Sunday, October 23, 2011

I can see clearly now...

Last spring, I started hearing Ammon complain about the fact that he couldn't see the writing on the board from where he sat at the back of the classroom. I told him to move to a desk in front that would be closer to the board, but he wouldn't because he thought it wasn't a big deal.

It made me think back to a time when I was in 4th grade, and I couldn't see the writing on the board anymore, and even after I moved to a desk closer to the front of the room, the writing on the board still appeared fuzzy. It was in the 4th grade that I got my first pair of glasses.

This summer, as we were driving home from vacation at the end of July, I asked Ammon to tell me when he could see the words on freeway signs and exits. He couldn't see the words until they were right in front of us. It was then that I realized his eyesight was worse than he had let on.

After we got home, I made an appointment with the Eye Dr. in August. He wasn't looking forward to the appointment at all because he didn't want to have to wear glasses. The Eye Dr. was his best friend's dad, and he is very good at working with kids (and adults). It was determined from the appointment that Ammon did, indeed, need glasses.

We walked around picking out different glasses, and he tried them on. This was one of our favorites:

Ultimately, he picked a smaller, lighter pair. The office ordered the glasses and said it would be 2-3 weeks before they would arrive. On the drive home from the Dr.'s office, Ammon told me that he would only wear his glasses at school during times when the teacher wrote on the board. He said that other than that, he would just take them off and carry them around in a glasses case. I told him the only times he'd really have to take them off was during sports and sleep, but he insisted that he would have them off more than he'd be wearing them. I think he was concerned with how others would perceive him if he wore glasses.

When his glasses arrived at the end of August, he was pleasantly surprised at just HOW MUCH he could see with them on!!! He no longer considered it a "nerdy" thing to wear them because he was just glad that he could see! So, just as I predicted, the only times he takes them off is to play sports and sleep!

Even though he's only had them for 2 months, he looks so different now when he's not wearing them. They look so good on him and fit him perfectly! And best of all, he doesn't complain about not seeing anymore!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Turning 8 is twice as great!

Jonah and Micah turned 8 years old in September! They got to celebrate their special day in several different ways...

They each chose special treats to share with their class at school on their actual birthdate. Jonah took frosted sugar cookies and Micah brought powdered sugar donettes.

On the evening of their birthday, we ate Jonah's favorite meal for dinner: pancakes and sausage links.

The next day, we ate Micah's favorite meal for dinner: Shepherd's Pie. Grandpa and Grandma T. joined us for the evening, too.

After dinner, the boys opened all their presents:

They received lots of great things from Grandma & Grandpa P., Grandma & Grandpa T., and from Mom & Dad:

After all their gifts were opened, they each took a turn blowing out candles on their cake:

They chose their birthday cake together (a chocolate cake with chocolate chip ice cream in the middle), but they chose different ice cream flavors to eat with it. Micah chose Birthday Cake ice cream:

Jonah picked Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream:

Jonah and Micah were happy to break out and wear two of their new birthday shirts::

Each year, the boys get to alternate between friend and family birthday parties. This year, it was Jonah and Micah's turn for a family birthday party, and they got to choose what we did. They wanted to go overnight to Missoula, so we went there a week after their birthday. Jonah's birthday request was to spend the night at the Wingate--the hotel with the waterslide. And we did! They slid and swam, and I soaked in the hot tub. It was fun for them and very relaxing for me!

Micah's birthday request was to go miniature golfing. So we did! We found an 18-hole miniature golf course at a campground in Missoula, and we were the only ones there. We had a great time there!

Kanyon scored a hole-in-one on the first hole and was so excited!

After that, we went to the Missoula Carousel. I'd heard about it before, but had never gone. It was so cheap, and the boys rode it 3 times (except Kanyon who didn't like the noise).

Then we ate lunch at restaurants of Jonah and Micah's choosing (Taco Time and Dairy Queen), and we headed back to Salmon. Except for the 3-hour car ride both ways in which the boys argued and whined, the weekend was a very enjoyable one for all of us!

Jonah and Micah's birthday celebrations lasted for four days, and they were so happy! I was glad they felt that way, because after all, turning 8 really IS great!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Seeing Red

I just LOVE fall.

That's all, folks.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

for the First and Last time

The annual Children's Primary Program at church was on a Sunday in mid-September. It was the FIRST and LAST time that all my boys would be in it together...Kanyon was in the sunbeam class for the first time this year and Ammon turns 12 in January and will be in the Young Men's group next year.

I was looking forward to seeing all the boys on the stand during Sacrament Meeting, and I envisioned a lovely, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity sitting next to my husband in the audience without kids in between us, and us smiling and being so proud of our children on the stand.

