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Preview: Enjoying the little things

Enjoying the Little Things





Updated: 2014-10-06T20:25:04.757-07:00

 



My 'Baby' is Three

2012-09-11T16:16:34.041-07:00

 It's true...Ryan is three today!  Words can do justice to what this little guy means to us.  He is so cute and so fun and so crazy and cracks us up every day.  I was thinking a few months ago about how much more we've laughed in the past couple of years because Ryan's been in our family.  He's got each of us wrapped around his little fingers (I guess that's pretty typical of the baby of the family, right?)  This boy is a big tease and I love that he deliberately does silly things just to make us laugh.  He makes funny faces, says things in crazy ways, and has the cutest little voice.  I've seen people at the store just stop to listen and smile as he chatters away.  He's also got more energy than our whole family combined.  Good in lots of ways, exhausting in others.  Ryan can make big messes much faster than the rest of us can clean it.  (We're working on channeling that energy into cleaning up too... :)  This boy definitely keeps us on our toes. Right now Ryan loves:  playdough, horsies, nectarines, riding his scooter, his 'Cars' toys, the 'trantholine' (trampoline,) getting dressed up in his church clothes (the tie is his favorite,) watching anything that has to do with Mickey Mouse, eating anything with sugar in it, reading stories, getting into mischief, playing with Nathan, chocolate milk, and giving his mommy hugs. :) Ryan reminds me of my Dad and my Grandpa Jensen (Blain.....Ryan and my Dad share his middle name.)  Scott and I had both (independently) felt that this should be his middle name before he was born.  I think it's interesting because his personality is so similar to theirs....fun-loving, always teasing, a little bit of a stinker, and full of love. This is one of my favorite videos of Ryan at the beach this summer with his little friend.  This is what you get when two-year-olds have a conversation:  allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='https://www.youtube.com/embed/PKNLIW2sTh0?feature=player_embedded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />  allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='https://www.youtube.com/embed/LzUJzPF8LZw?feature=player_embedded' FRAMEBORDER='0' /> And with that.... Happy Birthday Ryan!!! We love you and we're so glad you're ours! [...]



Ruby's Story

2012-08-08T09:22:22.843-07:00



A beautiful video about the sweetest little baby and her amazing family:




Thirteen!

2012-08-14T20:02:20.142-07:00


This girl is an official teenager today!  I've been pretty impressed with myself about not getting emotional or sad about this fact, but last night as I was saying goodnight, it hit me hard.  Where has the time gone?  I could've sworn it was just yesterday we brought our tiny 5-1/2 lb. baby home from the hospital.  I would spend hours over those first few months dressing her up in tiny outfits and taking picture after picture (I really do have hundreds...and this was before we had a digital camera!)  Thirteen years ago???  Impossible.  But I guess it's not because here she is...my sweet, wonderful, officially taller-than-me girl.  Anna is a good friend, an amazing help at home, and is so much fun to hang out with.  What a lucky family we are to have her. :)

I have loved watching her personal and spiritual growth the past year.  She has jumped right into Young Women's and is loving every minute of it.  I'm a little sad to know that the next few years are going to get busier as Anna gets more involved in church and school activities, but I'm so excited for the experiences she is going to have.  The time is flying by, and we're doing everything we can to make the most of it!  How I love this girl.

Happy Birthday, Anna!




Cutest Mayor I've Ever Seen

2012-04-03T11:29:55.525-07:00

Last week Nathan had his turn to be "Mayor" of his class.  He got to bring something special in each day, be the line leader wherever they went, lead them in the daily Pledge of Allegiance, and lots of other fun stuff.  Here is the poster he brought in to show the class "All About Nathan..."Here is a better view (notice that when he grows up, he wants to be a 'right ingenere' (Wright Engineer...just like Daddy:)Waiting to show his poster to the class:The Presentation (he was so cute...maybe I'll post the video:)The Mayor taking his lunch break:...and getting a "high-five" from little brother for a job well done:He took a story to read to the class:He did a great job!I think his favorite was taking in a "Mystery Item."  He gave the kids clues and they had to try to guess what was in the bag:They had some pretty good guesses!  He had taken his "headlight" that he uses to read with in bed at night.  It was tricky, but one little girl finally guessed a helmet with a light on it.  Nathan decided that was close enough. :)He also got to take treats for the Estimation Jar (71 Easter suckers to be exact!)But the highlight of the week was probably something not even related to being Mayor.  We are lucky enough to have a home teacher who works for an ice cream company, and he brings us a nice stash of ice cream every once in a while.  Well, last month Nathan asked him for some Cotton Candy ice cream and he said he'd see what he could do.  Apparently they only make that flavor for ice cream shops and he had to get it in a 3 gallon container:Oh yes!!!  These kids were pretty excited.  We had to do some serious rearranging in the freezer to fit that baby in, but it was worth it.  Cotton Candy is now one of our favorite flavors.  I stocked up on cones big time at Target.  We'll see how long it takes us to get through it!  [...]



Best Present Ever

2012-03-30T16:58:59.072-07:00

For Christmas we decided to combine funds from grandparents and get the kids something they could all use.  So after much deliberation (and talking with every single person I know who owns one...) we decided to let them get their hearts' desire:a trampoline!  Let me tell you, this thing has been used more than I'd ever dreamed.  Not a day has gone by (with the exception of Sundays and a few extremely rainy days) that the kids haven't been out jumping and playing on it:Grandpa showed us some of his tricks (I didn't catch his back flip...dang it!) and taught the kids how to play T-Rex:They've all spent hours and hours and hours out on that thing:It has been used for naps and picnics:...and all kinds of fun (including bouncing Ryan too high...)The look on Aimee's face says it all...crazy girl!(I just say a little prayer every time they head out there that no one will get hurt! :)[...]



