Friday, March 30, 2012

Duck Pond

We headed to the duck pond a few weeks back. Steve had to work pretty late so the kids and I went and picked up a pizza and headed to the pond. It was a beautiful night. The kids got a little chilly, because they didn't bring jackets like I had told them too so we didn't stay too long but it was fun while we were there. I snatched a few pictures of the kids, pizza sauce and all!!!

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Knowledge Bowl

Both Boys participated in Knowledge Bowl this year. The subject was science and it was actually a really fun topic to teach as well as quiz them on. They both learned so much. I guess that's the one reason why I've done it the past 2 years. It pushes them to learn more than they normally would. I was the main coach again this year, but I had so much more help. All the parents got to help teach and coach. I took twice as many turns just because I had two kids on the team but it was so nice to have everyone involved. It was also fun because everyone was from our ward except one boy, Spencer and he just lived down the street a bit.


Here's Damen waiting to go start the competition.

You can't tell in this picture but Seth had come home early from school on Friday because he didn't feel well. He ended up throwing up on Friday night and still didn't feel great on Saturday. In fact he was laying on the couch until we left. But he did great. We had planned on having 1 kid sit out for each of our 4 matches because we had an extra but by the last game Seth said he would sit out again, so he say out 2 games. But by the end he really didn't feel well. He was sitting in front of me and I looked at him and he was covered in goose bumps. Steve had a jacket on and gave to him to help him get warm. He ended up going straight home and sleeping for 3 hours! He stayed home Sunday from church and was feeling better by Monday. I'm just proud of him for wanting to compete even though he felt misserable!

My two smartypants! I really am proud of them for all the time and effort they put into this. It was nice because they were studying the same stuff and so they could go off and study together and quiz each other.

Here's our team: Spencer, Miles, Seth J, Damen, Tailyn, and Seth L. The kids did so well. They lost the first game 95-150 but they won the last 3 games scoring 170, 185 and 190. In the end we were one of about 48 teams to make it into the top 10. They don't tell us where we sit in that but to make it to the top 10 is pretty good! Great Job Guys!!!

Steve took Damen to lunch while I stayed home with the rest of the kids. When they came home they walked in with these two bananna chairs. I guess we can reward them every once in a while. They sure do love their chairs. Can you guess which one belongs to which kid? Yea, Seth is still all about the U. Someday he will change! (we're hoping).
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Belly Dancing

Railey has some pretty amazing talents. She has discovered many of them just recently. Here's one of her latest. This just makes us laugh. Yet no one else in the family can do it at all.

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dynamite-Damen

We are only posting this for future wedding luncheon blackmail. But seriously I'm starting to wonder if we should put him in dance. He's always loved it and either he's good or needs some serious help. Can't decide which. But he can stick to the rhythm pretty good. I guess.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

The ALL Program

Back in November Damen was tested for an Accelerated Learning Program (it used to be the gifted and talented program). When I picked him up he said it was kinda hard and he really didn't know how well he had done. Well we waited and waited until the first part of March to find out how he did. We got a letter in the mail inviting him to be part of the program. The letter said that of those accepted into the program he had scored anywhere from 2-5 point higher than the average. I knew we had a smart kid! But now he had a decision to make.

We talked to him about the pluses and minuses of being in the program. Minuses would be he would have to go to another school, meet some new friends, leave Seth behind and have more homework. But pluses were he would finally be pushed and leave the program with a greater knowledge and experiences than he would get in a normal 5th and 6th grade classroom. We knew this could be a very spiritual experience for him to go to Heavenly Father and ask what he should do. We read a couple section in the Doctrine and Covenants with him and then later after all the kids were in bed and asleep he came up and prayed with Steve and me. It was such a neat experience. We each said a prayer. Damen was the last to pray and he just pleaded to know what he should do. We gave him a hug and sent him to bed to think and ponder. The next day he said he still hadn't received an answer but went down later that night to pray again. 10 minutes later he came up with a grin on his face. We asked him if he had his answer and he did. He was going to do it! He told me later that he told Heavenly Father that he thought he should do it and wanted to know if that was the right choice and he had a really warm feeling come over him and he knew he was supposed to do it.

