visit and procrastinating packing

We are still last minute packing for our trip tomorrow. We are going to get up at 5:30 am tomorrow, so I am hurrying.

This morning I was supposed to clean the house in preparation for the trip to California tomorrow, but I noticed all the library books I need to return that I haven’t read to the girls. An hour of frantic reading ensued, thus bumping my cleaning plans until…well, actually, they never materialized. The house is still a mess.

But we had a great middle of the day. Jan, George, Chelsea, Olivia, Carter and Camden came over for lunch, and after we all went to the zoo. Jan’s phone took better pictures than mine, so I’m stealing her pics and inserting them here:

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Lydia had another tea party with Olivia that involved probably a gallon of water. I was impressed at how carefully they must have carried their little bowls and cups of water to the bedroom because when I discovered them, the vessels were all filled to the brim. George held Lydia’s hand and showed her all the animals at the zoo–and she fell in love! She kept asking me where George was and would go stick up her hand to hold his. It was sweet.

Mary climbed over a railing in front of the snake display and fell on top of her head smack dab on the concrete floor. I may or may not have sworn so loudly that heads turned. We decided shortly thereafter it was probably time to head home.

Seeing Chelsea always makes me wonder why we are not moving to Orem. It is so nice to see someone you’ve known for a long time. I always feel like these visits are more like family reunions than friend meet-ups.

Then I came home and tried to pack, but mostly I lay on various pieces of furniture stressed out about how much I had to do. I heard Charity Lang, the fictional character in Crossing to Safety say to me, “Do something! Don’t just sit around and gawp.” Sorry, Charity. I gawped today. And when Abe came home, I straight out napped. Now we’re paying for it, and as soon as I hit publish it will be back to the packing grindstone.

Oh, and I probably won’t blog while we’re in California. I might if Auntie Geri’s computer is free, but if not, I’ll blog again on Monday.

A play date, great book, boring paper, and a birthday party

This morning I watched Sophia and Max because Misty had a doctor’s appointment. Her kids are so easy that I could have done homework or practiced while they played (well, Max was actually napping), but Lydia and Sophia were beyond adorable playing together. I couldn’t leave! They were saying things such as: “It’s your turn, Sophia!” “Thanks, Lydia. Okay, Lydia, it’s your turn now!” “Thanks, Sophia!” “Sophia, do you want to play Minnie Mouse with me?” “Yes!” [Insert sweet, polite, kind play here.] “Okay, Sophia, do you want to sit next to me?” “Yes! Thanks!”

This is what I had kids for. I was so delighted by how sweet and polite these adorable children were, and I was so happy to hear them play so beautifully that I just couldn’t tear myself away. By the time Misty came back, I was over the moon in love with all of our children.

IMG_7502 IMG_7498 IMG_7501Then I fed the girls, practiced for an hour while Lydia and Mary played, and put Mary down for her four hour nap. Lydia had quiet time that whole time, so I lay in bed reading Crossing to Safety. In fact, I could have written this blog a whole lot earlier and gotten to bed on time if it weren’t for the fact that those characters are so dear to me that I talked Abe’s ear off about the book for about an hour after the girls went down for bed. I still have a lump in my throat–as I type, hours after finishing the book. I have never read a book where I loved the characters so deeply. Also, I am sad the library is closed. I want to go check out everything Wallace Stegner has ever written and read it all right now. I’m so sad my book is done! I just want more time with the characters, but since it’s done, the next best thing I can do is read all the rest of his works.

After finishing my book, I skipped class so I could get a paper written before we go to California. I still have more homework to do tomorrow, but at least this paper is out of the way. It was on the history of Garde Manger, and even though I finished writing the paper, I still am not sure if the term Garde Manger refers to the actual Garde Manger chef or the craft of Garde Manger. I kind of side-stepped that in my paper…

Abe took the girls to his cousin’s birthday party down the street while I did homework. Lydia LOVES her cousin, Isabella, and when she got home, she said, “Mama, I want a play date with Isabella right now because I loooooooooove her so much!!” You can see she likes her from the pictures.

