Back 2 School

brand new shoes, walking blues
                 climb the fence, books and pens    
                  ...yes I can tell that we are going to be friends.

                   Nothing ushers in the FALL like the start of school.
  About the only way we have found to come to grips with the big change is to embrace it
So our traditional night-before-school celebration always includes
 a big fashion show.
    The kids show off their new school clothes, strut down the cat walk and dance
                                                            while I play DJ / announcer...
                                                 and Dean plays fashion critic / financier. 

Then the kids receive their School "Schultuete." (Google it)
On the first day of school in Germany children receive pencils, markers, treats etc.
in a big paper cone.
So we have embraced this tradition as our own.

At the dollar store I found these gift bags, cut them in half and shaped them into a cone shape, then filled them with silly putty (why do I torture myself?) some school supplies, hand sanitizer, stickers, gum and treats.

Lauren has been given the green light to wear make-up this year.
She is thrilled. The seventh grade -old enough I guess.
When I was Lauren's age,
I was still giving money to my sister Brooke
for letting me wear her training bra. 
Then it was off to bed (before midnight! the first time in three months)

One other tradition we embrace is the
morning of...
 tree line-up...

This year the Junior high bus leaves around 7:00 am -
the night before I had ambitions of getting everyone up
and ready for pictures by seven.
Then my anti-delusional pills kicked in and I decided against it.  

So our line-up picture had to be staged.
This line-up picture was taken tonight just before the sun set.
nerdy, huh.
However, in twenty years will it matter?

Lauren started her first day of Junior High
I was the only mom to show up to help her with her locker.
Lauren is so lucky to have me. kidding...

Brett is a big Freshman this year - in every sense of the word.

River had all her dreams realized the day she ate school lunch for the first time

Wade is really, I mean really looking forward to this year.
His teacher is hot. 

And they were off...
Four kids down - three at home.

And now I have one bored little four year old on my hands.
I told him a while back that he gets to start mommy school this year.
(mommy school is usually sorting laundry and
field trips to Walmart -)

He is so excited.


Just to say we did it. - "Y" not...

The phone conversation with my brother Will went like this:

Me:     "Hey Willers, wus up?"

Will:    "Hi my favorite sister Hil,
            have I ever told you how I admire everything about you?
            and for some reason you are so much smarter than I am even though
            we share a lot of the same genes."

Me:    "Wow, Will I always thought you were the smart one,
            but it's nice of you to finally admit otherwise.
            Anyway...I know that you and Kimmy hiked the "Y"
            just a few weeks ago..how was it?

Will:     "Oh it was great, easy, piece of cake...be sure to take your kids.
             It will only take you a half hour to forty five minutes.
             Don't worry about bringing water, unless you want to...
             you won't even break a sweat.
             You can bring a stroller to carry the little ones, it will glide right along the trail"

Me:     "Sounds good Willy boy- say hi to the wife and tater-tot."

Not having hiked the "Y" before, Will's advice was all I had to go on
when we pulled up the the "Y" trail head a few days later.
When we arrived at 6:00 pm there was a weird hazy, smoky, windy thing going on in the valley and I almost suggested that we not go, but the kids were so foxy and energetic that there was no turning back.

The hike was awesome -We saw a map that noted thirteen turns to make it to the "Y".
The kids were right in their element. Walking along with freedom and bounce in their step.
Dean pushed Queen Quincy in the stroller and I carried Canyon in a baby pouch.  
The hike was hard, really hard. But with diligence, determination and sheer iron will we made it!
... TO the second turn. 

Turn 2?
I said outloud
"are you kidding me?"

We were only at
two of thirteen!

I gave Dean a fearful, self-doubting, "there is no-way" kind of look.

And he said
"Keep going...I'm sure it's just around the corner, you will want to be able to say you did it."

I was finished..spent..give out. We still had eleven more switchbacks to go.

Pitiful I know.
But then I thought about my brother Will and how he admired me so.
I had to keep going...for Will!

Most of the kids ran up ahead and Dean and I tried to keep up.

Canyon was a good baby - waking only when the rain and my mis-steps woke him up.  
We finally heard the cries of joy as the kids made it to the "Y."

Wade and cousin Danny came running down to encourage us along.
Then finally we made it!
 We laid eyes on the infamous white rocks.

As we arrived, the older kids came running down the hill towards us
suspiciously claiming that they had a better trail for us to follow.

So like a schmuck, I followed the kids through the shrub and rocks,
then Brett and Lauren slipped behind me pushing me onward telling me to keep going
and giggling with anticipation -
 as I almost stepped right on this ....

It was dead....but what's the difference? it looked very much alive!
I have never, ever screamed so loud- and long.

 I just kept screaming all the while thinking:
ahhhhhhhhh ok I realize that the snake is dead ahhhhhhhhhhh.. why can't I stop screaming? and why are they still laughing?  ahhhhhhhhhhhh ...where there is one snake...there is no doubt many more...ahhhhhhhhhhh...those darn kids, they have no respect for their poor mother...ahhhhhhhhhhhhh...

River ran up exclaiming that she was rock sliding down the "Y"-
      Then this clothes conscious little girl said "did I get my pants dirty?"...

Finally after a good laugh, then cry (remembering the snake).
 We made it to the Y!

Our reward was an apple.
Ya know, I have lived in Utah County my whole life.
I have always been able to see the "Y" from my house. 
I have traveled back and forth underneath the watchful eye of the "Y" approximately 
4983 times in my young life.
And until just two days ago, 
I had never been properly introduced to this wonderful landmark.
So we revered it.
And as the sun was setting, Dean quickly ushered us off the hill towards safety
 and off the menu of the nearest mountain lion.

 I assessed the day.

I decided that it was worth the efffort.

I decided that I was a better person for having hiked the "Y"
Today it's a great feeling to travel up and down I-15 
(I've done it twice already today)
 and to look up at the mountain and be able to say...
 "-WE DID IT!"

I'm sure Canyon will thank me later.


He said / She said

Just recently Dean and I were outside working on a project together;
 I was holding a board for him while he, held his tongue (or tired to at least).

It had been a while since I had heard ear-piercing screaming and crying...
so naturally I went looking for Quincy and Kal. -

I found them just up the road, stuck.

They were heading to Grandma's house by way of the 2010 Jeep, Princess Edition.

When I arrived on scene with camera of course,
Quincy had already started in on Kal for his wreckless driving.

Kal mentioned that he wouldn't have run off the road...
 if she had been better at giving him directions;

   Quincy was indignant claiming that he never listens to her,
     or cares for her feelings.

  Kal said he feels he can never do anything right;
   Quincy said she just doesn't ever feel appreciated...

  Kal said he just wished she would stop nagging him all the time,
Quincy said she wished he would help out more around the house...

        blah, blah, blah...   on and on it went -
        sadly, it sounded all too familiar to me.
At least they lived Happily Ever After,

or just until they pulled into the driveway.


(a two minute video of the girl who needs to be everything)       So far my hobby has been micro-managing my kids and as rewardi...