Friday, January 20, 2012

Braggin' about 4th Grade Fun!

This has been a very fun and interesting year for Britten in school.  He has a fabulous teacher who has really helped him deepen his love of learning.  I have had the opportunity to spend sometime in his class volunteering and I love to watch and listen to all the kids.  Britten's class is very boy heavy.  Lots of sports loving boys.  I hear all about which team won what game, and who went skiing and snowboarding.  Who is on who's basketball team and who scored more points.  It doesn't hurt that their teacher is a huge baseball fan and he facilitates a lot of competition among the class.  I must admit though, the girls in the class do hold their own.

This year, Britten has learned to do powerpoint presentations by the plenty.  He has become pretty proficient in animation and decoration when it comes to those slides.  He has researched and presented to the class info on the combustion engine, the evolution of trains, early Utah governor Simon Bamberger, and The father of Modern Genetics- Gregor Mendel.  He can recite and sing all the counties in the state and he even has Kameron singing along.  He has mad typing skills and is working at a 7th grade level in math and reading way beyond where he should be.  (Ya, even I cannot do the math that he is).  My little boy is growing up and learning so much so fast, I can hardly keep up with him.

This past couple of weeks, Britten had the chance to do his first Science project for the school Science fair.  The 4th graders had the option to do it, while the 5th and 6th graders were required to do it.  After much deliberation, he and Jason decided on trying to grow crystals.  I say Jason, because I do not do science any better then I do is all kind of fuzzy to me.  I volunteered to help decorate the display board, so I guess it was a team effort.  Thanks to the crystal growing kit Britten received for Christmas from his grandma and grandpa Sheriff, he and Jason had a great plan to work from.  After mixing solutions, watching them grow, and watching them freeze, his hypothesis was correct.  "Crystals grow better at a warmer temperature."

We went to the Science fair and saw all the experiements the kids did.  They were so creative and fun.  Everything from which position will make you go faster on a waterslide to what solution will peel an egg shell best.  We got to Britten's board and there displayed was a 3rd place ribbon.  He was pretty excited, and Jason and I were pretty proud.   The photos below are some of the crystals he grew, and him sitting in front of his award winning experiment. 

Now we just have to get through a large graphing art project, poetry memorization, and the infamous county report!!  Everything you could ever want to know about Utah County.

This brings us to half way through the 4th grade school year.  Where has the time gone??  I am not ready for this year to be so close to finished.  I still have so much to re-learn and Britten has so much to teach me.  If he only knew how much I learned from him everyday.  He is becoming a very smart, talented, independent, and very loving person.  Everyday is something new.  I am thankful everyday that I have the opportunity to be his mom, even on the days when I he gives me grief, and Jason gray hairs.
                       I LOVE MY BRITTEN!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Year!!

How did we get to 2012 already? Good old 1976 is starting to seem farther and farther away. Well, Staci covered Christmas, and asked me to handle New Years. I'm sure that this post will be a lot smaller than Staci's, seeing how as she had about 1 month to cover, and I really only have 1 day. But I will give it my best shot.

I guess the first thing I would like to talk about actually happened before New Years, it even began before Christmas. I got a phone call the week of Christmas from my supervisor at work. I have known her longer than she has been a supervisor, and I would also consider her a friend. So I was a little surprised when she was upset with me, and accusing me of leaving her department. I was very confused at the time, but have come to find out she knew more than I did at the time. It turns out than a position at work that I had applied for, but not been offered, was once again available. I had interviewed for it just less than a month ago. The person they chose for the position was offered a job with another company, and had chosen to leave. This made for a somewhat uneasy Christmas, as I wondered what my future would hold. Long story short, it wasn't long after Christmas when I was offered the position as Instrument Specialist in the Automated Endocrinology Lab.

I will begin my new position on Feb. 6th. This change brings both relief, and a few tears, as it will be a more "normal" schedule. I will work Mon - Fri, 7:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. The tears stem from the thought of only having 2 days off, in place of 7. It does bring paid time off, and paid Holidays off which I have not had before, so it should be a nice change. I will be responsible for maintaining the many different analyzers in our laboratory, as well as some housekeeping paperwork and such. Staci and I are excited about the changes and look forward to finding out what "normalcy" is like.

