Sunday, October 1, 2017

Conference traditions

I love how conference weekend feels like one big holiday. The local grocery stores run it off candy and party food and then the city dies down for a couple hours at a time. 

I've tried all sorts of things to get my kids to quit fun and watch conference, but out of all the elaborate plans, I really like just buying a new puzzle and doing it together. It's still more choatic than I'd like, but I am dealing with four children!

We also spend at least one session with Grandma and Grandpa Webb. This morning we'll be eating breakfast with them. Mmmm.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Funny Ivy

My sweet and sassy Ivy keeps me on my toes!  Here are a few things I want to remember about this stage in her life (21 months)

  • I have to put locks on the fridge otherwise she gets in and breaks eggs, spreads shredded cheese around the house, and takes a bite of whatever she sees
  • She loves to dress up and calls dresses and skirts "Elsas"!  She wears dress up heels whenever she finds them.
  • She has a cute little strut she does whenever she is happy or sassy!
  • Our next door neighbor, Mia, is her best friend and she calls her "Mine-a".  She always asks to play with her!
  • She loves to paint her toenails and will do it herself with surprising accuracy if that drawer is ever unlocked.
  • She is the best little talker!  We have full on conversations with her about what she wants and does not want.
  • She recently learned to climb out of her crib with great skill!  Now she won't go to sleep in her crib unless we lay down on the floor next to her.
  • She loves watching TV (unfortunately) and her favorite show is called "Little Baby Bum" which just has nursery rhymes and songs.  She always asks to watch "Baby Bum!"


Sometime I feel like I can't do anything right, but then I do something nice for someone and I remember that I am a good person with good intentions and despite my shortcomings, that's the thing that really matters.

Expectations, "Shoulds", Guilt, Comparison.  These are the things that steal my joy and distract me from the blessings in my life, my family.  How do I rid myself of these shackles? These reminders of my imperfection in temporal things?  Honestly, social media has a lot to do with it.  As a stay at home mom, it can feel so nice to feel connected and relevant, but then the comparison starts creeping in.  I wonder if I'll ever conquer anxiety.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Well, I missed a few things

So, it's been 3 and a half years.  Just a few things have changed, right?  Today I started compiling a birthday baby book for Parker and this blog did a pretty good job capturing the moments of our lives and I do regret not keeping some sort of journal to document memories. So here we go again!!! What has changed in the last 3.5 years? Let me count the ways.

  • We added Marissa, Jamin, Myla, Hailee and Jack to our extended family
  • We vacationed in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Escalante, Bryce Canyon, Ogden Canyon, Heber, Idaho, Yellowstone, and more
  • We had a miscarriage and that was a difficult time in Ashley's life
  • We got pet rats!  Kinda gross, kinda cute.  Its a special balance.
  • Ella & Ivy were hospitalized with RSV
  • Parker was Baptized
  • Ashley ran the American Fork Canyon Half Marathon
  • Matt probably changed jobs 2 or 3 times...I'm having a hard time keeping track.  He currently works for Brightpoint Consulting and gets to work from home with a bit of travel
  • We moved to a new home in Lehi and we love this neighborhood and house so much
  • Miss Ivy Viola was born and completely captured our attention with her spunky personality 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Tommy is Three!

My baby boy is three!  He chose "puppies" as his birthday party theme and had the time of his life!  To this day, 2 months later, he is still talking about his "doggy party."  We made puppy puppets, practiced our doggy skills like fetch & finding bones, and each kid adopted and named their very own puppy!  I love making birthdays special for my boys and I think Tommy felt very special on this day!
Sarah & Shaylee making puppy puppets

Asher creating his puppet

Tommy demonstrating his puppy puppet

Doggie Bag & Adopt-a-puppy party favors


Tommy couldn't be happier!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My Love Affair of Science Fair

