Friday, January 23, 2015

Straight A's!!

Josh survived his first finals week of high school! It was rough but he survived it and when he came home from his last test today I met him with surprise ice cream to celebrate.


Then we waited very impatiently for his grades to be posted. He still has one final that hasn't posted, but it's in a class where his grade is high enough that whatever he gets on the final won't change the grade, so we're calling it. He got straight A's!! He really worked his behind off this semester. This new school is no joke! So I'm really proud of his accomplishments! He did awesome!



Matthew isn't home from school yet, but it looks like his grades have all posted and he got straight A's too! im so proud of both of them! 





Monday, January 12, 2015

January

Well, here we are, it's January. If you know me at all, you know January is my least favorite month of the year. It's cold, it's dark and it's long. If I had unlimited funds and no responsibilities, I would fly south every January like a bird and spend it somewhere warm. But unfortunately, my funds are not unlimited and I do have responsibilities, so I will muddle through this January just as I do every year. It has to end eventually, right?

We've been crazy busy lately, and at least that is helping January fly by. The older my kids get the busier we seem to get. The boys are both involved in so many activities and have so much school stuff going on that we always seem to be busy with something. Saturday Matthew had a chess tournament in the morning and piano lessons in the afternoon, so I spent a good amount of my day in the car getting him to where he needed to be and picking him up when it was over.

Then Saturday afternoon Clarissa was playing at a friends house and we decided to take the boys to Into The Woods. I've seen the play twice, but like 20+ years ago, so I was really excited for the movie. And it definitely didn't dissapoint! We all really enjoyed it! Matthew loves musicals and theater and things like that the way that I do, and about a half hour into the movie he leaned over to me and whispered "This is SO good!!". It made me smile. Matthew is the kid I bond with over anything musical or theatrical. We came home and bought the soundtrack to the movie on iTunes and we've been listening to it ever since.

And speaking of Matthew and music, he's still getting ready to accompany the choir for their performance of The Moon next month! His teacher had told him a while ago that if he could play it he could accompany them, but he hadn't actually heard Matthew play it yet and I think he was a bit skeptical that he would actually be able to do it. But after Christmas break he finally called Matthew up in class to give it a try and I think he was surprised that he could actually do it! So it's official, that's happening. His teacher seems really excited about it and Matthew is definitely excited! It's a good thing I like that song, because he practices it a lot. I've heard it about a million times now! His piano teacher is excited that he'll be playing for the choir and is planning to come to his performance, which I thought was really sweet of her. It's the middle of February, I think. I will definitely be recording it. :)

Josh is doing great and keeping really busy. I honestly don't know how that kid does it. I remember my high school years well and I was nowhere near as focused and dedicated as he is. He's really busy with his classes and his after school activities, so I don't see him as much as I used to. This summer is also going to be huge for him. He'll be taking drivers Ed, he wants to take two summer school classes, he's going on a pioneer trek thing with our church and he's going to be doing his Eagle Scout project. So I'm running around these days trying to figure out how and when to get him enrolled in his classes and figure out how to work the rest of our summer plans around all of that. It's only January and our entire summer is booked already. Overbooked, actually. It's going to be a bit crazy.

Clarissa is doing great! She's going to be SIX next month, can you believe it?! Time is flying by so quickly that it's kind of blowing my mind. She's still joined at the hip with her friend Sophia. Her life pretty much revolves around when she gets to play with her next. They're together constantly. They're so cute. It's fun to have a best friend.

And if we're speaking of people who are busy, Shawn wins the award. He recently got asked to serve in a pretty big job in our church (Elders Quorum president, for my LDS friends) and while he was trying to figure all of that out, he got an unexpected promotion at work. He is now the manager of the whole pharmacy.

His pharmacy used to be broken into two parts. When they hired him 11 years ago, he managed the retail part, and then there was another manager that managed a seperate part of the pharmacy, where they had contacts with nursing homes and mental health facilities. Then a few years ago they decided to close the retail part and just focus on their long term care facility contracts. So all the retail people got laid off except for Shawn and they made him a sort of assistant manager in the remaining part of the pharmacy, because they already had a manager back there. So he has kind of had some manager duties over the past few years, but not a lot.

But when he went back to work after his Christmas break last week, he got called in for a meeting and they told him that the current manager has decided to step down. He's getting older and close to retirement and doesn't want to deal with the hassle of being in charge anymore. So the former manager is staying on as a staff pharmacist and Shawn is moving up and taking his place as the new manager. We kind of figured that this would happen eventually, but he didn't see it coming right now. So he is now in a leadership position at church and the leader of the pharmacy and it all kind of happened right at the same time. It's all good stuff, but it's going to keep him really busy and he's a bit overwhelmed at the moment. He has a lot going on right now.

