End of the School Year

2015-05-may1-webWow… the end of the school year is busy-crazy-busy. Why must they shove everything into one month. Final projects, graduations, more final projects, more graduations. And my kids aren’t even out of elementary school! But many of these events have been fantastic experiences in one way or another.

Abe earned his Arrow of Light for cub Scouts. He has worked so hard on these requirements. It takes many to keep things going in scouts. Today is his 11th birthday. Grandma & Grandpa gave him a Pogo-Stick. We all gave it a try last night and boy-howdy was it fun. Haven’t seen a smile that big on Jimmy in a while. Abe enjoys laughing and playing with friends. He is so talented as a builder of Legos. I believe he’ll grow up to enjoy engineering or something of the sort someday. He has a tender heart and a great soul. The past bit, he’s been willing to play minecraft and let Truman and Max watch. They love that!

On that same night Truman graduated from preschool. Jimmy attended that event, but I saw the cute videos and pictures. What a delight! He said, “Hi, my name is Truman and I’m 5 1/2. When I grow up, I want to be a dad!” He has a great little soul deep inside! We’ve perhaps had the hardest 6 months with behavior and aggression with this kiddo. Challenges… and lots of “stretching opportunities” as parents. But when we see the real Truman shine, we know there are great things in store for this strong leader.

Hannah had a time machine presentation/skit. She was the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi, “the Goddess of wealth, love, prosperity (both material and spiritual), fortune, and the embodiment of beauty.” We spent oodles of time on her costume. She is more of a perfectionist than I am, if it’s possible. She loves the extra mile! It turned out fantastic though. After school I told her she had to be done being a glorious goddess and start being a worker bee. It takes the entire family doing their part for us to survive these days. She definitely pulls her own weight … plus covers for the others who don’t. I tear up at the thought of her growing up and away. Boo… but Hurray!!! for her, too.

Scotty learned to crawl for reals (graduated from inch worm!) today. He loves going under the table. Our floor is definitely not baby proof. We need to mop … and sweep … and sweep some more… crumbs galore. He reminds me of a puppy because he is always crawling under everything to get to the cords to chew on… only he’s not quite as fast as a puppy yet. I feel this boy has energy… waiting to be unleashed as soon as he is confident in his mobility. He has a cheerful disposition which might save him… he seems to gain energy from people (extrovert) and cheers hearts wherever he goes.

Max… favorite thing about Max lately is his Polynesian Warrior Dance for the school dance festival. He loved it. I loved attending that event. So great to see the kids learn new dances. Abe did an African Dance. Hannah actually held a boy’s hand (andrew) and did the swing. They were pretty great at keeping the rhythm.

Eliza… oh eliza… she is the queen of drama (I won’t let the kids say it to her… but it’s true). She gets hurt about 20 times a day and comes wailing to mama. We focus on courage. “God made you strong, Eliza. He gave you courage.” She is also a delight and says super funny things that I wish I could catch on video. Her latest is that instead of having to go potty, she says, “I am wiggling, mom.” Today she said, “I don’t want to go home.” I told her that dad was at home. “Oh, I love dad. But, I love you too mom. I love you too.” She has a darling high pitched 3-year-old voice. She’s Miss Bossy and has a bit of spice in her. Gotta hold her own, I suppose.

The weather is dull to comment on. But it’s significant! RAIN! Green everywhere! Rain! Love it. We’ve had more rain this May than in the past 3 Mays combined. I’m hoping some of the water restrictions will be lifted so we can have green grass and a plentiful garden this year. We live in a beautiful place. The ponds, the skies, the mountains… especially when green… are so amazingly wondrous.

Jimmy. Oh, my love! He works so hard for our family. He digs the dandelions out of the lawn. It is looking fantastic. And … drum-roll… He finally found a new job that seems like a good fit. He worked for the LDS Church for nearly 7 1/2 years. We’ve wanted to move East for the past year or so but none of the jobs have panned out… not in Maryland… not in North Carolina (that was my winter dream location), not in Texas (Jimmy always wants to move to Texas). He applied for a job on LinkedIn with Treehouse Interactive (changing name soon to ImPartner), a small company that was just bought out for 17 million… and is expected to grow rapidly in the next 4 years). He’s always wanted to work for a small company and we feel like this is the least-risky way to go as far as small companies. I’m so grateful for the work experience and associations and growth Jimmy had working at the church. So grateful! It was a splendid time for many things. He grew so much. And though it’s time to move on (and though I’ll miss DMBA insurance … and free SLC office building parking), I hope this is another new learning experience that will provide new opportunities.

As for Heather. This is perhaps the hardest year of my life. Many challenges and mountains to climb. Health… parenting aggressive and disrespectful boys … so many who need all at once… physical tiredness from children pushing on my body (“Yes, I must be old” said the 39-year-old mother of 6 under 12), learning life’s spiritual lessons and how to apply gospel principles to challenging situations. But we receive many blessings. Many blessings are given to us daily and I seek to see these tender mercies. Quiet hour after tots go to bed is a tender mercy and time for rejuvenation. Good, happy moments as a family! A good spouse. Good kiddos who are trying. God is good to us.

Webelos

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For Pack Meeting this week, Abe went to the City Hall. He got to be the Mayor, Bert Wilson, for a little bit. Abe is doing great in Scouts. He’s the only Webelo right now so he gets extra special attention from his leaders. He will earn his Webelo in January and will finish up his Arrow of Light before May when he turns 11.

