A Little of This and That in March

Apr 5, 2019

I was a fan of March. There was still a fair amount of snow, but the weather cooperated when it mattered (and we can always use more snow . . . or so I'm told). We enjoyed time together as a family and made some good memories, such as . . . 

Celebrating . . . a shiny new nine-year-old. We kicked off the month with Maxwell's birthday. Every year, I am always so grateful that he ended up being born ten days late, which put his birthday in March instead of February. March just sounds like spring. Max was pretty easy to please for this birthday because he just wanted the last three Hazardous Tales books so that he would have the complete series. He received a few other things as well (including tickets to a Vocal Point concert--see below). He invited a couple of friends to go bowling that night (which was infinitely less stressful than planning a huge friend party). And we had my parents over for a dragonfly cake a couple of days later.

Growing . . . out of their clothes. All of my boys suddenly seem to be wearing pants that are too short for them. I feel like this happens every spring. And I always want to hold out just a couple more months so that they can just switch to shorts for the summer before we go up to the next size in the fall.

Cheering . . . on my brother, Christian, at his church basketball game. It was quite entertaining. Christian has endless energy and darts around the court popping up in front of opposing players to block and distract them. I think you'd have to watch it to really get the full impact. I should probably mention that my brother is developmentally delayed but he is extremely loyal and committed, and his teammates are so supportive and kind to him. And my kids were all convinced that Christian was the most valuable member on the team. The opposing team didn't have any subs, so Christian literally wore them out, and his team ended up winning (their first and only win this season!).

Debating . . . when to have our neighborhood pie party. We usually try to hold it as close to March 14th (Pi Day) as possible. So when the week of Pi Day rolled around, we looked at the forecast. We could see a storm on Wednesday, but Saturday looked beautiful. We decided to take a gamble and plan it. We started telling our neighbors, Mike requested Friday off of work, and we cancelled other weekend plans. And then, we woke up on Wednesday morning to snow. This wasn't exactly a surprise, but what we weren't expecting was for it to snow all day long and accumulate several inches on the ground. We figured Saturday would be nice, as predicted, but would there still be snow on the ground? We moved forward with the preparations, and as late as Friday afternoon, I was still thinking we might have made a mistake because that snow just refused to melt! But then, the sun came out, the temperature inched up a few more degrees, and the snow magically disappeared. And that was a good thing because by that point, we had crossed the point of no return.

Baking . . . and eating ALL the pies! Our fifth annual Pie Day was a huge success. Mike baked 44 pies, which included eleven different kinds: cherry, pumpkin, pecan, caramel apple, strawberry, pumpkin custard, coconut creme, key lime, lemon sour cream, Reese's peanut butter, and chocolate. He began his pie-baking marathon on Thursday night and finished 36 hours later on Saturday morning. It was intense. We had more than 180 family, friends, and neighbors drop by for a piece. The weather was sunny and gorgeous. It felt like everyone was coming out of hibernation and we were finally welcoming spring!

Competing . . . in state Future Problem Solvers (FPS). One afternoon, Aaron came home from school with a packet of papers explaining that his FPS group had moved onto the state level of competition and that he and his team members would need to get together to create a skit they could perform at the award ceremony later in the month. I . . . had no idea what any of this was about. Luckily, one of the other moms had already had several children compete in FPS, and so she gathered the group together and helped them plan their skit. Over the course of the week, they got together four times, both to write the script, make the props, and rehearse. As part of the skit, they had to present both a problem and demonstrate a solution. They did a parody on High School Musical. There were sixteen groups competing, and many of the skits were difficult to hear and understand, but Aaron's group spoke loudly and with great diction, and the whole performance was quite polished. His group ended up winning first place in the skit competition (and the two other groups from his class won second and third). It was a pretty fun evening, and on the way home, Aaron told me, "I was ELATED when we won!" (And now I know what Future Problem Solvers is in case any of my other kids do it in future years.)

Watching . . . High School Musical. When Aaron's FPS group decided to base their skit around High School Musical, I asked Aaron if he had ever even seen the movie. He hadn't. So we had to do an emergency viewing pronto. Meanwhile, Aaron and Maxwell's classes were going on a field trip to a nearby junior high to see their production of High School Musical 2. So Maxwell also had to do an emergency viewing so that he would know the basic story before seeing the sequel (and he had to do it on another evening since he wasn't home when Aaron watched it). And then, after they saw the play, they all wanted to see the actual movie of High School Musical 2. Max has also asked to listen to the music several times. Mike and I were also going to see the junior high production because our niece happened to be in the ensemble. But she ended up getting sick on the night we were going to go, so we skipped out because by that point I was feeling a little sick of High School Musical. It was so bizarre how so much of our everyday lives revolved around this story for the month of March. I never could have predicted it.

