Monday, June 30, 2008

A blast from the past ... The Grand Canyon 2006

For spring break in 2006 we made an 18+ hour drive to the Grand Canyon. We had planned places to stay along the way, even made reservations. However, Steve loves to just get there and so we drove straight through after getting up at 4 or 5 am. I had activity packets, kids atlases, food, movies, etc. We were ready for the ride!
As you can see from this photo, when we got there the Grand Canyon was covered in fog! We saw all kinds of weather including; fog, rain, hail, snow, and yes a little sunshine too. As we drove from point to point along the rim of the Canyon it would be foggy or any other weather from the above list. We would faithfully get out of the car and walk to the view points hoping we would see something. As we got the view point the clouds would part and the sun would shine down if only for a few minutes. The rain would stop too. As we were done at each view point and walk back to the car the weather would continue in it's blustery fashion. It was really amazing!

This is inside of the Watchtower along the Canyon rim. The next photo of Jon holding his hand out is a fun photo trick that Steve enjoys doing. Click on that photo and it looks like Jon is holding this building in his hand.

The kids each worked on their Junior Ranger badges while we were there. I think only Jonny and Logan we able to get it all done. We love to have the kids do the Junior Ranger program at any National Park that we go to. It makes the visit interactive and they learn something too! Not to mention the cool badge they get when they are done. There are some on-line programs to complete too.

On our way back home we stopped through Las Vegas to pick-up Steve's sister Diana. We stopped and went through the M&M World store. That was so fun! The kids got to pick a souvenir and then their own color of M&Ms too! Once we made it up to Salt Lake we took the tour of the Conference Center. The artwork is amazing. They have the entire collection of Book of Mormon art by Arnold Friberg. It was amazing to see the originals. I think I will add a slide show from our trip. There are so many cool photos, I can't include them all here individually.

Mom......look what my sister did to my hair!!!!

Carson came to me in the office to show me what his sister had done to his hair. Katie had got some temporary hair color to dress up for a birthday party and decided to try it on her brother since it didn't show up so well in her dark hair. I wished I had gotten photos of her applying the color, that would have been fun to see. My answer to Carson is, he sat down and let her do it! And not to worry as it washes out(hopefully), hehehe.....the color is now all gone.

Cute feet..

Steve went in to check on Emily the other night and this is what he found. She is quite the mover in her sleep.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Dirty Laundry!! (long post :)

Like the socks in a previous post, I wish clothes were disposable! We have been out of school for almost a month now. We are enjoying the departure from homework and bus schedules, the freedom to stay-up late to make and hang new curtains in the boys' room, play in the sprinklers at 9pm as they go off around the yard, etc.

However, about a week ago I was feeling a little overwhelmed with all of the laundry piling up! Everyone has their assigned laundry day for quite a while now and they all know how to do their own laundry. But just because they know how doesn't mean they do it. With 8 people, laundry is an everyday day activity, at least 2 loads. And when you get behind it is not good!

I had had enough! So we went through everyone's bedrooms, including mine and Steve's and filled the van with laundry. I marched down to the laundry mat and 20 washer loads ,$35 in quarters, and 2-1/2 hours later I had everything in the house clean. Every towel, sock, jean, shirt, jammie, etc.... It was unbelievable the amount of laundry that had been hidden in bedrooms!

So now our new routine is to have ONE laundry basket out in the hall outside bedrooms. EVERYONE puts their laundry in that basket each night. The next day we wash it all and fold it and put it away. No one has a laundry basket in their room anymore. They are all stacked up in the laundry room. I really don't mind folding one or two baskets of laundry and each person puts their own away. We have been doing this now for a week and a half! I have been so excited to have conquered the impossible, thankless, mindless, endless, task of dirty laundry! Yeah!!!!

