Tuesday, January 31, 2017

September birthdays

We celebrated a few birthdays in September.  Alex wanted his map of Crescent City framed, so found a frame for that.  I made roast, peppers, onion, and shrimp for dinner, with chocolate cake and M&M Twix cheesecake bars for dessert.  

I wanted an exercise mat and socks for my birthday.  White cake with raspberries and strawberry ice cream were delicious!  I don't remember what we did for dinner...




I spent quite a bit of time working on something special for my Mom's 60th birthday.  I tried to complete a picture book for her, but I broke my external hard drive in the process, so I had to settle for a smaller brag book.  I sent a bracelet, and I also wrote a fairly lengthy poem for her - "Much Ado about Debora Lou", a fun rhyming poem about her life.  I won't share it all here, but here's a bit from that:  

Retired, in their new home, with a pool and lots of space,
You would think that life runs at a much relaxed pace.

With some time for blogging about animals, birds, and flowers,
Church callings, temple service, and other things take many hours.

Taking care of GG has been an opportunity and learning curve.
Life has a way of rounding out chances to sacrifice and serve.

The daughter, once dependent on her mother’s loving care,
Now tends to her aging mother’s needs, making sacrifices there. 

Even at 60 there is room to grow and relationships to tend.
Through all of life’s challenges, God’s blessings He does send.

Sixty years old also marks 40 years that Ron’s still her guy.
You don’t have to look very hard to understand why.

Kindness, service, loyalty, love, and devotion to God too;
These qualities are some of their relationship’s strong glue.

In other times and relationships these traits are found.
For many years more we hope she will be around. 

Anyone who knows her will surely have to agree,
Their life has been blessed to be part of her history.

Daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother, friend;
Whatever the role, our love for you will never end.

Happy 60 years!


Happy 16!


We went to eat, watched the sunset on the pier, and got ice cream to celebrate our anniversary.  Sixteen years marks the year that we were able to leave the kids home with Nathan while we went on a date.  We have a free baby-sitter now!  

Monday, January 30, 2017

Summer and back to school 2016

All of the boys did swimming lessons, although I only took a picture of Weston!  Weston also did one week of Safety Town, which was a fun way to learn about being safe (with the setting of a mini town).  


We had some fun times with friends - one was the family we visited in Washington earlier in the summer.  I also did some baby-sitting, so the kids got some extra playtime with friends that way.  

We spent a little time at the beach.  Alex, Nathan, and Jared did some boogie boarding and got to try out surfing too.

We took advantage of the free summer bowling program again.  

And we did zoo and museum outings.  



And then it was back to school again!  Nathan started a day earlier, but we all did breakfast together on Jared, Owen, and Weston's first day of school.  

It was a big year for Weston - his first day of Kindergarten!  It was fun watching him try to make his lunch (they have to make their own lunches).  It was a little weird sending all my boys off to school.  I did fight back a couple of tears as I saw Weston standing there with his class.  I kept him home as long as I could, but now it was time to send him to school!  He did great at school, and he already had a friend on the first day.  His best friend is Brandon, who also went to Safety Town with Weston.  They became instant buddies!

We thought Weston might have to go straight to 1st grade this year, since he was already 6 years old before the school year started.  When I went to register him in the spring, they said he might have to go to 1st grade.  We were shocked, since last year we decided he wasn't ready and kept him home - at the recommendation of teachers, friends, and even the principal (who held back one of his own sons).  Then all of a sudden, this year they decided to push all the 6 year olds into 1st grade.  After a meeting with the superintendent, we were able to sign a form that "allowed" him to go to Kindergarten this year.  I asked why the big push, especially without warning - they said it's not a new policy, but they just decided to start enforcing it this year... and the reason behind it was for future reasons - kids that turn 18 during (or before) their senior year would be able to drop out of school if they wanted to.  Their parents would not legally be able to make them go to school.  Okay... but to me it seems like that would be a problem to deal with then.  Let's think about what is best for the child going into Kindergarten NOW.  It doesn't seem like it would be good for anyone, the student or the teacher, to push the child into something they weren't ready for.  Anyway, we made sure Weston did start Kindergarten this year, so all is well for us at least.    


