Monday, April 26, 2010

And Then He Was Ten

Most of you know that Ryan and I are loyal Kenny Chesney fans. One of my favorite songs (and unfortunately very true) is “Don’t Blink.” For you non-Country fans, here are some of the lyrics:

“Don't blink
Just like that you're six years old and you take a nap
And you wake up and you're twenty-five,
And your high school sweetheart becomes your wife
Don't blink
You just might miss your babies growing like mine did…”

I have to admit that I’ve been a little bit emotional about this birthday, for some reason. It has been pointed out several times that he’s now in the “double digits.” In three years he’ll be a teenager! In another 10 years he’ll (hopefully) be serving as a fabulous missionary, sharing the things I’m teaching him right now. I’ve often said, “It was obvious that Ryan was my first baby, but I never realized he would also be my last.” You know when all of those older people tell you as a young mom to “cherish every moment”? I’m afraid that with the turmoil of our lives for a couple of years there, that I didn’t do that very well. I think a lot about the years between his 2nd birthday and the time he started kindergarten – the things I did that I shouldn’t have done, and the things I should have done that I didn’t do. As I’ve mentioned recently, I appreciate all of the family members and friends who help me teach him the important things that he needs to know.

It was obvious that this birthday was going to be different when he mentioned what he wanted as his gift. An iPod Touch. Good-bye $8 superhero action figures and Bakugan Battle Brawlers. Good-bye $20 DVDs and $50 X-Box 360 and Wii games. He’s not a little boy anymore!

Ryan had a soccer game Saturday morning. Immediately after the game, we went and got his iPod Touch. With it being a Saturday, it was nice to withhold it until chores were done. :) We spent the afternoon (between working in the yard and various inside chores) browsing iTunes for apps. I have to admit, it’s a good thing it’s not MY iPod Touch. A couple of those could be serious time wasters for ME! (I have to add that the app he has looked forward to the most was the app for the scriptures! We did the scriptures and hymns first, and he was thrilled to take those to church on Sunday! Yes, I let him, with very strict instructions that he was ONLY to access the scriptures and hymns in church.)That night, we went to the Temple Square Chorale/Orchestra on Temple Square concert with Rara & Papa. Since we had to be in our seats quite early, I let Ryan take the iPod Touch to play before the concert started. He really had a tough time leaving it in his pocket the first half of the concert, but enjoyed the second half. Rara, Papa and I enjoyed the whole thing.Sunday (Ryan’s actual birthday) after church, we went to Rara & Papa’s house for Ryan’s birthday celebration. Marc & Frances made a variety of yummy gourmet pizzas, although Ryan stuck with his traditional “cheese and dough.” We had a lot of fun playing with Alice & Claire, as always. They wanted to keep singing "Happy!" Marc & Frances also gave Ry a cool new watch, which he wore to school today. Rara & Papa, in addition to contributing to the iPod, bought Ryan a basketball standard for their house. What a happy kid!There are two other kids in Ryan’s grade with birthdays within a day of Ry. One kid, whose birthday was Saturday, took his birthday treats on Friday, so I took Ryan’s today. The birthday kid gets to stand in front of the class with a birthday hat, and choose how they want the class to sing “Happy Birthday.” Ryan chose soprano, and fast. As I stood there with my regular camera, I wished that I had known to take my video camera. It was one of the most hysterical things I have ever seen!I think Ryan had a happy birthday weekend. He thanked me several times for specific things we did over the weekend. He is growing into a very grateful and thoughtful young man. I am lucky to be his mom.

Monday, April 19, 2010

'Cuz I'm an Athlete

On Thanksgiving day, Ryan and I saw “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” with Marc & Frances. We have since purchased the DVD, and watched it yesterday with Rara & Papa. One of the younger characters is obsessed with being an athlete, just like a cousin who has come to stay with them. A common answer to various questions throughout the movie is, “Cuz I’m an athlete.” We have all picked up the phrase and use it quite often. Some of us use it in all seriousness, some of us with a touch of sarcasm.

Ryan is definitely an athlete. He finished his Jr. Jazz basketball season about a month ago, just in time to start soccer. He had one game, and then the next two games were cancelled due to the snow. This week the kids were finally able to play again. Ryan and another player were the “Stockton to Malone” of their soccer team. They played such great teamwork! They were very aware of where the other one was on the field, and if he was open. They were great to pass it to each other all through the game. Ryan scored TWO goals, but also had several “assists” (although I don’t think they count those in soccer, do they?). I even caught one goal in the middle of the action!Ryan’s season championship swim meet was Saturday. The season championship is when every kid from every rec center in the league participates. There were about 20-25 kids in every event! He did his favorite events: freestyle, backstroke, and butterfly. Unfortunately, he had been sick for a couple of days, and still had a bad cough. Still, he was in the top four or five of every heat. We got the official results this morning. He finished #12 out of 24 in the freestyle, #7 out of 18 in the butterfly, and #4 out of 18 in the backstroke. He was a little bit disappointed that he didn’t do better, but we were proud of him for his willingness to compete, even not feeling well. He did help his team take first place overall! I didn’t have my real camera, only my Blackberry camera. So the pictures didn’t turn out that great.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Spring Celebrations

