Sunday, August 24, 2014

End of School/Start of Summer

 Every year at the end of school, we have a school paper party.  All year long, I have the kids save their school papers and some of their projects in folders, and at the end of the year we scale it WAY back and they get to keep their favorites.  Some of the projects we take pictures of, and the rest we toss.  It feels so the end that is, I can hardly handle all of that paper disaster.  But that is how we handle the school paper thing here.
Usually a week or so before school lets out, we make a bucket list of things we want to do in the summer.  I don't handle the "I'm bored" thing with very much grace, so this is one of our antidotes.  I also love going places with the kids and having fun...
So here is our fresh bucket list for summer:
 The last day of school is a huge celebration.  We tried making rainbow pancakes, and as fun looking as they were, I think we'd rather make another celebratory breakfast.  Too much time, plus I'm not a fan of pancake mix, but they sure were cute!
 The kids did like them and think they were awesome, but I think they kind of felt the same way as me.  We'd rather eat something else, but it was fun to try! 
 After they got out of school that day I whisked them away to have a special picnic lunch!  We got Subway sandwiches and headed over to a park all together.  It is SO much fun to have the kids all together at the park. 
 And it is nice that Claire has a big brother who can take her on stuff like this when it just makes me sick:
 Drew is an awesome big brother:
 So fun to be together at at last!!!  Love summer!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A BIG celebration...

 The very first weekend of summer, actually on the same day as the last day of school, we took our little family down to Paris, Idaho.  We were celebrating my parents 50th year of marriage!  Wow! 
My sister's husband has a real gem of a house in his family that they so kindly let us use for the occasion.  There was room to spare, and history oozing out of every crack and crevice of the house.  My children were in heaven as they explored the seemingly endless rooms.  Jed and I shared a room in the upstairs and there was a room next door just for our kids.  It had two sets of bunkbeds and the cutest mini couches that turned into beds as well.  It was seriously a child's heaven! 
But first, just as we arrived, my sister fed us hot soup.  We had gotten in late because we also went to our wards first ever ward party beforehand.
It was so good to see my sister and her family, and it is always tempting to stay up WAY too late.  But, we disciplined ourselves, because there was a big shindig that my sister had worked so hard to put together, the next day.
We tried to wind the children down, but they were so excited to see their college age cousins.  In fact they had invited Sarah and Emily (their cousins) to sleep in "their" room.  They so graciously obliged.....but you can imagine that it wasn't very restful.  I was in there with Claire to see if she might sleep in that room, and  about 10 minutes after it finally quieted down there in the dark, I hear little Lily's voice ask one of her cousins if they were done sleeping yet?  :) 
 I took Claire into Jed and I's room and we finally dozed off.
In the morning we all cooked together a big delicious breakfast, and then it was onto the activities. 
I have an incredibly creative and talented sister.  She did so much work and came up with so many fun activities, there was seriously never a dull moment!
They blew up balloons:
 My sister enlisted the help of all the kids to decorate the outdoors and the shelter area, and she let them just have at it!  They had so much fun:
 That is my awesome sister:
 Here is Claire just taking it easy, I'm sure she was worn out from working so hard.  :)
 There was pin the Moroni on the Manti temple:
 Bubble blowing:
 Ukelele playing:
 Coloring Manti temple coloring pages:
 A family history game:
A wedding cake shaped piƱata the kids helped to break: 

 A cute little Claire:
 Some water balloon volleyball:

 Which soon escalated into a full blown water fight, doesn't it always with brothers??
I'm pretty sure this is a picture of my hair as I was trying to flee quickly away from my brother Jeff who got me good I tell you.