Ryan

2012-03-13T11:05:27.357-07:00

Oh, what to say about this boy.  For starters he turns 2-1/2 today.  Half-way to three?!  Where has my baby gone?  He changes daily...I can hardly keep up.  We've definitely been having a little dose of the "terrible two's" around here.  We still think he is the cutest though.  Lucky for him! :)I wanted to write down some of my favorite things about him right now.  He chatters non-stop and cracks us up with new phrases all of the time.  This is where we have to watch what we say because we hear it right back!  Some of the common things we hear are:"Mmm....Ummy dat!" (That's yummy!)  "Dewishes!" (Delicious!)"Mommy, watch this!" (as he shows me some new trick he's learned)"Darn it!" (when something doesn't go his way)"And, and, kick!" (before he kicks a ball...he says it every single time)"Mommy, jwumpy me?" (Mommy, jumpy me? when he wants to jump on the trampoline.  He says this with the cutest look on his face...it melts my heart every time!  I pretty much always say 'yes.')He calls Anna "Na-na," Aimee "Mae-mi," Nathan "Dae-din," and himself "Wynin."  His favorite part of the day is when we pick the kids up from school.  As soon as he sees Nathan walking out from class he runs over shouting "Dae-din!" and gives him a big hug.  It's a heart-melter!  He also likes driving carpool with Anna's friends and is finally learning all of the kid's names (as opposed to calling everyone "Weeyah" (Olivia) like he's done for the past several months.  I think he's got a crush... :)  Ryan runs everywhere he goes.  This boy has so much energy!  He's given up the stroller for the walk to school, and darts down the sidewalk yelling, "Mommy...fast!" as he leaves me in the dust.  It's great for getting to school quickly, but not so great at Target!  I may have to trade in my flip flops for running shoes.What else...?  He loves to pretend that he is a puppy (I tell the kids they don't need a dog, they have a little brother!), or even better, that one of the kids is a puppy.  He leads them all over the house saying "Come on, puppy!" and giving other commands.  His favorite animal in the whole world is a "hee-hee" (horse.)  He carries around his plastic or stuffed horses everywhere, and make the most hilarious "neigh-ing" sound we've ever heard.  I had to make sure to get it on video so we don't forget it when he figures out how a real horsie sounds.  I'll post it for you grandmas. :)Ryan loves to get dressed up for church (especially loves his tie and getting his hair nicely combed), and when he is all ready and we've told him how handsome he looks, he goes to the mirror on the closet door to admire himself.  We may be in trouble in a few years!I don't think I've had a child this busy and in to everything before.  He makes more messes a day than the other three combined and doubled.  But, I guess that's a two-year-old.  He's quite sassy and has a little bit of a temper, and we are hoping it is just a phase.  Luckily he only gets that way when he is tired or has been teased mercilessly by one of the kids...or Scott (sometimes I think I have more than one two-year-old!!!)That being said, he is a sweet boy most of the time, and will always give me a kiss on the cheek at my request.  We spend our days while the kids are at school building trains, reading stories, watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (so I can get some things done), jumping on the trampoline, eating Cheerios, and playing with his Lightning McQueen cars.  He is also my best helper when it comes to the laundry.  :)What a fun little guy he is.  I'm so grateful that he is a part of our family.  I still can't believe that we are so lucky to have him.  I think of how different our family would be if he hadn't have come alo[...]



Volleyball

2012-03-13T11:12:01.290-07:00

A few weeks ago, the BYU men's volleyball team was in town, so we thought we'd take the kids out for the game.  They had all just gotten some cool BYU gear for Christmas (thanks Grammie and Poppa,) so they got all dressed up...go Cougars!They won the first set pretty easily...The kids were very into the game:This was serious stuff!Ryan was sure to clap for every point scored:BYU won the second set as well...one more to go!The last set was a nail-biter......but they pulled it off!The crowd went wild...I think there were more fans for the Cougars there than fans for the home team.  What a fun evening...and a bonus that it helped us in our attempt to convince the kids that they want to go to BYU someday![...]



Dorothy

2012-01-12T12:22:31.211-08:00

Anna had the opportunity to perform in a little community group's production of The Wiz of Oz. She had so much fun (well, until the crunch at the end with long rehearsals every night...) and she did a wonderful job. The whole cast did...it was absolutely darling, and the music was fantastic! Grandma Beth and Grandpa came down for the performance, which was a special treat for all of us. :) We were all surprised to see a great little actress emerge from our usually quiet and reserved Annalyn! 

I snapped a few quick pictures before the the play:


Doesn't she make a great Dorothy?


The Ruby Slippers (her favorite part!)


Some of the other cute girls in the play:


And a quick post-play shot:


She won't commit to another play anytime soon, but we're hoping she'll want to do another one after a little while.  I think she felt a lot more pressure than she ever let on, but she pulled it off and did a beautiful job.  Go Anna!



Nathan is 7!