Speaking . . . in exclamatory sentences. No one loves an exclamation as much as Ian does, and now he has a large repertoire of phrases to choose from: "Oh, darn it!" "What the heck!" "Oh my gosh!" "Oh boy!" "Oh my goodness!" "Guess what?!" "Oh dear!" "Oh man!" There is something about hearing those words in his sweet little voice that makes them infinitely cuter.

Listening . . . to this episode from the This is the Gospel podcast. I love to hear individual stories about journeys of faith, but Dusty's story took it to another level. He joined the Church as a young man, but after a few years, he left it. And he didn't just leave but vocally opposed and criticized the Church and sought to convince others to leave as well. But then, after many years and a series of miraculous events, he came back. His story had me openly weeping, and it went straight onto my list of things to listen to if my own faith ever needs a pick-me-up. Highly, highly recommend.

Treating . . . Maxwell to a Vocal Point concert for his birthday. Mike and I took Max on a little afternoon date to see BYU's male a cappella group. It was fantastic. And Maxwell has been beatboxing ever since.

Taking . . . a spring break trip down to southern Utah. Our main objective was to visit Mike's grandma and a couple of his aunts and uncles, but we managed to squeeze in a bunch of other activities as well (see below).

Hiking . . . around Hovenweep National Monument and Arches National Park. This was the first time I'd been to Hovenweep, and I loved it. The hike took us around a bunch of ancient Puebloan ruins, and it was totally different than anything we'd ever seen before. Also, it was just really cool to think about how long these buildings have survived and imagine the people that used to live in them. Although we've been to Arches many times, we went on the hike to Landscape Arch, which we haven't done in years, and we continued the hike beyond it, which we haven't done before. And on both days, we enjoyed the most gorgeous weather and very minimal crowds (especially at Hovenweep).

Standing . . . in four states at once. I have wanted to visit Four Corners for a long time, but it always just felt so far out of the way. But this time, we made it happen. And, turns out, it really is in the middle of nowhere, and there really isn't much to do except strike a pose on the four corners spot, but we all still thought it was really cool. There was a line to take photos, and we ended up standing in line three times because I kept wanting to get different pictures but I didn't want to hog the spot for too long. So our time looked a little like: take photos, order Navajo tacos from the fry bread truck, eat lunch, take photos, walk around and look at everything being sold by the vendors, take more photos, leave.

Playing . . . with cousins. We went on our spring break trip with Mike's sister, Sonja, her husband, Rob, and their kids. It made the trip at least three times, probably more like ten times, as fun as it would have been otherwise. Steven, Andrew, Addie, and Laura are so kind and helpful and creative. I always hope their good examples will rub off on my kids, and I think they did at least a little bit on this trip because my kids had good attitudes during all of our activities, even when they got tired or hot or hungry. We'll go on a trip with them anytime (although I don't know if they feel the same . . . ).

Finding . . . out at the last possible minute that Aaron was competing at the district debate tournament in the informational speech category. Okay, I exaggerate . . . slightly. His teacher sent out an email with details about the debate tournament, and I only gave it a passing glance until I caught Aaron's name in the list of competitors. It was literally the day before the competition. And Aaron had said nary a word about it. I have no idea when he was planning to tell me. Maybe he was just going to phone me from the school the next afternoon and say, "Hey, Mom! I need a ride to Magna right now." Luckily, it all worked out. He had his speech all memorized and ready to go, so even if he left his mom in the dark, I was proud of him for being prepared. And now he's going onto state! (But at least he told me about that.) 

Rooting . . . for Aaron (silently, of course, because this was serious, academic business) at the State Geography Bee. It was nerve wracking, but he kept his cool and did great. He finished in the top third of the competitors, and, considering that he was up against sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, I'd say that's something to be proud of! As you can see, it was a very busy month for Aaron.

Starting . . . but not finishing several knitting projects. I currently have a sweater with one sleeve and most of the body, one slipper, and about a fourth of a lace cowl. The slippers and the cowl have been put on hold for the moment as I try to finish up the sweater (and start another top . . . oops). Maybe I'll have something to show off next month.

Catching . . . our first few signs of spring. They're slow in coming this year, but at the end of the month, the trees were just getting ready to unfurl. My favorite.

There's always more I could share, but I think that's a good place to end for this month. What were you up to?


1 comment:

  1. As always I love reading your this and that posts! and the boys are sure making the most of the opportunities at their school! Love hearing about your Pi day again, wow what a huge turnout!


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