Saturday, May 14, 2011

Annual Farm Day

Today we drove up to Layton for our CSA's member farm day, a chance to see what's going on, help plant, and pull up some vegetables that wintered over, in this case, Jerusalem artichokes or sun chokes- which look like ginger root, but starchy like a potato.  Only 3 couples showed up, but we still had fun.  I think Esme the most, judging by how dirty she got.  The kids were tough, loved the dirt and bugs, ate raw sun chokes and asparagus when they got hungry. 

I had good reason to get out the camera this time because I help the main blogger for the CSA in trade for a free small share.  Pretty good set up.  My first "job" since Eli was born.  Brian was gone most of the time, so I couldn't get too creative with the kids tugging on me or in my arms.

Chinese Broccoli waiting

Bees with honey water dripping in from buckets since they ate their store
and need energy to come out of dormancy.

Add caption

What we were after- sun chokes

Have I mentioned Esme's a daddy's girl?
It feels strange not being the preferred parent.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

18 Months

Last Tuesday Esme turned months.  I didn't make her a present or even do a photoshoot.  Oops.  We just sang to her at 7:43 and had cake.  Eli decided that she would like brown cake with pink frosting.  She only wanted to eat the cream cheese frosting and feed us the cake.

At her check-up we found out she's only 17 pounds and that the doctor wants her to get some tests, BLOOD TESTS and a sweat test for cystic fibrosis, done and to see an endocrinologist.  If everything is fine, then she will accept that she's just small.  She doesn't need her to be on the same growth curve as other kids, she just wants her line, much below theirs, to go up at the same rate.  I think she has her  own growth rate.  Since she was 6 months old, she's gained exactly one pound every three months.

18 months also meant that today was her first day in nursery at church.  Of course I got teary, of course she did fine, and of course I took pictures when I went to pick her up.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Welcome Spring

I think it's finally safe to say that Spring is actually here. Last Saturday we woke up to this:

And I knew I couldn't even hope for warm weather soon because that would mean flooding, which is scheduled to happen in the next couple of days.  We're already making plans to go up in the mountains tomorrow to fish and roast hog dots and marshmallows and get sticky eating drippy watermelon.

I've been waiting patiently to take the kids out for a ride in the bike trailer and today was the perfect day.  I thought they would fight me because Eli loves to ride his own bike and Esme screams at the sight of her car seat every time since we got back from California.  But they were happy.  I love living so close to a trail and that it leads to a place like Gardner Village.  Fun bike ride followed by a petting zoo, a toy store with trains to push, and donuts to munch.  Life was good today, especially when I heard Esme giggling behind me.

Found something good in the storage unit

Finally ready to go

Someone smile please

Ah. Gardner Village

I suppose the donut counteracted the workout.  At least it was enjoyable exercise, for all 3 of us.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Brian's Other Children

Aren't they the cutest girls?  Especially since they always oogle over Esme.  Brian has been teaching them since he started his school 3 1/2 years ago. They are his first generation of students to test for their Dan (black belt), which happened yesterday.  The semi-annual test that rotates cities also happened to take place here in Salt Lake.  They did so well!  They range from shy and quiet to feisty and sassy and are best friends.  He's known one of them since she was Eli's age.  Now she's almost taller than him!

The highlight for me was when the most timid girl didn't break her required or creative board breaks and the regional examiners gave her one more chance.  It didn't seem like she was even trying,her foot flopping off the board, so I figured nothing would happen when the testing board gave her the another try.  Brian was the proctor, so he told her she had another try.

Afterword I talked to her mom who said she had just turned off the video camera when her daughter forcefully and precisely smashed through the two boards with a side kick. Later some parents overheard her telling the other girls that it's Brian's voice that calms her and gives her confidence and he hadn't spoken to her before the other two break attempts.

It's a big event. Takes place over 3 days with people traveling from Montana, Idaho, and Colorado.  People come to test for black belts and teaching certifications, a pre-evaluation if they're testing next time, and to participate in clinics taught by the masters.  Salt Lake is right in the middle and the biggest city, so there's always a big crowd.  This Fall the test will be in White Fish Montana, practically on the Canadian border.

Brian had to figure out the schedule for classes, where they could be held, hotel, restaurants, maps and directions.  The best thing he did was book Tucano's for the final banquet after the test.  Most of the people are from small towns and were amazed at the food.  At the banquet lots of people were thanking me for my sacrifice.  I really didn't do much but wait patiently while he was out until 11 pm for a few nights and make some treats for the visiting masters and parents who helped behind the scenes.

Brian sure loves his martial arts.  It's something he needs to do to feel complete and happy. He especially loves teaching.  He's just the right combination strict and friendly, maintaining respect while letting the kids have fun.  His classes flow with the perfect amount of philosophy/culture, theory, and application.  And he loves the kids.  If money is tight, he doesn't send them an invoice.  If they need extra practice he stays after.  Parents even tell him about hard things going on at home so he can keep that in mind and help.  Some need more confidence.  Others need to be reined in.

He's out helping kids and even making some spare money as a hobby while other men blow the whole day watching football, playing video games, or golfing.  I have to say, I do pretty well being patient and understanding on those long nights. I'm so proud of him.