Monday, April 30, 2007

Flips and Fires

Britton ran in this morning from the back yard and exclaimed enthusiastically, "Come watch what I can do!" So, I went out back as he climbed on to the trampoline. He bounced around for a bit and then did a perfect front flip. He was so excited. He taught himself how to do it this morning. I don't think he's ever even seen anyone do one. Maybe he has, but we rarely have older kids over jumping on the tramp, so I doubt it. He is really good at it too. Throughout the day he kept practicing whenever he was out there and then he "performed" for Jason when he got home from work. So, then Jason got on and attempted a few flips. It took him quite a few tries (I won't say how many) until he was able to land on his feet. And then he showed Britton a few back flips. It looked like so much fun that I got on as well. But, once I got up there, I got scared to actually do a flip. I know they are super easy, but I'm so old and out of shape that I could just see me breaking something or hurting my back or something. I finally did try it though, and it was so easy and felt just like when I was a kid. It wasn't awkward and I didn't land funny or anything. I actually landed on my feet quite easily. Haley got up too and started doing really bouncy somersaults. We had such a fun time. We all just jumped around and played for quite a while. I get to play with my kids on the tramp quite a bit, but I don't think I've ever jumped with Jason.

For Family Home Evening tonight, we did a fire drill with the kids. We have been talking about fire safety ever since we went to the presentation the other night. It turned out to be really fun. We tried several different scenarios. We taught Britton how to close the door to their room, climb up and open his window and wait for us to come help them out. And to keep Haley calm. For the first drill we pretended the fire was in the kitchen, blocking the front door. We all got in bed and pretended to be asleep. When the alarm went off, we leapt into action. Jason took the screens and windows out in our room then jumped out. As I was jumping out behind him, he climbed a ladder to the kid's room where Britton was waiting with the window open just like he was taught. Jason lifted Britton out and then grabbed Haley. Haley was still laying in her bed, scared to death, until Jason said, "Haley, there's a fire". Then she jumped up into his arms. I timed the whole thing and it took about a minute for us all to get out. Of course in reality, it would take us longer to wake up enough to realize what to do. I was surprised at how wimpy I am these days. I sat in the window for a few seconds wondering if I should actually jump. I had barefeet (which is realistic if it's night time) and I didn't want to land on anything pokey in our lawn. I guess in the event of an actual fire, I won't hesitate at all. I did scrape my arm on the bricks, but other than that, the jump was fine. Britton had so much fun practicing. The little boy who lives downstairs was in our backyard jumping on the tramp. I'm sure he thought we were all so strange when he started hearing beeping then saw Jason busting out of our window, followed by the rest of us. His reaction to it all was the best. But, he thought it was so cool. He came around to the front to see if we'd get out safely on our second one. The second scenario was if there was a fire somewhere that didn't block the front door. So, we got back into our beds and waited for the alarm again. We all hurried as quickly as possible to get out to our meeting spot outside. That one took us 15 seconds. Of course, again, realistically it would be longer than that when factoring in the waking up and being impaired by smoke, etc. But, it's still good practice. At the presentation, they said, on average you have 3 to 5 minutes to get out is all. So, we're going to keep practicing periodically to get it so our bodies will just do it automatically. We all had a lot of fun, except Haley. It just scared her. But, I'm sure a real fire would be scary too, so she was probably the most realistic of us all. And hopefully, if we practice enough, she won't be as scared and at least she'll know what to expect and what to do in a fire. It's not a fun thing thinking about having a fire in your home, or worse, losing one or all of your kids in a fire. But, I'd much rather be prepared to know what to do and how to get out. We're going to do a lot more than we were before about preventing fires from starting in the first place, but also preparing our family for if one actually happens.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Dumpster Diving, Fire Safety, and Crochet Parties!

For Young Women last night, we had a service project with the Young Men. Like I mentioned in my previous entry, we have dumpsters strategically placed throughout the neighborhood for our spring neighborhood clean up. So, we all split up and wandered the neighborhood helping some of the older people, mostly widows, with their yard work and trash disposal. It turned out to be so much fun. We were helping my neighbor load up a bunch of tree limbs and the dumpster was getting full, so I climbed in to stomp it all down. Everyone pretty much got a kick out of that. Some of the girls even took pictures of me jumping around in the dumpster. But, it actually made so much more room. So, we were able to fit everything in. After finishing up at my neighbors, we headed over to meet up with the other groups. There's an old lady who has a hedge around her entire back yard that is pyracantha. They are very pokey. Although, they are great for keeping her backyard private, they are not the easiest thing to trim. Our ward does it every spring and every fall for her. I was amazed at how much the young men and young women just got in there and went to work. They accomplished so much and we all had such a good time.

