Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Da DA, da da da DAHHHH da

10-year-old Max spent his hard-earned money watering the neighbor's garden all summer on a Star Wars Lego General Grievous Wheelbike.

7-year-old Ben spends his free time creating Star Wars ships and scenes out of our Lego bin.

2-year-old James recognizes Star Wars characters in books, talks about "Torm-toopers" and makes things into light sabers.

But 4-year-old Andrew may be the most obsessed of all.

This is Luke Skywalker and R2D2 flying to Dagobah. Ben helps with these creations.

This is Andrew Padawan, which he wants to now be called. His older brothers said he would be a padawan if he rode a big ride at Lagoon, so he hopped over to the line and did it (if he can hop or jump or leap instead of walking, he will).

He even requested the Star Wars theme song the other night when I was singing songs with the younger boys before bed.

I had my hair pulled back in a low, messy bun, and Andrew said I looked like Princess Leia after she takes her helmet off while rescuing Han from the carbonite. That's better than what Ben said when I had my hair half up, and the rest over my shoulders -- "Mom, you look like Qui Gon Jinn!"

It's my fault, I am the one that introduced them to Star Wars. I like it. I also like Harry Potter, LOTR, American Ninja Warrior, football, basketball, baseball and other things the boys like.

But sometimes I really just want someone to share a chick flick or dancing show with, or to crochet, craft or sew something pink that I don't have to give away, or to braid someone's hair. One day at the playground, as they were being ninja warriors and talking my ear off about Star Wars characters, I got teary-eyed and said, "I have an extensive knowledge of movie musicals! No one ever asks me about that!"

So later we watched my favorite movie "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,"  with me and my boys all on the couch, and that felt nice. The boys liked it. The rowdy fighting scenes helped, I think. Now if I could get them to watch the new "Cinderella" with me....

Jogging, and bread

Max and Ben eagerly await their jogathon every September, and this year's competition between them did not disappoint. The fundraiser involves us giving money, and the kids running laps to loud music and cheering parents.

Notice JB's high fives and high elbows in a good spot to see Max and Ben come round after their arms were marked at each lap.

I swear they each inflated the number of laps they ran, by finding another mark or dash on their arm. When Ben said he ran 28, Max upped his number, then Ben said, "actually I think I did 30" etc.

Incidentally, Andrew found a tiny snail on the edge of the school playground while we waited for Max's turn. He wanted to name it and bring it home as a pet, but we convinced him to let it stay in its home.

Now to the bread.

Some may remember my writing about my failed first attempt to make bread.  My cousin sent me a great overnight, no knead recipe that I have made successfully ever since. It gave me confidence, and recently I made oatmeal honey bread with proofing yeast and kneading and everything like a real baker.

It took all afternoon but I am a proud breadmaker now. And last night I made artisan bread in an hour. Both of these recipes came from a neighbor who makes baking look like it ain't no thing. And you know what, it is nice to see a finished creation, no matter if it's crochet or cookies or Legos or what have you.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Andrew the preschooler

Our third boy is now going to school. It's an official preschool instead of the neighborhood co-op from last year, and it's the same place Ben went so we were glad he got in.

He has been waiting and waiting for his turn. And the first morning, after the big boys left for school at 8:15, JB says Andrew kept asking when it was time for him to leave. He goes 9:30-12 three days a week.

That backpack has his name on it, and is almost as big as he is. He really has nothing to carry in it yet, but look how cute.

The week before was orientation, and they asked that younger kids not come. So we got a babysitter for James, and he cried the whole time -- even though he knows and loves this other family!

Look at that reproachful face upon pickup. Now it's James Byron and John Byron together until Andrew is done with preschool or mommy is done with work, whichever comes first.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The 50/20

Or an alternate title: The longest night and walk of JB's life.  He is feeling much better now, but a week ago it was quite a different story.

A few months ago, JB heard tell of an event called the 50/20. It's where you have 20 hours to walk 50 miles. They have a few different ones, and he signed up for one run through the Boy Scouts in Utah County. He thought it would be a good activity/experience for the teenage boys and their leaders in our ward.

By the day of, all but one of the boys had dropped out. So here's the group ready to start at 6 PM a week ago Friday:

By the middle of the night, between miles 20 and 30, all but JB and one other leader dropped out. It was a lot harder than any of them anticipated. A lot harder. 

The boys and I were thinking of JB before we went to sleep in our comfortable beds, and thought of him again when we woke up....and that's when I realized, that he had been walking all night long in the moonlight. I looked closer at the route online -- it was a 50 mile loop, mostly gravel roads and trail, some hills. He called around mile 42, to say it was just him and Jordan left, and they were tired and sore and battling blisters. It took around 2 hours from there to finish the last 8 miles.

You've got the fatigue from walking all night, and all that time spent upright on your feet. But what an accomplishment! Walking 50 miles in 18 straight hours isn't something everyone can say!

JB says he was so delirious at the finish line that the picture he took didn't actually take. So the next day, the two warriors posed again in their new shirts. They limped over to each other for the picture, but they did it!