Days 2017

Days 2017

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Catching my Breath...

  Catching up.  I feel like a teenager who just finished finals week.  May was mayhem. June was... crazy, good, and super difficult on many levels.    Hopefully July will mellow out a little. 

Let's think back eons ago when it was April or May and the kids were still in school.  And the house was quiet and somewhat cleaner.

Leslie got to go on a choir tour to California.  By the skin of her teeth.  She was super sick a couple days before and we were very nervous to send her on the plane and also about getting her roommates sick, but she perked up last minute and to my knowledge none of her friends got sick.  Good thing--she had a blast and that would have been a hefty deposit to lose.  Here are some of her pictures of the fun things they did when they weren't singing their little hearts out.
Oh yeah, BEFORE the choir tour she had been busy with Science Olympiad.  She really enjoyed herself and metaled several times. (I also find it humorous that her three extra-curriculars--band, choir, Sci-Oly--are all co-ed.  That's my girl.)  Her high school has a long tradition of going to Nationals and this year was no exception, but they only take one team out of the three Sci-Oly teams from her school, and as an underclassman she opted not to go this year.  My wallet was happy about that.
Luke thinks Leslie's medal collection is "Beast".

They went to San Diego.  I think this is at Sea World.

 And since the rest of us wanted to have some adventures as well, we took a Spring Break trip to Green River, UT where we stayed in a hotel with a pool and did some day trips to Goblin Valley, Little Wild Horse Canyon, and attempted to find the black dragon petroglyphs (unsuccessfully).

 I liked this natural armchair.  Taking it easy first trimester?  Well, after this someone had to use the bathroom (not me) and I did some speed hiking with said child back to the van.

Luke liked playing hide and seek with the kids.

Then it was Easter...

Every week we have some kind of Young Women's activity that Leslie and I get to be involved in.  It has been fun to spend some silly time with her before she is all grown up.
 This was a night the Young Men were in charge of.  First they played dodgeball with rolls of toilet paper, then they played human Hungry, Hungry Hippos on skateboards with balloons, ropes to pull the skateboards, and laundry baskets.  It was pretty funny and there were some collisions.  I declined to play this one.
Another night was just a beautiful activity with a bunch of the older girls where we arranged for the owner of our local formal and wedding dress shop to talk to the girls about dressing modestly and preparing for the temple--then they were allowed to try on dresses for about an hour.  It was SOOO fun lacing them up, adjusting the fit, helping them choose their veils, taking their pictures, and seeing their smiles and twirls while happy Disney music played in the background (we ended on bibbidi-bobbidi-boo! of all things!)

Mark and I took advantage of a business trip he had scheduled to San Diego and a free flight for our anniversary.  We had fun exploring.

Then baseball season was upon us.  We knew this year would be super crazy because the boys had to be on separate teams because of their grade level.  Next year they can be on the same team and Mark plans to coach.  He coached Boston's team this year so he will be in position to "own" that team next year and able to draft Cooper onto it.  Both boys did well.  Boston's team finished up 2nd place Pinto League for our city out of around 23 teams, and Cooper's team just had a bad loss last night which will put them into 3-4 place after tonight's game.  And then we are done for a few weeks before flag football starts (much more laid back AND they get to be on the same team for the first time this year.)

I apologize to Boston because for some reason I have many more pictures of
Cooper.  For one thing I got to be the parent at more of Cooper's games since Mark was coaching Boston, also it seems like more of Boston's games were the late time (8:30-10) when I would leave early to put kids in bed, for another thing, pitchers and catchers are easier to photograph than 3rd basemen who always seem to get the good shady spot.  Good for the player, bad for the lighting.
 Cooper here batting for the Astros--the same team he played for last year when Mark was coaching.  It was fun for him to have a few of the same teammates.
Sometimes he played catcher, and was pretty good at it.

I just thought this was a funny picture--all these baseball cap boys eating their pizza.  This is one of Boston's friends who actually plays for an accelerated team.  His Dad used to play pro and now coaches the son's team; they have been kind enough to take Boston to a couple of games.  He even was given the chance to suit up with his buddy and be up to bat during one of the last innings but he declined (he was pretty freaked out at the prospect, hahaha).  This coach gave him the gray hat--it says SF for the Spanish Fork Dons.  They are actually our rival high school, so Leslie has taken umbrage and likes to tease him about his hat.  He wears it constantly indoor and out.  I was having a pregnant-brain moment the first time I saw the back of his head while wearing it and I thought it read "Dork" instead of "Dons" and that it was some kind of joke.  So, now we fondly refer to it as his SpanishForkDork hat.

Cooper had a birthday in the midst of this baseball frenzy and his Dad spoiled him big time with this pitching/batting net "for the whole family".  Thankfully, the boys have made tremendous use of it, and I am shocked that they haven't run tracks in my backyard.  They are out in the backyard almost every night as soon as it cools down.
Cooper requested Monkey bread for his birthday again.  I have to make two batches.
 He also pitches.  Never the mama's favorite.  SOOO much pressure.  He does okay, but this is the one position that is any sort of challenge for him--every other spot would be relatively easy, except maybe catcher, where you can really mess things up if you are having an off night.  He is still a pretty emotional player as far as you can really tell on his face and his body language if he is dragging and down about his performance.  I like it better when he plays short stop.  He loves it though, and Mark is excited to get to coach him again next year and work with him more specifically on pitching.  Sigh.

