Saturday, November 5, 2016

Isabelle Gives Me a Run for my Money

Isabelle has been on a ROLL lately. I need to start recording her around the clock because the stuff she says (and her mannerisms as she says it) is just so so great. Here are the few I've remembered to document.


One afternoon Isabelle was showing me a picture she had drawn, but I was signing her homework sheet and not looking at her picture. In frustration she said to me, "Mom! Do you have eyes on the side [of your head]? Because every time you say, "I see," you are looking somewhere else."


Izzy has become my little sidekick while I work out to my exercise videos. After a few days in a row of watching these videos, we had this conversation.

I: Is that girl older than everybody else? [Referencing Cat, the demonstrator for "modified exercises" if you are not up to the full exercise.]
Me: No, I think she's about the same age as everybody else.
I: Oh, she just looks older because she's fatter than them?

Wow. Nice work, Beachbody. Your tactics are so transparent even a 5-year-old can see it. We then had a long conversation about how she isn't fat, curvy doesn't necessarily mean old, and we need to be sensitive and not call people either fat or old.


This next series is a bit long, but it's my favorite. Every day this week has had a new source of entertainment. It all started back in the beginning of the school year, when Isabelle ended up in the same Kindergarten class as her friend and neighbor, Drake. Well, their friendship quickly turned some version of puppy love, and before we knew it, they were making long-term plans.

On Thursday, I received the following text from Drake's mom:

I am breaking my son's trust right now, but I can't stop laughing!
"Mom, Izzy and I are in love! You can't tell anyone, not Izzy's mom, dad, your friends, or brothers and sisters, because I don't want to make Izzy embarrassed 'cause she said people will tease her."
"Oh really?"
"Yeah, it's just you and me and Izzy that know. Yeah, Izzy says she wants to marry me. I really like her. It's ok, Mom. When we are adults we will come visit you and then her mom will move and we will live there."

I was laughing so hard when I read this, I could hardly breathe! But I didn't dare say anything to Izzy, because then she would know that Drake had spilled the beans. So I waited, and the next day...

Izzy: Mom, do you know why I want to play with Drake so much? I know it's crazy, but [pause, deep breath], Drake and I decided to date.
Me: Oh really? What does it mean "to date?"
Izzy: Oh, we do fun things together. Like [long pause] play Minecraft. Or house.
Me: Do you do lovey-dovey stuff? Like hug or kiss?
Izzy: Well, we did kiss on the playground yesterday. But not on the lips, just on the cheek.

WHAT??! Oh man, I was dying with laughter and horror simultaneously. A few minutes later she came back to me, with a dress on, her hair brushed, flower clip in place, and wearing a necklace. She asked if she could wear some of my makeup. People, she's FIIIIIIIVE. I felt like I was in the scene of Father of the Bride, where suddenly Steve Martin is sitting across the table from his tiny little daughter and she's telling him she's getting married. Except my daughter really IS tiny!

We had a good chat about how she and Drake are probably too young to date and kiss, and she's definitely too young for makeup, but we could arrange some playdates and they could be very good friends until they grow up. A lot.

So the next day, at dinner, I asked Isabelle how school had been that day.

Me: Any kissing today?
Izzy: [smiling] No, but we did other romantic things.
Me: Romantic things? What romantic things?
Izzy: You know, we held hands, hugged, blushed...
Me: You blushed? What does that even mean?
Izzy: MOM! Pink spots right here! [Points to her cheeks.]

Well, snakes alive, I didn't think she knew what that meant. The conversation quickly deteriorated after that, with Savannah telling me that she and her best boy buddy get teased and chased on the playground, and Logan admitting that people sing the K-I-S-S-I-N-G song about him and another girl. I sat there, stunned and alone (Jeff was out of town), trying to comprehend how all three of my school-age children were in pseudo-relationships and I had no idea.

Heaven help me in 10 years.

October in a Pumpkin

October is a fun month. Not my favorite month, but still fun. It was made more fun this year by the unseasonably warm weather that has lingered through this entire month and is still going! The day we visited the pumpkin patch I was in flip flops.

There's a pretty fun and modestly priced pumpkin patch close to our house that I thought would be fun to try out. It wasn't nearly as scenic as the one we visited last year, but it would do. I had the brilliant idea to go on a Tuesday, since Monday is family night in these parts and the crowds would be heavy. Well, my plans backfired when it turned out to be First Responders night--all first responders and their families get in free--and the place was packed! Oh well, the more the merrier?

We only had an hour before the patch closed, and so we didn't get to everything, but it was far more fun than I anticipated. And the actual pumpkin patch had some decent options if you like picking your squash off the vine. I also picked up some tools at the patch to help make our carving a little less painful.

