A Little of This and That in September

Oct 9, 2022

Well, here we are at the end of another month. September had a stretch of 100-degree days that seemed cruel and unfair, but the temperature had mellowed somewhat by the end. We settled into a good school routine and enjoyed the days off here and there. Memorable activities included . . .  

Attending . . . the Johnson family reunion. We rented a large house with the most incredible view of Bear Lake and spent three days and nights playing, talking, eating, swimming, building sandcastles, playing games, watching the film festival, and taking family pictures. Mike's family continues to grow and expand, which makes it increasingly difficult to find a place that will fit everyone (we were unsuccessful this year and ended up needing another rental to make it possible). Sometimes my introverted self needs a little break here and there from all the socializing, but my kids did not feel that at all. They loved every single second of it, and I am so grateful they have these memories and friendships. (Also, the unlimited snacks provided by Uncle Josh was something they'll never forget.) (*group shot taken by Mike's brother, Jon)

Knitting . . . my all-time cutest project ever. I saw a knitted pair of baby overalls at Target, and I thought, "I could make those for Silas." I found a pattern I loved, purchased some lovely blue yarn, and modified the size to accommodate the chunkiest baby legs you've ever seen. In the end, I think they turned out even cuter than the Target ones (if I do say so myself), and I am obsessed with Silas in them. 

Teaching . . . piano lessons. Aaron had a new opportunity come up this month. A family in our neighborhood asked if he would be interested in giving piano lessons to two of their children, and he decided to give it a try. He has played the piano himself for many years, but this is his first time teaching those skills to someone else. I'm trying to let him be in charge of it and not micromanage. (Luckily, I have other responsibilities on the afternoon when he teaches, so it's easy for me to resist the temptation to step in since I'm not there.) He has been enjoying it so far.

Participating . . . in Scripture Day. When we moved into our neighborhood two years ago, it was the middle of Covid, so we weren't aware of all of the established traditions. Scripture Day is one of those, and it was reestablished this month. All of the youth in our church congregation spent the day immersed in the scriptures. It began with a big breakfast and keynote speaker. Then they all went to church but went back immediately after sacrament meeting for more studying, learning, listening, and eating. (Apparently, the food is a HUGE part of Scripture Day. There was a steady stream of calories to keep up their stamina, including soft serve ice cream at the end.) The whole thing wrapped up by 5:00, and when Max and Aaron walked through the door, they both stumbled up to their beds because they were so exhausted!

Applying . . . for a job. Aaron filled out a job application for a paid internship ("teen explainer") at the Natural History Museum. He asked Mike and me for suggestions of three words that best describe him (he went with "respectful," "unflappable," and "responsible"), but other than that, he did the entire application himself and submitted it without even giving me a chance to proofread it. In the end, he didn't get the internship, but it was still a good experience.

Running . . . a lot. Both Aaron and Maxwell are on the cross country teams at their schools. I was a little disenchanted when the season started because several of the meets cut into school days. As an example, Aaron ended up missing two "A" days" within a week's span, which felt like a lot. I feel resentful when sports come ahead of school, church, family, and other extracurricular activities. But those feelings aside, it has been good for them, and they've both grown a lot. Aaron even went on an overnight trip to Boise for a meet (more drama for me, but I won't get into that--having kids grow up is hard).

Auditioning . . . for jazz band. Max has been taking saxophone lessons from his older cousin for the last few months, mostly so he could be more prepared for jazz band auditions. It worked! He tried out and made it! Jazz band was definitely Aaron's favorite part of junior high, and it seems like it will be the same for Max. He loves everything about it, and I often find him listening to recordings of the songs they're working on just for the sheer love of the rhythms and the riffs.

Learning . . . all sorts of new skills. Silas is on a roll. As soon as he learns one skills, he moves onto the next. There is no shortage of praise or cheering around here. We are all in love with him and think he is the best baby in the whole world. New skills this month included pulling himself to standing, cruising around and between furniture, opening cupboard doors and pulling out all the contents, picking up the tiniest of objects to examine and put in his mouth, saying "hi," and climbing up the stairs. Skills not learned: sleeping through the night. 

Getting . . . braces. Now that we're on this road, it's going to be a long time before we're off of it. Aaron is the first one (we would have done Aaron, Max, and Bradley all at the same time, but we were told to hold off on the younger two). He is doing Invisalign, so there's not much to show. 

