Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I'd forgotten how annoying, and yet utterly amusing, the 3 year old "Why?" syndrome can be! They suck you in slowly with innocent little questions like, "Why are you doing that?" Then they move to slightly less subtle questioning tactics like asking, "Mom, why are we stopped?" every time you are at a stop sign or a red light when you know darn well you just answered that questions 3 blocks ago, today, yesterday, and the day before that! That continues for a while until they finally reach the level of total abandonment when every word out of their mouth is "why?...why?...WHY?!!" It doesn't seem to matter how thoroughly you think you've answered their 1st or their 10th "why?" because the annoying and amazing thing is that they can ALWAYS still ask you "Why?" It's a game that can go on forever!! It's only slightly less annoying than the catchy tune This is the Song That Never Ends--an all time favorite of all 9 of my 5th and 6th grade classes, especially when sung (or yelled) at the top of their lungs on a field trip bus all the way from Ogden to Salt Lake! That is a scenario I have experienced way too many times!! But...back to the 3 year has been almost 5 years since I have had to endure this endearing little phase with any of my kids, so I really had to laugh today as I realized Eric has now successfully moved into phase three, the perpetual "Why?" I'm sure by next week, I will have moved past the laughing stage into the groaning stage myself! His only saving grace ( and the same reason Tyler survived to see his 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and even 6th birthdays) is that he is just so dang cute!

It's hard to stay mad at this face (the optimum word being "stay"!) So, for now I am laughing and reminding myself that this is the last one to do this to me, that is until they all start producing adorable grandchildren, which my mother assures me are impossible to get mad at at all!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Preschool Bliss!

I can't believe the day has finally arrived!! My baby is finally off to school--of course I am using that phrase liberally since it is only preschool. However, for those 2 hours on Monday and Wednesday, I am a free woman! It's very exciting!! The bonus is, Eric loves it, is learning social skills he desperately needs, and he comes home happy and ready for a nap! What could be better? (Maybe all day kindergarten?)
Eric was so excited for his first day of preschool! He asked every 5 minutes when it was time to go!
This is Eric's buddy, Tysen. They are both 3. They both love Thomas the Tank Engine. They are going to preschool together 2 days a week, and they are both very excited about it. Here they are waiting for Tysen's bus to come pick him up!

8th Graders Rule!

Check out the difference a year makes!!!
Here they are on the 1st day of 7th grade....

Here they are as amazing 8th graders!!

We had a fun little after school gathering on the first day of 8th grade. Last year it was a breakfast before the first day of 7th grade. This year, we decided it was just too dang early to have to be up and moving, so we moved it to after school! We hope to make it a yearly event to chronicle the passing years of these teenage friends!

Brett and Justin before heading off to school.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

School starts....and life is good again!

2 months of summer with 4 boys plus various friends over makes for one active and sometimes very loud house! We have enjoyed our time together this summer, and I have definitely taken advantage of the ability to sleep in!! Something I have dreadfully missed the last two days! However, it is time to get back to a routine with homework and projects, reading and spelling lists, and did I mention projects? (I was a project teacher for 9 years before having any school age children of my own. What was I thinking?!!!!) Anyway...this is the first photo edition of this topic as Jordan and Tyler started school yesterday, and Justin and Eric will start next Monday. The boys were excited to get back to school, at least for the first day! The excitment is slowly draining away at the end of the second day! However, my excitment is only just gaining momentum as my days are quiet and relaxed once is good, until 3:30 when they all come piling through the door demanding snacks and help with all of their homework and projects!! Oh least 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. is all about me (and Eric)!

Road Trip!

Ahhh...the dreaded road trip with 4 kids stuffed (literally) in between 5 sets of golf clubs, 3 skateboards, 3 helmets, 6 pillows, 6 suitcases, 4 bags of travel essentials (such as toys, game boys, CD players, cars, trains, books), 2 portable DVD players with multiple required chords, 1 large cooler full of food, and 5 or 6 other bags of various snacks intended to lure the kids into eating too much so that they would become drowsy and sleep! Good times!!! Oh, I forgot to mention the most important item that traveled the estimated 2,000 mile round trip with us---my copy of Breaking Dawn! Any of you familiar with that will know that my road trip was great! I was really good at tuning out the four kids all demanding one kind of treat or another for 11 hours straight so that I could finish my book!

Anyway....let me back up a little bit. Paul had to travel to Renton, Washington to do some interviewing for a new store he is opening up there. Since my Grandpa and my aunt and uncle live a couple of hours southeast of there, we decided to make a family vacation out of it. We had a great time visiting with my relatives! Paul was able to run up north for a few days to do his business, and then he rejoined us later in the week. My grandpa is 90 now, so this was probably the last chance I had to visit with him. Here are some highlights of the week:

Having lunch with 4 generations--My Grandpa, my Aunt Bev, Me, and the kids.

The kids LIVED in the pool! Luckily, it was sunny and hot most of the days we were there! The younger boys really gained a lot of swimming and high jumping confidence as they spent many hours a day jumping in the pool off the high deck and swimming the length of it. The slide was a blast also!

My aunt and uncle live practically on top of the country club. He owns his own golf cart which to my kids means he should be worshipped, especially when he lets them drive it! Each night, my uncle took one of the boys and then Paul out to play golf at the country club! They thought it was the best!

My cousin was house sitting for a gal who lived on a beautiful lake with tons of ducks and geese. We went over every night to feed them. There was a mother duck with a bunch of little tiny ducklings in the lake. The kids especially loved them. They were less than fond of the big mean geese who came over and practically snatched the bread right out of Eric's hand since he was about beak high! Feeding a few means feeding all the fowl on the lake! As soon as we started to feed a couple, ducks and geese from every direction and distance across the lake would make a beeline for our grassy area and fight each other for a bite of bread!

My aunt and uncle live up on a hill. They have fabulous views of the valley off their deck. One night while we were out enjoying the evening, there was an amazing sunset! We really just enjoyed seeing another part of the country, visiting family, and enjoying some of nature's beauty.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Skaters In Training

Justin has been saving his money all summer to buy a Ripstick. He finally earned enough to buy one on Friday. He has been practicing every chance he gets, even though he had his foot cut into on Thursday! He must be a teenage die hard! Anyway...Jordan just happened to have received a skateboard for his birthday a few weeks ago. He seemed excited about it, but not really brave enough to try it our until Justin was out in the streets with him! Then the dilemna! What to do about Tyler? Quick thinking reminded me that the scooter Justin got for his birthday years ago-- before Razors were invented and before scooters were any kind of phenomena--was the kind of scooter that was really a skateboard with a handle on it. So, a few twists of the screwdriver later, and the youngest skater in training was hooked up! They have been outside practicing like crazy all weekend! It has been divine to have a diversion from the video games, and it will continue to be so until the first broken bone!!! I apologize to all of my neighbors in advance if they don't get out of your way fast enough on the streets!! You have my permission to honk and yell at them!!

"The Three-Year-Old Bike"...FINALLY!

For weeks now, I have been trying to get Eric to try riding a real bike. He would have nothing to do with it! He continued to push himself around on his little riding train or his tike bike instead. He's so tall that doing either of those things took real skill and talent not to scrap knees or stub toenails while riding! Finally, he told me yesterday, "Mom, I want to ride my three-year-old bike." This is the name we had to give it as he called his other modes of transportation his "bike". Anyway, it was slow going for a while, but he finally seemed to start to get the hang of it with a little bit of help from Dad.