With the boys all dressed in their handsome church clothes, we headed off to church.

In our ward this year, Sacrament Meeting is first. After the Sacrament services were finished, the children were asked to come up from the congregation and sit on the stand. I told the older boys to leave their church bags with us, and as they were exiting our row to walk up front, they insisted that Kanyon leave his bag with us, too. And that began Kanyon's meltdown. I told the boys that Kanyon could take his bag with him, but it was too late. Kanyon no longer wanted to go sit up front. He wanted to keep his bag with him, and he wanted to sit by us. I really felt like it was important for him to go with his class, so I carried him up to the front of the room, and I sat with him for a minute, explaining to him that he could see me and dad from where his seat was. I whispered to him until he seemed calm, and then I set him on his chair on the stand, and I walked down in the congregation. Then he immediately got out of his chair, threw himself on the ground and started banging his head. So, I walked back up, sat down, and set him on my lap. I knew his class would be first to say their parts in the microphone, so I was determined to help him through that part. I told him if he said his part in the microphone, then he could come sit back by me and dad. When his class got up to share their speaking parts, I carried him, and waited our turn in the line. When it was his turn, I lifted him up, whispered to him his one-sentence part, and of course he refused to say it. So, after a few moments, I said it for him, carried him out of the room, and took him outside. For 10 minutes, he screamed and cried outside because he "dont wanna do it". I was so upset! Finally, after he calmed down, I carried him back in the room, and we sat by dad for the rest of the meeting. It was THE longest Children's Sacrament Meeting I have ever seen. The kids had only practiced it once the week before in primary, and it was very disorganized, and the kids didn't know all the songs or their speaking parts, and we ran over time-wise about 15 minutes, and they even had to cut out two songs! Even if it hadn't been so long, I couldn't enjoy it because I was fuming inside the whole time from the scene that Kanyon had created. My visions of the perfect first-and-last primary program were gone.

But, on the upside: I thought the other boys did a great job speaking into the microphone and sharing their parts. Jonah and Micah used to have stage-fright and wouldn't speak or sing, and they did fabulous! And it was sweet to see Ammon up there for the last time in the Primary! And hopefully, next year, Kanyon will be able to sit up front without help from his mommy!

Friday, October 7, 2011


When Ammon was in 2nd grade, he had an insect collection project that was due in the fall. I remember us looking for bugs and insects and collecting them for weeks, trying to get the minimum number that was required to complete the project.

Well, this summer, it occurred to me that Jonah and Micah would be in 2nd grade this year and that meant that the bug project was coming up. Because I remember having a difficult time finding bugs with Ammon's project, I knew that with TWO boys it would even be harder, because that meant there were TWICE as many bugs we would have to find. So, we started collecting bugs in July! Every time they found a bug or a spider, they'd get a container out of the cupboard, put the insect or spider in it, shut the lid, and put it in the freezer. After the bug was frozen, they'd take the container out of the freezer and put the dead bug in a separate jar. By mid-September, I was so sick of the whole process and tired of all the containers they were using that had to be washed over and over!!! And after two MONTHS of collecting bugs, I was so glad when we finally put all of the bugs together on display boards and the boys could stop collecting them! We took all the bugs out of the various containers that were taking up space on a shelf and a counter, and laid them out on the boards. I was amazed at how many the boys had collected!

The only problem was that since both boys had helped in collecting the bugs, they couldn't remember which bugs belonged to whom. They remembered individually catching specifically some of them, but when we started pinning them on the boards, I just made executive decisions for them so that the boards would look about equal regarding the number and size of the bugs. 

Jonah's board had a butterfly, silk moth, cabbage white butterfuly, various moths, a chrysalis, an imported fire ant, a lady bug, gnats, a bee, a wasp, a damselfly, flies, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, spiders, a beetle, a centipede, a cricket, and an unidentified bug.

Micah's board had a butterfly, a large silk moth, a cabbage white butterfly, various moths, a chrysalis, a crane fly, gnats, a wasp, a bee, flies, a box elder bug, a long horned beetle, a black beetle, a centipede, a hobo spider, grasshoppers, and one very large winged unidentified insect.

The boys wrote their names on the display boards, typed up and cut out and taped on all the insect labels, and they wrote a report about their insect findings. Then they took their boards to school and had to present their collection to the class. They were and still are so proud of their bug projects! And rightfully so! 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Agency on Labor Day

We went camping the 3rd and final time this summer on the last day of summer--Labor Day.

We went to Agency Creek, which is about a half hour's drive from our home. The last time we were there was 9 years ago when we went for a picnic to that campground. It had been too long! Thankfully, there were only 2 other groups in the campground with us, and they were very quiet, so it felt like we had the place to ourselves.

