Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Our Annual Ornament Creation and Special Song by Hadyn

Merry Christmas to all of our friends. Our Christmas cards are still in progress, but they will get out. But, just in case they don't get out before it's too late to actually wish you a Merry Christmas, we thought we would do so now.Each year our family makes a new ornament for the tree. Tonight was the big night, and I am very happy with how well they turned out. We stole/borrowed the idea from here.

Here is Jeff hammering away at the washers for all of us. How nice of him to sacrifice his fingers for his family. That is true love!

Here is Regan with her finished ornament. So pretty...the ornament looks nice too...

Here is Hadyn's. I'd put a picture of her holding hers, but she was not feeling well tonight.

In fact, here is how she spent most of the evening... Lastly, here is a little something I found on the camera tonight when I downloaded pictures. She cracks me up. For the record, we are not going to the beach. I don't know where this song comes from, but it definately needed to be shared. My future pop star...she already sounds similar to Marah Carey... (be sure to pause the Christmas music at the top of the page first)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Family Pics

I keep putting off posting because I am so behind. I'm just going to post and catch up (maybe) later.
We had our family pics done by Mandie again this year. She is awesome and if you are in the Boise area, check her out. Her blog is in my sidebar, it's called Captured Moments. Anyway, here are some of my favorites...

This one of Hadyn just makes me smile. Okay mom, I'll take this picture, but I'm not super excited about it...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Those Ingalls' Have Nothing On Us...

Here's what we've been up to this weekend...
We turned these beauties from our garden...
Into 29 pints of stewed tomatoes. These will be added to the 18 pints we got a week or so ago. It's by far the best harvest we've had from our tomato plants.
Homegrown raspberries also came out of the freezer to become freezer jam, and homemade, fresh ground whole wheat bread was made (and almost an entire loaf consumed).
Regan discovered a new obsession/talent/skill. Hadyn gave her an embroidery kit for her birthday and I finally sat down with her to show her the basic stitches. She ran with it and loves it. She actually was surprisingly good at it very quickly. She has a good touch for how big to make her stitches and how hard to pull.
We ended today with ice cream cones in the backyard. You can't see Jeff in this shot, but the girls are tormenting him with the ice cream cones and are giggling as he tries to steal their treats.
It was a good weekend.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I'm an Empty Nester at 34

Well maybe not an official empty nester, but for two and a half hours a day, three days a week, I'm on my own.
She was up at the crack of dawn today and fully dressed before I even woke up. She could hardly wait to see Ms. Janis. She wouldn't even let me walk her to the door, she said "Ms. Janis said we can just walk in." She loved her day and couldn't talk fast enough to tell me about it when I picked her up. What a big girl she is becoming. I'm undecided on how I feel about that...

Monday, August 31, 2009

Lucky #7

About this time every year Regan decides to have a birthday, it's almost like clock-work...
Here's her current information, so we have something to tease her about when she's older:
  • Her favorite color is GOLD.
  • When she grows up she wants to be an art teacher or a fashion designer.
  • She wants to attend BYU-Hawaii.
  • Her favorite subjects are art and math.
  • What she wanted more than anything for her birthday was a nail design machine that could add sparkles, etc. to your fingernails. Unfortunately, her mom read the reviews on that product and dodged a major bullet).
  • Her favorite show is Scooby-Doo.
  • Her favorite food is pepperoni pizza.
  • Her favorite book is "If I Were a Lion" by Sarah Weeks, which Aunt Beth gave her for her third birthday. She still loves it, and so does her mom.
  • Her favorite things to do are run, dance, swim, read and write stories.

Here she is celebrating... Her new Didj, which on top of being able to play games on, she can program with her spelling words and current math topics each week and have it make games for her. Cool.

Mad Libs. It was cool when I was young and I thought it was cool that they were still popular. What is even cooler is that I can still remember what most of the parts of speech are...

Blowing out the candles on her special request lemon cheesecake.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Meet the Mohawk

We just got back from a really fun overnight camping trip (yes, camping generally does mean overnight, but in this case I mean we spent just the one night). Unfortunately, as I pulled out the camera to capture all the fun, all I got was a dead battery message. Sigh... Anyway, we had a lot of fun with some families Jeff grew up with. Two of the boys were Regan and Hadyn's ages, and the four of them got along wonderfully. It was funny to see Regan trying to balance on that fine line between being scared that Jeff's friend, Scott, was taking us on a 10:00pm bear hunt, and laughing at the fact that we really didn't expect to see any bears. We did have one glitch in our otherwise perfect trip. The zipper on the door of the tent broke, and would not close. Normally this would not a major problem, I just figured we'd keep the lights off inside the tent to keep the bugs inside to a minimum. I didn't quite work out that way. First, we had just gone on a "bear hunt", and second, Regan can read now, and could understand the signs posted at the outhouse that there were indeed bears in the area and to keep our garbage safely contained. Well, everyone knows that bears politely wait outside of zipped up tents, but actually go inside tents with broken zippers. This caused some understandable panic in Regan and Hadyn. Not to fear, Jeff and Scott marched off like the men they are to fix the tent. 15 minutes later, they came back. We were a little short of duct tape, but the door was sealed with bear-proof tape. Luckily our tent has two doors. Crisis averted.
Upon returning home, we quickly cleaned up and got ready to go to visit yet more friends (could we be more popular?) for a birthday party. Jeff announced that he needed a haircut. Now, many of you have heard me talk about how much I like it when Jeff cuts his hair really short, aka, with the clippers. Well, I've been trying to convince him to do it again, and I finally wore him down. We, of course, started with your basic mohawk, which, truly, Jeff looked great in. I'm not just saying that, he could totally pull it off. Sadly, this picture is as close as most of the world will get to seeing it. I'll try to wear him down on the mohawk being a permanent fixture, but until then, at least I get the buzz cut.
And yes, I did say our camera battery was dead, but it was a mohawk! It had to be captured. I charged the battery for 2 minutes, and was able to get exactly one somewhat blurry picture out of it before it died again. Enjoy. Feel free to leave your positive comments about the mohawk. Maybe if we all in blog-world team together we can see more of Jeff's wild side in the future.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Spa Luke

