The kids have the day off from school today for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Obviously, the King part of his name is most memorable to our kids because William thought today was King Arthur Day. I’m wondering if we should have some jousting at our house.
My computer is about to die and it is past my bedtime. But I must write at least one thing to mark the passing of 2017 and the arrival of 2018. It was a fantastic year and if I was a better person I would write a wonderful, witty synopsis of it’s events. Actually, if I was a better person I wouldn’t have to write a synopsis, I would have already made a daily record of the happenings of our family for the past year. However, going forward I hope to take the time to process life through writing. It always helps me, and it is wonderful to read back. Resolutions for the year to come? (Or revelations, as William called them yesterday…)
1) Track my expenses for one month. Then move on to the next one.
2) Return family scripture study to mornings at 6:30. Sam and Lizzie had early morning seminary starting at 7:10 this past semester so our early morning devotion took a back seat. We tried to do it at night, but it’s hard to do anything as a family when the family isn’t home. Is it just me, or are teenagers really never home? That is what it feels like. I actually miss them!
3) Spend the first part of each morning (after I workout) on personal reflection for at least a half hour, either writing or just pondering.
4) Ski at least once a week for the duration of the ski season. Hopefully we will get some snow. I plan on checking a different child out of school each week (if they are caught up) for personalized instruction and one-on-one time. I’ve been four times now plus one failed attempt when Sam and I went up and I had grabbed only one of my ski boots and one of Lizzie’s. It was crazy busy anyway so it wasn’t much of a loss. Sam has been close to a dozen times and Lizzie half a dozen. The littles only a few times each.
What am I excited about for 2018? We just decided to take a camping trip to Alaska this summer. We will leave in June and drive up. Grant will meet us in Anchorage ten days later for our tour of the Kenai Peninsula and Denali National Park. We will spend another week driving home together. If it doesn’t rain on us the whole time I think it will be a fantastic trip. If it does rain the whole time? It will certainly be memorable!
Sam played volleyball for the fist time this year. He loves it. His season just finished and they were undefeated. Sadly, they lost in the tournament but he had a wonderful time anyway. I love this clip of Sam and the American Heritage School volleyball teams
A few days ago Sam announced that he knew what was causing the obesity epidemic in America. He blamed our country’s great dental care. His reasoning? If people get cavities from eating sugar and we didn’t fix the cavities, then teeth would hurt every time they ate sugar and people would stop eating sugar because it caused them too much pain. So, obesity is not caused by eating too much junk food, it is that we have removed the natural and logical consequence of that junk food!
Lizzie has had so many performances with her Irish dance company. March is a busy month for Irish dancers! Last Friday, St. Patrick’s Day she went to four different schools doing assemblies about Ireland, Irish dancing and St. Patrick’s Day. It was fabulous. Tonight she had a performance in Provo. Afterward she and some of the other girls went across the street from the performing arts center to a small diner. They were all sitting dejectedly sipping their water and wishing they had some money. Suddenly, with a stroke of genius, one of the girls asked the restaurant owner if they did a jig for him would he give them ice cream? He acquiesced and they did their jig and ate their ice cream!
I’m pretty proud of myself! I just updated our Alpine Book Club reading list to include all the books we have read from 2005 to 2018! We have some super fun books planned for this year. Check it out!
We had a nice 4-day weekend with some 50 degree weather. Not bad for February in Utah! The mountains got snow, we got some rain, so we don’t have to feel guilty about loving the sunny, dry days! I also got to dive into some spring flower bed clean-up and pruning. While I was working I had the following conversation with Anna:
Anna (age 7): I wish you would let us use the word, “butt”.
Mom: Well, when you grow up and become a mother, you can let your kids say it.
Anna (with foresight): No, because by then I’ll probably understand why we shouldn’t say it.
Here are a few more quotes that I’m going to blast through without much context, just so I can get them recorded:
Sam, bemoaning the fact that he had to sit at the end of our rectangular table said, “I hate how far away I am from the food.”
Sam was talking about all the animals he is going to have when he grows up. I asked, “What if you marry a wife who doesn’t like pets?” He replied, “It depends on how good a wife she is.”
Lizzie (feeling a little like an indentured servant while doing her most hated chore of dishes), “I will do all of my children’s dishes until they are 10. Because they are my responsibility.” (I can’t remember if the “they” here referred to the children or the dishes)
Lizzie: When you come to pick me up from a friends house, will you call me 1 minute before you get there?
Mom: Sure, why?
Lizzie: Because it’s just so sad waiting around for ten minutes waiting for your life to end.
Mom: You guys are so lucky! Nothing stands in your way of doing whatever you want in your life!
Lizzie: That’s not true. I can’t do anything I want! I can’t be in the paralympics.
Mom: Thanks for not whining about this. (While we were cleaning/organizing their room.)
William: Oh don’t worry, I’m whining in my heart.
Anna to her friend Mary: Hugo, (the dog) can eat anything but drugs, wine and grapes.
William to friend Matthew after some rough-housing in the basement: We need to do this more often…burying your friend alive…in blankets.
