Friday, August 9, 2013

I have a teenager.

At 12:06 am on August 9, 2000 I became a mom. Brooklyn Eve has always been a lovely little lady. She is an observer, a peacemaker, and a kind soul. She reaches out to people in subtle and genuine ways.

At 13 years old she is now developing into a young woman with talents beyond what we've taught her. There is no teaching the level of order in which she keeps her drawers and bedroom, and she certainly didn't get it from her parents. She has concise skills to organize and I need some of that in my life. Thank you God for sending me this helper. 

She asks for very little. She is selfless. She had nothing on her birthday list, so I suggested that rather than a present we spend some money sending her to a "cake boss class" courtesy of my friend and cake pro Sarah Swenson Gorringe. They spent 6 hours yesterday making these little gems.   

Today's party consisted of a bunch of awesome teenagers floating the Boise river together.

We ended the day at Ann Morrison Park with friends, sun, and excellent cakes.

BIG THANKS to Grandma Susie and Grandpa Stoy for driving all our gear to and fro. We are so lucky to have you to help us!

Brooklyn, I am so happy you are a teenager now. This phase of life will be full of wonderful experiences - spanning every emotion. You are an exceptional person. Your inner strength is admirable and Dad and I want you to keep it strong as your mature into adulthood. It is so easy to be your parent, but when you need us we'll be there. We trust you, love you, and are inspired by you. We are so happy to welcome you into your teen years. Enjoy! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ian is 11

This boy joined us 11 years ago. I woke up at around 5 am and knew it was the day. We had been preparing Brooklyn for her little brother and told her he'd come around her birthday. We just didn't expect such perfect timing. He was born 6 hours and 3 minutes before Brooklyn's 12:06 am birthday on August 9. I guess he wanted his own day. He entered the world at 6:03 pm, 8-8-02.

He came quickly and too quietly. He came bruised and unable to breathe. He came burdened with mortality; it hit him the hardest of my three children. He was bald, blue, and so lovable. He remains lovable.

This morning he woke and opened his present. A Perplexis Epic. If you are not familiar with this toy, you do not have a child between the ages of 9-13. It has my full endorsement as it is not digital, nor does it have a screen and kids still like it.
We took the family out to breakfast at Kneaders. Yum. All the breakfast goodness you can imagine and I wasn't hungry for the rest of the day.

The Party!
Ian's buddies met at our house at 1:00 and then we headed to the Columbia Village Pool. August birthdays are perfect. If I had to have two kids in one month, August was the right month to do it.

After swimming we returned to our house for cake and presents. Ian chose a strawberry cake and then I added a layer of lemon for good measure. Three layers of deliciousness.

Quickly devoured.

I guess when it's your birthday you're the one who gets to sit on the table. 

Ian, you are tender. You are intelligent. You are irreplaceable. 
You are loved. 
Happy birthday.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What's up with Lucas?

There will be no third child syndrome in this family. Lucas is just as loved and photographed as the rest. And he is especially cute. 

He's getting steadier on his bike. 

He likes to play with his Dad at the frisbee golf range.

He has insane teeth that grow in rows and don't knock his baby teeth out. So we had to get the dentist to help with the shark teeth. Three teeth out.

He loves his big brother and they both love ice cream.

 He is allergic to something and got hives for a week. Too bad we can't figure out what caused it. 


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend

We love our cabin and the friends it lures to play! 
Good fishing!
This is my favorite photo of the weekend, taken by my artistic daughter. Yep, she's 12. Her composition in photography is just one of the many skills she didn't get from her mother. 

Friday, May 31, 2013

Spring School Trips 2013

Every May all the kids and I get to take class trips for school. The big news of this year is that Lucas went without a parent. This was his first time away without Aaron or me going along. Therefore, we have no pictures. But the report from Horsethief YMCA Camp was, "Fun." "It hailed on us." You never know what you are going to get in the Idaho mountains in May.