 Mark shared a cool quote with me that I will have to sum up here.  A famous baseball coach was talking to a crowd and asked them how far it was from the pitcher's mound to home plate in the Major leagues.  The crowd answered.  Then he asked them how far it was in the Minors.  The answer was the same.  Then he asked them about college, high school?  The same.  Little league?  The same.   (This actually surprised me, I thought it was closer for Little League.)  His point was, the standards are the same.  In life, we should be teaching our children the same high moral standards that they should follow throughout their life.  Excellence is excellence. 
 Here is a double that Cooper hit.  I was a second too late recording and missed the crack of the bat.  Sorry Coop.

Yay! Here are my two action shots of Boston.  He did really well playing third most of the time and fielding once in awhile.  His batting average has gone way up this year and with his strength he has had some pretty great hits.  Here is a short video of one of our favorite plays, haha.  In Pinto league, if you strike out (which, I have to add, for Boston usually means that he's had a couple foul balls and not that he's just standing there), and the catcher drops the ball on the third strike, you can run to first ANYWAY.  Baseball is so weird.  This play is funny because that is just what happened--except when the catcher finally got the ball back and threw it to first, it beaned Boston in the backside, which is actually "the best place to take a hit".  He was safe AND relatively unhurt.  Hahaha.

 It was tough for me to be cheering for both the Astros and the A's.  I got mixed up several times in the heat of the moment as to which team I was actually watching since they both start with A.  Should have been Yankees and Red Sox.  I don't know what Cooper has done to his pants in this shot (and where are his orange socks?) but at least in baseball, dirty pants are a badge of honor.

Macy loved playing on the baseball playground with friends that she made from both of the boys' teams' families, and Luke usually wanted to hang out with me or whenever possible, in Boston's dugout.

Baseball wasn't the only thing we were watching in May.  We were also able to catch a few musical performances by some of our children.  Cooper had a piano recital and hurried home early to dress for a game the same night.  Macy had a children's choir concert that was Broadway themed--SUPER fun, and Leslie had music festival choir and flute, with which she also qualified for state.

Cooper is fairly musical but hates staying inside, sitting still, and practicing anything besides sports.  Ah well.
This one is so stinking adorable it makes me cry.  Good thing I am having another girl since my other two are growing up way too fast.  I also LOVED their Wells Fargo Wagon song and had to play the kids the original version with Ronnie Howard, lol.  Macy is wearing the hat because she also had a short speaking part as "Mrs. Anna" for The King and I number.  My whole family loved her practice CD and the kids drove everyone crazy by listening to the "Telephone Hour" song from Bye, Bye Birdie over and over... with its cracking voice teenage boys.  Cooper can do a pretty good impression now.  Apparently Mark's brother Paul was the lead in that play as a teenager.  Mark was only about 6 and it made him cry that the kids on stage were singing mean things about his brother.  "Heya Hugo...are ya stupid?  Whaddya gotta go get pinned for?"
Here is Leslie at her state performance I think, playing Humoresque.  She was accompanied by her good friend Becky, who also rocked it.
Cooper ended the school year with a long-awaited addition:  braces to finally work on his cleft-affected teeth.  I pulled him out of school to drive up to Primary Children's.  When we stopped for lunch I asked him what he wanted for his last meal.  He meekly requested, "Can I try a Big Mac?"  I had to laugh.  I hadn't realized that he'd never had one.

Don't feel too bad for him though, he also got taken to Red Lobster for the first time after one of his other consult appointments.  He's my shrimp lover and I've been meaning to take him there on a Mommy/Son date for quite awhile.  Luke just got to tag along.

On the way home from one of the long boring rides to Primary's, Cooper swiped my phone and decided to lipsinc a little.  Pardon the headbanging phone, but this whole thing just has so much of his personality in it I had to include it.  We'll see if the video stays since it may show up copyrighted because of the radio in the background.

At the beginning of summer we usually take some time to make a family fun poster of things we want to do.Here is this year's version.

Our family also took a lovely campout to kick off our Memorial Day weekend at the south end of Nebo Loop in a place called Bear Canyon.  It was gorgeous--lots of waterfalls and butterflies and flowers and space--but I was up a lot of the night freaking out about a possible black bear attack on my tent.  It didn't help that Mark was snoring.

I loved catching this interaction between my girls.  They truly enjoy each other, and really could be almost twins if you look at some of their same-age pictures.  My favorite moment of this campout was when us girls went on a short hike and counted all the different kinds of butterflies we were spotting.  At one point they basically dive bombed us.  Macy was a little nervous about that and didn't want them to land on her head, so the three of us huddled in a circle for a few seconds while these large swallowtails looped and swooped around us like they were weaving a magic spell.  It was just breathtaking.

Little did we know, there were FOUR girls in that magic circle!!  Here are the flowers Mark brought home to celebrate our announcement of "It's a Girl"!
If it had been a boy, he would have brought home Mexican food, since Luke has been wanting to name the baby Chimichanga.  Also would have been good.  I am so excited.

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