Friday, February 23, 2018

Bullet Blast

We have been hanging out with the Cains more. Tyler and Logan are in the same class and Hunter is in the same class as Scott.  I love Cheryl and the boys play nicely together and have fun so it is just a great fit.  Anyway, Tyler was just starting his science fair project and I didn't even think about seeing if he wanted to do it with someone but just mentioned to cheryl that Logan could join in if he wanted and she was down.  Looking back I am grateful because I think that working together is so great for kids.

I came up with the idea to measure different nerf bullets or guns against each other. They came up with Bullet blast and decided to test a nerf bullet vs a generic bullet.  Simple, easy and fun.  They didn't love doing the writing, creating the hypothesis, figuring out what a variable is, etc. but I think they learned a lot about the scientific process and thinking about science experiments.  It was fun to see the process and growth in doing the project.  They got together 3 times.  One to just figure out and talk about the project.  They put tape on the floor that they measured and figured out who they were going to do the experiment.

Then they got together to solidify the project, do the project and write up the project.  That was about 2 hours on a Saturday when all the kids were playing outside. The second hour was pretty trying (as you can imagine).  I decided that I should do a science experiment on how long it takes kids to do homework on a weekend vs weekday or on a sunny day with kids playing outside vs cold day when nobody is outside.  They knocked it out amidst multiple breaks and some minimal whining or daydreaming of being outside.

They split up the typing and came together to put the poster together.  Fun project!

They made it to the district science fair for their school and were so proud.  They did a great job because it was a simple project that was easy to measure and then they thought a lot about how they could improve the project. They would use robots instead of humans and have a laser measuring the exact spot it lands.

I was just happy that they showed their poster at the fair since it said 'bullet blast' and there was just the horrific school shooting in Florida.  Not great timing.  I don't think a nerf science experiment is related to gun violence but I am sure some people do.

Here is a pic....

Location Location Location

Not sure if I have written about this yet, so this might be a repeat.  Walnut Creek vs. Brentwood.

Our life seems to be split between Walnut Creek/Concord/Clayton area (over the hill) and Brentwood.  It is funny when I was young or newly married you have a vision of what is important.  In that vision, so many things are not included because you don't realize all the components of life.  Being naive is a great thing about being newly married.  It is a time to be filled with dreams.  Fortunately, my dreams have enlarged with time because I grew up not being a risk taker.  So much like my dad which is a great quality in so many ways and not so great in others.  I think it can limit you if you are not willing to take some risk. Probably most business owners, CEO's or creative people are risk takers to some extent.

Fast forward 14 years and 6 kids and what is important are things that wouldn't have even known or considered with 1 kid.  I I am not much into things so the style, size, etc of my home has never been super important but always envisioned that to be the main decision in buying a home. That idea makes me laugh because for me it is about as far from truth as possible.  The commute to work, the commute to activities, the ability to ride bikes to school, the ability to play outside with neighbors have become my top priority and what is most important to me.  Things that I LOVE with where I live.  I love the open nature of our home, the size, having a huge second bedroom where 4 boys can stay. There are things I love but those things are not my priority or even really what make me happy.  Not being able to drive all my kids to school or pick them up is what is probably top on my list.  Having neighbors that are all watching out for each other and playing in the court top on the list.  A neighborhood where kids come and go top on the list.  A commute that is 5 minutes on bike for my husband top on my list.

I love Brentwood for that but I was torn because I felt like certain activities over the hill were better.  Sports seemed to be better.  Schools and education seemed to be better for kids who needed accelerated programs.  I have felt for years that Danny would eventually buy a second practice out that way and then we would decide where to live.  Either here or there.

Well, him buying a practice became more of a reality a couple months ago and I felt the need to just start praying that the Lord would guide me where to end up.  I felt like I was spending a lot of time on the road and missing out on just down time or being with all my kids.

And then an answer to prayer occurred.

Kira worked hard to make level 3 in gymnastics.  She needed to get her two splits down and worked at home to do that and got it.  I was really proud of her that she realized when you work hard at something, you can achieve a goal. That was really the first time that she was doing things outside of the gym which is a great life lesson.  When you really want something, sometimes you have to do a little more.

She made level 3 and her coach left to another gym.  We left it up to her if she wanted to stay or follow her since she loved her.  She decided to stay and was so excited for level 3.  She got grips for bars, a locker for her stuff and was so excited.  She did amazing.  Mike said that should have moved up in April but we had swim season just beginning.  I was really happy for her but also felt kind of uneasy about it being the right gym for her.  I felt like she would eventually follow her coach to Concord but she wanted to stay so I let her.

And then we made a stand that we wouldn't compete on Sunday and that was a deal breaker for CYC.  I felt relief.  I told Kira that they probably wouldn't let her stay if she didn't compete on Sunday and its was so black and white to her.  it wasn't even a question that she wouldn't compete on Sunday.  I was so grateful.  I am grateful that Danny and I never wavered.  I think that really did instill in her a testimony of the Sabbath even if it was piggybacking off of us.  Scott and I went into the meeting knowing that this was probably the end thinking we would go to Concord.  They didn't budge on their stance and I didn't budge on mine.  I very graciously thanked them for all they did, told them I knew that it would work out on our end and Kira would be fine since they felt bad.  I was so grateful Scott was there.  I told them that Scott missed out on a lot of trophies this summer to be at church and I was proud of him.  It was good for him to see and feel another experience of choosing what is right for our family.  He thought I should have argued more for her to stay but I told him that I respect them and that the Lord would bless us.

