Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Photo Dump-o-rama

My goal now for a long time has been to make a weekly post to the family blog, and for a long time now I’ve been failing miserably. But we HAVE been living these past few months, and we’ve taken some pictures to prove it.
 In early March, I took Callan and two other cub scouts to a belt loop camp. Callan earned the Volleyball, marbles, and astronomy belt loops. here he is bumping a volleyball. He did really well and had a lot of fun.  He'd never played marbles before but won just about every game he played. Then a week later, at home we were playing marbles and he wasn't doing as well and he said, "I don't know what happened, I gotta get my shot back," and he practiced out in the living room for hours.
 Last Fall we took a hike from the Squaw Peak parking lot along the ridge.  We had lunch and hiked about an hour and even helped Ian take his first #2 in the woods. That wasn't as fun as it sounds.

 In October we went with the Fitzgerald extended fam to a pumpkin patch for a hay ride and some cool pumpkin picking.

 Nolan is the blurry, curly kid at the top middle of the screen. He and Callan both played on basketball teams for the first time this year. They both played in the old Springville gym where two games go simultaneously and the noise reverberating in that room is enough to make you crazy. But the architecture is pretty cool, and the kids are cute.
 We all went as super heroes for Halloween.  It was our first big neighborhood activity and it was crazy. We gave out a ton of candy and covered about six square blocks in an hour of trick-or-treating.

 The funniest part about Halloween was how quickly the boys tired out.  I remember running from house to house with my brother Jason trying to get as much candy as we could, knocking on doors as late as 8:30pm, pushing the limits of people's patience--Jason even tried going out in two different costumes once in order to hit a house twice that was giving out full-sized candy bars.

Incidentally, Halloween was also the night that Nolan learned the truth about Santa Claus.  You see, Melissa had this idea about how to get the boys to give up some of their candy (to keep them from eating too much sugar, not so we could eat it).  She told the boys that if they left out their bag of candy at night the "great pumpkin" would exchange their bags of candy for a new cool toy.  Nolan thought this was a great idea, but when he asked if he could put his bag of candy out that night, I told him no, and when he asked why, I said, "Because the great pumpkin hasn't gone to the store yet to get the toys."  I didn't know it then, but later Nolan told me that it was this conversation that helped him figure out that Mom and Dad must be in on the whole Santa Claus thing.

 Nolan has also been playing the Violin a lot.. nd Callan's been playing the piano.  They practice most mornings before school and sometimes they even do it without complaining. Actually, Nolan almost never complains about practicing the violin. Callan, on the other hand,, likes to remind us on a regular basis that piano is not on his short list of favorite things to do.  Still, though, when he doesn't think we're paying attention, we do get to witness him actually having fun playing piano.

 Here's a shot of the boys reading together on the couch.  Ian likes to hold up books and flip the pages and "read" to himself the stories he has memorized.

 A few more shots of Nolan's basketball games.  Gotta get a better camera.  He is a diligent little ball of hustle though.  Lots of energy and lots of fun to watch.
 Ginny is all grown up now. This shot is a few months old.  We've got her fixed and groomed and she is starting to feel like a regular part of the family.  She lives to play fetch though and sometimes that gets a little old. She is very good at bringing a slobbery ball to me while I sit on the couch or at the table and placing the ball on my leg and holding it there until I take it from her and throw it.  We often toss it over the railing down the stairs to make her chase it downstairs and back up--the theory being, of course, that such exercise will tire her out, but I think we have yet to win that battle.

 We had a February birthday celebration for a variety of folks and the festivities included this carrot cake that ended up upside down in its stand in the back of the car. Next time we'll wait to frost it until we get to Salt lake.
The boys love Nana.

 Ian's favorite birthday present this year was his scooter. He's been asking for one for a really long time and now he can tear around the neighborhood with his brothers.

 On the first Monday of the Olympics we had a family olympics activity for Family Home Evening.  Here in this picture you can see our homemade ski ball game.  And that's Naoto, our Japanese exchange student.  he was very good.  He and his wife, Nozomi came just before Christmas. Nozomi went home in the end of January because she is pregnant and getting ready to have her baby, but Naoto will be here until the end of April.  We drive to school together every morning and he hangs out with the family a lot.  We've really enjoyed having him here. He is kind to the boys and very helpful around the house and a lot of fun to have around.  Its been good for the boys to get to know him, and his English has gotten much better in the past few months.  

We met Naoto years ago in Japan while we were teaching English. He was a teenager then and his family was in our church congregations there.  Flash forward seven years and he's a return missionary getting with a wife and baby on the way and he is getting ready to apply to BYU Hawaii. He was coming to Provo to study English for a semester, and his mother mentioned on facebook that they were looking for a place to stay, and so we offered to let them come here.  What a great decision!

 We all got "gold" medal chocolate coins for "winning" the family olympics. Way to go Melissa for planning such a great FHE.
 I went to Seattle in the beginning of March for a conference and to see my older sister Sherri. It was

And that brings us full circle to Callan's marble shooting at the cub scout activity.   It's been a busy few months and this only scratches the surface, but what do you do, right?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Batman taking a break for scripture study.

The first thing that Ian put on this morning was his Batman mask.