Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Back to School Once Again

One in middle school, two in elementary and one starting preschool.  I was more anxious for them the first day than all of them put together. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Summer 2014, Week 9 Final Week

#1 - Field Trip - Church History Museum/Temple Square/City Creek

#2 - Science Project - We completely missed a science project this week...

#3 - Hike - Provo Canyon Trail (To be fair, this really wasn't a hike.  Greg took the three youngest and went off-roading in his FJ.  I stayed behind to finish my deep, fall cleaning.  And for some strange reason, Our Big Guy decided he wanted to help me.  I fear my OCD tendencies are rubbing off...)

#4 - And then we did a little of this... (More dinner with friends from Connecticut - we love and miss all our friends from there!  Finished up our summer movie matinees, found kittens in the neighbor's yard (no, we're not keeping them), flowering are flourishing, and a few back-to-school hair-cuts were in order.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Thank you!!

My work with the State is blessedly flexible - but not so flexible that I could take off the entire summer.  So I am grateful for my wonderful sitter, Elizabeth.  My kids adored her!  She's a stand-out gem who engaged with my children on multiple levels these last few months - all while teaching them how to crack an egg with one hand while simultaneously making banana bread and keeping my kitchen clean. 

Thank you, thank you!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

"We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love...these are what we stay alive for."

-John Keating, Dead Poets Society-

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Summer 2014, Week 8

#1 - Field Trip - Utah Olympic Park (loved being there with my fellow roadie and her kids)

#2 - Science Project - Jell-O Marshmallow Fondant - not exactly science driven, but we liked talking about the chemical make-up of the finished product (directions are here).

#3 - Hike - Ghost Falls (Bubbs did 100x better this year than last)

#4 - And then we did a little of this... (Dinner with our sweet friends visiting from Connecticut, more tennis lessons (this time Pretty Girl signed up), everyone finished the summer reading program at the library and picked out a free book!, and a relaxed BBQ with friends)

In the dog days of summer as muslin curls on its own heat
And crickets cry in the black walnut tree
The wind lifts up my life
And sets it some distance from where it was.
-Meena Alexander-

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Science Experiement That Got Away...

Our Sweetie has been asking for months to do the "Milk Challenge".

The "Milk Challenge" is an age old dare to see if you can drink a gallon of milk within an hour and keep everything down (i.e. not throw up) for 20 minutes.  My brother Spencer tried it when we lived in Virginia.  And he almost made it.  2 cups were left in the bottom of the gallon when he called it quits.  He never threw up, but he felt sick for several hours after. 

Unfortunately, Spencer's experience did nothing to dampen Our Sweetie's enthusiasm to try it for himself.  In fact, it only added fuel to the fire.  Because we all know that Our Sweetie is known for his "bottomless stomach".  He even beats out his Dad on the amount of milk he consumes.  Surely he could finish an entire gallon by himself.   

Personally, I thought this would make a fantastic science experiment - as long as Our Sweetie agreed to be the guinea pig.  So on our last trip to California, we set him up with his own gallon of milk on the back deck, started the time and Our Sweetie started chugging.

I had cautioned him several times that this whole experiment was up to him.  He knew the risks.  He knew what had happened to his uncle.  I urged him to listen to his gut (literally) and we could call it off at any time. 

He assured me he'd be just fine.  He would be the first human being EVER to successfully complete the "Milk Challenge". 

About 3 full glasses into the experiment, Our Sweetie put down the cup, looked at me and said,

"Mom, I have a bad feeling about this."

"You do?  Do you feel sick?"

"Kind of.  I feel really full.  But I also keep having this feeling like I shouldn't do this."

"Oh yeah?  Well, what are you going to do?"  (mentally I'm ecstatic right now)

"I'm stopping.  It feels better." 

I'm not sure if his gut instinct were stomach pains or the promptings of the Holy Ghost.  Either way, it was a fantastic experiment and a very positive lesson for Our Sweetie.  

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Summer 2014, Week 7

#1 - Field Trip - BYU and The Museum of Art

The spotlight exhibit this summer on costume design was stunning!  It was really amazing - and I was expecting just the opposite.  Wow!!  I was esp. shocked when I discovered they were showcasing Marianne's dress from the Emma Thompson version of Sense and Sensibility.  I got a little giddy.

#2 - Science Project - Tea bag rockets (more gas expansion properties)

These were tough for the simple fact that only 2 of the 10 attempts actually took off (see video).  I think the secret is heavier tea bags. 

#3 - Hike - We didn't do a hike this week.  Mom is getting anxious with back to school shopping, organizing and an ongoing list of stuff to do with only 2 weeks left.  Add to that major yard work...

#4 - And then we did a little of this... (Birthday parties, unintentionally matching at baby's blessing, 16yr anniversary and a date-night with Greg (yay!!) and finally.... we made these.  As you can see - they started off conservative - and now they're quite epic in size.  And my kids are STILL playing with them)