Friday, January 31, 2014

Snow days

Surprise! There were only one and a half days of school this week! The kids came home early Tuesday as the beautiful white flakes were falling and covering the ground. That evening we waited anxiously for the phone call to confirm our assumptions, and hooray! School was canceled for Wednesday. Woo! The sun came out that day, and the major roadways were melted and cleared, but the freezing temps kept many back roads icy and we wondered if we might get lucky. Sure enough, school was canceled for Thursday too. We didn't dare hope our good fortune would last all week, and I was already talking to the kids about needing to get to bed at a decent hour, when unexpectedly word reached us (via the kids' friends texting them) that it was officially the best week ever: no school Friday. Love it. A mini second Christmas break. We enjoyed the first few days with a combination of playing in the powdery snow and watching movies by the fire.

Interspersed between these activities, we were sure to have plenty of Mario Kart tournaments. There's no other way to put it. Our family loves playing Mario Kart together. We had it a few years ago, lost it, then Ben was gifted it again this past Christmas, and we have been making up for lost time.

When we reached this final snow day of the week, it was time to shake things up. The snow was all melted, so we decided to make a music video together. We tossed around a lot of ideas for songs we could use, took a vote, and ended up with this homage to our favorite race.

If you're a fan of the game, you may recognize who's who, but just in case...
Emma = Daisy
Ben = Funky Kong
Josh = Luigi
Lydia = Waluigi
Afton = Rosalina

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Week 4/52

So as you can see, I've been really good at keeping up with my 52 goal.

I'm still going to give myself points for trying.


. . . . . nada


(it counts)


Friday, January 24, 2014

2013 Highlight Film

Sometimes the best way to remember all the fun stuff we did is to make a movie about it.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Stories I like to tell, part VI

This one is about Emma. In honor of her turning 14 this month (ouch). It's a small story of a simple incident, and an almost overlookable act, but it speaks volumes about our oldest.

This particular story, however, takes place way back when she was 11. Keep that in mind, right, she's 11 here.

It was a Saturday. In the wee hours of the morning Ben woke up sick with a stomach bug. Oh how we hate those. Scott was planning to go with the youth on a temple trip that day and asked if I'd rather him stay home? That's okay, it's just one pukey kid, we'll be fine. The morning went by without incident, poor Ben stayed quarantined from the other kids, no biggie. As it grew closer to noon however I realized whatever Ben had I was coming down with. Hard. I told Emma I was sick too and needed to go lay down, and asked if she could take care of lunch for the kids. She's a capable 11-year-old, that was no sweat for her. Good thing too, because I was officially out of commission for the next couple of hours (no need for details, right? stomach bug. bad stuff). Later that afternoon when I finally emerged from the worst of it, I found out that Lydia had gotten it too. Here's where it gets awesome.

I was unaware of any of these events as they transpired, but had them later related to me by eyewitnesses. Emma and the "healthy" kids were in the family room watching tv. A suspiciously lethargic 4-year-old Lydia fell asleep on the couch. Grandma and Grandpa were in the neighborhood and stopped by. They bravely came in to visit with the kids for a minute despite the germs crawling all over our house that day. Just then Lydia started to wake up, crying and coughing a gaggy little cough. Somehow, Emma recognized this as the classic about-to-throw-up warning and took a quick survey of their surroundings. Lydia was on the couch, on the floor was a rug, and on the rug was a blanket. As some sort of miraculous crisis-handling instinct, Emma immediately knew the best place for that puke to land, grabbed Lydia and pulled her over to the blanket just in time. That's exactly what I would have done. The one surface that could be put in the washing machine. When I talked to her about it later, Emma confirmed that was exactly her line of thought. Luckily Grandma and Grandpa were there and they kindly helped take care of getting that laundry started, and getting Lydia cleaned up still without me even knowing.

Every time I think of that incident I'm amazed. It may not sound like a big deal, but it was so telling for me. Emma didn't get out of the way when trouble was coming, she jumped right in and saved the couch. She could have just said 'ew, gross' or 'well, I don't want to get sick' or 'not my problem,' but she didn't. Instead she was unselfish, mature, responsible and smart.

And she still is.

Getting her arms hugged off by sisters.

Monday, January 6, 2014

New year, new project

Improving photography is definitely a goal. I wanted to take on some sort of 52 week project/challenge this year to keep me shooting, and hopefully learning. Preserving memories is always a goal too. Sometimes rather than an event, the memory I want to preserve is how our kids look. Just day to day. Doing normal stuff. No big whoop.

So I remembered a project I had seen way back here, and it seemed like a good fit. I can do that. I think. I'm going to try. Five simple new portraits a week. Maybe we'll do big fancy ones once or twice too. Just for fun.

I'm already cheating...because I couldn't decide between these two of Afton, and the one of Emma wasn't meant to be a portrait, but it's my favorite so I'm using it. Ha!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Newest hobby -or- getting our Katniss on

For Christmas Santa brought the kids a small collection of bows and arrows and a target. This surprise gift has been a hit and we've spent many afternoons out in the cold practicing our aim. (One more reason we can't wait for spring.) Emma has probably been the most dedicated, maybe hoping to do some hustling at girls camp this summer.

After looking up some tips online I realize now there's a lot of things to correct in her stance, etc, but man, I just think she looks so beautiful in these shots.