Biking USA

For years now, Alison has been trying to get the whole family biking. After an array of (expensive) attempts that haven't worked, we finally have a functional system! Alison has a nice road bike and tows a double bike trailer with Gideon in it. Timmy has a balance bike that he rides sometimes (very slowly), and then he gets in the trailer, which has a trunk that holds the balance bike. Sara also has a balance bike, which she is loving! She can keep up with or even pass Alison towing the boys! Rea has a nice 20 inch geared bike that can go faster than anyone else in the family (since the adults never get to go full speed on family rides). And Mike still has the bike he got in high school, so it's obviously a good solid bike. We have gone on bike rides every day this week, usually around 2 miles round trip. It's been wonderful!

Gideon has begun using much more complex sentances lately. One of the first ones we noticed was one night when he was ready for bed and wanted to be snuggled in his blanket, and Mike was still playing with him. He finally said, "Wrap up! Don't want to dance around!" He can use possessives and prepositions, but his favorite phrase is still "Don't want to!" Once this week, he was pestering Alison about something and she finally said, "I don't want to," and he accepted that and walked off. So that's one good thing about "don't want to."

Alison's work at VIPKID has suddenly taken off. She's actually starting to fill her schedule and think about what hours she really wants to work. This week she's planning to teach Monday through Saturday 5:30-7am, which adds up to about two hours of work a day (with preparation and feedback). She is enjoying it; it gets her energized for the day and it's fun to be earning money.

Our microwave died this week, so we're living without a microwave at the moment. It is occasionally inconvenient, but we're doing OK until we find a new one to replace it.

Thursday was Alison's birthday. It was a fun day. She took some time to read a novel during the day, and in the evening we had Indian food and a chocolate-strawberry mousse cake. She received some fun gifts, especially the supplies for camping this summer, as well as some books, a hammock for the backyard, and some homeschooling supplies. It was a great birthday. The next day, we went to the Off Broadway Theater to see "Jurassic Park City." They actually had some Utah raptor costumes and Utah raptors prowling the aisles and the stage. Timmy and Gideon loved the dinosaurs, although after the play (when the actors came out to greet the audience), Gideon was scared of them up close. The play was funny and we had a good time. We love the OBT, so it was a great way to finish up the celebration of Alison's birthday.

The past two weeks have been in the 70s most days, so Alison has decided to stop school for now and do some more when it gets really hot in the summer. Right now the kids read scriptures when Dad leaves for work, listen to memory work over breakfast, and do about 15 minutes of math. Sara does an additional 15 minutes of reading, and then we spend the rest of the day outside. It's been great, although the dishes and kitchen clean up never seem to get done. We'll work on that this week. We are reading Dr Dolittle when the kids get tired of running around, and Rea and Sara both love it. Timmy likes the idea, but he gets bored if we read more than one chapter at a time. Gideon just likes being outside.

We've never mentioned on this blog, but we have had a goal for the last 3.5 years to have mike quit his 40 hour a week job, and work part time (10-20 hours a week), and have Alison also work part time (10-20 hours a week). The goal is to get part-time, location-independent, flexible-hours work for both of us that will support our family. Mike's job with BYU-I and Alison's with VIPKID are steps toward this goal, as well as investing a large percentage of each paycheck to give us passive income. Another part of the plan (recently) is to have more than half of that work occur during the night since we are sleeping polyphasically now.

We ran all our numbers yesterday and it looks like it's possible we will make it by the time Mike is 35, which was our original goal. The idea is that we'll both work an hour or two while the kids are asleep, and we'll have investment returns, and we hope to find something else we enjoy that we can each do one day a week. So we'll have Sunday, and then one day when Mike is working all day and Alison has the kids, and another day when Alison is working all day and Mike has the kids, and four days together as a family. This is currently the plan, and we're hoping to do it.

Finally, Rea has become a photographer.

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