our dedicated and fearless leader Nicole makes it the best. She is so on top of things and unbelievably organized. There are 17 members and at first glance, we are similar. All female, all mothers, all about the same age. But when we get a discussion going it is evident we are a very eclectic group. It has given me a chance to meet and spend time with ladies I wouldn't have otherwise met due to geographics, full time jobs, etc. My friend Misty invited me to try it out in October of 2006 and I have been hooked. We rotate houses and the hostess always treats us well with fabulous food, delicious deserts and lively discussion. The past two months we have read The Count of Monte Cristo. I read the abridged version and I feel a little jipped. I didn't know we were going to spread it out over two months and I didn't think I could tackle all 1300 pages of the unabridged in one month. I still thought it was amazing storytelling. I would recommend it to anyone. Next month is the book clubs 3 year anniversary and I am the hostess. Pressure. I better come up with something good!

Mutton Bustin'

Last week we took the kids to the Spokane Interstate Fair. I am not a huge fan of the fair. It is quite the money sucker. We made the kids eat dinner in the car on the way, they got in free, and we didn't let them ride any rides and we still dropped $40 in two hours. One of the things we spent money on was Mutton Bustin'. Carter was so excited to try it and be the first one in the family to ride a sheep. My southern Utah relatives would be so proud! He only lasted like 1.7 seconds but he had a great time. He was telling all the girls about it at the bus stop the next day. He's getting a little more adventurous. One year ago this never would have happend!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Summer Pics

Since I am new to blogging, I feel like I missed out sharing some fun things from the summer. I just wanted to share some of my favorite photos of summer 2008.

This is Sydney with her cousin Paige at a big family ski day. They are a little love-hate but I caught them in a good moment.

We got to go to Idaho Falls to see our good friends the Landers. I caught Carter and Genevieve sitting on this bench visiting at the park. I couldn't resist. Do parents still betrothe their children?

Everyone loves Derek'd beautiful blue eyes. It is the first thing people say when they see him. I got this picture at cousin Matti Jo's wedding reception in Monroe, Utah.

Also in Utah, Garth took me on a motorcycle ride from Richfield to Big Rock Candy Mountain. It was my first time on a motorcycle on the freeway. I was a little nervous about the high speeds at first but I got used to it and had a great time. (We did wear our helmets for the ride, we just took them off for the photo.)

We are so proud of Carter! He is officially a water skier. The year started out with tears and drama but by August he was begging to have a turn and would go with no tears. As you can see, I still get in the water with him for comfort. He goes so far now, they have to leave me near the shore or a dock while he skis a few miles. He also managed to cross the wake without falling 3 times this year!

Why I Love Canning

1. I feel connected to other generations (mostly my mother and Garth's Grandma Ele)
2. The sense of accomplishment I feel when I hear that POP from the other room indicating one more jar that can go to food storage and not have to be eaten right away.
3. It is one of the rare occasions my "Inner Martha" comes out.
4. The joy of eating Five Mile Prairie peaches, applesauce, tomatoes etc. in the middle of the winter.
5. It is one step toward following our Prophet's council to have food storage.
Why I Don't Love Canning
1. Time
2. Time
3. Time
What I've Canned This Year
1. Peaches
2. Applesauce
3. Tomatoes
4. Pickles
5. Asparagus (pickled)
6. Spaghetti Sauce
What I still Want to Can this Year
1. Apple Pie Filling
2. Pears

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Men's Club

This summer, Garth was part of a Men's Club at Qualchan Golf Course. I know it sounds swanky but it's just golf. He and some friends played every Thursday night. They got to be in some tournaments and had a great time. He actually won some cash and some merchandise at the pro shop! I remain a golf virgin (I have never played a round). I think it is good for Garth to have something that gets him out of the house, away from the office, and out with the guys. Spokane has such beautiful public courses. Every time we travel somewhere and he plays golf, he is reminded that it's hard to beat the prices and the beauty of the Spokane courses. Unfortunately, men's club has come to an end for this year. Since the weather is still cooperating, he will get to golf a few more weeks before the clubs must hibernate for the winter.
UPDATE: In the final tournament, Garth and his friends Tim, Kreg, and Matt, won the 2008 Men's club championship. Thank goodness for handicap. Way to go guys!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Happiness Is. . .

Being on the boat! Today is the best day ever. I had three friends join me this afternoon for a "Ladies Day" on Long Lake where we live. I was a tiny bit nervous about driving the boat without Garth but I did great. The water was glass, the sun was shining and the company was great. Is there anything better? Garth is heading home from work for round two of skiing. In about a month when it is cold outside I will long for days like this.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Quick Quote from Carter

Carter: Can I change Derek's leap frog toy to Spanish?
Mom: No Carter, leave it. He doesn't even speak English yet.
Carter: But what if he grows up to be Mexican someday?

She Does Hair

I occasionally like to visit this blog. She has adorable daughters and really cute ideas for hair do's. It has really helped Sydney and me with a stressful part of our day - Hair Time. Sydney is extremely particular about her hair. She will ask for pig tails and cry because they are too high or too low. She'll ask for 7 braids then be mad at me because I don't know how to get 7 braids on one tiny head. So latley we will look at She Does Hair and Sydney will show me which ones she likes (and definitely the ones she doesn't) and I will try them that week. They don't always turn out the same as the picture but we try. This one was similar to one I saw. We did it for my cousin Mattie Jo's wedding down in Manti, Utah. Sydney wanted "fancy hair" and this is what we came up with.

Best Mom

Quick Qoute from Carter

Mom: Goodnight Carter you're the best.
Carter: Mom, you are the best mom I've ever seen. . .well ONE of the best.

Way to keep me humble Carter!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

First Days of Kindergarten

I can't believe I am the mother of a Kindergartner! Carter was so excited all summer to start kindergarten. About a week before he started getting nervous. I think the reality set in for both of us. I keep saying I can't wait til my kids are in school, but now that it is here, I am feeling a little nervous too. Garth thought I was being over protective because I didn't want him riding the bus with the "big kids." I drove him the first day then he insisted on riding the bus. So he hops on the bus and heads to Nine Mile Falls Elementary. He is in Mrs. Remien's class. There are 17 kids, 8 boys and 9 girls. He goes to school on Tuesday and Thursday all day then Friday mornings. I think I am really going to like the full day schedule. He went to school 4 half days this week (to break the kids in) and next week will start his regular schedule. He told me school gets better every day. Hopefully this good attitude lasts!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Beginner Blogger

I have resisted the idea of blogging for a long time now. It was on that imaginary list I have of things that good moms do but I don't have time for. However, lately I have really seen the benefit of blogging. A friend of mine in book club truly inspired me. She is a great blogger and she has her blogs published into a book. It was the first time I had seen that. Her book is a treasure for her and her family and it made me think of all the experiences we are having as a family that are not being documented. My mother was a better mother than me in a lot of ways and I am constantly trying to be more like her. She wrote each Sunday in a journal for us from the time we were born. She wrote until we were 8 then she passed them on to us to continue ourselves. I did really well writing in my journal for several years. When I got to High School, my entries became sporadic then even less frequent in college. I have guilt over the fact that I quit journaling completely after college and I have no record of major events in my life like my engagement, temple marriage, and the births of our three children. I am generally very "computer challenged" so I am going to try to get over that and make this blog special for my family.