Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Amazing Farm by Lauren

Lauren and her Best friend

The girls have spent all summer playing with Hunter and Halle. One day they came to me and said that they were going to Hunter's grandmas and grandpa's "amazing farm". When they got home they couldn't stop talking about it, so it must be amazing. They got to ride horses and swing on a very cool swing. They had an evening full of fun! The most amazing part about this had a baby kangaroo that they got to play with and pet!!!! I wish I could have been there! The girls said it hopped right up to them. And the swing was super cool! Thanks fun friends for a good time! Glad they invited Lauren and Micaela, since we didn't go on a summer vacation, at least when school started they could say they got to pet a joey:) Probably the highlight of their summer!!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011


This past week Lauren won her classroom spelling bee (one of the top 5 out of 34 kids). She hadn't even practiced any of the words. She came home so excited and handed me the practice sheet which she'd written on the top, "I made it!!"
2 days later she competed against 25 other children in front of her entire grade, in the grade level spelling bee.
We did practice her words a bit, but nothing to intense. One of the words she kept missing was "abolitionists". The morning of the grade level spelling bee Matt was drilling her on some words, while I did her hair in our bathroom. She again missed the word "abolitionists". She kept wanting to be an "s" in the middle and for some reason added an extra "L". So, as we were heading out the door I told my always-want-to-do-everything-right-never-get-anything-wrong daughter that this was just a fun thing to do; to not stress about it. She said, "What if I get the word 'abolitionists'?" I assured her that with all of the possibilities of words---it wasn't very likely she'd get that word.
I was invited to watch the spelling bee. As I sat in the back of the school library, with all of her peers and students in her grade, I choked back fear, yet was beaming with happiness and excitement for her in this accomplishment. The 25 students competing were lined up on chairs in front of the group, while the other students sat on the floor. Lauren was about number 20 in order. She confidently spelled each word, as it seemed liked the other kids were dropping like flies. About round 9 the words increasingly got harder. As it became her turn again, I listened intently to see what word she'd get next. Then I heard the teacher say into the microphone very clearly, "abolitionists". I saw Lauren hesitate for a second, start the word,quietly sound it out, and then spelled into the microphone, "a-b-o-l-i-t-i-o-n-i-s-t-s". I was so proud. I wanted to stand up and cheer that she spelled it correctly. Honestly, this was probably the hardest word on the their study list. All of her friends were holding up their thumbs like, "good job, Lauren!".
Lauren will not progress to the grade level spelling bee (4th-5th-6th graders competing to go to district). But in my opinion she's still a winner. She finished about 7th overall for her grade. The top 3 move on.
I love watching Lauren grow up and gain confidence. She also decided to try out on her own for the school play. She made one of the lead parts. I can't believe she's going to be double digits next week...the big 10! She's growing up way too fast!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Little Man is growing up!

Anthon is really growing up all of sudden. He turned 5 in September. He's lost 2 bottom teeth. He's playing organized sports --soccer and basketball. He likes to play with friends more than mom. He's started getting invited to Late-Nights (sleepover w/o the sleepover part), he's starting to read, and oh, the ladies love him (talking about the 5-6 year old variety). Couple of girls want to marry him, and there's a new girl that just moved in that goes to our church. She always goes out of her way on Sunday to get Anthon's attention. She'll wave and then just sit and stare at him with a huge smile. Recently, when church was over, Anthon came to find me in my classroom. This same little girl saw him in the room and came in to say "hi" to Anthon (though they had just parted because they're in the same class). After she left he said, "Okay......that was awkward!!"
He is a man after my own heart. Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm a germa-phob. I carry hand sanitizer in my car and my purse. Yesterday the girls were out of school for the holiday. They and their friends talked me into taking them to DI (thrift store) to look for legos. Apparently our 5 buckets that I've bought them isn't enough. Someone told them you could find them at DI and put them in a bathtub with bleach. Anyway, when we walked in the smell of a thrift store hit them. Anthon wouldn't touch anything. Then as we were walking around he whispered, "Mom, do you have hand sanitizer in your car?" I broke out laughing. But I had similar thoughts, getting to the sanitizer!!!

Though Anthon is growing up he still likes the privileges that come from being the "baby" of the family. And isn't quite ready to relinquish my lap or cuddle time. Hope that doesn't end any time soon. He told Nana that he's my baby until he's at least 18. Yay! So hands off ladies, this boy belongs to me.....and when he gets older, I'm going to remind him that it's until he's at least 18:)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Summer Adventure!!

I realize this post is a couple of months late.......but thought I'd go ahead and post. We were in the canyon yesterday, and as we drove along the Provo River we re-lived this adventure!
In August I was talking to one of my brothers who mentioned he and a couple other family members were going to be floating the river. So, I graciously invited myself! We went to BYU outdoor Rec department and rented 2 large inflatable canoes. Getting them strapped to our car was an adventure of it's own. Anthon thought it was great.

