Yep it’s true, my little Aubrey is 5! Some high lights of last night when we had a few friends over and today. Aubrey is a little light in this sometimes dim world, and I can’t wait to see what her future holds.
I love three day weekends! Yesterday we woke early, packed lunches and headed out to the Desolation Wilderness for a 5.4 mile hike to Grass Lake. The road out there was the scariest thing I’ve seen recently, one lane in some spots, half lane in others, with a cliff drop off into a lake on one side and granite boulders protruding into the road on the other. If a car was coming toward you, you had to back up to a wide spot and hope that they could fit past you. It was 6 miles of terror. We finally made it to the trail head and started out. It was much more hill and granite steps then I was expecting, but I did fine, and the kids did better than me. We of course got the typical gawking, and comments about us taking all of these kids out hiking, but we’ve become used to it and laugh a little when we see their mouths counting how many kids we have with us. As a couple passed us the other direction Alyssa had to ask them why they were hiking naked, the lady was wearing a sport bra, and the man wasn’t wearing a shirt. We had a lunch picnic at the lake, and a large Husky dog came bounding through the end of the lake where we were playing, and the kids thought it was a wolf. It freaked them out until I pointed out that the wolf was wearing a collar, and was soon followed by its hiking buddy. In the spring this hike would be a lot more challenging. We had to cross one river over a log, but there were other creeks that would need crossing, but since it is late summer, they are pretty much dry right now. I find with Hallie on the front I have a hard time seeing where to place my feet and slip more then usual. My ankles are sore today from multiple twists because I stepped on loose rocks. Danny and I were talking about how much easier this will get when the kids get a little older and can hike on their own. Aubrey does just fine on her own, but Alyssa still needs some help with this length of a hike and of course Hallie needs to be carried the entire time. I love fall hiking, the temperatures are perfect!
I get a little sad this time of year. Summer is coming to an end, and I can feel the chill in the air when I walk the kids to the school bus in the morning. It’s back to school time, and with it has come much change in my life. Emma is now in middle school, and as much as this saddens me it excites me too. As long as I don’t let my mind wander and start thinking about how little time I have left with her. Emma has been riding her scooter after school on Wednesdays to her piano teachers house and then over to the church to Activity Days. I know that she needs to do this in order to gain more independence, but I can’t help but worry. I’m at least a 15 minute drive from her if for some reason she needed me, and I have two other kids getting off the bus and I just can’t be two places at once. She does this ride with her sweet friend, and I’m so thankful to her mother for letting her come with Emma and being there in case of an emergency. Emma is growing up so quickly and I’m trying to help her cross the line of being a little girl into young womanhood gracefully. We are learning together. What a wonderful time this is.
Aubrey has started kindergarten, and is so mature. Wow what a difference a year makes. Last year if you’d asked me if Aubrey was ready for school I would have said NO WAY. She is so independent and stubborn, but has grown into a sweet and delightful little girl. I can count on her to make me laugh daily, and what a little mama she has become to Hallie. Today, Danny had some work issues so I found myself in Sacrament Meeting by myself with my kids. Aubrey held Hallie the entire time, and is so comfortable putting her binki in bouncing her back to sleep. She is usually the first one to get to Hallie when she fusses at home and sings Love at Home to quiet her down. What would I do without my stubborn little 4 year old.
Tanner started 4th grade, and I’ve seen some major change in is organization skills. He is taking school very seriously, and is happy and helpful around the house. I love that kid so much. He was practicing piano this afternoon, and I thought for sure it was Emma. It’s good to see him take it seriously. Tanner is having a little problem with seeing things backward/upside down. Even his piano teacher noticed, which helped to make it more real and I’m talking with his teacher to see what we can do to help him. He’s always written everything upside down as I call it, it looks the right way when you look at it, but he physically writes it backward he’s just figured out how to get it to look the right way. I’m not explaining this very well. Maybe I’m a little backward. His reading is so beyond where it should be, so he doesn’t fit the exact profile for dyslexia, and he’s pretty good at recognizing when he’s seen things wrong and fixing it. I’ll keep you posted.
Alyssa is finally getting the one on one time she deserves. She’s had a hard time since Hallie’s birth. When Aubrey goes to school Alyssa and I sing songs, read stories, play with rice, playdoh, and do cooking projects. She’s going to be ok, it’s just going to take some extra time and attention from me.
Last month our visiting teaching lesson was about learning. I think that I am getting less smart with every kid I have and that my learning has come to a halt, I’m more in survival mode. I want to enjoy my kids, and not just survive them. I often ask myself am I enjoying them, and if not how come? If I’m not enjoying them it is me that needs to change. I’m trying to find joy in the simple things that they do. The giggles at the dinner table because Tanner burped. The silly banter between Emma and Tanner. When Tanner tries to pin Emma to the ground, and gets frustrated that his smaller (not younger) sister can still pin him. Hallie’s smiles, and first giggles. Aubrey’s strange songs that she sings non stop. Alyssa’s love for Care Bears even though we’ve seen it a dozen times. These are the things that I’m trying to imprint on my brain, and find joy in instead of frustration. I’m also working on not saying no so quickly. I ask my self why not before I say no. If Alyssa wants a story, and I’m really not in the mood to read one, I try and slow down my response and ask myself why not read her a story? I find we usually end up enjoying our time together, and I’m almost always grateful that I stopped and spent that time with her.
I’m also taking time to teach myself some new skills. I would love to sew, but my skill level is not where it needs to be to sew the things I’d like to sew. So instead of giving up I’m working on little things, building my confidence and working toward where I want to be.
So I guess we’ve all been changing a lot lately. I know that through much prayer and hard work we will continue to grow and change. Bring on the fall weather, change is fun!