Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Newspaper Route Tidbit

As of this past December I have a newspaper route! Yep, the good old fashioned kind where you pick up the weekly papers, take them home and roll them into baggies, and then deliver them door to door for the very meager wage of 6 cents per paper!
I wasn't ever planning it this way but life just happens.... One minute you think you are full beyond capacity and can't possibly fit in one more thing to do and next minute you have a paper route!
Okay okay, the paper route belongs to my 12 year old, but I help with it and consider it (partially) my own. He'd been wanting his own job for a long time so when an opening opened up for a carrier in our neighborhood, he jumped at the chance. 

Micah and I talked it over and decided it would be a great opportunity for him so we signed him up. He has 153 papers in his route, and delivers once a week on Wednesdays. This route makes about $36 dollars a month. It became clear that he would need another person to help him since the route covers such a large neighborhood with a lot of back and forth across streets. By himself it would take an hour and a half. With another person it takes 40-45 minutes. Luckily his little brother Odin said he'd do it with him and they could split the wages in half. Yay! Unluckily, that didn't last long as Odin decided he didn't like the paper-routing-life and resigned after 2 weeks.
That's when I took over. 

At first I was irritated, resisting the fact that I had to squeeze yet another activity into my life.  However I knew that it was more sensible for two people to cover the route, and I knew that I was the only one for the job (Micah would still be at work and the littles are too little.) I logically explained to the recently retired Odin that by quitting the paper route I would now need someone to watch the littler kids for 45 minutes while I'm gone. I explained, "You are basically trading a paid employment opportunity to stay home and babysit your brothers for free. You get this, right? This is really what you want to do?"
"Yes, mom," he replied. "I just really don't like paper routes."
Well, as it turns out, I really DO like paper routes! My resistance quickly melted away as I discovered how fun it is to walk door-to-door and toss newspapers onto people's front porches! Not only am I getting outside, getting exercise, and having fun, but I also get to spend some quality time with this cute kid: 
Rain or shine, he gets the job done!
At first we were kind of slow as we awkwardly made our way through the winding cul-de-sacs, condos, apartments, and duplexes that made up our route. But after several weeks we got it down to a science! 
Through talking and planning we have come up with faster methods to get it done under a specific amount of time. It's even exhilarating when we beat our own goals! 
For instance, during  the first month we were both tossing the papers onto the front porches and then returning to the sidewalk to walk to the next house. One day we realized that most of these people have really crappy landscaping and probably wouldn't care if we walked on their front lawns, therefore it would be much quicker to toss the paper onto the front porches then cut across the front of the yard to the next house and the next and the next... Now we have a "No sidewalks" policy to ensure faster delivery. 

We have a good time each week. We make jokes and also some pretty weird observations about the way people live.
 There's a house which has had broken windows all winter long covered up with cardboard boxes and duct tape. We wonder if the people will ever get them fixed or if having broken windows is their new (freezing cold) normal.
There is house with a repulsive, rotting, dead deer head on the front lawn. It looks like they went hunting and then tossed the head on the lawn with no forethought. We wonder if they think this is a good decoration or if there will ever be plans to remove it. 
There is a house that never brings their papers in. Week after week the papers pile up until they finally throw them all away. Then we start over again. We wonder if they can't read or if they don't have time to read or if they simply hate the local news. I don't really blame them if it's the latter--our local newspaper isn't very exciting.
There's an annoying middle-school-aged kid that always follows Zadok for several houses in a row and asks him the same annoying thing,"Hey can I ride in your cart?" He first started asking that question one day when Z was pushing the papers in a stroller. But now the kid asks him every single time even though he's not pushing the stroller anymore. Sometimes Z ignores him but sometimes Z yells at him to go away. I never see it because I'm usually on the other side of the street in the cul-de-sacs. However, If it keeps happening I'll probably have to find the kid and the parents and have a talk about harassment and being an annoying little poop...
There's one house that has a cute blue door with a lovely colorful wreath on the outside. I wonder if I met the occupants, if we could be friends, because I like colorful doors and pretty wreaths, too! I'll probably never find out.

We both hate the houses with barking dogs and the houses with trash all over the lawns.
We both like delivering at the condos because the doors are so close to each other and makes it feel like we're going super fast.

Overall, my son really likes getting the money each month and I really like spending time with my son. I also think that he enjoys this time spent with me, but like most tweenagers, he probably won't admit that for another 15 years or so.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Snowboarding Tidbit

This past November our local 4-H Club announced this amazing program where kids  (grades 3-12) and their parents could sign up to learn how to ski or snowboard for a fraction of the ski resort price. I jumped at this opportunity and signed Odin and myself up for a package that includes three full ski days at Brian head Resort, ski or board rentals, and lessons, for just $90 each! Such an awesome deal!
With Brian head being just 25 minutes away from our house I've really enjoyed getting myself up there each winter to play in the mountains. It's  such a rejuvenating, exhilarating experience to be able to get away from my day-today responsibilities for a day and just feel the pure adrenaline and excitement of my favorite snow sport. 

