Monday, September 2, 2019

Mystique Dinner and Magic

Our neighborhood friends and us decided to celwbrate some of their birthdays by going to a magic and in a show at Mystique  at Gardener Village.

It was a small setting with seating for only 12 people total. The dinner was serve in five courses. Todd and I got the stake. It was delicious.

A magician entertain us and I reacted with every member of the audience. I was impressed by his magic tricks.

The event was rather pricey ($130 for 2 people. I am only mentioning it because I wonder how people who read about it years from now will react to such a sum), but a lot of fun.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Back to School 2019

Summer break is over! The kids started school again. The continue to attend American Prepapatory Academy but Emilia is now at their secondary campus where Junior High and High School students go.

She has been selected to be in student council and enjoys planning activities for the students and getting to know everyone in her grade. She is surprised by how many people she doesn't know come up to talk to her. We recently had a conversation about what it means to be a leader. It is great that other people recognize you because of your role in the school, but it is even better if you learn to recognize them by name even though they are not serving in any special capacity at the school. Her goal has been to learn as many names of students as she can.

This opportunity has been fun for her although she loses her 4th period prep time, when she could be doing homework.

Emilia is also in volleyball at the school. She is improving her serve and hitting the ball across the net more consistently. It is not about technique but rather strength. I know with practice she will be able to do it more consistently.

Andrew began the Upstart online learning program. He is excelling and his motor skills are benefiting from it. He is now able to direct a computer mouse without problem and has improved the way he grasps a pencil.

He is super self motivated and has already memorized all of his upper and lower case letters. Our next goal is for him to finish learning all of his letter sounds and to write his name.

Stella got glasses right before school started. She is not excited about them at all and we had to make a rule that she wear them when she gets in the car to go to school until she gets in the car to come home. She lucked out and was has the best 2nd grade teacher in the whole school, at least according to me :)

Mrs Foster was Carson's 2nd grade teacher. She has been teaching at APA for a lot of years, and really knows her stuff. Plus when you meet her you can just tell how much she loves her students and wants them to succeed. I couldn't be more thrilled for Stella to have her.

Carson is a bright kid and breezes through his classes. So much so that he often 'forgets' to do his homework until the morning right before we leave for school ;)  The school we attend test students in their ready, spelling and math skills and places them in their appropriate classes. Carson continues to test and learn two grades above his age for both math and reading and is currently learning that curriculum.

I have different goals for every child, but overall they center around developing self motivation, study skills and a love for reading. I know we will get there!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Andrew is 4 years old

This super guy turned four today! He is the youngest in our family and is loved to pieces by his older siblings.

Andrew is bright both intellectually and in his personality. He definitely stands out. He is not shy and likes to make friends of any age.

To celebrate his birthday we rented an inflatable bounce house with water slide. When I asked  Andrew what he wanted to be when he grew up he told me a Merman, so to keep in the theme his party was decorated like the sea.

The kids played in the water slide for hours. We had the official 'little kids party' between 2-4 pm and then opened it up to every age after that. We had neighbors, good friends and family come over and play on the slide until 9 pm at night. 

He opened gift from friends and had two merman themed cakes. The first for the friends party, the second one for the family birthday party later that evening.

There is no doubt this kid is loved so much by so many family and friends.

Monday, July 1, 2019


The Rex Realestate team fireworks in American Fork are the largest fireworks in the state, at par with ant city fireworks, and a lot less crowded - although the word is spreading out and attendance grows every year.

The lineup one side of a High school football field with inflatables for the kids. We learned to get there on time so the kids would bet their time on them without big crowds.

The octopus and obstacle course were favorites of the three youngest.

While the kids were running around Emilia and Todd went to get dinner for everyone. Hot dogs, chips, and a variety of desserts. There was literally a car full from floor to ceiling bakery boxes filled with cookies and brownies.

Our friends the Witneys and Claudia's sister Cinthia joined us. We had a fun time learning to play the card game Dos, some what similar to Uno and watching the fireworks.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Fairy Tale Festival

Andrew loves princesses. And the word 'love' is an understatement. He spends hours with his dolls role playing. So this year I decided to take him and Stella to the Fairy Tale Festival at Thanksgiving Point. My friend Ashley Funk joined us with two of her kids also.

It is always delightful to see the expression of excitement in a child's face when they get to meet a character they adored.

We began our excursion at the pirate ship. Andrew was not interested in even getting close to it. I eventually coax him to get in line with us. It was a slow line. By the time we got to the front he was willing to get into it.