And then there is me. Nothing much changes for me, except for watching the change occur around me. I struggle with that at times, but I've come to accept my role as the family cheerleader, lol. I keep everyone going, I'm the family therapist. I'm the one cheering everyone on from the wings and I'm the one that gives everyone pep talks when they feel overwhelmed. I'm the family secret keeper, appointment scheduler, event planner, shoulder to cry on and advice giver. I solve Josh's girl problems, keep Matthew supplied with sheet music, make sure Clarissa gets plenty of Sophia time and remind Shawn that he's a rockstar when he feels the pressure of being in charge. If you need a cheerleader and a motivational speaker, I'm your woman these days.

So lately I feel like my blog isn't so much about me as it is about everyone around me, but that seems to be my life these days. And I'm OK with that. Someone has to be the calm in the storm.

But one of these Januaries, I'm going to make like a bird and fly south. Maybe even just for a week. I'm going to stick my toes in the sand and feel some sun on my face and escape the cold and the grey of January in Boise. I'm going to do it one year. The mental image of that is what keeps me going through long dark Januaries. One of these years it's going to happen. :)

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy new year!

It's only 11pm here, so we still have another hour to go before the New year, but I thought I'd try to get a quick blog post in. 

We had a wonderful Christmas but a not so wonderful week afterwards. Christmas afternoon Shawn started feeling sick and by the next day he had the full blown flu. And one by one we all joined him. Ugh. Shawn, Josh and I got it the worst. Fever, chills, cough, the whole thing. Matthew and Clarissa fortunately didn't get it quite as bad. 

So we have pretty much spend the last week sleeping, laying on the couch and passing around medicine. It has been pretty miserable. Everyone seems to finally be getting over it, but it's been hanging on to me the longest. It's been a week and I still don't feel great. Better than I did, but not great. 

So we did nothing to celebrate the new year tonight. Matthew and Clarissa stayed up late and played Wii and Josh went to a church dance but wasn't feeling great and decided to come home early. It's been kind of a bummer of a Christmas break around here! I look forward to this week all year and it ended up being kind of a bust. Oh well. It will come around next year. 

Maybe it was kind of symbolic of the way my whole year has gone. I've had to adjust my expectations and learn to go with the flow about a lot of things this year. It was a year of change and a year of adjustment for all of us. I've had better years, but then again, I've had worse. 

But for better or worse, time marches forward and all we can do is keep moving. 2015 will be the year I turn 40. I can't say I'm excited about that, but I'm trying to find the brightside! There is one...right? :) I'll let you know in April. 

So goodbye, 2014 and welcome, 2015. I'm excited to see what the new year brings.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve

It's the yearly Christmas Eve photo! We had to move the tree to a different spot this year because the piano we bought this year is occupying it's old space. The kids are so big now they practically cover up the tree!  I love looking at the collage to see how much they've grown!

Merry Christmas to all my blog readers! :)

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

It's almost Christmas!!

I have kind of abandoned my blog lately. It seems like lately either nothing exciting is going on so I have nothing to blog about or we're super crazy busy and I don't have the time to blog. 

This pat week it has been the latter. I wish everyone wouldn't plan their parties and school programs and everything else for the week before Christmas, because it makes it almost impossible to get to everything. But we tried, and it made for w very busy week. 

Yesterday was super busy but we got to do something SO fun!! We went to The Nutcracker! Every year I want to go and we never manage to fit it in, but finally this was our year. It was part of my Christmas present from Shawn. We went and took the boys. I wasn't sure if Clarissa would sit through it and tickets were too expensive to find out that she didn't enjoy it, so we decided to send her to a friends house to play instead, but I will definitely take her in the future! 

It was put on by the Idaho Ballet and the Boise Phillharmonic and it was absolutely amazing! The boys had never been to a ballet before and I wasn't sure how much they would enjoy it, but they actually really did. It's great for a first ballet because the story line is really easy to follow and it's really fun and energetic. The dancing was amazing, the music was perfect and I loved every second of it. Best Christmas present ever. I hope we can go back next year! 

But now the week of parties and programs and events is over and we're ready to settle down and get ready for Christmas. We're heading into the two weeks a year that I wait all year for. Shawn always saves some vacation time so that he can take time off at Christmas and this year he has 12 days off. I absolutely love Christmas, but what I love most is the week between Christmas and New Years when we spend the whole week at home, playing games, watching movies and just spending some quality time together as a family. I look forward to it all year long. This has been a crazy busy year full of change and new experiences and a fair amount of chaos and I'm really looking forward to ending it on a very low key note at home with my family. I can't wait!

