Saturday, July 16, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Monday, July 18 I fly out to Washington DC filling my new role as a US Youth Ambassador Mentor. I'm not sure what access to the internet I'll have there, but for now I will post my pre-adventure feelings.

1. Uneasy about leaving my family. I am SO BLESSED to have the best husband and mom to hold down my normal responsibilities for the weeks I'm gone. I know they will all be fine. However, I might be a huge blubbering mess leaving them. I prefer to say I will be gone for 4 weeks rather than a month. It is easier on my heart.

2. Excited to see Washington DC as an Ambassador Mentor. I've been there before, but never with the kind of access to the embassy and service projects we will have this time.

3. ECUADOR! I get to return to South America. It has been 14 years since I was in a Spanish speaking country. TOO LONG considering being a Spanish teacher is my livelihood now. I will be in Quito most of the time, with a few days in the Amazonian region, as well as a day or two in an indigenous region. I will stay with host families, and visit children's homes and an orphanage. We will do some service projects down there, as well as spend time touring and getting to know more about the country in general. AMAZING OPPORTUNITY, right!?!

I have the same feelings I've had before every big thing I've done in my life. (college, mission, marriage, having babies, new jobs, etc.) I guess that is a good sign. Hopefully I will be able to post while I'm gone (I'll be on facebook occasionally at the least), but if not...nos vemos en agosto.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


It is summer and it's a good time to be a teacher. Things are much quieter with only 3 kids instead of 150. I am always amazed with my ability to fill the 40 hours a week I usually spend teaching without much effort. I do admit I'm sleeping in with my little family, and not needing to be anywhere, or pack 4 lunches a day are truly heaven.

The kids are are exactly that; kids. I've run out of babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. We have yet to enter the teen years, so we are in a utopia of childhood right now in the Williamsfam5. Days are full of camps - so far they've attended Masters of Illusions (aka magic camp) and soccer camp for the boys, and currently Brooklyn is away for the week at YMCA residence camp. (sniff from mom) We swim, play on the trampoline and I'm constantly acting as the "screen time" police, encouraging the boys to put down the ipod touch and play outside. We've eaten a steady stream of snowcones and slushies. Living one block from them is just too tempting. We really do live in the best part of Boise for Summer Time fun.

My feelings are torn now though as I prepare for one of the biggest adventures I'm sure I'll ever be a part of. In two weeks I leave my little family for 4 weeks to be a US Youth Ambassador Mentor for the US Department of State. I'll be in Washington DC for a week and then we are off to Ecuador for 3 weeks! You can check out this link if you are interested in more info:
I'll try to blog while I'm there. I'm hoping my new ipad2 will be here by then. Keep in touch and watch my adventures. Hopefully I'll be ok so far from my favorite people on the planet.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Best Ice Cream Ever!

Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream, Seattle

Visiting my childhood friends has its perks! Ice cream everyday!
Flavors this week:
Balsamic Strawberry
Salted Carmel
Sasquatch - Granola, Chocolate Chunks, Carmel in Chocolate Ice Cream
Girl Scout Mint

What flavor should I try tomorrow?

Good thing this trip is only 5 days long. I might be 200 pounds soon otherwise.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Catching Up - Spring 2011

I've been consistently cold, or on the chilly side of moderate all Spring. Boise has left a lot to be desired as far as lovely spring days are concerned, but we've had fun with Easter and Spring events nonetheless. (Is that one word?)

The Springtime Summary:
EASTER = Cute kids
aka too many cute pics to post

Each class goes on a trip to different places each spring. As a teacher, I have attended 3 of the 5 trips Foothills School has taken this season.

Trip 1: 6th-8th grades - Olympic National Park, Washington
AMAZING scenery, ok weather, fuzzy trees, non-intentional Twilight Tour to Forks, and the Quilute Nation
Trip 2: 4th-5th grades - Oregon Coast, Newport
Brooklyn's class! It's always fun to be both the teacher AND the mom. (Yes, I am serious. I realize 'tone' can be misinterpreted.) Again, there are too many pics to choose from. Should I post the tide pools, the ocean boat ride or Brooklyn dissecting a squid at OSU?
ok I can't decide
I have some pretty amazing pictures of sea life both from the ocean and the aquarium in Newport, but we'll move on to the next trip.

Trip 3: Kindergarten-1st graders - Horsetheif YMCA Camp, (near Cascade, ID)
Lucas' class! We stay closer to home with the little guys and the trip is only 2 nights, rather than a full week. It was eventful, including a trip with Lucas to the Cascade Emergency Room the first night there. He was knocked over by a falling classmate in an intense game of freeze tag on an asphalt playground. I am happy to report that it was a Williamsfam5 first! Pretty good record for having kids for almost 11 years now, it was my first trip to the ER with one of them. He had a small laceration on the back of his head and we could have opted for 1 staple. However, we decided the trauma of getting the staple would not out weigh the benefit. We walked out of there with a freshly scrubbed head and 2 glow sticks.

The rest of the trip was full of rock climbing, art projects, ropes course and campfires.
That was all the traveling for me. But Ian's class went on a trip that I didn't attend. As a faculty member I don't choose which trips to take, I just go where they send me. Ian took his 1st trip without a parent and did just fine on his own. He is really growing up! Since I wasn't there, I don't have many pictures to choose from, but I'll talk with him and we can post one of his favorite shots later.

