Wednesday, August 31, 2011

First Day of School

Here they are! Colin starting 5th, Micah 3rd, and Ella 1st. Three days into things, and it's looking great. Colin's teacher is awesome...Colin thinks so, too. She shares snacks with them, lets them doodle while she reads aloud, etc. I like her because she is really on the ball with a daily blog. And she has an open door policy. She told me I'm welcome to bring the little kids in with me whenever I want to.
In Micah's class, he got to bring a few items to share about himself. He brought a picture of himself on a horse, a Wii game, his ballet shoes, and a picture of the Cologne Cathedral. He and Colin met up during their recess today and played touch football. That made me so happy to hear!
Ella is loving her class! Especially the French. She came home today saying in a cute little accent, "Hello, my name is Ella." (I won't try to spell it in French.) And I'll hear her sometimes making little snippets of things that sound French. It's pretty adorable.
Mira is just my happy little sidekick all day long. I really love having her with me. She is so helpful with Matthew and just in general. I can focus more on her during the day. But once the kids all are together, it's pretty nuts. It's all I can do to get us home in the car in one piece.
And can I say how wonderful it is to have a mother who is retired, living 1 hour away? Man, she has saved my bacon at least a couple of times just in the last few months. And she is happy to help wherever she's needed, with not a second thought. She's an amazingly selfless person. It is pretty stinking awesome to get her as a mom.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

First Day Prep

Tomorrow is the big day. Colin, Micah, and Ella start at their new elementary school, Fox Hollow. Colin will begin 5th grade, Micah 3rd, and Ella will now be all day long in 1st. Our breakfast tradition during the year on school mornings is no breakfast cereal, but more filling breakfasts that will sustain them until lunchtime. The request for tomorrow was waffles. It may be the night before, but as you can see, it's almost all ready to go. That, with some cantaloupe and hot chocolate will make for some very happy bellies tomorrow.
We get the kids up at 6:45 (brutal for Colin) and they come up and eat while Chad does the scripture read-aloud. Then we try to get the boys to squeeze in practice on an instrument before they're off to school.
We had back to school night and got to meet the teachers. Chad and I are both impressed with Colin's. Micah's seems very nice. Because Ella is in the French Immersion Program, she'll have two teachers. Her French teacher will speak only French in class. In fact, when we did hear her speak to parents, it was in broken English. This will be an adventure, I am sure!

Three Kids in the House

New Things

After many attempts persuading Ella to learn to ride her two-wheeler, she finally decided it was time. We went out a couple of weeks ago with the intention of teaching Mira. Mira was so brave and went all out. She started to get it. Ella saw her sister and wanted in on the action. Chad started off holding on to the seat, but soon realized she had it down. And she's been going strong ever since.

Matthew now officially has a pair of shoes. Sure, he went a full year without them, but who cares? Are they the cutest little red Converse or what?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dog Days

Mira's plays her first soccer game. This was one girl who was really ready to rumble. She went after the ball aggressively and scored two goals. Yay, Mira! If you watch the video closely, you may get a couple of giggles. It was so much fun to watch. She's on the gray team (aka Leopard Sharks), blonde piggies.

This was just hanging around in the backyard...what we like to do. Nothing better than getting bounced on the tramp!

Summer Girls

Ella, Kaylie, Ailie (neighbors), and Mira had a great time in the backyard yesterday, playing in water. They are too cute!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

My Boys

Matthew's favorite breakfast these days is Honey Nut Cheerios with milk. And he's such a big boy using a spoon all by himself. He also discovered the joys of chocolate milk. He could use the extra calories anyway.
At our most recent pack meeting, Colin earned a bunch of awards. Beautiful, Colin!

Matthew was a busybody (as usual).

Micah's Wolf den did a little skit. Micah brought his coconuts to make the horse clomping sound effects. Micah also earned a lot of awards. Nice job, Buddy!

Chad, trying to get the Cub Scouts to settle a bit. Good luck!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Diamond P Ranch and Playmill Theatre

One thing I really wanted to do this trip was take the kids horseback riding. I don't know when they'll ever have the chance to do it, and I think it's such a great activity. Chad was game for it, so one morning we left Matthew with everyone else back at the trabin so we could have this experience.

Here are the kids with Chad. They're pretty excited to see which horse they each get. Mira and Micah opted to pick a cowboy hat from the barn to look more the part.
Ella's getting saddled up on her horse. Chad and I were wondering how she would do, if she'd be very nervous or end up wanting off. But she was great!

Mira poses with one of the "bulls."

And Ella

Look at our Ella go!

The Diamond P Ranch was the only one around who would allow Mira on a horse. However, she had to ride with an adult. So she and I shared a saddle. Right away I knew this would require a tough rear end. Mira really hung in there the whole 2 1/2 hour ride. And she talked the entire way! About anything and everything.

Heading out to the trail. That's Ella.

The trail was just beautiful. We really were up in the mountains. It would have been a great hike, too.

We were with one other family on our trail.

Colin with his horse, Three Bars.

Mira and me on our horse, Moose.

This was the whole reason Micah brought up his overalls. He wanted them for riding the horse.

Chad and his horse, Alfred.

That evening, we met up with Janna, Alan, and Amber in West Yellowstone at the Playmill Theatre to watch "High School Musical." It's a family-owned business and the performers are young adults from as close as Rexburg and as far as Sandy. One was from L.A., but that was Jon Peter Lewis, American Idol season 3 finalist. And he's originally from Rexburg.

The theatre was small and it was fun to be in the audience. The actors made it fun. They worked hard before, during, and after the show.

JPL singing before the show.

Everyone loved it. I knew HSM would be a hit with the kids, but it was better than I expected.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sawtell Peak

We'd heard about Sawtell Peak and decided it was a must-see. It took us about 40 minutes to drive to the top, the last 10 minutes being a little terrifying (for me). You've got switchbacks with steep drop-offs and no railing. But once we got to the top, it was like being on top of the world. It seemed like we were as high as the clouds and the view was incredible.
Off in this direction you can see the water around Bill's Island, where we stayed.

And there's this...observatory? We called it the "soccer ball."

Off in this direction you get a great view of Henry's Lake.

I was happy the kids stopped to pick wildflowers and didn't get any closer to the edge.

They brought their several bouqets back for Grandma and the aunts, but they were quickly sent outside once some of us started having allergic reactions to them. They were so pretty, though.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Big Springs

At home, our subdivision is called Island Park. The street we live on is Big Springs. So, naturally, when we got up here, we wanted to check out Big Springs. It produces 120 million gallons of water a day as it forms the headwaters of the Henry's Fork of the Snake River. The water comes from a glacial flow from water that percolated through the caldera/lava floor. It is pristine and absolutely gorgeous. Pictures don't do it justice. Maren and Mira overlook the crystal-clear water.

There were some very large trout swimming in place to eat whatever food is tossed to them. From us, they got crackers. So did the seagulls.

Micah, Chad, Matthew, Colin

Wake up, Micah!

Quite a nice picture of Alan and Janna

And this series of pictures of Mira comes via her request. She wanted me to take lots and lots of her. And how can I choose which to post?

Ah, sweetness. If only she was so adorable at bedtime...

Mira and an uncooperative Braden

I'm telling you, this water looked good enough to drink any day straight from the source.

Don't know if you can see this, but the trout are right in the water. They were some fat daddies.