However, I've also been dying to get my kids up there with me because when you truly enjoy something it's natural to want to share it with your favorite little people. But so far, Odin is the only one that has showed any interest.

Our first ski day was February 3rd! Odin signed up to learn how to snowboard and I signed up to take lessons to improve my snowboarding technique (since I'm already a pretty experienced snowboarder I didn't need beginner lessons). It was so much fun heading up there with my boy! I was really hoping he could feel the excitement and energy of being on the mountain with me!

After everyone from the 4-H club arrived we split into our various lesson-groups until we met up later for lunch. The instructors took the beginners to this teeny little bunny slope where they got to ride a "magic carpet" to the top and then ride down while learning all the basics. Odin did pretty well in his lessons, but in true Odin fashion he got extremely frustrated that he didn't "get it" right away. He ended up staying on the bunny slope all day, not wanting to leave until he'd mastered how to stop his snowboard correctly. I tried to convince him that one of the fun parts of learning to snowboard is riding the ski lift to the top of the mountain and then figuring it out on the way down! Even with all the falls, fails, bumps, and bruises, it's still really fun!
He didn't buy my plan and so stayed on the bunny slope until he decided it was time to go home and call it a day. 
I am so proud of him for trying, though. Snowboarding is a really hard sport to master and he gave it his best shot. 

Meanwhile, I ended up spending my morning with one-on-one lessons from a private instructor. They didn't mean for it to happen that way but several people in my lesson-group didn't show up so I got the royal treatment.
 The instructor and I took the ski lift to the top of the mountain together so he could follow me down and watch my technique then give me any tips on improvement.
I am happy so say that I got rave reviews on my snowboarding performance. haha. He told me my technique looked great and my skill level was admirable (probably for my age and life circumstances but anywho, It was a feel good moment!)
Then he asked me if I'd like to learn how to switch-stance. This is where you switch from having your dominant foot forward to having the other foot forward and back again. It can be a lot of fun to switch back and forth between the two feet as you zoom down the slopes, even though learning would take some new mental skills.
We spent the next half-hour trying to teach me to overcome my mental blocks with not much luck. I've been a regular-foot surfer and snowboarder for the past 20+ years who never attempted much with switching my stance. It was hard for me to switch in my mind and thus tell my brain to use the appropriate muscles to make it happen. I spent a good part of the morning tumbling down the mountain with many bruises, bumps, falls, and fails along the way. But it was all part of the fun, right?

Overall we had a great time. As part of the package we also got to do a tour of the facilities and learn more about the behind-the-scenes operations of the ski-resort. Here's O and his friends listening to ski-patrol give a quick briefing on safety. 
Even though little O didn't want to go back up with me for the second ski-day on March 10th, I was proud of him for trying the first time. 
So, this past Saturday I got to go up for a full ski-day by myself (and some friends), which was glorious!
I got so many runs in that by the end of the day I was exhausted from happy over-exertion. I haven't attempted to try switching stance since that last time, but I will try again another day. Probably on a more powdery soft day and possibly with a helmet on. :)

Our next ski club day is on March 31st. I'm hoping that between now and then I can convince at least one of my kids to come back up there with me and feel the pure joy of riding the snow waves. :)

Friday, March 9, 2018

The Lacrosse Tidbit

I quit Facebook several months ago (Nov 7, 2017 to be exact) and I'm not sure how I ever managed to fit it into my life! My weekly schedule is so jam-packed with everything from exercising, to shopping, to cooking, to Relief Society visits to chauffeuring everyone to their daily activities around town that whenever I do have some "down time" I am catching up on reading or journaling. When the heck did I ever find time to do social media? I'm so glad it's out of my life because real life is full-- so very, very, very full, and time is my most precious commodity.

I've found that because life is so full I'm going to have to blog in tidbits. Every time I try to sit down and write a long blog post with many different recaps and stories of our lives, I am faced with distractions, mostly in the form of this kid:

So here's my daily tidbit before my three year old finds me and realizes I'm not talking/playing/entertaining him: 
Lacrosse season has begun for my eldest son. Last year when he first told me he was interested in joining a lacrosse team my initial reaction was,"Lacrosse?? What the heck is lacrosse?" I had never really heard of it and was wondering what attracted him to it. 
Now I know that lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports in America! It was created in the 17th century by the Native Americans as a competitive sport and spiritual tradition! The benefits include cardiovascular and muscular fitness as well as mental discipline and skill development! Not to mention learning to throw a tiny ball into a tiny net that is attached to a skinny stick while running and dodging other kids. 
I love it! And I love that our son has taken such an interest in it. He's such a mellow, non-competitive kid so when I see him out on the field with all his battle gear- his padding, his helmet, his protective mouth piece, etc,  I'm still a little astonished that he picked this sport. Here he is after practice with his post-lacrosse-helmet-hair:
He has practice three times a week plus games on the weekends. Chauffeuring him around to practices is my pleasure because I love to see him thrive in something that he enjoys and feels so passionate about.
Go lacrosse season!