Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dastrup Christmas Party

Last night was the Dastrup Family Christmas Party.  We were having a great time enjoying each other's talents,

catching up with faraway family,

acting out the Nativity,

and eating good food,

when what to our wondering eyes should appear but the man from his sleigh... but where were the reindeer??

That is what Ty really wanted to know.  After getting his present from Santa ("Have you been good?" Ty: "Yes-- well... I've been trying!"), he ran out into the music room.  I followed to see what was going on and found him looking out the window.  He said, "I want to see the reindeer!"  When it was time for Santa to go, Ty followed and would have gone out with him if we hadn't intervened.  He ran back to the window and seemed appalled as he announced, "Santa's walking!"
Aside from the lack of reindeer sightings, the party was a big success!  Thanks to all for making a great party!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Joy

This year we found out that Jacob loves our Christmas tree.  I had no idea until one morning he woke up before Ty did (Ty usually turns the tree lights on when he wakes up), and after our usual morning cuddle, he led me straight to the Christmas tree.  When I just stood there he pushed me down to where the button is to turn on the lights.  Only after I turned on the lights did he proceed with the morning routine.  He has since repeated this scenario every morning that he gets up before Ty.  In the evenings once it starts to get dark (usually after dinner), he once again goes over to the tree and tries to turn on the lights (something I am usually alerted to by the sound of falling ornaments).  It warms my heart to see him sticking out his foot to try to push the button the way he has seen me do!  (We've since moved the button out to make it more easily accessible to him.)  It is such a thrill to have proof that he enjoys our holiday traditions, whether he says so or not!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Leaf Races

Here is just a little memory that I don't want to forget:

About a week ago (the day before our snowstorm), I took Ty on a run with me.  It was a blustery fall day, and all of the leaves were blowing off the trees and swirling around us.  Ty stretched out his hands and tried to catch the blowing leaves and even succeeded in catching one of them.  About halfway into the run I pointed out to Ty that all the leaves blowing down the road looked like they were running a race.  He thought that was the greatest thing ever and shrieked and cackled with delight for the rest of the run, commenting on all of the different "races" he saw.  I couldn't stop smiling and laughing at his darling display of joy.  Childhood is so precious!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Chess Master

Benjamin participated in his first chess tournament yesterday.  The tournament was open to anyone in the south Salt Lake area, so kids from about 15 schools participated.  (Some of them were really intense:  There was one team that had team shirts and did a chess cheer before each round.  They had several chess boards in an area they'd staked out in the waiting room where they would play between rounds and white board type thing that they used to analyze strategy.  Whoa!  I was totally intimidated.)  All the kids played 5 games, and they got paired with other kids depending on how they did in each round.  Benjamin's chess club leader told us that it's a really good first tournament if you win one game, so that was the goal.

In Benjamin's first game he was paired up with one of the kids from the crazy T-shirt-wearing-chess-nerd school.  I was frightened.  He was one of the last kids to finish his game, and Brigham and I were pacing the floor waiting for him to come down (parents are not allowed to watch the games so that they can't help the kids).  He finally emerged with a big smile on his face and announced that he'd won!  We were amazed and thrilled!

The second round he was pitted against a kid with a ranking in the 700s.  We were really nervous about how that would go since the ranking was higher.  But in a short amount of time he returned again proclaiming victory!  Brigham had had to leave for work, but demanded texts with every new development.  We were both surprised and so happy!

In the third round he was put up against the 4th highest rated kid in his division-- a girl rated 923.  I was sure this round would be when he would fall, so Benjamin almost floored me when he came back and announced yet another win!  At this point we were pretty giddy.  There were trophies for the top 5 kids from each grade, and suddenly we realized that he actually had a chance of winning one!

For the fourth round he was pitted against the top-ranked 4th grade chess player in the state-- a boy he knew from Peruvian Park.  I knew he would probably lose, but at that point I couldn't help wondering.  He came back announcing his first loss, but we shrugged it off pretty easily.  We realized that if he won his last game, he'd probably get a trophy of some kind, but if he lost he probably wouldn't.  Although he didn't say anything, I could tell that Benjamin desperately wanted one of those trophies.

Benjamin's last round was against a boy rated about 750.  I knew he had a decent shot since he'd already beaten 2 kids with that rating or better.  I was so nervous that I couldn't even read my book. His game took forever. Soon most of the kids in his division were back down, and I sneaked upstairs to take a peek in case I'd missed him somehow.  He and his opponant were one of only 2 couples left in the room.  They were obviously locked in an epic battle.  I returned downstairs and paced while I waited.  After forever he finally came down, and I could tell by his crushed expression that he hadn't won.

