(26 December 2016)

Merry Christmas! We had outselves a fine one yesterday, with the kids getting a pile of goodies each. They've happily been playing with them for the last two days. I got Cody a game called Robot Turtles (which helps to teach programming concepts) so we played that today. He must have loved it since he included it in the list of things he's grateful for in his prayers this evening.

BYU football is done until next season, but they were able to finish it off with a bang. They played Wyoming in the Poinsettia Bowl. Wyoming made a good bid for a comeback during the 4th quarter in particular, after struggling with the weather during the first half. Fortunately, BYU was able to intercept the ball (I'm pretty sure the ball would have been a Wyoming touchdown otherwise) to secure the 24-21 win.

Just because it's worth mentioning -- the kids had consecutive 3-day school weeks before Christmas vacation. The Thursday and Friday of both of those weeks were cancelled due to snow/ice. Weird, though the kids loved it.

In other news, I'm hoping to revamp this website a bit during early 2017. Of course, it remains to be seen if I can actually pull that off...

(15 November 2016)

Obviously the adoption has not yet happened... but it will, eventually. In the meantime, we are keeping plenty busy, as these Q3 pictures will show. Again, I'm unable to post all the pictures that I wanted since the adoption is not yet final.

Jammer and Cody both played in the local soccer league (for different teams obviously) and seemed to enjoy that. It was Cody's first time doing any kind of organized sport. He can be a bit quite clingy sometimes so I really didn't know what to expect. I needn't have worried. He was so excited about being on a team and absolutely loved his coach. Jammer mostly plays offense on his team and was responsible for several of his team's goals. I'm proud of both of them. Now that soccer season is done, Jammer tried out for (and made) the local basketball team.

Applejack has joined the Chess Club at school, which she seems to enjoy. She's also developed an increased love of reading, and is found more often than not with a book. I love that, except when she tries to sneak a bunch of them into her backpack as she goes to school.

Cody recently reached the ripe old age of 5. He'd been telling us for months that he needed to have chocolate cake for his birthday, so that's what we made sure to have available. It's astounding to me to think that it's been 5 years.
Collage of Cody pictures

BYU football has been incredibly exciting to watch. The Cougs are currently 6-4, with those 4 losses coming by a combined 8 points. Basically, most of the games have come down to the last minute, many to the last second.

BYU results showing their close calls

(2 September 2016)

I didn't post any pics from our recent vacation yet, mostly because the good ones have Jammer and/or Applejack in them. We are hopeful that the adoption will take place in the next month or two, so I think I'll just hold off on that for now. Then, when the adoption is finalized, I can post the pictures in one fell swoop rather than trying to do it twice.

It's hard to believe that Jammer and Applejack have been with us for more than a year now. I can't necessarily speak for them but I can declare with complete certainty that my life is richer for having had them added to it... and I'm not talking about money. They are good kids who bring a great deal of joy, and some frustration, to my daily life. Recently, Cody and Applejack have been pulling their blankets into the hallway outside their rooms and sleeping there - just so they can be together. Jammer has an special knack for being able to get Cody out of what we call "opposite mood" and into good spirits. There is a bond between the three kids and it warms my heart to see it.

Finally, it is time for BYU football again! Go Cougars!

(20 July 2016)

The Q2 pictures and some from my Bestemor's visit are posted.

I am currently taking advantage of the 6 weeks of paid bonding leave that I still had available from Intel, so I'm spending more time than normal with the family. We were able to take a vacation to Alaska and Hawaii, which was completely awesome!! I'll post some pictures soon though I still can't post the pictures of Jammer or Applejack. Too bad though since there are some really, really nice ones of them!

(12 June 2016)

The Q1 pictures are up. I have so many more that I would like to post but I'm still limited since Jammer and Applejack are still in foster care. However, since my last update, it has become official that we will be adopting them! They became legally free for adoption and will be remaining with us. They are excited about that (except when we tell them to do something they don't want to do...).

The older kids finished up their school year and are now on summer vacation. Fortunately, Fox finished his school year a few days later, so he'll be here to party with... I mean take care of the kids. I'm quite certain that some trips to the beach will happen.

(28 March 2016)

Spring is in full swing. I noticed that the yellow plum tree is now covered in blossoms, and the cherry trees are slowly starting to bloom. The kids enjoyed having a week off to play with Dad (spring break) - with a mixture of errands/work to be done and fun. The three of them had a slumber party one night, though the 'slumber' was late in getting started.

