Tuesday, August 22, 2017

First Day of School

Yesterday was the first day of school for all of us.  We were all pretty nervous.  Excited.  Afraid.  It was a momentous day...Michelle started high school.  Ella began junior high.  Gabby went to 4th grade.  I no longer have any early elementary aged children!  My oldest is in high school.  I'm a little overwhelmed by all of this.  And it was also a solar eclipse which made for an especially exciting/interesting first day of school.  1/3 of my students didn't come to school due to the eclipse.  Here in Utah, we had between 90-95% eclipse.  It was pretty spectacular...and also a bit nerve wracking.
Gabby was super excited to wear her "phases of the moon" shirt in honor of the solar eclipse!

But overall, I think things are going pretty well.  Mornings are a bit hectic...Michelle and Ella both have to leave earlier than they have in the past.  But Michelle seems to really like nearly all of her teachers.  She is excited about most of her classes.  She's got French 2, Dance, Math, AP Human Geography, Biology, English, Seminary and P.E. She seems especially excited about French, Biology and Dance.  She's nervous about the AP geography class...it's going to be a lot of work.  But they took a test on Monday and she got 60/63 questions right.  So I think as long as she works hard, she will be fine.

Ella says she has met several new people.  She has the same lunch as our neighbor/friend DJ so she has been eating lunch with her.  She seems to like it so far.  She doesn't talk as much about school (or anything) as Michelle, so it's a little harder to know exactly what she thinks.

And Gabby is excited to have Gracie, Alaina, and Braden and a few other friends in her class.  She says her teacher has a soft voice (not hard to hear...she just doesn't raise her voice).  She seems to be okay with school but not really enthusiastic.  I suspect she has been tired.  But hopefully it will be a good year.

Tonight our home teachers came.  We had a nice visit.  I'd asked Chad about a week ago if he would be willing to give my girls blessings for the beginning of the school year.  He did.  I'm going to write more about that in my personal journal...but what stood out to me was how personal each blessing was.  It was obvious that the blessings came from Heavenly Father and were meant for each girl with their unique mixes of talents and weaknesses.  They were such special blessings.  I'm so grateful for the power of the priesthood and for blessings.

So far my class is cute...but so talkative.  I had been told that by last year's teacher.  And she wasn't kidding. They really are good kids... a bit challenging...but nice.  They just don't stop talking.  Bless their hearts.  It's going to be a fun year.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Fiddle Concert

I really love Michelle's annual fiddle concert.  I love the music they play and love seeing her continue to progress.  It's my favorite.  This summer we were out of town A LOT, and so she honestly wasn't able to practice as much as she usually does.  But she still did such a great job and memorized more songs than I expected.  (Most of them were songs she has learned in previous years, but still I am proud of her effort and the progress she makes each year.  I love hearing her play!!)

Michelle is blessed to have a truly wonderful teacher, Linda, and I am so thankful for her!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

This is the Place

Brenda, Aelora, the girls and I went to This is the Place on Pioneer Day.  It felt like a perfect day to visit and remember the pioneers, our heritage and history.  I thought it was really neat...we had never been before.  Some of us liked it more than others.  Gabby wants to go back soon (which probably won't happen..it's a bit pricy).  I wish we could have seen more than we did.  But I loved what we saw.

Joseph Smith and Brigham Young...they had seen the Salt Lake Valley in vision before the Saints came here.  Brigham Young is my great, great, great uncle.  Or his brother, Lorenzo Dow Young, is my great, great, great grandfather.

A reminder of the great sacrifices of those who crossed the plains pulling handcarts.

Right after we arrived, we caught the tail end of a bird show.  We didn't get to hear much...but one really interesting thing that we learned was that owls' feathers glow  fluorescent colors...that's how they appear to other birds.  Bright fluorescent pink or green or so on.  (We can see it if we shine a black light on their feathers at night.)  That's part of the reason that fake owls don't really work to scare away other birds.

We got to ride on a little trolley to get around the park.

We were able to tour Brigham Young's home.  It used to be in Sugarhouse but they moved the home to the park.  This wasn't the home he resided or spent most of his time in.  I loved seeing the period clothing.

Trunks from the 1800's

I thought this china was beautiful!

Brigham Young's home

Heber C. Kimball's home...it's exactly how it would have been...except the fence was much taller back then.  That's because when new immigrants would arrive, he would hire them to build/add on to his fence so that they could have some money until they were able to secure steady employment.   I wanted to tour this home, but the bank robbery was almost ready to start so we headed over there.  It was a cute drama but the crowd was so big that we couldn't see or hear as well as we would have liked.

Ella gets a shave...but they offer to also pull a few teeth or amputate any limbs, if she wants.  Apparently, barbers used to do a bit of dentistry and surgery.  (Yikes!  So thankful I live now!)

Cool bank notes...many signed by apostles of the church
After the bank robbery, we got some ice cream.  Then Gabby and Michelle tried a bit of leather crafting.

Children were invited to participate in the Pioneer Day Parade at This is the Place.  Gabby and Aelora decided they wanted to be a part of the parade.

Do you see Gabby and Aelora holding signs about the telegraph?

That's my girl!

I sure loved having this week to spend time with Brenda.  I'm so grateful for her friendship!!

Gabby's favorite part was definitely the Indian village.  It was pretty cool.  I would have liked to stay and see the dancing that was about to happen, but some of our children were tired and cranky so we decided to call it a day.  Except Brenda did want to do a little souvenir shopping so I went outside and read the plaques around the monument.