Wednesday, January 28, 2015

School. Again.

Going back to school has been a challenge as expected. A challenge I love as always--I'm such a glutton for learning new things. Last semester I logged over 100 online hours in my math class (the program keeps track). That doesn't take into account studying and test prep. 
Oh my gosh--it's a love/hate thing.

These are the notebooks I filled completely-- front and back-- working math problems in one class. So weird to end a class, start a new semester, and just throw out all the old stuff.

When people ask me how I find the time I tell them I stay up late. Very, very late. I'm afraid my schedule is not traditional. I almost never go to bed before 1am. Usually, um, later. Like when you're fast asleep I'm just getting into my groove. Then I get John up and  off to school, empty the dishwasher, get in a load of laundry and then get in another couple of hours of sleep with Will. After that I clean, work out, and shower up just in time to pick up kids. It's kind of bad I know. But it works for me so I don't get too worked up about it. I'm afraid I'm a bit of a night owl like my dad. (Hello dad! The older I get the more we seem to have in common . . .)

I think the biggest thing I took away from this last semester was that I can do hard things. BYU helped me to get the confidence that I could go to school and be competitive and now I've taken it to the next level with classes that are completely unfamiliar territory-- basically all math and science for now. It is not something I've considered myself strong in, not that it comes easily to me now but I've learned I can make it through. Doing something hard that you have underestimated yourself in always feels good. (Most of the time-- College Biology is kicking my butt pretty good right now:)

There were two things that helped me a lot in math. First, I had studied for the Accuplacer for months beforehand so I could test straight into this class. That gave me a really good foundation. Then that beautiful thing, THE INTERNET. Oh my gosh, this was the night and day difference between when I last took math 22 years ago. Kahn Academy, college, YouTube, college and even high school websites--so helpful. Nowadays you can basically teach yourself anything you want.

This semester I have to drive twice a week to South Jordan. With my lab, lecture, and study group on Wednesdays it means I'm gone for eight hours. That may not seem like very long to mom's who work, and I know maybe it makes me sound spoiled, but it's a long time for the family when I'm leaving a two-year-old behind. It gets busy, which I seem to function better with anyway as long as it doesn't get too busy. You can always expect things are going to get stressful and you're going to feel overwhelmed sometimes. (Doesn't mean I don't find time to waste here and there with stupid things like searching Google to see how they cover up Johnny Depp's tattoos for movies.)

"Ya gotta learn to relax mom."

Today the girls had baptisms for the dead and were gone for several hours. I told John if he played with Will and kept him happy while Dad was working I'd pay him ten bucks. He did awesome and I'm sure Will was in heaven playing with his older brother. John decided he'd dress him up--unclear what he's supposed to be but while I was gone Peter sent me this picture:

Something of a mix between Tarzan, a cowboy and Men in Black??
(update: John told me he was Golem. hahaha!! Makes sense!)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

recent pics of Will

  We all love to see Will running around in his snowsuit:
Ahh! So cute!

Took him to the park today and he was freezing off his fingers even in his gloves so I gave him hand warmers when we got back to the car. Pretty fascinating stuff.

John kills me every day of my life

Love this letter from John to Santa he typed out on the computer back in December:
Dear Santa,

What I want for Christmas is a Lego star wars Ewoks village it would be the best if you could get me it.

                  From john

(He then added his address at the bottom.)

Four decades old

I organized a party for myself (with the kind help of my friend Mary) because I decided I wanted to do something besides hang out with my sick husband--who incidentally, could win an Oscar for his performance as deathly ill person-- and go to school. 

So here we are at a potluck at Mary's house. Loraine Nielson's (far right) daughter (5 years old) stood on a chair and took this picture. I swear every one of us looks better in real life than in this picture:)

Aaron lives right by my school in South Jordan and after my class Aaron took me out ('cause he's awesome like that) for Indian food at place called Bombay House right by where he lives. I haven't really experienced good Indian food before. In the past every dish has been yellow slop that smells like curry. I believe the last time I tried it I was pregnant and sick with Sarah so that was also a deterrent I'm sure. This food was super good and I tried lamb for the first time (I'm so uncultured!) I about died and went to heaven on the garlic naan. Then we went to Sub Zero and I got this:

Came home late and Peter had balloons and decorations, which was kind of major since he hadn't driven in a week he was so sick.

When I was visiting with my friend Corey who has been injured and hasn't been able to drive for over a year we discussed the fact that I was turning forty and she mentioned she had been looking for someone to go get a mammogram with her (so she could have a ride) and I was now old enough to get my first. I forgot that was even the thing when you turned forty but laughed and agreed that was a pretty good idea.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Snowboarding at Sundance

 Peter and Aaron
Love Peter's head in this picture! Reminds me of the old Willy Wonka movie.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Will's first experience sledding

Peter took these of Will watching this video over and over. 
He was laughing and laughing. Love this kid.

From Tucson to Utah

We got a whole lot of snow when they arrived. Super exciting for kids who rarely get to see it. 

Will and John look on as Jay builds a snow fort:
 Jay was digging away in the snow for hours. I was getting worried when I couldn't see his legs moving and he wasn't answering me. Fortunately he was just being Jay and was laser focused on his project. This may be the only time they come to visit this year because the Tracy family is planning to make a move this summer. Jay has had bad health (hence the mask) for some years in Tucson and now that Mel has graduated they are looking for more temperate weather.

Will did great out there in the cold. I was really surprised. 
We couldn't find his other glove so he was wearing one big one and one little one.

We had a blast sledding and building.

This is what it looks like when after six kids play in the snow. Luckily I have kept a lot of our snow suits and we had almost enough to go around.

After a long day in the snow we took a break for a couple of hours and then went to the Curiousity Museum in a bit of a snowstorm. Luckily Jay and Mel used to live in Colorado and had some experience with it. This was the only photo I took. As you can see Sariah was about done by this point.

After some sledding the next day we went made the trip to Temple Square. 
When we first arrived and got out of the car Sarah said, "Um. I don't want to do this." I could tell she was serious. She had mainly come to take some shots with her camera. It was possibly the coldest we have ever been-- 5 degrees. That is can't feel your legs/face cold. Emily kept insisting her pants were wet but we assured her it just felt that way. Unfortunately Sarah forgot gloves:( I gave her mine and Sariah shared one of her hand warmers with me which saved me-- I just had to switch it from hand t hand. We had to go in and out of buildings to keep us from freezing to death. 
(Might seem silly but I always think of the pioneers and don't know how any of them survived in these kinds of conditions. Unimaginable.)

 Here's some great pics Sarah got of the kids:

 (I'm so loving this picture)

I took off my second coat for these pictures here. Peter asked me when we left the house if I thought I'd really be warm enough and I dismissed him. As soon as we got out of the car in Salt Lake I went digging through the trunk for an old one of his I keep in there.