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Goodbye, 2016: 2016 highlights include awesome family vacation to Portland with the Prestons, Knott's and Soak City, hosting various family, Zootopia Halloween, many beach trips, swimming in the rain, Spring and Fall breaks in Utah, Harry Potter at Universal, and of course lots of Disneyland. There was less hiking and more whining than I'd like, but overall a great year.
I actually feel a little guilty because I see a lot of complaints about 2016 (some legit). And I think we had a pretty great year. But I'm not ashamed of it, and this I my blog. Here's to an even better 2017!

Cause I'm Happy: Im decluttering and I recently was flipping through some of my old journals. It seems a great theme of trying to figure out who I am. What am I good at. What makes me special. Then, further in my reading, and further in my life, came the acknowledgment that my goal in life is to make people happy. I love making people smile. It was interesting to see that theme emerge in my introspection.

Scoot a Scoop: Sienna says "scoop" instead of "scoot." Let me scoop my blanket over. Not entirely off-base I guess.

She has discovered mom will peel apples for her (to avoid peels all over the house). She only likes "up" apples, which I think means not the core.

We recently set up the little IKEA play tent in her room. After two nights of having the camping tent in our living room. Sienna slept in the tent for over a week, I think, until I put it away. It was fun to read a bedtime story in there with her, and Arthur liked it as well.

Monday, 7:15 PM: Dalton has started tennis after school on Mondays. Immediately after that, we drove Maggie to gymnastics 20 minutes away. Her class is from 5-6:30. We're still working out the logistics of what to do with the other three kids during that time (also, its dark), but getting home at 6:45 has been perfect. I let the kids eat more dinner if they're hungry, then everyone gets jammies on and goes to bed. At the same time. Normally Arthur is in bed before 7, sienna around 7, and the older two at 7:30. But there's no sense in messing with separate bedtimes on Mondays. They're all tired too, so they go to sleep and the house is quickly quiet. After such a busy afternoon, it's a good feeling.

Thank You, Internet: My brother lives 2800 miles away, and my sister lives 5400 miles away, and we just spent five minutes discussing clothing hangers in our childhood home.

Family History, They Are Doing It: I'm a ward family history consultant. It's fun, mostly Sunday calling. Tonight the beehives went to the family history center, so I showed up to help them. It was so fun! I helped a few girls find a spot to work on and practice attaching records.

John has been getting home after 8 every night, even though he is very ill. So I lucked out that he was home tonight. Now (9 pm) he is working, on the phone, and hacking up a lung. Worst time of year to be sick.

Sunday Morning: The kids and I have been trying to plan ahead for some Sunday morning fun since we don't have church until 12:30 and John is gone to meetings. Today was rough because it was raining. We made homemade chocolate pudding and did a big puzzle together.

Dishwashing: I recently wrote about how I've been feeling the laundry and dishwashing toll of a family of six. I started running the dishwasher every night and it has made a difference in how I go about the day. First of all, I tend to not to much as far as work in the evenings. After dinner, I'm just done. So this has helped me do one more thing, and get the kitchen nice and clean.

Secondly, it's really nice to wake up to! Sometimes I even get the dishes unloaded at night, but otherwise I just do it while we're doing breakfast and lunches in the morning.

Bye Bye Baby: I did some cleaning, organizing, decluttering and arranging today. Like twenty times I thought of ways I can organize, places I can put things once Arthur doesn't dump stuff out anymore. And it made me SO SAD! He's going to be grown up before I know it.

Morning: I got up after 7 this morning, and left by 8. Everyone was up with John and he had some breakfasts going. Kids all got themselves dressed (except Arthur, who went out the door in his Pjs). I started laundry, had help unloading the dishwasher, and put together two lunches and two morning snacks (with very low options due to the tail end of the spending freeze). Maggie and Dalton both did piano. Maggie did reading.

Maggie headed out the door to bike to school. I dropp d Sienna and Arthur off at the neighbor's. Dalton drove with me to school, where I'm waiting for reading groups to start. I love a good productive morning.


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