Easter morning this year greeted us with several inches of snow! We were disappointed that for Alice & Claire’s REAL first Easter (where they would understand the concept of the egg hunt) that we couldn’t be outside. Rara & Papa did a great job making do with the indoor option. Marc & Frances and Ryan & I had to look for our eggs all over the living room, family room, and kitchen.Alice & Claire’s eggs were hidden in Rara’s gold mini kitchen. It was hilarious to watch the girls find their eggs, put them in their baskets, and then promptly take them out of each other’s baskets. They were adorable!But this was my favorite shot of the day...
Easter also fell on General Conference weekend, so Ryan and I enjoyed dyeing our eggs while listening to conference.Rara’s birthday was the week that Ryan was off of school for spring break. Marc & Frances are preparing to go on a week-long trip next month, so they have been breaking the girls in with mini-sleepovers at Rara’s & Papa’s. So Rara had a “grandkids sleepover” for her birthday. When Marc & Frances & I finished work, we met at Rara & Papa’s for birthday dinner.That weekend we had the birthday party of our good friend, Abby. Abby’s mom & I have been friends for many, many years. Abby was having her “friends party” at the Lion House – a luncheon more aptly suited for proper young ladies than rowdy boys. However, Kristin & Abby wanted to include us, so they invited us to their FAMILY party for Abby at the rec center! Ryan & Abby had a lot of fun swimming together. We do feel like family, but we are grateful that Kristin & Abby were willing to include us with their family party!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April Fools Day

Our family has always had a lot of fun on April Fools Day. I remember being young, and my mom doing all kinds of fun things with our food for April Fools Day. I remember being surprised at food being dyed different colors, and the disappointment and shock of finding jalapeno jelly beans in the place of other, more pleasant flavors.

Of course, I am trying to carry on the April Fools Day tradition. I saw several different food ideas on TV shows and websites in the days leading up to April Fools Day. I made a quick trip to the store and bought a few necessary items.

For breakfast, Ryan had egg on toast (vanilla frosting and a peach on toasted angel food cake) and bacon (Tootsie Roll and caramel, layered and then smashed together). He came in, looked at it, and said, "I am NOT eating that!" Then he looked a little closer and decided to give it a try.For lunch, I printed some fun labels such as "spinach root juice" and "caterpillar and cheese sandwich" and put them on his regular food. I also added a Tupperware container of peas and carrots (lime and orange Tootsie Rolls formed into the appropriate shapes). He reported that his friends all loved his lunch, but only his BEST friend was able to share the peas and carrots.For dinner, I couldn’t decide, so I made two things. Ryan’s favorite food is grilled cheese sandwiches. I made use of that loaf of angel food cake and toasted two more pieces, and then colored frosting orange and slathered it on to look like cheese between the pieces.My favorite item, however, was the sushi. Yet another use of the angel food cake – I cut small round pieces out of a slice, and then wrapped them in grape fruit roll-ups. I sprinkled coconut on the top, and then topped them with a variety of Swedish fish mixtures – one whole, others sliced and diced into different shapes.I don’t know who had more fun with the day, me or Ryan!

"Mother Nature" had an April Fools joke, too. We woke up to several inches of snow! I posted these pictures on Facebook, and several people thought it was my April Fools joke. Nope. Real.

Monday, April 5, 2010

March 2010 Recap

Since I’m still trying to get caught up on the blog, I’ll do the entire March recap in this post.

On Saturday, March 6, we celebrated Papa’s birthday (actually March 7) with the fam. As always, we loved spending time with Rara & Papa, Marc & Frances, and Alice & Claire.Right on Papa’s birthday, his ward (the young adult ward where he is bishop) had a “mingle.” Rara and the ward members surprised him with a birthday cake at the mingle.Tuesday, March 9, was Ryan’s 4th grade “dance informance.” They have been studying Utah history, so all of their dances were folk dances representing groups that settled in Utah. At the end, the kids grabbed their parents from the audience, and we all did the Virginia Reel together. It was a lot of fun!I didn’t do as much for St. Patrick’s Day this year as I have in the past. I was in the middle of a rough quarter in my PhD program (one of my courses being statistics). In addition, Ryan’s cub scout den did a Family Home Evening at the “Sante House” (a very small residential home for the disabled). So we had to be quick. He did have a fun lunch and dinner, with as much green as possible.

Speaking of my rough quarter, I finished the quarter with As in both of my classes. Yes, surprisingly, even statistics! Allow me to brag for a moment…I have a 4.0 in my PhD program. I am hopeful that since I was able to pull an A in what most consider to be the toughest class, I’ll be able to hold that GPA to the end.

The day after my classes ended, we went and had a little bit of fun. I took Ryan and his friend, Isaac, to the Discovery Gateway Museum. They had fun building things, knocking them down with simulated earthquakes, climbing in and out of the helicopter, and being pretend weather forecasters. It was fun to go and just relax!Ryan’s Jr. Jazz basketball season came to an end in March. It was a lot of fun watching him learn and progress in this new competitive sport.With the end of basketball season comes the beginning of soccer season. Already, two practices and one game have been cancelled due to snow. He is a great soccer player, but has decided that this will be his last season. He is interested in pursuing different sports and activities.Our cub scout pack meeting in March was a lot of fun. My very first month as a den leader four years ago, we did a space derby. None of us have done it since, so we decided to try it again. I talked about the Wright Brothers, and other historical aerospace events as we did the awards. The most exciting part of the evening was when Ryan was welcomed into the Webelos den! The derby was a lot of fun. It took us a little while to get it all figured out enough for it to actually make the rockets go to the end, but everyone was patient and worked well together. I think everyone ended up having a lot of fun.
March 28 was Alice & Claire’s 18 month birthday. Since there are only 3 grandkids on our side of the family, and since they are twins, we need to celebrate all we can. We had dinner at Marc & Frances’ house. Frances’ mom made an ice cream cake, but I took up a few cupcakes for the girls to eat. As you can see, they loved them!

Rara & Papa gave the girls little brooms so they could help Rara “schweep” when she is there. Ryan and I gave them hilarious little bath toys. They are mermaid Barbies sitting in flowers. When you put them in the water and turn them on, they spin and spray water. The girls got so messy and sticky with their cupcakes that we helped give them a bath so they could play with their toys.