So called chelsea at concord to ask about their sunday policy and then just for due diligence decided to try out the gym in Brentwood again.  And this is the miracle.  They got a new coach about 6 months ago who I was so impressed with.  He made it into a competitive program which it wasn't before and would be a great fit for Kira.  Plus it was so family friendly.  Gymnastics is an interesting sport that kids spend so many hours at the gym but it is pretty serious which I kind of disagree with.  The coaches talked to us and didn't mind if we stayed and watched and were happy and encouraging.  They were like cheerleaders.  I just felt so happy there and the Lord knew this was what I was looking for.

Kira is happy and that makes me happy.  Her other coach from Concord had her director call who was so understanding of Sundays and said she would love for Kira to come a couple days later which was another miracle.  She could have called earlier and I would have gone there.

Then I started doing a clinic at my old team which is a lot of fun.  The water is warm which I have realized is a deal breaker for Scott.  I told him that we weren't going to go Walnut creek next year because it was just too cold for him.  He thinks he loved it there and he loves his friends which I do too, but he was miserable.  He doesn't remember how cold he was. I was so excited when swim ended and cross country started because he looked forward to going to cross country.  He was so excited to be with friends and for practice to start and all he talked about with swim was how cold he would be.

I told him that he doesn't have to do it just because I do it.  I didn't really see why he kept swimming with being so cold.  It was a good realization for me that I just want my kids to do something where they are happy, working hard and part of something. I realized he loves cross country and has a great coach and program out here. It is such a unique program the is growing and totally fits our needs and it convenient and flexible.

So I feel like things are migrating back this way and it is all an answer to prayer.  I totally gave it to the Lord.  Really didn't have one opinion or another.  I was torn and knew the Lord knew what was best and I feel like he is answering my prayers.

For now I feel so content.  I like our ward.  Scouts is great.  Schools are good.  Convenience in amazing.  They are building a freeway overpass down the street which will make it so convenient and is much needed to cut down the traffic just to get onto the freeway.

Now to do all the little remodel things we have been putting off because I didn't totally know if we should do them or get the home ready for renters or what.  I feel like we will be here for a couple more years if not longer and should work on updating a bit.  Not much has to be done.  Little things like granite cabinets, new carpet, nicer curtain rods.  Things that aren't that important but I think will make life more settled.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Happy new year

We had a nice Christmas and New Years.  I had to take some pictures of Hanna in her cute little outfits because she wears pajamas most of the time.  




We had Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas dinner at Heather's. 


Good old timer and tripod with the 24-105L lens and bounce flash.  Nice setup!

Kira's developed this strange smile of covering her upper teeth with her upper lip. 












Scott got another iPhone.  His previous one got destroyed when it fell in the bathtub.  Tyler and Blake got pro scooters.  Kira got some art supplies.  Mister got a plasma car



Lately we've been into Mountain Mike's pizza.  It is way more expensive than Little Caesars but sometimes it's worth the treat.  We got the wow sized one and this is how I strapped it on my bike. 


We've ridden bikes to the skate park a couple of times and this is how Hanna rolls. 


This is how Mister rolls.  When we go to the skate park he likes to play in the sand. 


On 1/2/18 we put drove the bikes to Walnut Creek, parked at Heather Farm Park, and rode to Civic park.  Mister, Hanna and I hung out while the rest of the kids and Heidi went ice skating.  Scott invited his friend, Will. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

December

 In downtown Brentwood


Three months old and supporting her head


Tyler and Scott are doing a pottery class in downtown Brentwood.  It's super cheap with lots of one-on-one and Tyler really likes it. 

Scott has enjoyed cross country quite a bit, perhaps more than swimming.  Turns out he's pretty good at it, too.  He got 2nd to this kid who kept elbowing him when Scott tried to pass.  But then Scott got first at the next meet, and he beat another kid who then beat this elbow-throwing kid.  So, by the transitive property of equality, Scott beat the first kid. 



Homemade gingerbread houses








At the Brentwood 3rd ward Christmas party. 











I really like my new lens.  Okay, bye.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017 weekend in Utah

Like tradition, we rolled out of town Wednesday after work.  The van ran great.  We got to Utah at 5:37 am Thanksgiving morning.  







Family photos by yours truly and the 70-200L 2.8IS ii




My favorite part of Boondocks was driving the go-karts.  Scott and I took notes on which ones were the fastest and then would select those.  Even if they were at the back of the lineup, we could still finish first.  I was proud of Scott for how he drove the line.  Maybe he learns from the best, ha!



The weather was unusually warm.


Tyler and Turin were stoked to cash in their points for yo-yos. 


Dan-o visited Autumn's family.  They live in WA now.  Zach is on the left and is Andrea's youngest.  Dan-o is expecting a boy next year.


On Saturday we visited Laurel and Ryan.  Costco pizzas are pretty good bang for your buck but I'm not crazy about the taste.  I wanted to hit the Brick Oven and the creamery.  Next time. 


I think it was a pretty good trip.  The check engine light didn't come on, we didn't waste time, and we saw our friends.  I even visited Dwight and Kim. 

Okay, bye.