Last month they finished up a cool chess game (Abe was willing to let Truman play!)
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Healthy Eating : including the kids

Alright already with the food posts – I know.
But this has been a huge deal this week to keep up with my new schedule/eating plan/testing glucose…
so I’m noting this for family record.

06 june 20142

Yesterday involved grocery shopping galore. – p.s. i think eating healthier is more $$
Strawberries
Blueberries
Apples
Carrots
Tomatoes
Cucumbers
Green Peppers
Broccoli
Celery
{no pea pods… wahhh}
Protein Items (bleh)
Healthy Peanut Butter
Nuts
Salad makings
{note:  Yes… fruits & some veggies have sugars…
but it’s way better than what I usually eat… pure sugar!
Plus, I can eat like a 1/2 cup for 15 carbs}

I didn’t buy chocolate (well… for me anyways).
Oh wait – I did buy Chocolate Cookie Butter at Trader Joes.
I can have a TBLSP (4 gr Carbs) if I save a little room in my snack carbs.
No protein… but goodness me, it’s tasty, even just a tiny bit.
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I’m learning greater self control.
Man alive – it’s hard!
A gal at church commented that she would ‘die’ if she had to have such small portions and such few carbs.
Oh – I know chica!
I’m a lover of carbs… rolls, breads, chocolate, emotional treats, fruits.
1/2 cup of pasta for dinner doesn’t exactly satisfy.

I’m trying not to feel too bad for myself (well, occasionally), {keyword: “trying}
because I know the snacks I eat now are much better than sweets & treats.
Though I do have to say…
the granola bar I found that has protein, dietary fiber, and is low in carbs, isn’t necessarily low in calories.

Honestly I do take advantage of every snack and carb I can have… add protein so I won’t starve by my next snack/meal.
Occasionally I sneak an 1/8 cup of OJ and then my glucose numbers are high.
Even though that tiny bit fits into my carb allotment, it is still too strong.
Not good. So – I try to stay reasonable and remember health is more important than tasty foods/drinks.
{key words: “try to stay reasonable”}

I know – Yoda says … “Do – or Do NOT! There is no Try!”
Hasn’t there got to be some room for error and progress and effort?
Can you tell it’s a huge internal struggle?…

So, I’ve enlisted Hannah & Abe on my healthy snacks kick.
Abe needed to keep a food journal for 1 week for Webelos. Since this kiddo eats 99% Carbs, I thought it would be insightful for him to do this now… and try to incorporate more fruits/veggies/proteins into his diet.

I had the kids write a list of foods they enjoy eating:
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Then we have the food journal to keep track of eating habits.
Hannah did this with me last week. She rocks at eating healthy.
This week Abe is doing it.
Incorporating healthier food groups, especially into snacks, will be the goal.

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Lastly… a reminder as to why it’s good to eat healthy. We are blessed when we live by the Word of Wisdom. Different seasons of life may require different nutritional standards {as in… gestational diabetes (check carbs) … growing kiddos (include protein) … skinny toddlers (‘load on those calories’ says the pediatrician)}. But I believe moderation and following God’s revelation will truly bless us with ‘health in their navel and marrow to their bones”. I definitely need to remember this when I’m cranky-pants about not eating sweets!

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BEAR awarded – Cub Scouts

Abraham earned his Bear award tonight at pack meeting – the bike rodeo. It sure takes a lot of work to plug through all the categories. Scouts is a great program though to help diversify life for our boys… much better than video games and tv. But it’s sure tricky to make time for it with a busy family. Good work Abraham! at working hard to earn this award!06 june 2014

Meet Johnny Blue

01 january 2013 instagram3A few months ago a gal in our ward asked if anyone wanted a beta fish. I guess someone gave it to her husband and she didn’t want it around. We jumped at this opportunity… mostly because I knew there was a Pet Care achievement and belt loop for cub scouts. And a bonus: take care of a plant. 2 in 1 adventure for Abe.

Amazingly enough… it lived past it’s first week in our home. Then it lived a month. I was pretty much amazed. I have no skills with pets. I don’t like changing the water… but I have Abe help so he can learn. I haven’t even dumped the fish down the drain yet.  Abe feeds the fish every day and checks up on him a few times a day. He has stepped up and cared for his pet quite responsibly.

Anyhoo… Abe named his fish Johnny Blue. Welcome Johnny Blue, to the Smith family. We quite like having you around.

p.s. we hope you live.

The Pine Wood Derby

2013 01 january eWow – what a project…. an all-day family project. But – Abe did a great job. He was very specific about how he wanted it to look. Jimmy helped him cut it. Abe sanded, painted, mod-podged, and glued. It weighed exactly 5 oz… though once we got to the weigh-in their scale registered lower. Abe won 2nd in his wolf den. He was thrilled.
2013 01 january dAll the kids got York Peppermint Patty medals. Tru was thrilled! Hannah won 3rd in the family tournament. Max was really funny about his Captain America Car. He knew what wording he wanted on his car. Plus, his photos were priceless. Each child received an official award title for their car:

JW 6th Ward PineWood Derby Awards:
tru: best sticker job
max: most patriotic
hannah: the car you can hang your coat on
abe: best driver