I'm down to one kid at home during the day - just Savannah!  We have a couple of years of girl time.  She likes to draw and color on every paper in the house (and the walls too), play dolls, get her nails painted, go on park outings, and watch videos.  She doesn't seem to mind not having her brothers around.  She has all these dolls to take care of!  

We went back to the museum again too while the butterflies were still there (a couple of pictures are from the previous museum outing).  


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Weston digs being 6!

Weston's birthday was a few days after we got home from vacation.  He was really into construction vehicles (diggers), Legos, and also wanted a Mr. Potato Head.  


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He wanted Fruit Loops for breakfast, sardines for lunch, and pizza for dinner.  We did shakes for dessert since we were doing cake at his friend party a few days later.  

Party time!  We kept it pretty simple and did an afternoon party, so we just had snacks and play.  Snacks were watermelon, strawberries, pretzels, cheese balls, and chips and dip.  There was a digging area with several diggers, blocks, and a wrecking ball.  The wrecking ball was probably the highlight - they enjoyed stacking up the boxes and then wrecking them again.


And cake of course!  It had started to melt off on one side, but it added to the "dirt" cake!

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Here's a few other miscellaneous pictures.  Weston got especially excited about his digger party earlier this summer when we saw real diggers in Oregon.

The gift favors included Oreos, whoppers, and M&M's.

He was super excited to get a surprise in the mail from Guillermo.  When we visited them in Utah, Weston wanted one of Guillermo's pirate toys.  He threw a fit when we didn't let him take it home.  They sent it in the mail - he was so happy!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Utah

This is the final leg of our trip this summer... I'm behind a bit.  After Montana, we headed to Utah to spend (a little less than) a week with family.  We stayed with my sister Ashley first, where we went to church Sunday morning.  We got to meet Hazel, who was born in December 2015.    


In the afternoon, we headed to my sister Alison's, a couple of hours south, for the baby blessing of Ashton.  He was born just a week earlier!  



On the 4th, we did picnic and fun at the splash park.  

  
Later, we enjoyed good food and fireworks.  The city fireworks were amazing, because from where we were, there were also lots of neighborhood fireworks going on.  So we had the surround fireworks show.  




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On Tuesday, we headed back to Ashley's.  Alison's husband Micah and kids (and Papa) went to a mini family reunion at Bear Lake with Micah's family.  Alison, Ashton, and Baba stayed home to rest.  We joined Micah's family for one day at Bear Lake.  







We enjoyed a few days hanging out at Ashley's.  Alex, Daniel, and most of the kids went on a hike one afternoon.  Ashley and I worked on getting ready for Hailey's surprise party.

On Friday, we packed a lot into one day.  Alex and I got up early and went to the Brigham City Temple.  

  Then we loaded up, and headed back to Alison's.  On the way, we made a quick stop for lunch to see some friends - Brett, Vivianne, and Guillermo.  The kids liked chasing their chickens around.  



Back at Alison's, I worked on a cake and party preparation.  Ashley put together a really fun art themed party - she did most of the work.  I just helped with the cake and set up.  She had some cute art easels with canvas they could paint on.  She also let the kids decorate their own cupcakes with sprinkles.  Other fun activities were water balloons, ice excavation for little prizes, and some messy activities.  They started out with clean white shirts and ended with a fun mess.  Before it was all over, they also took home a tie dyed shirt.  

  


I like the picture of Ashton and Nathan below - at the time, they were the oldest and youngest grandkids - 12 years and newborn.  (Ashton is not the youngest anymore.)  


Tried to catch a picture of all the girl cousins - only 5 girls of out of 18.    



We had a great time, although by this final day of festivities of our long summer trip, we were exhausted!  I guess the very final day was one long day of driving.  Our longest driving day was the drive back home.  We spent nearly 100 hours driving on our trip!