Well, back to those new curtains in the boys' room, I mentioned above. We stayed up late and made curtains to match the quilts that I had made for the boys years ago. The new curtains have blackout lining to sheild their east facing window from the hot sun and give them a good dark room during these summer nights. As I was hanging those curtains, I am on the top of the triple bunkbed and I see around their room, dirty laundry everywhere! They took it upon themselves to bring a basket to their room to place both dirty and folded laundry into. I guess every once in a while they would put their clothes into the hall basket, but not everyday! Oh, I was hopping mad! Not only did we have the daily basket to wash today, but three more loads from the boys' room. So as I was hanging their new curtains at 11:30pm, they were cleaning out their drawers, closet and any other secret hiding place in their room. And I had no sympathy for those needing sleep at that point! All I could think of was how they had messed up my new and "successful" laundry routine.

(20 loads sounds like a lot but it is only really 2 and 1/2 loads per person which would include the towels and sheets and blankets that I washed in those 20 loads)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Emily's First Word

Emily is 8 months old now and her personality is emerging more everyday! She makes new sounds everyday too. The kids are always sure she has just said her first word with every random sound she makes. I assure them it is just coincidental that it sounds like a word at all. However, this new sound is unmistakable. She is saying "ball"! She did it over and over again last night! We had so much fun listening to her!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My joys and fears.....

1. Watching my husband with our kids! He truly loves his children.
2. My children playing and laughing together
3. Good music, good books, good food, sunsets, beautiful countryside!

1. Dying early and leaving my kids without a mother.
2. One or more of my kids getting into drugs, sex and way too much rock n roll!
3. Losing my parents, husband, kids or anyone that I love with all my heart! (not necessarily in that order)

1. Get organized
2. Search, Ponder and Pray more
3. Lose baby weight!

1. Blogging
2. Reading blogs
3. Photographs for my blog!

1. I had a baby and LOVED being pregnant, would do it again!
2. I love carnival food! i.e. hand dipped corn dogs, carmel apple, and cotton candy! Can't wait for the fair!
3. I don't mind getting up at 3am to feed my sweet little baby!

1. Melissa
2. Penny
3. Anyone that wants to

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Dairy Days Parade 2008

Every June we find our piece of lawn outside of the
Post Office and we settle in to watch the Dairy Days Parade. The kids like to stay close to the road ready to catch the candy, chocolate milk, and cheese sticks! This year the streets were very crowded. There were at least double the people, if not more, than there has been in the past years. The sun was hidden behind clouds which was nice too. It was warm, but we didn't have to squint to see or shade our eyes either.
Another fun thing about this parade is the free t-shirts! Every year a local company throws shirts to the crowd. We usually end up with 2 or three shirts. Well, this year each of the 6 kids got a shirt, the friends we were with got shirts for everyone they brought, and another family with us got shirts as well. The kids all got their shirts as the company was handing them out. Everyone else got a shirt because of the Shirt Lady! Our friend Carol ran down the street after the shirt van and got shirts for everyone! She is now and forever "The Shirt Lady!"Emily enjoyed the parade too! She happily sat on Carol's lap the entire time, watching the kids run back and forth with their treats. The loud noises from the firetrucks and large vehicles didn't scare her either! She was just happy to be with the crowd!

At the park

Steve and I took the kids to Settler's Park on Friday afternoon to play in the water fountain. Steve, Emily, and I hung out in the shade most of the time. However we did get Emily out in the water for a few minutes.

And she's out....within 2 minutes of putting her into her stroller and getting to the car!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

First Swim!

Yesterday I took Katie and Emily to Roaring Springs water park. Katie had read an extra 600 minutes and earned a free pass. All of the kids had the opportunity to earn one as well but didn't make it for one reason or another (another story all together, won't be told here!) So off we went with our towels and sunblock! Word to the wise, have another adult put sunblock on your back for you! I am now bright red because I had Katie do my back and she did try! Emily loved the water! We spent quite a bit of time in the kiddie area. We put a life jacket on her and went to the wave pool and she went to sleep! She slept a couple of times during our 6 hour stay. Unfortunately my camera was awaiting a new battery from the manufacturer and so I don't have any photos!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Katie was holding Emily when she grabbed a nectarine for a snack. Katie had no sooner put it into her mouth when Emily decided she wanted some too. After continued efforts to eat the nectarine, Katie finally gave it to Emily and put her in her chair at the table. Emily was so happy to get it all to herself! (Emily has no teeth, but it doesn't stop her!)

