Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Disney Day One

We drove from Vegas straight to Disneyland, checked in our hotel and went over to Disney to pick up our tickets.

We decided to check out Downtown Disney.  We even stopped at what we called Tiana's restaurant because it served some of the things that they talk about in the movie Princess and the Frog.

After we looked at all of the shops, Macey asked where the rides were, and we told her that we could not go into the real Disneyland until the next day!

 At Tiana's restaurant.
At the Lego store -- Disney style!

Matching Brave pajamas!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Vegas Baby!

This year we stopped again in Las Vegas on the way to Disney.  With our kids, we really only stop in Vegas for M&M World.  The rest of Vegas is. . .not exactly kid friendly.

 The kids like the little movie at M&M World.  Here's Braden sporting his 3D glasses.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Emma's Baptism!

Emma turned eight this year!  About a month later she was able to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by her father in South Jordan, Utah.  It was an exciting time!  We bought her a beautiful dress, had some nice pictures taken, and she was joined on that day by many loving family members.  She was also interviewed by Bishop Browning and the Primary President, Liz Howard.  She displayed a strong knowledge of the gospel and the purpose of baptism.

 She was so excited!  She waited eight years for this day to come and it ended in about 30 seconds.  One quick prayer, and it was done!  I hugged her when she got out of the water and congratulated the newest member of the Church!

 So many family members came to celebrate with Emma.  We are so grateful for their support!
Love my girl!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Wear Them Out!

The worst thing about Halloween costumes, I think, is the price.  Even the cheap ones can run about $20, and that is before you start adding on the accessories.  So I have a guiding rule in October: wear them out!  Get your best bang for the buck and participate in all types of Halloween activities. 

This month we started with going to Little Haunts at This Is The Place Monument.  You could trick or treat at the buildings and there was a parade led by the witch.  And the kids still got to pan for gold, ride horses and ride the train.  We love that place.

We're sitting with my niece Chloe for story time with the witch.

We also go to the Search For The Great Pumpkin night in Riverton.  There are carnival games and then a candy hunt outside in the dark.  That part is a little stressful.  The first year we went we did not know what to expect and did not get a single piece of candy.  This is our third year.  We are now pros, and the kids found too much candy!  This year Emma and her best friend both dressed up like Hermoine.

Molly found the great pumpkin!

Molly had a party at preschool.  They all took gifts to exchange.  This was the only wrapping paper I had, and the boy refused to take it.  So she came home with the same gift.  Good thing she liked it!

And, oh ya, we trick or treat.  This year Macey's best friend joined us as well.

Braden was usually a good sport with his costume even agreeing to wear the hat at times.

We also went to Boo at the Zoo.  Crazy and crowded but the kids have fun!

Wear them out!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pumpkin Patch!

We love going to the pumpkin patch down the street from our house.  They have a little, little corn maze perfect for the kids, lots of wheelbarrows to play with and load up and many tractors to play on, little ones and big, and they provide hay rides around the farm.  And, oh ya, they have pumpkins!

Braden loved this little tractor and Molly hopped in for the ride!  I now get asked if they are twins, even though they are over two years apart.  Molly is just so tiny and Braden is huge.

Every kid gets to pick out their own pumpkin!  The trick is remembering who picked what when it comes time to carve them!

This picture makes Garry sad.  He thinks Emma looks too big, too grown-up in this picture.

Macey found a good one!

Braden hauling in the picks.

Beautiful Molly!

One last picture!

Monday, November 26, 2012

It's So Great To Be Eight!

We had a great time celebrating Emma's eighth birthday!  Actually, it was more than a day.  It was actually pretty much a week.  Before her birthday she received the Dragon Leader award.  And then the next day she had a special VIP time in her classroom where she was able to make a poster and share with her second grade class some things about her and what she liked.

I picked her up early from school, and we went to the bookstore to have our customary hot cocoa at the cafe and so she could pick out a book.  She picked one on drawing, of course.  Then we met up with Garry and went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner.  She was able to sit on the saddle while the staff sang happy birthday.  It was fun!

She came home to quite a loot of gifts!

And a few days later she had a birthday party with friends.  We borrowed a projector from my sister, and they watched Barbie Princess and the Popstar on the huge basement wall with popcorn and pizza and a pinata.  Fun times had by all!

And the next day she got her ears pierced!  She has waited and waited for this for a long time and took it like a champ!  She did not even cry!  

We love Emma!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Dragon Leader!

Every month Eastlake Elementary recognizes two students per class and they are given the Dragon Leader award.  They get donuts with the principal, they get to shake her hand, and they get a certificate.  They are chosen for being good students, good examples, and good leaders.  This October both Emma and Macey were recognized from their classes.  It's a big deal because I believe they were the first two chosen from their classes since they were off track when the program started.

The girls are amazing students.  They love to learn and have made good friends.  I am so proud of them.

In the bottom picture Emma is waiting to be called by Principal Tanner with her friend, Megan.  Braden walked up to the stage.  Waiting for his certificate like he knew exactly what was going on.  Well, maybe in 5 years, little buddy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Oh Nursery

At the end of September, Braden turned 18 months old and was ready for nursery!  He had already spent a lot of Sundays there but since he was not of the legal age, we felt inclined to stay in there with him.  But, hooray! it was finally time for his solo debut at nursery!

He loves this little teeter totter.  Last Sunday a little girl got to it first.  It was the worst day ever in nursery for the poor little guy.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Blessing Of Little Worries

Lately I have been surrounded by little worries.