Our schedule was limited, and there were a lot of things to do, so we rushed from place to place to see as many princesses as we could. We were able to see Elsa and Ana, Jasmine and Ariel and Aurora. Red Riding Hood was also roaming looking for her grandmother's house. She stopped to ask for directions, but none of us knew where she should go. I hope she made it there eventually.

By far my most favorite experience was meeting the mermaids that swim in the pool inside the Secret Garden. The line was slow and long, but once we got up to them, I loved the amount of time they spent with the kids. One of them allowed the kids to tickle her fin.

  She also showed them how to make a wish on a seashell.They both took pictures with the kids and were adorable in the way they interacted.

I am glad I took the time on Saturday to take the kids to meet some of their favorite people!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Arthur Passed Away

Our beloved dog of 14 years, Arthur passed away today due to acute pancreatitis. He will be dearly missed by all in our family.

To be honest, I didn't think I was going to miss him as much as I have. Our shadow, our doorbell, our guard dog, Arthur has been with us for almost as long as Todd and I have been married.

Our kids haven't known a day without him. And although I know I complained many times about his 'pee' accidents on the floor over the past few years and his incessant barking, he was also a fierce companion always crawling on our laps for family prayers or whenever we sat down on the family room rug.

He was especially close to Todd, who developed a close bond with Arthur during the six years he worked from home in Texas. Arthur would spend countless hours in his office keeping him company through the day.

It is strange not to feel his presence in our home. The house is surely more quite now that he is gone. I have never witness someone's passing, so it has been especially difficult for me as I was the one that was with him during those last few moments, watching his labored breathing just suddenly cease.

Arthur's passing could not have happen at a more perfect time. Our family has been studying the Atonement of Jesus Christ this past week. In our conversations with the kids, we were able to remind them to turn to God. Jesus's atoned not only for our sins but also felt all of the pain we experience, including our grief at the loss of Arthur.

Fortunately for us, Arthur died at home. That gave all of us the opportunity to say our goodbyes on our own terms. Some of us had to say our goodbyes multiple times before Todd took him to the veterinarian's office to be cremated. His ashes will be dispersed at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab. We loved the place when we visited last year and couldn't imagine a more dignified way to handle his remains.

I have also been so touched by those who have reached out to us with tender words and thoughtful gifts. Our home teacher, who had tended Arthur a few months back, had a feeling Arthur was getting close to the end so he purchased a dog stuffed animal and had it ready for us for when it happened. My kids have loved hugging the toy dog when they feel sad.

Another friend gave us a memory frame where to place a picture of Arthur so that we may not forget him.

Two other people stopped by with their favorite treats to cheer us up on Friday.

Arthur, you were loved and will be greatly missed!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Holi Festival of Colors

In India, Holi announces the arrival of spring and the passing of winter. The Hare Krishna, a faith that originated in India, celebrate Holi every spring with a festival open to all. The admission ticket sales fund a lot the maintenance and construction of their building and their staff. It is also an opportunity for the community to learn about the Hare Krishna's beliefs, culture and tradition.

There are several locations where the event is held. I wanted to participate in their annual run, but we were in the Grand Canyon at that time. So our family, plus Sally and Claire joined us in Milcreek for the festival.

We arrived prepared, with our handkerchiefs and clean clothes, and left full of color and great memories.

The festival was set up with a stage on a large grassy area. Several different performers were lined up for an hour each. There were also booths of people selling products - mostly Indian apparel, henna tattoos, etc. On the opposite side of the stage were bounce houses and a playground for the kids. There were also yoga classes and a tour of their greenhouses where they grow the produce they eat.

The youngest kids were most interested in the play equipment, whereas Emilia and Claire had more fun by the stage. Carson couldn't care for either. He just stood as still as a rod while everyone else was dancing and jumping all around him.

Each of the kids got several packets of chalk dust to throw in the air (and at each other). The chalk smelled like incense. Every 30 minutes or so, they would have a coordinated 'chalk throw' by the stage. Those got really dusty. People literally could not see anything in the haze for a few seconds until it cleared.

Eventually Carson warmed up to the event, and even though he never danced, he wanted to be as colorful as possible so he walked around the crowd with me trying to catch color throwers.Todd remained the most intact of all of us. I think it was by choice that he stayed by the playground with Andrew so he wouldn't get color allover.

It was a lot of fun to experience, perhaps next year I'll consider doing the run.