Abe's cousin, Alexander, turned 17.

Abe’s cousin, Alexander, turned 17. Also, it took a while to cut that cake. Abe said that Lydia waited patiently and then said very quietly, “Can I have a really big piece, please?” Everyone laughed.

Mary found Isabella's stuffed animal and held it close all evening.

Mary found Isabella’s stuffed animal and held it close all evening.

Lydia and Abe's little cousin, Isabella.

Lydia and Abe’s little cousin, Isabella. They played outside and Isabella picked flowers for Lydia. Lydia could not get enough play time with her favorite cousin!

Wonderful Sunday

We had the best Sunday we’ve had in a long time today. It really felt like the perfect Sunday. We got a lot of rest in, we were uplifted at church (Mary stayed in Nursery!!!) and we had a great evening with our friends, the Andersons.

I resolved to take pictures before they came over while the girls were outside playing with Abe, but I got distracted by practicing the piano and the pile of dishes in the sink. I did manage to take a couple while they were here.

So cute.

So cute.

Lydia had an accident, so they all took a bath together.

Lydia had an accident, so they all took a bath together.

Not much else to say about today, except that we adore the Andersons and enjoyed our evening visiting with them. We’re hoping to get to bed early so as to get a head start on this busy week. We leave for California on Wednesday!!!

looooong day

Long day! I got up at 5:15 to get to yoga, and then after yoga I started to drive to school for my competition team meet when I realized that there was no way I could get everything done today if I went to the meeting. So I turned around and headed home.

We ended up shopping for wedding clothes (Jon and Shirley are getting married next week!) and getting ready for the trip. Then we went to Ikea for dinner, and afterward drove to Provo to meet up with our friends Ben, Candace, Cadence–and their new twins, Aria and Bentley. Aria and Bentley were unbelievably adorable. Equally unbelievable was that we didn’t get pictures of them. Oh well. I accidentally overfed Bentley because I was so absorbed in my conversation with Candace, and the poor thing couldn’t take all the milk I was drowning him in. It ended up on my arm, so at least I have a souvenir.

We met up at Chuckee Cheese’s, a place none of us have visited for over twenty years. It was a lot smaller than we remembered! But the kids loved it, and it was  a lot easier to talk and visit with all of that entertainment for the kids. The visit seemed short, but before we realized it, two hours had flown by. We reluctantly said goodbye, and then headed for home.

Except. Except Abe has been raving about the massage chairs at Qualtrics, and he really wanted me to try them. We were only five minutes away, so we headed over to try the chairs. When we got there, the chairs were taken! The whole building was empty, but there were two employees there getting massages in the chairs. Abe was bummed, but he was determined not to make the trip in vain. Since his card wouldn’t give him access to the third floor (where there are more massage chairs), he tried to circumvent the system by taking the elevator. No such luck. Instead, we spent ten minutes stuck in the elevator fearing we would never get out. Finally, we figured out we could exit into the garage, which opened back up onto the street. Phew! After that close call, we headed straight for home.

Now I will post the very poor pictures we took of 1) the girls at Kid to Kid, 2) Dinner at Ikea and 3) the girls at Chuckee Cheese.

Playing at Kid to Kid.

Playing at Kid to Kid.

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They were playing Frozen at Ikea. Eventually, we had to go feed Lydia because she was too caught up in the movie to eat.

They were playing Frozen at Ikea. Eventually, we had to go feed Lydia because she was too caught up in the movie to eat.

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Mixed feelings

The day started well enough, but it deteriorated to the point where I can just not wait for it to be over already.

This morning Rose came over and treated my hair for hours. It was wonderful talking with her, and the girls and Sev had a play date. My hair looks great, but I can’t put it up for three days, and tomorrow I was thinking of doing yoga and going to the competition team meeting. I guess if I do, I’ll have to figure out a way to keep my hair out of my face that doesn’t involve elastic.