2012-01-06T14:27:57.767-08:00

Seven years ago today, at 8:59 am, Nathan came to our family.  We all fell instantly in love.  I didn't think I had ever seen such a sweet baby.  I felt like the luckiest mommy ever holding him in my arms, and I knew without question that he was a special little guy.  Here are 7 reasons we are so LUCKY to have Nathan in our  family:1.  He is the sweetest boy.  When I went to the parent conference with his teacher a few months ago that was the word she used to describe him.  Glad we're getting good reports so far!  I have the feeling that he'll keep it up. :)  He leaves sweet little notes for me around the house telling me that he loves me or that I am the best mommy.2.  Nathan is a little gentleman.  He helps me carry in groceries or with little chores around the house.  This probably goes along with his "sweetness."  I think he knows what he's doing, because I've heard reports that several little girls at school have a crush on him.  Hmmm...better watch that one.3.  He is the best big brother, and absolutely loves Ryan.  I wondered if the almost 5-year age gap would keep them from being very close, but he loves to play with and include Ryan in just about everything he's doing.  (Except for Monopoly...Ryan totally messes that one up...)4.  He is very thoughtful and loves to do "secret service" around the house.  He'll make the girls' beds, clean up one of Ryan's messes, or unload the dishwasher once in a while just to give us a nice surprise.5.  Nathan gets us to play and have fun.  He's loves to play games, basketball, soccer...and he is always recruiting us to play with him.  We probably wouldn't do those fun things as much without him around!6.  He makes us laugh.  Nathan loves to tell jokes, and he is always saying those cute, funny little things that first-graders say.7.  He is a happy boy, and is good at helping others feel happy too.  Nathan tries very hard to do what is right, to say nice things, and to be a peacemaker.  I can't imagine life without him...he is such a good boy.We love you, Nathan!  Happy Birthday! :)[...]



Catching Up!

2012-02-25T22:10:34.264-08:00

We've had so much going on around here lately that I haven't had a chance to record our 'fall' happenings.  Let's go back a couple of months to October, shall we?  Here come a lot of pictures:First, we had our ward's annual Trunk-or-Treat (Anna was not very happy about posing for pictures, as usual:) :)My cute little "Indie" JonesAnd that was the end of the pictures because Ryan was very grumpy and I didn't see the girls the rest of the evening!Here are the kids sorting candy afterward:Now Ryan sees the point of getting dressed up in that silly costume:And now on to one of Nathan's most anticipated activites of Halloween.....carving pumpkins!  He was ready to go:Ryan too!And the girls finally made it out to the backyard after a while too. :)  I outlawed pumpkin carving in the house this year!Nathan was having a little trouble getting the top off of his pumpkin, so Aimee offered to help out: It was a little harder than she thought it would be:Some days I don't quite know what to do with that girl... :)Lots.......and lots.......and lots.......of pumpkin guts......that Anna just had to play with.Daddy jumped in to help Ryan:Stay tuned to see what his pumpkin turned out to be!Anna got to dress up for school (not the other kids though...)  I guess middle school does have it's perks!Aimee and Nathan did have class parties, however, so Ryan got to tag along (or get dragged along!) the entire day:Candy Corn Math:Pumpkin Bingo:And decorating sugar cookies...yum!Then on to Aimee's class!Ryan and I made some dips to take over for their "salty bones" breadsticks.And finally, the moment they've all been waiting for, Trick-or-Treating!  Nathan changed costumes at the last minute and decided to be a cowboy:Aimee the "nerd"...Ryan fell asleep just before we were about to go...he was very grumpy (again) about getting into his costume!Aimee went out with a couple of friends:Anna did too:So Nathan, Ryan and I set off for our own T-ot-T adventure.  (That's pretty much what Ryan looked like for half of the night...and he would not wear a hat!:)We met up with some of Nathan's friends, and he had the best time...it was so cute.  (He is in there somewhere...)After a while we headed home and he and Ryan relieved Daddy of the handing-out-candy duties.Ryan perked right up when he started digging through his candy bag.  He even shared!Oh, yes...we can't forget his pumpkin...he loved it.The girls got home and unloaded:Aimee put on a little potion demonstration for Nathan, and then we called it a night!And, of course, Ryan was more than happy to wear a hat the next morning...[...]



Aimee Turns TEN!