Last night after William and Anna had gone to bed Lizzie asked me if I wanted to go for a walk in the snow. At 10 pm we left along with Sam and Grant. We went up the hill to the kids’ sledding spot to see the jump that Sam had built. It was pretty massive. I didn’t dare go down! Then we went higher, across the street to cemetery hill. It was such a bright night we could see everything. The snow was so deep and all was still and lovely. We brought the dogs who love walks but Hugo was too small to get through the unpacked snow and willingly rode on the sled as the kids pulled him up the hill. When we got to the top where the old pioneer graves are we disturbed a herd of deer. It was so picturesque! We all took a couple of runs, had a snowball fight (or at least tried – Lizzie and I can’t hit a thing on purpose) and then headed home. I was so energized by the crisp night air and exercise, I couldn’t go to sleep for a couple of hours! (Which was fine as I wanted to finish the amazing book I’m reading1) This “walk” was a gift. I little moment out of a busy life where things could slow down and we could just enjoy being.
I dream about traveling. Put me on a plane to anywhere and I would be happy. Stick me in a car with an open road ahead of me and I would be perfectly satisfied. Start an audio book on said road trip and I would think I’d died and gone to heaven. So, as one can imagine, I REALLY enjoy planning our family road trips – almost as much as I enjoy going on them!
So, what do we have planned for this summer? We only have three more summers before Sam moves out and our goal to see all of the states we can drive to. This summer we will explore the southeast. Here is a map of the way there: And here is a map of the way home:And here is the itinerary for the month:
Leave June 22nd, Thursday – AMARILLO
Drive 13 hours 22 min- Take I-40
See Cadillac Ranch – car sculpture
Spend night in Amarillo – hotel
June 23rd, Friday – NASHVILLE
Drive 13 hours 36 minutes
Spend night in Nashville – Airbnb
June 24th Saturday
Possible places: The Parthenon in Centennial Park, Hatch Show Print Shop, Andrew Jackson’s home (The Hermitage), Historic Belmont mansion, adventure science center
Listen to live music either at Bluebird café, Family Wash, or Station Inn.
Spend night in Nashville
June 25th Sunday – SMOKY MOUNTIANS
Leave at 5 to drive to Cades Cove 4 hours 15 mins –bring picnic lunches
Cades Cove 2-4 hours
Rich Mountain Road
Abrams Falls 1 hour
Laural Falls Trail on the way to hotel
Stay in Pigeon Forge…
Today Vidangel, our favorite (and only) online movie filtering company complied with an injunction that they suspend all filtering. We are so sad. We are also hoping that this is not the death of Vidangel but just a temporary condition while they proceed with the lawsuit. I don’t know how they would possibly win against 4 Hollywood studios (including Disney), but we are hoping. It has been nice to be able to expand our movie watching choices over these last few years. Now we probably won’t be watching any PG-13 movies or any movies from the 80’s, just like before Vidangel came along. I guess I’ll go back to watching BBC period films and just be content with that…
What a wonderful weekend this has been! I love, love, love it when Christmas is on a Sunday. I love attending church and being able to take the Sacrament. It being Christmas, and the Sabbath day allows me to to think of the Savior at his birth and his death and his life anew. Some Christmas traditions that I love? For more than a hundred years, our church congregation has met together on Christmas Eve for a nativity, for no more than an hour and exchanged Christmas wishes. Part of the tradition is for each child to receive a brown paper bag with an orange, some peanuts in their shell, an old fashioned chocolate, some hard candy and taffy. During the many years of this tradition there were years of hardship, most particularly during the depression, when this bag of treats was the only gift some children received.
Another tradition that we enjoy is our Christmas Eve meal. Grant and I go on a date a few days before and select dips, appetizers, chips, crackers, cheeses, pickles and olives. It is an easy and tasty meal with virtually no dishes. Wait! Did I forget the little smokies? Yes, this year we had little smokies. The sauce called for beer. I bought my first can of beer. We let all the kids smell it. They were all disgusted. So much so that some of them didn’t want to eat the little smokies. I’m glad of it. I think I would have been a little worried if they thought it smelled good.
Christmas morning was fun. Anna got two little girl rats and is so excited to finally have her own pets! All of our children have gotten a pet when they turned 6, except Anna. Sam got his snake. Lizzie, a lovebird that was exchanged for a kitten when we developed allergies to the bird. William got Hugo, the dog. The problem is all of those pets and Charlie and Kevin the cat are still living! We are pretty maxed out when it comes to pets. We thought rats were a good option.
Other gifts? Lizzie got a ton of clothes. Sam wanted a new long board. William got a go pro type camera. I got date coupons from my romantic husband and Grant got an authentic Lincoln costume. We had Mom, Brian and Rebecca here for present opening. Later this evening we went to visit my Dad and Sheri. I missed my sisters and brothers who were not here but it was nice to be around family.
The funniest part of the day was at about 9 am. After we had opened presents we were having breakfast and Anna was not being very nice. When Lizzie told her to stop Anna said, “I don’t have to be nice, I already got all of my presents from Santa.” Lizzie replied, “Yes, well, he is watching to see how you act now for next year’s presents.” Anna smugly exclaimed, “He isn’t watching me! He is sleeping right now!” Only Anna would realize the loophole in the whole naughty and nice = presents scheme. So, as I head off to bed I wish one and all, a Merry Christmas!