Can you tell I’ve given up on titles for my posts. I used to try to be just a little bit more creative.
This is Nicole with her helmet, sword, and shield. I thought it was a creative combination.
Nicole started summer school in June, only they have strict rules about picture taking so I had to make arrangements to come in and take pictures after school when all the other students were gone.
Zach has been wanting to celebrate Juneteenth for a few years now and this year we finally did. We invited some friends over for brisket and strawberry soda on June 19th.
Zach explained the history and read the Juneteenth proclamation to everyone.
Isaac is a unique kid. He would rather read a history or math book than fiction. Military history is still his go to subject, but his favorite book this year is a book called “What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions” it was written by the other of this blog. Isaac read it cover to cover more than once.
Due to a variety of circumstances, we ended up celebrating Isaac’s birthday in parts over a few days. First we had cake on Monday so that both sets of grandparents could be there. Isaac wanted Baked Alaska for his birthday cake.
In keeping with Cochran tradition, everyone sang terribly.
My goal this summer has been to start some good routines with the children. We’re in our second week and I’m pleased with the results so far. I made two signs. One for morning and one for bedtime. Here’s my morning sign:
It’s been a busy week as you can see by the 72 photos I decided to share. I took 277 pictures, so I’m only sharing about 1/4 of the pictures I took this week.
Monday was Memorial day. The children picked out places for the stepping stones they made last week and we put them in the ground.
Thomas was dancing around saying that he had spelled the word Alphabet. He was so proud as he sounded it out that I didn’t have the heart to tell him he hadn’t actually spelled it right.
I organized my pantry. I find the pantry one of the most difficult places to organize because the food items in there are usually subject to large amounts of flux. Sometimes we have lots of soup and other times we have lots of crackers or other such things depending on what was on sale at the store most recently. I’m hoping that containers will solve my previous organizational dilemma because maybe they will accommodate the fluctuations better.
Here you can see my laminated labels. I actually laminated a blank post card for one of the containers so that I can write on it with a dry erase marker and change it’s label as often as I need.
Thomas has started referring to his Aunt Heidi as “Grand Heidi” maybe partially because she lives with Grandma and Grandpa. Grand Heidi picked up some stepping stone kits for the children to make for family night.
Each child made something different and each child was pleased with his/her end result.
Charlotte has started giving Ila piggy-back rides across the street so that Ila doesn’t have to put shoes on.
Thomas said he was brushing his hair into boy hair.
These kids were super excited to help me make banana bread.
The school had a skate night where admission to classic skate was free. I took 4 of my kids and 2 of the neighbors. Unfortunately I didn’t get a nice clear shot of everyone wearing their skates.
It was a little challenging because the only kid who could skate without assistance was Charlotte. I paid to use two “walkers” (there are pictures of them in last weeks post when we took our older children skating). Lucie and Nicole used the walkers for the whole time and really enjoyed them. They boys were too embarrassed with so many classmates there to try the walkers. Instead they both held onto me for support. Ila tried a walker briefly, but didn’t know how to go forward so all of her skating experience was with me holding her hand. Neverthelesss, they all had a fun night. Here they are as we were leaving.
The next morning we got up bright and early to go see the Payson Temple Open House. We had tickets for the first session that day which meant leaving the house at 7:15 AM.
Thomas was not in the picture with his grandparents because he was busy being stubborn and pouting on the steps.
He was still a little grumpy, but he asked to “try again” and we were able to get a few pictures with all of us.
Charlotte and Ila are such good friends. They always want to be together. I imagine them growing up the best of friends.
After we got back from the open house, I took Ila and Thomas to their grandparents’ house so that I could go with Nicole on a walking field trip into the canyon with her class.
And because I’m an obsessive picture taker, I took pictures of her eating her lunch. She only wanted a poppyseed muffin and marshmallows in her lunch so that is what she ate, but I’m not one of those parents who feels too guilty about my kids occasionally having a terrible (in terms of healthiness) lunch.
I should say that I am impatient for Nicole’s hair to grow out into a normal looking haircut. Her hair is still recovering from when she cut it to her scalp so she could pretend to be a baby.
She made this kite and loved it. She ran around with it and had so much fun that she didn’t want to put it down for the walk back to the school.
This is Nicole with her class. She tells me she’ll marry Gabriel because he’s her friend. (He’s the one on the far left and he’s a bit of a math genius).
I took the kids out to buy presents for their Grandpa’s birthday. Thomas was really proud of his choice to get Grandpa these candy raspberries.
They choose to buy him lots of candy, some solar pathway lights, and some cans of whipped cream.