2011-11-02T13:11:15.306-07:00

My sweet girl turns 10 today.  I can't believe it's been ten years, but Aimee has seemed ten for a while now.  That happens with every birthday of hers...maybe because she's always been the youngest kid in her class at school (thanks to the Dec.1 cut-off date when she started Kindergarten!)  She is quite mature and just kind of thinks like a little adult.  I love it.....definitely keeps me on my toes! :)  What a lucky mom I am to have her.My ten favorite things about Aimee are:1. She is a friend to everyone.  Her heart is so kind and she loves and forgives so easily.  She's had to deal with some tough issues at school (why do there have to be 'mean girls'???) but she has handled them beautifully.  She learns from those experiences and is very aware of the importance of treating others as she would like to be treated.2. Aimee does what she puts her mind to.  She is very persistent!  If she decides she wants to learn a back-walk-over, she practices and practices until she gets it.  If she wants to make a new blog or set up a neighborhood lemonade stand, she does it.  I don't think she got that from me...must be Scott!3. Aimee is a FABULOUS cook.  She is always downloading recipes and making delicious meals or treats.  She even has Anna film her sometimes so she can make 'cooking shows.'  They are pretty fun...Food Network, here she comes!  (Now if I could just get her to keep the messes to a minimum!)4. Aimee is crazy (in a good way!)  I don't know what we would do without her!  She makes us laugh every day, without fail.  From her silly voices to her funny comments, from her crazy songs and dances to her little quirky ways, she keep us all pretty entertained.5. Little Aimers works very hard in school.  It has always been important to her to get all of her homework done and to do her best.  She is very self-motivated...I am hoping this keeps up through High School!6. Aimee is such a great sister and friend to Anna.  They have some fun times together...I tell them all the time how lucky they are to have each other.  They usually roll their eyes, but deep down I know they feel that way too.  I love listening to them talk and laugh at night when the lights go out...even after they have been told several times to go to sleep!  Maybe that's why they've had a hard time getting up in the mornings...7. She is also a wonderful big sister for Nathan and Ryan.  She will play for hours with Nathan (and the other little neighborhood kids) out in the cul-de-sac, making up all kinds of games or other fun things.  Aimee is also a great babysitter for Ryan when I'm trying to get something done.  She can entertain him like no one else!8. Aimee has endless energy.  That comes in handy when there are a lot of chores to be done!  She's not always thrilled about it, but when she gets in the mood to clean or organize, that girl is productive.  I just need to figure out how to get her in that mood more often... :)9. Aimee loves to plan fun little parties for our family...movie parties, game night parties, Halloween or Christmas parties.  She is so good at planning and prepping everything.  Good thing, because I'm not so great at it.  A lot of those things probably wouldn't happen if it weren't for Aimers....and...10. She is mine.  Every day I watch this cute, sweet, spunky, crazy girl and I can't believe how lucky I am to be her mom.  This girl is going to do some amazing things.  I am excited to see what the future holds for her in the next ten years of her life (and beyond!)  Except she is my 'baby' girl, so I wouldn't be sad if time slowed down just a little bit. :)Love you, Aimee....you [...]



Mrs. Hare and the Horses

2011-10-28T11:16:35.126-07:00

A few weeks ago we had the chance to go up the canyon for a great adventure!  Somehow Scott talked this sweet lady that he's worked with into letting us bring our whole family out to her home and ride her horses.  The kids haven't been around horses much, and they were so excited. When we first arrived, Mrs. Hare took us around the stables to see where the horses slept, what they ate, etc.Then to the shed to get the supplies we needed:And finally, over to the corral to ride!Nathan was having a great time already:Here is Lightning:Brushing down Dickie (he was the Grandpa of the group...27 years old!)And Cowgirl, the wild Mustang they adopted about 18 months ago.  She was so sweet and calm (not to mention beautiful.)  Not what I expected from a "wild" Mustang!Nathan was intrigued by it all:He was the first to ride on Dickie:Ryan liked the horses...from the other side of the fence!  He was pretty uneasy when we actually went inside the corral with them.Here goes Aimee on Cowgirl:Looking good!Ryan started to warm up a little:And even got brave enough to go for a ride...although he kept that death-grip on Nathan for a while!That's better...Yay! He likes it! :)Check out Scott's cowboy boots.  Pretty stylin'.Now for Anna's turn:Nathan was very serious about this job:And Ryan decided he was up for another ride:Mrs. Hare was so sweet with the kids.  I think she loved having them there just as much as they loved being there.  By the end of the day, Ryan was calling her "Grammie."  (Which is funny because she reminded us all of Grammie...a lot.)Nathan playing with Lightning:Aimee riding bareback!  Both of the girls picked up on it very quickly!Ryan wouldn't let Mrs. Hare put him down by the end of the morning:Saying goodbye:We had so much fun!  Hopefully we can go back and visit again soon! :)[...]



Cherries

2011-10-23T16:38:43.745-07:00

One of the things Nathan was looking forward to the most this summer was picking cherries at Grammie's house.  As soon as we pulled up, Grammie took the kids over to show her a Robin's nest.Ryan, waiting patiently for his turn:Here are the little eggs...isn't that color amazing?Next on the agenda was for Aimee to show Grammie how her back-hand-springs were coming along: With daddy spotting, of course!Nathan had a one-track mind, however, and went straight for a bowl to put the cherries in so he could start picking:I think the fact that he gets to climb trees is one of the things he likes the most. :)Although some of us prefer ladders:The boys, hanging out with Grammie.  It was a perfect summer afternoon...Yummmm....Aimee:Even Poppa came out to help:Anna, taking it all in...this is one of her very favorite places...ever.More cherry-picking:Nathan's loot:Grammies House + Cherries = Happy Nathan![...]



