Family Pic 2017

Family Pic 2017

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer at last

I always envision summer as completely relaxing, with nothing pressing to do and always look forward to that "summer feeling".  I have realized that summer isn't necessarily relaxing, but you have more choice about when you do all the things that need to be done or that you want to do and THAT is relaxing.  This has been an event-filled week, with beautiful, warm weather, and I have loved every minute of it!

Kami headed up to her second year of girls camp.  I watched a little boy the first day that she was there for his mom, who also needed to be at girls camp.  The next night was the night the bishopric was supposed to be up there, and the wives got to go along.  That was a great experience, and we got to see Kami, who it already seemed like had been gone forever!  She was having a great time.

The next day we got to have our Anderson cousins over for the morning because they are moving up here! Yay!!  I got to see what it was like to have ten children - it looks like a lot, doesn't it?  Sam is even missing from the picture.:)

That afternoon my brother Eli and my niece Abby arrived for a visit.  It really works out well that Shawn goes back and forth so much, because he can pick them up, they can stay for awhile, and then he can bring them back the next time he goes over that way.

The first day they were here, we went and exercised at the gym, and then around lunch time we took a picnic lunch and ate at the college gardens.  Then we went on a tour of the college - Eli will be a Junior this year, and Abby will be a senior- I do all I can to get as much family to come this way as possible!:)
I think it's amazing that we have a mini-conference center here at the college.  It seats 15,000 people. The real conference center seats 22,000.

Friday morning Shawn and Caden left on a scout camp-out.  They went somewhere in Salmon where there are indian writings on some cliffs and there are ladders up to some holes in the cliffs where the indians used to bury their dead.  They had a great time, and I only wish that they had taken some pictures!  Shawn said that he asked Caden's scout master to teach Caden how to fish, because that has never been one of Shawn's fortes, (he can't be good at everything, you know!) and Caden ended up catching six!  I asked Shawn if Caden seemed really excited about that, and Shawn said, "You know Caden. I was watching him and when he would catch a fish his expression wouldn't even change.  I finally asked him if he felt like, "Oh.  I caught another fish.  Or if he was feeling adrenaline and thinking "I caught a fish!!!"  And Caden said he felt the adrenaline and was excited.  So he had a great time.

Friday mid-morning Kami got home from girls camp.That afternoon we took the little kids to the splash park and to ride the carousel.

By Saturday afternoon we were all exhausted.  We had been staying up late and sleeping in, but still not getting enough sleep.  We were all sitting in the family room talking and I suddenly felt really drowsy and could tell that everyone else was, too. I suggested that we all take a nap and within minutes we were all sound asleep (except Shawn who went outside to work in the yard.)  I was the first one to wake up, and once again,  I wish I had taken a picture.  There were eight bodies draped across chairs, couches, the ottoman and the floor, all sound asleep.

When everyone woke up we went to the Civil Defense Caves.  This is a huge cave formed by volcanic lava.  Back in the 50's during the cold war scare, people were out looking for places to go in case of bombings and such.  This was one of the ideas of a place that could hold thousands of people.  Well, after walking through it, I think we all decided that we'd rather be bombed than spend a great amount of time there in the cold, dripping, darkness.  It absolutely terrified some of the kids.  Abram cried almost the whole time and wanted to be put down, but when we would put him down he would try to head in the opposite direction to get out!  Shawn had him at the time, and Abram started saying he wanted me, but even I was no comfort to him.  We asked him if he was scared and he nodded his head vigorously.  He was pretty excited when we said that it was time to head back to the car.  So, it sounds horrible, but it was actually something that we really enjoyed and are glad that we did.  I told the kids that we could read books like Tom Sawyer and Deeper again and they'd have more of an understanding for what the characters in the books were experiencing.

They did it!

On the way home we stopped at the sand dunes.  That's always so much fun.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Remember the cat fixing dilemma?

Problem solved!  This weekend my brother Matt, his wife and two boys came up for a visit.
(This is the best I could do on a picture, because the second you tell one of my brothers that you're going to take their picture, they pull a face - he was just coming out of a face.)

When they told us they were coming, I told Matt that there was just one thing I needed him to do if he came up...  Fix our cats!!  (Matt is a veterinarian, so he does know what he's doing.)  This turned out to be a very memorable experience!

The day Matt and Kelly were going to be arriving, Kami wondered to Caden and Maddie if they thought Uncle Matt would fix the cats that night.  Maddie asked them, "What does fixing the cats mean?"  The kids were a little uncomfortable about explaining everything to Maddie, so they giggled nervously and then said, "Let's just say that he basically cuts off their whole bottom!"  Maddie, justifiably horrified, asked, "Why does he have to do that?!?!"  The older kids later told me about this whole conversation, so I was able to straighten her out and fill her in and get her up to speed.

