Wednesday, May 20, 2015

One a Day, Weeks Eighteen, Nineteen, and Twenty

Michael making his favorite meal, lasagne

First track meet for these girls

Katie with her friend Maggie.  Maggie's mom watched my girls for a day so I could go to the BYU Women's Conference, then I returned the favor the next day.

Provo City 5K

Happy 5th Birthday to Katie

Planting our garden

"I got to meet the furry guy!  See him, he's right here!"

After a winter of drought, two weeks of welcome rain

Payson Temple Open House

Allison and Sarah's early birthday party

Harmony's early birthday party

My Mother's Day present to myself -- a photo of my favorite kids

Using my macro lens designed for crop-sensored cameras on my full frame gives some fun effects.


Fun Tumbling Tots class for Katie and Cami




Stories and gogurts on the lawn


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Gearing up for a Whirlwind Summer

I'm excited to report that I now have less than two months to go before our baby is born.  I'm getting big enough that everywhere I go, people ask me how I'm feeling (which is probably code for "You're huge!  How are you even standing up at this point?").

I go back and forth.  Half the time, I'm feeling pretty good and fairly patient, and I love looking at all I have scheduled to keep me busy between now and July 16th.  The other half of the time, my upper back is killing me and two months seems an awful long time to wait for relief.  But the last week or two, my back has only hurt in the evening once or twice and I've felt great.  I'm hoping that will continue.

I find the best thing for me the last few months of pregnancy is to have a lot scheduled.  Nothing is worse than clearing your calendar in case (or in hopes) the baby will be born early, and then sitting around miserable.  It's going to be miserable anyway, I figure, so I might as well have things to do to keep my mind off it.

And there will be plenty going on between now and when the baby is born.  I keep pulling up Google calendar on my phone, pulling up the calendar view, and smiling about how much is on it.

We start with two more weeks of school with the crammed-to-the-max activities of track, choir, and end-of-year everything.  I gave up on signing off on homework logs and keeping track of everyone's projects weeks ago, so my kids are on their own to figure out which day they can wear pajamas, which day they are supposed to return their library books,  and which day they are supposed to bring empty toilet paper rolls.  Sorry, kids.  I've checked out.  (And I'm not the only one -- have you seen this?)

After school's out, our summer is a whirlwind of people going and coming.  I think we're all home together for maybe three or four weeks of the summer.  The rest is full of one activity or another, for instance:

*  We'll spend a week together in California (minus one son, who has a high adventure that week).  I can't wait.

*  My husband will be taking the six little girls on a Colorado Daddy Trip for 9 days.  This will be after the baby's born, so it should be a wonderful, quiet time at home to rest for me and Lillian.  Joey and Michael have other events that week.

*  Lillian's off to Girls Camp one week, a Mission Ready conference another, and then she got a scholarship to attend a Constitutional Academy in D.C. for a week.  She'd also like to get a job.  I'd like her to take driver's ed, but it probably won't fit into her summer, and she's not anxious about getting a license, which seems common among teenagers these days.  I got my license the first day I could, at age 15 in Idaho, and was thrilled about it.  Most of my friends did the same.  Now, it doesn't seem as important, and it does save us money on insurance not to have any teenage drivers yet.

*  Joey's going to EFY, two big campouts, and possibly football camp with the freshman team.  He's likely also going to be working out with the football team.  Last summer, he spent several weeks at his grandparent's house, helping with their large property, and we're trying to fit that in as well.   

* Michael's got Scout camp and another camp.

* Allison and Sarah are going to 5th grade camp and will likely spending a week or two at their grandparents.  They will also have track until mid-June.  Allison will be doing a week of basketball camp (just a few hours a day), and both will do another sports camp through our city.


*  Eliza, Harmony, Katie, and Cami will be doing two weeks of swimming lessons.

I'm looking forward to all of it.  It does mean our regular daily schedule will need some extra tweaking, since assigning individual jobs and zones each day would mean that some weeks, those wouldn't get done.

So, my basic schedule will involve two teams of four kids each, with each team in charge of certain areas.  Halfway through the summer, the teams will switch jobs.

I'm thinking it will look something like this:

*  *  *  *  *
6:30 Exercise

7:30 or 7:45 Scriptures, then 5MM (Five Minute Madness, where we all pick up for five minutes)

7:45-8:45 Michael, Allison, Sarah, and Eliza take turns on the piano for fifteen minutes each. They've been taking lessons since the fall, and morning practice time just works best for us.  Meanwhile, the rest of the kids will clean their rooms before breakfast.  Team A will be in charge of inspecting bedrooms.

Everyone will do 5MM in the kitchen after breakfast.

On Mondays and Thursdays, Team A will get the laundry gathered, started and washed (I'll probably still fold), while Team B will weed on Mondays and mow the lawn on Thursdays.




We'll head to the library one morning, do the grocery shopping (mostly me) another morning, go swimming another day, and head out for various adventures another day.

Team B will be in charge of making lunch and doing the final clean-up after we all do 5MM.

The afternoon will have two hours of quiet time where media is allowed.

