Friday, July 22, 2011

tent talk

Jack just celebrated his 5th birthday (early).

We went camping.
We got really, really dirty.
The kids stayed up too late.
They caught frogs and climbed GIANT rocks.

It was the perfect party.

(more to come in a week)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Baby hungry?

Go see this baby...NOW!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

a fair day for the FAIR!

....and a FAIR price for the FAIR!

Thanks to Grandpa Jay, we got in totally FREE (plus 4 ride tickets & parking - SCORE)!

Which left us with some money to splurge on our favorite FAIR treats:

chili cheese fries
hand dipped corn dogs
cotton candy (or hotten candy, as jack thinks it's called)
and funnel cakes

Yes...we like to eat. And judging by the size of other fair goers, so do they!

In my opinion, one of the best things about the fair is people watching. We found a quiet corner to sit and eat our FAIR fare, and loved to watch all folks of all kinds. And by ALL kinds, I truly mean, ALL kinds. (see last picture)

Lucy ate every last inch of her footlong dog. This girl doesn't waste a thing!


One of the highlights was watching bungee jumper after bungee jumper take the plunge! Would you ever do it? I wouldn't! It made my insides quiver just watching!


We let each of the kids (and our two nieces) choose one ride each. Lucy chose this spinning swing. I was nervous because she was BARELY tall enough to ride without an adult and I didn't think she'd do it alone, but she did and she was beaming from ear to ear.

She looked like such a big girl. I was so proud of her!

Jack insisted upon this jungle gym instead of a ride.

He was also cute. He got a bit nervous up on the high swinging bridge, but did well under the pressure of 3 older boys riding his tail to get across.

He's 4 going on 5, but is as big as a 7 year old.

Here's Chloe and Yasmin on the extreme ferris wheel.

Jack and Lucy LOVED watching them from below! They LOVE their cousins!

Then there was this free attraction.

We told the kids it was the real life Rapunzel. I love when we can save money like that!
Now we don't even have to go to Disneyland and stand in line for 2 hours to see the real thing!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Our day of Independence

When we found out that our city allowed fireworks in the neighborhood streets, all our dreams had been fulfilled! Really, we had been dreaming of the quintessential 4th of July for a long time. And for us, that vision wasn't complete without fireworks in the street!

The day did not disappoint. We started with a swim party and BBQ at one house, then moved to another house for S'mores, fireworks, and bike riding.

You know it had been a good day when you get home at 11 pm and your kids smell like firework smoke, their feet are filthy from running around barefoot, and they still have smudges of melted marshmallow on their cheeks!

Pure bliss!

all the kids above: lucy, galla, paisley, mayella, jack, finn, kellan
(I probably mispelled some, and missing from the swim pic is Sam & Ryken)


Lucy preferred to be an "observer" of the fireworks show.

Troy was the designated distributor of the fireworks. I love how all the kids are crowded around just waiting for their next sparkler.

Brad and the Flashdancers
smoke bombs + strobes = dance party

I think this lighting effect could make even MY lame dance moves look cool!?!?

NOBODY loved the fireworks more than this kid. For days prior, Jack took our firework paraphernalia and sorted, stacked and arranged them in 3,000 different ways. I'd walk into the living room and find them sorted by size, then 10 minutes later they would be in the 4 corners of the room sorted by category. Every day he asked if it was the 4th of July yet.

Let me just say that I will be hiding our matches and lighters because this kid has an OBSESSION with fire!

Brad, you're a maniac!

Once I was able to put my baby down for a second, I wanted to try writing with sparklers.
I knew you had to write your letters backwards, but I wasn't sure if you had to write the actual word backwards too.

The result:

Ooops. I guess that answered our question. No, you don't have to write the word backwards. We were going for USA, NOT Arizona State University.

Take II

U.S. of the mini A


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

4th of July


{ jack the pyromaniac }


{ lucy loves the USA }


Sunday, July 10, 2011

clothing optional

This was one of those days that the kids kept asking for me to build forts and play pretend and all they kept hearing was,

"In a minute..."
"Just a sec..."
"After I finish ______(fill in the blank: laundry, dishes, shower, pick-up, bills, phone calls)...."

By the end of the day, they were frustrated and so was I.
We all had needs and none of them were being met.

So I decided I needed to do something to entertain them.
I pulled out some of these liquid watercolors that I had in my craft cabinet.

We filled up some spray bottles and got out a white top sheet (we hate those tangly top sheets in our house), and away they went.

That sheet was their canvas and they loved it.
Then their bodies became their canvas.
(pretending to be bloody monsters)
And maybe the stucco on the house was their canvas too...

But they were so happy and busy for at least an hour (music to my ears).

So what I learned (even though I probably already knew) was that the old adage is true:

TAKE time to MAKE time!

Would you believe it worked?

{PS: clothing is optional in our house}

Friday, July 8, 2011


Wouldn't these be so cute for our upcoming reunion in McCall, ID?

I want so badly to re-create (that means copy) one of these shirt designs.
But then that would cost money. Money that I don't have.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

snip snip

dear jack:

eyelashes are genetically NOT our best feature

i would advise not to mess with what little we have

love mom

eyelash trim're lucky you didn't poke your eye out!

Monday, July 4, 2011


Yesterday was a special day.

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one of the significant occasions is the time when your baby is blessed (read more here). After 3 kids, I can say that it has been one of my favorite and most spiritual experiences.

Usually, the father of the baby, stands in a circle in the company of close friends and relatives who hold the priesthood and offers a prayer giving the child a name, and blessing him with things both spiritual and temporal.

I appreciate a husband who puts a lot of thought and prayer into these blessings. I know he seeks to say what Heavenly Father would have him say.

My mom took notes during the blessing so that we could remember some of the things said.
Sam was blessed with:

a strong, deep love for the Gospel
a love of the scriptures and prayer
the desire to put on the full armor of God and to recognize its protection, and live so it won't leave
the physical and spiritual strength to withstand challenges
the ability to recognize challenges as opportunities to develop and grow
a soft, kind and tender heart full of love to succor those in need that may cross his path
the ability to be a good friend - to look beyond outward appearances - and to be no respecter of persons
a life of good health to enjoy all the phases of life
the discernment to righteously select an eternal companion - someone that can be his friend and someone who brings out the best in him
a testimony of faith in the Savior and His atonement, and a promise this faith will give him confidence throughout life
a desire to be a good father
a closeness with his family, knowing that he can turn to them for guidance and direction


After church, we walked over to the temple (our ward building is right next to the temple) and took some pictures.

Then, everyone came back to our house for brunch.
We served fruit, a sausage and egg bake, and hot, fresh, fried scones with all the toppings.
Sam slept while we enjoyed.


(Lucy is decorated with the best Sacrament meeting entertainment around....STICKERS!)