I am so proud of Damen. Not necessarily because he'll be going to this program but because he learned just how real prayer is and he learned that he, Damen James could receive an answer and that Heavenly Father cared about him enough to answer him. Those are lessons that no schooling will every teach him, nor will he learn them just because of his smartness, but he learned it because of his humility and his desire to know what Heavenly Father wanted him to do. I'm so proud of you Damen and I know that you will do well, because we didn't make the decision for you, but you made it for yourself with your Heavenly Father's help and I know that you won't disappoint. Love you bud!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Basketball

Basketball has come and gone and I was an awful mother and never posted about it. I did, however, take lots of pictures and videos this year. Maybe that's what has been intimidating me and causing me not to blog because I really hate uploading things pictures and especially videos to the blog.

We had a great year though with Basketball. The kids learned lots and grew a bunch in their skill levels. We had decided that Steve wouldn't coach this year because all the games were going to be on Saturday and last year they all interferred with the temple. But they called last minute and asked him to coach Damen's team. Luckily all the games were in the morning. But he ended up missing a bunch of Seth's because his were in the afternoon.

Damen got really good at doing layups and everyone on his team really looked up to him and thought he was all that which he was of course! Half the team was good, half weren't and struggled to even bounce the ball on the floor and not their foot, but there was a vast improvement over the season with all the kids.

Seth is just a go getter. He goes a hundred miles down the court at full speed and throws the ball up to do a layup at the same speed but gets frustrated that it would bounce back at him. Our theme for him throughout the year was "light fluffy pillows." By the end of the year he was doing much better and gently putting the ball up. But he was a great defender. He must get that from me. That was about the only good thing that was ever said about me playing ball is "she's good at defense." The people he would defend would just get so frustrated. It always made me laugh, even if sometimes he was so focused on defense that he was still playing it when he should have been playing offense.

Why not start with the last picture of the season. Here Damen is with his medal and his coach.



Damen had a boy on his team named Tyler. Tyler was a high functioning autistic boy. He was a year older than the rest of the boys but his mom had got permission to play him with the 4th graders. He loves basketball but things are starting to get competitive and they are starting to call traveling and double dribbling and all that jazz so who knows how much longer he'll be able to play, if at all. Steve really struggled at first knowing how to play Tyler, because as many know Steve has an extremely competitive side to him, but also a very sensetive side to him. Well he must have been inspired the first game because he started having the kids throw the ball in to Tyler because no one can defend anyone until the ball has crossed half court. So Tyler would dribble it down and then hand it off to someone else. He really never shot, maybe a couple of times but never scored. But he loved just being out there and feeling important.
The second to last game Steve held out all the good players on the team and put them in the 4th quarter with Tyler. They were all instructed that they could not shoot until Tyler had scored. They boys had many fast breaks, many rebounds and even stole the ball a few times but they had to wait for great big Tyler to make it down and then they would pass the ball to him and he would shoot. (By this time in the season we had played all the teams once before, so they knew about Tyler and they would not defend him but allow him to shoot if ever he got the ball.) There was one time that we rebounded and handed the ball back to Tyler 4-5 times and he missed everyone. This happened several times up and down the court and then finally he shot and scored. The entire gym, both teams, parents and players all cheered for Tyler. By this time the tears were already streaming down my face as I watched the unselfishness of our players as well as the other team. All competitiveness was gone. All just wanted to give Tyler a chance. He not only got that chance but went and scored again two posessions later. He was so excited and everyone was so excited for him. The next game, Tyler scored 10 points. Our team had learned that no one would defend him so they started passing the ball to him to shoot and it worked!
We worried about having him on the team at first but in the end it was a blessing to learn about what it's like to really work as a team. It was also worth it to see just how unselfish these 10 year old boys were and to see how they wanted Tyler to succeed just as much as their parents wanted to see them succeed. It was a great year with lots of lessons learned.

