Thursday, March 2, 2017


Max's Mm-Hm is a little bump on his blanket where the seams come together and the fabric overlaps a little.  He named it his Mm-Hm, it's a he, and he snuggles and rubs it under his nose.  He says Mm-Hm runs away sometimes at night, so he has to find him by running his fingers along the perimeter of his blanket.  I just had to document Mm-Hm before Max grew out of him.

The usual state of the lego organization center.  My cleaning schedule has gone down the drain with school, and I couldn't take looking at this again, so we changed it a little and got big drawer buckets and organized just by color, not color plus size.

Some art work by the boys.  Pace's is the tornado (of course), it looks like an EF5.  I don't remember if this was from church or school, but Pace is pretty consistent in his topic of choice.  Max drew this blue camping trip in church, I think.  The big blue tent and our family camping in it.

We had a dentist visit, Pace a one little cavity and Max was cavity-free.  Our dentist gives the kids a choice to watch a movie or play a video game while they are getting their teeth cleaned.  When the Dental Assistant asked Pace if he wanted to play the game, Pace thought for a minute and then said, "Well, is it Star Wars?"  (Pace and David play lego Star Wars at home) and surprise, surprise!  It was!  He was pretty happy.  

Whenever he and David play Star Wars at home, Pace always puts on his Star Wars shirt, so when we went back to fill Pace's cavity, he threw on a Star Wars shirt and looked forward to his play time!

We painted rocks and glued googly eyes on them for little Valentines Rock Monsters for their school friends.

Pace decorated a Valentine's box for collecting valentines from his classmates.  David and I kept making suggestions of what we could decorate the box as:  a Star Wars spacecraft, a lego brick, a monster with his mouth open, etc.  Pace kept saying no, and then finally walked away and said with an exasperated voice, "I will just do want I want!"  He wanted just stickers.  At least I can rest easy Pace will stick to his guns!

Max usually wants to eat something when he sees me eating it.  And he usually asks by saying, "Well, Mommy, I DO loooooove ______!"  In this case, "Well Mommy, I DO loooooove putting cookies in milk!"  "Really?!  Would you like to share?"  "Yeah!"  And sharing really means he takes it all for himself.

Pace was quiet one afternoon, so I went up to find him busy building something.  "What are you working on?"  I asked.  "Oh, just a water treatment center."  Yup, that's our kindergartner.

Happy Valentine's Day!  Pace drew pictures for David and me:  David's is a picture of him and Pace finding rocks and gems, and mine is a heart with an arrow through it, much different from last month's heart pictures, I must say!

This was a poem Pace did at school at his winter party.  The kids had a choice of four winter words and they wrote an acrostic poem.  Pace looked at all the words and spent time finding the letter "a"--only one word had an "a" in it, so that's the word he chose for his poem.  He wanted to write the word "avalanche", of course.  His teacher told me they were talking about snow doing an acrostic poem example.  She was asking for descriptors, and Pace raised his hand and said, "Dangerous."  She asked him why snow was dangerous, and he launched into an explanation of avalanches.  

The other picture is of Pace's kindergarten class.  They wrote a paper bag story.  Pace came home, showing me this picture and said, "I'm the handsome one."  Haha!  Not sure if his teacher coached the boys to say that, but it sure was hilarious!

School has been going great for me.  I don't feel overwhelmed or in over my head, but it is definitely a huge time commitment.  I usually reserve Tuesdays and Thursdays as my all-day school day, and try to fit in an hour or two Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  And if I have to, it'll sometimes leak over onto Saturday mornings.  David has really stepped up and taken over bedtime, dishes, and taking the boys out Saturdays for adventures while I'm trying to focus.  He also hasn't complained once when I haven't really cleaned or scrubbed anything other than doing laundry for the past month and a half...It's just a matter of time!  If I have an hour, I need to read or edit or write something, not scrub a toilet!  Anyway, it's paying off.  I'm scoring full points on every assignment, getting great remarks from my Professor, and am really loving and understand writing and research.  Last week I finished all my work by Wednesday!  Instead of getting a jump on this week's assignments, I decided to have fun instead.  I had a cooking day, making a few batches of ice cream and nutella bread, and vegged out catching up on some shows, and on Saturday we spent all day together as a family.  David did a long bike ride, I went on a long run, and then we went sledding together, and finished off the day with a family movie night in the theater room.  It felt like we were on vacation--nothing due, no lessons looming over our heads we had to prepare, etc., etc.  Such a great day!  (We had to make Max remember he liked sledding...after a couple small hills he was good to go)

Pace and I went down the big hill together!  It had been probably 20 years I want to say, since I'd been sledding!  David took the boys with the last storm we had, but I was busy working on stuff so I stayed home.  It was pretty fun!

