Thursday, October 24, 2013


Jane wrote this for Hazel when we first brought her home. Seriously so cute. 


"You have little ones, and I know it seems that they need to know everything right now. But you all have TIME. The things that REALLY matter need to happen now; love, trust, kindness, security, wonder, joy, family, truth. If little ones don't learn those lessons in their formative years-- those years when they learn the most with the easiest amount of effort-- they won't be able to make good choices when they are older. Academics are good, but those early years are so precious. I am trying to keep my priorities in the right place."

"I have come to know that faith is a real power, not just an expression of belief. There are few things more powerful than the faithful prayers of a righteous mother."

Squishy, sleepy baby, is my favorite part of life.

I wish I could borrow this dress for me.

She started smiling at the beginning of September, so around 2 months.

Hazel has brown eyes! It was my dream come true. 
We had her baby blessing on August 18th, 2013 in Edmonton. 

Leaves Falling


The leaves are falling, falling as if from far up,
as if orchards were dying high in space.
Each leaf falls as if it were motioning "no."

And tonight the heavy earth is falling
away from all other stars in the loneliness.

We're all falling. This hand here is falling.
And look at the other one. It's in them all.

And yet there is Someone, whose hands
infinitely calm, holding up all this falling. 

~Rainer Maria Rilke
Jane made this tablecloth, inspired by our friend Jewel.

Julia and Ben came to spend the most beautiful fall day of the year with us.

 We spent a joyous day at Elk Island Park. It's our new Waterton.
Bison everywhere.

 We fieldtripped it at Prairie Adventure Farm. It's really close to our house. It was fun to spend the day there with family.
 The magic show was ridiculous. I felt like a little kid. It totally blew my mind! Jane is helping the magician in the picture below.

 Cousins Hazel and Henry- one month apart.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

First Day of School 2014

"True education seeks, then, to make men and women not only good mathematicians, proficient linguists, profound scientists, or brilliant literary lights, but also honest men, combined with virtue, wisdom, benevolence, and self-control as the choicest acquisitions of a successful life..." 
                                                              ~David O. McKay

 I have to say I was very apprehensive about this school year. We had a wild summer with new a move and a new baby and 6 kids is pretty much rocking our world right now. I've never felt so maxed out in my life and Timmy is away more now than he used to be. My days are longer and it feels like I don't stop to breathe. It might have something to do with the giant baby not adjusting all that well to the teeny baby. It's our first time having that problem but now we know how hard it is. 
We usually start school whenever Timmy starts teaching. This year it was a week after everyone else starts school. I like having a little more time to enjoy the nice weather since it's such a long winter here. 

For our back to school feast we made a crayon banner and pencil crayon vase centerpiece thing. We ate Dutch Apple Baby (a Vitamix recipe) because we have an overabundance of apples and eggs here at all times. Timmy gave Father's blessing to all the kids, even Hazel which was so funny because she's so small ;) Ezra kept his eyes closed the whole time for his own blessing and then copied Tim and blessed Hazel ;)

On our "first day of school" we ate nachos on the tramp, made plum jam while listening to audiobooks, went for a drive, and played at the park :) It was a perfect day and then I knew everything I'd been worrying about was going to be ok.
I set up a scavenger hunt for them to find all their new school supplies.
The kids painted this canvas to display our theme for the year. 
I can't believe we are on our fourth theme.

The road to anywhere
is the road to nowhere, and the road to nowhere leads to dreams 
sacrificed, opportunities squandered, and a life unfulfilled.
~ Thomas S. Monson

We worked really hard on setting up these schedules together. 
I wanted the kids to take part in it so they'd be personally invested.
(Sorry for all the pics, but I want them for my records).
After the first month, the schedules have changed quite a bit but the miracle is how well the kids stuck to their schedules. They remember on their own what needs to be done each day and are super proactive about it. I don't think we've missed a single day yet. 

 We found writing pads for each of their spots at the work tables and the
 schedules go perfectly beneath them.
 Check out my nerdy teacher closet. 
Oh how I love order.
We cleaned out their closets, got haircuts, set goals, made study lists, went to the dentist,
 and cleaned the school room too.
Jane and Charlie put together this sensory board to have in the school room to keep Ezra busy. They worked really hard on it- it took a long time to make.
 Ezra actually really uses it, more than I thought he would.

 Scarlet was the champion of September. She's taking her first year of school seriously, I can't believe how independently she keeps herself productive. She's really catching on. One morning she felt sick and actually threw up- she had a short nap and then came and ask me what she should do first. I of course told her she could rest and my answer made her frustrated. She wanted to get her work done!
 One goal on the kids' list is to run in a 5 k race. They put running around our neighborhood on their schedules 3 times a week. They start the timer and then run for it and then record their times in this little football notebook to track their progress.
 This is what Ezra does to our school room while we are trying to concentrate...
One of Jane's projects. She's super into peacocks like her momma. 
We're hoping to get a real one in the spring.
 They put together this weather station and they keep a record on a chart they keep on the clipboard.