So life is busy around here, but it's good. Matthew is still wowing us with his piano, Josh is insanely busy with school and Clarissa is loving Kindergarten and is still joined at the hip with her best friend. Yesterday they were playing together and they announced that they were identical twins. Korean Clarissa and her blonde haired, blue eyed friend. :) I love them! 

If I don't manage to get another blog post in before Christmas, I will definitely be back with the Christmas Eve pajama photo. That thing is the bane of my children's existence and my yearly happy moment, lol. I love them for tolerating my funny traditions. Shawn keeps teasing me that I'm going to make the kids come home every Christmas Eve when they're adults so I can take their pajama picture.  I told him it was no joke, because that's totally happening, lol. Ok, so maybe it won't, but in the meantime I'm pulling that camera out every year until there is no one left to photograph! Check back Christmas Eve for this years photo! :) 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Moon

Matthew was practicing the piano today and it sounded good so I took another video! This is the song he's working on for choir. He's going to be accompanying the 6th grade choir for this song at their performance in February.

He still has some work to do on it, but he has a couple of months before they perform, so he's got time to perfect it. But I think it sounds pretty good so far, I love hearing him play the piano!

The song is called The Moon by Andy Beck.





It's actually a really pretty song when it's sung. I just found this random video of it in YouTube if you want to hear it. This isn't his choir, just a random video I found. They did a great job with it!



So that's the song that is playing in our house (and in my head) these days! He's going to keep working on it and I will definitely try to make a video of it when they perform it in February!

Monday, December 1, 2014

December

I made it through November! Yay! :)

Now the fun begins, because I love December. I love all the Christmas stuff and I especially love that I have almost two weeks of uninterrupted family time to look forward to at the end of the month. Shawn always saves some vacation time for Christmas and he takes off the week between Christmas and New Years (and sometimes a little more) and we pretty much lock ourselves in the house for a week or more of family time.

I literally wait all year for that week. It's my favorite time of the year. I love Christmas, but it's the family games marathons and movie nights and silliness that follow it that I love the most. I think we have something like 12 days this year. When New Years falls in the middle of the week he usually takes a few days of next years vacation time to stay home the rest of that week, so he doesn't go back to work until the kids go back to school. I'm super excited about it! Out Christmas staycation is my favorite thing every year. So I have that to look forward to and that makes me happy!

Today we sent all the kids back to school. Clarissa has been home for the past month because she goes to a year round school and November is her track break, and the boys had all last week off for Thanksgiving break, so we've had a full house lately. It took me a bit to get back on schedule this morning. After having Clarissa home for a month I've forgotten how to do the bus schedule and I had to think a minute to remember what she needed to take with her today. We have to reorient ourselves to a schedule again! But we got everyone off to school, Shawn went to work and for the first time in a month, my house is quiet again.

My project lately has been working on planning a summer vacation for next year. It's starting to occur to me that we don't really have all that many summers left with Josh at home! After he graduates from high school in three and a half years, he will most likely be off to do missionary work for our church for two years, possibly in another country. So we really only have three, maybe four summers left with him before he's going to be gone for a while and that is starting to panic me a bit! And the older and busier he gets the less time he has in the summer to hang out with us. This summer he's planning on taking two online summer school classes to further accelerate his schooling, he'll be taking drivers training (yikes!!) and he'll be going to a church camp. There is pretty much one week this summer that he isn't busy or we aren't busy with something else, so I'm doing everything I can to make a big vacation happen that week.

We're thinking of renting a beach house on the Oregon coast for a week. We haven't been to the Oregon coast in years, and it really is one of our favorite places. So I've been researching beach house rentals all up and down the coast for the past week. I know it's early, but places start to fill up after the first of the year and I don't want to miss out on a good one. I have a bunch saved that look great and now I need to go through them and decide which one will work best. I love the Oregon coast because it's a vacation that can be as busy or relaxed as you want it to be. There are fun things to do there, but there is also a lot of quiet, open, beautiful space to relax. I generally like to vacation in the middle of nowhere vs. a really busy, crowded place, and the Oregon coast has lots of quiet, wide open spaces. So I'm looking forward to this trip. It will be in mid July, so it's still really far off, but it will give me something to plan and look forward to for a while!

And in the meantime I also have Christmas to plan! I'm not putting a basement TV room together this year (thank goodness!) so I actually have to plan a normal Christmas. I've already gotten most of my shopping done, thanks to Amazon. This week we're going to get the tree up and get into Christmas mode. December is such a fun month and I'm looking forward to all the excitement ahead!