They were inspired to get the whipped cream because Grandpa likes to fill their mouths with it!
This is Isaac next to his knowledge bowl plaques that hang in the school. You probably can’t read it from here, but his name is on each of the ones next to his head.
I went to the school to watch Isaac preform in his class opera. I found Charlotte and her best friend in the audience.
I really enjoyed the Opra. The class did a great job and it was quite funny.
Isaac was a student studying for a history test when some Sasquatches and Evil Robots started changing history. The students had to go back in time and work with some magic squirrels to defeat the Sasquatches and robots.
At pack meeting they learned some new cheers. In this picture they are pretending to be bacon. They had to lay on the ground and sizzle, then flip over and sizzle some more.
We also had a guy come with his reptile collection and talk about all the different reptiles and how to care for them.
On Friday we donned hot pink shirts to race with the kids at the annual 3K.
Isaac and his best friend Evan before the race:
Charlotte and her BFF Alyssa pretending to race.
I ran with Charlotte. We started off with Isaac too, but we stopped to help Evan after he got trampled at the start of the race and we never caught back up to Isaac. Charlotte would have run a lot faster, but her friends got all tuckered out and started walking. Every so often Charlotte would take off running again and her friends would yell “Stop Running! Hold her back! Not again!”
Zach ran with Nicole. He said she pushed her way through the race running the whole time. At the end she told me she won the race. She also told me she was allergic to winning other things.
Charlotte dumped her bottled water on her head after the race:
And that was our week. Next week is the last week of school. I’m not sure I’m ready for the summer, but I am looking forward to my Mom, Dad, and brother Bryan coming to visit in early June!
On one of the last days of the timeswap, Isaac needed to do a current event the old fashioned way. He actually quite enjoyed reading the newspaper. He kept finding stories that intrigued him.
My Mom always made birthdays a really special occasion. The whole day was special in every way should could think to make it special and I always try to do the same for my kids.
Since Nicole loves “The Rainbow Queen” so much, I thought it would be nice if she got some rainbow clothes fro her to wear to school on her birthday:
She choose french toast for breakfast, but I was so busy making and serving it to everyone that I didn’t get any pictures of her eating her birthday breakfast. After breakfast, Nicole and I made this rainbow crown for her to wear to school on her birthday:
I am struggling to come up with just the right word to describe what this year has been like for Nicole and for us. It was almost exactly a year ago that we got her Autism diagnosis. At first it seemed like no big deal, it didn’t actually change anything about her to have a name for her peculiarities. Then everything changed. It was almost like she knew she had a title and now she needed to live up to it. Only she didn’t really know anything because we didn’t tell her. The first real memorable change came just before our trip to Ohio. She came with me to run some errands and while we were out, Ila needed to use the potty. Nicole refused to go in the multi-stall public restroom. I don’t remember the specific details, only that she screamed and I felt panicked about leaving her outside of the restroom by herself or leaving Ila to go in by herself.
Isaac has a school assignment to live like his grandparents did for a week. The assignment requires him not to use anything that didn’t exist back then. He has spent most of his free time this week playing board games and riding his bicycle.
Zach is a good dad to play incredibly long games like Settlers of Catan with the kids after bedtime on the night after our trip to Vegas.
The next day we had members of my mom’s side of the family over. One nice thing about living in Utah is that if you come from a big Mormon family that’s spread out all over the country, there are often opportunities for a gathering. On this occasion we got to spend time with my cousin and her family who were visiting from Arizona as well as my aunt who was in town from Texas and some cousins who grew up in Tennessee, but now live in Utah as well.
It was a short trip, but we took enough pictures that I thought it deserved it’s own blog post. We drove down to Vegas to visit my sister Barb and her wife, Athena. We had a short amount of time to spend together, but we had a really great time and look forward to future trips.
The children competed to see who could put a puzzle together first. They rotated the puzzles each time. Nicole has a great two handed method and won every round. Thomas excitedly danced around and proclaimed himself the winner each time he completed a puzzle, no matter if he was the last.
You can see Nicole better in this video:
Isaac has been learning about the Civil War in school this last month. Isaac’s teacher had each student draw a commander/battle. The class was divided into Union and Confederate and their tables were named after the 5 bloodiest battles in the Civil War. Isaac was JEB Stuart at the Battle of Antietam. The kids in the class all wore hats to signify which side they were on and they earned class points for their groups. On March 26th, all the 5th grade classes reenacted battles from the Civil War using marshmallows.
Isaac’s school is Foothill Elementary. It’s name comes from the fact that it’s in the foothills of the mountains just West of Provo Canyon. The views of the mountains around the school are breathtaking.