Brooklyn also went without a parent on her class trip. One of the greatest advantages of teaching at the same school where my kids attend is that I often am part of the faculty team for their trips. (Last year to Costa Rica was a PERFECT example of this perk.) This year though the Spanish teacher did not attend any of the exciting Jr High adventures. They floated the main Salmon river for a week in the fall, went to the McCall Outdoor Science School to study snowpack in the winter and headed to the desert for the Spring Trip. The main destinations were camping in Moab, Arches National Park and Mesa Verde, CO.

I did get to attend Ian's class trip to San Francisco. As a subject specific teacher I get some flexibility to choose which class I accompany during the annual spring trips. I chose the 5/6 class this year because I have never been on a school trip with Ian and I really wanted to go to San Francisco. It was a win-win. We had a great time touring science centers, and I lined up a trip to the ITVS headquarters so the kids could see the company that made the documentary The Revolutionary Optimists which we had been studying about all year long. We also went to a Giants baseball game, so really nothing could beat that for a group of 5th and 6th graders.
Ian and his teacher Robbie Prokop. Can you name that island?

Ian and me at the Giants game. We are now Giants fans. 

 "Flowers in her hair..." Name that tune.
With flowers in my hair we headed to Haight Ashbury for a little schooling on the roots of hippies.

AND the big bonus of the trip was that I visited Laurel's house in San Francisco for the first time in the 20 years she's lived there!

Science says that people will avoid drinking water that is clean if it appears to be contaminated. Ian isn't one to follow data. 

We ended the trip with the grand finale to all good travel, CHOCOLATE. Ghirardelli Square sundaes and milkshakes! Yum.

I love my job this time of year. :) And I love traveling with my kids.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Time Passing

I always find the time to finish my work. It's just my life that gets left behind. Let's get updated a bit shall we?

Everyone in my family is awesome. I know almost everyone in the world feels that way and if they don't it's sad. The greatest thing is that it's true, most people are awesome and everyone is correct that their family is amazing. However, this is the Williamsfam5 blog so my family gets to be the stars.

Aaron is super busy working as a realtor and guess what...BUSINESS IS GOOD! He has weathered a long drought in the business and I am impressed with his ability to continue forward in a career that doesn't always reward hard work. He is working with a team now and they are off to a powerful start. They have a cool looking website and Aaron has started a great blog. We are hopeful that the years he has endured will pay off in 2013! We checked out some Parade Homes over the past two weeks and he has written a bit about them. If you are into amazing mansions, you should go to Eagle, ID. It appears that's where the high rollers hang out.

I've been busy teaching, planting flowers, and babysitting Becky. Yesterday was a fun day in the backyard. While I planted, the kids ran through the sprinklers. It was pretty much a perfect way to spend a Monday afternoon.
I seem to post most of my doings on my other blog. It feels silly to repeat myself here.
Brooklyn continues to be more kind and easy to live with than expected as a 7th grade girl. I have a fair amount of exposure to Jr High students, since I teach them five days a week. She amazes me. I am so lucky to have such an inspiration and kind soul in my home. She is the one person in our family that is consistently positive, self sacrificing, and responsible. Three traits uncommon for Jr High and humanity in general.
Ian is full of personality and zest. This quarter his class is studing the decades of the 20th century. He was assigned the 1970s. Please enjoy the Williamsfam5 first and only Elvis impersonator.
He also has spent this quarter reading The Outsiders and considering if he is more like a Soc or a Greaser. After much thought he has determined he fits into neither category. He is his own man.
Lucas had a rough week last week. He has inherited my reactive personality and short fuse. I am so sorry. If there were any of my traits I would have liked to avoid carrying to my children it is this. Why couldn't he have gotten my green eyes instead? Foothills School has a strict and narrow policy for behavior in the lower grades and Lucas often finds himself outside of the bounds. We are looking for ways to change behavior without squashing self esteem. It's hard when you feel like the "bad kid" a lot of the time.
However, his accomplishments are many and we are going to make sure he knows that his good qualities far outweigh his short temper. Last week his class' book project was on display at Barnes and Noble. Here he is holding the book he wrote and illustrated.   
The Amazing Adventure of the Wolf  By Lucas Williams
"Once upon a time in the forest there lived a wolf. His name was Sharp Tooth. Sharp Tooth wanted to know why they were the only animal to have a temper. He talked to Hunter and he told him he needed to go talk with Dragon because Dragon is smart. When he reached Dragon he told him that he had a temper because hunter stabbed Sharp Tooth in his tail. Sharp Tooth finally understood why he has a temper."
Epilogue by Emily Williams:
If I ever find that hunter he'll have a mama bear to deal with.


