Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pinewood Derby 2013

On January 29th, Everett (and his sisters) participated in his second pinewood derby.


I love the moment when the boys walk in the room and see the track all set up.


The anticipation builds as they get their pit passes and weigh in their cars.


I was happy that Cary was able to cut the wood and help with sanding this year.  Last year I helped Everett make his car (partly with a carving knife) and also made one for the girls.  This time I just got to help with the assembly and supervise painting.


Everett’s car is the blue one with the face.  The girls got to race their car from last year (with the butterflies in case you couldn’t guess).  Everett’s previous design is in the back row—red with yellow flames.


Sister Willyerd (Suzie) had a fun mad libs type story for us all to do together, and then we had our race!



Everett’s car won!  He was sooooooooo happy!!!  (I had to remind him to be happy for everyone else too.  He wasn’t mean, just really exuberant.)


The girls got to race their car from last year.  Everyone had fun watching the races.


The refreshments were fun too.  I made cucumber cars, and Sister Tolman made rice crispy treat cars.


And here’s the happy cub scout:


Thursday, February 21, 2013


This is me helping Everett study his multiplication tables.


This is Everett, studying his multiplication tables.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My Little Duck

I sent two children to bed early tonight as a consequence for some misbehavior. The other two older children were in the living room turning their laundry right-side-out while Emma looked on and played. I went down to the basement to switch the loads of laundry, and when I came back up, Emma was nowhere to be seen. I found her on the stairs coming down from the second floor. Smiling, she told me: "I said 'Good night my little ducks.' " She had gone upstairs to say goodnight to her sisters.





With her Great Grandma and Grandma



Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Festivities

We had a great Valentine's Day!  Last night, four children giddy with anticipation picked out clothes to wear today.  Here's what they chose:


Emma has no idea what they're so excited about, but she's excited right along with them. It makes me smile. Cary had to leave for work right away, but I made some pink oatmeal for the kids (flavored with strawberry NesQuik) and sent them off to school.


Cary came home to find his gifts waiting, and then I left to help out with Everett's classroom party. I had already helped at the girls' Halloween and Christmas parties, so Everett was happy to have his turn. After school, the kids and I went and delivered valentine cards and homemade treats to some special people.

As we started out on our route, we encountered some crazy drivers and I was wondering aloud what was going on. Lana decided that it was because it was Valentine's Day and they probably ate too much candy. On the way home, she told me that she was in the mood for some patella. (She was trying to say "pizelle", but knee caps are much more interesting, right?)

Cary took us all out to dinner, and then surprised me with some chocolate covered strawberries that he had made. They were delicious! Cary and I have been married for almost 14 years. We've been through many joys and some sorrows together and have grown together, closer and stronger than before. I feel so very blessed.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


It has been almost two years since my last post.  When I visited here last, the blog seemed more like a time capsule than what it should be--a chronicle of life as it happens.  I don't even know where to start!

Everett is now nine years old!  He was baptized in November of 2011.  He still loves to read and especially enjoys his visits to Fablehaven, Narnia, Camp Halfblood, and Hogwarts.  He has participated in cub scouts and soccer (though his interest in soccer seems to be waning), and this year he started playing basketball.  He is a bright boy.  I never have to help him with his homework.  (Actually turning in the assignments that he faithfully completes each day is another matter.)  Everett is very gentle and sweet with Emma and a good help at home.  He cheerfully clears our sidewalk and that of our 90 year old neighbor when it snows.  He also enjoys clowning around.

Lana, Gwyn, and Maddie have completed kindergarten, and are enjoying first grade.  I decided to keep them in the same class once again.  They interact well with each other and the kids in their class, and are most definitely individuals!  They have also played soccer.

Lana has overcome most of her eating difficulties!  She is often slow and easily distracted.  (She likes to talk.)  But she eats everything that everyone else eats, and sometimes asks for more.  I am so grateful.  She is small, but is able to attend school and eat lunch there with all the other kids.  I was also worried about how she would do in school because of how she got distracted and sometimes emotional, but she is doing great!  She stays on task and catches on quickly, especially with math.  She enjoys art, and currently loves dolphins.  She is a sensitive girl, moved easily to tears when she does something wrong and yelling when she's upset, but loving and happy the rest of the time.  Gwyn loves horses and her parents.  She often makes pictures and notes for me.  She makes friends easily.  She and Maddie both read very well for their age, barely stumbling over difficult passages in the Bible and Book of Mormon.  Maddie loves to dance and has a natural grace for it (her middle name).

Emma is a joy to me.  She is my little "ducky".  She has become a great talker, and I have just really enjoyed watching her grow.  She follows along with the rest of the kids and knows the program around here.  The only problem we've had is that she wants to say every family prayer and if it's not her turn, she just does it anyway right along with whoever else is talking.

Cary has been working hard.  Each year he has gone through the process of looking for a job.  He has been teaching at Pitt, and also led a study abroad group in France for six weeks.  Currently, he is teaching two courses and coordinating all of the French language courses at Pitt.  He is also one of Everett's basketball coaches and a great dad!

I have been adapting to our family's changing needs and growing appetites!  Cary's six weeks in France also meant six weeks on my own with the kiddos.  I was recently released from the Primary Presidency in our ward, and given the calling of Primary Music Leader.  So far I am enjoying it, and Emma loves to see what I'm preparing for the nursery kids each week.  I have grown to love all the kids in our ward, and am glad I get to keep working with them in some capacity.  I have also been one of Everett's den leaders since he started cub scouts.

We have made some big trips in the past two years, including two cross-country trips and one to France, but I'll have to write about them another time!

family dec 2012