Disclaimer:  Please know that these kids are more than I write about them on this blog (the bad and the good).  Although I am a pretty open book here, I, of course, intentionally don’t write things that would incriminate these kids on here.  What would be the use of that?  But that makes it tricky because then people get the wrong idea that they are the only ones with kids with issues.  I adore these children of mine with all my heart and it is true they are really good kids (I got so darn lucky), but just because I highlight the good on here doesn’t mean there isn’t a rocky road with them here and there.  That’s why I’m praying my guts out for them and have parenting books piled on the side of my bed and call my mentor mothers to help me figure out how to deal with things all the time.  This parenting thing is certainly no cakewalk and these kids are certainly not perfect.  And neither am I.  So thank Heavens for second chances and forgiving children 🙂

Having said that, here’s my sweet-but-not-without-her-own-set-of-things-I-worry-about vibrant Grace.2013-04-07 general conference 728262013-04-07 general conference 728312013-04-07 general conference 728352013-04-07 general conference 728402013-04-07 general conference 728452013-04-07 general conference 728542013-04-07 general conference 728592013-04-07 general conference 72901
Lots of personality in this one I tell you.

Oh boy I love her.

She has some good friends I’m so grateful for.2013-03-28 Easter prep 719252013-03-28 Easter prep 719372013-03-29 Easter prep 71942
This is her third year in a row in student council and she’s kind of good at that thing.2013-03-28 iPhone 73170(That was field day…she helped man the stations.)

That’s why she chose to run for Vice President of the Jr. High next year.  It was a grueling process because she filled out the forms all on her own, then decided maybe she didn’t want to do it because none of her friends were.  We had a kind of tender little talk about it and said a little prayer together to help her decide.  When I asked how she felt later in the afternoon she said she felt awesome and was all set to do it.  So we turned in the forms:   2013-04-12 iPhone 73433But then the world came crashing in on us because she had a choir concert at the same time as the speeches at the same time as all my college girlfriends came to town so she had to bow out by default.  Sad day.  But she feels good about it and all is well.  I’m proud of her for always being up for trying hard things. 

Speaking of hard things, she and her friends have decided to put together a little dance and gymnastics class in our back yard.  I did nothing to help.  Not even an idea (things have been nutty around here lately), but that girl pulled that thing off for the first day yesterday.  I was so proud of them and how they maneuvered those little girls to learn all sorts of new things.2013-04-23 misc 740502013-04-23 misc 74051(I love that it was all little girls and no one batted an eye at Lu’s post-swimming get-up…)

I was kind of sad when I taught art masterpiece this last month.  I mean, I have taught many of these sixth grade kids art masterpiece since they were in kindergarten (I adore that program) and now they are going off to Jr. High.  How do my babies keep growing up so fast?  It was fun to have one last time to be “in charge” of Grace’s sixth grade classroom and watch her sparkly smile amidst her friends.2013-04-08 iPhone 73359
I recruited Grace and her friend to come help me teach the third graders this month too.2013-04-03 iPhone 73221
We blew watered down black paint with a straw to make cherry blossom branches modeling after the Japanese painter we were studying.2013-04-08 school 73005There were fifty students in that class that day because one of the third grade teachers had an emergency so boy was I ever happy to have Grace and her friend for my helpers!

In sixth grade they do a ton of projects that take a LOT of work.2013-04-08 school 73007
I so love to see kids work so hard on things and learn so much in the process.2013-04-08 school 730082013-04-08 school 730122013-04-08 school 730142013-04-12 iPhone 73437
Grace’s “sport” of choice right now is gymnastics and dance, neither of which I have many pictures of until the recitals come up in a few weeks, but Grace and Claire did have their choir concert last weekend and boy howdy I wish I could have recorded the whole thing.  It’s this humongous choir (different portions practice at different times) and they all come together in concert which makes for quite a fantastical sound. 

This is how the stage looked with everyone on it:2013-04-20 misc 73920
Wow, right?  They are packed on there like sardines.

So much so that it was hard to find my girls at first but here’s Grace:2013-04-20 misc 73884
And here she is on the other side of the stage:2013-04-20 misc 73914I will try to put some video clips with Claire’s run-down tomorrow. 
2013-04-07 general conference 72883
Love you Gracie!

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  1. I've been reading your blog for quite a while and love it! I don't have kids, but I do have 16 nieces and nephews. I actually think you keep it pretty real and down to earth…I love all your photos.

    When you use that white backdrop, do you use lighting at all or just the natural light? Taking photos is a big hobby…and I am thinking of purchasing one.
    Thanks for sharing your blog!!

  2. Is she a Greenfield Gator?! Loved seeing that gator shirt…lots of great memories there! Love your blog and cute family! (I'm annie haviland's sister 😉 )

  3. I love this idea of highlighting the good in each of your kids. It helps remind us of what special little people they are.
    I love your blog. I enjoy coming here.
    P.S. I have read your book about 30 times. I keep going back for answers. Thanks for all the great tips.

  4. I love your blog! I heard you speak at TOFW up here in Logan a couple of years ago and totally feel in love with your stories. I don't have any children of my own but, do have teenage neices nephews who remind me so much of your children. I would like to know a little more about The Joy School and how to or even IF it would fly in Logan. My email is stebbersjensen@gmail.com Thanks for sharing your family with me. I feel like if I saw them at Walmart, I'd know who they are.

  5. As you know, I adore that Grace. She is full of pizzaz and is a laugh a minute! I can't wait to see her dance concert in June. Her mother's pretty terrific too!

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