Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Saturday's bunny business

Easter morning before church was a little crazy because of the business of the day before, and because Johann had to be at church an hour early, at 8, to practice with the choir for the Easter program. Henry was cooperative but definitely tired, and not very photogenic! Add a toddler, and the awkward smiling phase Thea's in, and you've got magic ;-)

The Easter program was beautiful. I loved hearing the music, and feeling the spirit of hope, and joy.
It was a very sweet day to remember the wonderful gift given to all by Jesus Christ.
Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A new nephew!

March 25th my sister-in-law gave birth to this sweet baby boy, Miles.
Excited for another little nephew :) 
Simonds Grandkid count: 
Boys 5 Girls 1

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Hard days

This month's homeschool post brought to you by the last two weeks of chaos.

Today is one of those days where I really, really wonder about why I'm homeschooling. The problem with homeschooling is that if things aren't good at home, school isn't good either, and it often goes the other way as well. I know the mess of renovations is taking a toll, especially in conjunction with the time change, but sometimes I think there is always an excuse. When we first began it was that we were just starting, and I had a newborn baby. I do have to to admit that things were overall better the second part of that year with no major life events taking place. This second year it was I didn't get the time I needed over summer because Johann messed up his ankle the week that I was suppose to have to get organized so I never got my big alone organize time. Then it was looking for the house, and now it's having moved into a new house. So this leaves me thinking, is there always going to be something 'disrupting' normal life? If the answer is yes then I have to decide if I'll ever be able to homeschool differently than I am now. If I can't, am I happy to have things stay the same? Sometimes I just think it would be nice to feel like there is one failure that is shared, and not just mine alone. At least if Henry was in school the negatives couldn't all be completely my fault, right?

Then other times I think if I can just hold out another year and a half, Thea will be in K, and we can pay for her to have some lessons, my mom will be retired, which hopefully means we can do more field trips because I'll have help, and Leo will be old enough to participate more. Also since Grammy was a K teacher there are a lot of things she could help Thea with, and maybe while she does some literacy programs with Thea I can do some stuff with Henry, and hopefully have some things ready for Leo.

None of those things are guarantees though, so I'm finding myself today feeling like maybe we should call it quits. But then again there's no guarantee that life will continue to be as chaotic once we settle into the house either. There's also no guarantee that school will be at least as good as it was when he went to K.

So there you have it. I know we have to at least finish out the year because I don't know how we'd pay for Henry's piano lessons, and I know he would hate to lose them, as would I. I'm hoping we can regroup but the rest of this year is going to be spent thinking, praying, discussing, and hoping for an answer that doesn't leave me with a pit in my stomach or frustration in my heart.

Monday, March 14, 2016


Last Monday was demo work-countertops, kitchen tile, and entryway tile. I had no idea how much dust would result from taking up the entry way tile. Thankfully he put down plywood unlike my mom's kitchen renovation which had us living with no form of countertops for almost three months. Tuesday and Wednesday they were gone getting the countertops cut and ready, and Thursday those were installed. Friday we got a sink (hallelujah), carpet taken out, and floors prepped. Today they began putting the flooring down, and it looks awesome so far. 
It's going to be hard keeping the kids out of the family room, and kitchen until morning so we are hanging at my madre's until bedtime. Even more interesting will be when he does the hallway leading to the bedrooms. Hopefully only another four days or so to go! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Another Month, Another Goals Check

1. Attend the Temple 8 times
We're going this Friday night while the kids stay with my mom. We'll pick Leo up on our way back but Thea and Henry will spend the night. They are very excited. 

2. Make a monthly budget and keep a record of all spending throughout the month
I'm doing pretty poorly on this one. There have just been so many added costs here and there which is probably reason to be much more steadfast about it, but when ten at night rolls around, it's kind of the last thing I want to do. Hopefully next week we'll have the renovations done and paid so we can get square from there on doing a regular monthly budget. Anyone have any awesome tips on this? Do cash envelopes really work? So on and so forth. 

3. Be more supportive of others' creative endeavors by subscribing to podcasts, blogs and webcasts. Be involved by commenting and contributing etc. 
Still listening to podcasts and being head supporter for Henry and Johann as they participate in the ward talent show in a week and half. 

4. Make a family photo album
Still haven't started

5. Finish transcribing my dad's first journal
Summer project, methinks. 

6. Read President Hinckley's biography
Again, hopefully I'll start this during summer.

7. Have six lessons (one per month) on baptism for FHE to help prepare Henry
We had the 8 is Great in January, and in February we had a lesson on the covenants we make at baptism, and the blessings we receive from keeping them. 

8. Buy a house (we're in escrow right now, but until we've moved in, I'm going to hold my breath!)
Happy to say we haven't botched anything yet. 

9. Blog 4 times a month, once about homeschool
I did it, again!

10. Take family photos!!!
We have family coming in for Henry's baptism in June, so maybe we will do our immediately family at the same time my mom has scheduled pictures of my side. 

11. Exercise 3 times a week
I've been exercising every day, with the exception of Sundays, and one Saturday, and definitely eating less junk.  The results? I feel better overall but the scale doesn't seem to notice. Boo. 

12. Read a book a month
I finished 'The Paris Wife' and started 'The House of Mirth' by Edith Wharton which I just finished. I'm torn about 'The Paris Wife' because part of me thinks I'm just glad she and Hemingway split because he was such a mess, but from the writer's standpoint at least, she really did love him, and they experienced a lot together, especially things she probably wouldn't have had if she hadn't married him. I've also been brought back to the question of whether the art that comes from people like Hemingway is 'worth it.' I remember the impact I felt when I read 'For Whom the Bell Tolls,' but is that book worth all the crap he, and the people around him had to go through? I don't really have an answer. Let me know if you do. 
'The House of Mirth' was good. Not my favorite of Edith Wharton's but it was a good, depressing read like her other stuff. I tried to watch some of the film with Gillian Anderson but I only made it twenty minutes in. It was just bad. You've been warned.