Monday, September 26, 2016

The Tooth Man

I have woefully neglected to credit a small - but by no means unimportant - super hero in our family.  This super hero came on board 7 years ago when the current Tooth Fairy had reached the end of her career.  No doubt her wings were drooping with fatigue and her crown too full of things to remember.  And then came The Tooth Fairy's salvation...

The Tooth Man.

Everyone in our family loves The Tooth Man!  So much so, that The Tooth Fairy is hardly ever mentioned anymore.  In fact, Bubbs doesn't think she even exists. 

Tooth Man never forgets the little teeth under pillows - even when it's late at night and little bodies have already been asleep for hours.  Even when mom and dad are nearly asleep themselves and the house is dark and cold.  Nope.  Tooth Man comes through every single time.

The Tooth Man deserves so much praise, hugs and love from all of us, but sadly this affection never gets delivered because The Tooth Man will never reveal his secret identity.  And while our two oldest boys have a small idea of who he is, mom will never tell.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sun Valley 2016

The #1 complaint from the kids as we were leaving Ketchum and heading home - "We didn't get enough cousin time!!!"  

Shocking, really.

We spent almost every waking moment together.  We even took an additional day off from school so we could meet cousins early at the Twin Falls fair.  So many new adventures this year.  New stories.  New games.  More tears and heartache when we had to leave.  I keep getting this reoccurring feeling that these are really the golden years.  The ones that will leave the biggest impression on my children's lives.  These are the times that will form the foundation of who they are and who they decide to become. 

So yes, most definitely.  Not enough cousin time for sure.    

On a whim, we toured the Ice Caves this year with my parents.  We pass this spot every year, and yet we've never stopped.  It turned out to NOT be the tourist trap I've always suspected.  We learned quite a bit about the surrounding geology between Sun Valley and Twin Falls - and I bookmarked a dormant volcano that was a couple miles down from the caves (hike for next time).  

The difficult part was navigating the lava rock path with my father - who is still recovering from his back surgery and his non-stop work schedule.  I'm so grateful he and my mom could be with us for this trip.  They were the icing on the cake for our reunion. 

One of the coolest mountain bike jerseys ever!  If only they would have had one in my size and in a tank design.  In the meantime, my oldest son will wear his and represent us properly.  

This was our second year signing the kids up for ice skating lessons.  It's beyond amazing because these are OLYMPIC-MEDAL CHAMPIONS teaching my children.  Don't ask me who they are, because I don't follow skating.  But it doesn't stop me from feeling extremely intimidated and slightly unworthy when I talk to them.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


#1 - River Rehabilitation

Once we were safely unpacked in Idaho, I took the kids to the Boise River and tried to get them feeling comfortable again after our river disaster in Utah.  It didn't take very long with the older boys...

#2 - McCall with Grandpa Carver

My father is going through a late-life crisis.  Last month he bought an Airspring Travel Trailer.  The factory where he ordered the trailer is about 20 minutes north of Boise.  Great news for us because it meant we got to have him for a few days.

Naturally, I took him to McCall. 

#3 - Manla Family

Last month we befriended the Manla family - a refugee family from Syria who've been settled here about 2 months.  

The evening we met them - I couldn't get out my questions fast enough.  And the hard part is they speak no English - only Arabic.  So it was purely through Google Translator (shaky at best) that I've gotten to know Asmaa, the mother.  Within minutes of talking to her, I started crying.  The stories, the hardships, the energy and endurance they've had to withstand.  It always leaves me speechless.

The second time we visited them we took Lego kits as presents for the kids - and it turned out 100x better than I was anticipating.  The kids could play perfectly without needing to use a language.  

Our family has quickly grown to love them.  We try to visit them often.  My children already love their children, and fortunately they seem to be picking up English more rapidly than the parents.  They are a wonderful family and we hope we can help them feel welcomed here.   

#4 - Swim Team

James was hit with achilles tendinitis at the start of cross country season.  It's been a big blow because he was rip-roaring to run again.  Fortunately, one of his new friends (Stu) convinced him to try out for the local swim team.  This was momentous for Greg and I - both of us with swimming in our blood.  We have been waiting and waiting for just ONE of our children to express an interest in swimming.  

It was a very happy moment when we got the call that James was in!!   

His first meet is in 2 weeks.   

#5 - Coding Classes

At some point over the summer - I can't remember exactly when.  One of those rare weeks where we were home and had nothing to do - I signed up my boys for a local computer programming class.  It was taught by an 8th grade boy who's now become very tight-knit with my oldest son (Stu).  They were buddies at Scout camp and we're already quite crazy about his family.

This is the only picture I got of the class.  There was such keen interest in all the information that I now seriously wonder if my boys will one day sabotage the computers in a vain attempt at humor.  I fear for them with so much power.

But it won’t stop me from signing them up again during the winter break in December.  Code on boys!   

Friday, September 9, 2016

And as the days went by, I turned my wheel towards the thunder
Taking on a challenge that I knew could take me under
And it took me down, oh it took me down.

And it came to me
As I cursed the stem and sail
And called it fate that I should fail

There is a light.
There is a light...

And it all comes down to me. 
To feel the presence of my soul
Amidst the torrents and the cold of the sea.

And there will always be the light and the sea.
The rolling sea, the light and me.  

The light and me. 

- Dar Williams

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

First Day of School 2016

It's official this year.  All of my children are going to school.  I cried dropping off my oldest at 8th grade – his last year at junior high.  And then I cried again while helping my youngest put on his backpack.  I reminded them over and over that they wouldn’t be alone, that family they cannot see would be surrounding them. 

New school.  New friends.  New teachers.  New environment.  New job for Mom.

LOTS of prayers in this transition.    

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true

May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you

May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong

-Bob Dylan-

I celebrated my newly restored independence by going on a longer-ish bike ride up Lucky Peak Reservoir.  And I spent time in the Boise Temple.

Time well spent.