I was pretty bound and determined to get him back good, but that smarty pants just hid in the house til the water fight fizzled out.  But I haven't forgotten......  :)  I will have my chance.
Our family held a fear factor game with wasabi sauce, clam juice, horseradish cheddar cheese, lemons, mustard, and some sort of anchovy something or other.  :)  I did not participate because I was hosting the game.  :)  I would have been out as soon as something fishy was brought into the picture.  It was pretty fun and gross!
We got to visit with my aunt Karen and a few of her daughters and their children.  It is always so fun to see them.
We also skyped my sister Julie and her family.  It was so fun to "see" them in Florida and little bits of their new house.
My sister provided a delicious dinner and had a beautiful cake for the big celebration. 
It was so much fun!  The kids were seriously endlessly entertained with dress-up, crafts, exploring, and all of the other planned things we did.  It was no surprise that they did not want to leave.
We unfortunately had to miss the readings of all of the children's tributes to my parents, and the night games they were going to play later on. 
But we sure had an action packed fun filled day!
So much has happened in those 50 years!  I'm so grateful for my parents and for all of the good people in our family. 
A picture with the cousins that could make it ^
 A picture with my siblings and their families, and my cousins and my aunt.^
And our families picture^

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Random Moments

I have so many pictures that just need recorded. So here is the first installment of my random life moments.  Jed took Drew on a campout the night before his birthday, so the girls decided to get out and enjoy the chilly spring outdoors too.  We went and got sandwiches from a restaurant and then took them to a park and enjoyed some girl time. ;)

My niece Audrey turned four and invited us to her party.  I didn't get any pictures of the birthday girl while we were there.....but I got this cute shot of my Dad.  :)
We've got a cute little neighbor girl down the road from us we got to babysit.  Claire jumped right in to help and read her a book when she was sad.  Too sweet.  
Claire is obsessed with ipads, smartphones, etc.  Seriously.  We've had some pretty serious tantrums and experiences with that little one.  Like the time we were having family prayer and Claire noticed, during the prayer, that the ipad was on the couch.  Well, needless to say she lost interest in family prayer and got the ipad, and when we all said "amen" she looked at us with a "deer in the headlights" look holding the ipad and said "uh-oh."  :)  So anyway, sometimes late at night Claire will join us as we watch Studio C:
Sorry this ones nasty, but lest I ever forget the fact we have frequent recreational toilet cloggings:
This summer Lily has really discovered her love for worms.  She loves them. We had been working really hard on the sprinkler system this spring and of course ran into several.  She has made all types of worm houses, which unfortunately usually ends up killing the worms.  She saves and collects all sorts of garbage to create these houses, and then can sometimes leave their inhabitants in interesting places:  
Do you spot the worm??
We pump a lot of pizza out of our oven here at our house.  That is mainly our weekend tradition during the cooler months of the year, but man oh man we sure love us some pizza.
Seeing it pictured just reminds me how much we love our Friday night pizza, and we're kind of missing it because we camp most weekends in the summer.
Claire was doing her idea of helping while I made some chocolate covered strawberries:
We've started a relatively new tradition with the girls of Jed's side of the family.  The husbands take care of the kiddos and we girls head out for some good ol' bonding time.  This year we headed over to Boise and saw Wicked, it was amazing and a lot of fun.
We also ate.  And shopped.  And ate.  And talked.  And ate.  And maybe ran out of gas on the side of the highway.....  :)  Good times. 

With four girls around these parts we sure get a lot of this going on:
Lots of dancing, and dress up, and fun!
We planted our pots with flowers this spring, and Claire and Lily have been the main waterers.
Don't break the ice was Claire's game of choice earlier this year. 

A different style of dress up:
 A springtime trip to the park while the others were at school:
Claire a little unsure of standing next to this snake dude.....the library had a real stuffed animal exhibit, we checked it out after storytime.
Daddy dancing with his girls.  
They eat this stuff up I tell you.

So much fun, I'm so glad Jed takes the time to do this with the girls every now and again!
So fun....
Here's a shot of Drew's 4th grade school program.  Find him, I dare ya!  Hahaha.  It was a great program.  I stole Madelyn out of her school to come and watch.  That is always fun.  :)
And it is summer now, and we're totally loving it.  And by the time I get around to recording all about it, school will be back in session.  Rgh. 
I don't even want to think about it!  :)