Tuesday, March 21, 2017


#1 - Our Weekend in Utah

The first weekend in March my family all descended to Sundance Ski Resort and spent the day skiing.  This was Bubbs' first time and he and his cousin Luke looked like little colored marshmallows on the hills.  Absolutely adorable boys!         

The highlights were clearly cousins, friends and staying with my parents at their cabin which was overflowing with snow.  We spent Friday night at Chuck A Rama (oh, the gluttony!) with the Astins.  Saturday night with the Nelsons along with Jon Shaw and Claire.    

And finally...the hat.  We found the hat, Dad.  It's still there.     

#2 - Spring!  And Bikes!  Oh, glorious bikes!!

So while our love definitely ain't no water under the bridge, almost 30% of the Greenbelt currently is.  The engineer "experts" are draining Lucky Peak dam in anticipation of the massive snow run off that will arrive shortly.  This means the river is running at 7,500... something units an hour.  Or a day.  I don't know the measurements.  What I do know is we don't have to worry unless that number gets to 20,000 - at which point we'll be sleeping in the river.  The official risk is 2%.  

The plan is to move upstairs to Bubbs' room if this happens.  He's vetoed the proposal several times.

In the meantime, we are loving the sun!  The beautiful views and never-ending green pastures now that the ice and horrible storms have passed.  I don't think there will be a happier city of people than the Boise area when spring and summer are finally here.  It has been such a dark, depressing winter.

And I mean to make the most of the roads past those green pastures with Speed very soon.  Hiawatha and Little Red are on the horizon.             

Please don't flood.  Please don't flood.  Please don't flood.

#3 - When Life Gets Hard Conference

We bought tickets to this conference back in December and it was well worth the wait.  With all the driving we do as a family, I decided 2 years ago to stock up on Hank Smith, John Bytheway, Troy Dunn and several other LDS youth CDs for the car.  Hank Smith is clearly my kids favorite.  They love him. 

But the big surprise was Meg Johnson.  I was most skeptical about her and she ended up being my favorite.  I cried.  I laughed.  My heart ached.  And when she finished, Pretty Girl nudged my shoulder and quietly asked if we could get Meg's talks for our car rides.  It was touching to see the impact she made not only on myself, but also my daughter.     

That was the first Saturday with temps above 50 and bright bright sun!  We celebrated after the conference with lunch at Fanci Freeze, a little dive in downtown Boise.  They have shakes so thick it will nearly swallow your cheeks, lovingly displayed by Andrew.    

#4 - Bubbs and Pokemon

Some families have Lego pieces around the house.  The Astin family has Nerf bullets. 

Our family has Pokemon cards. 

Mom has come THIS close to declaring any stray card I find to be garbage.  I've never actually voiced the threat though because it's too darn cute to see how much Bubbs is into this genre - especially the books. 

But not so happy about the rest. 

#5 - Faith and Hope

Bubbs has befriended a set of twins down the street.  They're in the same Kindergarten class and a cute friendship has blossomed. 

#6 - More Swimming and Deacon's Basketball

The latest news is he wants to join the tennis team.  I'm floored.  How to juggle 4 kids again in 5 different sports plus 3 extra curricular activities??  And did I mention I'm coaching volleyball this season?

However, the sad news is unless the guy can get his grades up in math and English, tennis wont be an option this semester.  In the meantime, there will always be the water.    

#7 - And then we did a little of this...

Carvers in the house.  Finally convinced my sweet Uncle Jim and Aunt Darlene to come to dinner.  It's always so nice to visit with them and learn more family history stories. 

100 Days of School Means Dressing Like You're 100 Years Old

Impersonating King Benjamin

Nightly Scripture Reading

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunday Movie Nights and Dessert

At some point during the cold, dark months of January, when almost all of Boise was under house arrest because of ice, we started a new tradition.   

Sunday night after dinner, mom makes dessert - from scratch - voted unanimously the week before.  Each child takes a turn with the whipping cream if included (almost all of them know how to make whip cream now - Hoopes style).  And then we settle in the upstairs TV room (my favorite room of the house) and watch a classic. 

We've made it through most of the Rogers and Hammerstein films, dabbled in Hitchcock and some Audrey Hepburn - our scope is getting bigger.  The benefit of course is hearing your offspring sing show tunes when they don't think you're watching, or laughing at modern commentary that references these performances.  They know this stuff now - which from a parent's perspective, is very cool.  

Bubbs sometimes gets bored.  Pretty Girl loves them all, except the scary ones.  Andrew constantly demands to know the ending because he can't take any suspense and he hates most of the non-resolution endings (esp Fiddler on the Roof).  James usually gets up through the musical sequences with his own impromptu dance routine. 

But by far - our family's favorite has been "Make 'em Laugh" from Singing in the Rain.  This song is happiness incarnate.  It's me in my Grandma Hoopes car on road trips.  

We're almost sad to see the weather turn warm when we'll dust off our bikes for Sunday evenings and say goodbye to movies with homemade dessert.  

Until then, help yourself to another slice of pie...

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

"And Miles to Go Before I Sleep"

For my Dad on this publication day in 1923.  Whenever I read it, I'm suddenly a little girl again looking over his shoulder at the words on the page and hearing his deep voice break a little as he quoted the last lines.   

Frost called it his "best bid for remembrance".  The morning he wrote it, he'd been up all night working on a separate poem entirely, something he'd never done before.  It wasn't until the dawn hours when he was outside watching a June sunrise that he was hit with such a massive idea that he ran back inside to compose "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" without lifting his pen from the page.   

He claimed it had been like a hallucination.

I think it was something else.

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.   
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.   
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Robert Frost, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"

Monday, March 6, 2017

Lousy Smarch Weather

"Do not touch Andrew" - Good advice!

(Unless you're an avid Simpsons fan, you're not going to get this)