Monday, April 1, 2013

Baptism day for Lucas and Kate

What can I say? Eight is great! Lucas is about a month older than Kate. Rachael is the only of my sisters in law that shared a pregnancy with me and I've always felt a special connection between these two. Since the Chandler family lives in Twin Falls now we don't get to see each other as much as we'd like. So we were all excited that they decided to come to Boise to baptize Kate. I immediately imposed upon the occation and suggested that Lucas also get baptized the same day. It was a very special day. Lucas is my baby, but it really does seem like these guys are still little. Look at these cute faces...

After the baptism we walked across the parking lot from the Cole Road chapel and took family pictures at the Boise Temple. Lucas particularly enjoyed tracing the letters engraved on the walls of the Temple.

He was blessed with a number of nice gifts to celebrate his special day, but he wouldn't let go of his new scriptures and journal. What a sweetheart.
I'll post more events of the Easter weekend and family fun, but this post is just for my special Kate and Lucas. We are so happy to be a part of their family.

Friday, March 22, 2013

It's Spring Break

It is tradition among the Williamsfam5 that on the first 70 degree day of the year we go to Fanci Freeze. I must set limits on our attendance at this favorite mom and pop burger and ice cream shop, so 70 degrees it is. We were lucky this year to have just two warmish days to begin our Spring Break off on a great note.

I should now post pictures of a fantastic trip to Seattle, but since I have none (as they are on Brooklyn and Aaron's phones), you will just have to take my word that Aaron and Brooklyn had a very fun daddy daughter road trip with Christopher and Emilie Eshbaugh. Complete with REI garage sale-ing and Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream. And the Space Needle was pretty cool too, so I hear.

The boys and I had our own sort of adventures right here in Boise. First, archery at Fort Boise.

Then a date night with just Mom and Lucas (Ian was sleeping over at a friend's house.) On the advice of his elder siblings, Lucas chose to go to Chuck a Rama for his date activity and proceeded to have 4 rounds to the all you can eat buffet. Totally entertaining.
Next, movie night in mom and dad's room and sleeping in dad's spot. Complete with Breakfast in Bed.

Ian rejoined us the next day and we proceeded with our mom and the boys weekend with more movie watching and major amounts of snuggling.

Then, Spring actually came! There is nothing more beautiful than tiny blooms amist the stillness of winter. Although the trees are still naked, we have color at our feet upon coming home these days.

Sometimes we still forget we are going to pray before we eat and although we try and fold our arms and close our eyes reverently, cheese makes prayer time a little unruly.

It snowed last night. We are half way through our two week break and the sun is shining and it is snowing anyway. That won't keep us from going to Camel's Back Park and making the most of the bright days though. Becky and Brenda joined us today for one of the most exciting park days we've had. They make everything a little more fun.

Brooklyn and Ian took it upon themselves to make sure Becky (Ian's charge) and Brenda (Brooklyn's charge) keep their momentum on the swings.

Aaron continues to be the coolest rock and roll, snowboarding, house selling, eclectic husband around. I have taken note of the lack of photos I have available of my dear spouse. I will make it a goal to try and snap some shots of him once he returns from
Boise's coolest musical extravaganza.
Watch out Portland and Seattle, Treefort has launched Boise to hipster levels of cool.