After Rose finished, I fed the girls and put Mary down for a nap. That’s when the day started to deteriorate. I felt tired and wanted to nap, but Lydia kept interrupting every ten minutes until I was almost out of my mind. I tried reading my new book, but by that kept getting interrupted too. I stayed in bed for a long time hoping that eventually I’d feel energetic and rested, but I finally got up more stressed out than when I lay down.

Then I totally lost it when Lydia wouldn’t clean her room, and I practically lost my voice screaming. I felt so out of control that I finally just took my own time out and asked the girls to pray with me that God would help me control my temper and also help the girls to listen better. After that, I took some deep breaths and decided to take the girls outside in the rain to plant some seeds. Abe got home around then.

IMG_7484 IMG_7487 IMG_7489I took those pictures for you, Grandma! I love you and think of you every day. Lydia thinks about you too and always says she hopes you’re feeling okay. Mom, she keeps saying how much she misses you. We love you both!


It’s past midnight, so this will be short.

We had a great morning planting new plants in our garden, and halfway through Sophia, Max and Misty showed up for a play date. We finished planting together and then I talked Misty’s ear off about homeschooling. I love talking to Misty.

Afterward, I practiced a lot of piano while the girls played. During Mary’s nap, I lay on my bed and read and Lydia came in to lie down next to me and color. I love that girl.

Then I had the WORST night of cooking school ever. I came home so discouraged. I am the slowest, most mistake-prone person in my class, and even the chef, who is the nicest, most patient chef in the school, started getting upset with me by the end of class. I just made so many mistakes on my dish! I spent an hour telling Abe how far behind everyone else I am, and now it’s so late that I don’t have much time to blog. Sorry, Mom and Grandma! I also neglected to take pictures today. I WILL do better tomorrow.

Easy day

I forgot to take pictures today. The morning was consumed with a doctor’s appointment for the girls. Lydia weighs 31 pounds, and Mary weighs 20. They’re both in the 3rd percentile for BMI, but the doctor said they look healthy, so that’s good. Lydia’s 90th percentile for height and 50th for weight. Mary is 60th percentile for height and 50th for weight. I don’t know how that works out to both being in the 3rd percentile for Body Mass Index, but if I had better math skills, maybe it would make perfect sense.

Lydia was so good at the doctor’s. She even tried to make Mary feel better when Mary started crying during her part of the check-up. The doctor even asked me if she’s been watching a show called Doc McStuffins, which I guess is some show about an animal doctor that makes kids like doctors. No, but she’s watched a million episodes of Daniel Tiger goes to the doctor, and I’m sure that helped. I guess excessive iPad use has some pay-off…

The rest of the day was pretty peaceful at home. Lydia and I practiced adding and subtracting with her Easter jelly beans. Mary took her usual four hour nap. I read more in my book and started a collection of short stories by Chekhov. I made a sweet potato bisque from my favorite cookbook of the moment, Love SoupI made too many grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches. The girls ate too much candy. We played “Minnie Mouse Mall” and Legos. I bathed the girls while Abe cleaned the kitchen, and afterwards I chased them so much that Mary spit up part of her dinner. Oops.

I also bought some stuff on Zulily, which means I am ending this blog to go check out the site again. I have free shipping until midnight, and today is the last day of their “Kindergarten” sale (educational primers and toys, etc).

Blabbing about home schooling

This morning I raced around the house doing and folding loads upon loads of laundry, cleaning up and putting away Easter/Spring decorations, painting Lydia’s nails, feeding the girls, and reading to the girls. When Mary went down for her nap, I read to Lydia, practiced piano, and read more of The Well-Trained Mind. I have an action plan, I think.

Next year I’ll send Lydia to Challenger as planned. I am still going to be in school, and even though I’m going to buy some supplementary material and start coaching her from home, I feel a little too stretched to make a disciplined home-school commitment. The year after, though, I am going to experiment with home-school. I’ll start Lydia on a reading and math schedule and see if I can be disciplined enough to hack that kind of schedule at home.