In the late afternoon, Team A will pick up the main floor, and Team B will pick up the downstairs and any outside toys.  Dinner and final clean-up after 5MM will be as assigned through our regular rotation.  I'll step in and make it when kids are out of town that week.

In the evenings, we have Family Home Evening on Mondays, Church activities one night, Date Night another, and then I'm hoping to get the kids to invite friends over for night games another.

*  *  *  *  *
I love summer, and I like having a good balance between work and play, between scheduled activities and time to just let life unfold. 



Friday, May 15, 2015

Worth a Look (Friday Favorites)

Payson Temple:

We loved our visit to the Payson Utah temple Open House last week (sans Lillian, who was at a leadership conference that day) with Grandma and Grandpa Bartholomew.  If you're local, be sure and get your tickets soon -- they are doing the open house until May 23.  




To learn more about why members of my faith build and worship in temples, you can visit here.

Funny:


Yummy:
I want to try these recipes.




Beautiful:
This is stunning:



On Current Events/Culture:


"It’s the single best argument I’ve read, not because it’s new or innovative, but because it’s the most concise expression of all the key points that so many of the same-sex marriage opponents have been focusing on. It begins:
If marriage is a real thing, then before we can decide what the rules of eligibility are, we have to know what it is–what marriage is. We want our marriage law to deal with real marriage, in the same way that, say, our criminal law deals with “real” crime, and not just anything the government wants to call crime.
This is a deft analogy. We all recognize that, technically, whatever the government decides to make criminal is a crime. But we all generally recognize that this technical definition misses something deeper. To the extent that the criminal code is arbitrary, it loses it’s moral force and we stop seeing it as a “real” crime. And so the question becomes: what lurks behind marriage that makes it something worthy recognizing in the first place? "
This article references a lot of other interesting and well-worth-the-read-links.  Check it out.
Photography:
Utah has a great network of photographers and many of them are super nice.  I'm always looking to improve my skills and this is a great community to be involved with.  I've been to a good number of wonderful workshops at the Utah Valley Co-op.  I was disappointed to miss a recent presentation by Scott Stringham on Storm Photography.  Luckily, they have posted it on Youtube, so I can view it (as can you)



Thursday, May 14, 2015

May, the Busiest Month

It's May, which means that virtually every night consists of one event or another -- track meets or practices, orchestra concerts, and various other events.  Add in getting our yard looking decent for spring (which hasn't completely happened yet -- just ask our neighbors), planting our garden (it's shady, so we stick mostly to tomatoes), three birthdays, an anniversary, and the brilliant idea I had to celebrate all of our summer birthdays last Saturday, and I've been a bit squeezed for time.  My Tuesday blogging time has disappeared, it seems.

So, here's a quick run-down on some happy events in our family.

Engaged!

In the midst of all of this, one of my favorite people is getting married and I get the privilege of doing the photos.  We met on Tuesday night for pictures, since the forecast claimed it would be one of the few clear days in what has been a rainy few weeks.  It wasn't.  It was stormy, with gusts of wind and a bit of rain.  But we adjusted and got some lovely photos.

We started in my backyard.



Then snuck (with permission) into my neighbor's stunning yard.


before heading to BYU campus.  We waited out a bit of the storm by getting some photos inside the new life science building, then enjoyed the gardens and waterfalls nearby.


I love playing with fun techniques -- see that silky smooth water?  All it takes is subjects that hold still, a super steady hand, and a very slow shutter speed.  

I'm so excited to see these two married next month!

Running
In other news, my husband came in 3rd in his age group in the Provo City 5K.  He ran it with Allison and Lillian, who also finished strong.  Allison was first of the five in her age group, and Lillian was second of the five in her age group.  I'm slightly jealous, both of their speed and also of their ability to get out and run.  I've stopped running (again).  The discomfort and contractions even when I was just shuffling just got too much, and now I feel a restlessness.  Just two more months and I won't be carrying this big belly around anymore!




These girls high-fived everyone while we waited for our family to pass by.  The half marathon was going on at the same time, so it was fun to watch the exhausted runners light up when they saw these girls cheering them on.


We've also had Allison, Sarah, and Eliza running track.  Allison's been running a few miles at a time all winter and has a ton of stamina and heart.  At her first track meet, she took first place in her age group in the 1600, the 800, and the 400.  She was so thrilled!

Finishing FIRST in the 400.

Planting our Garden:


Three Birthday Parties in Two Days:
Michael, who turned 13, decided he didn't want a party.  Katie, who turned 5, did, as did Harmony (turning 7 this summer) and Allison and Sarah (turning 11).  I bought some face painting crayons for the little girls' parties and decided I'm not half-bad at it, for an amateur.





Mother's Day Photo
A few years ago, I decided that the only way I'd get my kids to agree to sit for a picture for me was if I asked them to do it for a Mother's Day gift.  I took the photo on Mother's Day that year, then had it printed on canvas for my husband's Father's Day gift.  We missed last year (I think the weather was crazy so we put it off then forgot about it), but I got a good one this year!
Soon to be joined by one more boy!


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