Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Cruise Jan/Feb 2016 Highlights

The kids the morning of the cruise

Our group of 22. Larson, Martins, and Vin Zants

Kail looking adorable

Jayden showing them all up

The only picture of us together

Stacey and Ariel

Waiting for Tinker Bell

The entrance to the ship's waterslide

First beach in Tortolla, British VI

A pirate ship at the second beach in Tortolla

Kail liked the stingrays

Beautiful beach in St Thomas

At one point she had 6 butterflies on her

He was so happy to get one finally

Jason and Kail riding the ship's waterslide

Captain Jack Sparrow





Monday, June 30, 2014


Some Memorial Day fun
This is Rebekah, a friend's daughter. Silly girl!
The boys playing in the water
My best friend, Alicia
All the adults hanging out after eating
Jayden looking studly
Kail showing off his water gun
Elijah (Alicia's son) roasting marshmallows
Stacey looking cute and eating a s'more
Miss Candace. Love her!
The men playing some card game

It's been a while

Well, it's been quite a while since I last wrote a blog. We've been busy over the last year and a half. The most recent things to write about are that this is the summer time! I'm pretty excited about summer because that means that the kids are home and we can spend lots of time with friends and having fun. I've also started homeschooling the kids. This is our trial run for homeschool. Stacey will return to public school in September and start middle school by choice. The boys will have the option to stay home and be homeschooled or to go to public school. So far, they are both opting for homeschool.

It has been a very interesting road to walk with homeschool. There are days I feel very overwhelmed with the information I need to put into their heads and days when I remember that I don't need the strict guidelines of the public school and that I can teach them what I/they want how I want to and when I want to. We can also take a lot more field trips. I'm also learning that I can turn most situations into a learning moment. Jason opened up savings accounts for the boys and I've taken them a few times to do deposits into those accounts. I've taught them how to fill out a deposit slip.

The life skills they will learn from homeschool are likely coming faster than if they were to stay in public school. I can teach them as things arise while they may have to wait until certain grades or moments in the year to learn them. I am, of course, still having them learn the basics. It's required by the state. I have to do annual testing as well for them. I'm okay with that. I'm also having them learn a second language. They each decided to learn a different one from the others. Stacey is learning French, Jayden is learning Italian, and Kail is learning Spanish. It's been interesting, but fun to watch them grow.

I'm sure there are a few of you reading this and wondering why Stacey will go to public school, but the boys won't. Here's why. Stacey thrives in public school. Every teacher she's ever had praises her. She is well adjusted socially and her grades are B's and higher, except in math. She even got into advanced English in middle school. She loves school and loves the environment. The boys are not so well adjusted. They are both extremely smart, but they don't do things in a timely manner. Jayden almost completely refuses to do any sort of writing work, not because he can't, but because he doesn't like it. Kail struggles with social interactions. He's a very social person and loves to talk to people and joke around. He's just not good at sitting down and listening to the teacher. He also acts out quite a bit when he's feeling abandoned by Jason working long hours. I can now see what Kail is doing during his social interactions and make sure that his behavior is corrected instead of sending him to the "corner" and hoping he'll figure it out on his own.

Both boys have started showing improvements in their actions. They both enjoy the language and love the math website. They also do pretty well with the workbooks we have for them. Stacey is doing well too and I'm hoping that this little bit during the summer will boost her math scores and help her in French when the school year starts.

Stacey also gets to go to Young Women's girls camp this year. Although she won't be 12 by then, the stake is allowing her and others girls who are turning 12 this year to go. She is really looking forward to that. This week the ward is doing a day camp fund raiser. The YW go to the church and help out to raise the money for camp. They have each day themed. Today is Superhero/Princess Day. Tomorrow is Sports/Dance Day, Wednesday is water day, and Thursday is Safari Day. I'm sending the boys on Wednesday because they sure love to play in water. Stacey only needed to do one day of volunteering, but she wants to be there everyday to help out and I'm not going to deny her that.

Jayden has become quite the helper too. If I ask for help or make mention of something being out of place, he'll jump up and do it. He's so good! It's really nice to see him open up. It seems as if he's been closed off for some time, but now he's opening up and letting his amazing personality shine. He's also turned out to be a pretty good painter. I asked if he wanted to take an art class and he said no because he wants to draw what he wants to draw. I'm still working on getting him to do one. He may turn out to be an awe inspiring artist.