This evening, Jason and I went to dinner at Goodwood Barbecue and we had to listen to a fire safety lecture. I knew there would be some sort of sales pitch, but I didn't care because I've been wanting to try Goodwood for a long time. So, this way we got to try it for free. The food was great, but even better, the presentation ended up being very informative and interesting. The presenter was very entertaining and she wasn't pushy or anything about selling her products. Plus we learned a lot about all the things we are not doing to prevent fires in our home. It was good information and now we can be better prepared to deal with a fire if one does happen.

After the presentation, we watched the Jazz game. I'm not nearly the Jazz fan that I used to be, but I do really enjoy the playoffs. Every year around playoff time, my mom starts projects (usually making quilts) so that she has something productive to do while watching all the games. Well, I decided to follow her lead this year and work on some of my unfinished projects while I watched. I pulled out an afgan that I've been working on FOREVER and started crocheting. Soon, Haley wanted to join me. And then Britton. And then Jason even grabbed a hook and started in. Haley weaved yarn in and out of an old project. Britton made everyone yarn necklaces and practiced tying knots. And Jason and I both actually crocheted. It was really fun. It reminded me of the good old days when Jason and I were dating and he always pretended to like crocheting so he could come to all the "girl" crochet parties. I didn't get much done, but it was still a fun way to pass the time together while watching the game.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Random Happenings of the Past Few Days

I haven't had much time to post lately, so I'll just give a brief recap of the last few days, for my own journaling purposes.

*Saturday Jason played in a UVSC outdoor volleyball tournament and he and his partner took first place! It was fun watching them and I love outdoor tournaments so much more than indoor. And I'm always much happier when he comes home with prizes or money from the tournament.

* I went with Nani and her exchange student to see "Night at the Museum". It was such a fun movie. I really enjoyed it and it makes me want to study history more (even though it's not really about history).

*I've been tutoring like crazy a couple hours a day because it's finals week. It's so fun for me. I'm such a nerd, I think, but I really do enjoy helping people study and learn math and science. Right now it's mostly Chemistry which I never really liked very much in college, but I still find myself enjoying it so much. Weird.

*Yesterday Britton read 3 whole books to me all by himself! They are just short, beginning ones with all words that you can sound out. But, he's really loving reading and is so good at sounding out words. It's a fun thing for us to do together.

*It's our neighborhood cleanup this week, so we have dumpsters placed throughout the neighborhood. So, I've been making more time for yard work. And I'm more motivated to go through things and get rid of some things. It's fun.

Other than that, we've just been doing all the regular things like karate, soccer, Young Women's, playgroups, etc. plus trying to get passports and all the other things done that we need to for going to China. So, we've been keeping quite busy. But, it's a fun busy.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Happy Birthday Britton!

Today is Britton's birthday. I can't believe that it was 5 years ago today that I became a mother. It's hard to imagine my life before then, but it still feels like it's gone by so fast. He's grown up so much. He's one of my very best friends and it's such a privilege to get to be a witness to his daily life. I am very blessed. I love him so much.

We had a family party for him at my parent's house last night. He got so many great presents (mostly all Legos). He was thrilled! Thanks to everyone!

We're Going To China!!!

I am so excited. I just sent back my letter of intent to work at Clifford School in China. We will be leaving sometime in the middle of August and be there for the school year. The school is near Ghangzhou, China. Some of our best friends, Melanie and Shane Tanner are there right now and will be there with us next year as well. I can't even explain how excited I am. It's going to be such an adventure for our family. I can't wait! It'll be a busy 4 months getting our passports and visas, renting out our house, buying plane tickets, packing up our things, etc. But, right now it feels like time won't move fast enough. It's all I can think about.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my 31st birthday. It's crazy to me how much older 31 sounds than even 30. The past few days I've had several people say almost the exact same thing to me--they all said, "I thought you were younger, you look younger, I thought you were about 28." Okay, first of all, I'm flattered that people think I look younger than I am, but c'mon 28 is not that much younger than 31. I just realize that 31 SOUNDS so much older to people. Because, although, it's only 3 years difference, when people hear it, it sounds like a decade different because one is still in your 20's and the other is in your 30's. Anyway, I don't mind being 31 at all. In fact, I'm excited about it. I just find people's reactions to it somewhat amusing.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The 10 Virgins