Boating Adventures

2011-10-08T16:19:05.105-07:00

Most of our favorite summer adventures took place up in Utah.  We headed up the day after Anna's birthday for some fun with Grandma Beth and Grandpa Mark.  One afternoon we loaded up the kids and took them out on the boat.  Grandpa was a trooper!  He rode that tube with the kiddos for nearly three hours.  Here they are, on the first run of the day:Anna got to drive...here she is getting ready: And they're off...a little faster, please! Anna will take care of that!Ryan was less-than-thrilled about the life jacket.  Hey, don't cry!  Gavin had to wear the pink one! :)Smooth sailing...Anna was the nicest driver of the group!Hang in there, Grandpa...you've still got a couple of hours!Now it's Aimee's turn to drive.  We had to teach her a couple of things about the boat......like that the rearview mirror was for watching the people being pulled by the boat, not for checking yourself out. :)And, the next group on the tube: Bella, Anna, Nathan, and Grandpa...he looks like he's feeling better.Aimee's a quick learner...here she is checking on the tubers:Aimee was a bit of a crazy driver...Bella had her thumb down pretty much the whole time, signalling Aimee to go slower.  Hang on, Bells!Uh, oh.  Grandpa's starting to get a little crazy...Good driving, Aimee!  Looks like they had a fun ride!Now for Nathan's turn.He took his driving VERY seriously!Grandpa, Anna, Ava, and Aimee, ready to go!What the.....Grandpa???Ryan thought he was pretty funny:At least it got his mind off of his life jacket for a little while......but not completely!Uh, oh.  Daddy took over the wheel.  It's gonna get a little crazy.My darn shutter speed wasn't fast enough on this one, but I had to include it.  A huge bump:I thought they were all gonners:No!  They all stayed on!  Nice recovery.Grandpa, checking to see if everyone is okay:Anna, giving her dad a piece of her mind (she doesn't like the big bumps):Whew, everyone is okay and ready for another go at it (except Anna.)More crazy rides (without the big bumps!)A shot of the onlookers, Aunt 'Fifi', Ava, and Bella:Daddy, watching for the next 'big bump' opportunity......but he'll take dumping Grandpa into the water.The kids, chillin' on the tube.Now Aunt Steph takes the wheel:I think they approve!I don't know what happened here, but somehow Anna ended up in the water:And changing it up for one last run...I think Bella had had enough!Yay for boating! Thanks Grandpa and Grandma!Nathan, completely worn out:Those kids slept good that night! (So did Grandpa...)[...]



Summer Adventures 2011

2011-10-06T13:49:04.372-07:00

This summer we had so many fun times, and I didn't have time to record any of them!  So here is the first installment of our "Summer 2011 Family Adventures."One beautiful Saturday morning, we loaded up the troops and headed of to hike to this cool waterfall not too far away.  The sign at the trailhead warned of rattlesnakes and poison oak, so we braced ourselves for the worst. (Not really...Aimee kind of freaked out about the snake thing, so I told her I'd give her $50 if she saw a real live rattle snake on the hike.  That changed her tune.  She started walking around saying, "Here, snakey-snakey!" Crazy girl!)  I was a little paranoid about someone falling into the poison oak, however, and drove everyone nuts telling them to be careful, and not to brush up against it.  Here we are, on our way:Ryan, with his favorite baseball cap:The girls:One of the river crossings:Another crossing...don't they look like little ducklings following Daddy Duck?Ryan had a good deal going here:A super cool tunnel of fig trees, nice for a little rest in the shade:  Whew...getting closer...hang in there kids!Some pretty views:The boys checking out the little dam below:Ryan's 'cheezy' smile, which I love:Discussing which way to go, how much farther to the waterfall, when to take the next break, or something important like that!Cute kids:And finally, the waterfall!Ryan was more interested in the snacks:Ahhh, cool and refreshing:Anna, helping the boys over to see the waterfall:Aimee opted to stay a little dryer than the rest:Headed back to the car.  Looks like Ryan had a good time! This concludes the first edition of our Summer Adventures, 2011.  Tune in later for more updates![...]



Ryan is Two!

2011-09-03T14:45:07.603-07:00

Can it be that this cute little guys is really two?  Hard to believe, but yes!  We had a fun day celebrating this boy...I feel so lucky to have him in our family.  Here is how we spent the day:He started off watching Nathan play Daddy's iPhone in the morning (Nathan loves Saturdays because it's about the only day he gets to play it...)Then the girls came in to join them:On to his bath, complete with his parade of animals.  He loves to line them up all along the side of the tub.And then off to play with his tools....just like Daddy. :)After he got dressed, he went downstairs in search of some breakfast.  He found some sugar cookies and decided that was the perfect birthday meal!So nice to share with big brother...(after he'd taken a big bite out of each of them:)Helping Anna make his real birthday breakfast...Everyone pitched in...here is Aimee cutting strawberries for us:A delicious crepe breakfast:Yummmmm......After breakfast we headed over to shop and help out at a garage sale/bake sale/boutique for baby Ruby's family.  I didn't think to bring my camera, but we had fun and bought WAY too many treats!We headed home for a quick lunch and then piled everyone in the car to go pick up a kayak Scott had been eyeing.  (Picture coming later...)  He found a great deal on Craigslist, so we drove out to the cutest neighborhood ever to pick it up.  Every little house looked like it should be in a magazine.  I fell in love with this one:Ryan thought this would be a good time to sneak in a birthday nap:Lucky for the kids, our neighbors asked them to feed their Koi fish while they were on vacation.  It was the highlight of every day that week!  Definitely a birthday highlight for Ryan:Now time to get ready to party!  Here is the birthday set-up:Everyone helped out...Ryan loved his pinata so much that we couldn't bring ourselves to break it.  He spent the few days before his birthday carrying it around and riding it.  (We wondered why he chose the 'donkey' over the cute little green monster one...he wanted a 'horsie'!)Taking it all in...We had to head outside to take a picture of Ryan with the kayak.  I told Scott that since we bought it on his birthday, it should officially be his.  Makes sense, right?I think he likes it:After a yummy taco dinner (one of Ryan's favorites) he decided it was time to open presents:Gator Golf:His favorite fish game:Some cool party horns from Grammie and Poppa:A Clifford dog from the kids......which he promptly sat on. :) (???)And this cute little sock bunny Aimee made for him (she is so creative!)  He loves it...Oh, and a cute frog umbrella to match his favorite rain boots:Talking on the phone with Grandma Beth and Grandpa Mark (they did most of the talking:)And, probably Ryan's favorite part of the day...the candles!!!He is a pro at blowing them out...Aimee sporting the birthday hat we couldn't get him to keep on:Hooray for cake!It doesn't get better than this!What a day!  Happy 2nd Birthday my fun, sweet, completely worn-out (baby) boy![...]