Kail is a silly, inventive little monster who adores his family. He loves to joke around and be silly. He's always trying to make people laugh. He uses his Trio blocks to build different weapons. Mostly guns. Yes, I know, weapons are not good, but he does not use them on anyone. If he's shooting or stabbing, it's at pretend "bad guys". He loves to draw and play video games, but he loves to be outside too. He adores his daddy. If Jason would let him, Kail would go to work with him everyday. One thing Kail got for Christmas was a tool box and some tools. He loves building things, we just need to get him some things to build with his tools.

I did my first bike race on the 21st. It was pretty crazy. I was getting over a summer cold and I still raced the 30 miles on gravel. You can see a picture of me on Facebook from Banjo Brothers which is a company that makes bags and gear for cyclist. I won the backpack for being way over my head. Honestly, I went into the race knowing I wasn't going to set any sort of records and I was not going to be upset for coming in last because I actually completed the race. It was the longest I've ever ridden, but certainly the most rewarding. I'm not a quick cyclist, but I'm consistent and I am improving.

Jason is still working long hours because of it being the beginning of A/C season. He's trained in a few other people, but they mostly do installs. There are two others who do diagnostics and recharges, but he is still the final say on diagnostics. He runs all over the metro area all day long fixing, diagnosing, and troubleshooting A/C's. He actually is now getting over Shingles and is also having insomnia. The poor guy. He's getting better, though. He's just been really, really stressed.

Those have been our fun filled summer days so far. I'll be adding more pictures hopefully soon.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Finally, Christmas pictures

 Here is Jayden and Kail seeing Santa on Jayden's birthday trip to the Minnesota Zoo.
 Our Christmas tree that had a crooked trunk. I still loved it.
 Stacey with her snowboard
 Jayden getting a Lego Ninjago motorcycle
Kail's Boba Fett piggy bank
And Sam with more toys than he knew what to do with

Christmas 2012

Well, I could not get pictures to upload on here. I'm quite annoyed as this is the only way some of my family has to see the pictures. Sorry.

We had a lot of fun for Christmas. Stacey got a snowboard (just a cheap one from Fleet Farm) and a digital camera from Santa. Jayden got a Kinex motorcycle to build and some model cars to put together that just snap together and do not require glue from Santa. Kail got a Cut the Rope board game and model airplanes like Jayden's cars from Santa.
Stacey also got some make-up, socks, a manicure set, pedicure set, some clothes, and some money from extended relatives and her favorite gift was the Tweety Bird slippers from Grandma Lori. Jayden got a Star Wars thing where you put a character from the movie into these little balls that look like the Death Star and you roll them at each other to fight, a shirt that has a fork dress like Darth Vader and a spork that is dressed like Luke Skywalker that says, "Spork, I'm your father", a bb gun from Grandma Lori with eye protection from Grandma Doris, money from extended relatives, and some other clothes (which he was surprisingly excited about). Kail got a Boba Fet piggy bank, a bb gun from Grandma Lori with eye protection from Grandma Doris, a shirt that says, "My To Do List: 1. Wake up 2. Eat 3. Play 4. Make a mess 5. Hug mommy 6. High-five daddy 7. Be Awesome", and an art set. All three got candy from Grandma Doris and some good stuff in their stockings.
They all made out pretty well for our first Christmas back in Minnesota. We sure did miss my side of the family, but we'll get there someday, hopefully soon.
On a side note, I was hired at Gordmans for the Christmas season. It was nice to be able to work and earn some money for the season and get a discount on top of the great prices there. I was even hired on permanently now that the season is over. I don't particularly enjoy retail, but it's a job and I like the people. If you don't know what Gordmans is, it's a department store like Kohl's. You really should check it out as it has some really nice stuff.
The kids are still doing great out here. They have all sorts of friends, as do Jason and I, and they are doing well in school. Jayden is struggling with paying attention and I am working with his teacher to hopefully see if we can get his concentration down. He's an incredibly brilliant child, he just doesn't stay focused very well. He says that it's because he's bored. Kail struggles with the basic idea of listening and following the teacher's instructions in a timely manner, but we are working on that too. He's doing so well otherwise and loves school. Stacey is doing amazing. She is highly praised by her teacher and has many friends. Every assignment she brings home has an A, A- or B+ grade.