When we finally got the camp trailer parked (after Josh and I had some miscommunication and argued about the exact location of the trailer), the boys began playing around the campsite. The creek was right next to our spot, and they played in the water, and climbed the hunting pole that was situated next to the creek (where hunters hang their animals to dry). Micah and Ammon reached all the way to the top!

I made hamburger stew for dinner with carrots, onions, and potatoes from our garden. It was delicious!

After supper, the boys rode their bikes around and played in the dirt until the sun went down.

Amanda and her two kids came up and joined us at the campground around that time. Brady and Raegan played with the boys until the last rays of the sun were gone. Then we made a campfire and sat around it. I had forgotten to bring any campfire treats (marshmallows or starbursts), but I knew I had a microwave popcorn packet in the trailer. I decided to experiement with it and see if it the popcorn inside the bag would still pop over the heat of the fire. I set the popcorn packet in a cast-iron pan and set it on the grill over the fire, and after several minutes the popcorn actually DID start to pop! I was SO excited!! I got my camera and started taking pictures, but on this last photo, the fire got too close to the bag and the bag itself caught on fire! You can sort of see the top right part of the bag is smoking... 

Unfortunately, the whole bag of popcorn ended up in the fire pit. I was so sad! But, Josh's parents and brother surprised us as we were gathered around the campfire, and they saved the day and brought some root beer floats! They were so yummy! It was nice to sit around the fire with everyone and chat. At bedtime, Edward and Kathy and Malachi left. And Amanda and her kids decided to stay the night with us. The boys were so excited to have a friend sleepover at camping!!!

It was a little bit of a rough night, and the kids woke up early the next morning. We ate breakfast around the campfire, and the kids played and played. Then we packed up lunch, got into the truck (all the boys got in the back), and we headed out for a drive on the Lemhi Pass dirt road that heads over into Montana.  

At the summit of Lemhi Pass, we stopped at a Sacajawea Memorial area. We walked around, read the signs, and ate our lunch. 

We weren't the only ones who were hungry...

There was some chopped wood left there from forest service crews cleaning out dead trees, and Jonah said "Mom! Look! It's my new pair of pants!". Funny boy...

After our stop for lunch, we headed down another long dirt road that lead us (eventually) to the Sharkey Hot Springs. We stopped again for a lovely soak. It's the first time in YEARS that we've gone there as a family during the daytime. Usually, Josh and I go after dark to soak. It was a nice break from driving and the kids enjoyed it!
After that, we drove back to the campground, packed up our trailer, and headed home. It was a short camping trip, but I'm glad that we went.

We usually go camping at least 6 times a year, and I'm disappointed that we only made it 3 times this summer. But, I'm also relieved that we're not going again until next year. I used to love camping and found it so relaxing, but camping this summer was anything BUT relaxing! The first time ended short so we could take Ammon to the hospital. The second time the kids were "bored" the whole time and they wouldn't stop whining and arguing. And this last time, I was so tired and didn't get enough sleep and I was just ornery!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Live & Love Life 365 (September)

Day 244: I overheard a student in one of my morning classes tell his friend that I am "SUCH a cool teacher!" and it just made my day!

Day 245: We had a BBQ tonight, and invited John and Amanda because they've never had one of Josh's homemade burgers! It was my mother-in-law's birthday, so we invited Josh's parents and brother Malachi, too. The food was so good! Josh's burgers were delicious, and we picked fresh corn from the garden and had corn on the cob, and John brought chips and dip, and Amanda brought a yummy salad and beans. And then for dessert, I made applesauce cake with my home-grown, homemade applesauce and it turned out pretty good! We chatted over dinner, and John and Amanda stayed longer and we watched the 2nd half of a college football game on TV and we talked and laughed. I felt like my insides were so full: between eating good food and being with my family and friends!

Day 246: Worked in the house and yard, and it felt good to get projects done. We went to the Farmer's Market today for the first time and I enjoyed looking at the different and unique items that the vendors were selling.

Day 247: We went camping tonight, and Amanda brought up her family and joined us for the night. Edward and Kathy and Malachi even surprised us with a short visit and they brought root beer floats and we ate them while we sat around the campfire.

Day 248: We took a drive up the Lemhi Pass today and went as a family to the Sharkey Hot Springs. It was so wonderful!

Day 249: Took the younger three boys to a playdate tonight to a new family's house in Salmon, and they all had a great time! It was fun!

Day 250: Went to Ammon's football game this evening. It was just perfect: Ammon played the sport he loves, Josh helped out on the field with the men, the boys played ball and climbed with friends, and I got to hang out with the ladies. After I got home, I went on a walk with Amanda. I just loved tonight!

Day 251: I was exhausted tonight! I went to bed early and just crashed!

