Family Pic 2017

Family Pic 2017

Saturday, July 27, 2013

It feels like summer

It's been feeling like those slow-moving, relaxing, go-do-lots-of-fun days of summer that I always associate with a great summer vacation are here at last! I love that the kids are enjoying themselves so much.  I must say that lots of the reason for all the fun for everyone is that Eli came for a long visit and we have had lots of extended family things going on!  We have gone to the dance festival, Monster University at the drive-in movie, a ward camp-out, a few soccer games, a "patriots and pioneers" program at the college. l-r: Eli, Madeline, Caden, Isabelle, and Kamille before Patriots and Pioneers:

 Every morning, Eli goes running with Kami and her friend Chloe - a couple of times Caden has gone too:

Two weeks ago, Shawn took the day off and he took Eli, Kami,Caden and Maddie on a hike to Table Rock.  This is a fourteen mile, difficult hike - the ending of which is 11,000 feet above sea level, with the Teton mountains right behind it.  They had a blast! The Tetons with Table Rock in the foreground:

Kami, Maddie, Shawn and Eli:

Proof of the high altitude!:

Table rock:

Last year Maddie dida cart wheel at the top.  This year she decided to do a back bend:)

Still some energy to spare for the hike back home!

I had to include this great jump of Eli's:)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


First it started with Caden building a porch swing that I have wanted ever since we moved in here:

He built it in a day, but we decided the back was too low, so Eli joined in to remedy that little situation:

I tried it out and it was PERFECT - I think I will spend my last month swinging away on it:)  Good thing all of my kids are good about taking lots of pictures, or there would be no documentation of our lives!
I painted it, and then yesterday evening Shawn hung it up for me:
And here is the final product!! I can hardly wait to sew some pillows to go on it!!

So while this project was going on, the kids decided to do something with the extra lumber that was lying around and they built three more swings around the yard.  Kami had the idea to put one over the water, and Eli carried out the plan by shimmying up a cottonwood tree and tying a rope out on a branch high in the tree:

Kami took some pictures of Maddie while they were out enjoying it last night.  I can't believe how much and how often this swing is used!  There are rumors that Kami, Caden and Eli went out one night at 10:30 and swung for awhile in the pitch dark...

Shawn and I never even heard a door open and close or anything ...

but how IDEALIC is this?!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

family pictures

This was our entertainment Sunday evening this week - we got lots of laughs out of it!

Kami is going to paint this up and title it Jekyll and Hyde, or beauty and the beast or my Pinocchio alter-ego or something like that:)

I added this one in for you, Leslie - because it's ghastly and I feel bad for adding a pic of you that you didn't like:)
Shawn ...and the happy Neanderthal?:)
Abram - something didn't work out here. The original and the shadow are both pretty cute!!

Saturday, July 13, 2013


We are experiencing our first VERY competitive child. Nolan just started summer soccer - the first sport we have ever signed him up to participate in.  He suddenly wants to be signed up for every sport he can think  of. He has big plans to do flag football this fall and wrestling this winter and is also showing interest in basketball. We shall see about all that... But we did sign him up for soccer and every since he has been asking when it is going to start.  The kids were setting up soccer games almost every day in the front yard and showing him a few things just to quench his appetite. So when the coach finally called, he was especially thrilled to hear that he was FINALLY going to have a real soccer practice- and after getting over his initial shyness, he took off and hogged the ball the whole time:

His game was the very next day.  He started the game by immediately scoring two goals, then someone elbowed him in the mouth and he sat out for awhile.  Then he heard a girl from the other team report to her teammates that they were winning! Nolan started crying and saying, "I hope they don't just rub it in about winning!!"
 I told him to go play- there was still a lot of time to go, and maybe they would still win.  He jumped right back in, but the other team still "won".  I'm pretty sure that no one keeps score except for the kids with older siblings, because at this age the adults don't tally it up.

