Friday, April 26, 2013


A few years (5 maybe?) our neighbor from our old neighborhood asked if Julia would be interested in playing soccer with all the little girls her age from that neighborhood. It was a hard decision for us to make because we had long ago established the one activity rule in our house. The girls could choose one activity they wanted to do (swim) and then they would choose one activity I wanted them to do (piano). That was it. It was too difficult for me to run all of them around all of the time. Besides, there were so many things that we did together as a family that there wasn't any spare time for additional individual activities.  Even though we knew this soccer stuff would be too much for us/me we had to say yes because of the people involved. 
 There was no way we could say no to spending time with this coach and these girls. Julia loved it.

After she played for a bit we relented and let Gretchen sign up. This was just rec soccer - no comp soccer for us, way too much of a time commitment. Both girls looked forward to fall and spring soccer. We lucked out with a fantastic coach for Gretchen and we've been able to stay with the same coach and some of the girls for Julia. Gretchen got to play for 4 seasons and then started 7th grade and stopped. Which is good for me since she loved being goalie and it was way too stressful for me. I think Julia will be playing for another 2 seasons after this one. We'll see how it goes.

The girls have definitely had more freedom in extra activities since Sam turned 16. It's only been 1 year but what a difference it has made. I feel bad for Sam and think Gretchen & Julia are a little spoiled but overall I wouldn't change anything. Sam & Syd would not have had the opportunity to play lacrosse this year if I would have had to drive them to and from everything. They both just signed up to be on the Jordan High mountain bike team. They have 5 races in the fall, all on Saturdays. The team is small and needs girls so they are super willing to work with us and the swim schedule. I know how busy this keeps them and that school is really the most important part, but for now they are keeping up and enjoying high school sports. I love that they are meeting different groups of kids, ones that they would never have any interaction with otherwise. When Gretchen and Julia reach high school hopefully they too will be able to participate in lots of activities. Brian and I would much rather have our girls be competent in many areas than devoted to one thing. If they thought differently and wanted to spend the time and energy necessary to be amazing in one thing of course we would support them. But we would sure miss them when the rest of us were off playing together while they worked on their one thing.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

13 & other big news

Gretchen is 13 today! My little baby bird is 13. She was so tiny at birth (5 lbs) and seriously looked like a bird. It was a good thing to watch her gain weight and fill out a bit. Gretchen has always had an undefinable quality about her, a kind of sparkle that just doesn't quit. She enjoys a sense style all her own. Gretchen has said she likes to walk into a room and have people think "Bam! There she is!" In honor of that desire I made her a book bag for school for her birthday. She wanted a bag for her book making supplies which I whipped up and she loved. It was made from a bright and colorful floral fabric. She wanted to use that as a school bag but I didn't make it super durable, the bag probably would have lasted 6 months, so I made her a better one. Let me just say that I have learned that I really enjoy making bags. For this one I made up my own pattern, bought some super bright fabric and had some fun. Gretchen loves it! I do too.
Thursday night Gretchen asked if we could celebrate her birthday first thing in the morning.
She wanted to open her presents and take her book bag to school.
This is the front of the bag. The black & white stripe is the top of a pocket that fits her planner and a notebook. Bam! There she is!
School went well, she loved the bag and was thrilled to continue the fun of her day with swim practice and a s'more party at night. It was a great day to be 13!

In other other news, Sydney had the eventful and long awaited day of brace removal!
Love that smile!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Have bikes, will travel

Spring break is much more glorious if you get to do something fun than if you just hang out watching tv for a week.  Brian didn't have to work Thursday through Sunday so we went to St. George. That was after 3 solid days of tv watching. I know that we usually keep pretty busy and sometimes I complain about that but boy, I'm sure glad we do. It drives me batty to have whiney, brain dead tv watchers. I know they need some down time so on days off like these I try not to gripe about what they are/are not doing. They do have to do some housework but that is about it. Anyway after 3 days of down time we were all excited to get going.

The main purpose of this trip was to ride our mountain bikes.  Brian did a great job putting all six bikes on the back of the yukon. When we talked about this trip in January I was really curious how we would really get all the bikes down to St. George on our four bike rack. Smart guy that he is, Brian decided to put the hood rack that we used when we had a minivan on the yukon. 2 bikes fit on that and then he put the hitch mounted bike rack on for the other 4. It was a bit of a puzzle getting them all to fit but he did it!

 This is on the Bear Claw Poppy ride in Green Valley. It was a bit scary to start and then loads of fun on the easy roller coaster at the bottom. If you've never ridden downhill with some rocky technical parts it makes you worried that you are going to fall down and really hurt yourself. The girls all toughed it out and had a blast.

The next day we rode a super easy trail that allowed us to see some super cool petroglyphs. Yay for the Anasazi!

We also did a little climbing at Green Valley Gap. There were a bunch of climbers there so we had to try something new, which was great! Sam & Syd both loved climbing out and had super pumped arms by the time they were done.

Brian is so happy to feel the love of being surrounded by girls ALL OF THE TIME! We're glad he is such a good sport.