One of them fit inside the van with the tip coming out the sunroof. The other we tied to the roof. Lauren and Micaela were camping with some friends for the weekend so it was just Matt, Anthon and I. Anthon begged and begged us to let him float the river. We kept telling him that it probably wasn't a good idea.

My parents drove us to the starting point of our river rafting trip.....the dam at Deer Creek, and then drove down to Vivian Park to meet us....the end of our rafting experience. I wish to point out how happy Anthon looks happy here.

We finally gave in after Anthon kept begging us to let him go down the river with us. Matt giving Anthon instruction on what to do IF we tip.

All ready for our adventure. Anthon is smiling here! Little did he know what he was in for. (don't you love how I look like I'm wearing a white t-shirt under my tank-top. Serious farmer sunburn. NICE!)

Unloading the canoes from the car. Anthon is still happy!

Cute Haley and Steve. Glad we get to see Haley more often, since she's going to school close.

All ready to go! We got started kind of was about 7:00 pm. The water was a little quicker than I had anticipated, and the fact that trees grew right into the banks (notice behind us) Neither did I realize how hard it would be to steer a long canoe. Matt and I were not a very good team when it came to the rowing......we kept counteracting each others steering, so not very far down the river we ran into the trees on the side and tipped the canoe. We managed to get back in. Anthon didn't begin crying then, but he started getting cold since he was soaked, and then the possibility that we might tip again started to stress him. He started screaming!! That began stressing me out. When we tipped a 2nd time (yes.....a 2nd time) as we went under a road, hitting the support beams, Anthon was so done! Luckily there was no vegetation on the side of the river where we tipped. I strapped Anthon to my back (he had no shoes), yelled for Matt to keep going down the river (he was still swimming after the canoe), grabbed the row (Matt only had one), and hiked up the hill to the street. It was getting dark then. We must have looked pretty desperate because a guy loaned Anthon an extra shirt from his car, and let me use his cell phone to call my parents, who were waiting down the canyon.

Anthon wearing the dudes large shirt, waiting to be rescued! He had had time to settle down and stop crying at this point. He said he NEVER wanted to do that again!

Matt's scraps from our adventure. His knees were swollen for a couple of weeks, we banged them on some rocks.

My gashes from the embankment. I had huge bruises on my shins from trying to get my grounding after we tipped. The water was deep so I'd put my legs down to try and touch and then I'd hit my shin on a huge boulder.
But it was a fun time. My brother Chris and his girlfriend came too. Delanie had gone the week before. I should have listened to her when she said she wouldn't do it again. She waited at the bottom of the river with my parents. Looking back, that was a good idea. I think Anthon is scarred emotionally for life from this experience. Anything that reminds him of rapids or a river makes him freak. He would not go down rattlesnake rapids at Lagoon, any slides at 7 Peaks water resort. Poor little guy. He should have ridden with Uncle Steve or Uncle Chris. They didn't tip over once!
Thus our Provo River Adventure. It wouldn't have been as much of an adventure if we wouldn't have tipped twice, gotten banged up legs, or had to hike up a long dirt embankment with a 4 year old strapped to us. All of this for a little summer fun!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's Mario Time....Birthday stye!!!

Anthon James turned 5 yesterday. I can't believe my baby is five years old!!!!! Last year we tried to talk him into a friends party, but he wanted no part of it. This year when he said he wanted a friends party, I knew just the perfect theme................MARIO!!! Anthon has been obsessed with Super Mario Bros. since he and his sisters combined their own money to purchase it a few months ago. It's a game they play on the wii.
Anthon's favorite Super Mario character is "blue toad"---a little character that looks like a baby with a huge mushroom looking hat with blue polka dots. So he dressed as "blue toad" for the party.

When the boys arrived (8 came to the party, besides our children) they were each given a Mario hat that I made....okay, I did cut out the fabric..........and then my very kind mother sewed all of them for us. Thank you Nana!!! We drew mustaches on their faces to complete the Mario look.

Isn't this the cutest little Mario you've ever seen!!! They were all so dang cute!!! It was fun to see lots of little "Mario's" running around.

These were the "blue toad" cupcakes I made. Don't know if you can see the eyes, but they turned out pretty cute.

First the Mario's (and one "Toad") had to be trained on how to be be Mario's/Toad's. So they played Mario....Mario......Bowser---a version of duck, duck goose, so they could learn how to run away from Bowser. (Bowser is the villain in the game........a giant monster/dinosaur looking guy who steals Princess Peach.......who Micaela dressed up as for the the video game Mario and Toad have to save her)

Next in their training they had to make friends with the Yoshi's. They had to help Mama Yoshi find all of her eggs she'd lost. They went for a Yoshi egg hunt around the yard (we hid silly putty eggs I bought from the dollar store).