People are usually confused about what I do.  For 3 years I taught a science fair class at AMES and despite what you are thinking, not once did we make a volcano with baking soda and vinegar.  It's a shame, I know. Many of the kids' projects were WAY OVER MY HEAD!  I just helped give them the resources they needed to take their project to the next level.  Just to give you an idea about how amazing these kids were, here are some of the projects they developed:
  • The Suitability of Algae Protein Residue as an Effective Biofuel
  • A Bioassay on Natural Pesticide Filtration
  • The Suitability of Elaeagnus Angusifolia as a Bioindicator of Sulfur Dioxide in the Ambient Atmosphere
  • A Low cost approach to parallax based three-dimensional mapping
  • Detection and Analysis of Point Mutations of the Oxidative Variety in the K-ras gene 
I still don't really know what that last one was about, but hey, the judges did and he made it all the way to the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the largest science fair in the world.  I had the opportunity to attend ISEF as a teacher observer when another one of my students was selected to attend.
I think there are around 2000 projects and they were all amazing!
This was my student's project.  It was titled
"Quantifying Implicit Stereotypes through Cognition of Ambiguous Speech."
He won multiple awards on his research.  Basically, he found that people misunderstood
certain phonemes when they believed a person from a specific race was the source of audio.
I really enjoyed my job, but I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to these sort of things, so I had to quit.  I couldn't be an awesome (supposedly) part-time teacher and an awesome (mostly) stay-at-home mom of 3, so I had to choose one and I chose to be the stay-at-home mom of my three young kids.  

But before I quit, I (along with my co-teacher, who also quit) were asked to run the district-level fair for all the charter schools that lie within the Salt Lake Region, 7 school districts from Park City to Tooele.  So now I have a new project to put energy into.  This has been purely a volunteer thing, but hopefully it can turn into a paying gig.  The google forms we were using for the hundreds of registrations just weren't cutting it, so I made Matt program a website that would do everything from registrations to scoring.  The web program he made might now be used for all the districts in our region.  I like to brag about him, if you can't tell.
Matt also made a logo, because we can't be a legitimate organization
without a logo, right?  Also, Matt is awesome.

 The reason I have volunteered so much of my time doing this is because I have seen kids benefit so much from participating in science fair.  I've seen painfully shy kids develop confidence.  I've seen disorganized kids learn time-management.  I've seen all these kids learn, not only science, but important life skills that will help them be productive adults.  I am an advocate of project-based learning for this reason.  I would love to see schools focus more on teaching students in ways that apply to real-world situations which include projects, cross-curricular assignments, and internships.  I really would love to go back to school and work on a Doctorate on Educational Leadership & Policy and do some research on these types of methods and have some sort of impact on our state's educational system, but who knows.  For now, I'll just run a local science fair and see where it takes me.

Monday, February 24, 2014

"Happy Birthday Tommy" or "How to make a birthday special while completely ignoring your kid"

Happy Birthday Tommy!  Today your brother gave you strep throat and your mom will ignore you for a large part of the day, well more like the week....but maybe I should back up...

Three years ago was the day of the AMES science fair, which for me was a big deal.  I was in charge of it after all.  It was the culmination of months of student research summed up in pretty boards decorated with graphs and tables and student interviews with grad students and PhDs from the U.  I love science fair day, but a little over 9 months earlier I had quit my job so I wasn't anticipating giving birth on the day of the science fair.  Fortunately, as a condition of my employment, I told the principal that I had to have someone else to run the science fair program with me.  Fortunately, I had Tara to run the fair that day.

I woke up Friday, February 24th 2011 and got ready for the day.  I was scheduled to be induced that day, but I had to wait until I received a phone call to go to the hospital.  I could sleep in, relax, get things ready for the baby, and wait for a phone call or I could go to the school and ensure everything is ready for the science fair.  Of course I chose the second option.  I went into school to help with the set up (as a nine-month pregnant lady, I wasn't much help) and to double check that all the details had been taken care of.  I was able to see my student's final display boards and wish them luck before I got the phone call and rushed off to the hospital anxiously awaiting the arrival of my baby boy!

I didn't have to wait long.  After a couple hours of labor and 3 big pushes, Thomas Alexander Budd arrived.  A beautiful 8 lb. 6 oz. package of joy.
Isn't he just perfect?
I really timed his birth poorly.  I no longer run the AMES science fair program, but I run the district-level science fair for all the charter schools in the Salt Lake region which includes Tooele and Park City and guess what?  It always lands on the same week as Tommy's birthday.  In the past, I just rescheduled Tommy's birthday.  He didn't know the difference between Feb. 24th and March 3rd!  This year we had a small celebration yesterday with his grandma and I will have a bigger birthday party in a week which will give me time to plan it a little better and make it special. You can expect a proper birthday post in a couple of weeks.
Tommy in deep contemplation of another year gone by.
Tommy loves all things tiny and cute so we found him the smallest stuffed puppy in the store.  Yes, we found it down a pink aisle and yes, we removed the very feminine dog tag found on the collar.
Everyone is happy in this picture, even Ella eating the instruction manual.
 And in case you are considering turning me into DSFS, I am not completely ignoring him.  He is just watching a little extra TV which, to him, actually makes his birthday extra special!