A place to share our story.

Friday, March 28, 2014


Peter's new job is moving forward smoothly. There is a lot of new information for him to learn, but he is a motivated worker and will be up to speed quickly.

Our spring creatures have returned: Ducks (including the one who laid eggs by our front door the past 2 years), Geese, and Robins for now.

There is a small patch of open water on our lake.

Tonight is movie night at the big boy's school and we are going to watch Frozen for the first time.

I was up before 6 this morning to watch my neighbors kids before school, and I am not napping right now even though I could be, since Marshall's zonked out.

Our yard is a wonderful mix of white and green, but getting greener by the day.

I am getting anxious to put on my running shoes and hit the pavement soon!

Logan is working on reading his first chapter book to me.

Brady went to the Como Planetarium today for a class field trip. I've never been there so I am excited to hear how it was.

Marshall has now learned to write numbers from 0-6. He is working on drawing pictures with detail, cutting with scissors, and letter sounds.

I am looking forward to the community Easter carnival in a few weeks here in Farmington. Last year I won an Easter basket with garden supplies and a gift card, and 2 years ago Brady won a bike.

I stopped using Twitter about 4 months ago after reading some hurtful comments. I am trying to decide if I think I will return to that place or if I should just delete it.

Marshall has become obsessed with the show Caillou again. I was really hoping we were over that since I can't stand most PBS shows ;).

Peter and I haven't had a date night since August.

Track and Field starts on Tuesday. Peter is coaching Brady's team again and Logan has a friend on his team. They both practice on the same nights this year, which is wonderful.

5 more weeks of BSF and just a few more than that for Wednesday night church. I am already looking forward to a summer of open schedules and lots of free time.

Marshall finally weighs 30 lbs, while Logan is almost to 50 lbs, and Brady is a handful away from 60 lbs. Soon I won't be able to pick them up anymore.
Also, soon maybe Brady will be tall enough to stop using a booster seat in the car :).

My favorite take out food of all time is Chipotle. I swear I could eat one of those bowls every week!

I love my Target RedCard and all of the money that is saves our family. I also love Aldi.

I am so thankful for family vacations and how fortunate we have been to have already taken so many. I am already thinking about our next trip, even though we've only been back a couple weeks.

Logan lost his voice last weekend and it's still not back.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Spring Break Trip

I have never been on a spring break trip. Peter got to go to Arizona one year and Los Angeles once for track in college, but I have never been on a trip in the spring, and I really wanted to go.

After getting over the initial shock that Peter was losing his job earlier this year, I had asked him if we could try to plan a trip, if the timing worked out. Peter's last day at Thomson Reuters was March 7 (and we knew this for a long time). Brady and Logan's spring break from school was from March 7- March 16--perfect timing for a trip, see?
After Peter accepted the job at Prime Therapeutic, he was told that he could start on Monday, March 17--giving him a week off between jobs to spend with his family--awesome!!

So, using our beloved time share, we began looking at "last call" trips to see what would be available at a low cost. Florida is kind of our "go-to" trip destination, but since we've been there a lot lately and will be going back later this year, we kept an open mind. Plus, we were hoping to take an airplane on this trip, and flying to FL in March with 5 passengers would have cost us a few limbs.

So, let's be honest. If not traveling to FL, we wanted to choose the next warmest weather location that was available through "last call". Las Vegas it was--again!
Airplane tickets to Las Vegas were approximately $250 per person cheaper than to FL--that made it a total no brainer, so I went ahead and booked the hotel, flight, and rental car immediately. To give you an idea what a great deal the "last call" trips are, we paid $269 for 7 nights! Our resort was the same place we stayed 2 years ago, complete with a full kitchen, washer/dryer, 5 pools/hot tubs, free mini golf and fitness center, etc.

Peter and I talked about the trip every night after putting the boys to bed. We decided that it would be completely awesome if we made the entire trip a surprise--especially since this would be their first time on an airplane (and believe me, they ask often).

It was hard work keeping the secret, and it almost got spoiled a few times, but we managed to pull it off.

I had already done about 95% of the packing by Saturday morning, but I needed to finish it up completely, so Peter took the boys out for breakfast to kick off their spring break (they knew that Daddy would be home all week before starting his new job).
While they were away, I completed the packing and loaded up the van.
Uncle Mark came over next (to drive us to the airport), and we told the boys that we were going to Nana and Papa's house for the day.

On the way to the airport, no one noticed that we were heading toward the airport until Logan spotted the light rail--he LOVES the light rail!
I told the boys that we had a surprise for them and Logan started immediately yelling "we're riding the light rail, we're riding on the light rail."  Brady was quiet, not really sure what was going on. When I told them that we were at the airport and that we were going to be getting on a plane, they were speechless. Brady gave me the biggest hug he's ever given and said thank you a million times :).