Sure enough, once he arrived it wasn't long before he said, "So where's that ma cat?" We set up a card table in the garage and he set to work prepping Priscilla.
We had to take a picure before it got too gruesome
Now as a side note, Priscilla had her kittens when she was still really young, so she was really just a small teenager cat (that's how I thought of her.)  When she had her kittens, I felt so sorry for her and every time I saw her I thought, "Oh, that poor thing.  That's so sad that she had to go through all of that!"  Then she did such a good job raising her kittens, and seemed to enjoy relaxing with them and teaching them how to hunt and being a mother.  By the time it was time to spay her, I had completely changed my way of thinking about things and I felt like, "Poor thing.  She'll never get to be a mother again!"  (Now, I know that in admitting to my sentimental feelings about my cats, I am opening myself up to more jabs from my brother Nathan.  A few of my brothers have no fond feelings for cats, and Nathan left a pretty funny comment on my last blog about this.  Even though I like my cats, I laugh every time I think of it).

I was feeling sorry for the cats and the surgery they were getting, so I didn't watch a lot of the whole procedure, but the kids kept me up to speed.  Especially Maddie.  She stayed and watched the whole thing and ran to get whatever Matt needed.  It was very educational for us all, I assure you.  I will spare you most of the details.First he put them to sleep, and Maddie came running in asking for some Vaseline.  I asked what that was for, and when animals are put to sleep (at least cats) they leave their eyes open, so he puts Vaseline on their eyes so they don't dry out.  Next she ran in asking for some yarn.  She explained that this was to tie them down to the table for the surgery.  She also came in for a flashlight and hydrogen peroxide and to regale us, several times, with all of the gory details.

Caden watched for a short time, and then came in and told me that he thought he'd take a little break.  On a hunch I asked him if he was feeling a little dizzy.  He said no, but a few seconds later admitted that he was.  I told him to go lie down on the couch.  He was moving slowly to the couch... much too slowly.  I yelled, "Hurry Caden!!" and ran up behind him just as he fainted to the floor face-first. His body went all rigid, and one hand went all funny and hooked, and he started twitching like crazy.  But he was only out for a couple of seconds (whew!).  When he came around he was a little embarrassed, but said that he had always thought it looked like it hurt when the guy on Tangled fainted face first, but it didn't hurt at all! He's still impressed by that.:)

I ended up with even more respect for Matt's job.  I told him that no one in our family has any idea what he does.  We all think we have an idea, but we don't!!  I couldn't do it.  And I was also very impressed because Kelly can assist him in things like that and it doesn't even phase her any more.  What a team.

So that's the last on the saga of our cats, but I wanted to include a couple more pictures I took during their visit:
Caden can fold towels like animals, and he made these for Matt and Kelly's room. Their boys were excited to pick which towels they wanted for their baths.
Isabelle reading to the boys.  Nolan and David are the same age and played so well!  Nolan was really excited about how "nice this buddy is" to him. I could kick myself, because I never got a picture of Jonathan (he's Abram's age.) But we'll always remember the top of his head from the picture above!

Father's Day

We had a great father's day!  My brother Matt, his wife Kelly and their two little boys came up for the weekend and  I LOVE it when my family comes to visit!  I read a book once about the five love languages and mine is definitely quality time, so when my family spends time with me I feel so loved!

This year the kids designed a tie for Shawn.
"The stuff of legend, pure awesomeness and super star" - How cute is that?

He had just mentioned the week before that he needed some new ties, so he got exactly what he wanted.   (Well, I may still need to pick up a few regular work ones):)

Then the kids still wanted to get him something else, so I asked them if they had any ideas about what to get him and after thinking for, oh, a total of two seconds, they all agreed that he'd like some candy.  Well, I had seen this pot idea loaded with candy on the internet, so they made that next.

Here's Shawn with our kid's presents.  The pot was painted by them, then they put a tie on the front, a flag that said "Happy Father's Day" and filled it up with his favorite candies.

We also had his priesthood line of authority put on a plaque and got him some new clothes.

The kids helped my nephew David make one for his dad and he was so excited to give him something that he made "all by himself!!"

Other than that, we tried to spoil the dads with delicious meals and desserts.

play dates

Some of the best play dates are the play dates that we have with the cousins.  (I love fostering cousin relationships) These girls had such a great time the other day, and I just had to grab a few pictures of them:

Maddie and Ali playing Uno

Isabelle and Nicky are always so good to include Nolan - they are also the snackers and were lured into the kitchen when my bread came out of the oven.:)

What cute girls!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Nolan has this thing that he does that cracks all of us up.  If he has done something naughty, and gets chastised for it, he suddenly and very abruptly closes his eyes, wherever he is, and pretends that he's asleep.
This sleeping spell hit after throwing a fit about what we were having for dinner.

Here is an example:  Yesterday he was standing in the bathroom filling up a water bottle, and all of a sudden he calmly informed me, "Woops.  I just wet my pants."  I must say that I didn't take his announcement as calmly as I think he was hoping I would.  I started explaining to him that no, I wasn't happy about it because:  1. he has been potty trained for a year and a half, 2. he was standing right beside the toilet and I saw no effort to even try to make it, and 3. He didn't even seem upset about it!

