Sunday, September 30, 2012

Chad's 36th Birthday

We invited grandparents, Aunt Amber, and Michael Finelli over for dinner and a little birthday cake and ice cream for Chad. (Mom and Dad unfortunately couldn't make it. We must have given them the sickness that kept Micah home from school for 4 days.) He's going to have to shop for his own birthday gift because he's been absolutely no help with suggestions in that department.
 Some of the crew:
 After the food, the playing begins. Some soccer for Colin (always).
 Jumping on the tramp with Cousin Michael. Man, do the kids worship him! One of them tonight declared him their favorite person in the world. So cute! He is so sweet with the kids and they had a blast on the trampoline, getting bounced, doing tricks.

 Matthew begged, "Jump wiss (with) us?" But we explained that only the big kids were on right now.

 Michael did talk to him, though.
 Last night the girls wanted to try out our new foam rollers. I remember using the pink foam rollers as a girl, sleeping in them. They loved the look of them just being rolled in their hair. However, this morning, as I'm taking our Mira's, she was shocked at how kinky her hair was. I explained that Fancy Nancy's hair is super curly (this is who she wants to be for Halloween). We got it all sorted out, and got off to church for the Primary program. The kids did awesome. So much so that I was rather surprised. Pleasanty. One thing I love is looking up and seeing Mira's bright face, looking right back at me, singing her heart out. I have her rapt attention the entire time. Ella had her scripture memorized and did a fantastic job. Micah knew his part, and Colin was just happy to know this was his last year being in the Primary program. Love those kids!

The Great Salt Lake

In all the years I've lived in Utah, I have never actually tried to float in the Great Salt Lake. It's about time, right? So spur of the moment (which actually means, I had the idea in the morning, wanted to run and do it right that minute, but had to come back home, help the kids do all their chores, pack food, get swimsuits, towels, diapers, etc. before taking off in the afternoon), we hop in the car and head over to SaltAir, where the admission is cheap! The kids were stoked. Micah had just been learning about the lake in his fourth grade class. We drilled Colin on his knowledge of Jim Bridger and his discovery of the lake (which he thought was the Pacific Ocean). I'm sure this is one of the last days we could do this, what with the weather getting cooler.
 We brought Flat Stanley along for the experience, too. He floats!
 The water is shallow for a very long distance. But Colin tested out the floating theory in shallow water. Sure enough, floating is a cinch!
 Mira demonstrates:
 There they are, walking out in the distance, and it's still shallow. There were sailboats out, a couple of other small boats, and one paddleboarder.
 Mira's playing in the sand. Matthew word of the day was "Disgusting!" which he said every time he played with the mud, which was a lot.
 More floating. The lake sustains only brine shrimp and brine flies (lovely, we know). You could see the little brine shrimp all over, dead and alive. Micah had brought a plastic container, which he used to collect the water and some shrimp to bring to class Monday to show to his class. (Hopefully there are still some living by then.) Micah taught us that the Great Salt Lake is 13% salt, whereas the ocean is only 3%. We had dried salt crusted to our bodies and suits. Any microscopic cuts you may have feel the effects of the salt immediately. As the kids said, "We're glad we did this so we know what it's like. But we don't think we want to do it again."
 Yeah, baby.
 Micah and Colin showing that, even holding onto one another, they float without effort.

 Colin and Matthew are checking out the brine shrimp. I'm sure Matthew is telling Colin how "disgusting" the sand is. Colin is so sweet to him.
 Micah, Ella, and Mira took off, way off in the distance to try to scare off a whole flock of seagulls.
Thanks for the memory, Great Salt Lake!

Field Trip with Flat Stanley

My cousin's daughter, Corinne Pierson, sent us Flat Stanley to take on some adventures. When we've documented our trips, we're supposed to send back pictures. Think, think, think! Where in our great state to take Flat Stanley? What will third graders be interested in? We stopped by the Olympic Oval (which happens to be right next door to my gym) and snapped a shot:
 After kindergarten, Mira joined us up to the Bingham Copper Mine, the largest open pit mine in the world. It is quite a sight. Here they are next to a tire belonging to the massive trucks used there.
 Overlooking the mine:

 Inside the visitor's center, Matthew especially loved these model trucks and tractors.
 We spent a little time checking out different minerals under the microscope:
 And the next day we treated Flat Stanley to a Saturday morning full of soccer games! (Colin scored a couple of goals, Mira did awesome, and Ella told me she doesn't like to get right in the middle of the herd because she gets kicked right above her shin guard and that hurts.)

The Littles

These are just a few shots I took around the house. Mira was heading out the door for soccer practice. The girls are in the habit of wearing their shin guards on the outside of their socks because they say it's more comfortable that way. Mira's smile tells you how she feels about soccer. She is aggressive and goes after that ball! This past Saturday she scored three goals. I mentioned to her once that maybe she'll play soccer in high school. Since then, she's declared that's exaclty what she plans on doing. She is one fun little chica.
 Our Ella is way into reading now. She's always loved books, but now she's more confident in reading on her own. Lately she's loving comics. Garfield, Fox Trot, Calvin and Hobbes (my personal favorite). There are sometimes tiffs over those books if one person feels they've laid claim to it and another picks it up. Such a smartie.
 Out little cute little stinker. Today Chad started to tickle Matthew, and Matthew told him, "Daddy stinker." He can speak in complete sentences, and is great at communicating what he wants (or doesn't when it comes to food, especially). Love that boy!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Kids Decorate for Halloween

The kids went through my collection of autumn/Halloween decorations (which isn't much) and pulled out everything they wanted for their rooms. Micah and Ella worked together on Micah's room. They made a cute little "Happy Halloween" sign and hanging ghosts.
 We definitely get the creepy factor with the hairy spider.

 Micah dedicated one spot of his room to the stuffed pumpkin-head guy.

 Ella then decided her room needed some decorating. Warning, these pictures are not for the faint of heart. Maybe I should take from this that she's watched too many Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings movies? She colored and cut out fake blood and set up this:
 The tied-up maiden:
 And another casualty:
 She was quite proud of her handiwork. I must say, Ella is a little artist. She'll draw pictures of landscapes and I think they're rather good. I'd love to get her into a little art class to teach her some more basics. Heaven knows she doesn't get any of it from me!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mira's *For Real* First Day of School

It's been a long wait for Mira to join her brothers and sister in elementary school. And these last nine days in which she's watched her siblings go off to start their new year, being left behind, have made her more anxious to start. Oh, and the fact that she's had to save her new school clothes for her first day.
 I had to get the full-body shot with the shoes with rainbow laces and the heart socks she chose to top off the outfit. Doesn't she look adorable?
 Mira and her teacher, Mrs. Clegg. I've heard wonderful things about her. After her assessment, Mira declared Mrs. Clegg the prettiest and nicest teacher in the whole school.
 The new kindergarteners are waiting in line to head into the class. All the parents had to wait outside the fence. All the cameras and parents calling out goodbye was very sweet. It's the start of something big! I'm leaving now to pick her up. I hope she had a really wonderful day and met some cute friends. Most of the kids in our neighborhood her age are already in first grade. I'm hoping we find a buddy she can pal around with some afternoons.