Twelve

2011-07-28T13:09:30.996-07:00

My sweet Anna turned twelve this month and things have been so busy, I haven't yet had time to post about it.  There aren't words to describe how much I love this girl.  She is amazing.  Smart, funny, sweet, cute, and talented....I am so lucky to be her mom.  One of my favorite things about Anna getting older is that I have the best babysitter around living in my house. She takes such good care of the kids, especially little Ryan. They are buds. Life completely changes when you have a live-in babysitter (I really don't leave her with the kids that often, but little things like a quick run to the store or dropping Aimee off at gymnastics are SO much easier when I can leave the crew at home.) It is wonderful...Anna is so much fun to be around.  Some days we laugh ourselves silly, and we get lots of eye-rolls from Scott, but oh well!  We have a great time. :)  I love that when she sets her mind to do something, she works hard to get it done. Whether it's getting straight A's or learning a new piano piece, she diligently works at it until she accomplishes her goal.  Something else I've noticed about her, especially the past couple of years, is that she rarely complains.  She had strep throat last February, and the only way I knew she was sick was that she started running a fever one night.  I had to pry out of her that her throat was sore...but it didn't seem like she was too miserable, so I sent her off to school to take her mid-terms.  A few days later I ended up with it, and I couldn't believe she hadn't said a word about the chills, aches, horrible sore throat...nothing for at least five days.  Then again when she got a bad sunburn on her back at Girl's Camp (which was a few days old when I finally saw it after she got home and it made me hurt just looking at it!)  She didn't say a word to anyone, including Scott when he came up the next day.  Not sure how she slept all those nights in a tent...she is such a trooper.  (I do have to point out that we aren't always complaint-free when it comes to chores!:)I'm so excited to work with Anna in Young Womens (I hope she's okay with me being in there...)  I know the next few years are going to fly.  Before I know it she'll be going to dances and driving and applying to college.  *Sigh*  I don't know if I'm ready for this!How does Anna feel about turning twelve?  This picture pretty much sums it up:Happy Birthday, cute girl.  Thanks for twelve wonderful years.[...]



She's Home! :)

2011-07-04T11:01:20.447-07:00


...and she had a fabulous time.  Phew!



I Actually Let Her Go....

2011-06-27T17:18:21.495-07:00

A few months ago when talk of girl's camp surfaced in Young Women, our cute President (Julie) assured me that although Anna wouldn't turn twelve until the week after camp, she would make sure Anna was included.  "Great!" I said...but in my head, I thought, "Hmmm...I hope it doesn't work out."  I know, terrible, huh?  Well, she is my oldest, and I wasn't ready for her to go!  When I came home and talked with her, she most definitely said that she wanted to go if she could, and I knew I couldn't keep her home.  We only had a few tears yesterday evening as she was packing up.  Nathan came in and said that he would miss her while she was gone and made her a little sentimental...it was very sweet!  But, she left for camp this morning, and luckily there were no tears (it probably helps that Scott is going up tomorrow morning and staying the rest of the time.)  I'm sure she would be fine even if he wasn't going, but it sure puts my mind at ease!  I can't wait to see pictures of the whole thing, but I'll have to wait until Thursday.  In the meantime, here are some pics of the departure: Anna with Aimee and Nathan (Ryan was a little grumpy for pictures...)Some of the other cute girls going (one of these girls has Anna for a secret sister...I can say that now that she's gone... :)More girls....do they look ready for camp, or what!?My awesome Laurels (who aren't really mine anymore since I was moved to Beehives to be with Anna!)  Anna and the girls she's riding up with...they will have so much fun!"Are you sure you want to leave your mother?" (And grouchy baby brother?)Yep, I think she will be just fine...Yay, camp...maybe I'll even go next year! :)[...]



