may - part 2 aka utah moves to orange and then yellow (too soon).
Since we moved into the orange phase at the beginning of the month, we started #momhike back up again.
It was heaven to be reunited. Even if we drove our own cars to the trailheads and kept 6 ft between us while hiking and drank our sodas at separate tables. It felt amazing to do something normal again.
And luckily momhike did start up again, because Kacie and I only got one hike in during the month of May!
We also got to do other normal things with the move to orange (and then yellow in the middle of may) ...
Like go to the zoo.
and I felt like the zoo did an amazing job of keeping the numbers low and making sure people were social distancing.
Kids went to the dentist.
Things were of course a little different, but just glad we could get in and get some cavities filled.
We even went to the movies!
Our local community theatre was showing all the Harry Potters. We decided to brave the crowds and see the 4th one. It was amazing. There was maybe 12 people total in a theatre and no one was in a 20 ft radius of us.
We met up with the Rensinks for the first time and took a scooter ride through the canyon.
It was the first time they'd played together since March, so it was a very exciting afternoon.
Julianne and I walked far, far behind them reminiscing of the early scooter gang days where they'd get hit by long boarders and cause crashes and it was just pure chaos.
They have grown up, even if they are a bit wild still. and they rode those scooters 5 miles without complaint (except for Ruby).
Mother's Day was amazing and I do not think I will ever be able to go back to attending church on Mother's Day. It was such a relaxing day and one of my best yet.
We hiked .7 miles to a new spot along the creek off the Big Springs Trail, where we just played and ate and relaxed all afternoon.
And no other people in sight.
BYU did a drive up Cougar Tail Day. Genius move on their part.
We then took our Cougar Tails and chocolate milk on campus to eat.
We then of course scootered all around campus, which has become our favorite quarantine activity.
Come mid May I let the kids loose in the neighborhood. Our neighborhood alliance decided that we were ok with outside play, but no kids allowed in houses.
These kids were just so happy to be reunited, that they didn't even fight for the first few weeks.
Most days you could look out the window and find kids from the ages of 3-12 all playing together.
And I was so happy to have this sight out my back window and extra happy no one was bugging me to come play inside.
The Miners also opened up their pool and become the hottest hang out on the block.
Fang has probably been missing the constant stream of visitors and kids more than most, so he has been especially happy (and tired) to have all the neighbor kids back.
an over the fence greeting during quarantine.
There was still lots of sibling time, my favorite moments are when they are actually friends and playing together nicely.
And endless bike trick practicing.
Crew and Sawyer have also mastered the outside playdate and couldn't of been happier to be reunited.
And since school was wrapped up and my table was once again free, Macey and I got to do our Hostess Puzzle.
Which we of course celebrated it's completion by buying a bunch of hostess treats at the gas station.
We got together with Michelle and kids to hike to Battle Creek.
It's crazy to think that just a few years ago just the thought taking these 8 kids hiking alone would of made us laugh hysterically.
And now here we were doing it. It's not so bad that kids actually grow up, sometimes.
We fit in 2 more camping trips. In a normal May 3 trips in the month would of sent me over the edge, but this time it was just what we needed.
Cherry with the Johnson's
This was probably one of our easiest trips yet because Ruby was entertained the whole time and not constantly whining at us.
Plus, all these little best friends have just been missing each other and were just loving getting to finally hang out.
And Capitol Reef, where we left Ruby behind with Holly. This trip also marked off our last Utah National Park to visit!
We never get pictures with the park signs because the lines are always so long. So, we couldn't pass up the opportunity when we kept driving by and there was never anyone there.
National Parks never disappoint. It was beautiful. And made better because the campground in the park was still closed, along with all visitor centers, so it was very empty. We of course missed getting to do the Jr. Ranger program, but I guess that means we will just have to go back.
The only down side was the No Seeums (aka biting flies). They mostly just bugged Crew. He had 42 bites from ear to ear. Luckily they were only on 2 of the trails we did, but poor little Crew.
It was awesome getting to go out on top of Cassidy Arch.
And we had this whole section of the river to ourselves.
Gerald is proving to be a very awesome addition to our family.
Things are crazy and stressful and hard, but I am doing my best to enjoy life slowing down and realigning where my focus should actually be.
Another bonus of Covid and Paul working from home...he has actually had time to teach the kids how to mow the lawn!!
It's the little things.
Last Day of School!
