Life & Times of 5 Busy Nortons

Sunday, October 2, 2022

September Happenings...

We are now in Oct.  I can hardly believe it.  We are in the groove of school and seminary.  Libby drives me (M-Th) to seminary.  Wednesday I can leave her there, as there is someone who can drive her to school. The rest of the days I stay and she drives us to SW.  I get in my PT and scripture study.  It's actually pretty peaceful.  I take Buddy a couple of times around the park before I leave with Libby--so he gets a little walk in. So far the others have made up for it by taking him for afternoon walks. 
Sarah has zero period PE, so she gets up and gets herself off to the bus before I'm back.  It's so nice that she can do that.  Ben also gets himself up (way too early if you ask me, but he likes lots of time to snuggle Buddy and watch Fortnite videos while he eats breakfast.)
I have gotten to a pretty good place with my autistic student.  She went 7 straight days without a meltdown.  So I started to push her to do more work--then we had a few meltdowns.  But we got back to a pretty good place.  
Libby is almost done with the Driver's Ed class.  She has one more session and then she takes her final test.  I'll be really glad when that part is done.  She missed 2 in the first 2 weeks.  And if you miss 3, you have to pay again (and it is not cheap!).  YIKES!  But thankfully she's gotten into the habit of doing her homework early and making sure she doesn't fall asleep after school.  Now, just about 45 more hours of driving practice.  (She has 4 more drives with the driver's ed people too.). It's a lot of work to get your license these days.  
Here's Sarah in her WEB leader shirt (where everybody belongs).  She gets to help 6th graders--like with an orientation before school started.  And then also with Pride updates.  

The new fence went in this week. Buddy had gotten out a few times as our old fence was rotting and breaking down with his assistance.  And yes, it's a super long fence.  Thank goodness for OT and neighbors who chipped in. 

Libby taught a really fun YW lesson where we made armor of the components of the work of exaltation and salvation that protects us.  Then the leaders threw papers of possible distractions at them. 

Sarah with the sword she made. 

Another Husky victory! Sarah won the card AGAIN! 

Libby performed at a SW loss.  Rough game. But good dancing! 


Sunday, September 18, 2022

Husky Season is Underway!

It's that time of year again--Husky season! New coach this year--so you never know how it's going to go.  But so far--3 and 0! 

The kids and Derek went to the first two games.  Then I went to yesterday's game against Michigan State (I am a true fair weather fan--but the weather was PERFECT and the time of day was right too).  The Husky fans were unsure how the game would go--but the Huskies were AMAZING.  So many fun things to celebrate.  It was a fun win. 

Ben took his buddy Noah to one game.  (It was way too hot for this mama.)

Ben took Oliver to the night game.  Who wants to watch a football game and get home at midnight? No way! But thankfully the kids and Derek do. 

Norton Reading Challenge 2022

 This year it was the Wild and Wonderful Norton Reading Challenge.  HERE IS OUR LIST.  As usual there were those who didn't read the books.  But for those who did--it was a fun list.  I was surprised at home much being a dog owner helped me love and feel deeply the ones about wolves, Call of the Wild, Wolf Called Wander and Never Cry Wolf.  I didn't love Small Spaces--not really my genre.  But everyone else liked it (especially Ben as it was his suggestion.) The Donut Fix led to the "life-changing" donuts for the Challenge night.  They were good--so good. But the chocolate cream wasn't my fav.  Also, I let some of them rise too long.  The kitchen was a disaster as Libby and Derek finally decided to pull out the pasta maker I got Derek for Christmas as well. So we were well fed last Sunday.  It was quite the day! 

Derek, Geneva and I were on a team together (usually I make the Kahoot--so I don't play.  But this year Clark stepped up to the plate--so I got to play. ) It was a great team effort! 

The Life-Changing Chocolate Cream Donuts recipe.  (I also liked the second book--the Donut King.). Middle Grade books For the WIN! 

Back to School 2022

 It feels so good to be back in school.  Sort of.  I mean, I love routine.  But I do miss my morning walks with Buddy in the daylight and my time in the garden. 

I was really having some mixed feelings about going back--but then we had Meet the Teacher Night and I got to meet some students.  Then I got excited again.  I have a new teaching partner who wants to try all the crazy Norton projects.  So it should be a good year.  I do have a couple of difficult students.  One who spent most of last year having meltdowns in the hall.  We've had a bit of that already--but she's doing better due to some med changes I think.  She and I are building a good relationship.  I also have a student with Tourettes.  That's a new one for me.  He's really bright and has his tics and blurting mostly under control.  But he does like to talk a lot.  Highly Capable students are a fun bunch. They'll keep me on my toes. 

Ben was SUPER nervous/excited about Middle School.  He was very happy after the first day and then he got settled into the routine and said it just feels normal now.  I guess that's good?  He starts the intramural cross country they are doing for 6th graders this week.  It's only on Tues/Thurs, days he can take the activity bus home.  So he can do this without help (aka rides) from me! 

Sarah talked non-stop after her first day.  She was super happy.  She enjoyed the day before school when she got to serve as a WEB (Where Everybody Belongs) leader for 6th grade orientation.  She does say WEB pride (homeroom) is super boring though.  How can this be?  Seems like a missed opportunity.  