Hopefully I'll figure out how to get the pictures up soon.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Well Now

Hello to everyone who follows. I'm sorry I have not posted on here for a long time. We have been quite busy and now I have the time and the freedom to post.
As most of you know, we've returned to Minnesota. It was a bit of a rough change as we went from living in our own house to sharing with Mary. We are grateful for her hospitality and are happy we have gotten a little more established.
At the beginning of the move, Jason stayed behind to work until I could find a job. That lasted for about 2 months and returned to us in September. I am, however; still unemployed. Jason was lucky to find a job working for a guy in our ward whose family owns a heating, plumbing, A/C, and other such things company. He's keeping busy and the company he works for also works with a lady here in the Twin Cities that has a show on HGTV or DIY Network. I don't remember which. The show is called Rehab Addict. He's come home a few nights saying that he'll probably be on the show and has told a few stories of talking to the camera guys from the network.
I am apparently destine to spend my time in school. I have been extremely unsuccessful at finding a job in the last 3 months of being here as well as looking and applying for several months prior to the actual move. This is a bit frustrating as I have a Bachelor degree, but it didn't seem to appeal to anyone here. I've decided to return to school. I will make my attempt at the nursing program at Century College. I'm pretty much a semester away from the program, but I also have to get really good grades in certain things and I have to take the Nursing Assistant program.
The kids are thriving in school and having so much fun here. Stacey has said to me that she really likes it here both in school and church. Kail is actually enjoying and voluntarily going to primary every week. He's actually cried when we took him out early one Sunday. Jayden is the same old kid he was before seemingly not too interested in much other than video games and TV. He is doing amazing in school and only struggles with knowing what information is needed for writing a story. Kail does seem to be having some small issues with adjusting to not being able to do what he wants when he wants, but hopefully the talks we've had with him have helped.
I have been called as the Enrichment Leader in my new ward and I love this ward. They are all so friendly and it's wonderful having such a fun calling. We are preparing for our Super Saturday to take place in just 2 days. I'm excited and know that it wouldn't be happening if I hadn't said anything to the previous Enrichment leader. She had no idea what it was, but once I explained it to her, she was on board and ready. I helped her prepare and get ideas until they called me into that position and now she's gracefully helping me complete the project. She is also still the Enrichment Counselor, so she still has her part in it. I will try to post some pictures of our projects.
That is the extent of our lives here in a nut shell. If I'd kept up on the Blog, I'm sure more information would have made it on here, but these are the highlights. The rest is for you to enjoy in pictures with captions.

Stacey's birthday. This hat was a gift and she loves it.

Stacey and her friend Ellie Jo pushing Jayden and Ellie Jo's brother Sam up the hill in the back yard. They'd ride down the hill in the wagon and take turns doing so.

Jason is helping Kail ride a friend's kid dirt bike. Since he can't ride a bike without training wheels, Jason had to hold on the entire time.

The kids walking to school the first day. It's really Stacey and Jayden's second day because kindergarten started one day later.

Cutie Kail on his first day of school.

Kail figured out that it's fun to ride on the four wheeler and no one has to hold him up. He loves riding it quite a bit.

Jayden figured out that it really wasn't that bad to ride the dirt bike and actually now wants one of his own. Little dare devil.

This is my attempt at amateur photography of the changing leaves. They're so pretty.

The kids are riding in the trailer attached to the ride-on lawnmower. They helped Jason do yard work.

Our cute little Sam really enjoying the sun.

The kids at the Minnesota State Zoo. They had a blast.
Jayden is getting such a goofy personality. He does love to joke around and here he's showing how the unofficial Minnesota State Bird can attack at any moment.

Kail in a mock bird's nest at the zoo. Apparently this thing spins.

I have no idea what she was doing, but it's hilarious.
Stacey's Halloween costume. If you can't guess, she's an angel. I wanted to get little devil horns and then attach a halo to them, but that didn't happen. 

Jayden as a Ninja Lord.

Kail as a cop. He ended up being a gansta cop at some point in the night as he put his hat back on and it was basically sideways.

This is the kids' haul of candy. We brought the blue bag so they could dump their candy in it when their bags got heavy. Most of this is Kail's and they all still have more candy not pictured on the table here. They really made out well last night.