Mi Vida Loca

2011-06-25T09:10:00.738-07:00

Oh, where to begin?  I feel so badly that I haven't kept up will everything we've had going on.  Here come lots of pictures!First off, I had a great Mother's Day....how could I not with these four cuties?  They were all helped Scott make a delicious teriyaki chicken dinner complete with some super yummy lettuce wraps.  Oh, I'm getting hungry just thinking of it!  Of course the kids were very sweet and perfectly behaved and didn't argue one bit the whole day.  (Well, a mother can dream, can't she???)  They did try their best to make it a fabulous day, and it was. :)You can't go wrong with a dessert that looks like this:Okay, I really need to stop with the food....it's lunchtime...That week was also Aimee's fourth grade "Gold Dust or Bust" play.  It is one of my favorites, and she was wonderful.  Here she is in her 'gold miner' outfit:Isn't she pretty?  I think so...And here we are at the Angels vs Braves baseball game with Scott's office:We love the Angels! :)Ryan has been growing up right before our eyes...little stinker!  The other day we were talking about how big he is getting and Aimee said, "He's going to be a toddler soon!"  (Hmmm...that's how much we baby him...he's almost two and we're thinking he's not even a toddler yet?! :)  He loves to 'write' and draw....especially on things he's not supposed to... ...he has found some fun hiding places around the house......and spends lots of time getting into things like the flour and sugar, toothpaste, and especially my make-up.  That is eyeliner on his lips...about two minutes before we had to leave for an appointment.  Luckily it was just enough time to snap a few pics and clean it off before we had to leave! :)Nathan was the "Beary Special Scholar" in his class and had a fun weekend with Scholar Bear:Scholar Bear even brought him lunch from McDonalds...a super treat!                                   Nathan also got to bring us to his class:We had lots of company the week of Memorial Day...first cousin Landon, then a couple of days later Maylee and Brooklyn (and Jeff and Heidi!) came.  What a fun week!  They got here Wednesday evening, and we got to spend Thursday at Disneyland with them.  My kids were in heaven (and got to miss school for the day as an added bonus....)  Friday evening Jeff's family came to our Ward Talent Show to see Scott and the kids perform "The Duck Song" skit:Here is the link if you're wondering what "The Duck Song" is:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-szzzveZl9kWe were so busy with Disneyland and everything else going on that I didn't even take out my camera until the last day they were here:(  Aimee and Anna set up a little party for Maylee because it was her birthday was coming up soon:Ryan and cute little Brooklyn...Ry-guy loved having a "baby" around!We had so much fun with them, and hope they come back to visit again soon!Nathan's 'Kindergarten Farm' play was next on the calendar.  Nathan got to be a farmer and a scarecrow...he did an awesome job! "I am a farmer working morning to night,Making certain this farm is running right.With fields to plow and animals to feed,It's not easy to find the time to weed.""Being a scarecrow isn't all fun,Standing for hours and hours in the sun.I [...]



Memorial Weekend

2011-06-07T08:06:17.353-07:00

(This is for you, Crystal...)Memorial Day Weekend was much anticipated this year.  We haven't seen much of Scott during the week for the past few months (work is keeping him very busy), so a day off was more than welcome.  Nathan couldn't believe that Daddy got the day off too...yay!  We started the weekend off with a big, juicy watermelon:It was from Costco, and it was delicious!  Nathan's been begging for one for months, and I always give him the same line:  "They won't be any good until summertime."  Well, he broke me down that day, and it was a good thing!  That was one of the best watermelons I've had in a long time.  Yummy watermelon = happy Nathan:)After a good breakfast of cereal and watermelon we got to work cleaning for company.  We cleaned like you wouldn't believe.  It was fabulous...I love a clean house!  Of course, it didn't last very long, but for a few hours my house was almost spotless....ahhh, life with kids. :)  Here they are taking a break from all of the cleaning.  Poor children! (Ha!)Finally, cousin Landon (and Eric and Angela) got here!  We're always in for a fun time with Aunt Angela around.  (And Uncle Eric too, of course!)  We were laughing that Ryan is a year older than Landon, but Landon outweighs him by a couple of pounds.  That boy is such a cute little chunk!  Ryan thought he had his cheeks full of air (like the girls do when he 'pops' their cheeks), so he kept trying to squish the air out.  Only problem was that there was no air...just chubby cheeks!  It was pretty funny.  Ryan loved having a baby around so he could be the "big boy" for once.And here he is teaching Landon how to slide out back:Landon wasn't sure whether or not he liked it!Nathan was the Beary Special Scholar, and Scholar Bear got to hang out with us for the weekend.  (Finally! He was the last Kindergartener to be chosen, so he had to be very patient!) They did all kinds of fun things, including basketball :We played at the park, went to the mall, got frozen yogurt, snuck in a little UNO....good times!  Thanks for coming to visit, guys!  Come back soon... :)[...]



Easter

2011-05-08T15:14:35.283-07:00

Easter this year was a bit crazy, but lots of fun!  I worked a little deal with the Easter Bunny so that the kids wake up to their baskets on Saturday morning in stead of Sunday, which works out especially nice with a 9:00 a.m. church schedule!  A couple of years ago they came up with the tradition of sleeping down in the family room to try to catch him (or her), but it hasn't happened yet.  This year that sneaky Bunny hid their baskets and then strung different colored yarn (one color per kid) all over the place.  The kids had to follow the color of yarn that coordinated with their baskets to find them.  Scott wasn't too thrilled with the mess that Bunny made.  He might stay up next year to supervise! :)These pictures don't do the job justice, but it was pretty hard to walk through the house.  You had to be pretty limber to get around with all of that ducking and maneuvering in the maze of yarn.Ryan (and the other kids) thought it was pretty cool, though!Yay!  Everyone found their baskets!We had to hurry and get cleaned up because we were hosting a "surprise going-away party" for Anna's friend, Brooke, who was moving to Utah:That led to a full day of playing with friends, which was great because I got all kinds of things done for Easter dinner while they entertained each other!  Finally we got down to business coloring eggs:As you can see, we are very serious about our egg decorating around here:Well...most of the time.......and on to Easter Sunday!  We were feeling "pink" this year:Ryan happened to find one of his old binkies (that he would never take as a baby) and thought it was the greatest thing ever.  I let him play with it for the afternoon, but after that it was outta here!Cute Aimee:Cute Nathan: (he was a little concerned about wearing a pink tie until I told him that I'd seen the other Nathan (Nathan D.) at church with a pink tie before too.) Phew! Thanks, Sarah!Anna, keeping Ryan happy during pictures:And finally, after several attempts, one shot with everyone smiling and looking in the general direction of the camera at the same time....amazing! :)I found a great recipe for cinnamon roll dough that you make the night before, so I had a piping hot, delicious breakfast to use as an incentive to get everyone ready for church on time.  Hey, I know what works!  I also got to teach an Easter lesson in YW (I love teaching, and I love those girls), and we had a yummy dinner with my favorite...Strawberry Shortcake....for dessert.  And, of course, I was grateful to reflect on our Savior, the number one reason that Easter is my favorite holiday of the year.  Happy Easter 2011![...]