Last week Hadyn came home from a play date with a make-up kit. Regan immediately took control of it and started giving make-overs to any and all willing participants. On Sunday, Regan and Hadyn informed me that it was my turn, and, let's be honest, much needed.

I was told where to sit, a blanket was draped across my shoulders and I was beautified. Hadyn was in charge of putting lotion on my legs. Both treatments were very much appreciated, and I think the end result was well worth the $1 my neighbor paid for the make-up kit.

Eat your heart out America! Get your apointments fast.

Since they have school and early bed times, slots fill up fast...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Civil Disobedience

We have a standing rule at our house about growing up.
It is strictly forbidden.
Not only do I want to keep my girls little and sweet and cute, but let's be honest, I don't want to be old enough to have grown children.
Unfortunately, this rules seems to go the way of other household rules, and is completely ignored.
Case in point, today Regan started second grade. Seriously, 2nd Grade! I can still picture her the day we brought her home from the hospital (and can still hear her scream...you who knew her then, or had the pleasure of living within a one block radius of our house knows what I'm talking about).
It just seems to be going too fast.
Anyway, here she is on her way out the door.
Why do I even bother to make rules.
I should have made a sign about it.
I hear signs work...Sigh...
And just for reference, here she is on her way to her first day of kindergarten...sniff, sniff...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Route of the Hiawatha

This is a little old news, but newsworthy all the same. A few weeks ago we met up again with the Prestwich's for a camping/biking adventure in Northern Idaho. We actually camped near a tiny town called Avery, which is just past St. Maries, ID. It is a logging community, so their school mascot is a lumberjack. Jeff really gets a kick out of this guy at the high school. I would feel bad not including since Jeff took such pains to really capture his tree-chopping essence...

When we started looking through the three possible campgrounds for a spot for our group, we were starting go get worried that so many spots were taken already, in spite of it being a Wednesday. Luckily there was one spot left, and it was literally the best spot out of the entire area. We had tons of trees and shade, space for a large tent and a camp trailer, trails for the kids to explore, trails to the river for fishing and playing and even huckleberry bushes!
Here's Dave, AKA the pied piper. He had all the kids entranced watching him make a whistle out of a willow.
That's all of our group walking along the St. Joe River. Isn't it so beautiful!? Dave and Jeff are in the waders in the water, and Jeff just caught a fish. He's such a good provider...wait, it's catch and release... oh well, I wasn't thrilled about cleaning them anyway...
One of the days of the campout was set aside for the Route of the Hiawatha. It was such a cool family activity. It is an old railway that has since been converted to a bike trail. It is about 15 miles long and the entire route is on a gentle downhill grade with a shuttle at the base. It is in beautiful mountains and you go over huge trestle bridges and several long, dark tunnels.
Here I am at the trailhead, a tunnel that is just under 2 miles long and dark and muddy and even a little chilly in the deepest part. It was a little eerie at first. You would be in touble without a decent headlamp. I have the girls in the trailer behind me, and they serenaded me the entire tunnel with "Mud, mud, glorious mud, nothing's quite like it for cooling the blood"...that helped, a lot...

One of the bridges we crossed.

At the end. I was hoping for a group shot, but everyone was a little tired and grouchy and wanted to run around. These were the only troopers willing to work with me, and two of them had no real choice. That's Jackson in the middle of my girls, he and Regan became quite the BFF's.

Alas, not everything can go as planned however...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Go for the Gold - Girls' Camp 2009

Thanks to my sister for taking my girls for the week, I was able to attend the entire week of Girls' Camp. It was an amazing week. My spirit has been lifted, my resolve to improve strengthened and my body exhausted.
Jeff and I and another couple in our ward were lucky enough to get to lead 8 4th year girls on their overnight backpacking trip. We took them up to Boulder Creek and hiked up to Boulder Lake and Lake Louie. This was no easy hike. Packs were heavy (due in part to enough smore's fixins to feed an army), weather was wet and we covered around 14 miles, mostly uphill, inspite of Brother Blaser's claim that we were "coasting" most of the way :)
Here we are at our uppermost point of the hike. That's Lake Louie you can see through the trees. We were able to drop our big packs at Boulder Lake, where we set up our campsite before continuing on to the upper lake. It is so beautiful up here, especially with the wet spring. There were wild flowers everywhere.