Thursday night I went to a Stake Young Women's Fireside. It was so good and I have been thinking about it ever since. The whole thing revolved around the theme of the parable of the ten virgins. They split us up into 10 groups and we rotated around to different classrooms where we heard from someone representing each of the 10 virgins, but a modern day version. The five wise virgins were examples of each of the following virtues: 1) a Christ-like person, 2) Repentance and Forgiveness, 3) Ordinances and temple work, 4) Truth, light, and knowledge/talents, and 5) Charity-service to others. The five foolish virgins were: 1)Vanity and seeking after riches, 2)Sins and pleasures of the world, 3) Addictions and excess, 4) Dark works and idol worshipping, and 5) Unrighteous power and ego (pride). The way it was set up, we alternated between righteous and foolish so the contrast was very obvious. We spent only about 5 minutes in each room, but it was still very impactful. I related to each women in some way, sometimes in many ways. And I related just as much to the foolish as to the righteous. Some of the justifications and excuses that the foolish women were saying were things that I say to myself everyday. It was very powerful and eye-opening. It was a good reminder and powerful lesson that we must be working to "fill our lamps with oil" drop by drop and that we each need to be spiritually prepared because that is not something we can borrow from someone else. At the end, we all went into the chapel and the "bridegroom" spoke to us. There was a door placed at the front and one by one the foolish virgins came in and knocked on the door. As the bridegroom turned them each away, it was again a powerful lesson for me. He said to some that they were too late. To others he said, "I don't know you". Some begged to be let in. Some pleaded to be with their families. It had a big impact on me that not only do I want to be prepared for when that day comes, but I also want all my family to be prepared as well.
I learned so much from each of the wonderful women who participated. Although they were "acting", it still was very real to me. Each one did such a remarkable job. I was inspired to be better by listening to each one of them. And I was definitely humbled by how much I could relate to each of the foolish virgins. I think it's easy for us to let our priorities get mixed up and seek after things that are not important. I hope I can remember how I felt throughout the evening and apply some of the many lessons I have learned.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Hiking to the Y

This week for our preschool field trip we hiked to the Y. It was "Y" week, if you couldn't guess. Only one more week and we've made it through the whole alphabet. It was a such a fun little hike, but when we were up there, Britton had a really good fall that gave everyone (especially me) a scare. We were sitting at the very top of the Y and we started scooting down. It's pretty steep so you have to sit down to scoot. Britton stood up and started walking down. He stumbled and started going pretty fast. We fell down backwards and continued tumbling. He did a complete back somersault and then skidded to a stop. It was the scariest thing I've ever seen. Especially because there was nothing I could do at all. I just kept yelling, "Sit down, sit down". Luckily, he only had a scrape on his elbow. It was pretty miraculous that he wasn't more hurt. He was very scared though. And so was I but I had to just pretend like everything was okay. I just held him and let him cry. Then I held him on my lap and scooted down the rest of the Y. I had to carry him on my shoulders most of the way down the mountain too because walking made his elbow hurt more. I am so grateful that he didn't get hurt more than he did. And that he actually stopped rolling down. It could have been so much worse.
Other than that, we had such a fun time. I'm totally out of shape though. It was much harder for me to hike it than it used to be. There was a man biking up the mountain and I couldn't believe it. It's so steep. And there were many joggers too that totally showed us up. We took our own sweet time. I blamed our slow pace on the 4 year olds, but, truthfully, I was happy whenever they suggested taking a break.

Digging for Worms

The other day I was sick, so I sent my kids to the backyard to play all morning. They started digging in the garden looking for worms. They found quite a few and had such a fun time. Britton always wants to save all the worms as pets. He named his John, Dave, David, and Thomas. I convinced him to leave them outside though because his last pet worm dried up.