"Nathan-isms"

2011-04-06T14:45:09.956-07:00

Nathan has been cracking us up lately....he is the funniest kid.  I'm sure a lot of it is his age.  Aren't Kindergarteners notorious for saying cute things?  He's always quoting movies, and does some pretty hilarous impersonations.  My favorite is when he imitates "Charlotte" from the Princess and the Frog.  I know, it doesn't sound that funny, but let me tell you, when he says those lines with a southern accent and that whatever she does in her throat ("I thought wishin' on stars was for babies n' craaaazy people..."), he has us rolling on the floor!The other day I bought him some Scooby Snacks (graham crackers shaped like dog treats) and he was worried that someone might get confused and think they were really dog food.  So, he made a sign: "Scooby Snacks, actually"Here are a few things he's said recently that have made me smile:Nathan had been begging for cherries, so we bought some, brought them home and washed them for a snack.  After he ate one he said, "That's it!  I'm buying seeds for a cherry tree in our back yard!"He has a little friend who always shares her fruit roll up with him at snack time.  On his birthday she tore it apart and gave him the bigger piece because of his special day.  As he was telling me about it he said, "In my mind I was thinking, 'It's not that big of a deal.  It's only a birthday!'"I had asked Nathan to check the mail for me when we got home from school.  Ryan and I waited on the porch as he ran down a couple of houses to the mail box.  He was taking longer than usual and I was about to walk down and see if he was okay when I heard him yell, "Mom, I'm not lost!  There's just SO MUCH mail!"When I was steaming broccoli for dinner one night, Nathan was wondering what the horrible smell was.  I told him that broccoli kind of smells funny when you cook it, so when Scott walked in from work Nathan called to him, "Dad, don't breathe the air!  You'll get broccoli in your nose!"From the bathroom one afternoon:  "Don't worry, Mom!  It's just me in the bathroom, not a robber!"Good to know!We were going out for a walk the other day and Scott asked Nathan if he wanted to ride his scooter or walk.  Nathan said, "Dad, I can ride my roller blades.  I'm pretty much a professional."A little while back I had organized all of Nathan's things into different baskets on his shelves.  I told him what I had done he asked what organizing was.  I explained that it was making a special place for your things so that you always knew where they were and where to put them when you needed to clean them up.  A few days later I noticed him unloading the baskets and putting everything in a different place.  When I asked what he was doing, he said he was "UN-organizing" his room.  *Sigh.*  Everything made it back into a basket though, and the room looked clean, so I figured we'd deal with it later.  The next day Ryan got one of the baskets and dumped it all over to play with the toys.  Nathan said, in an exasperated tone (which I'm sure he's never heard from me!), "Ryan...I just spent a long time unorganizing all of this!"  Welcome to my world, Nathan. :)I sure love this kid, and I'm so thankful that he is in our family.  He definitely keeps us laughing![...]



Rain Boots and Crazy Long Eyelashes

2011-04-15T08:48:10.273-07:00

Ryan has a pair of boots.  They are green froggie rain boots, and he is in love with them.  He wears them around the house, in the back yard, to and from the school (we have lots of to's and from's every day...), to Trader Joe's, and wherever else we will let him.  He wears them with onesies, diapers, church clothes, jammies....he isn't picky.  We think it's pretty cute:Here is his "I crack myself up" face:Oh, and here it is again....we see that face often:Awww...and here is his 'just plain cute' face:And in other news, Anna and I were talking make-up while getting ready the other morning and somehow got on the subject of Ryan's eyelashes.  He seriously has the longest I've ever seen.  You have to catch the light just right to get the full effect though because they are so blonde.  We wondered how long they'd look with mascara, so we did the unthinkable (don't tell Daddy...he would NOT be happy with us!)  Here are some pictures (don't be jealous ladies...) (click on the picture for a closer view)Okay, I'm jealous....I guess it's true that the longest eyelashes go to the boys!  [...]



Wicked

2011-03-26T08:57:41.953-07:00

A few months ago I found out that "Wicked" was coming to Orange County.  The girls and I have been wanting to see it for a while now, and I couldn't resist getting tickets.  We don't do things like this very often, so it was a special treat.  The show was last Saturday, and we were not disappointed!  It was pretty fabulous.  The best part was going to see it with my girls....just the three of us out for a "Mom-Daughter Date."  I loved every minute of it!

Needless to say, I've been walking around with the songs in my head all week long. :)

And, Crystal....when it comes to Salt Lake, we'll make a trip up to see it with you guys!!!

Meanwhile, the boys spent the afternoon with Daddy....playing basketball, the Wii, watching Jimmer (we got home just in time for the second half of the BYU-Gonzaga game...whew! We've got Jimmer fever around here...despite what Uncle Marc says!)

Throw in the church clean-up we had that morning (the kids love cleaning the church) and we had a pretty great Saturday....fun for everyone! :)