All that to say, the book, The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide for Classical Education  has completely changed my paradigm. I used to think homeschooling was strange and produced social misfits. However, two things: 1) I was not home schooled and yet still managed to come out a social misfit with massive social anxiety 2) Jessie Wise, the author, poses this question: Socialization to what purpose? To fit in? To dumb down? To navigate an entirely artificial environment where all your peers are the same age–an environment not replicated in real life ever again? She argues that the family should be the primary unit of socialization because the end goal is for the child to become a high-functioning adult that understands what it takes to create a peaceful home and to contribute to society.

Before, every time the thought of homeschooling crossed my mind, I immediately dismissed the thought because I was so scared my children would end up strange and neurotic. But hey, my favorite people are people who are themselves and don’t try too hard to fit in. What’s wrong with raising children like that? The more I think about it, the more sense it seems to make.

At the end of the day, I still don’t know if I’ll home school, but I know I love this book’s educational philosophy, and my connotation for the term “home school” is permanently changed.

There’s Abe. He finished working out. He barely slept last night, so I better stop blabbing on the blog and go to bed.

Here’s a picture of the girls playing with the laundry basket while I folded piles of laundry. Lydia thought it was hilarious to put the basket over Mary, and Mary thought it was hilarious too…until she stopped thinking it was hilarious, and then she cried. Then I put Lydia in her room because she wouldn’t stop the game, and Lydia cried too. That was the only crying of the day, though!! (Oops. Except when I left for school and Mary saw her babysitter–she cried a lot then, too.) Anyway, I can’t seem to stop typing! The picture already:

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Field trip

Misty scheduled a tour of the fire department today for our preschool group (the one I dropped out of). We joined in for the fun and then had a picnic in the park with everyone afterward. The firemen were so nice and let the kids sit in the fire truck, tour the fire house, and taught them about fighting fires. Lydia now wants to be a fireman when she grows up.

20140421_112650 20140421_112705 20140421_112743 20140421_113702 20140421_114829Then I went to school and made: vada pav (an Indian sandwich), a Southwestern turkey wrap, lamb pita, blackberry yogurt soup, chilled tomato soup, and fried veggie chips. There were a lot of dishes to wash…

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The other fantastic thing that happened today centered around the new book I’m reading. It’s entitled, The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education. It’s basically the Bible for many homeschoolers, and everything I read made me want to home school. I just don’t know if I have the energy to do a good job of it. Also, I worry my kids won’t have friends. On the other hand, school can be a vicious place, and I still feel like I’m dealing with the aftermath of social trauma that happened at school. Maybe sparing my children the pains of that wouldn’t be a terrible thing. I’ll have to think a lot more about this, but this is the very first time I’ve ever remotely considered home school. There’s a lot to think about!

Happy Easter!

I have a ton of cute pictures from Easter, so we’ll just get to the good stuff right away:

IMG_7403 IMG_7406 IMG_7411 IMG_7417Then after church and naps, we headed to the Miners’ for dinner and their Easter egg hunt. That was egg hunt #5 of the season for the girls.

The girls posed with a bunny and had a little scuffle  about who got to hold the bunny....

The girls posed with a bunny and had a little scuffle about who got to hold the bunny….

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...Mary won that fight.

…Mary won that fight.

I made rolls again to bring to the dinner.  (This was the small pan.)

I made rolls again to bring to the dinner. (This was the small pan.)

Egg hunt:

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Frankie, the dog, wasn’t interested in the eraser Mary repeatedly offered. But he didn’t mind being petted. That was great, since Mary spent a lot of time chasing him down to pet. Lydia prefers to keep a very healthy distance from dogs.

Then we came home, Skyped with Clark and Swathi, talked with my mom, picked up the house, and now will hopefully get a jump start on early bed time for the week. Happy Easter!