Thursday, June 22, 2017

Spring sports

June is almost over.

The boys last day of school is June 30.

And spring sports?  They just about blew up this tired mama's brain.

Quinn played t-ball with cousin Jack.  Ross was the coach.  He did a great job always trying really hard and I don't think he ever had to use the tee, always hitting one of his dad's pitches.  I was very proud of him, even though he called every game "soccer practice" all season.

Wyatt played soccer on a team with a bunch of friends from school.  He had fun and played especially hard when grandma or grandpa were there to watch him.   He also played kid pitch baseball and it was mostly a disaster.  His team was very small (in stature and skill), very young, and he had a first time coach - recipe for...very LONG baseball games.  Add in all the spring rain-outs, it felt like the season was never. going. to. end.  Oh, and he pitched many innings in many games.  He did his best, and I'm proud of him for that, but this child of mine maybe isn't destined to be a pitcher.

Baseball did, in-spite of everything, end on a win.  The second win of the season.  Want to know something good about being on the bad news bears?  No post season tournaments.

Elliott played spring soccer.  He seemed to be the glue that held his team together, most games only sitting at half-time.  His team had its struggles in the spring, losing two players and their dads who were the assistant coaches.  I'm not sure what happened there, but it's hard to win games when you lose kids from the team and the majority of the rest of the team doesn't come to practice.  But, they ended strong and Elliott did a great job.

I tell my boys the exact same thing before every single game:  win or lose, you need to be able to walk off the field knowing that you did your best.  Elliott has figured this out.  Wyatt, well Wyatt is still working on it.

And, it is indicative of the craziness of spring sports that I failed to take any pictures of Elliott playing soccer; took my nice camera to Wyatt's last baseball game to take pictures and realized when I got there that I left the memory card at home; and managed to get a few pictures of Quinn at one of his last games.

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Now - with summer here officially (summer solstice yesterday) we are knee deep in soccer.  Elliott and Wyatt are both on competitive soccer teams for USA (Utah Soccer Association) soccer.  I'm finally getting over the amount of money we've paid for the boys to play - and now I need to get over the summer practice and tournament schedule.

Good thing I like these kids.  A lot!


Thursday, May 18, 2017

The passing of Aunt LeeAnn

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On May 11, my Aunt LeeAnn passed away.  She had fought a tough battle against a terminal cancer called multiple myeloma.  It is a bone marrow cancer that was super aggressive and after 18 months, multiple different forms of chemotherapy, and a stem cell transplant, she passed away on May 11th.

The few weeks before her death and the week after were really sad and exhausting, and I'm not even her immediate family.  She seemed to get really sick, really quickly and her death was sudden.  Lots of tears have been shed over the last couple of weeks.

Her funeral however, was a very touching and beautiful service.  Two of her children (Matt and Jodi) and my Aunt Karen spoke and Melanie played a piano piece.  Matt, her youngest son, gave the most eloquent and emotional tribute to his mom.  His words were inspired and I was so moved and touched by the beautiful things he said about his mom, and the testimony he bore at the end of his talk.  I've been thinking about his words quite a bit since the funeral, and I hope that if my sons' were ever tasked with speaking at my funeral, they would give half as kind of a tribute.

Ross and I talk a lot about aging, we are at the point where it really is "weddings and funerals" that bring people together.  It's sad to think about, so I try not to think about it too much, but I am so grateful for my faith and belief that I will see family members again, and will get to participate in the most beautiful heavenly reunions one day.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Birthday, Baptism Bonanza Weekend

Phew!

The weekend of Wyatt's birthday party was exhausting, I tell you what.  But, it was fun and worth it.

Ross parents arrived on Wednesday night for the week.  The big boys were off-track and ready to party.

Friday was Wyatt's birthday.  In our family, you get a friend birthday party when you turn eight, and Wyatt chose to invite a few of his good friends to "Bricks and MiniFigs" a cool lego shop by our house that hosts birthday parties.  The kids got to build legos, build lego race cars and race them down a track, and then build a mini figure to take home.  We had juice boxes and doughnuts and right at the end of the party, after all the Lego building was over, our Arizona cousins, Isaac, Luke and Jonah arrived with their mom from Arizona.

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After the party we went to the food trucks at Petersen farm for dinner and nearly blew away in the wind, but the food was good.  Friday night was Wyatt's family party.  Wyatt got more lego's for his birthday than I thought was possible.  He wanted to build them all immediately, but luckily we were able to space them out a bit.

