Friday, March 20, 2015

Meeting With The Roommates

In the Spring and Summer of 1995, I had the best roommates ever.  I loved them.  They were funny and kind.  Even though I was the "new" roommate because they all knew each other from their fall/winter semesters, they accepted me with open arms.  I loved them.  But then Carmelle went off and got married and everyone dispersed to different apartments.

Flash forward nearly 20 years (what?!?!) and we met up at Kneaders.  What a great time!  I loved seeing these amazing women/mothers/friends again.

Last Day of School!

On July 3rd the girls finally had their last day of school!  Hooray for summer break. Even if it is only for three weeks.

The girls had a great year.  The end of the year was a little sad because Mr. Chen announced he was leaving.  I was very sad to lose him.  Macey's second grade Chinese class was. . .difficult.  Lots of kids being silly/bad, depending on how you define it.  And I was really looking forward to Mr. Chen catching Macey's class up.  Perhaps he saw this class coming and knew that it was a good time to move on.

To celebrate the first day of school, I had them wear the same outfits from the first day of school.  Fun day!

Seven Peaks With The Littles

Year round school can be complicated in the summer. The big girls are in school and the little two want to play.  After all, it's summer!

So sometimes we take off to play.  And we have a great time.  And we promise not to tell the big girls because they would be upset if they knew we were off having a fun summer while they were studying math.

We have a great time at Seven Peaks!  But we do miss everyone else.

Kohl's Cup!

I have the best memories of Kohl's Cup!  When Emma competed in Kohl's Cup with her team, they did so well!  It was a fun tournament.

But now that Emma is in competitive soccer, Macey and Molly are left to compete.  Macey's team did really well!  They came in second!

Garry stayed with Macey as her coach & I was able to watch Molly play.  And to monitor her cast.  We wrapped it thoroughly with bubblewrap and it was checked by the refs before each game.  She did great her first two games and then petered out.  Maybe next year!

Dance Show!

The good thing about Molly breaking her arm right before the dance show is the fact that it was put in a position that was perfect for ballet.

Both girls did such a great job dancing in their show.  It was a great night.

The Day Molly Broke Her Arm

In June we were at Lifetime Gym and I saw a woman with my name on a whiteboard.

Ugh, I thought. Braden must have had an accident in his pants.

But actually it was Molly.  She had fallen on the monkey bars and was screaming behind the desk at the Kids Club by the time I arrived.  I took her home, had her lay on the couch, and waited to see what would happen.  Would it swell?  Would the pain go away?

Because we were getting ready for Kohls Cup, I actually took Molly to soccer practice.  She ran carefully, cradling her arm against her side, but she seemed to be better.

Garry took her to the doctor and it was, indeed, broken. Poor thing.  But with Molly and knowing how active she is, it is probably just the first of many broken bones to come!

Farewell to Diapers

In June I thought that we would try to potty train Braden.  THE WORST PART OF PARENTING.  EVER!

Not my favorite, but he was over three and starting preschool in just a few short months.

Oh my goodness!  He had so many accidents!  I would pump him full of yummy drinks and sit on the potty with him.  He wouldn't go and wouldn't go.  So I'd let him leave the bathroom and he would PEE EVERYWHERE!

What?!?!  Why?!?!  After a few days, we were finally figuring things out and I promised that if he stayed dry we would go to the mall and ride the train.

He was great!  Success!  We rode the train!  He peed his pants five times after we got home.

Finally I promised him a fish.  If he would stay dry for a full day, we would go to the store and get a fish.  He did great and picked out a little goldfish: shark, shark.  Best $1.99 ever.

Memorial Day Hiking!

Over Memorial Day we thought we'd join the rest of Salt Lake Valley and go hiking!

It was a good hike up to a lake and you can choose to hike further up to a waterfall but Braden is not a natural hiker.  He hates to hike.  He hates everything about it.  But he will not let us pick him up and carry him, either.  It was quite the pickle.

By the end of the hike, I think we were all done.  DONE.  It was really crowded on the trail and going at Braden's pace was a little frustrating for everyone involved.  Even though he took each step very slowly, he was still exhausted by the time we were done!

Cunninghams Go To The RSL Game!

In May the girls had the opportunity to walk on the field with the RSL players!  Oh they were so excited to be on the big screen and perhaps (gasp!) on television!

Emma particularly practically danced out on the field, she was so excited.

Braden and I watched from the stands and then stayed to watch the game when the girls came back up to our seats with Garry.  With lots of snacks, the kids did pretty well with 90 minutes of soccer!

Macey's Art Skills

Macey drew this picture of Garry.  I love it.  It makes me smile each and every time I look at it.

Molly Gives Her All!

Don't tell her sisters, but one of the things I love the most in life is watching Molly play soccer.  Oh my goodness, she plays hard!  She never stops trying for the ball, she never backs down.  She gives it her all each and every game.

I love this red face.  It shows how hard she plays!

The Stake Race

Our stake holds a race every Spring.  It's a good opportunity to go out running with members of the neighborhood.

