Tuesday, April 15, 2014


I love watching the kids run. You'll remember all the cross country meets we've gone to the past couple of years. But this is our first track season, and it makes me all emotional. Most school track teams around here are walk-on. Anyone who wants to can join. Not our school. You have to try out and as we learned the hard way two years in a row it's pretty competitive. The past two springs brought disappointment, tears and tough life lessons (great for character building and real-life preparation, really stinky in the short term). But after a big growth spurt and more hard work, tenacity and courage than I knew were possible we find ourselves cheering on our two oldest kids every week, not only for their speed, but for their drive and the growth born of overcoming difficult things. Love them.

Ben runs the mile.

This next series is my favorite for a lot of reasons. This is the final straightaway of the mile run, it's where everyone makes their final push and sprints to the finish. Ben is deciding right here that he is going to pass the three kids in front of him.

And so he makes his move.

And is all like, so long suckers.

And he did manage to barely pass that last kid before the finish line. You can also see Emma there to the left. She was in the field getting ready for her first event (the 4x100) with her relay team members, but all four times Ben went by she ran over to the track to cheer him on.

Getting in position, second leg of the 4x100.

Limbering up.

And she's off!

Sun setting on the stands.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Ijam's Nature Center

Seriously, how have I missed out on this place all these years? Unless I'm forgetting some long ago grade school field trip, this past spring break was my first visit to Ijam's Nature Center in my twenty-some Knoxville years. And it was great. All five kids rated it A+ and can't wait for a return trip to explore all the trails and spend some more time in the cool kid play area. The hiking was very easy and pretty short. It may be the first time ever that neither little girl even asked to be carried. But it was still perfectly beautiful, and worth going back in all the different seasons to see how it looks then.

Monday, March 17, 2014

From-the-phone Catchall

Many instagram repeats, but here's some random bit of the year so far...

During Christmas break, Emma planned and executed a Book of Mormon read-a-thon. The youth from church came and spent three days straight reading the book of scripture in its entirety, start to finish. It was pretty awesome.

Speaking of churchiness, I sometimes need to go to a meeting before church starts. On those Sundays I'll run back home after the meeting, pick up the kids and run back to church. I am blessed beyond measure that they are responsible and capable and are almost always pretty much ready to go when I arrive to pick them up. I usually just have to wait a minute or two while they find their shoes, or run back in to get their scriptures, or Emma finishes brushing Afton's hair or some such. But this one Sunday, just to prove how awesome they are, I opened the garage door I spied this sight through my windshield. 100% ready to go and plenty of sass. I laughed so hard and high fived them all.

Josh left this surprise for Scott.

We met some friends at the school playground. Remember that play structure for later...

We joined some friends for bowling.

Ben and Emma both tried out for the track team, and they made it!! This was an emotional and awesome experience that deserves a lot more than one photo in a catchall post, hopefully I'll write up more about it as the season progresses. (Ben's the really short one in the red shirt waiting his turn to try out for long jump.)

This sign made me laugh.

Afton's friend preschool took a field trip to Trader Joe's. Here she is inside the big fridge, waving at people on the store-side of the yogurt.

Josh's Cub Scout leader is pretty much the definition of amazing. Check out the Minecraft themed blue and gold banquet.

Okay, remember that play structure from the school playground? Apparently Josh and his friends like to play "king of the whatever-it's-called." He took a spill and landed on his face. Don't worry, he healed up nicely.

Lisa and I went running on Cherokee Blvd on a gorgeous sunny day, and I got excited about the buds on the trees.

We enjoyed doughnuts from Krispy Kreme after basketball games a couple of Saturdays in a row.

Lydia's latest thing is that she loves, loves, loves to make dinner. She's made it for the family probably the past three Sundays in a row. I love this new interest of hers, and have tried to let her do it as close to 100% on her own as possible. She's learning a lot, and taking great pride in her efforts.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Week 8/52

Still sometimes remembering to work on my goal...

Week 6/52
(kind of so bad I almost didn't post them, but you know, learning is the thing, right? Maybe I should have just counted some of the snow pics)

Week 7/52
(not much better and I'm not sure where Lydia is)

Week 8/52