Our first year at a new school is done and can be counted as a success. The kids made so many great new friends. They got awesome teachers. And we learned how to navigate a new school, with new traditions. An added bonus, I even made some new friends. Not like my Suncrest friends, but there's potential. :)
First and last day of 6th grade
Macey joined Student Council and had a blast with it, this alone made the move to the new school worth it. Mr. Hodson found ways to challenge her and his love for The Jazz only helped Macey to love The Rockets more. To say she's excited for Jr. High would be an understatement. Moving to a new school for her last year of elementary school was hard. Probably the hardest thing she's had to face yet. But, she killed it and is now only excited to start Jr. High next year.
I actually missed 6th grade graduation because it was the same day as Crew's surgery. Luckily, Paul could go and get some pictures for me. Plus, they got these awesome diplomas.
First and last day of 3rd grade
This year was a struggle. A huge struggle. Miles pushed through, his teacher pushed through, and I learned to become more assertive in a new environment.
We got Miles an IEP for speech and OT. With his IEP we were able to get him a lot of the accommodations he needed to be more successful in a school setting. His teacher and I didn't always see eye to eye, but she loved him and wanted him to succeed, so together we were able to find the way to do that.
Miles won the award for greatest improvement, which was awesome, because I doubt there was a 3rd grader that worked harder than him. It meant a lot to him, and me, that he was recognized for all the hard work he put in. And I pray her remembers what the results can be when he actually tries.
First and last day of 1st Grade
And it was not planned for the boys to wear the same shirt, they are just their favorite shirts. :)
Crew killed first grade. He made so many great new friends. His teacher said he was pretty quiet the first half of the year, but he slowly came out of his shell and was making everyone laugh by the end. He won the award for "Always follows school rules". Sounds about right. :)
I got to volunteer in his class each week and I taught an art lesson once a month, so it was fun to get to know all the kids in his class a lot better.
It was hard for me to move schools too, because I knew all the kids at Suncrest so well and would have so many cute kids hugging me every time I walked into school. Even though the kids at our new school don't need me quite the same as they did at Suncrest, I have hopes I will get to know all of them too.
And the last year these 3 will be together. It's been nice.
First Day of School
Last Day of School
First and Last Day of Preschool
Ruby cried everyday I dropped her off September-December. It was torture, but right when i was about to give up, she decided she loved school and ran in happily after that.
Her preschool was awesome. They played outside everyday for 45 min. They had fish, she ate breakfast there, so much creative play, and 3 amazing teachers. Sad to be done with preschool.
We had our annual back to school celebration.
Park, Pizza, and Popsicles with friends.
And we had a neighborhood BBQ.
All the 12 year old girls that live in our neighborhood.
I also made each kid a binder this year to help us stay more organized and keep my house cleaner. We started the day school got out, work hard play hard. Praying it works.
Here's hoping next school year is easier than this school year. :)
Back to School
We had our annual Back to School Dinner.
Brown bag lunches, like always. Easiest tradition ever and one of of the kid's favorite. The best kind.
There were LOTS of tears the night before school started. Especially for the 6th grader. Change is hard. I was worried the morning would be rough, but they luckily got it out the night before and it was mostly smiles.First day of 6th grade!!!
In Utah 6th grade is still in elementary school, so we moved this poor girl away from her friends that she has had since kindergarten for her last year in elementary school.
It was heart breaking. She is always my child that cannot wait to go back to school and this was the first time ever she wasn't. It was a weird feeling for her and hard to wrap her head around.
So, I bought her this amazing Ravenclaw backpack to help make up for it. :)First Day of 3rd Grade
I have been shocked, and pleasantly surprised, with how well this kid handled the move to the new house and now starting at a new school.
I requested some kids he already knew to be in his class and we had met with his new teacher a few times last school year and had a few school tours with the principal this summer. It paid off, big time. Not that it's been easy, it just hasn't been the all out screaming and rolling on the ground situation that I imagined it would be.
Plus, while we were in the midst of sobbing and comforting kids the night before school started, I got a text from his beloved 2nd grade teacher.
She texted to wish Miles a great first day of school and to tell him that she loves him and knew he'd do great at his new school.
His little face lite right up and he settled down and went to sleep after that. I then went in my room and cried and wondered why in the world we decided to move. :) First day of First Grade:
of all the kids, Crew has adjusted going to all day school from half day kindergarten the best. He is just loving it. And I am jealous of his teacher.
I underestimated the amazingness that is living 1 block from the school.
Life changing and the main thing that makes me know I made the right decision not to stay at Suncrest.
