School's OUT!!!

I don't think my children could even be as excited as I was that school was ending. The homework, the after school activities, the reports, the oral presentations, end of the year gifts and party supplies, the lunches, the dragging the kids out of bed each morning, the hair curling, the last minute "I forgot" scramble. . . I just couldn't wait for my children to be MINE!!!

So I sent them off to school one last time and got to work!
Actually, I dragged Luke around on errands. We had to return art prints to the school district media center, pick up summer books for the kids at the library, purchase balloons and streamers and then we drove up to get them their favorite cupcakes for a surprise.

But then. . . I got to work.

I had printed off a bunch of summer coupons good for things like a late night, date night, trip to the dollar store, sleep over with mom, free chores etc. Luke helped me stuff all 60 of them into balloons for the kids to pop when they got home. I wish he could have helped me blow up the balloons too because I was incredibly light headed by the time I was gone.

After that I decorated the door for the kids to bust through.

And then I waited. And waited. I tried to take a cat nap, but I was too excited for them to get home so I just waited some more.
Finally about half an hour after school got out, Ellie called to tell me that my neighbor was taking all the kids to get Krispie Kreme for the report cards (they give a donut per A). I could hear the excitement, so I wished them along their way, even though I was sitting there with balloons, and streamers and cupcakes just counting the minutes down.
When they did appear, they sort of straggled in, but I made them wait until they were all together to bust through the door.  It was slightly anti-climatic.

And the fact that I had made an impenetrable wall out of crepe paper only made it worse. Oh yeah, and my kids are as scared of popping balloons as I am.
For a few seconds I was thinking, "I can't believe I wasted all my time on this." But everyone settled in and had a great time. They actually were begging me to go get more balloons and giving me ideas for coupons. I think it will be a new "thing."

The Last Days

I know the title makes it sound all doom and gloom, but I think it's pretty fitting. The end of May was pretty hard on me. I have had 4 kids and they've all followed a lot of the same patterns. With Luke growing up, there have been a lot of endings that I thought would never come.

Luke officially graduated from Preschool in May. I've been to 8 of these graduations and this is officially my last.

Luke has been able to go to school with his 3 very best friends. I'm so sad they'll all be at different schools next year. I know he'll make new friends, but I can't imagine any of them ever being as cute as these guys.
I thought for sure I would cry, but the kids were all so hyper I manged through. Even when his baby picture flashed up on the screen. I'm pretty sure my body is holding them in reserve for the first day of Kindergarten.
I think I might miss Miss Becky most of all. She is possibly the happiest, mot loving preschool teacher to ever exist.

Sadie had her portfolio presentation. She got a speaking part and everything! She has had a picture perfect year for 1st grade. Once she was reading off her grades with enthusiasm, "E! E! E! 100! 99! 100!" And then she got to a 97. You could just hear her voice fall flat.

We are especially proud of what a great reader she has become. For a treat we took her out to Cafe Rio for lunch. I remember sitting in Ellie's 1st grade program when I was just days away from having Luke. And now he's starting Kindergarten.

Luke finished up 3 weeks of swim lessons and is loving being free this summer. It still makes me nervous!

Miss Laurel has also taught all 4 of my kids to swim, so that was one more good bye on my list. My head keeps telling me there are so many fun ages and stages in the years ahead, but my heart still cries thinking of everything that I'll no longer get to experience. We have got to soak up every second of summer.


Memorial Day

We started out Memorial Day with a workout. Dustin completed the Murph Challenge, in honor of Michael Murphy, a SEAL who died in Operation Red Wings.

That afternoon we spend at Molly and Andy's since they were crazy enough to invite five families over to swim and BBQ.

Dustin made himself useful by throwing kids into the pool. Crossfit totally pays off when we need someone with freakish strength.

My favorite part is always the watermelon eating contest. Nate and Grant tied for WINNERS!!

I wish there was more to say, but basically it was a low key afternoon and the kids all had fun so we didn't have to do anything.
It was the perfect holiday. I had just finished reading Lone Survivor, the account of Marcus Lutrell, the only survivor from Operation Red WIngs, and was more grateful than ever for all the men and women who have given their lives so that we could spend the day with our family and friends.

The day was finished off with a little covert action with my girlfriends as we decorated Karen's yard for her 40th birthday.


May Days

May is always a fun time of year. The weather is still tolerable and everyone can taste the summer freedom around the corner. The kids are always playing outside, which means they sometimes come home looking like this:

It doesn't get dark until much later which means the neighborhood kids can play all night long.

Luke started swimming lessons. This means that he thinks he can swim anytime now since he doesn't need a floatie. We were visiting a friend's cousin when this all went down.

We've been squeezing in date nights with friends whenever possible since everyone leaves town for the summer. This was a trip out for halo halo.

Nate's football team won the CHAMPIONSHIP!!!! This was a major big deal. Especially since we played the only team they lost to all season. It was intense, but the boys won by 2 touchdowns.  Nate had some great pulls at the end and has really improved over the season. I'm glad it's over though, because it was getting HOT out there.

There's been lots and lots of swimming. I refuse to get in the pool until July, but the kids tell me the water is still cold.