Britton's Mohawk

We gave Britton a mohawk for a little while and then shaved it off. He thought he was soooo cool.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Spring Soccer

It's that time again! Time for soccer to start again. Britton had his first spring soccer game last night. The winter break was good for him and he was really excited to be playing again. I must say he is better than he was in the fall, but he still had his moments. (See previous soccer posts from October) At one point, he came running off the field, sat down by me and took off his shoes, socks, and shin guards. He didn't play again until after half time, but at least he did play again. It should be a fun couple of weeks watching his games. They're always entertaining, to say the least.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Fun Memories

Last night we went over to Kiwanis Park to watch Jason play volleyball. Although we have been there numerous times since we moved from the Provo House, for some reason I was feeling very nostalgic for the neighborhood and my college/early married days. There was just something in the air. I really love that park and the feeling that is there. There is always something fun and exciting going on. Yesterday was very typical. There were several volleyball nets set up, a game of ultimate frisbee going on, many sun-bathers, tennis players, and lots of kids on the playgrounds. There was a group of people that had a really neat, expensive looking kite. It was very colorful and they were able to control it somewhat. My kids had a great time watching them fly it. There was also a couple of boys who had secured a tight rope between two trees. They took turns trying to cross the rope barefoot. They had some great balance. My kids were mesmerized by that too.
We mostly played on the playgrounds while we were there. There were two new fun toys for the kids to play on. One was a huge spider web-looking thing that they could climb on. I even climbed to the top which made Britton scream, "Mom, you better get down, you might break it!" The other new toy were some big fake rocks that kids could climb to the top of. That was Britton's favorite. It reminded me of Moab and all the big rocks there are to climb. He had fun just being up there, being the king of the mountain. Haley was happy playing on all the regular old toys--slides, swings, etc. The playgrounds have been updated quite a few times throughout the years, but they still have the old metal balance beam that my sister, Sheryl, broke her arm on about 25 years ago. It still scares me to watch my kids walk on it even though it's only a few inches off the ground. I guess because I know how badly she got hurt on it. She had to have surgery and had pins put in her arm and therapy. I don't remember everything but she was in the hospital for a little while (long enough to miss my birthday party).
It was fun being there and just thinking about all the good memories, from my childhood, while I was in college, and after I first got married. I spent so many days in that park with so many different people. A part of me longs to move back to that neighborhood again.

April Give It Up

This month for my Give It Up Challenge, I decided to give up unnecessary spending. This encompasses so many things for me that I think it will be really hard but also really good for me. It's not just shopping, but eating out, and also all those little treats and dollar toys that I end up buying for myself and my kids. Basically, I have to think about every single purchase and ask myself if I really need it. I've never thought of myself as a big shopper or big spender, but I still think this is going to be really difficult. It'll be hard on my kids too, but good for them, they have become quite spoiled. Yesterday I was already tempted to stop by the store to get some treats and drinks to take to the park while we watched Jason play volleyball. I had almost even convinced myself that it was even a need, but then I refrained. I'm already almost blowing it and it's only the first few days. But, after overcoming that moment of weakness, I am even more determined to accomplish this and not make any excuses. Suprisingly, Britton is kind of excited about it too. I told him about it a few days ago. Yesterday, while we were driving, he saw McDonald's and asked if we could go there. I said no, but then I decided to remind him why. I said, "Remember, I'm not going to spend any money for a month." He was completely satisfied by that and stopped asking to go. Later in the evening he told me that he wasn't going to spend any money for 3 months. How cute.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Girl's Night Out

Friday night I had a girl's night out with the Kemp family girls. My mother in law recently hurt her back so we decided to all just stay up at her house and have a sleepover instead of trying to go somewhere else.
We had dinner at her house then headed out to go to a movie. I haven't been to a movie in a very long time, especially without kids. We saw "Premonition" and I liked it a lot. There were a few inconsistencies in it and I wasn't too thrilled about the ending, but I don't want to give anything away, so I won't say anything else. I was entertained by it though and would recommend it to people.
We stayed up until about 2 just talking and hanging out. It was nice getting to sleep in and being all cozy by myself in a bed. It's amazing how much better I sleep when I don't have kids climbing in bed with me a few hours before I want to get up or other such distractions. I don't think I woke up once in the night. I just slept like a rock.
In the morning, we went to IHOP for breakfast. I love eating out for breakfast, but rarely get to do it, so it was fun.
It was a good time just getting to hang out with everyone. I don't see them often enough so it's always fun to catch up on everyone.