Okay, back to New Years. It is always an adventure when the Holiday falls on my week of work, which this year it did. My boss is kind enough to let me come in on New Years Day whenever I choose, so long as my work gets done. This freedom, combined with my insanity, make it the one day each year when I stay up and party with my family, and then go straight to work.

On New Years Eve my plan is usually to go to work, come home and nap, then head to the family party. This year, however, I had some extra cash in my flexible spending account that I had to use by the end of the year, or lose it. Therefore, right after work I had an eye exam for new contact lenses. I did manage to squeeze in a brief nap of , oh about 1 hour. Then it was time to party.

Our family New Years party was held at Kirstin's house this year. I'm not sure if Kirstin just loves having others destroy her home, or if there was some other motivation, but I was a great place to party, and I mean PARTY!! Okay, so most of the rest of the world may not consider what we do a party, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Everyone brought some form of low calorie, fat free food, such as Papa Murphy's pizza (thanks mom, it was delicious), Kirstin made Little Smokies in bar-be-que sauce, Staci brought a block of cream cheese covered in cocktail sauce and little shrimps, Karen brought doughnuts, Marie brought beverages including slush (mmmmm), and Kevin brought fireworks. Okay, Kevin also brought some chips and M&M's. It's probably a good thing that I didn't sign up for our work's "Project Zero" where if you maintain or lose wight over the holidays, you get a prize.

It was a fun evening. The kids were entertained with the basketball hoops downstairs and the sweet race cars that were down there. Most of us adults just stayed by the food. We also played a fun game that Britten got for Christmas called the LOGO game. I'm sure everything was a bit more funny because I was so tired, but Kevin and Spencer had me in tears. The night culminated at midnight (obviously) when Kevin showed his expertise in pyrotechnics. He performed a very entertaining firework show for us all. Then it was home for a shower, and off to work.

As we begin a new year, one always tries to evaluate his / her life, and find ways to improve. The Krantz family has done this as well. We are excited for all that the new year will bring. We have just begun to read the Book of Mormon as a family, and hope to have it finished by the end of the year. We are truly blessed. I had to step back once or twice and look at my family over the Holidays. They are growing so fast. Britten really blows my mind with how smart he is, and Kameron wants to be just like his brother. Staci and I love our family and look forward to a Happy New Year with them. Here's to 2012. May the Martinelli's flow like wine.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Posted by Picasa

Christmas, Christmas, Christmas...........

"It came, now it's overThe end."  That is how Christmas went for Jason!!  Truthfully, that is how Christmas seemed to me.  I don't know why this holiday in particular seems to come faster and faster every year.  We have the same amount of days every year, with the exception of our leap year and yet I cannot believe how the holiday sneeks up upon me.  We had a fun holiday season as always.  We never lack for places to go, people to see, and things to do.  Here is a very not-so-brief run down of our holiday activities.

We start the Christmas season off with a Krantz Family Progressive Dinner.  We have the opportunity to have a gourmet five course meal.  All of the Jason's sisters, brother, and parents put on their chef hat and create a fabulous feast.  Karen and Adam created amazing potato skins for the appetizer.  Next, Kirstin and Dan served a "fancied up"(Jason's culinary term) green salad.  It was a perfect palate cleanser for the main course.  Normally at this point, we would have donned the doors of our house.  However, Kameron and I were home with a nasty cold that we chose not to share.  So, our contribution to the dinner (homemade rolls) was sent via Jason to his parents home to be consumed with the AMAZING crock pot lasagna his parents prepared.  Lastly, off to his brother Kevin's for dessert and the reenactment of the birth of our Savior.  We have a fun family that enjoys spending time together.  I love seeing all our kids playing together and enjoying each other.  It makes me think back to my childhood and remembering all the Christmas's where I did the same thing.  I loved seeing and spending time with my cousins and I hope my kids will grow to love it too.

Our family always looks forward to attending the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert.  We have had the opportunity to go for the last several years.  We were fortunate to be able to go again this year.  Jason always says that is just isn't Christmas until he has heard the melodic sounds of heaven.  This is Christmas to him.  Most often, many of Jason's family attends the concert with us.  However, this year, due to an unfortunate illness, we had some that could not attend.  So, at the last minuted I enlisted a family in our ward who is much like us.  We had a fun evening consuming fat free and calorie free Crown Burger, attending the concert, and we concluded the evening creating our own frozen yogurt concoction at Orange Leaf!  It was a marvelous!

