Monday, November 7, 2016

Seasons Change

 Dear Mother's everywhere,

As your children grow up, they will become busy. An obvious side effect of their growing schedule is that the chaos of your life will likewise increase. To my peers who have children in junior high and high school, you might be giggling at my naivety as you are more aware of the obligations that await our family in a few more years. Even so, I have felt a permanent change of pace. When the shift began, I was in denial that we had hit a new "normal" at our house. I eased my concern by assuring myself that it was a phase.

"It won't last long... swim lessons will come and go. Then... things will return back to normal." Ha! Waiting in the wings was soccer season. After that, it would be Halloween time, end of quarter school projects, the next round of dentist appointments! And so on and so forth.

I am not complaining. Many of our "to-do's" are activities we signed up for. Not only that, we spend money to participate in said activities. It humorous, borderline ludicrous according to Andrew, that we pay money to increase the craziness of our lives! There are days when Andrew's dream of moving "off grid" and raising cows, or some other herd of smelly livestock, kind of appeals to me. Those moments are, however, fleeting; much to his dismay. Sorry, babe.

Our life is full. And as I scroll through my never ending camera roll, I see that it is full of good things. As I often justify to my friends, or anyone who happens to listen to me rant that day, I don't think that any of my children are over-scheduled. It just so happens that I have four kids who are each involved in worthwhile endeavors. But I repeat... I am not complaining. I just felt the need to acknowledge that we have stepped into a new chapter of our story. And it is exciting, fun, stressful at times, and tiring.

Today's photos illustrate some of the great outings that October afforded us. But first, I want to share evidence of my effort in making sure our family has downtime together. An example of this would be taking the time to go on a family bike ride. Feeling spontaneous, on this particular day, we walked over to the field that night and watched a team of older kids play competition level soccer.

New to the instagram world,
Eliza will often ask me to take photos of her. 
That's like offering me a donut.
I will never say "No" to either of those things.  

Trying to make the most of the mild Autumn weather, I am sending my kids to the backyard as often as possible to mess around in the sandbox, ride bikes and enjoy a few hours of unstructured, outdoor play. 

Be free, young Fleglets! 

Last week, Henry had a pile of homework waiting for him, but when two friends invited him over to play, I told him to go for it. Having added violin to his life, his free time is dwindling.

(Squeezing in violin practice, before heading off to soccer.)

If he didn't love violin, I would be concerned. So, I am trying to be especially thoughtful of him as I see his new obligations impacting him most.
Forrest playing "hide and seek" in the hamper 
and Lottie crawling into my bed wearing her Halloween costume,
are both "ordinary" moments that feel more special now
 as I've seen my bigger kids get bigger.
 It's the little things! Am I right? 

A few "noteworthy" outings included attending a field trip with Henry, going to the Treehouse Museum, attending Beauty and the Beast at Hale Theatre and making a return trip to Frightmares with the kids.  

Henry was so happy when I signed up to attend his field trip to the American West Heritage Center. He opted to ride with me and my friends instead of the bus. I loved that he wanted to be with me. We had a great time as we entered a Pioneer state of mind that day. He participated in different activities that helped demonstrate what life was like for our Pioneer ancestors.

Nanna Teresa was so kind to treat our family to see Beauty and the Beast. We love Hale theater so much. Beauty and the Beast was magical. It was fun to spend the morning at the show and then going to Nanna's house for crepes and cousin time. 
 It was also the beginning of Conference weekend. It was a cozy, happy set up. I love our family.

 The Tree house museum have a visiting exhibit called, 
"Step into China." 
They were kind enough to invite the families of the dual immersion schools to come for a free family night. 
It made me happy that it was an evening all four of the kids could enjoy together. 
I took many, many pictures. 
I make no apologies. 
This isn't instagram, so I don't have to!

The highlight of the night was when the three younger kids
were selected to be a part of the play.
Henry had one of the leading roles.
They each did an amazing job! 

Eliza had been hoping that she'd get chosen for the play. 
She was sad for a minute, I think, when she wasn't.
I made her feel better by telling her that she has my vote for President.

I am glad we made a return visit to Frightmares. It's sad to think our passes are no longer valid. Lagoon is now closed for the year. But! I feel like we definitely got our money's worth. We went to Lagoon a lot this summer!

And finally, here's a sweet shot of my boys.

This one might be one of my all time favorites.

...until next time.

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