Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Trying not to look back

Its time for a catch up on our lives since school started. I realize I am not yet finished updating summer information. I have been putting off just writing a quick catch up blog because I kind of thought I had to be current in order to keep things in the proper timeline.

And then I realized that this is MY blog and these are MY memories and I never remember anything in order anyway. And I further realized that if I didn't write my "now" I would always be writing about "thens" and never be caught up.

So lets just be current, shall we?

So everyone started school. And after a few weeks everyone seems to be alive and mostly well. Maryn is a bit whiny about gym class. But that is to be expected.

Paul is a senior. Which is killing me. Not because I'm not okay with him growing up, but because there is a part of me that simply doesn't feel old enough to have a child in that phase of life. I remember being 18. It seems like such a short time ago. And the beginning of this year marks the last of everything I get with him; last Halloween, last Thanksgiving, last Christmas, last Birthday...and then he will be gone for 2 years. And then he will move on with his adult life and things will never quite be the same. But past my lamentation and on to current events. His class schedule can barely be called a class schedule; 2 periods of peer tutoring, TA in English, Foods, Drama, Law Enforcement... yeah...don't hurt yourself there cowboy. He worked very hard at the beginning of the year and got together everything needed to start a new club, including recruiting 20 members! I am so proud of his efforts on this and what he has learned. He's also started working for our home teacher hauling and stacking brick. It's hard work but he makes good money.

Maryn is happily in Elite orchestra and choir and German on top of  her regular classes. She is very self motivated and an excellent 8th grade student. Junior high in general is a euphemism for hell, and there is the inevitable 13-year-old-girl drama, pain and sorrow. But she won't be 13 forever. Both her and I take great joy in that knowledge. She also started taking cello lessons. She just got an iphone, which means she's cool, and loves being around friends and babysitting.

Conner just started 5th grade and seems to like his teacher. His preference is for me to mostly stay out of his business so I do. I'll ask questions once in a while and respond to concerns, but honestly, as long as he's medicated, he's pretty easy. He is my little moral center, and constantly corrects my language and checks my behavior. The other night I went on a date to a piano bar so I got a stamp on my wrist to show I had paid. He saw the stamp and heard me say I had been to a bar and was alarmed "Did you get a tattoo and have a beer mom?!?!" Yes Conner. While I was away from you I decided to let everything I have taught you fly out the window and I got a tattoo and drank a beer. 


Ashlyn is a 4th grader. She's great at history and reading. She's less great at math. She plays outside a lot, and likes to talk to me about everything she can think of. I just had a fun chat with Ashlyn's primary teacher. She said she is very well behaved, and LOVES to raise her hand to answer question. But whenever she does, she raises and exclaims excitedly "Oh!Oh!Oh!". She said its hilarious. They (Brother and Sister Evans) were also Conner's teachers last year, and they think he's hilarious. Apparently they even have a "Conner Voice" they use whenever they quote him.

We have a fun new addition to our family...even though its temporary. Kayque Lucas Santana dos Santos came the middle of August to stay with us from Brazil and attend high school here. My friend from the Crisis Line, Jennifer, approached me and asked if I would want to host an exchange student. Its something I had always wanted to do, but I kept waiting for a perfect time and situation...when things were more... oh, I don't know...just more.
And so after some deliberation, discussion with my kids, and prayer... we said okay. And she even gave us a choice of students.

When I heard Kayque's information, I knew he was the one we should have in our home. It didn't take long after he got here for me to know that it was absolutely the right thing, for us and for him. He is Junior at Provo High School. He likes bread, and chips and dancing and having fun with friends. He thinks the mountains are cool (coming from a seaside town) and likes the fact that each tap has both hot and cold running water instead of "water at whatever temperature you happen to get". He earned being here. He is on scholarship through the government. There were 100 students in his school that applied, and he was one of 3 that was accepted to go live in America for a semester at no expense to his family. I think the greatest compliment I received was when he told me that although he misses his family, he has never felt terribly homesick, because this feels like home too. 

We have tried to do a few things since he has been here. The first place he wanted to see was Walmart and we had our first dinner together at Red Robin. 

We've also been to Bridal Veil Falls and Squaw Peak. Mostly, as usual, we enjoy spending time with family and friends. We have had dinner time with my grandparents and football games with my brother as well as swimming at my aunt's house. We've had dinner with the Valente's (who have 2 students and Alex is from Brazil) and the Aldridge's (my friend Rosangela is from Brazil as well)...Brazilian Barbecue! 
Like Maryn said...Its like one big happy multilingual somewhat dysfunctional family.
And last weekend for Labor Day we went for a drive through the Alpine Loop and made a stop at Cascade Springs (more on this little trip later). But we brought a picnic and headed over the mountain to Midway where we enjoyed a picnic and a rather lovely drive back down Provo Canyon.

And then, of course, the Brazilian Festival last Saturday. We are now addicted to fried savory pies called pastels. We're planning a pastel party with Rosangela and her family :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

My kids didn't actually do this, so they are a little right...Portland (The zoo, the temple and The Rose Garden)

So on the same day that we went to the Japanese Garden, we also went to the zoo, and the Rose Garden, and the temple. We also went and had pizza and bowling with Marcus family for his siblings birthdays. It was a busy day. But it was fun. 
And we found out we can walk fast.

Here's some fun pics from the zoo.
Bears in the bath.

Hippo in the water.

Man on the lion.

Cat in a cage.

Porcupines behind glass (thank goodness).

 Giraffes in the grass.

Marcus and I in the rose garden. And then just beautiful pictures of the gorgeous flowers. Compliments, again, of Marcus the amazing photographer.

And the last stop of the day, at dusk...the Portland Temple.

These are my favorite two. This one in the rear view mirror...

And this one in the reflecting pool.