Saturday, August 25, 2018

Back to School - Big Boys

Elliott and Wyatt went back to school this past Wednesday.

Elliott is in SIXTH GRADE!

Wyatt is in FOURTH GRADE!

It's funny to know that there are people I went to high school with who are parents to 21 year old children and I am the parent of an 11 1/2 year old.  It's pretty cool though.

The boys did a lot of growing up this summer.

Back in the Spring, after a night of getting stuck in a rain storm and terrible traffic trying to get home from taking Elliott to soccer practice (Wyatt and Quinn were home), I stressed out and we got the boys a phone.  A flip phone.  Essentially a home phone but I call it "The Howden Boys" and so we've spent some time this summer working on phone skills and old school texting.  Elliott has taken the phone a few times to some soccer parties and movies with friends so he could let us know when he was ready to come home.  It's been really helpful. 

(Side Note:  There seem to be a lot of 6th graders this year with phones.  That scares me.  My 6th grader will not be getting his own phone.)

It's a really nice feeling to know that I can leave the boys home to run a quick errand and that they will be responsible and safe and nice to each other.  Granted, they pretty much only watch TV or play video games, but I'm pretty okay with that.

We've hit a really good stride the three boys and me.  We can have more grown-up conversations about more grown-up topics and I didn't really have to do much in the way of "discipline" this summer.  The three of them really get along well.  Now, of course, there are stressful moments, and always tears, but it feels like it's fewer and farther between.

Anyway, back to school.  Elliott and Wyatt are both still in the Dual Immersion program with excellent Spanish teachers and okay English teachers.  I actually think that the 4th grade English teacher is going to be really great this year.  Fourth grade was a tough transition for Elliott - one less recess and more academic - so it will be interesting to see how Wyatt relates to the 4th grade.

As a 6th grader, Elliott is on Safety Patrol and he started bright and early Wednesday morning.  About 12 kids per 6th grade class do 2 week rotations throughout the school year assisting at all the crosswalks around the school in the morning and afternoon.  He was pretty excited to do it.  I'm not sure how excited he will be to do it in the winter, but when the mornings have been in the 70's this week, he likes it just fine.  And, Yoshi gets to do it with him so if Yoshi is involved, it's always good.

Both boys are still in the band, which they really enjoy.  The band teacher, Mr. Malmrose, is excellent and this year, band is only two mornings a week.  Hooray for sleeping in.


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Summer Activity Short List



I had set a goal for myself to write on this blog a little bit more in 2018.  Even though there isn't a book service that fully supports "blog slurping" anymore, I still want to write and manually create books.  2017 only saw 25 posts!  Only 25 posts to talk about our amazing and crazy year last year.  It also seems, unfortunately, unless I get my act together that 2018 will be the same, and they will all be sad, funeral posts.

Most of my writing these days is short blurbs on instagram.  Thank heavens for instagram and chat books documenting our day to day lives.  Hopefully, for the rest of the year, the little bit of it that is left, I can get a little bit of writing in. 

So many goals, so little time.

We had such a good summer.  I realize I'm only speaking for myself, but it was pretty good.  The big boys started back to school today - Elliott in 6th grade and Wyatt in 4th.  Quinn starts Kindergarten next week.  For one year only, all three of my boys will be at the same school.  They are growing up so fast and I love it.  It feels like I am such a better mom to bigger kids than little ones.  Though I did love those three fat babies, I love loud and obnoxious kids and tweeners better.

The summer of 2018 was the first time since the boys started school that we had a "full" summer, June - August.  Last year it was truncated because of the switch from year-round to traditional school and all the years before that it was only 3 weeks in July.

I thought it would be fun to sit down and make a short list of all the things we did this summer.  I'm sure that I'll be leaving stuff out, but here are the things I can remember.

*Bowling, 2 times
*Road trip to Preston, Idaho to find Napoleon and Pedro's houses
*City Cemetery to find all the LDS Prophets headstones
*Temple Square and the Church history museum
*Disney store and lunch at City Creek
*Zoo, 2 times
*Silver Lake
*Mini golf
*We saw every single kid movie that was released this summer!
*Backyard camp out
*Overnighter to the Homestead
*Swimming
*Lagoon
*SEVEN soccer tournaments between Elliott and Wyatt
*Soccer practice all summer for all three boys
*Lots of eating out for lunch
*Video games
*Red Butte Gardens
*Bake cookies a couple of times
*Building with marshmallows and toothpicks
*Flew to Phoenix
*Grand Canyon
*Played lots of FIFA on the x-box
*Watched all of World Cup Soccer
*Wyatt and Quinn each had a day of puking from heat exhaustion and dehydration.
*Played with friends a couple of times
*Watched fireworks
*Pretzel Bites
*Read a lot of books
*Splash pads
*Grandma Camps
*Monarchs soccer games

The boys stayed up way too late and slept in even later all summer.  Quinn set the record for 11:15 am on a Sunday in July.  Church was at 11 and he and Ross went late (the big boys went on time, on their own because I was out of town).  Wyatt isn't much for sleeping in, but even he had a couple late mornings, sleeping until around 8:30 or 9:00 am.

Parts of summer were really hard for me.  Mostly, I kept it together with a goal of not yelling or getting too mad over the summer.  Being a mom who is an introvert is hard for me.  My boys are so social, and I am so anti-social, it's hard to find a good balance.  But, yesterday I asked the boys as we were picking out clothes for the first day of school what was something about my "momming" that bugged them and something that they liked.

Quinn had nothing to say.  Wyatt doesn't like it when I grab his arm and make him sit up on the couch, but didn't have anything nice to say.  Elliott said he things I'm a pretty good mom and likes it when I tell him the plan.

I guess that means that I'm doing okay these days, in spite of the fact that I think most days, I suck at everything.

Back to school.

Back to growing up.

It always feels like we wait all year for summer to come and then it's gone in the blink of an eye.  As of today, summer is officially over and I'm already starting to count down until next summer.  But, don't get me wrong, I am completely happy to wait...and have a couple of hours to myself everyday.  Hours that will be completely silent, except for maybe a little Vance Joy on Pandora Radio.











Monday, August 13, 2018

What are you going to do today, Napoleon?

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The boys are a little obsessed with Napoleon Dynamite.  I think that they have seen the movie at least 50 times, and of course had their fabulous Napoleon themed Halloween costumes from last year.

(Side note:  we will never live up to those fabulous costumes the rest of our lives)

I had wanted to take the kids on a road trip to Preston, Idaho for a while but had just never gotten around to it.  It's a couple hours away, just over the border and we just hadn't made it.

But, this weekend we had a family baby blessing in North Ogden, which got us just an hour away from Preston so after the blessing, we headed on up.

I had the addresses for most of the major scenes from the movie and when we pulled up to Napoleon's house, in the middle of nowhere across from a corn field, the boys were just goofy.  They weren't sure what to do, but seeing the house brought big smiles to their faces.

We found Napoleon and Pedro's houses, the high school, the track and bleachers and the elementary school with the tether ball.  We also drove past the DI and picked out the exact section of main street that Napoleon walked down in the brown suit.

We didn't have time to find Rex Kwan Do's dojo, or Summer and Trisha's houses, they were too far out of town.  But, the places we found were pretty fun.  And, it was extra nice to have our dad with us because let's face it, he doesn't get to do too many things with us these days.


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