Back To School 2018

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

My kids have officially been in school for one week. One week to try and settle into our routines and the new normal that is facing us. It has been a school year of many changes, firsts, and lots of nerves.

Hannah Ruby is in 6th grade, I am planning to live in denial for the entire year that my last child is about to leave elementary school. For 4 of her 6 years in elementary school she has been put in class with a teacher in their first year. We have lucked out that they have all been pretty great, and so far she is really loving her teacher, who is in her first year. We were a bit bummed that she was not placed in Mrs. Hansen's class, I think we all just assumed she would be because we are all friends, but that is what I get for not requesting at the end of last year. 

This is Hannah's first year being in school without her brother, they are one grade apart, and I thought it might be tough. But, she is loving being top dog in the school!!! Also, I am slightly sad thinking this may be the last year she wears a unicorn horn and bright colored clothing, because we all know Jr. High can be rough, and I don't want her to loose it all just yet.

This boy, I love him so much, but I worry about him more than any of my kids. He has the biggest heart, is adorably goofy, and is bigger than all the other kids in his grade. For some reason this has made him a target at times for bullying. Knowing how rough Jr. High can be I have been a little nervous. Samantha ensured her brother was looked out for the best she could. Some of her best friends are left behind in the 9th grade and she made sure they are looking out for and being nice to her brother. Nothing has made my Mom heart happier than knowing she had done this for him.

So far so good, he is really liking most of his teachers. There have been a couple hiccups with his locker and getting where he needs to be. But, I think he will adjust and actually enjoy all the fun new classes he is involved in. He was very nervous to start and manage all he need to with seven different classes. We started sitting down together each night and going over the day and everything he needs to accomplish, we make him a list, and then he is rewarded with video game time if he accomplishes everything. So far it has been working well, and I have loved the time we spend together.

Samantha is starting High School this year, and she is also starting her first real job at Subway. We had hoped she would be able to start at Subway when she turned 16, but the owner asked her to start early because she had proven to be a hard worker over the summer cleaning the gas station. I was very grateful she started there one week before she started high school to help with the nerves. She was not excited to start school, there may have even been nervous tears before she left that first day, but thankfully after a week she is starting to settle in. Today was her first day off of work in a couple weeks and I realized how much I have missed having her around. Today she went with me to run errands and talked non-stop. I sat back listening to all I had missed in the last week and enjoying every minute. Except, the minute when she reminded me that she only has three years left of school before she heads out on her own.

I sure do love these three, we are all adjusting to our new normal, and I may have thought a few too many times "what happens when school starts for me in a couple weeks?". And then I try really hard not to think about that too much.

Three kids at three different schools is no joke though, it has been a little tricky managing car pools and buses. But, I think we are going to get there, we will settle in, and we will get into a routine. At least that is what I keep telling myself.

Samantha has been driving to school every morning, she is counting down the days until her Dad isn't sitting in the passenger seat. And secretly, so am I. I am slightly terrified of her driving, but at the same time looking forward to another driver!!

And finally, I will leave you with Max, sitting in the sun relaxing while we all rushed to get to where we needed to be. Don't worry, we were not jealous at all!!


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

In June I rearranged my work schedule so I would have Monday's off. Because it was summer, and my kids were home, and I was still taking classes, it didn't feel any less chaotic then it had been. But we were getting the house cleaned in time for whatever busy thing we had going on that night. Slowly though, the effects of this glorious choice started to show itself. Slowly I started to feel more relaxed and less like I was drowning.

Fast forward to yesterday, my first Monday at home by myself. All my babies were at school and Rob was at work. I puttered around to my heart's content cleaning bathrooms, doing laundry, and enjoying the silence. That night when I crawled in bed I was relaxed, energized, and happy. A feeling I have not felt in a very long time.

I think I realized something important about myself: I need quiet time to rest and recharge from the chaos that is life. But, the one thought that is constantly going through my head lately is "How will I do this all when school starts?!" And I don't know the answer to that question, but I know that this simple choice is a start.

School officially starts for me on September 17th, and I plan to spend the next couple of weeks before I am buried in homework organizing my thoughts and all the home and yard projects that are swirling around in my head. The yard is starting to take shape, and I think next year we are really going to start building the homesteading part, which I am so excited about!! But, I want to make sure that we have a clear purpose and plan to make the best use of our time.

I am also excited to really start taking pictures and blogging again, I know I say that all the time, but I am serious this time. I also want to make family dinner a big priority. I have had a massive shift in my focus and I am excited to see where it takes me.

Diamond Fork Campground

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sometimes we love to drag our children to unknown places, the entire time they are asking 20 questions and trying to guess where we are going. It is probably silly to not tell them where we are going, but it sure is fun to watch them squirm and be annoyed. Today we decided to go on a drive, we wanted to check and see if the road was open to the hot springs up Diamond Fork Canyon. Sadly it was not, and I am holding out hope they will open it in the next couple of weeks, but we made the most of it by stopping at a campground to explore. Hunter wanted to climb some rocks and I wanted a walk and to breathe some fresh air.

The teenager was not too thrilled about our Sunday adventure, thankfully a little time in nature did wonders for her attitude and she started to have fun with the rest of us. Being outside seems to improve all of our attitudes, I need to remember that!!

As we walked down the trail we heard Hunter singing about how he loves tunnels only to then have him appear from one underneath the trail. It didn't take much convincing to get his sisters to join him.

No one can seem to resist jumping pictures.

The stick fighting went on for awhile until Rob took a stick to the face which almost got his eye but instead left a nice gash on his cheek.

Samantha eventually took my camera and went off to explore with Hunter while we finished walking the loop. They found a tepee and came back to get Hannah so they could show her.

It turned out to be the perfect Sunday outing, the weather was beautiful, and bonus there was no cell service so we were forced to spend time talking and laughing with each other. Just what we needed!!

Hello Old Friend

Sunday, March 4, 2018

I spent a couple months fighting to keep this blog alive, my payment wasn't working and I could not figure out for the life of me how to get in. It was 3 days before my domain was about to expire when by some miracle I was able to get in. I made my payment and the blog is alive and well. I realized in all of this how much I miss this space in my life. I miss taking pictures, and I miss recording our every day.

It is amazing to me how I look back and hear myself say life was busy, or challenging. Sometimes I wish I could go back and smack my past self, but other times I wonder if that is just the progression of life. Every stage feels busy and overwhelming, it is in these moments that we grow so that we will be able to handle the next stage.

Life right now is busy, and I understand it is of my own doing, but I have only ever tried to follow the direction I have been given. Right now I work full time at a job I most of the time enjoy, I am doing finance and I LOVE finance!! I am also going to school, it has been a nice gradual dip before I plunge fully into getting my degree, something I have dreamed of doing for many years. But most important I am Mom and Wife, those two things always come first. Because of this I do a lot of running and juggling and I am constantly exhausted. But if I am honest I am happy, I am lucky my family is so supportive of my dreams, and we are learning to better support each other and be a little more patient.

In all the craziness I feel I appreciate days like today more and more. We woke up to a giant snowstorm that shortened our church meetings. Rob and Hunter came home and headed out to help shovel out our neighbors, everyone was helping everyone else, just as it should be. My kids helped me make dinner, I was able to sneak in a nap, we made jello poke cake, and enjoyed a delicious meal together. The rest of the day has been spent relaxing and I have been editing pictures.

Can you believe those two picture were taken 24 hours apart?!?! We have desperately needed the moisture, but I would be lying if I didn't say I am anxious for spring to come.