Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Spring Makes Me Happy (Wordless Wednesday)

I've been in denial about it, but the last of my spring blossoms are fading away and the first of my summer roses are starting to bloom.  Spring is my favorite season, and I'm a little sad to see its glory fade a bit.  Here are some of my favorite photos of spring from this past month.

Spring means our hummingbird feeder, just outside our kitchen window, gets regular visitors again.

Every spring, we get a week or two of "snow" -- our lovely Siberian Elms shed so much it piles up everywhere and we end up pulling baby trees out of our flowerbeds all year long.  That part of spring I could do without.  It finally dies down for just a few weeks and then the cottonwoods start shedding . . . oh, the joys of living by the woods!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

7 Quicktakes about Silly Graduations, Purple Puff Balls, and Joey's Television Debut

Just a quick, chatty post today:

1. I have a love-hate relationship with May.  I've always said that it's May and December that are the craziest for large families, but really, May is worse.  Every activity the kid is involved in has one last concert, meet, party, field trip, graduation or some such thing.  In our family, if you add in the last week of April, we also celebrate three birthdays and our anniversary.  Plus the weeds start to grow, the lawn needs attention, and the summer schedule needs to be carefully planned.  But so many of the final hurrahs are so fun, like that time a few weeks ago when  I went along on Cami's field trip with Katie and Benji.

2.  So of course, given how busy May is, we decided that not only should we celebrate the three birthdays that are already in May, but hey, no big deal to add on two more birthday parties to celebrate the summer birthdays early!  It certainly did make the parties themselves a lot easier to manage -- no worrying about tracking down everyone to hand out invitations in July.  And I can't complain too much about the workload.  Sarah and Allison helped a ton at Katie and Harmony's parties and then did much of the work for their own party.

But boy, we've eaten a lot of cake the last three weeks!

3.  Graduations are silly.  And much, much too long.  I went to the twins' sixth grade one today expecting perhaps a half hour ceremony and a bit of clapping.  Instead, there were speakers and awards and essays read by the sixth grader and a painfully slow slideshow that lingered on each photo long after you lost interest in it.

I think I agree with Bob here.

But preschool graduations?  Done right, as an end-of-the-year program rather than a ceremony, those are the cutest!  Especially if Cami's in them, singing our favorite "bumpety bump" song.

4.  We love this little guy.  And right now, he's my favorite because for the last two nights he has slept until 5:30 a.m.!  We hope that this time, it sticks.  He's been a tough sleeper ever since November.

He does fill our lives with cuteness, however, and it would be hard to overstate how much the whole family adores him.  Joey says he can come home frustrated from a tough day at work (he's a lifeguard) and then he sees Benji and everything is all better.  Everyone clamors to hold him, especially at Church.  It got so intense that a few months ago, we actually had to have a family council and work out a rotating shift of Benji time.  The deal is we start at one end of our row and each child over 8 gets ten minutes to hold him.  All turns dissolve if he wants his mom, though.  I teach the third hour of our Church meetings once a month, but whether I'm teaching or not, my teenagers always want to take Benji with them to their class.  On Sunday, I had Lillian, Joey, and Michael all rushing to the doors of the Sunday School class I was in, all hoping to get their first and have the chance to take the little squish for an hour.  I granted the privilege to Michael.

And though Benji love his older siblings, he does still love me the best.  It's such a wonderful feeling to be the most important person in the world to a delightful little soul.

5.  Though it's crazy busy trying to fit it all in, I think May is one of my favorite months.  We have a steady succession of bulbs blooming in our flower garden from March to April, culminating in hundreds of these "purple puff balls."  I think they are called alliums, but I'm sticking to our more descriptive name.  They don't have a nice fragrance, but something about their presence is so cheerful.  They spread via seed as well as bulb, so we have them everywhere.

They last forever when I bring them in the house.

6.  And May means our hummingbird friends visit us again.  Our feeder is right outside our kitchen window, so we get to watch them while we eat.  They are delightful.

7.  Joey's been fishing a ton lately.  One day last week, he had no luck with fish, but caught the biggest turtle!

A month ago, Joey messaged his favorite local fishing show, Hooked on Utah, and invited them to go fishing with him.  They replied and said, "How's Monday?"  The kid practically floated through the next few days and had a wonderful time with them.  He then floated through another six days until 11:05 p.m. on Saturday night when the episode aired.  You can watch the video here, if you want, or it's posted below.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Mother's Day Photos ~ Wordless Wednesday

A while back, I started telling the kids that all I want for Mother's Day is a nice photo of all of them together.  This year, the kids braved the rain to indulge their mother, then let me further torture them by asking for a photo of each of them with me.  Joey took most of those on our front porch for me.

I'm so blessed to be the mother of these great kids!

Just for fun, here are a few other family photos taken in May or for Mother's Day in the past ten years.  Life moves SO fast.

2008, pregnant with Harmony







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