On Saturday morning, Wyatt was baptized.  There was some confusion with the stake baptism, but we ended up having a really nice program for Wyatt.  Elliott gave the baptism talk, Aunt Cindy the Holy Ghost talk, and Wyatt was swiftly shoved under water and baptized and confirmed by his dad.  This was the first time all the Howden cousins had been together since Elliott's baptism two years prior.  Hopefully it won't be another two years before we get together again.

We finished Saturday with a really great soccer game for Elliott, one where they actually WON (Woo Hoo!) and had a bbq at our house in the evening.

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Sunday, church and Mother's Day.  Ross' brother's family had to travel back home but we hosted his parents and my family for a delicious dinner of prime rib, scalloped potatoes and a bunch of other stuff.  By Sunday night, I was exhausted but it was a really nice weekend.

Friday, May 12, 2017

It's great to be EIGHT! Happy Birthday, Wyatt!

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Happy Happy Birthday, William Wyatt Howden.

Can you believe you are EIGHT YEARS OLD!  I can hardly believe it.

Second grade is almost over.  You are great at math and have had almost perfect spelling tests all year long.  You can figure out how to spell words you don't even know.  And, you can calculate change in your head which is something I cannot even figure out - unless it's really easy math.

The last year of your life has seen you become a greater lego master, artist, and dancer.  I've been able to help out at school a couple of times and you have some of the cutest friends.  Mason, Wilson, Andrew and Cooper, Ronan, and Ethan just to name a few.  Before Christmas when I was doing a Fun Friday at school, Ronan told me I was the tallest mom in the world.  I'm probably not, but it made me laugh.

You play basketball, soccer and this year baseball, even though you've decided to skip baseball next season for competitive soccer.  It's fun to watch you "turn it on" in a game, especially when you've spent a little too much time cherry picking.  When you want to hustle, you can zoom.  You are pretty good all around athlete, and I'm pretty sure you get it from me.  Ha!

You've started to read Harry Potter and have almost finished the first book.  You have a photographic memory for music, and after only hearing a song once, you remember the lyrics forever.

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I'll admit, year seven was a pretty moody one, but I'm hoping that eight years old see's you like me, your dad, and your brother's a little bit more. I'm pretty sure Grandma and Willie are your favorite people and if I'd let you, you would just watch TV and play on your ipod all day long.  You still know everything and always manage to see on the bright side of life.  You wear your heart on your sleeve, and mom and dad are usually pretty sure of your emotional state.  Like dad, you are an early riser finding it nearly impossible to sleep in.

It's pretty rare when you and I get to spend time together, just one-on-one, but when we get the chance, it's so much fun.  You are a great conversationalist, and are never at a loss for words, stories, or telling me when I've done something wrong.

Turning eight will be the greatest.  You get to be baptized, have a friend birthday party, and start cub scouts.  Woo hoo!

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Have a happy birthday boy.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Because April is almost over

Blogging isn't what it used to be.

I'm not sure if it's because we are busier, or there is just too much going on to document, or because my interests have moved on to other forms of memory preservation, but blogging just isn't as much of a priority.

That being said, we've got a lot going on.

Wyatt turns 8 in a few weeks.  He is playing baseball and doing a lot of pitching,  and soccer and is halfway through his first Harry Potter book.  He is a good boy with a big heart and pretty much gets 100% on every single school assignment he completes, including weekly spelling tests.  He's pretty smart this kid.

Quinn has been sick this week.  First ever puking stomach bug, which for an almost 5 year old is a pretty good stretch.  He loves school and the warmer weather because it means he can jump on the trampoline.  He was outside so much on Saturday he got a sunburn.  He is playing t-ball with Jack and although he's only had one game, he says he likes it.

Elliott is wrapping up band for the school year this week with a final concert on Thursday night.  He loves band and does a great job.  He is still playing on his competitive soccer team, though right now they are the bad news bears of soccer - but without a major turnaround insight.  We've got some major soccer soul searching to do in the next few weeks.  Elliott is a nice boy, a good brother, and though he had a conflict and couldn't attend, was invited to his first birthday party for a girl.

Aunt Christina and cousin Isaac came to Utah for general conference and we were able to take them out to dinner.  Over spring break we, with the rest of Utah, went to the broadway performance of The Lion King at the new Eccles Theater.  It was fabulous by the way and the boys, particularly Wyatt, were just enthralled by the whole thing.

We celebrated Easter with shaving cream dyed eggs and talks in sacrament meeting.  Ross and I "celebrated" our anniversary with me having a gigantic freak out meltdown and ruining the whole day.  We have lots of homework, school projects, practices and games, meetings and church responsibilities sucking up all our time.

But, we like each other and look forward to Sunday dinner at grandma's house every single week.


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