Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Most of our summer activities revolved around the three older kids' diving.
They learned enough moves this summer that they truly appreciated Olympic diving.
Although none of them competed at the city meet, all three of them participated in divisionals.
I took a few videos at Lily's meet, but her diving that night was not spectacular. She qualified for city, and I know if she had continued, she could have done much better. That's the problem with diving--you have an off meet, and you're really off. She qualified for city, but it didn't really matter by that point, since she was at Girls' Camp.
Here's half of the cheering section. Dive meets are so much more pleasant to watch than swim meets, and I can't figure out why.
Hyrum also had an off day for divisionals.
It was his first year, and he tried really hard and learned a lot.
When they announced the standings, Hyrum was the first alternate, and I thin he was satisfied with that finish. I think he'll want to do it again next year.

Micah took diving a few years ago, but this year was almost like his first year all over again.
Something clicked for him halfway through the season, and he started doing crazy stuff.

My favorite to watch is this reverse--I could never be that brave, but he makes it look so easy.

He surprised us all by finishing 3rd at divisionals, and he's already talking about next season.

Summer in AZ--it already seems like it was forever ago. Although it's still over 100* every day, the pool long ago lost its thrill. We're ready for cooler weather. Hopefully in two weeks . . . 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Brace Face

I love this crazy boy, who is suddenly growing into a teenager. I find selfies like this on my phone all the time.
I forced him to take this picture as we walked into the orthodontist's office at the beginning of August. Yep, it's that time of life.
Metal mouth Micah. 
I know I'm his mom and all, but I think this guy is awesome. He's cute, he's kind, he's smart, and he's learning to work hard. Two years from now, those teeth will be gorgeous!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Back to School: Lily

Lily--Eleventh Grade
Height: 5'7"
Favorite food: Everything
Favorite movie: A Walk to Remember
Favorite song: "She Used to Be Mine," by Sara Bareilles
Favorite activity: Watching Netflix
Favorite TV show: Pretty Little Liars
Favorite sport: watching Olympic gymnastics

When did my feisty little girl grow into a feisty tall young woman? This girl--I can't explain how much I love her and the spice she brings to our family. Lily lights up a room with her passion and big personality.

I forgot to take pictures of her when we were shopping--she only needed new uniform pants and shoes so our shopping trip wasn't the most exciting we've ever had. Funny shoe story: She ended up choosing the dark Vans that Micah didn't choose, except in high top version. I snapped this quick picture when I took her and her friend Erin to get pedis just before we left for Oceanside.
I love that we're at the same school and she comes to visit me occasionally during lunch or to share a good grade on an essay. Junior year is always a busy one with hard classes and part-time jobs, and Lily is working at a local sandwich shop and taking a full schedule. Life goes up and down for everyone, and I know that the hard things she faces this year will make her stronger and smarter and ready to be on her own in a few years.

But I'm not ready to push her out the door quite yet--we've got dances and dresses and ACT/SAT and college applications and . . . so much to do these next two years.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Back to School: Micah

(disclaimer on this photo: Micah had just burned his finger on the griddle flipping pancakes. He was putting on a brave face, but the sadness is still slightly visible.)
Micah--Seventh Grade
Favorite food: "Everything"
Favorite movie: "I don't know"
Favorite song: "No"
(do you get the feeling he's turning into a teenager?)
Favorite activity: Sports
Favorite TV show: Phineas and Ferb
Favorite Sport: Football

Micah moved to Heritage this year, and while attending a school with a uniform does simplify your clothes choices in the morning, it also limits what is required for school shopping. His biggest decision waffled between these:

 This was his summer hair "not-do." Shaggy guy.
He ended up choosing the royal pair, even when a quick photo sent to Lily advised him to choose the dark ones.

Seventh grade has already been good for Micah: Having A and B days is teaching him better organization, and playing football on a team that monitors missing assignments and grades is teaching him to stay on top of his work. He's made a couple good friends, and he comes home from school positive about his days.

It's going to be a good year for him, I can tell already.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Back to School: Hyrum

With Mom going back to school, I forgot to post the kids' first day. Here's Hyrum.
Hyrum--Fourth Grade
52.5" 62 lb.
Favorite Food: Spaghetti
Favorite Movie: Harry Potter 7, Part 2
Favorite Song: "Bye Bye Bye"
Favorite Activity: Reading
Favorite TV Show: Phineas and Ferb
Favorite Sport: Soccer

I never got a picture of the boys with their summer "no haircut" look. They made me promise no haircuts till school started, and these pictures below were taken with almost a month of summer left. Hyrum got so shaggy and bleached that when he swam, it stuck up all over his head.