Then they had to learn how to ride the Yoshi's. They had Yoshi races against each other (we had 2 wiggle cars with Yoshi neck and faces added).

Next......if you're going to be a Mario/Toad, you need to learn how to break up bricks. They each took turns hitting the homemade brick pinata with their heads, and then their fists.

Lauren and her friend had fun helping at the party. They actually were extremely helpful and cute with the boys.

We opened presents a little early because one boy had to leave before the end of the party. Of course Anthon loved this part. His cousin Jacob suggested they do "heavy, heavy hang over".....I'd forgotten about this little game to play when opening presents. We played that back in the day when I went to themed birthday parties.

Next we went outside and Bowser (Dad) went and kidnapped Princess Peach (played by Micaela) and put her on a tall swing that hung over hot lava. The Mario's had to use their newly discovered skills they acquired during the training session to rescue her. We made up an obstacle course that was scattered with gold coins they collected along the way. We set this up similar to the levels that you play on the Mario wii game. Their final level----they had to break down Bowser's castle (large toy blocks we have that can be constructed into a castle) and then defeat Bowser by hitting him 10 times with balls (similar to dodge ball). Bowser fell to the ground, and the boys ran over to safely help Princess peach down. They had successfully defeated Bowser and saved the Princess. They each got a gold medal for completing their mission.

Here's Bowser, mean and scary. Matt had no voice for 2 days after this because he was growling so loud.

Little Toad blowing out his candle.

Here's a picture of the crew. It was a fun party, and I had lots of fun throwing a boy party for a change. And I think Anthon enjoyed being in the spotlight. He's made a great group of little friends recently as he just started pre-school, a playgroup, and soccer for the first time. We love our little Toad!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Say Goodbye to Summer!!

Even though the calendar says that there's still a few more weeks of summer left.....once the kids go back to school, you may as well kiss summer goodbye! But the girls were ready to go back today. They both woke up at 6:40 (a minor miracle for Micaela) and were happy and excited. Yeah, Micaela is a 2nd grader this year!
Lauren, the big 4th grader! She doesn't seem even remotely little anymore.
The girls were excited to ride their bikes to school with their friends.

Micaela has never had Halle in her school class before. They chose desks right next to each other.....lets hope they don't get in trouble for talking:) Micaela LOVES to talk, but she is pretty obedient and studeous in a classroom setting, and so is Halle.

Trying to figure out the new bike-lock.

Micaela has the same 2nd grade teacher that Lauren had. She was SO excited to get this teacher. And Micaela knows all the girls in her class. Micaela said her favorite part of the day was lunchtime when she could see all her friends.

This is Lauren saying, "Mom, seriously, no more pictures!" So .....apparently having your mom hang out with you while standing in the class line before school......and taking your picture...... isn't cool! Who knew....I've never had a 4th grader before. After getting funny looks from the kids in line, I looked around and realized I was the only mom there. (look at the girl in the background...her expression matches Lauren's. :)

Anthon tagged along in the bike trailer, wearing his PJ's still. He gets 2 more weeks before pre-school starts. When we passed by this extremely tall gate that is around the cafeteria area (it is super tall, probably 12'), he looked up at its' height and said, "this is where they put you when you get kicked out of class".....

So it was just me and my boy today. I think Anthon appreciated the extra attention. He's had to share it all summer. The house was quiet most of the day, and Anthon did ask a few times......"Mom, what can I do?!!" So he entertained himself part of the day by snapping pictures with my's a couple I don't mind sharing (they're not of my backside like most of them)

Goodbye summer........hello school!

Friday, June 18, 2010


Anthon, Lauren, and Micaela swimming at their Aunt's house on Memorial Day...Thanks Aunt Christie and Uncle Keith, we had so much fun!!!
The kids with their friends Halle and Hunter as we fill up our pool. We....I guess I should say "I".......keep upgrading our above ground pool every year. This one is 48" deep and 18' round. It'll have to do until we get our in-ground pool!

Cute Lauren. The girls are on the swimteam this summer, so they're in their swimming suits and goggles every single day.

Anthon ready for a plunge. He was diving perfect dives off the diving board. The kid has no fear....sometimes I wish he did!

Our 3 baby ducks. The kids all wanted ducks, so they used their own money to each buy one. We raised them, and then released them at the park. They were cute, but sure were a stinky mess. Anthon and Micaela chillin' in our garage, watching the little ducklings. You can see Anthon still has on PJ's on. Gotta love summer.

Summer is by far my most favorite time of the year!!!! I love everything about it!!! I love walking past the windows and seeing the flowers in my yard and all the pretty colors outside. I love to wake up hearing the birds chirping outside my window. I love being able to sleep in!! Talking with neighbors late at night on the sidewalk while the kids run and play on the grass barefoot. It's such a happy time of year. So there's a few pictures that show how we've been livin' the happy summer life!