Even though he was disappointed with the outcome, Benjamin really did an amazing job!  We were so proud of him!  After only his first tournament, he is the 13th highest rated 4th grader in Utah (out of about 200)!  He's got his sights set on his next tournament on Novemeber 30th and is going for the gold!

Halloween 2012

Halloween is always such a fun holiday, and this year was no exception.  Here are a few snapshots from our fun day!

Jacob and Teacher Glenda in Jordan Valley's Halloween Parade.  When Jacob saw me he took a break from the parade and sat with me for awhile before resuming his route.  A short time later a lunch lady approached me and asked if I was Jacob's mom.  When I told her I was, she told me (with tears running down her face), "I just love him!  He lights up my life!  He has a special place in my heart."  Apparently he makes a special trip to see her every day after lunch.  That's my sweet boy!
This year we had to divide and conquer since they boys' schools are so far apart now.  Brigham went to Benjamin's parade and said that Benjamin was surrounded by a harem of ladies who were all trying to talk to him.  That's our handsome kid!

Ty was very excited about carving pumpkins this year.  I helped him draw the face onto the pumpkin, but he did at least half of the carving!

 No surprises here.  This boy's blood runs blue.
 Brigham does a masterpiece pumpkin every year.  This is how it turned out:
Wicked, huh?

 We tried really hard to get a cute group shot, but it just didn't work out.
Commando Jacob reporting for duty.

 Sir Ty Runs-a-lot
 Benjamin Potter
 Ty lead the charge for candy-- unless any ferocious (or completely docile) canine presented itself, and then he ran for cover behind the nearest bush or vehicle.
 Grandma and Gramps joined us for trick-or-treating, so it was extra fun!
Jacob stole away many hearts by signing "thank you" repeatedly after getting candy at each house.  He also surprised a little girl who was passing out candy by poking her in the eye (his way of saying "I love you").
 After coming home, the boys had just as much fun passing out candy to trick-or-treaters as they did getting it themselves!
Ty and his preschool class sang Halloween songs for the parents.  Or at least they were supposed to sing.  Most forgot that part when faced with a sea of eager parents.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fast Sunday Funny

Today was fast Sunday in our ward since next week we have Stake Conference.  During the sharing of testimonies, one young lady became emotional, and Ty became concerned about her.  He said, "She's sad!"  I told him she was okay, and he asked, " Is she not feeling good?"  I whispered to him that she was fine and that she was just crying because she loves Heavenly Father so much.  He continued to watch her with concern and then asked, "Did Heavenly Father die?"

You've got to love three-year-olds!

Camping with Gramps

If how long your three-year-old prays expressing gratitude for a recent camping trip and asking to do it again indicates how successful your camping trip was, then our recent camping trip with Gramps was a huge success!  Ty continues to talk about it in every prayer every day.
 We spent our UEA break camping with Gramps in Canyonlands National Park and having a wonderful time.  Actually, to be honest, we only camped in Canyonlands for about 45 minutes because immediately after we got our camp all set up we realized that the campsite-- the last empty one in the campground-- was already taken.  Oops.  But after the warm-up at campsite 1, our set-up time at campsite 2 (just outside the park on BLM land) had to be some kind of record.
 We had a fantastic time all around!  The boys loved climbing the rocks, chasing lizards, and throwing balls around the campground.  Gramps was the perfect tour guide, enthralling us all with stories from southern Utah history. (Benjamin once stated in awe, "Wow.  Gramps has infinite stories!")

  We went on some really fun little hikes as well as a killer 10 mile hike through sand to see Paul Bunyan's Potty and some cool Indian ruins.  The boys enjoyed finding animal tracks which Gramps collected for "deer track soup".

 Ty and Benjamin became junior rangers, and Ty took his duties very seriously-- pointing out every cactus plant on the trail and telling us gravely every time, "Watch out! Be careful! Doooooooon't touch it!"

 After enjoying two days and nights of sleeping in tents, eating tinfoil dinners, chili, and s'mores, hearing Gramps' crazy stories, hiking and enjoying the natural beauty of Canyonlands, it was time to go home.  On the way, Gramps took us to see the dinosaur footprints just outside of Moab.  Ty got very excited and said, "Okay, let's follow them!  Let's go find them!"  Despite our best efforts, he refused to believe that dinosaurs are extinct when there was such undeniable proof of their existence right in front of his eyes.  He kept begging to go find the dinosaurs and cried when we dragged him back to Gramps' truck and for a good while afterwards. 
Thank you to Gramps for going with us and making our trip more fun and an even bigger thank you to Grandma for watching Jacob so that we could do it!  It was a wonderful trip!