Monday, March 18, 2019

Ordinary Life

We had to peel that kite out of two trees before he decided it might be better to try flying it at the park next time!

Even though the days are getting longer, it's getting harder to get kids out of bed in the morning. Micah leaves for school right after scriptures and prayer, but Eve and Hyrum have an hour to slowly get moving.

Hyrum slept like that for about fifteen minutes--me stepping around him making breakfast. Silly sleepy guy!
 Micah and Eli are great buddies. I wanted to remember this moment and Eli's self-comforting with both his pacy and his tuft of hair.
Ben and Makayla found out their new little addition will be a boy, and we are all excited for July when we get to meet him and squish him!
 These two are usually at loggerheads, but this particular day they spent coloring and sharing. I needed to document this small slice of heaven so I remember it did occasionally happen.
The weather has been spectacular this spring, and I'm finally recovered enough to walk Cleo around the block (still not back up to three miles, but I'll get there . . . not before the heat hits, unfortunately).

Our spring is going to be shortened this year because of all the snow and rain and low temperatures, but we've been enjoying the evenings in the back yard as our family. Eve was showing me her newest tumbling trick--back handspring--and Cleo couldn't figure out how to get on the tramp to play with her!

Speaking of the tramp . . . the mat finally gave out and needs to be replaced.

I bought a new one, brought it home, and drafted Hyrum and Micah to install it. With minimal argument, they headed out to do it.
 It's an annoying process, but they kept at it . . .
 . . .  until they got to this point . . .
 . . . and we realized Mom had purchased the wrong size. New mat is on order, but the kids have made use of the gigantic open pit by inventing a few ball games.

And Cleo turned one! Eve took it as her personal responsibility to make the day great.
 (Daisey is her toy puppy.)

She even made a paper "cake" and everything!
 Cleo has been here for seven months now, and we're all finally hitting a good, predictable groove. I think this whole dog thing may work out this time--fourth time's a charm!

As for me . . . school has been extremely difficult over the last few weeks. I can't ever seem to get ahead of all of it or truly understand one of my classes. Lily asked me how I was doing one day, and here's the pic I sent her. Kind of a mess, just like I feel.
I have midterms this week, and hopefully I'll have a better idea where I stand in my linguistics class. I never thought 16 credits would be easy, per se, but I didn't foresee how hard this class is.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 3, 2019

March--In Like a Lamb

 I love Arizona in the spring.
All the harsh weather has delayed spring around here (and I'm afraid it's going to be very short), but when the trees in your front yard look like this, you just enjoy it as long as you can.

Look at all those cute Brubakers! I can't wait to spend some time with them next week--and finally squeeze little baby Kate!

The Great Denton Package Mystery of 2019 has been solved. Lily's stuff came back after nearly a MONTH in the postal system. That had to cost more than $3.10, right?
 I convinced Micah to cut the "tail" off the back of his hair--and it was almost 2"!
He also played in his spring orchestra concert. Music comes to this boy like breathing air, and I wish he had more time to work on it. I love listening to him.
 Like I said, the weather has been gorgeous around here--perfect for Annie to participate in her first lemonade stand. You can't read the sign, but it said, "Fresh squised lemanade." Three cute girls, lemons picked straight off the tree, a few cups of sugar, and they made $15. Not bad money for one afternoon!
 Nice weather means shorts and time playing on the tramp with the whole crew. I loved looking out the window as I was making dinner.
 Speaking of making dinner--my goal for March is fix more meals and try a few more recipes. I really loathe cooking so much, but maybe after a month of concerted effort, I can like it a little more.
Tucker and Karli needed a new van, so we got to spend quality time playing with Annie and Eli this week. Eve made this hot rod out of a Costco box and pushed Eli all over the house in it.
 The winter was really harsh around here, and Brad lost most of his beautiful plants in our back yard to a heavy frost that hit while we were in Manila.
 He and Eli removed all the dead stuff and trimmed back the living stuff. I think next Saturday may include some planting.
 He cracked me up with this marker: "Gaaan (gran), I poke a poke dot!!!"
 Look at that exhausted little guy. He must have had too much fun. Grandpa said he just sat there and admired the prepped flower beds and the freshly mowed lawn (that took Micah about four hours to complete because he was scalping the grass low in preparation for it to come back to life for the summer--AZ problems, right?).
 I spent my entire Saturday tied to the computer writing two papers. I love school so much. It brings things out in me that have lain latent for decades. But this semester is a killer with 16 credits. One class is especially difficult, so I needed a little break to admire all the yard work (see Micah in the background?).
And they got their new (to them) van! Karli was thrilled, because I think a Honda Odyssey is her dream car in this stage of her life.
Hyrum was busy. Our ward took the stake (stake not STATE) championship for deacon basketball, and these dudes were pretty proud.
 Hyrum got a few touches on the ball, but his real skill on the court comes on defense.
 Love his "basketball" shoes? He didn't want to wear his "court" shoes because they were playing outside. When I was a kid, I had one pair of sneakers and they did every sport. Am I right?

Look at this baby. Caroline is as sweet as she is beautiful, but less than five seconds after this picture was taken, she tipped that plant over. The miracle was that she didn't even tear the leaf in her hand. How that happened I don't know.
February and March are the best time of the year for oranges off the tree. We've lived in this house almost twelve years now, and the baby citrus trees we planted our first fall are finally mature enough to produce dozens of gorgeous oranges. Brad is the most frequent juicer (along with Annie as his assistant here), but Hyrum has found he loves to squeeze 30 or so and surprise the family with a tasty drink.
One more week of school for the kids, then Spring Break. Wow. This year is flying by, and before we know it, 100-degree days will warm the pool and the leather seats in my Suburban.

I'm enjoying this time of year as much as I can, especially since all the rain we've received has driven the pollen out of the air and I can actually breathe instead of constantly sniffle and sneeze. 

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Snowpocalypse 2019

The biggest storm to hit Arizona in over fifty years--and what did we do?

We headed north, of course.
Brad tried to go on Thursday, but the roads closed before they could reach Payson. Hyrum and two of his buddies had been pulled out of school that afternoon, fully expecting two days of sledding and playing, but instead they returned home in less than an hour, all three looking dejected at the prospect of returning to school on Friday.

We thought about heading up Friday, but we held out till all the roads were clear on Saturday. 

I have never seen the snow levels this low, and most of the drive from the valley was blanketed in white.
 All the roads were plowed except the last 100 feet to our driveway, so we had to hike through two feet of snow to get to the cabin. It was incredible!

 Look at the view out our bedroom window!
 And this is from inside the garage. Can you see the dirt in the foreground? And Micah's head peeking over?

 Hot chocolate and oreos--great combination we discovered while there.

Our driveway makes an amazing sledding track, but the snow was so deep that Brad had to drag the kids on the sleds to tamp down the snow before they could speed down the hill.
 It was even too deep and too wet for snow angels!


 The girls dragging Brad . . .  not as easy as it looks!
 The pictures can tell the story.




 Look how deep it was!
 And the stream was rushing--

It was about 40 degrees when we got there, and the closer we got to the creek, the wetter the ground got.

Here at the bottom of the driveway, the snow was halfway up my thigh. Brad wanted me to stomp the snow down as much as I could, and I hit running water about two inches deep--which flooded into my boot and made me a little unhappy!

 What a glorious day--the snow, the temperature, and the kids.
Brad and I both vowed that the next time a storm like this is predicted, we're going up before it and getting snowed in.

I love this corner of the woods more than just about anywhere on earth, and I'm so grateful we get to enjoy it so often.