It has been hard switching schools. Hard on the kids and really hard on me. I miss knowing ALL the teachers, the staff, and the kids. I miss all the teachers knowing my family and all of kids names, even Ruby. And I really missed having my friends to talk to on first day of school drop off, plus we missed the party Suncrest would have on the first day of school, OES' welcome was pretty lame. :)
We are learning change is good though and that we are so lucky to get to know more amazing friends and teachers. Although, we still do like to go back to Suncrest and hug and visit some our old beloved teachers. It makes my heart hurt sometimes, but our new school is pretty awesome too and it is growing on us.
I didn't have time to be sad though, Ruby had big plans for our day together.
I don't think she missed them at all. :)
We celebrated an awesome first day of school with some of our old and bestest friends from Suncrest, by going to a splash pad.
And then Ruby started preschool the next day.
She loves it, even though she still cries almost everyday at drop off.
Paul thought it'd be a good idea to go out to breakfast after we dropped Ruby off. I just wanted to go home and cry in private.
Paul's not familiar with my first day of school routine. :)
I am grateful for amazing teachers, staff, and new friends that are helping to make this another amazing school year.
This was the only pic I could get of Ruby.
Ruby is 3.
: Mickey Mouse ClubhouseColor
: PinkBest Friends
: Roman and IzellaFavorite Toys:
Baby dolls, dr. Kit, princess figuresFavorite Princess:
Chocolate MilkFavorite Food:
Cereal (but she's not picky yet, she eats almost anything)Books:
How do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon, Baby lit fairy books, Alice the Fairy
Ruby loves all things girly, but is not girly at all. it's pretty funny. She loves all things pink and princesses, but has no idea how to be soft with anything. Almost every toy she owns is broken or dented. her baby dolls are about as dirty as she gets by the end of each day.
Her favorite pastime is to beat up on Crew. She has a very hard time sharing her toys and is not afraid to get down and dirty to get it back, which is why she beats Crew up a lot.
This is what I got when I told her to smile.
She loves to go to the park and play outside with Izella and Roman. She is always watching for her friends outside and wants to go out as soon as she spots ANYONE (neighborhood dogs included).
She still sucks her two fingers and rubs her belly button when she's tired.
She does not like to get her hair done. To be contained. Or told what to do. Thus, she still has a lock on her door.
But, she does like to do what the big kids are doing. So, that is at least helpful at after dinner chore time. Not so helpful when the other 3 are climbing rocks, jumping into the pool, or climbing on the tops of very tall slides.
She was very spoiled on her birthday and she loved every moment of it.
Minnie Mouse pancakes, as requested.
Lots of pink princess presents.
And hugs all around.
I think the favorite part of her day was that all the kids wanted to play with her and her new toys.
She still refers to Crew as "Crew-Crew", makes my heart happy.
In typical Ruby fashion most of her toys have already had to be repaired (stroller, minnie couch, and princess tent).
There are so many things I want to remember about her at this stage and then so many things I hope to forget too. :)
She's spicy, sassy, loud, cuddly, friendly, opinionated, strong, playful and very loveable.
This girl runs the house and no one seems to mind too much. She was meant to to be the baby of this family and we all love our Wild Ruby.
Schools out for summer
Miles did it! He made it through kindergarten and did pretty awesome too!
He of course had his moments. You know where I had to drag him into his classroom kicking and screaming. But, then the kids would cheer and chant his name, Mrs. Lee would put her arm around him and tempt him with smelly stickers and getting to try a hard book, and I would turn and run out the door while he was distracted.
I do not know what we would of done without Mrs. Lee. She pushed him, motivated him, left him alone when he needed to be, saw his potential and most importantly, loved this kid deeply.
first day of kindergarten vs last day
She told me he is one of her all time favorites and will never forget him. I might of shed a tear. This kid has just been blessed with amazing teachers and we all pray it will continue into 1st grade. :)
Macey was also blessed with an awesome teacher, who told me she wished she had 20 Macey's in her class.
first day of 3rd grade vs last day
Macey had a pretty rough class this year and would get frustrated by their lack of listening and respect they showed her teacher. One night she asked me, "Why don't they want to learn? Don't they know how lucky they are to get to go to school?" :)
Despite her constant frustration with the loudness of her class, she had a great year and it was good for her to learn how to work and deal with kids that were hard for her.
And like always, she still cried on the last day of school, because she is just going to miss all her friends so much. :)
We did our normal end of school stuff.
And met our friends at the park, like we always do.
And I brought cookies and drinks from Sodalicious to celebrate!
We have a lot of kids!
It's crazy to think we've been through 4 school years together!!
We met dropping our kids off for the first day of kindergarten and they both tried to make me feel better about crying. :)
Can't believe we are done with another school year and how much these 2 have grown.
Glad I get the summer to hang out with them!