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Monday, December 4, 2017

february: evvvvverything else


The name of the game in February was adventures! Leaving the house! Freedom from our January snow house arrest! So naturally we kicked it off with some doctor's appointments:

Jack and Carma both had viruses that turned into wee spots o' pneumonia, so that was special. Blessedly very minor cases. No evidence that the illnesses were linked to Jack's winter wardrobe of shorts and tall socks, which is good since he's resolved to maintain that get-up this winter... 

The kids and I had a few fun adventures with Grandpa during the month, starting with seeing Moana at the movie theater! Carma was wiggly and wanted to sing and dance along, so she and I headed to the lobby... and then a nearby thrift store... as to not get popcorn thrown at us (the theater was packed!) but the boys all loved it! 

Later in the month we joined up with Grandpa and Cody - first up was lunch at our fave BK and then Carma and I sneaked away to run errands while Grandpa, Cody, and the boys checked out a way cool gem and rock show at the fairgrounds! Both of my parents have passed on their love of rocks to Cody (and me, although I generally won't admit it haha) and my kids are falling right into line. They had a great afternoon!

Valentine's Day fell in February this year (so hard to keep track of that) so we busted out a little sweatshop at the kitchen table for the boys to assemble their Valentines.
Instagram caption for this one: I hope all of Will's classmates appreciate the time he's spending matching each sports-themed valentine to their individual personalities πŸ€”⚽️πŸ€πŸπŸˆ⚾️πŸŽΎπŸ‘§πŸ»πŸ‘¦πŸΌπŸ‘§πŸ½πŸ‘¦πŸ»πŸ‘§πŸ‘¦πŸ½πŸ‘±πŸ»‍♀️... apologies in advance, however, that no one will be receiving "you're 1st place in my heart" - Will explained to me that it was 'too romantic' and 'not appropriate for kids' πŸ˜³πŸ˜˜πŸ’πŸ˜‚

February was a great month for Saturday afternoon movies - this time was with Grandma Pam and a blessedly empty theater watching Trolls. Will sat at the front by himself, Jack and Clyde stayed close to Grandma, and Carma and wandered where the wind blew us - up and down the aisle, in various seats near and far. And I liked it wayyyyyy more than I thought I would! 
Clyde and I had a little afternoon date out to the charter school to watch Seth play some basketball. Still trying to figure out who told my little Cub Scouts they could grow up become taller than me...

Carma had a pretty busy month. I don't keep blue eyeshadow in the house, so she devised a plan to use blue marker on her arm and then strategically rub her arms on her eyelids.... or maybe it was accidental. Honestly with this girl, it could go either way. She also obliged me as an airplane so I could work out my (non-existent) ab and leg muscles. Peek... a... boo!

 Fashion-wise, it was a month of a lot of dress-on-skirt-on-leggings outfits. My mom gave her that rabbit shirt purely to torture me hahaha. And if there's anything funnier than a two-year-old singing animatedly into a turkey baster, I've yet to see it...

We took advantage of Chuck's Saturday afternoon off and headed to Boise for a family adventure at the zoo (thanks Lindsays for the pass!!). 
We marched around and checked out our faves and then headed across the street for an indoor adventure at the Boise Library. We randomly stumbled up on them hosting a way cool Little House on the Prairie event so that was fun:
(another Instagram caption) "We stopped in at the Boise library πŸ“š this afternoon on a whim and who did I find but my favorite childhood librarian, Diane! Even better, she recognized me and remembered my name ❤️. We spent so much time at the library when I was growing up, researching storytelling books (the boys) or history day projects (all of us) or reading soap opera magazines (me as a teenager πŸ˜‚) or batting eyelashes and offering profuse thanks as overdue fines were forgiven yet again (Mom on behalf of all of us 😳). Diane was a huge part of my library memories and seeing her totally made my day."

Park Ridge hosted a math and science night, so we traipsed over for it and had a great time. Jack loved doing little addition problems, Will loved seeing his friends and teacher, Clyde loved ditching us immediately to hang out with his buddies, and Carma loved the music room. Possibly too much, if her cries as I dragged her out were any indication... and everyone loved the STEM bus!!

Clyde and his agile feet earned him a coveted spot at the 5th grade elementary school jump rope competition. He did a great job, although I have no stats to back up that claim; we slipped out early to make it to Scouts that night. Clyde had a great time though, and conveniently sat with his good buddy Cobhan on one side and his good buddy Jasmyn just down the lunch table bench from him ;). 

Girrrrrls' night with these crazies. Karen hooked us up with a free slice o' pie for the absent-but-much-missed Kara which was lovely.

Aaaaand I got to steal these cute boys for an afternoon which brings me a ridiculous amount of joy. Look at their faces!!!!

Random family bike ride in the chilly February weather. I believe this was one of Jack's last rides on that wee 12" bike...