Last year I did not go because it was pouring rain.  I thought it would be cancelled.  No.  The runners in our neighborhood are truly devout.

This year the weather was perfect -- no excuses!  And I took Emma & Max with me.  I felt bad.  I really slowed the two of them down.  I should have sent Emma ahead.  I really struggled in this race.  It was sad.

Maybe next year I can keep up!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I'm Pretty Cool! Kind Of. . .


Usually when I do book reviews for Deseret News, it's as a member of DeseretConnect. 

But on June 2 I was contacted directly by the paper to read and review a new book. 

I guess I am the go-to reviewer for Amish romance.  Who knew?!?!

I'm so cool in the book world. But I'm still pretty lame in the real one.

Molly Graduation

On May 19th Molly graduated from preschool!

It was sad!  She's so little, and she loves school. And her best friends, Conner & Tatum, were with her.  She won't have many of these friends in Kindergarten.  

She had a wonderful two years with Miss Brittney!  Such a fun time!

We got her hair done and picked out a new little dress for her. So much fun!

Patent Trolls!

On May 16th I had the opportunity to go to a luncheon with the Attorney General from Utah, Sean Reyes, and a few other panelists.  The panel talked about the dangers of patent trolls but also cautioned that legislation could not be too expansive or many independent inventors would be hurt in the process.

After the panel concluded, I went around and asked for business cards to assist in writing the article.  I talked to the representative for and told him of my appreciation that his company sponsored the kids spelling bee.

It was not until I was home that I looked at his card and realized that he was not a representative or a staff attorney -- he was the CEO Johnathan Johnson.  I'm an idiot.

The Lions Are Here!

On May 5th I took the kids to the zoo to check out the new additions: lions!

They did a lot of work to get ready for the lions.  They took out the playground and create an African Safari area.  Some things are still being worked on.  The male and female lions cannot be out at the same time.  And the giraffes, who were moved also, are really scared by the move and have refused to leave their barn.

We had a great time riding the train, eating ice cream and watching the LIONS!

Macey at Good Things Utah!

Since I took Emma to Good Things Utah in April, this month it was Macey's turn to go to Good Things Utah on May 1.  She was excited and very good, but at one point in the show she shuffled on the metal bleachers and the movement of her foot reverberated all through the studio.  BAM!

Well, she was still pretty awesome.

Easter Morning!

Thank goodness for cooperative kids on Easter morning!

Lego Request

I was ready to Easter!  Art supplies and a polar bear for Emma!  A stuffed animal and book for Macey!  Legos and a Barbie for Molly!  A digger truck for Braden.

Then I found this note:

  What the heck?  You can't request legos at 9:00 o'clock at night!

I did a quick switch-a-roo and I think everyone was happy.  Though Molly may have mentioned that she did not ask for a stuffed animal.  (sigh).

Decorating Eggs 2014!

I must admit, right from the beginning, that I do not really like decorating eggs.  What's the point?  You take an egg. . .you color it. . . you THROW IT IN THE TRASH.  You see my point?

So every year Garry is in charge of decorating eggs.  Otherwise it just would never happen.  It's great that he makes it happen every year because the kids love it.


Dinosaur Museum!

On Easter Weekend the Cunningham Family was a wee bit desperate for ideas of what to do.  You see, when we do not have soccer, we get a little lost.

We decided to try out the dinosaur museum at BYU.  Friends had recently talked about it on Facebook and Molly was studying dinosaurs in preschool.  And it's free!  So, why not?!?!

It was a small museum, but I will always remember it fondly for its amazing price.  Did I mention it was free?  The kids were entertained and I was entertained by Molly explaining to me that dinosaurs were "insync".  She cannot say extinct.  But I get the point.

Baby Animal Happiness!

After much begging and pleading, we finally picked a warm day to go to This Is The Place to see all of their baby animals!

Baby ducks!  Baby chickens!  Baby goats!  Emma in particular was in heaven!  And since the little train was running, so was Braden!

I, however, made the mistake of thinking that Rootbeer Flavored Milk was a brilliant idea.  The kids did not drink much of it so I finished all of it.  ALL OF IT.  It made me so sick!  But luckily Garry was able to meet us back at home so I could rest and get it out of my system.  Blech!

Preparing for Easter

The kids had a great time getting ready for Easter this year.  Grammy sent them a box of new friends. . .one of which I caught making a debut at church!

When the big kids were at school, I took the little ones to see the Easter Bunny.  The Easter Bunny at the mall is not my favorite.  He does not talk to them.  He just waves and pats and nods.  But the kids were still willing to go see him.

Emma at Good Things Utah!

I have been lucky enough to go on Good Things Utah about once a month to discuss some of my favorite books!

This month I decided to score some cool points with Emma and take her with me.

She had a great time, especially since she wants to be a weather forecaster one day and so I was able to show her the screen they use and where the weather forecaster stands.

We had a good morning!

Sacred Gifts

In the Spring I decided to try my luck and take Molly & Braden to an exhibit at the BYU Museum of Art: Sacred Gifts.

The exhibit showed many beautiful pieces depicting scenes from the life of the Savior including many pieces of art by Carl Bloch.

