Spring Stories

Spring is here!!!

::  Sometimes when I want to shoot just for me, I attach my old and not so reliable 50mm lens with the intent to capture what I can and practice free lensing.  It helps me let go of my perfectionism and just shoot from the heart.  My boys feel it too because these are the moments when I often capture some of my most favorite photos of them.

We had so much fun last night playing outside together on the "bike track" the big boys are obsessed with.  Some kids with a four wheeler and dirt bike put in the track on a small piece of "no man's land" a few weeks ago and now Jed and Levi (as well as their friends Caleb and Josh) have claimed it as theirs.  They've carried a shovel out there a time or two after school to make improvements.  These kids have the life!

::  We went to the library a couple of weeks ago.  Now let me preface this with the fact that Conrad is indeed pee trained but certainly not poop trained.  Conrad often likes to do his deed in the afternoon, so I put him in a pull-up to go to town just to be safe.  Oh, I was wrong.  Conrad somehow pooped up his back and down his legs -- at the library, of course.  His pants and shirt were both casualties of the situation and I didn't have a change of clothes with me.  So I cleaned him up in the bathroom and zipped him into my puffy jacket.  It went down to his ankles!  It was hilarious.  But he wasn't naked.  So Mom win.  Right?!?   All the little boy wanted to do was go play in the pretend kitchen.  And since the boys weren't done choosing their books, we stayed for a half hour longer.  Funnily, if this was my first child I would have been mortified.  But since this is my third, I was beyond caring.

^^It's always a happy day when I can capture all three boys in the frame together.^^

::  One morning as the boys were getting ready to leave for school, Jed smiled at me.  I noticed that he had bits of toast stuck in his teeth.

"Go brush your, teeth.  Hurry!"  I urged.  "You have breakfast stuck on them."

He ran to the bathroom.  I heard the water run.  He came back.  I asked him to smile for me.  There was still toast on his teeth!

"Jed, there's still food on your teeth!  What in the world were you doing back there?"

"Umm," Jed began sheepishly, "I just licked my teeth... like this!"  He showed me.

Gross.  Guess who had to really in actuality go brush his teeth again.  Jed!

Also, just to even the score, I have to note that we are constantly reminding Levi to take off his dirty socks before climbing into bed.  Dirty socks make him grow taller or something?!?

^^Chewing on sticks.  Yikes!^^

::  One evening, my friend Amy asked if I'd like to go to town with her to do some shopping.  We hadn't seen each other in quite a while so it was the perfect opportunity to catch up.  You guys, we didn't leave Ross until 11pm.  But we found the cutest items!  And laughed about all the crazy sunglasses.  THEN I went grocery shopping.  Haha.  So much for an early bedtime and a workout first thing in the morning, but those are the best kind of nights.  We moms have to take them when we can get them.  

::  We had a ward auction at church to raise money for youth activities for the year.  One of the items that was up for auction was a big box of fireworks.  There were actually two boxes of fireworks.  When the fireworks came up for auction, Levi frantically came to find me.  I told him Dad had our number.  His eyes went wide with panic.  Just then, Bron walked back into the gym.  Jed and Levi swarmed him.  The entire congregation laughed as Jed and Levi silently begged and even pushed Bron's arm up a time or two as the price went up and up and up.  Finally, Bron won the bid.  The boys could hardly contain their excitement.  "Would you like one or both boxes?" the auctioneer asked.  "Both!" Jed exclaimed.  No, no, no, Bron shook his head.  My eyes were watering I was laughing so hard.  Nothing beats little boy enthusiasm.

::  Bron was out of town one evening when I found that I could not, for the life of me, unclog the boys' toilet.  I also had a hard time finding Conrad's toothbrush too.  Well, when Bron arrived home I told him he had an urgent item on his Honey-Do list.  He got to work and found not one but three toothbrushes stuck inside!  I now keep a whole extra set in the bathroom closet.  

::  It's that time of year when I play my violin.  (I pick it up seriously twice: Christmas and Easter.)

This season, I participated in my eighth consecutive year of the Stake Easter Cantata.  I always drag my feet because practices are so inconvenient, but I do enjoy the opportunity it gives me to reflect on my Savior and his gift to the world.  It's the most meaningful way for me to spend Easter.

Levi asked to tag along to one of the performances.  He sat on the front row, right next to me as I was squished down in the pit.  Afterwards, he looked up at me with a big smile and told me he felt the spirit.  Yes!  Mission accomplished.  We talked about what he felt on the drive home.  I'm grateful for these opportunities that teach my children.

::  One afternoon at Jed's ukulele lesson, Conrad tried helping himself to a drink from the water fountain.  He's a little short and got his face and shirt all wet, but he was all smiles.  Then Levi went to take a drink.  Conrad quietly snuck up next to him and splashed water into his face!  He began to laugh like I've never heard him laugh.  What a little tease!      

::  I began taking piano lessons!  Conrad and I go to Tammy Gardner's house every Monday morning.  She's an amazing player and teacher.  I feel lucky to be taking lessons from her.  I feel so awkward though.  It often feels like I'm trying to rub my belly and pat my head at the same time; piano playing just takes a lot of coordination that I'm not used to!  But it's stretching me.  And I am loving the challenge of learning something new... or adding to my musical talents.

::  After a bit of struggle, I think I have finally found a lifestyle type of program that is teaching me how to eat in a way that is healthy and sustainable.  Five stars for Clean Simple Eats!  I love it because no food is really "off limits".  Everything is eaten in moderation and it encourages whole grains, which I think are important.  It's easy.  All the meals are interchangeable.  And I'm finding myself moderating my junk food intake much better.  When I made cookies, I ate just two.  And then I hopped right back on the meal plan.  No guilt!

My weak spots in my daily meals were lunch time and snacks.  (I mean, who else eats corn dogs with the kids?)  Now that I have so many tasty options to choose from, I feel like I am finally gaining traction in how to eat in my thirties and beyond.  I'm feeling better and looking better a little at a time.

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