OH man, all sortsa randomness here. Aren't we proud that Jack is learning to write? Making a sign to bar bothersome parents from one's room is pretty good motivation ;). That white lamp prompted a wave of nostalgia - my grandma gave me one for Christmas when I was little and it was a touch lamp and I thought it was the prettiest thing ever. Also, enjoy my messy kitchen and living room. I'd caught a friend unaware with a RS visit earlier that week and she lamented her (not at all) messy house so I sent her that picture as commiseration haha.

Clyde and I have rival t-shirts and we think it's pretty fun to wear them and trash talk a bit. No one tell him that I'm actually thrilled he has his sights set on the Y!!

Aaaaand now let's end on some funny notes - these are random hilarious memes I took screenshots of during the month and still bring me as much joy as they did then:



Peace out to February! Let's March on, eh? .... get it? ..... 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

February: church stuff


Sometimes I accidentally click on cool Mormon fashion instagram ladies and realize literally the only difference between me and them is... wait for it... the background of our pictures. I mean, why they aren't photographed in their driveways with tire marks and a weird dirt lot behind them is totally beyond me ;).
But here we have my amazing Sunday-before-Valentine's Day picture. Fun fact: it was also the day I was sustained as Relief Society 2nd Counselor, aka my most grown up sounding calling to date. I asked Chuck a couple days prior if I could still wear my red and white striped tights to church as a member of the RS presidency and he (as patiently/kindly as possible) rolled his eyes and assured me that I could still be Jana in this new calling to which I breathed a hearty sigh of relief ;).

And here's Carma's Sunday-before-Valentine's Day outfit, for the record I chose the clothes and she selected the large flower on top hahahaha:
 

Another random Sunday I was trying to get a picture of her outfit because I LOVED it and she opted for a quick tree climbing attempt... is that a popular fashion blogger pose? Mid arboreal ascension?? 

Okay, this day Carma wasn't really having it but I persisted because I was soososososo happy about this dress:

SO CUTE, RIGHT? And familiar?? Yes, because little baby Carma had the same one!!:
 And a quick side by side. Seriously probably my favorite dress ever. The littler version was a Savers find while I was pregnant with Carma, and the larger version was a... D.I. find this time? I think? Holding out on finding even bigger sizes in the next few years ;).

Moving beyond the Sunday fashion portion of this post, February = Blue and Gold Banquet for Cub Scouts! The boys started off with a cute skit:

and then had a fun meeting with awards for the boys, yummy food, and a fun storytelling activity. 

Melissa gave us this puzzle when we were in Utah and we spent a few days doing it. Such a beautiful picture:

Made it to the temple with some awesome ladies!

February 6th marked the anniversary of when I was baptized! Here's my instagram caption: Once upon a time on February 6th I was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and while I'm still working on laying aside all those pesky besetting sins πŸ˜³πŸ™ˆ, I can testify of a loving God who is willing to listen and forgive as many times as I go to him to repent ❤️πŸ˜…☺️πŸ™ŒπŸΌ. (jokes I considered for this caption: ... "it wasn't a decision I entered into blindly"... or... "and I've never looked back" πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ So glad Heavenly Father blessed me which such a sharp sense of humor πŸ˜‰πŸ˜ŽπŸ’…πŸΌπŸ’ƒπŸ»πŸ˜‚)

Ohhh I love this. Carma loves her friend Brother Volkert, and this particular sacrament meeting she ventured over enough to sit with him for a bit so naturally I had to bend the rules a bit and take a picture. We are so blessed with wonderful people in our ward who indulge this little nutty girl and her wanderings and spinning and craziness every Sunday!!

Oh, and here's Carma at our Relief Society activity - she sneaked into Bishop Swenson's office and came out with a candy and picture of Jesus, both of which she cherished and reverently explained came from "Bee-shup Swenson" when asked. Carma might have a slight crush on Bee-shup Swenson ;).

 Aaaand Chuck and I made it to the temple together, but apparently the good Lord chose to bless us for our service a way that was not making us photogenic hahahaha.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

january: the snow. ALL the snow


Back in my History Day years, I was allll about primary sources. Primary sources were golden. That meant you had a firsthand account of the historical event you were studying and creating a paper/project/performance about - so a diary entry, or an interview, or any kind of personal account. Much more reliable than secondary sources.

Which is why I'm thrilled to think about someone stumbling upon my blog in a hundred years whilst studying about the snowstorm of January 2017 in Nampa, Idaho when it SNOWED A MILLION INCHES. Literally. I was there:
At one point, we were like, whoops, we probably should have put our table away for the winter... and then we were like, WAIT, that's a fabulous way to tell how much dang snow has accumulated at any given time. 

The snowfall also allowed us to capture this goony moment with Will and Clyde THAT MATCHED A PICTURE FROM BACK IN THE DAY and y'all know how much I love when that happens :).

