Thursday, May 4, 2017

What Just Happened, April 2017?

Thank goodness for Instagram or I'd have no idea where the last 30+ days have gone. We got home from New York and got back on the Crazy Train with a second trip to the doctor for Colin the day after he went off his anti-biotics for strep that he finished the day after we got home. He was walking from his classroom to the bus when he threw up all over the sidewalk. It was literally the first sign that anything was wrong. The school secretary called me while I was teaching a piano lesson and told me all my children were in the office ready for me to pick them up. Eh? Anyway, Colin had strep again (or still).

The following weekend was General Conference and Bridget got a job watching a dog for a friend at church. We also had a quick visit from Aron and Banks, here to go to the Priesthood Session in person, a fun tradition in their family. On Conference Sunday we  picked up Taylor and ate fun food (take 'n bake wings from Wing Shack, veggie tray with dip, chips, and other stuff I can't remember now). Bridget was a champion dog sitter and Cocoa was very good. She became very protective of Bridget.

I tried to keep the kids happy during Spring Break by taking them on an adventure every day. I combined the first outing with a story I was doing on a family farm. Bridget and I milked a goat (for her I'm guessing it was the first and last time she'll be doing that), the kids found eggs all over the place and I got sniffed and manhandled by a lot of goats and a couple of enormous dogs. I took the kids to Gardner Village where we had lunch and found some cute stuff for Grandma Peggy's dolls at the doll store there. Another day we went to the University Mall to eat lunch with Brian and spend the kids' hard-earned money at The Disney Store. On the final day of Spring Break, a Saturday, Brian took the kids skiing one last time. They had The Best Day Ever.

After Spring Break it was the week of the final choir concert FOR THE YEAR. We had an assembly on Wednesday and an evening concert on Thursday. My friend and accompanist, Elisa, and I both thought the assembly was in the morning, because they're always in the morning. THIS one, though, was in the afternoon. Elisa and I both had piano students during the assembly, so we requested that the choirs go first (they usually go last). It was a revelation! The junior choir kids were only trapped in the art room for 15 minutes, they came out and sang their songs, then joined their classes in the audience. Ta DA! On Thursday night the choir had to go last, after the band and chime choir. Our little kids (none of them are in band or chime choir) were trapped for an hour and ten minutes in the art room with Elisa and me begging them to be quiet the whole time. (I have to write this down or I will forget to try to change this tradition if I'm still doing choir next year.) The fun part was having Bridget, Emil, Colin and me all in the same performance. :) Grandma Peggy and Brian's parents came to watch, which made it very special for the kids... and me, really. During my hour and ten minutes as warden of the art room, I set my music down on a desk (the better to clap "Shave and a Haircut" until my hands turned blue) and I accidentally left my copy of the final number on that desk. I didn't realize it until we were ready to sing, so I had to run out of the room to try to find it after the Senior Choir's second number. Grandma Peggy said it was her favorite part. Ha!
The boys and I on our way to the music assembly. Triplets!
Waiting in the art room.

Next up, Emil's long-awaited one-on-one field trip with me to Salt Lake City. He started planning it right after Bridget and I went to North Carolina together last year. I got tickets to Lion King at Eccles Theater and planned around that. Emil wanted to stay in a hotel, go to the Family History Library (hahahaha!), go shopping, and go see a show. He had the spinning chair in the hotel room all to himself, and the remote. Even though I suggested we could go somewhere for dinner, he wanted to order a pizza and stay in the hotel room watching whatever he wanted on TV. 
We slept in the next morning, then walked to City Creek for breakfast at Kneaders. It was about a block and a half to walk (the street was already full of homeless people staring us down - what's up, Salt Lake City?) and Emil complained several times that we should have taken the train. The station was two blocks away, but Emil was not hearing that.
He complained about the train before and after this photo. We walked across the street to Temple Square where the flowers smacked us in the face with their beauty. I can't remember when flowers have been so gorgeous! We've had a very wet Spring, that must be it. At the Family History Library Emil got to hold the iPad and rush to all the stations so he could check off all the stuff. I joined him in one of the sound booths to record a story and he lost his mind. He wanted to be alone! He didn't want me to talk! I left the room so I could count to ten and he came out a minute later and apologized and told me he loves me. Getting everything he wanted kinda ruined his life for a few hours.
We rode Trax around downtown in the free zone for a while. One of the drivers saw Emil and let him come up front and honk the horn. So happy! We went to the Gateway mall (my first time in about 10 years) to go to lunch and it was a very scary ghost town. What is going on, Salt Lake City?! Once again we were stared down by homeless people and there was a lot more security at that mall than I remember. We made our way back to the theater for lunch.
Emil ate his whole lunch, which was a weird soup, then said he needed to go potty. I told him I thought the bathrooms were downstairs, then turned to see if I could confirm that with our waiter. When I turned back Emil was gone. I hadn't paid for our food and I had no idea where he went. It's a big theater. I found someone and paid our bill as fast as I could, then ran downstairs to find Emil. There are three bathrooms downstairs and I am not a man. I called Emil's name at the door of each of the men's bathrooms and he answered casually, "What?" at the last one. I almost started crying with relief. It took almost the whole show for me to calm down. It was an impressive production and I loved the music, but I have to admit I didn't love the puppets. After the show we came home to dye eggs because the next day was EASTER.

