Sunday, March 12, 2017


I was sitting in Relief Society today (actually I was sitting on the floor in the back with Baby Luke, trying to keep him semi-quiet), when the teacher spoke about #52Stories on Family Search.  I love to write and I was intrigued.  I thought, "I could do that".  I could write a story a week.

So I went to the website and I am starting with the first question.

What goals do you hope to achieve this year?


1. Write 52 Stories, one per week on Sundays
2. Lose 60 pounds.  That is lofty.  I have lost 17 pounds so far.  I work out every day, and watch, watch, watch what I eat, and most important, never give up.
3. Compete in Mrs. Idaho, and get top 10...okay I want top 3 would be amazing, and winning would be like losing 60 pounds.
4. Serve in Africa
5. Get pregnant
6. Potty train Knox

Now, onto next week!


I was in a parenting class on Wednesday. I go to them nearly every week. There, I was handed a synopsis of Maria Montessori's (1870-1952) ideas. I knew them and loved them, but I had never seen this last statement:
"Montessori was deeply impressed by the extent to which nature invigorates the child.
When young children are given opportunities to freely explore and study nature,
they become happy and serene.
Contact with nature seems to fulfill a vital emotional need."  I wanted to fill my children with all of those benefits.
On Saturday, the weather warmed, and Andrew suggested that we take a trip to Mesa Falls.
I jumped at the chance, because I had just read the serenity that my children will experience when they come in contact with nature.

Sadly, the road to Mesa Falls was closed, so we backtracked to Warm River.  I just wanted to get the children outside to touch nature.
It was a success.  We felt invigorated, happy and serene.
We found friends who introduced us to a killer fish feeding spot.

We fed monster trout in the impossibly clear river, and watched wild otter play.  It was wonderful.
I had to include this picture because I thought that I looked kind of cute, even though both of our eyes were closed.
Thanks, Maria Montessori for inspiring a great day.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Around the kitchen island

I have started to notice that I take a lot of pictures around our kitchen island.  This is Sarah and Steele making a Gak-like substance from their latest Tinker-crate.
When we built the island, we thought we only ever have three children, but we were happily surprised by a fourth.  Hooray!  Hence our table for five.
Now, do not have enough seats for everyone.  That has not mattered yet, because our caboose has been occupying his highchair.  But no more.  He boycotted it.  He will not eat in his high chair, but eats like a champion seated on our high suspended island chairs.
And I love him.  He is just so darned happy in his big boy seat.  We just cut his hair too.  It makes such a difference.  I love that he knows to smile when I get the camera out.  Smart boy.
This one has not quite grasped the sit still and smile action that the camera should evoke.  But he looks awesome in pink.
Happy Sabbath.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Born to be Wild by Hattie Garlick

I was inspired by a book I picked up at the library:  Born to be Wild by Hattie Garlick.  It was a 'get your children outside' book.

I know that I am supposed to have my children outside to increase their strength, confidence, coordination, and grow their brains.  But sometimes, in the bleak midwinter, I find it hard to do so.  But this book, of all of the 'get your child outside' books, inspired me the most.  She divided activities by season (I chose winter), and did their activities with just a few cupboard tools.  The ideas were photographed a short ways from London, so they were not in the middle of an Eastern forest (like I am not).  I saw activities in grasslands, using dirt and grass, and snow, and sticks.  I loved it.
So, the moment I read the winter chapter, I took my children outside, even in the uninspiring last strides of winter.  I saw our grass, and we made grass crowns, like the book suggested.  I had never been inspired by the brown weeds that grew around our trees.  My children LOVED it.  I did too because I was the crown demonstrator.  It was therapeutic.

We took food coloring and painted in the snow (also suggested in the book).  They coloredYoda, sunsets, and wrote beautiful words in the last remaining whiteness in the yard.
I find that children do not always know instinctively how to play outside.  So, if I demonstrate and give ideas, they take it to the next level.  That means I cannot just send them outside and hope for success.
It takes me going outside with them, which really does brighten my mood, and expand my lungs.
A key to good outside time includes good, warm clothes, gloves and boots for everyone, including me.  If my children are missing even one article of warm clothing (i.e. gloves or snowpants) they come in that much sooner.
My preparation was worth that much less.

Knox, only painted for a bit.  He mostly ate the snow.  Gross.  Has anyone ever died of eating snow? No?  That is my solace.
Thank you Hattie Garlick.  I have checked out too many nature books to count.  I actually use yours.  Bless you, forever.