Bring on the Joyful noise.  Or as we like to call it, Christmas Parties!  My side of the family, the Sheriff's, all get together for a fun Christmas party.  We are so big, that it requires the use of the cultural hall in someones church.  After a yummy lunch, Santa always comes and brings the kids a fun gift.  It is from my grandparents and is most often something that is somewhat handmade.  It is so fun to see the kid's faces light up when the jolly ol' man himself enters the room.  I have to admit, that I am really partial to this particular Santa because I have sat on his lap every Christmas ever since I was 10 months old.  He is one of the nicest, most genuine men/Santa's that I know.  I am always grateful every year that he chooses to help brighten the season by allowing an enormous number of Sheriff kid's to sit on his lap.  My grandparents always beem from cheek to cheek when they see that room full of the family they have created.  The words "I love you" just do not do justice to the way I feel about my grandparents.  They ares selfless, loving and so much a part of who I am.

Christmas party number two is a different kind of animal.  We get the opportunity to go to Jason's grandparents home.  They live in Plain City and so we do not get up there to see them very often.  We get to enjoy the company of all his aunts and uncles and cousins.  This year we were able to see Jason's aunt and uncle who live in California.  They were here for one of his cousin's wedding, which was the day before.  This is a fun gathering because all of the kids get to showcase a talent that they have been working on this year.  Most choose to play a tune on the piano.  Others display art, or just talk about something they have accomplished during the year.  Britten played "Away in a Manger" on the piano, and Kameron, well he tried to sit still (that is a talent for him).  Usually the adults just sit back and enjoy the show however, Jason chose to sing his favorite version of "O Holy Night".   Jason has been singing this particular song ever since were were married, and probably long before then too.  However, on this night, I don't think it ever sounded more beautiful.  Through choked back tears, he dedicated this song to his mom and his grandmother.  They have instilled the love of music in him from a very young age, and music is so much a part of his life.  If he could choose anything else for a career..he would be Brad Paisley, I mean a musician. Anyone who has come to our home knows there are usually only two things you hear, yelling at the t.v. during a sporting event, or music....all types of music.  I am so grateful that he has shared this love with our kids.  Our kids love music too.   We end the evening munching on very delicious treats brought by all. 

And then comes, Christmas Eve.

Let the mayhem begin!  Christmas morning is always an adventure.  With it being on a Sunday this year, it was even more so.  WE ACTUALLY GOT TO SLEEP IN UNTIL 7:00 AM ON CHRISTMAS DAY!!  I cannot believe that!  Britten came rolling in at the stroke of 7:00 to tell us it was time to get up.  So, after rubbing the sugarplums from our heads, we ventured to the living room in hopes all our Christmas dreams would come true.  Imagine that, they did.  We made it partially through our ripping of paper and then got dressed up for Church.  Jason and Britten sing in the ward choir and they had several numbers to sing.  Jason also sang in a quartet of men.  It was nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of the day even for an hour and reflect on the birth of the Savior and all the glorious gifts he has given to us.  And to remember that by living as he would want us to we can say "Thank You" to him.
Returning to Mayhem....After opening presents at home, off we went to my parents home.  I love "going home" for Christmas so to speak.  I love that my kids get to experience the look and feel of Christmas that I had growing up.  My parents spoil their grandkids rotten!!  Kameron could not hand out the gifts fast enough, and we could not open them fast enough...for him anyway.  My brother and my sister-in-law and their cute girls were there too.  It is fun to see them all dressed up in their Christmas dresses.  Almost makes me wish I had a girl....then again maybe not once the drama ensues.  After spending the afternoon there, we headed off to Jason's parents for the nightcap.  The traditional dinner of Ham and Cheesy potatoes and more gift opening.

The day after Christmas, we made the family pilgrimage to Temple Square to see the lights.  A must for us.  Apparently we decided to go the same day as everyone else.  I don't think I have seen it so busy before.  My kids loved the different nativity displays and getting the chance to see the model of the temple where you can see what the rooms inside look like.  I always forget how much there is to do there and how we need to go more often when it is not the holiday season.  After hot chocolate and pie for dessert, we ended the 2011 Christmas season.

Christmas Day goes just as fast as it comes.  Now we must all wait an entire year for it to come around again.  Something tells me, it is not going to seem like a year though.  Perhaps I should start my shopping now!
Posted by Picasa