Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Decisions, decisions ...

We have been trying to decide where the boys will be going to school next year. They have enjoyed their time at Jordan Ridge, Connor has excelled in his class and Tate has come further than we thought! But when we received the boys test results I was super concerned about Connor. He is doing great academically but his self esteem has spiralled down. Where he ranked himself 7-8 out of 10 last year, he put himself at 2-3 this year.
So after parent teacher conferences and talking to a lot of educators about what would be best academically for our boys I was not any closer to making a decision. I felt strongly that I should bring them back to our neighborhood school, but teachers felt that they needed to be in the advanced learning program offered at Jordan Ridge. I was worried about Tate not making it into the program, but turns out the kid is a smart cookie and EXTREMELY competitive. He ranked in the top 1-4 percentile in the nation for those that take the tests in each area, math, reading, writing, etc. AND he thinks pretty highly of himself, ranking himself no lower than a 7 out of 10 in every category.
So here I have two boys who are academically doing fine, but so very different in how they view themselves. So I did what any good parent would do and had them help me make a pros and cons list. I haven't had so much fun in a long time and I couldn't believe how very different my two boys are.

Jordan Ridge
There is dirt to dig in on the playground - Connor
Lots of homework - Tate
The teachers make you do lots of homework - Tate
Most of the spelling words are easy - Connor
The teachers are good - Tate
The incentive parties are fun - Connor
You can be a lunch worker at the age of 8 or 9 - Connor
Lots of art classes - Connor
Field Trips - Tate and Connor

The class is too challenging - Connor
It is a long way away so I can't ride my bike to school - Connor
Not a big enough library - Connor
The school nurse doesn't stay with you when you have a bloody nose - Connor
(this is a huge negative in his mind, at his old school the nurse stayed with him until his parents got there, but that was with a severely broken arm and staples in his head, slight difference)

More PE - Connor
Close to home - Connor
Has better school lunch - Connor
(not sure how he knows about this as he takes a home lunch EVERY day!)
Most of my neighborhood friends go here - Connor
You can ride your bike to school - Connor
Field days and trips are awesome - Connor
School nurse is nicer - Connor

Not enough art class - Connor

I don't think I will be asking for the kids input on any more bigger decisions, I think they can only handle trying to help decide what to make for dinner, even at that I have to question their choices.
Funny how Tate wants the bigger challenge, more homework, bigger expectations and Connor wants it to be easier with less homework and challenges. I am sometimes amazed at how different these two are.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Connor's BIG day

Well he did it. He took the plunge - and LOVED it. Connor was so excited to be baptized, it was all he could think about for weeks. He knew how many days until he was baptized for weeks. He was so thrilled when the day finally arrived. He actually woke up at 1:30 in the morning the day of his baptism and couldn't fall back asleep. So he woke up his Dad and asked him to help him go back to sleep because he "had a very important meeting at 5:30 that night and he didn't want to miss it or be sleepy for it."
He looked forward to getting his scriptures, his Sunday suit and his cub scout uniform. They were the only 8th birthday presents he wanted.
He told his dad in the change room after being baptized, "Dad, that was the most awesome thing ever! I feel so good now."
We are so proud of Connor, he is a loving boy with a very tender spirit and takes things very seriously. After scolding him for running in the church last night, he was teary and apologized informing me that he would be repenting that night when he said his prayers.
Can he just stay this sweet and innocent? Please? It would make my job so much easier.
Congratulations Connor, you have made a most wonderful choice and it will bring you so much joy, happiness and peace in your life. Keep being good, keep being kind, keep being tender, keep being obedient, keep being the wonderful Child of God that you are.


I have been reading a lot today and I have been uplifted and edified, I need to do this WAY more often. But I had to put this quote down as one of my all time favorites :)

"No misfortune is so bad that whining about it won't make it worse."
Jeffrey R. Holland
Whining has always been one of my biggest pet peeves. I have always believed that whining just makes things worse and frustrates and annoys. I try to avoid whiny people, they get on my nerves. I just can't take it. My kids know that they get no where with whining. But I am afraid I have not been too great at avoiding it myself lately.
I try hard not to whine, I'm not always successful as my husband can testify. I have whined to him a lot lately about him being gone so much, doing all good things and things that we really feel strongly about, but just the same, I miss the guy. So I needed to read this today to remind me just how good I have it. Glad we have eternity together to catch up on these last few missed months. Love you Ryan.
For any of you struggling with gratitude read this and you will feel so uplifted, I know I did.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Photographing toddlers isn't always the easiest of jobs - but it is quite fun! Not sure what the little sister was doing in this one, the only thing I can think of is that she has seen us have women lean forward to look more "lean" in the pictures. Starting young? The bunny, in it's cage across the room, moved.
Screaming ensued!

And it was all over after that.

Easter Pictures

Easter is early for us! Well, just the pictures, getting ready for our Easter photoshoots that Emilie and I will be hosting. This bunny is so super friendly and relaxed, apparently "Sunshine" loves children. I was skeptical, but it was true, such a sweet bunny and the boys LOVED her. McCall on the other hand would have nothing to do with it and screamed in terror if the poor thing even moved in it's cage across the room. It was difficult to do pictures with her! But oh well, I could post the screaming ones, I just may!
If anyone is interested in scheduling a mini Easter shoot let me know, super cute pictures for a super good deal!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Argument

We were lucky to have my parents here for a visit this past week for Connor's baptism. It was so much fun, the kids loved having their grand parents all to themselves for 6 days! There was some serious spoiling going on. We ate out way too much - so much that the boys have asked me the last two nights, "where are we going to dinner tonight?"
Grandpa took the boys to Cabella's and Sportsman's Warehouse while grandma and I went with Jill to try on her wedding dress and of course craft stores. What a nice break for me, to only have McCall! Well, McCall fared pretty well with Grandma while the boys made out like bandits with grandpa. He bought them camo shirts - a must have here in the city, pocket knives - just another thing to hide from the kids, candy, soda, etc. They are in heaven and I can't get them to wear anything but camo!
But one particular incident did not go to well for Gage and Grandpa. While Mom and I ran into Deseret Book Gage and Grandpa had an altercation.
I returned to the car to find Gage crying hysterically, sobbing with giant tears streaming down his cute face.
I asked, "what happened to you Gage?"
Grandpa answered, "I hit him." He was very matter of fact!
Gage, "Grandpa hurt me!"
Me, "Why did grandpa hurt you?"
Dad, "He hit me so I hit him back."
Gage, "You hurt me first grandpa."
Dad, "No I didn't, you hit me with your pez and I told you to stop. You didn't so I took it away from you. Then you hit me in the face because you were mad. So I hit you."
Gage, "You hurt me first grandpa!"
Dad, "No I didn't, you tell the truth!"
Gage, "You hurt me first with your whiskers grandpa."
Me, "Oh, now the truth comes out, the old whisker burn, that really does hurt."
Dad, "Well, that was way before I hit him, I was just having fun with that."

Well, can't tell you how much fun it was being the intermediary between a 4 year old and a 64 year old, both right and both so wrong. They were able to make up and be friends about 10 minutes later!

Just Because - McCall

Birthday Photoshoots - Gage

Gage @ 4

Birthday Photoshoots - Tate

Tate @ 6

Birthday Photoshoots - Connor

Finally got around to taking these pics, then posting them! We had an enjoyable afternoon taking birthday photos of all the kids. What a bunch of characters. I love that each picture completely shows their individual personalities. I love these kids.

Connor @ 8