Getting some work done on Art Masterpiece so it's ready to go for next year. Every Tuesday was a major meeting at my house. This has eaten up more time than I probably should have devoted to it, which means laundry has been ignored, but the kids have been so helpful pounding out new lesson samples and helping me figure out steps for projects.

I cannot get enough of those dumb waffle trucks which is really messing with my plans to get skinny for swimsuit season.

Diane had a few of us over for a Mommy-Daughter night. We made necklaces, did some make-overs and painted nails.

Took the kids out to celebrate the end of preschool, AR tests, research reports and everything else that's been looming over our heads refusing to let us enjoy the last few weeks of May.

Celebrated a great 1st grade year at Sadie's portfolio day. We got to take her out for lunch and spend some time with just her and her dimples.

It's been great so far! Only two more days of school and we are DONE!!


Mother's Day

Mother's Day was perfect this year. The kids spoiled me with jewelry, exercise clothes, and the ever awesome COUPON BOOKS!
Luke got me some flowers and invited me to preschool tea.
I was treated to his amazing picture of him taken by his wonderful preschool teacher.

Breakfast in bed was pretty funny. I was so starving by the time it came that I plopped a few strawberries in my mouth before properly appreciating it. That's when I noticed my strawberries were hearts and my bacon spelled MOM! I was wondering why they thought I liked bacon so much.
 Every mother wants the same thing for Mother's Day -- no fighting and a clean house. And I got it! The kids were perfect for me at church and Sadie came home with a little survey, I love that she thinks my eyes are "pazel." She still does not know the word was actually hazel.
Dustin got home from church in time to eat lunch with us and I got cookies and milk as a snack.
Dinner was served by the fanciest group of kids in the world. I had a waiter and menu. The heart theme continued all day.
I'm just sad I never got a picture of me with my wonderful children.


Here's the Scuttlebutt

My sister has a million nicknames and Scuttlebutt is one of them. I cannot remember how we came upon this nickname (we both refer to each other that way) but it seems to be fitting since we spend each day discussing every single detail of our lives with each other. But who really cares about that, when really the scuttlebutt around town was that Scuttlebutt came to town.

We planned a million and one things and managed to fit most of them in. Amazingly, we kept it a secret from the kids who all walked into the house on a Tuesday afternoon to the very best surprise ever.
After homework and Activity Days, I hustled everyone out the door to the waffle truck for dinner. This might have been my worst idea of the week. The kids were hyper from the surprise and not in great "take us out in public" behavior.
They were climbing all over everything, couldn't sit down and on top of that my sister actually hates breakfast foods. She also hates cookie butter, so I was curious as to why she ordered a biscoff waffle. Mine was delicious.

Ellie's birthday was the next day and before she went to bed, she whispered to my sister, "Don't let my mom forget to decorate my door." The major problem was, she didn't actually have a door. Kathleen took over her room, Olivia and Nora were in with Sadie, and Ellie didn't want to sleep in our room or with the boys. She ended up on the couch, which we managed to decorate anyway.
She is so adorable. When she woke up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, she didn't want to mess up her streamers, so she slipped in and slipped back out.
We had donuts for breakfast, and Kathleen took her Freddy's for lunch at school. For dinner she wanted homemade pizza and pizookies before she headed out for mutual. We also had a little sign making party for the Girl's Camp Fundraiser that weekend.

Thursday we went shopping for birthday party goodies, I hosted a lunch for my sister at my house, Pack Meeting for Nate and then off to Book Club. We also lost Nora in the grass.

Friday I had to teach Art Masterpiece, while Kathleen hit up playgroup with my girlfriends and then we went out to lunch at So Cal Tacos. We ate on the patio in the shade while the kids sat on the grass. It was perfect.

That night was our Ward service and dessert auction. I was in charge of the decor, almost forgot to make my dessert and managed to come home with 5 desserts. The cutest part was sweet Luke, who really wanted to buy something. He ended up bidding and winning his own plate of rice krispie treats.

Saturday morning started early with camp certification, Nate's football game, decorating and then Ellie's birthday party. I'm so glad Kathleen was here to help with that because she's a hundred and one times more fun than I am.
Dustin (the amazing) took all the other kids out to dinner and a movie. When Nate's crush came along to drop off her cousin at the party she asked where Nate had gone. I explained where they were for dinner and not so shockingly, she and her Grandma showed up for dinner at the

Church on Sunday begins at 9 am. I woke up and realized that there were only 2 of us to get 6 children fed, bathed, dressed and hair done (plus ourselves) in just over an hour and a half. Then I freaked out even more because we were going to have to get 7 children to sit still for sacrament meeting. We took up a whole row with all the kids, but I think they were actually really well behaved.
I forced everyone to play games all afternoon. I can't remember if everyone ended up having fun or not because someone was always upset and there was a certain element of chaos to the whole thing.

Monday we dressed the kids in swimsuits and headed to the zoo for the day. I asked Luke what his favorite part was: "Eating my sno cone." I went and bought a sno cone machine 2 days later.

After a week of non-stop partying, it was time to say good bye to my sister and her adorable girls. Everyone was so sad and we still miss them. The other day Olivia asked my sister, "Mom, do you miss your sister?" When Kathleen said yes, Olivia responded, "I miss your sister's kids." Everyone had the best time and they all entertained each other so well. It was the best trip ever. Can't wait for Idaho!