We had a blizzard one day last week.  It was seriously sunny and warm in the morning, I went for a run, and within an hour, a blizzard blew in that dropped about a foot of snow in probably five or six hours.  David's work day was pretty hard,  driving through the canyon was rough and so dangerous.  I wish they'd do snow days here in Utah, but they don't!  For work or school!

This is today, Max hanging out with me while I'm reading.  It was such a nice day the boys played outside in the afternoon.  Our backyard neighbors have chickens, and Pace has been wanting to check them out forever!  When Grady asked him to come play, he dragged his sled over there and they all just sat on the sled watching the chickens cluck and do their chicken thing.  Grady's mom texted me these photos--we loved how kids are so easily entertained!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017


The contractor that did our basement for us finally came back to finish David's man cave.  After putting up the drywall, texturing, etc., he then told us it would be at least $3000 more than his original estimate.  She we said no thanks, paid him for what he'd already done, and David spent the next few weeks finishing up the room.  We initially left a rectangle on the wall untextured to serve as the movie screen, but David decided later he wanted a real screen.  The boys have loved helping get the room ready, too--it's the Boy Room (no mommy's allowed).  

The one bad thing that happened was the garage floor leaked through the ceiling of the room.  It was good we caught it before the carpet went in.  The builder never sealed the garage floor, and the two things that went against us were:  1. they typically don't unless they are finishing the basement, and 2. we have a suspended garage with a room underneath, so who's job was it to seal the floor--the builder's or the contractor finishing the space underneath?  We moved the cars out of the garage, cleaned it up, kept a heater in there for a week, sealed the cracks, and kept the heater in there for another week.  In the summer we'll take everything out again and seal the concrete itself. 

The boys love running around the room, and David loves his bike set up!  He's good to go now in the winter biking department--bike, trainer, outdoor bike ride simulation program, movie screen, earphones...what else do you need when you're working out??!!

I spent a week of my life organizing Pace's legos.  He loves having them organized according to color and size, because he goes to the bucket and finds exactly what he's looking for.  But we're still working on maintenance.  After a day of playing legos, Pace leaves them all over the floor, buckets stacked all over the's an ongoing process...

OCD much?

Pace also decided he loves sleeping in tents.  Uncle Jon Erik sent a great tent set for Christmas, and the boys spent their whole Christmas break sleeping in tents, magic forts, pirate boats, etc.  It's a rule they sleep in their beds on a school night, so Pace found a compromise: a tent ON his bed.  He sleeps much better, too--maybe it's warmer, or muffles noise.

Between Christmas and the first week of January, we got three feet of snow, maybe more!  Pace's school had 2 hour delays all week, and they cancel half-day kindergarten, so Pace got a few extra days of holiday break!  He was grinning from ear to ear, playing legos all day.  There were some storms that came down so fast that as soon as I finished shoveling, the part where I started needed to be shoveled all over again.  They boys have loved playing in so much snow!  

And it made David's work days lots more fun!

Pace did this drawing at school--They did something about a hat, and the kids had to finish writing the sentence.  It says "My hat is fun because I like storms."  And just in case you can't see the close-up on the hat, Pace phonetically spelled National Geographic, and drew a bunch of tornados on his hat.  That boy.

Another school drawing, the purple bowl under the snowman is a bowl catching his drips (after our three feet of snow, the sun came out and it melted most of the snow).  And the station to his left is the polar science station.  

We built some rockin' marble tracks!  The boys love the new part we got for Christmas:  The marble elevator.

I started my Masters program this month, and it's going great.  I don't feel like I'm out of my comfort zone, and we just have to take it a day at a time.  It's definitely a balancing act, and it's been an adjustment for the boys, seeing me take time to myself to read or do assignments at home.  One particular day, after a full day of spending time with them--a special lunch, games, reading, homework, Upstart, etc., I said, "Ok, now it's my turn for school."  They said "Ok, mommy!"  And went off to play.  Pace came in asking for tape (to tape blankets together for a tent), and I told him no, he could use the tent poles, he didn't need tape.  The next thing I know, Pace is drawing things on paper, and floating them down the stairs at me, running back to his room and slamming the door closed, etc.  Just to interpret the drawings:  The top one is a "No Mom" sign, the middle one is a triple-broken heart, and the bottom one is "Mom making Pace cry huge tear drops".  A balancing act...  

Our neighbor had a birthday party, and invited the kids to the little gym where he has a toddler class.  It was the best idea ever!  The kids just ran around having a great time.  The boys loved the obstacle course and Pace loved jumping into the foam pit.  They slept so well that night!  Maybe we ought to do little gym classes on a regular basis...

Max hung out with me one afternoon, keeping me company and reading to me while I folded laundry.

Pace gave a talk in Primary.  We typed up his talk and he read it and did a fantastic job.

Uncle Jon Erik also sent a cool building set Pace and Max have loved building with Daddy!  Electric car controlled by the iPad?  Yes, please!