I almost forgot to take pictures while we were shopping, but I did remember when he chose where to eat lunch--Target. 
I don't know why he loves eating there so much, but one reason may be that he can create his own original Icee mix.
Hyrum didn't need much for school this year--mostly underwear, socks, and shoes. The Adidas he picked out at the beginning of last school year lasted the entire year (they were barely holding together by the end of the year, and you could see light through them, but he wore them proudly every day), so he was convinced he needed Adidas again this year. If they lasted like that, then I was happy to oblige.
Fourth grade--different recess schedules, Arizona History, and now he's the oldest Denton at the school this year. Lots of responsibilities for this kid, and he's ready for it.

This boy and his warm chocolate eyes--he melts me all the time. I can't wait to see what this year brings him.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Back to School: Eve

With Mom going back to school, I forgot to do kids' back to school shopping and favorites. Here's Eve.

Eve--Second Grade

45.5" 44.5 lb.
Favorite food: Spaghetti
Favorite Movie: Ella Enchanted
Favorite Song: "Shut Up and Dance With Me"
Favorite Activity: Art
Favorite TV Show: Teen Titans Go!
Favorite Sport: Soccer 

I can't believe my baby girl is in second grade. The bigger kids each had an adventure week in July that took them away from home, so it was just the two of us for four days. That's when we did Eve's shopping.

Look at that pile of stuff to try on. Every time she tried on a new outfit, her face would light up like this. There's just something about girls and new clothes.
She's beginning to do her own hair, and her 'do of choice is always a side pony tail. This girl should have been born in the 80s when we all rocked a side pony.

After trying on each outfit, Eve would place one leg up on the wall, fold her arms and look into the mirror. "I have to see if this outfit looks cute in 'The Pose.' If it looks cute like this, then I'll get it. If it doesn't, then I won't."
Eve's big decision every year is new shoes. I thought for sure she would choose the black ones, but she decided she didn't want the burden of actually tying shoes this year, so she picked the pink ones.
I'm so excited about Eve's teacher this year. Hyrum had Miss R two years ago (on her first year of teaching), and we loved her. I know Eve will learn so many new, great things this year, and I can't believe how grown up and independent she's getting.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Birthday Things

Yesterday was my birthday.

Thanks to all of you who wished me well, sent me notes, called, or texted.

46 was quite a year. It was the year I noticed things.

Things like:

  • Hot flashes in the middle of the night leave my nightclothes drenched.
  • Four gallons of milk from Costco are suddenly heavier than I thought.
  • Moving furniture is no longer an activity I can do alone.
  • The ache in my left foot after hours of standing in flat shoes doesn’t stop for days.
  • Weight no longer disappears after a few weeks of hard work and conscientious eating.

I can no longer ignore it. I’m middle aged. Forty-six marks the year I first felt old.

There are other things, too.

Things like:

  • Decorating and repainting and updating and changing the house dropped on my priority list—almost fell completely off it.
  • Pool time and game time rose on the list.
  • I live for the times when my entire family gets together.
  • My skin fits better these days—tighter in some places, but that tightness doesn’t plague me like it once did.

I lack words to explain it. I’m comfortable. 46 marks the year I began to accept myself.

Funny. I thought these things were new this year. I just reread last year’s post, and I sounded about the same. And the year before that as well.

47--this is going to be a year to remember for sure. Instead of walking onto ASU’s campus with the tantalizing title of doctor dangling four years in front of me (like I thought it would last year), I find myself laden with essay tests to grade and lessons to present, being greeted with shouts of “Hi, Mrs. Denton!” as I walk across campus. A year ago, I never even dreamed this would be my life.

And here I am.

Things are changing around the Sanatorium. Kids are growing up. Kids are coming home. Kids are being born. Our family is growing and I’m here watching every moment with joy and gratitude in my soul for each of them.

I’m changing as well. My new job consumes me and fulfills me in ways I never knew I needed. I love it and I already love the kids I teach. I don’t like how work is changing some of my priorities and routines that have been my touchstones for years--sometimes even decades. Laundry is hard to tackle first thing on Monday morning now. Meals and grocery shopping (while admittedly a low priority even before this) have to squeeze in somewhere, along with signing permission slips, helping with homework and piano, and driving kids around. My camera disappears on my desk, buried under American History textbooks and misprinted lesson plans. And while I blog at least twice a week on my class’s site, Denton Sanatorium often sits neglected in cyberspace. My blog has become such a big part of me over the last eight years, and I’m always grateful when I record my family’s history. I can’t brush it aside; one necessary thing--I need to set new priorities in my new life.

47—new responsibilities. New roles. New things. But I can’t forget the old things—precious and dear.