I brought back-up on this journey.  My sister Rachelle joined us.

The exhibit was amazing but it was a little too much for the kids.  They were restless in about 15 seconds.

Afterward we picked up a chocolate bar from the gift shop and went to the CougarEat for ice cream.

Molly summed up the day for her dad like this: "Jesus looked sad.  We got chocolate!"

That Easter Egg Hunt

One of my favorite traditions since moving to Utah is our annual Easter Egg Hunt with my sister and her family.

For a few years it got out of hand.  My sister & I would agree on a set number of eggs to pass out and then she would secretly double it.

But for the last two years we have just tried assigning colors to each child -- Braden has green, Molly has yellow, etc.  Sure, we don't hide 400 eggs anymore, but it still works.

I love that my older nieces and nephews still participate.  We hide their eggs in impossible places (did you check the roof yet?) but it is so much fun!

Molly Heads To Kindergarten

In the Spring of 2014, it was time to get little Molly ready for Kindergarten!

She was so ready to go to school.  Since she has a fall birthday, she will be one of the oldest (but still littlest) kids at school.

She loved preschool.  She did so great in preschool.  But it's time to move on!

The best thing is that she will have Mrs. Mueller as her teacher.  Mrs. Mueller was Macey's teacher, and I know she will take care of Molly.

But during the tour at Eastlake, I still teared up when I showed her the classroom.

Good Luck With MY Socks, Today!

With three girls only four years apart, mistakes are frequently made in the laundry room.  I cannot help it.  It's nearly impossible to remember who wears what -- especially in regard to socks!

But I guess Molly had some blue socks with little birds on them.  And I guess she liked them.  And I guess I washed them.  And I guess they ended up in Emma's sock drawer.  And I guess Emma wore them this morning.  And I guess that Molly had a few things to say about that at breakfast.

I thought that we were over it until we were dropping off Emma & Macey at school.

"Good luck with MY socks, today!" Molly yelled happily out the door before it closed.

She's a wee bit passive aggressive.  Even about socks.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Braden Turns Three!

What a fun day in March when we were able to celebrate all things Braden!

Braden is our BOY.  Our long awaited BOY!  He loves bikes.  He likes to bother the dog.  He likes Bubble Guppies.  He loves Molly.  He loves his pacifier (his pass) which we started taking away from him after he turned three -- not the easiest thing in the world for a pacifier addict.  He loves to cry.  Oh my.  This little boy makes his presence known.  Which is why it was hard to take the pacifier away.  But he started to cry WITH his pacifier in his mouth (not an easy trick) so all bets were off.

The last three years with Braden have gone way too fast.  I do not remember really being able to enjoy his "toddlerness".  I hope the next year goes by a little slower.

To celebrate his birthday, we went to his favorite place -- the zoo!  Oh, he loves the zoo!  He loves the train at the zoo.  He loves the carousel.  He loves the monkeys and the turtles.  The bears and elephants are okay, too.

Afterward we celebrated Braden with a dinosaur cake.  Happy happy day!

Dead Sea Scrolls

We had a wonderful opportunity in March to go with our good friends, the Larsons, to see the Dead Sea Scrolls.  It was a great night.  We had dinner at an Italian Restaurant across the street and then over to see The Dead Sea Scrolls.

The exhibits before the Dead Sea Scrolls were a little redundant.  It will show my utter lack of sophistication, but it was a lot of pots.  A lot of pots.  A few weapons.  Seeing the rocks used in sling shots was a little fascinating.

The actual Dead Sea Scrolls are fragmented but fascinating.  There were scriptures but also legal contracts and every day life.  I wish that I had read more about them so that I could have appreciated more of what I was seeing.

Studio 5

I started off 2014 with the ridiculous idea that I should go on television and talk about books.  I reached out to a few morning shows as well as NBC's Studio 5 which airs on the morning.

By the time I got on Studio Five I had already been on Good Things Utah twice.  In January I talked about comfort books (after all, January is freezing cold) and in February I talked about romance novels.

In March I was finally scheduled to go on Studio 5.  I hated every minute of it.  The producers were hard to work with.  They wanted me to spice up my segment on book clubs.  Perhaps talk about dressing up as your favorite character?  Door prizes?


When I finally went with my friend Amy, I just wanted it to be over.  We drove downtown and waited and waited for our segment.  It's not a live show -- they pre-record -- and something was going horribly wrong with the cooking segment.

And my segment was a split segment, meaning that they go directly into another segment.  I hate split segments.  You never get to talk afterward.  It's all rather abrupt.

All in all, I did not enjoy it.  I love my Good Things Utah family.



My girls loved Frozen when it came out in theaters last Thanksgiving.  They went to see it in the theater two times.  Emma got to go see it in the theater three times because a neighborhood friend had a birthday party where she took the neighborhood girls to go see it.

When it finally came out on DVD, I woke up at o-hurt-early to purchase it from Target.  Molly was not feeling very well that day (a coincidence?) and was able to snuggle up and watch it while her sisters were at school.  Such big fans!