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.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Middle School Life

Scott is really liking middle school.  His favorite subjects are band and PE.  He really likes studying math but is pretty bored and wishes it was harder.  Whenever he talks about how slow they learn, I remind him how much he missed his friends the when we home schooled and then he quickly changes his attitude about how much better school is to be with his friends.  I am grateful we homeschooled for a semester so he has something to compare it to.  Homeschooling was great to go at your own level and speed but not great learning alone most of the time. He has a good group of friends at school. 

The school district gives the kids the day after halloween off which is kind of nice.  Sports give a day off so the kids can go trick or treating so we had a day with nothing to do which was nice.  After he had cross country he called to tell me he was going to a friends house and was going to go trick or treating later. I told him to touch base if he needed rides, etc.  He had fun with his friends.  They dressed up in morph suits. Tight, spandex suits and had fun.  I remember when halloween changed from being all about candy to being about hanging out with friends.  Someone once told me most of your influence ends around 12 and I am starting to see how a lot of that is true.  I think you still have tremendous influence throughout middle and high school but kids are going to making their own decisions at that point and need that inner confidence to choose what they were taught was right. 

He is doing cross country at school which has been fun for him.  A couple of his friends are doing it which is always nice.  He does a running group in the winter which he says is more fun because it is more running and instructional but this is fun to be with his friends and actually do races.  He was too scared to go to meets last year with running club so it is fun to see him enjoy racing.  I am really impressed with how fast he is for how little he practices.  He went a 9:15 in the 1.5 mile run.  They have 5 meets against the other high schools.  He has had 2 meets so far.  Every time he has a competition he is excited about how he knows he can go faster the next time.    The first meet he had was a really confusing course since he had never run it.  He thought the finish line was in the wrong direction but felt good about everything else.  I listened to them explain the course and had no clue how the kids would figure it out but it turns out each course is a home course so the kids from the home school knew how to run it.  I was proud of him for having a smile on his face.  I missed the running part because it was on a  golf course but excited for him.  The next run was much more straight forward and he said was a lot easier.  It was cooler and not as hilly so that is probably why it was easier.  Not sure what his time was but it was fun to see him cheering on teammates, seeing him see friends from other schools and enjoy being part of the team.  He thinks he went slower but it could have been the course was easier. I have no clue.  It has been a good experience for him.  His goal is to go under 6 minutes for his pace which is a good goal.  

He has been playing basketball at lunch with his friends which is nice because he doesn't really know how to play but is willing to learn and assist his friends who play.  He has a tendency to not want to do things that he isn't totally confident or comfortable with so it is nice to see him try new things and have fun doing them.  The other day he said he was going to work on getting better which I thought was cool.  I asked him if he wanted to sign up for a league but he didn't want to do that just shoot for fun.  That was so refreshing to see him want to have fun, learn a new skill but not have to be competitive with it.  Maybe he is maturing.

His first band concert is tomorrow which should be fun.  It is nice he is enjoying band.  I thought it would be fun for him to try out for jazz band next year.  I did jazz band and it was fun but he thinks he wants to still play the flute and play the piano at home so we shall see. I am so glad he is involved in school activities.  They had their first school dance which he and his friends didn't go to.  I have learned not to tell him what he should and shouldn't do because that just bugs him and in the long run it isn't that big of a deal.  Originally they were all going to go with a group but then decided not to.  Maybe next time.

Aquabears has been fun for him now that he has a wetsuit and stays warmer.  He is still cold but is having a lot of fun with his friends.  It is such a great group of kids.  He is gaining confidence in trying new events at meets. He isn't as confident and a racer at practice and meets as he is in the summer but I think that is just because there are so many kids and it is new events.  He doesn't get as scared to try new events which is nice.  He usually goes about 3 times a week since he has scouts and usually one other activity or playdate.  Grateful he is having fun with his friends. 

He is enjoying scouts. He got two ranks completed which got him excited to work towards his eagle.  He is really motivated and we are figuring out the scout world.  It is so different than cubs.  Some of the merit badges are really cool.  It makes me want to sign up to teach some of them.  Maybe in December when I have a couple months off of work.

Thursday, November 2, 2017


And just like that, we're in November.  Here are a couple of pictures from October.  

Tyler wanted a better picture from the one that we took on Hanna's blessing day.

Kira was barely recognizable with her heat-straightened hair.

Tyler loved his Dustin costume and was in good spirits all day.

This is my first attempt at sports photography with the 70-200.  It was pretty dimly lit in the gymnastics studio and even with the ISO at 1600, the max, there still wasn't enough light to have fast shutter speeds.  But a bad photo is better than no photo.

Got the white balance all dialed in for this one.