This gutter was a-MAZ-ing. I had all four pumpkins gutted in less than 20 minutes. And as a bonus, you could shave the sides of the walls so they were easier to carve. Why has it taken me so long to invest in one of these?

Then we used our new pumpkin cutters to make quick and easy (and perfect!) faces in our jack-o-lanterns. Just position, hammer, and extract. Easy peasy! Everyone did their own pumpkin with minimal help from mom and dad.

One rainy evening, we met up with Byron and Erica to walk through a free haunted house put on my a family in Spanish Fork that adores Halloween. They had converted their side yard and garage into a pirate ship and had some pretty impressive special effects for a homemade haunted house! Afterwards, we treated ourselves to some ice cream at Culvers, where Logan and Byron compared biceps. Logan may have been cheating a bit.

Grandma and Grandpa Pendleton hosted a Halloween party for the grandkids at their house. Grandma invited Savannah to come help decorate and plan for the party (and then Isabelle invited herself), and the three of them put together one heck of a party! Delicious food, eating donuts off a string, and a glow stick dance rendition of the Monster Mash were just a few of the highlights.

For the first time ever, we were able to trick-or-treat at Dad's office! Before, that would have meant heading upstairs to his home office, but now we are able to visit the corporate offices, which have been decorated to the nines and are stocked with a very generous supply of candy. Grandma Pendleton also works at Imagine Learning, and her department had decorated with a board game theme. It was so cute and clever! One set of cubicles was Monopoly, one was Clue, and another Twister.

Finally, October culminated with trick-or-treating for the very first time in our new neighborhood. It was around this time last year that we learned we were moving to Utah, and what a year it's been! We sure love where we have landed, and our neighbors are some of the best ever. They spoiled our kids rotten with candy and love and everyone came home full of excitement and sugar.

Costumes: A pirate gypsy, a Pokemon paleontologist/professor, Nemo, and a witch

School Pictures

I did something this year I've never done before: I bought school pictures. Savannah's came home first, and I was surprised to see they turned out pretty well. As the other kids' proofs came home over the next week, I was amazed to see all three were decent pictures! So I buckled down and paid the astronomical rates for school pictures. (Although I did find the very cheapest package that would give me digital images, since that was all I cared about.) I figure at some point down the road, it might be nice to have a formal school photo or two, and these are about as good as it's ever going to get. I sure adore my cute grade schoolers!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Short Walk

We haven't done a great job at getting out and enjoying nature this year. Our weekends have filled up very quickly, and our yard has taken priority over hiking and exploring. But when the last session of general conference ended a few weeks ago, I told the family to jump in the car. It's been a bumper year for fall leaves and darn it all if we weren't going to see some of it!

We initially headed toward the Alpine loop, but along the way I googled some trails and discovered that one of the best places for fall leaves is up South Fork just a few minutes from the mouth of Provo canyon.

We had just pulled into the parking lot when it started to sprinkle. We sat there for a few minutes, hoping it would pass. Eventually it did let up a bit, so we got out and started walking along the trail to Big Springs. The clouds were looking ominous, but we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best. For a few minutes, the weather held, and we were able to take in the stunning beauty all around us.

But then it started to rain. The kids were a wreck, especially Savannah who announced 2 minutes into our walk that she needed to pee and by this time was an accident waiting to happen. They were all freaking out about getting wet, and I knew we really should just head back. But it was so gorgeous and we hadn't been out on a family nature walk in ages, so I put Isabelle (the most cheerful of the bunch, at the moment, at least) in the lead, and told her to walk for 5 minutes, find a turn around, and then start leading us back. She eagerly led the troops, and a wet ten minutes (yes!) later, decided it had been long enough and turned us around. It was a beautiful trail that I can't wait to explore again, with better weather and more time. And hopefully happier kids. (Don't let the pictures fool you. They are ALL whiner pants.)

The Lightning Bolts

The older Savannah gets, the more I realize she is a very different child than I was. I thought raising a girl would be more relatable. I thought we would share common interests and passions. And we do. On some things. But on other things, she completely surprises me on.

Like soccer. I didn't want anything to do with team sports at her age. They were boring, I wasn't any good, and I had to run (gag). Now, that all changed for me in middle school, but at 8? Forget it. Savannah, on the other hand, loves soccer. After playing in the spring, she was willing to drop all other activities if it meant she could keep playing soccer. So we signed her up for the fall season, and I waited for the other shoe to drop when she would tell me she didn't love it anymore.

But that other shoe never fell, and she never stopped loving it. Stranger yet, I never stopped loving it! Her team went undefeated for the season, and the games were so much fun to watch. They play on a full size field at this age, so suddenly there are actual positions and even a little bit of strategy. The field locations made for a more enjoyable season, too. We played at two different parks, each with just two fields. So the games were never crowded, and with such a big field we always had plenty of room to spread out with our gazillion camp chairs.