We have had some water from the upstairs bathroom damage a patch of our ceiling.  It has leaked through the ceiling and damaged some of the drywall in our family room ceiling.  I have talked to four plumbers and had two come to the house -- no one can really tell where the water is coming from.  And the plumber that came by yesterday was convinced we probably had mold.  He warned it would cost thousands of dollars and the area would be quarantined for days.  I had a water remediation expert come this morning.  No permanent water damage.  No mold.  Needless to say, that plumber is not my favorite person.  The water remediation expert suggested we patch the area, paint it, and just recaulk around the bathtub really well.  So instead of being out $2,000 it looks like I am out $10.  We still do not know what definitely caused the initial damage, but I guess we'll just continue to watch it!

I have also had problems with Comcast.  Everyday for a few minutes I lose Internet and phone service. It used to just happen once a day.  Now it happens around four times a day.  It has gone on for three months.  We've placed multiple phone calls and had three home visits.  We'll have another one on Monday.  It's pretty annoying.

I feel that Emma is overloaded with her activities, Macey is not getting enough time to play with her friends, Molly is not having enough fun during the day, and Braden is into everything and has me pulling out my hair by 9 AM.  Early nap, anyone?

But I realized today that the fact that I am able to dwell on these little worries is a sign that I do not have any big ones.  Because when big ones come around, there's no time to worry about the small stuff.  So thank goodness for annoying little worries!  Sometimes the small stuff stinks as well, but I am trying really hard not to sweat it!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Driving Mr. Braden

Braden does not play with toys.  Well, at least not for very long.  He finds the utensil drawer or the pantry much, much more interesting.  The other day he sat and played with these big legos that he has in a wagon for a few minutes.  Tears sprang to my eyes.  I felt like going out and buying every single lego in town -- anything to keep him occupied and, well, out of the pantry and away from the clean utensils.  The other day he ate a whopper, slobbered chocolate all down his shirt and hands, and then resorted my laundry.  And it went right back into the washer.  Sigh.

He's a busy kid and cannot be bothered with trucks and balls and the Star War characters I keep throwing his way.  He would much rather take the stool from the bathroom and climb onto every counter that he is not allowed on and try to see what I have tried to hide from him for 18 months.

One thing does entertain him -- the van and the jeep.  He loves to run out there and pretend to drive!  It'll be fine until he figures out that he needs a key.  Because he is very good at snatching items off of counters now.  Especially whoppers.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow?

So I am a little busy and do not spend much time, at all, outside.  Which is too bad.  I have friends that seem to spend a lot of time with the kids in the backyard.  Maybe one day.  I foresee a great future that involves me, comfy patio furniture and a good book.

I did make some improvements to the backyard this year.  I planted over 30 Oriental Lily plants, and they did really well.  I also started a strawberry and rhubarb garden over in the corner of our yard.  Pie anyone?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Get Your RELAY On!

After I had Braden, I really wanted to lose the weight I had gained.  I also developed a strong addiction to gummy bears, which unfortunately seemed to store up in my thighs.  And so I started running.  Which is a shock to friends who knew and loved me in Maryland.  I never went faster than a 4.0 on the treadmill in Maryland.  But I started uping my speed and doing a few 5Ks.  I think I did three this year.

Back in March Garry told me about a new race in nearby Midway, Utah.  It was a relay.  A mini-ragnar called "Women of Steel".  It was 56 miles and you could make a team of 3 - 6 people.  I instantly was dedicated to making a team of six because that meant I would only have to run 9 miles total that day.  At the time I did not focus on running 9 miles.  I just focused on wanting the t-shirt that read "Woman of Steel".

Getting the team together was a little frustrating.  People who said they were going to sign up never signed up and others dropped out.  I saw 18 miles in my future. . .

But in the end I put together a great team of six all from the neighborhood.  We were Team Lucas Dell Ladies, named as such because that is our neighborhood.  We had one of the lamest names there, made even worse because the announcer kept misreading it and called us "Team Locust".  I felt bad I did not plan ahead more and think it through.  A lot of teams even had matching t-shirts and corresponding socks.  Sigh.  As a team leader, truly I was horrible!  My favorite team name was "Team Run Like A Mother".  Highly inappropriate, but funny, regardless.

Running a relay was really different.  They started five runners at a time, at 5 minute intervals.  I was so used to running with groups of hundreds and finding a good pace.  This race, I was alone a lot.  I had to set my own pace, which I was not used to doing.  And when one 5K was done, I was not used to turning around two hours later and doing it all over again.

But I survived!  I am a Woman of Steel!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

An Afternoon Two Years In The Making

At our zoo they have a nice thirty minute bird show.  They bring out some beautiful birds that are trained to go from point to point in the little theater, swooping over all of the visitors' heads.  They also ask, at one point in the show, for a child to volunteer to train a bird.  A snow dove, in particular.  They get to hold out their hand and have a snow dove land in their hand and eat some seeds out of their hands.

Every since our first time at the bird show, Emma has been dying to be that kid.  We've tried everything.  Going when it is not crowded.  Sitting on the front row.  Sitting on the second row.  Waving our arms enthusiastically.  Emma has never been selected.

We went to the zoo on Friday and naturally stopped at the bird show.  I have to admit, after going several times a year over the last two years, I now have the entire show memorized.  I even know when they skip parts in order to move the show along.  I know all of the presenters, and I have my favorites.  In other words, the bird show and I are very close.

We took our seats on the second row (I like the second row because that is where the owl swoops across) and, like usual, I prayed and prayed that Emma would be selected.

She wasn't.

Macey got selected, and while I was excited for little Macey (and she did such a great job!) I was bummed for Emma.  But she took it really well.  Maybe next time!

From Macey: I liked feeding the bird.  It felt good because when it chewed the food it tickled.  I was not scared because it was a nice bird.