Thursday, June 30, 2011

MauldenNews June 2011

Ahhhh....I loooove June......I hope everyone is enjoying this summer as much as we have been. A summary of the past few weeks--

- family bike rides
- spin art
- swimming
- turning over rocks to look for creatures (I swear there is something under every rock! amazing how LIFE is all around us if we just stop and look.)
- experiencing the big blue warm Atlantic ocean with Bryan's family in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina - awesome! So great to visit with everyone.
- Other beach stuff: collecting shells, building sand castles, jumping waves, holding a baby turtle, watching a mama bird feed her babies in the nest, and learning to hunt for sharks' teeth

We had our first Awards Day to celebrate the end of the school year (credit goes to my mom for this idea-it was something we did every year growing up). Alex earned awards for:

- honesty and telling the truth
- learning to buckle and unbuckle her own seatbelt all by herself
- riding a 2-wheel bike
- learning to tie her own shoes
- crossing all the monkey bars without dropping to the ground
- scoring 100% on her reading and spelling tests
- being the most "eco-friendly" in the family - she is always planting seeds and caring for the earth
- learning to swim completely independently!

In addition, Sam earned awards for:

- jumping off the diving board for the first time!
- riding a 2-wheel bike
- performing his preschool program with gusto and knowing all the songs by heart
- earning several gold medals for his consistent efforts in the Rusty & Rosy learning program he does at home
- fetching the newspaper for me in the morning -  rain, shine, or snow!
- most creative Lego architect (faithful replicas of Star Wars space stations and spacecraft)
- best water drinker
- best hugger!

Of course, summer wouldn't be summer without time to laze around and read. I highly recommend Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand - amazingly well-researched and beautifully written true story of Louis Zamperini's life. Some others I've appreciated recently:

Meg Meeker's books on parenting - simple (easy reading) yet wise.
Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters,
Boys will be Boys and
The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers. (among others: prioritize friendships, make time for solitude, simplify, and say no to competition/peer pressure from other moms. )

Writing Down Your Soul by Janet Conner
The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers
Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Kids from Nature Deficiency Disorder by Louv

And with that - I hope you all are getting plenty of sunshine and lazy days.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

things I wish I'd learned in Kindergarten

Alex's kindergarten class recited this prayer from memory at their kindergarten graduation.

I didn't realize they had been saying it at the beginning of each school day all year. Even so, it was impressive to hear them say this in unison, with their heads bowed and eyes closed:

"In the name of God the Father,
in the name of God the Son,
in the name of God the Spirit,
Praises to the Holy One.

I thank you, heavenly Father, through your dear son Jesus Christ, that you have graciously kept me this night from all harm and danger. And I pray that you would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings in life may please you. For into your hand I commend myself, my body and soul and all things. Let your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen."
Isn't that beautiful?

What if we all started our days with such a prayer...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

MauldenNews May 2011

Hello all -

Here are some of our highlights of our month of May -

It was the wettest May on record for Salt Lake, and the wettest spring on record for at least 150 years. We awoke to a light dusting of SNOW on Memorial Day - and poor shocked tulips in the yard. The local ski resorts are hoping to stay open through July 4, which has happened only twice before. If you want to come ski with us on July 4, let me know.

May 25 we celebrated Alex's Arrival Day - 6 years with us! She was dying to try laser tag, so we took her and of course, she loved it. Sam was more enthralled with the "Blast Zone," a 3-story multiplex structure with nerf balls and nerf guns, a nerf cannon, and a huge, steep slide. May 31 marked Alex's  kindergarten graduation. She courageously overcame her stage fright and performed the whole program with her class, something she hadn't been able to do at the Christmas program. We're pretty proud of her. She has grown so much this year, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually (if not so much physically). :-) After the graduation program, at home, she was crying and told me she missed her Korean mom. I'm not sure if it was seeing all the other mothers in the audience, or her recent Arrival Day milestone, but it was a little sad, or maybe bittersweet.

 Sam has been entertaining us with songs he learned for his preschool end-of-year program: "Baby Bumblebee" and "I'm being eaten by a boa constrictor" and "I'm a VIP." He is actually a pretty good little performer  - lots of enthusiasm and smiles and no sign of stage fright. Alex's class sang for church - she didn't want to sing, but I told her I'd give her a piece of gum afterward if she did. She said, "Even if I just stand there and move my lips?" Little turkey! She did stand up and appear to sing with her class, and I don't know if she was just lip-synching, but she did get the gum. She made up a wonderful song and performed it at home for me - it was called "It's almost time for me to be a princess." :-)

My 2nd official half Marathon (the Ogden Half) luckily landed on a rare sunny day, and I had a great race. I even beat my old record by about 15 minutes! I don't usually care about going fast, but in the future I will remember to sign up for a downhill race course if I want to go for a new time. The course was very scenic, with a reservoir, high canyon walls, a rushing stream and a beautiful waterfall. My friend Tammy went with me, but she couldn't race because she had an injury. She was an awesome support crew, though, getting up at 4:30 a.m. to drive me to the bus pickup and cheering me at the finish. I'm already plotting and planning ways to get together with friends and family for more runs - it's a great excuse to go somewhere new and connect with people. I'm enjoying having a Galloway group to train with here.

And finally, a very interesting fact: according to the "very accurate" doctor's scale, Alex and Sam both weigh EXACTLY the same: 37.6 pounds. Alex still has 2 inches on Sam in height, but they're pretty evenly matched for wrestling.

Take care, hope you are all well and enjoying your summer - we will eventually have summer here too.