Off to school-my favorite ritual

It is quite an ordeal to get ready to catch the bus in Burton Idaho. My children sometimes look like they are getting ready to race the Iditarod.  We live far enough from the road that they cannot merely wait in our toasty music room until the bus appears down our road.  They have to leave before the bus is spotted.  Once we see the bus, they have basically missed it.  If they make it out in time, they have to run while their peers watch them, race down the driveway, winded as they climb the bus steps.  I understand how they feel, because I did the same thing on the same bus.
Before they walk out the door, we read the scriptures and pray, and then Luke and Peter Knox race to the front window to say 'Bye bye'.  Sarah and Steele often give them high fives through the window. 
They watch their brother and sister until they are gone.  Oh, I had to have a picture of Knox's wrench for posterity.  He loved his wrench this winter, and fixed everything with it.
It is one of my favorite rituals.  "Bye bye!"  (Can you see the bus in the blurry distance?)

January 2017

I was nervous about Christmas break. A whole month and a half (including Knox's preschool break and extreme cold school outages) with just me and the children.  No gymnastics, no Madison Cares classes, no BYUI Preschool, etc.  The town of Rexburg makes its exodus during the winter break. Those who do not leave hibernate, as the sun goes down early, and we are all drowsy by 4:30 p.m. It turned out to be one of my favorite school breaks ever. That happiness flowed into January.

Christmas brought surprisingly fun toys, and here are the kids playing blocks.  They are doing it in a non-traditional way.  Our neighbors (who live pretty far away) could hear them banging away.  But they played, and we had so much fun together.

I created a sensory pool after Christmas filled with dry Lentils.  Each of the children spend time each day playing and languishing in the lentil pool.  I spend a good part of each day sweeping loose lentils.

Knox learned quite a bit of Chinese over the break.  I had removed anything remotely fun, including Netflix and youtube from my phone.  His last option: learn Chinese.  He can read and write in pinyin, and his pronunciation is exquisite.

Oh, those eyes.  Baby Lukey was the best Christmas baby.  He sleeps through the night, and naps awesomely.

Drew cooked and cooked.  Here he is with his new cleaver.  It helped me, as I worked through 'Body for Life'. He cooked me amazing meals as my body got leaner, my cravings diminished, and my energy increased.
Sarah received a monthly Tinker Crate, and she has mastered doing them solo.  She made fun catapults, and automatons, which we played with for hours.
Part of my Body for Life was consistant exercise.  Andrew pulled out his 10 minute Torchers, which Knox fell in love with.
Knox practiced his Torchers every day.
And Luke is just crazy cute.
I can honestly write that this was my best January in my memory.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Service and the Skid Loader

I need to get myself one of these. And learn how to use it. Then I can take service to a new level. No more merely baking bread. I am going to fix your driveway.

As of now, Dad just serves us with his skid loader and skills. Thanks, Dad for fixing our drive way. No more embarrassing bumps coming over the bridge. Oh, yeah, you made that too.

 And I baked you some bread to say, 'thank you'.  (That sounds as pitiful as it was)

Grandad's Museum

Grandad Bagley has so many special things that he opened a museum.
And people come from all over the world to visit.
Peter loves it so much that we go more than once a week.
Dad takes beautiful care of the priceless planes.  So much so, that those who originally owned the planes are grateful to sell them to him, for they know that he will maintain, fly, and let others enjoy them as well.

It is a lot of work.  But a lot of people rally around him to take care of the P-51s, the King Cobra, the Blue Angel, the Bird Dogs, the Stearman, and many more.

This is his newest plane.  Not for the museum, but to fly in comfort.
If you are on your way to Yellowstone National Park, stop by the Legacy Flight Museum.  It is beautiful.

Knox's First Flight

I wondered how my children would like flying, and worried just a bit each time they had their first flight with Grandad Bagley.  This is Knox's first flight.  I imagined him trying to break out of the plane mid air. I I needn't have worried. He LOVED to fly. The parts that make me nauseous, like 'making the wallet fly', he ADORED.
They cannot get enough. It makes me want to overcome any blechiness that I feel toward small airplanes and get my license, just to give my children a little more awesomeness.
We are so blessed to have such a passionate pilot for a Grandad. And how cool is it that their kin created the craft that they are flying in?