Easter morning was fun - the kids found their baskets and we ate a nice breakfast of Kneaders cinnamon bread made into French Toast, and hard-boiled eggs. Colin was acting strange during sacrament meeting at church. He fell asleep in my lap and didn't want to sing with the Primary. I took him home and made a cake while he slept. Spoiler alert: it was strep AGAIN. Third time in five weeks. 
When Brian, Bridget, and Emil got home from church I made Colin put his blue shirt back on for an Easter photo on the porch rocker. That's as friendly as Colin was willing to look for the group photo. Sigh.

Thanks to the extra hours, I was able to get our Easter dinner on the table at a reasonable hour and I made a coconut cake, too. Silver lining of having a sick boy come home during church on Easter.
Bridget got a Rubiks Cube in her Easter basket and she and Brian and Colin are obsessed with it.
Emil got a set of desert vehicle Matchbox cars. 

The boys started soccer the Saturday Emil was on his field trip, but not to worry! There are plenty more games where that one came from. The next Friday it was Colin's turn for a field trip. He wanted to go to the zoo and he asked if Emil could come with us. I cannot love Colin more, you guys. We got there right when the zoo opened and enjoyed free reign of the place for more than an hour.
The boys had their big animal report due the next week. Colin's report was on the rhinoceros. We did some very hands-on research for that story. (Colin and Emil came with me to interview a couple about their 100 year old home. Colin told me later, "Mom, this is a big story." I broke it wide open.)
Colin posing by his report subjects.
Emil chose the grizzly bear. They kept sleeping even though we were there to visit.
This could just as easily be a statue of me with the boys.
We had the hardest time finding the "small animals" building (where the snakes are) even though we had two expert map readers.
We did find the carousel. Happy day!
One of the fun things about Hogle Zoo is the peacocks. They wander around like they own the place and we saw several. This guy was being flashy for a female peacock nearby. She was not having it.

The very next day we had our annual trip to the sand dunes to play on four-wheelers and hunt for Easter eggs with Brian's family. Except we weren't allowed on the actual sand west of Utah Lake, so we made do with dirt and sage brush. It was just as fun and we didn't get sand in our food.
After a few rides with Dad, we let Bridget drive the four-wheeler by herself in a wide circle around our camp. She was awesome at it! Safety first with her, so she went nice and slow.
The little boys set up their own little bistro in the bed of Uncle Hal's truck.
Lucky for them one of the Rzrs broke down after only a couple of rides and they could use Aiden's walkie-talkies in it and pretend to have all kinds of adventures. We heard Colin say into his walkie-talkie, "Do you copy?" 
I wonder if they can hear each other.
Emil will wait here all day for someone to take him for a ride.
Cousin Abby obliged.
Time for the egg hunt! Back row: McKade, Kalvin, Jake, Janessa, Abby and Bridget. Front row: Nate, Aiden, Colin, Brighton, and Emil.
Emil showing off his bounty to Grandpa and Dad.
Bridget was on the other end of the hunt this year. She's a big kid now! :(
Grandma rigged up a branch to roast our marshmallows since we couldn't find our sticks in the garage.

For our final trick in April, Bridget had her ballroom performances. The ballroom class was every Friday before school. They had a couple of Saturday practices and a Wednesday evening dress rehearsal. It gave Bridget a taste for what would be in store if she became serious about ballroom dancing, so she says she's done with it. She was partnered with one of the neighborhood boys, which was so cute to watch. :) 
Bridget will participate in anything if she gets to wear red lipstick. :)
Grandpa came just to watch Bridget in two dances. 

And that's it! May is already full of stuff, so we won't get a break anytime soon. It's a fun time of year and a fun time of life, though.

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