Look at that tongue!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Steve! Tradition....

Sunday was Steve's birthday! The kids get so excited about everyone's birthdays. One of the traditions we started a few years ago after I saw my Sister-In-Law do it, was a Birthday Bucket. The BB is filled with little treats, toys, and the favorite cereal which doesn't have to be shared but always is. This is awaiting the birthday person at the breakfast table on the morning of their birthday. We do this for young and not so young too. It makes waiting for the party all the easier for the younger crowd! Another tradition is to make their favorite cake, decorated by request. Steve's favorite is German Chocolate with double the frosting! The only problem was getting warm pecan/coconut frosting to stick to the sides of the cake. Oh well, it was yummy. You also get to choose your favorite dinner. Steve requested French Dip! (Done in the crockpot all day, yum!)
Another tradition we started our first Christmas when we were engaged. We were so excited about our gifts we had for each other that we just couldn't wait until Christmas to open them. When everyone was gone from our parent's home we opened each other's gifts and then re-wrapped them. Never told a soul. It was so much fun! Well, this tradition has carried on over many, many, years now. Not only Christmas but birthdays too. We only do this with each other, not the children. Although we get so excited about what we have gotten them it is hard sometimes to wait to show them too. The tides of change have come and we are starting to mature a little maybe? But I was able to keep Steve's b-day present a secret for the whole week before I purchased it. I didn't want to buy it too soon as I knew how hard it would be to keep the secret. The kids even found out what I had gotten him and I swore them to secrecy! Not even the slightest hint or tease to Daddy! It was so much fun! He really tried to get it out of me and it didn't work. He was so surprised when he did open his gift. It was only one gift, but it was big enough. He could hardly believe we got him an 80 gb iPod Classic. He bought an iPod for me a couple of years ago and has only bought himself the cheapest mp3 players he has found on or where ever. He loves to listen to Conference on the way to work to ease his commute down Chinden each day. Now he can have many years of conference, music, video, photos, you name it! We love you Steve!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

No Mom, it's just my feet!

Okay this is disgusting! Yes, I do make my kids take baths/showers! Carson has been wearing his Crocs everyday now, and without socks as you can tell. Which is ok. But as Carson ran by the office to his room and I saw these disgusting feet I told him he needed to go and get a shower! He comes over to me and says very seriously "No Mom, it is just my feet!"

Friday, June 6, 2008

The adventures begin...

The kids started building a fort in the backyard the other day. It is amazing what they found to put together and how cool they thought it was. Well the next day was a very rainy day. So the forts came inside.

This is the first fort, in the family room. It was Kristina's fort where she took some time to look through the school yearbook.

Then others decided that the fort thing was cool and the family room just wasn't going to work for everyone. So they began to build in the piano room and dining room.

They even had separate rooms in their forts. And a little entrepreneurial spirit kicked in too.

I had to remind myself as I looked at their creations(in my mind just a big mess to be cleaned up) that they were being creative, having fun together and not whining to me about being bored or tattling! So it is all good!

Sunday, June 1, 2008


While out enjoying the freshly cut lawn, as mentioned in a previous post, I just had to get a few shots of the kids playing with Emily. They are working so hard to get her to give them loves! It is funny when they finally get what they want, which is usually very slobbery! But who doesn't love a little baby slobber when coming from someone so cute!

Always prepared....

We were all out out in the front yard, enjoying the freshly cut lawn and the perfect Friday afternoon, when I spotted Carson's little stash in his pocket. This just cracked me up! This very skinny kid with two pretzels sticking out of his pocket. Always prepared with a quick snack!