Here's one of Seth being the defender that he is.
Picture day for both boys
Seth with his medal and certificate.
Good job boys now we are on to soccer! No break, E.V.E.R
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Jazz Game

I was just downloaded some pictures from Steve's phone and realized there was a lot of things I haven't posted about.  It isn't all just laziness.  About a month or so back a friend of our called and invited Steve and me to go with him and his wife to a Jazz game.  He gets some pretty nice season tickets through his work.  We were all sitting at the dinner table when Steve asked "so do you want to go to the Jazz game tomorrow?"  while still on the phone with him. The boys screamed "YES."  He heard them scream and well lets just say plans were changed, his wife stayed home and he took Steve and the boys to the game instead.  They are a very generous family!  They were 10 rows up from the floor and right under the basket.  They got there early enough that Steve told the camera man right under them that he could probably get a few shots of his boys during the game, there were a few winks and nods exchanged and lets just say the boys saw themselves at least 4 times on the jumbo tron.


I love these two pictures of the boys.  They are in seventh heaven!
 

There's Steve and Morton (Steve's phone is about 3 days old at this point and the boys had lots of fun taking pictures)

There's the jumbo tron.  They did get a video of them on it but I can't seem to download videos from the phone yet.

There's the high five with the Jazz Bear that's Damen's arm.

They loved this experience and we are so grateful for a great friends and a wife who was willing to stay home so our boys could go.  Thanks Turners.

It was really cute though because I had the kids make them some thank you cards.  We didn't get them delivered so we took them to church with us.  They really were quite cute and they sure got a chuckle out of them and at least got one laugh out during Sacrament Mtg.
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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Boys New Room

The boys keep their room a mess. There's no nice way of saying it. We try to make sure they pick up and put their clothes away but with them being in the basement, I'm just not down there that much so within no time at all it can go from looking great to looking like a pig pen. Steve and I felt partly responsible though. We have never finished their room. They had paint on the walls but we had never put the molding up or finished the window or hung anything on the walls so why would you want to keep your room nice when it wasn't nice to begin with. So we decided to fix that. We painted, put up a chair rail, crown molding, and base boards and finished the window well and then I even made curtains. Yea they have been down there for 4 years without curtains (hey they needed some light in that basement and the street light came right through their window). Then on Presidents day we headed up to IKEA and picked up a little table thing to go between their beds, where they could store things and put some lamps and their books on. We came home and assembled the table and all we need to do is hang their pictures, but I don't want to hang them till I get some shelves, so I'm working on that. But it's now been about two weeks and I keep checking their room and it's still clean and their beds have been made everyday but one. So lets hope this did the trick, I know it's a lot to hope but I'm going to anyway.


Steve and Seth assembling the table



Seth loves to build. I told Damen to go and help them and he said "that's Seth's thing sports are my thing." I told him to go learn "another thing."







Ta-da! The finished product minus the pictures but they are all in their frames and ready to be hung just sitting next to the mirror


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Friday, March 2, 2012

Crazy Hair Day

The kids had crazy hair day at school. Normally all we would do is spike it up and let them walk out the door. But this year we got a little creative. Who knows maybe we were a little ahead of our normal run around the house trying to get ready so we had a little more time to do their hair. While I'm on the subject I am so glad I have boys first, I would hate having to get girls out the door with hair done by that early. I know it will come but I'm glad I could get used to it with just a few swipes of the brush. Now back to their hair. Damen is a little more reserved, doesn't really want to stand out much, but still wants to do it. Seth on the other hand wants to have the most crazy hair in the whole school. I think I was pretty close to winning and on he was so proud of it. He wore it all day even to the library and grocery store (we did try to have him comb it before he left but he wouldn't). There was so much moose, gel and hairspray that I made them shower to get it all out even though they are on the shower every other day basis.








Damen did take all the elastics out before school. He said they hurt too bad. To his credit I had just cut his hair and he didn't have much to work with


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