This was another funny moment that I merrily shared on instagram and facebook: one of us married up in the looks department ;). But seriously, how hot is Chuck out there with the snow shovel? Fun fact: he just stood there and all the snow on the driveway melted away like magic πŸ˜ πŸ”₯

Oh, this was another funny moment provided by the snow! Most of the time when you saw someone pushing a vehicle (which was allllll the time) it was because they were stuck. This yahoo neighbor from down the street was showing off on his four wheeler and ran out of gas. Is it bad that I laughed? Because I did.

Aaaaand one more funny moment - whenever I had VERY negative thoughts about the snow, I thought of this passage from one of my favorite books, Enduring Light and how Paul felt about the snow. I could def commiserate (you know, with a fictional character ;) ).

Okay, the crazy snow fall wasn't ALL fun and games. There's a thing called ice dams that happen on your roof and they're no joke. Luckily that hot snow shoveler from a couple pictures ago also turned out to be pretty good at roof clearing too! 

Um, yeah, he was also quite the trench creator. Times like this I'm extra glad Chuck knows stuff about the world and water and flooding - it legit wouldn't have dawned on me at all that since we live at the base of a culdesac, and because there was SO much snow that was allll starting to melt at once some days, we needed to make sure the gutters were clear down to the storm drain (spoiler alert: they weren't). Some awesome neighbors at the top of the culdesac did a great job up there and Chuck and I took care the street as it came down by us and I only had the annoying song from Frozen stuck in my head a few times as I chipped at the ice ;).

This corner by our house is a pretty regular flood zone when it rains heavily - except that last summer the city redid a storm drain area near it (where there was actually an even worse flood zone). Alas, it was still no match for this much snow and slush and ice and it became a lake once more: 


It's also the site of one of the only rescue operations I have a picture of - I think every person in Nampa could regale you with about twenty stories of cars that they helped push/pull/dig out/etc. It was insane. We'd be driving along, see a stuck car, hop out, dig them out, get back in our car, and hope we hadn't just gotten stuck too!


Anyways, here's some of the trench digging we did from that little lake to its storm drain. It was SO exhilarating to dig and break up ice and then watch the water flow and flow and flow down and the lake sloooowly recede. Almost made up for the lack of feeling in one's fingers ;).



Okay, so I get that people in Utah and like Minnesota weren't that impressed with the Treasure Valley and our collective freaking out about alllll the snow. But y'all have to understand, this is loads unusual for us and our streets and neighborhoods weren't laid out and designed for this kind of snowfall. We have a gazillion culdesacs. And we don't have those fancy high, straight curbs. And we park on the street ALLL THE DAYS OF WINTER. And the snow wasn't the main problem - it was the crazy high frozen ruts. Most cars that were stuck were high-centered on them.

Things got a wee bit tense in Nampa as the city scrambled to provide plows and replacement parts and contractors to destroy the aforementioned ruts. I reallllly struggle when people sit at their computers and whine so I countered as often as possible on city facebook posts with a whole lotta sucking up and cheerleading ;). But seriously people - if in 2016 our city leaders said, "Hey guys, what if one of these winters we get the most snow in like over a hundred years? That would be crazy... but we want to raise property taxes and spend tens of thousands of dollars on some shiny plows to store in a city shed somewhere just in case" WE WOULD HAVE ALL LOST OUR MINDS. Instead we just lost our minds when they said, "Yeah, we have like four plows. We'll do our best!!!"

More random shoveling pictures. 

THE PLOWS!!!! So beautiful. We cheered and waved. I had friends who greeted them with food and water offerings. So cool. Aren't those flat, driveable streets SO pretty??

And again, allll the credit to my amazing husband. He was so dedicated (and thus inspired me to be dedicated as well) in making sure our sidewalk and driveway were always clear, as well as the area around our fire hydrant. This helped a ton. He also made sure to smooth out the area between our driveway and the street - sooo many cars were getting stuck just trying to pull in or out of their houses. Stuff like that was not on my radar at all. Good thing we're a team ;).

Okay, we'll switch gears to more fun stuff about the snow: sleddddding! I think we ended up breaking like five of those disc sleds during our sledding adventures, these yellow ones were courtesy of my dad, thanks! We grabbed our favorite Andrew and all had a great time:

One snow day found Chuck and the kids outside making the requisite snowmen... although it may have turned into a snowball fight pretty early on. We ended up with... nine snow days? Ten? And a number of them fell on Chuck's normal days off from work which was a-mazing.

More cute kiddos outside in the snow!

And more random pictures of our front yard, heavily featuring our truck that we love despite its decidedly inconvenient two wheel drive. If you've never driven a two wheel drive stick shift big truck in the snow... we have something in common; I haven't either! Sounds terrible though :).

And that's our comprehensive report about Snowmaggedon/Snowpacalypse/whatever trendy names they came up with that I can't spell and am too lazy to google! Remember, young scholars, you heard it hear first: ONE MILLION INCHES OF SNOW FELL IN NAMPA, IDAHO IN JANUARY 2017. SIGNED, SOMEONE WHO LIVED THROUGH IT.