(6 March 2016)

I can solve the Megaminx! Granted, I have to use a cheatsheet for the last layer but I can do everything until then without any assistance. So cool!

Life continues on. It's felt busier than normal since Jammer has been having basketball practice two days a week with a game every Saturday. His last game was this Saturday, so that part of our lives should shortly calm down -- though probably not for long since he wants to play baseball next. :-)

It has also calmed down in the sense that the bus schedule has finally settled down. After Christmas vacation, the school bus would show up whenever it wanted, sometimes late enough that the kids were late for school! Then, out of the blue one day, it came by 10 minutes early. By the time I confirmed that with the bus company, the kids were late so I had to take all 5 of the kids at our stop to their respective schools. That was not a fun morning. Then the routes were changed up a bit but the bus company never bothered to tell us about the new time. When they did, the bus still came 7 minutes early. All of the parents of the kids at our stop called and chewed them out and things seem to have stabilized since, with the bus arriving within a reasonable window of the scheduled pickup time on a daily basis. Thank goodness!

All three kids have been doing well. I love how they play and do things together. They like to have "slumber parties" in the living room together - which actually brings back memories of when I did that with my siblings on a regular basis. Applejack likes to practice her reading by reading stories to Cody, and of course he loves that. The boys both have an interest in cooking so I usually have some helpers whenever I'm trying to make any food. Today, they pretty much made lunch (macaroni and cheese) though I was providing guidance as needed.

Spring is well on its way. Whenever we drive anywhere, Cody is sure to point out the trees that have blossoms, especially those that didn't have blossoms before. The kid is incredibly observant.

(12 January 2016)

Wow! Two entries in two weeks! Yeah, not too likely to continue but it's fun for now. The latest fad around our house has been playing with our various types of Rubik's cubes.

Pyraminx This is a Pyraminx. This is the one that Cody loves to play with. He will mix it up (though not too crazily) and then solve it, with the biggest grin you ever saw.
Mirror cube, solved and unsolved This is a mirror cube. All the sides have the same color (gold or silver). How then is this interesting? The challenge comes from the different shapes. It is solved the exact same way as a normal Rubik's cube, but I'll admit that sometimes it can be hard to tell which block goes where. I can solve this one, except for the last step. I just haven't yet been able to memorize the steps for solving either the H or Fisheye configuration, but I'll get there.
Solved Megaminx Meet the Megaminx! This thing is a dodecahedron. It looks scary, and can be frustrating, but I'm starting to figure it out. Mostly, I need to play with it until I'm really comfortable with how each pieces move and flip. Online tutorials have been helpful but eventually I hope to solve this one without looking anything up.

(3 January 2016)

The Q3 pictures and Q4 pictures from 2015 are (finally) up! As mentioned in the last entry a few months ago, we are now the proud foster parents of two wonderful kids. Since we are still refraining from posting much about them, I was somewhat limited in the pictures I could actually post for Q3 and Q4 since I have so many with them -- but this will suffice for now.

Major events since last update:

  • I completed the third half-marathon in the series and earned that shiny gold medal. :-)
  • I went to Michigan to see my sister -- and watch the BYU-Michigan game. BYU didn't play very well but it was enjoyable anyway. I particularly liked spending time with my nieces.
  • I had my first business trip, a one-day visit to California.
  • We spent most of October with one or more members of the family sick. Cody is the only one who had a confirmed case of strep but the same antibiotics worked on the rest of us. That was a really long month.
  • We hosted two Japanese exchange students for a few days over Halloween weekend.
  • Our foster kids were baptized since their birth mother gave permission. That was an amazing day.
  • I took the foster kids to see Beauty and the Beast, which may have been the first play they've seen. The girl loved everything about it. The boy loved it until he realized the actress who played Belle kissed two guys (Gaston and the Beast). Since she couldn't be married to both in real life (and probably isn't married to either), she was kissing guys who were not her husband and he didn't like that. He's sworn off acting as a profession. :-)
  • Completed the training needed to become fully certifed foster parents.
  • My dad and his wife came to visit.
  • My mom and her husband came to visit.
  • Bought a minivan.
  • Celebrated Christmas and New Year's.
  • ... and Christmas vacation is extended by at least one day because of snow today.

I'll admit that it's been a whirlwind around here the last few months. My husband has commented that it felt like all we could do was tread water. I think things have settled down and I should be able to get back to doing these entries on a more consistent basis fairly soon.

Read the 2015 entries