I didn't get pictures of the kids getting on the bus, because I was trying to get back to Shorewood with Libby's quarter zip for the 1st day of school assembly. She brought the wrong drill uniform.  In the end I didn't make it.  But she had a black hoodie, so she was able to perform anyway.  Sigh.  

Dropping off Libby on day 1--then rushing back to get pics of the other kids getting on the bus.  See above--haha.  

Libby is already complaining about drill--but also enjoying it.  And Driver's Ed is dominating her life right now.  The driver's ed school we chose has homework before each class.  And it's 3 days a week.  She's been driving us around a bit (can I say--THIS IS SO SCARY!) Thankfully she's already getting better at driving and no cars, pets, or people have been hit as she's taken to the streets.  (Knock on wood.)

 Derek is coaching football on the actual SW football coaching staff this year.  So he's busy busy with practices and games.  He took Libby and Ben on the sidelines with him for various games this week.  So I guess overall...we are off to a good start! 

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Ward Campout 2022

 We haven't been able to go to the ward campout for a few years--and after Girls Camp I wasn't sure I'd have energy--since Derek couldn't come.  But I'm glad I went. It was so fun! And a bunch of my friends from other wards were there also added bonus!

Libby couldn't stay overnight--she had to get back for Drill.  The the YW had a great time leading songs and reproducing the favorite Girls Camp skit (which explained the extinction of the dinosaurs among other things:). 

My Last Weeks of Summer

 So the kids have a week and a half of summer left.  But I go back tomorrow.  I guess I'm ready.  But I do feel like I "summered" this year.  I relaxed a bit, worked in my garden a lot.  I read lots of books.  I organized things.  I completed most of my Summer 6.  (Go to the temple 6 times, have our family do 6 acts of service, play the piano 6 days a week--when not on vacation, try 6 new recipes, have Sarah and Ben swap bedrooms & paint Ben's old room for Sarah).  I also wanted to go on 6 hikes.  But instead I went on one big fat hard hike yesterday.  I'm going to start the school year very sore! 

The Mount Pilchuck Hike is hard.  Rough terrain.  Bouldering (serious) at the top.  And LONGER than we thought. Ugh.  And it was raining the WHOLE TIME.  I was proud of both myself and Ben for making it! 

We also had a youth activity at Richmond Beach this week--it wasn't a swimming activity.  But Sarah and Ben turned it into one.  (Sarah in jeans and a T).  My van was disgusting after I drove them home. 

One of our service activities this week was to sort school supplies that are going to each school for students in need.  It was really fun and it felt good to do good. 

AND--Libby got her permit!  Wow!  She starts drivers ed classes tomorrow.  Crazy! 

We did some school shopping. Ben texted pictures of his shoe options to get his sisters' advice.  Adorable. 

Last Saturday Ben got to go to the Celebrate Shoreline festival and hang out with Grandpa who was working the radio booth.  They all had a good time. 

I guess I'm ready to go back to goes! 

Friday, August 19, 2022

Girls Camp 2022--Trust in the Lord and Do Good

 We got home from Utah and had a one day turn around to head to Girls Camp.  Thankfully the drive home I felt a lot better than the drive to Utah.  We listened to Small Spaces (a Norton Reading Challenge book), I finished Trouble (by Gary Schmidt--loved!) and then I started The Cuckoo is Calling (A mystery novel Derek was fun and compelling--but lots of swearing).  

The day we were home we had a myriad of appointments.  So many, in fact, that I forgot to take Libby to drill.  Ugh.  But I did manage to fit in a dentist appointment for me (I need a crown, ugh.), and doctors appointments for Sarah and Ben.  Then we had my friend and former roommate Laney over for dinner. It was super fun to catch up.  She is the one that introduced me to Derek.  How did we not even snap a selfie??  Super thankful for her friendship over the years--even though she's been back in Utah for many years.  Her kids were so fun.  Wish we lived closer.

Then off to Girls Camp.  And it was SO fun...all the right things.  Spiritual, fun, great weather, and good friends.  Some of my favorite women in the stake were there.  So I got in some good chatting.  Also, since I wasn't in charge--I just got to enjoy myself.  I appointed myself camp historian and took lots of pictures.  My favorite parts of camp were the Angel Walk (where girls paid compliments to each other--it was beautiful), the lake time (yes, I even got in).  I also loved the survivor relays (I rocked my leg of the kayak paddling--even with getting hooked onto another boat and having to get unhooked.). I climbed the easiest wall on the climbing tower.  (Libby climbed all of the routes, and Sarah stayed on the ground.)   

The Leader Survivor Team

Libby rocking her climbing

On the ferry on the way over.  We missed the first ferry by about 2 cars.  But that gave us enough time to get some Top Pot donuts! 

Libby on the rope swing

Sarah going off the slide

We went on a DQ outing! 


Libby flipping into the water

Archery time! 

Our 1/2 of the cabin.  So much fun! 

Anyway, I came away from camp with my soul singing--and the girls all did too.  Seriously--they all had fun and came to love each other so much more.  It was a huge win.

And then the laundry!!! Oh the size of the pile!  But it was worth it.

This week I've been catching up on life.  3 weeks of being gone is a lot.  My garden needed work.  My house needed decluttering.  More appointments, of course.  I also did a sleep study on Monday in the sleep lab.  It'll be interesting to see if they find sleep disturbances that maybe causing my endocrine or muscle recovery issues.  One more week free until school starts (for teachers.). Off to the ward campout tonight!