Besides traveling, the kids did a fantastic Spring Music Performance, all based around Broadway musicals.
We found out Ian is a ham:
Brooklyn is fancy in stage make-up:
Lucas is the cutest Lion King ever:
HAPPY SPRING and now we're off to a busy summer...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

1st Pinewood Derby

Ian numbered his car 08, so he can always remember how old he was when he made it. I think 8 is his lucky number - it only makes sense, having been born on 08/08.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Life is back

Although I had to have a brief meltdown yesterday when it was decided we would NOT be traveling to a warm and sunny location for Spring Break, today I am thrilled because it is NOT WINTER ANYMORE! There are signs the sun may return to my life.
1. I didn't have to scrape ice off my windshield this morning.
2. The gardening department has returned to Fred Meyer.
3. The 1,000,000,000 bulbs I planted last fall are peeking out.
4. My Spanish calendar was switched from "invierno" to "primavera" today.
5. My kids won't go to bed on time, because it is lighter later.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. I can see it. I can't wait to feel it.

Happy Spring Everyone!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

We are good, and didn't win - Lessons we've learned from losing.

(Disclaimer - This is going to read a little like a journal entry. However, the topic I believe is universal.)

Tonight was the Foothills School Variety Show.
Rewind a month.

Upon hearing about this show we decided it was time to make a family band. Brooklyn and Emily are finally getting good enough on the guitar to keep a song going and with Pappy as our "rock" we can really rock and roll. Aaron is steady on the conga drum and Ian holds the tambourine beat. Lucas joins in on the chorus and we all sing for a full scale sound. Brooklyn's voice has bloomed into a solo performer and the boys are always on key. We played "Everybody" by Ingrid Michaelson.

We loved it! Practicing together was one of the best things our family has ever spent time doing. The anticipation to the performance was exciting. We were the first act and we nailed it. We started the show with a bang.

30 acts later, it was over. The crowd enjoyed intermission while the judges decided the fate of the winners. Everyone was happy, feeling good and congratulating each other on great talents.

Then the winners were announced. There were a LOT of winners. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in many categories. Over half the participants walked away with prizes. Individual prizes for "best this" and "best that". Finally the grand prize winner...and nope, not us.

This is not the first time I've been passed up for a prize. In fact, now that I think about it, I've never won anything to my recollection. Even my childhood soccer team lost every game. I've managed through life and think I haven't suffered much for not winning. But somehow tonight is different. For the first time, I now have my kids at my side as the prizes are passed out to others. I have to somehow show them how great they were tonight, despite being overlooked by the judges. I have to capture that feeling of confidence, and self assurance they felt as they walked off the stage, before the winners were announced.

There was another little girl that did an AMAZING gymnastics performance and didn't get recognized. For a moment I was glad we didn't win either. Because, I was able to go to her, pull her tear stained hands from her face and say,
"Did you like my family band?"
She whimpered, "Yes, it was my favorite."
"Guess what. I didn't win anything!" I said to her. "I thought we did really well, and we didn't win either." So I asked her to give me a hug, and her little hug, sharing the pain of defeat, was one of the sweetest things I've ever felt. I wouldn't have had that hug if the Family Band had won.

So, losing isn't as fun as winning. In fact, it's hard to work through. I've mastered losing individually by becoming fairly non-competitive. However, tonight I would have liked to see my kids win. I would have liked to have them receive that external verification that they are exceptional. It's one thing to tell yourself, but it's another to have it confirmed by an audience. They worked hard to develop this talent they put out there tonight, and those prizes blew the wind out of their sails.

So tonight, we are learning to find contentment with ourselves, without the praise of trophies. I know we were good. We worked hard, we did the best we could and we left it on the stage. Brooklyn's strum was strong and steady, her voice was beautiful. The fullness I felt to have my dad, husband, and three kids with me singing is something I can't top. It's doing my favorite thing, with some of my favorite people.

Now give me some ideas on how to pass that joy to my kids who are feeling like they are not winners...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Being Content

"What does that mean anyway?" Aaron asked me yesterday.

So over the next few posts I will define my journey to Lenten contentment - what it means and does not mean.

Today I am content that although I was late for work due to a fit over a winter coat, no fits were thrown by me.

Also, I am finding contentment with

for lunch. With some crab and cottage cheese. Yum.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Is lent always supposed to feel like torture? Jesus fasted for 40 days and was then tempted by the devil. So following that model, I'd say yes.

However, this year I've decided to quit torturing myself for lent, and see how that feels.

I've decided to be content for lent.

This may be the most challenging thing I've ever done to honor the season. Will it bring me more joy? Will my family be happier? Will I be able to pull it off?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Before and After

I'll spare you. I thought about posting before and after pics of my dieting adventures, but that thought was less than a second long.

Suffice it to say, my freezer trick worked and I look better.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Diet I crazy for doing this?

I decided it was time to reclaim my jeans.

I don't mind feeling a little hungry. I don't mind keeping my meals simple. I don't even mind eating healthy food.

The hardest thing for me about eating "the right things" is when something DELICIOUS is in front of my face. Examples this month have been:
1. Curt & Jake's Yummy Christmas Casserole - French toast casserole with cheesy eggy goodness inside. (Relief Society Activity)
2. My mom's lasagna.(Gia, Elliott & Katie were in town so Mom cooked.)
3. Desserts from an awesome french bakery. (Thank you gift from a kind friend.)
4. Chocolate Muffins from Costco (Left over from Aaron's work.)

Those are just SOME of the temptations I have faced. But I found a solution for dealing with it. I freeze the food I want to eat. I don't get it now, but I will later (maybe, if I want it). So far this strategy is working out pretty well and the food is filling up my freezer and not my pants.

Food for thought.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

What it's like to be a Mormon...

I just posted this on (click on the ink below).
There are some pretty cool Mormons out there...

I'm a Mormon.