After I explained this too him with great exasperation, he yelled, "Mom! You're mean!!!"  I came back with, "No, if someone's mean than it's you, because since you decided to do that I now have to deal with the mess, laundry and washing a rug."

Immediately he leaned his head up against the nearest wall and conveniently fell asleep. Standing up.

This was taken right after he was upset with Shawn because Shawn told him he had to get back to work and couldn't wrestle with him anymore.

Nolan has had this little trick for about a year now.  I used to wonder if it was something he did because he didn't have the communication skills to come back with responses, but I am realizing that he is so tender-hearted that he does this when something we say makes him feel bad or feel like he's disappointed us. Ouch.  Saying that makes me feel bad that I say anything that makes him feel so bad!

Anyways, we all get a kick out of the fake sleeping.  As soon as he "falls asleep" the kids start saying how incredibly exhausted he must be, and it has kind-of evolved that we also start saying how much we love him and what a sweet boy he is and how glad we all are that he's in our family.  Of course, he is sound asleep so he doesn't hear a word.  Who knows?  Maybe he falls asleep just so he can be reassured of all of that!

He always "wakes up" before too long, and says he's sorry and that he's just SO tired!  And sometimes at this point he goes and puts himself down for a nap.

This is actually a genuine sleeping picture. Nolan's been playing so hard during the day since the kids have been home that there have been several times now that he's fallen asleep at the island while he watches me make dinner.

There is something about watching your children sleep.  It doesn't matter what kind of day you've had with them, seeing them look so peaceful and innocent always recharges my batteries and gets me thinking about how much better I'll do with them the next day.  So Nolan's really got it figured out!  He knows how to immediately soften my heart before nightfall.:)

I DO wonder about the future implications of this little habit of his.  Won't his wife be thrilled if they are someday having an "elevated conversation" and he suddenly falls asleep?  It just suddenly reminded me of Tevia on "Fiddler on the Roof", when he was pretending at sleeping. A little different scenario, but still manipulative.

I always feel so badly for poor Kami that she had to be the oldest child.  The one that we were learning and experimenting on.  I just remember that there were nights, after she had been put to bed for the night, that I would think about how I had interacted with her and start feeling so bad that I'd have to go into her room and apologize to her even though she was asleep, or else I wouldn't have been able to sleep!

(I just wanted to say that I know that for some reason people are having problems commenting on my blog.   Ever since I lost that whole entry, I have had problems.  My sister finally figured out that she can comment if she signs in as "anonymous". I have my settings set so that anyone can comment, so I don't know why I'm having problems.  Kind-of frustrating!)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

It's looking like an indian summer

This may be the only type of indian summer we get! (below)  When the kids got out of school we had to postpone our end-of-school friend party because of the weather.  We're still living the sixty degree weather, but it's sunny out there!  Maybe we'll be able to have that party next week?  Meanwhile, we have been making regular library runs, working on the yard, and during the rainy days, I have been reading children's books and novels out- loud to the kids and teaching them new "skills".

The kids favorite activity so far has been canoeing across the pond and adding their touches to a teepee that they built last fall.  Today they are working up the ground over there to plant a garden so that they can have "snacks" (like carrots) to eat while they are playing during the summer.  They don't want to have to come ALL the way home to get something to eat! They also have plans to plant some flowers that will grow really tall and shade their tepee.

up close with them working around and inside
A shot of their tepee from the house

Friday, June 3, 2011

Happy birthday, Nolan!

 Wednesday we celebrated Nolan's fourth birthday.  He is such a sweet and entertaining little boy, and is just so enjoyable to have around!   He's one of those kids that has a gift for making his parents feel like a million bucks, and you know, that is a really nice thing for parents to be appreciated when we're working in an often thankless job!  He'll run up to one of us saying mom! mom! or dad! dad! and then when he has our attention will simply say, "I like you!!" He tells me several times, every day, no matter what I look like, that he thinks I'm pretty - and this is funny - if Shawn is around when he tells me, he then looks at Shawn and very seriously tells him that he needs to tell me that more often!  He frequently asks his dad to flex for him and then his eyes get big and he oohs and aahs about his big muscles. He and his dad both really admire big muscles. :) Anyways, I am so glad that he is a part of our family. I told him once, quite some time ago, that I didn't want him to grow up because then he might stop giving me hugs and being so sweet.  Ever since then, he snuggles up to me or hugs me several times a day and tells me that he loves me, and every once in awhile he reminds me that it's O.K. if he grows up. ;)

For his birthday he chose crepes for breakfast,

we went to the park and played and had a picnic for lunch, and then that evening we had a hot dog roast across our pond.


we finally went in to open presents when Nolan said, "My presents are calling me!!!!"

Then we had cake.