When they found out about the 7 night trip to Las Vegas, they flipped out even more.
I am SO glad that we were able to sneak in a trip before Peter's new job started and that we were able to pull off the surprise for the boys too--it was really fun!

While we were away, we were able to ride a real train at the Nevada State Railroad Museum, drive to California (the boy's first time) to Death Valley National Park, visit the Pinball hall of fame, play at several parks, visit Valley of Fire State Park, and see the Hoover Dam.
The weather was gorgeous, with highs in the 70s almost every day, no rain, and LOTS of wonderful sunshine!!

Here are some of my favorite pictures.

We LOVE palm trees!

Nevada State Railroad Museum and train ride

Yes, it was warm enough to swim several times!

Hiking up a big mountain at Exploration Peak park

82 degrees at the Death Valley visitors center

Town Square Park

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Dinner in the resort. We only ate out twice and did our own cooking the rest of the time.

Beehives at Valley of Fire

Hoover Dam

Relaxing by the pool

Look Who's 4!

It happened again!
One of my boys had yet another birthday and turned yet another year older.
Is there a way to slow this down?
I can't believe how quickly the past 4 years have gone. My youngest baby will be starting preschool later this year and I will be at home by myself for the first time in over 9 years--it's sad---I don't want to be home by myself :).
Happy 4th Birthday Marshall Allen.
You're mommy and daddy love you very much!!


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My Smart Boys

Marshall and I are continuing to work on his "school" sessions each day.
Since September, he has learned to recognize and write all of the letters in upper case and lower case.
Now we have moved on to letter sounds and math.
Letter sounds have definitely proven to be more tricky, but with lots of review, we have made it to letter H today.
Marshall is also learning some simple addition, letter writing, and patterns.

I am SO proud of him and all of his hard work, so I wanted to share what he wrote today.

You might say "he's not even 4 yet, so what is the rush?" or "he shouldn't have to learn this stuff yet, just let him play."
Well, both of those things are true, but public schools are teaching our kids to read earlier and earlier, and while I don't totally agree with the rush, I sure don't want my kids falling behind either.
Also, for as much as Marshall has learned in the past 6 months, we only spend about 15 minutes a day doing "school", so it's not like he isn't getting time for free play.
We have also greatly increased the amount of time we spend reading each day, since it'll be a combination of learning the letter sounds and being read to often that will help Marshall to become a great reader like his big brothers.
It was just 3 month after turning 5 years old that both Brady and Logan started kindergarten and were able to read books all by themselves, and I am so anxious for Marshall to gain those same skills.
Speaking of those 2...
We were at the big boys' conferences last night--how fun!!
We learned that Brady is currently reading at the end of the 5th grade level (he's only in 3rd grade)and his math scores are completely off the charts. I am SO proud of him and all of his hard work!
We also learned that Logan is reading above average for his grade (which is especially wonderful, since he has had a slightly harder time, due to his younger age/summer birthday).
Logan is also scoring way above average in math, and his writing skills are coming along better as well.
I am so thankful for our public schools in Farmington and for the wonderful teachers who teach my children each day. My boys love going to school, being with their friends, and learning new things. And, despite all of the rumors of public schools teaching things that are in contrast with our beliefs, well, let me just say that it isn't happening at our school, and for that I am very thankful!
Hooray for great education at a great price :).

Monday, March 3, 2014

It's March!

In spite of the bitter temps, I am so glad that March is finally here!

Peter is wrapping up his last week at Thomson Reuters, which is very bitter sweet for him. He is excited about his new opportunity with Prime Therapeutics, but it's hard to walk away from all of the friends he has made over the past 9 1/2 years.
His last day will be Friday, which is also the start of Brady and Logan's spring break at school.
We are planning on heading up to have lunch in the Thomson cafeteria one last time. Boy, will I miss those grilled cheese sandwiches!

Luckily Peter's new job at Prime is located only 12 miles from our house (which is nearly the same as his current job). It is also right off the same street we live near, so it'll be a nice, straight shot to work each day. The new job offers better pay, better benefits, slightly less vacation, and a couple of familiar faces. All in all, I think this will be GREAT for Peter.
And, if not, Thomson changed their mind about the layoffs at the last minute, so Peter could likely take his old job back.
What a roller coaster ride this has been :).

Since Peter's last day at work is March 7, and he starts his new job on March 17, he gets to spend a week with his family.
And, since the boys are on spring break from March 7- March 16.....
We are taking a SURPRISE spring break trip!!!
This will be the boys' first airplane ride!

I can't wait to blog about our trip.

Here are a few pictures of what we've been up to (or rather what Brady has been up)....

Brady's first basketball game. He's the little one with the skinny legs ;).

Brady and Daddy digging out a snow tunnel.
This was obviously prior to many inches of snow that are now on the ground.

Brady with his project at the Science Fair