Savannah is not the most aggressive player, but that didn't stop her from getting ball time. She made sure any free throw remotely near her was hers to take. I think it's safe to say she mastered free throws this season.

The most exciting thing about this season is that both Savannah and Isabelle scored their first goals ever. Like I said, we're not super aggressive in general, so scoring goals does not come naturally. Both girls now have two goals apiece to their names.

Savannah didn't know anybody going into the season, but made friends quickly and was pretty upset at the last game when it came time to say goodbye. They were a cute little team with a couple really promising players. I am so impressed with the mad skills some of these kids have at just 8 and 9 years old.

Our coach was terrific, and his wife made these cute little keychains and goody bags for all the girls. Savannah is already asking when she can play again.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Cub Soccer

Soccer season has been over for three weeks now, and I am just barely journaling about it. That could have to do with the fact that soccer season is unusually short here (not complaining), or it could be because between four games and a practice or two a week, there wasn't ever a chance to blog or do anything other than load and unload camping chairs every evening for 7 weeks.

Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this season. My usual complaints -- weather and boring games -- were not factors this year. We had a mild late summer/early fall which made for perfect game watching temps, and our teams and leagues made for more entertainment than in previous years.

Isabelle was a riot to watch. Her coach was terrific with the little guys, and would frequently pick kids up out of the grass (where they were napping or meditating or looking for ants) and fly them down the field to rejoin the team.

This shot is classic for this age group. They all run straight past the ball before even realizing it had stopped 5 feet behind them.

Isabelle revealed her instincts as a natural defender. Anytime the ball would start to head towards her goal, she would sprint all the way down the field and plant herself right in front of the goal. If there are future soccer seasons in her future, I'm thinking we should sign her up as goalie.

Cousin Fun

We have two of the sweetest, bestest cousins ever just a few minutes down the road. We hadn't seen them for awhile, and Sawyer was begging for a playdate, so we invited them over one morning for some fun. They were playing great with no help whatsoever from me, so I just went about my business until I turned around and spotted this: Teacher Isabelle with her three little students! She had brought down some of her Bob books that she can read independently and was having story time with very captivated class.

Of course, once I pulled out the camera they immediately turned around and hammed it up for me. Hudson's pose is completely his own, fists under his chin and all. Man, I love these faces!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Silly Sawyer

Sawyer has had some lines for the books lately. My favorite is when he calls me a "silly boy." Look who's talking!

Last week I had ordered some wings from a local diner to pick up for take out. I asked Sawyer if he wanted to go with me to pick up the chicken wings. We arrived and picked up our food, then he carried the bag out to the car. As we walked, he asked, "Are we going to put the wings on the chickens now?" Um...

The other day Sawyer walked into my bathroom wearing just underwear and his favorite socks. This is totally blackmail material and I intend to save it for his wedding video one day. What a silly skinny kid!

Chicks, Take Two

A few weeks ago I went crazy and ordered some chicks online. It would probably be much more logical to wait until spring and pick some up at the local farming supply stores, but I bought a coop on a whim and suddenly couldn't wait another winter to fill it with chickens. I ordered them from mypetchicken.com, and right on schedule I got a call from the post office telling me my chicks had arrived. It still blows my mind that you can ship live animals through the mail! They arrived in this small cardboard box stuffed with hay and a heating pack. They had basically lived in that box since hatching, so we rushed them home and got them some food, water and heat pronto.

We ordered 6 chicks -- the legal maximum for our city -- but lost one during the first few days due to pasting up. The one we lost was an Americauna and seemed to be the only one with lighter coloring, so it was sad to lose her, but the silver lining is I had happened to order two Americaunas (all the other breeds I just ordered one), so hopefully we will still have a blue egger. Here is the cute little thing that only lived a couple days.

This is our other Americauna, who is significantly smaller than the other chicks, but thriving.

The other four chicks are an australorp, a barred rock, a silver-laced wyandotte, and a silver cuckoo maran. I couldn't figure out which was which as day-old chicks, but as their feathers started to grow in it became more obvious. Unfortunately, I didn't document the change very closely, so I can't match these pictures with the pullets they have grown into! Chicks seem to change dramatically every day. None of them have names yet, but we'll start brainstorming now that we can see what they will look like as adults.

The chicks hatched on September 7, so they are now just over 5 weeks old. We have moved them from a box into a large dog crate and from the kitchen down into the basement, but even there they smell so bad I am about ready to kick them out altogether. (Well, at least to the garage.) If all goes well, we can move them to the coop between Halloween and Thanksgiving, and they'll start laying eggs around the end of January. It's a little strange to be raising baby animals in the fall, but this way we'll have eggs 6 months sooner than we would have otherwise. I'm so excited to have my flock back!