Day 252: We had a yummy dinner of fresh corn-on-the-cob from our garden, and fresh mashed yukon gold potatoes from our garden! I invited Edward and Kathy up to join us, too. After dinner, we went to the H.S. football game, and we won again! It's fun to go to football games on Friday nights in the fall!

Day 253: I love the way my husband loves on me. After he came home from work, he hugged me for several minutes, and I loved the feeling!

Day 254: Sacrament meeting was so spiritual today and I felt the spirit so strongly when Amanda and her family spoke on faith and personal experiences

Day 255: Josh made dinner for us tonight, and it was a welcome break for me! Amanda and I walked around the track tonight instead of down our road, and I'm happy to be exercising more.

Day 256: Josh visited me at school mid-day today, and it was such a nice surprise to see his face!

Day 257: I had a terrible day at school, which ended in a mental breakdown at the end of the day. The bright spot of the day was when John came to visit me during first hour, and he brought me chocolates and coke, and told my class they were lucky to have me as a teacher. It meant so much to me!

Day 258: Josh made corn on the cob and pork steak for dinner, and it was ready by the time we got home from school. I'd been craving corn on the cob all day, and he'd had no idea! It was so perfect and super delicious! I sure love that man! Then this evening after dropping Ammon off at football, I went to see the movie "17 Miracles" playing at the Stake Center. It was such a great movie and I cried and cried! And while waiting for Ammon to get out of Hunter's Ed Class tonight, I went with John for a quick bite at Bertram's. Even though I had another not-so-good day at school, my evening was absolutely terrific!

Day 259: John taught me how to do grades on the new computer program at school today, and then we sang songs for a little bit and listened to music, and it was so fun! Tonight, I sat by Amanda and Josh at the football game, and they made me so warm on a cool evening! And the Savages won again, too!

Day 260: Josh, John, Amanda, and I went out for dinner and karaoke tonight. It's been too long since we last did it, and I remember how much I used to love it! I came to life, and started letting loose, and it felt so good until I became purely exhausted!

Day 261: I did my laundry today for the first time in 3 weeks. I was SOOO happy to have clean jeans again to wear!

Day 262: We read stories and played games at Family Home Evening tonight, and for dessert we ate the delicious cookies that Josh made last night! Yum, they were so good!

Day 263: I went for a walk tonight with Amanda and John, and we had a great time exercising and laughing and talking and dancing--and somehow all simultaneously! Then John and I watched the premier of Glee! I'm so happy to have new regular TV programs back!

Day 264: We watched Ammon's football game tonight, and he played so well! His team has really improved and it was fun seeing them play!

Day 265: I got to take birthday treats to Jonah and Micah's class today for their birthday, and Josh cooked Jonah's birthday meal for dinner: pancakes and sausage links! I had a difficult afternoon at school, and came home in tears, but blogging about my birthday and then watching W&G with John and eating ice cream made everything all better!

Day 266: We ate Micah's birthday dinner tonight with Josh's parents: shepherd's pie. The twins played all afternoon with some radios that my mom sent them, and they were so happy! After dinner tonight, they opened gifts, and we had cake and ice cream. It was such a quiet birthday, but they were happy, and they played all night with their new legos! I love birthdays!

Day 267: I canned corn all day. I already got 16 freezer bags full, and I only picked 1/4 of our corn!!! Tonight, Josh and I went for a soak in the hot springs with Amanda and John. We had one of the pools all to ourselves, and it felt good. Josh and I were both feeling sore, and we felt so much better after!

Day 268: I got to sleep in with my husband this morning, and I loved it! It's so rare when it happens! After church, we had a picnic with Josh's parents at the Guard Station. We ate burgers and chips and watermelon, and it was so delicious! I love this warm weather that we've been having! Tonight, I was feeling sad, and I went over to John's house. He fed me yummy soup and we watched a movie, and I felt so much better.

Day 269: I enjoyed listening to my students share their reasons for "HFM" (Hooray for Monday). Tonight at Family Home Evening, we had a special edition all about "Baptism" for Jonah and Micah's upcoming baptismal date this week! I'm so excited!

Day 270: Tonight I: cleaned out my school office, walked with Amanda, and watched Glee. All 3 made me feel good.

Day 271: Watched Ammon's football game tonight, and they won!!! I had so much fun sitting by Kitt and laughing and watching Ammon make great plays!

Day 272: We went to Missoula to celebrate the twins' birthday as a family {a week late}. I sat in the hot tub for an hour at the hotel, as the boys went down the waterslides and played in the pool, and the hot water felt so good on my feet!

Day 273: We went miniature golfing and riding the carousel in Missoula before heading home, and both activities were so much fun for me and the kids!