This is the mountain of boulders we had to navigate to get back to camp. Our tents were right on the other side of the embankment. Below us you can see Boulder Lake.

After 6 hours of hiking, we were ready for some good, warm food. Everyone was wet from their knees down since it had been rainy and we were walking through tall grass part of the way. Warm hawaiian haystacks hit the spot, followed by Smore's...yummm...

Here are the girls the next morning preparing to head back down the mountain to our cars. They look pretty good for having hiked long and hard the previous day and what seemed to us leaders as an entire night of yelling, wrestling and truth-or-daring in their tent. Thank goodness we OLD leaders had our own tent.

A morning view of Boulder Lake.
After meeting up with the rest of the girls' camp at Camp Ee-Da-How, we had the traditional and infamous skit night. Here are our valient Priesthood leaders. They were doing a skit...or were they...
Group picture at Cascade Lake.
Group picture on our hike.
Activities like Girls' Camp really make me realize how good kids are these days. They get a bad rap sometimes, but I am continually amazed by their kindness and real desire to live as they have been taught. I am strengthened just be being around them. It gives me hope and excitement for my own girls to be this age.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I'm Tryin' to Tell You Somethin' 'Bout My Life...

Tuesday I, my friend Karla and my sister (also my friend) Robin went to the Indigo Girls concert in Salt Lake City. It was amazing. I've been a HUGE fan of them since I was 16. Listening to them live was so surreal. I am still floating around on Cloud 9, and poor Jeff is constantly being subjected to their CD's or, worse, me singing (badly) their songs.

Emily & Amy, as cool as ever.
(I can't take credit for this pic, I just borrowed it, I never actually got this close. Although we thought we might try to storm their bus during the opening artist, but decided against it.)
Their new CD. It is really good, and has two discs with the same songs, one disc is the acoustic versions, my personal fave.

The opening act was Gregory Alan Isakov. He was also amazing. I'd never heard of him, but he had an amazing voise. Sort of like a sober Bob Dylan. Nice. We got to talk to him for a while and he autographed his CD's for us. He's cool, and fame, or at least his pending fame hasn't spoiled him yet. Let's keep our fingers crossed... I'm a sucker for a guitar, throw in a fiddle and the occasional cello and I'm yours for life.
The Indigo Girls put on a great show. They played a lot of their new stuff, but ended with a long list of their greatest hits. It was amazing to hear so many people singing their lyrics with them and dancing. I admit I was hoarse by the end of the night.
Check out this beautiful venue! Red Butte Gardens in Salt Lake City.

The "Girls" are in Boise at the end of the month. Who's with me? :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

He Said I Run Like a Girl...I said he could too if he Ran a Little Faster...

Today was the closing ceremony for Regan's school's Mini-Marathon program. Kids who chose to participate would use their morning recess twice a week to run the paved track at the school. Their laps were punched on their punchcards and tracked all year long (minus the snowy months). The goal was to run 26 miles, which is no small task. There were only a handful for 1st-5th graders that actually ran that far, but Regan was given an award for reaching a half-marathon of 13 miles. So cool. We are so proud of her.
Here's all the swag that they were going to give away at the closing ceremony. Those are all bags of gift certificates, Gatorade, water bottles, etc. that were provided by local running shops, as well as the awesome PTA volunteers that ran it all year long.

Here she is with her prizes and her punch card. It is such a cool program. For every lap they get a punch on their card. Three punches is one mile. At certain goalpoints, they get special beads for their lanyard, like feet, tennis shoes, etc. Regan was really excited about this program all year. It's one of my favorite programs at the school.
In other news, our garden is on a record-setting pace, in spite of the late frosts that attempted to thwart our efforts. We have tons of lettuce and some green onions. We're looking forward to a great harvest of tomatoes, potatoes, squash, zucchine, cucumbers, pumpkins, watermellon and canteloupes. Right now, we are just starting to pick raspberries. We are hoping for enough this year to actually make some jam. We had our first picking last night for Family Home Evening. Not many of these raspberries will ever see the inside of a jam jar...not when there's vanilla and chocolate ice cream in the freezer. Yummm.
Anyway, here is our first raspberry picking. It may not seem like much, but this is just the beginning. There are tons still green on the bushes. This is literally more than we got all of last year combined.

And here is Jeff picking away and wondering if it is really necessary to document EVERYTHING. Yes, Jeff, it is necessary. Now smile. :)

Then, just a little pat on my own back. This is what the girls and I made for Jeff and his dad for Father's Day. I totally admit to TOTALLY ripping off the idea from Bakerella, but I actually made it, so that should count for something, right? We thought it turned out really cute. If you can't tell, and don't go to the trouble to follow the link, that is a yellow cupcake for a bun, brownie for the hamburger patty, and different icings for the condiments. On the side is some sugar cookie "french fries". That's my kind of happy meal.