Saying . . . goodbye to my grandpa. My mom's dad passed away after being diagnosed with cancer a few months ago. He was 92 years old. He lived in California, so our visits were few and far between, but when I was growing up, he and my grandma drove out in their RV most summers and stayed with us for a few days. I treasure the memories I have of those sweet times. 

Joining . . . the safety patrol team. Being in fifth grade means being old enough for safety patrol. Bradley has been looking forward to this and eagerly filled out the application during the first week of school. He takes his responsibility very seriously (and also enjoys not having to ride the bus on Monday mornings and afternoons). 

Meeting . . . a knitter in the wild. Okay, this is a fun one. I was coming out of the grocery store one morning, and there was a van pulling into the parking lot. A woman rolled down her window and said, "I just have to ask: did you knit your sweater?" I answered that I had, and then she said, "Is it the Daybreak?"  Well, I knew right then that I had met a kindred spirit. Only a real knitter would be able to, not only spot a handknit sweater out and about, but also know which pattern it was! It made my whole day. (This is the sweater, for reference.)

Having . . . family pictures taken. Ah, family pictures. I don't think it matters what size family you have, it is always something of an ordeal to get a good one of everyone. My brother agreed to take our photos this year, and we came away with some keepers, which I'm super grateful for. (Also, Silas in his overalls! As I said before: obsessed.)

Spending . . . money at two school carnivals. Because our kids are once again at two different elementary schools, we are dealing with the familiar problem of conflicting school events. Both elementary schools happened to hold their fundraising carnivals on the same night. At first, I was just going to have us all go to Bradley and Clark's school, but Ian desperately wanted to go to the one at his school (can you blame him? It had been talked up all week). In the end, Mike and I just decided to divide and conquer, and it was totally fine and fun. 

Attending . . . a bunch of parent teacher conferences. We couldn't chat with all of Aaron's and Maxwell's teachers (that would have been fourteen!), but we did visit with the elementary school teachers. All of our kids are doing well in school, but Ian is the one who is really killing it. His kindergarten teacher was practically bursting to share all of his work. He is lucky to have a teacher who really celebrates his abilities and goes out of her way to challenge him. 

Listening . . . to my sister's violin recital. At the beginning of the year, Anna decided to learn how to play the violin. It has always been a dream of hers. She is an amazing musician and has a bachelor's and master's in piano performance, and a piano studio with over fifty students. She said it has been humbling to go back to being a complete beginner, but it has also been so rewarding to finally learn how to do something she has wanted to do for a long time. When she got to the end of the first Suzuki book, she had a recital. I was so impressed, and I just think she's so inspiring.

Starting . . . a knitting group. I've been talking about this for years, and I finally just decided to stop overthinking it and pick a couple of starting dates (one during the day and one at night). And guess what? A few people actually came, and it was exactly what I hoped for, which was that everyone worked on their projects and chatted with each other. Hopefully I can keep it going. 

Celebrating . . . a kid we all happen to really like. Bradley turned eleven years old, and it was a joy to spoil him. He lucked out as his birthday happened to fall on a Friday without school. Mike made him crepes for breakfast, and we took him out for lunch for a giant hamburger that he had no trouble finishing off. He had a swim meet in the evening, but when he got home, he blew out his candles on a chocolate strawberry pie. The next night, Mike took him to a BYU football game (they won!). A good birthday all around.

Playing . . . in the pep band. Aaron gets to play at the high school football games with the pep band. It's kind of a win-win for him (watching football and playing trombone), except that the student section is pretty rude and disrespectful, and the band's location doesn't always give him the best view of all the action. 

Finding . . . out where our nephew is going to serve on his mission. Our nephew got his mission call, and a bunch of family and friends gathered to watch him open it. He is going to the Cote d'Ivoire Yamoussoukro mission (Ivory Coast), French speaking. So excited for him. 

And that's a wrap on September. Someday I hope to do some other posts besides just these monthly recaps, but this is as much as I can get to right now.

1 comment:

  1. I remember the days of 4 kids, three elementary schools. (Although by the end of the year I managed to condense it to two schools. And then one kid moved into junior high.)

    I also remember frantically figuring what schedule to follow on junior high or high school parent nights, although sometimes I could inlist my sister to help. (Dad didn't do those kind of things.)

    Your kids and family looking beautiful and happy as always. I love the way you always make the time for traditions.


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