After the game, Nolan was crying again because the other team "won".  He wouldn't even go clap the other kids on the hand like they do after games. (Yeah, this soccer stuff will be good for him to practice good sportsmanship behavior!)
Kami told Nolan to think about how happy the other team must feel that they won.  He responded with," Yeah, but I'M not happy that they won!!!"  We listened to him sniffle all the way home and wish that he wasn't even IN soccer! I told him that maybe he wouldn't like to be in all those other sports either... No -   he was sure they would be different.  He would never cry in football or wrestling!
 It was no consolation to him that he had played a good game.  All he could think about was that his team didn't win.  By the next morning he was feeling a lot better about things and we were able to talk more about being a good sport.  And he was as happy as could be during his next game although they "won" so we don't know for sure how well everything has sunk in.

You'd never guess that this sweet little fellow could have such a competitive little nature!!

One lucky girl

I've never considered myself a very lucky person as far as luck goes.  Yes, I have a very good life, but- for instance - I am not one of those people that put my name in a drawing and win the prize every time (like Maddie is) - some people are always very lucky like that... but the last month or so i have been thinking about what a lucky person I am, and this is why:  I have had FOUR of my siblings come and visit me this year! I know that we are a little out- of- the- way for everyone to come visit very often and it means so much to me that they would take some time to come all the way here to visit us. Because here's the thing:  Nobody has to come visit us, and they do it because they want to!  What could make me feel more loved than that?!

I read a book once about love languages and mine is definitely "quality time".  Maybe it's because I am a middle child...I have read a lot of books about birth order, and middle children often feel left out and/or tend to think that no one REALLY thinks they're worth while or wants to spend time with them.  I remember older siblings trying to "lose"me so that they could spend time with the younger ones.  The younger ones always wanted to be with the older ones. Now that I'm a mom I can see why this would be: younger children are more cute and older kids are more interesting  and that leaves the middle child trying way too hard and just ending up annoying.

But I digress... I am just trying to say that I feel super loved and super lucky that four of my siblings have come to visit this year.  First Katie with her husband Steve and eight kids at Easter, then Matt and Kelley and their kids on Father's Day, then Nathan and Leslie and their kids on the Fourth of July - I haven't added pictures of that visit yet so here they are!l-r: Elijah, Leslie, Nathan, Abram, Shawn and Kami:

Sadie and Maddie:

Kids at the fourth of July parade - l-r: Nolan, Jarom, Josiah, Madeline, Sadie, Isabelle.  This parade didn't seem like it was ever going to end, and after being there for two hours we finally left early:) It was HOT outside!
This was a float that our ward made for the parade - we were pretty proud of it!  The kids and I helped with the flowers on it.  All the stakes in the area made a float to celebrate our city's centennial.  It would be nice if it would rotate....

 It was so great to get to visit with Nathan and Leslie and for our kids to get re-acquainted! After staying for a couple of nights, the Kerns family left after the parade. The rest of us napped for a  couple of hours and then Shawn took all the kids but Abram (who was still sleeping) to the water park while I stayed home and made a yummy fourth of July dinner - potato salad, hamburgers, etc.  Later we set out to watch the fireworks, but ended up arriving just as they were ending:(

It was so great to get to visit with Nathan and Leslie and for our kids to get reacquainted!  After staying for a couple of nights, the Kerns family left after the parade.  The rest of us napped for a couple of hours and then Shawn took all the kids but Abram (who was sleeping) to the water park while I stayed home and made a yummy fourth of July dinner - Potato salad, hamburgers, etc.  Later we set out to watch fireworks at the rodeo grounds, but ended up arriving just as they were ending:(

Now Eli is here to visit for as long as he can before he has to go back. No, I am not one of those people that dreads having visitors.  I love every second of it, even if I start feeling really exhausted.  And boy have all of these visitors helped this pregnancy speed along!

Friday, July 12, 2013

What I have found myself complaining about WAY too much this month...

Jack.  Yep.  That dog of ours takes first place for the thing in my life that has driven me CRAZY this past month or so!!!  It all started with his running away when no one was looking one day.  The boys left for father/sons and everyone was worried sick about where he was or if he was even still alive. The little kids were sending prayers up like nobody's business that he would come home and be ok.

After a couple of days we noticed him sitting in the front yard at dusk.  He slunk around the corner of the house with his tail between his legs he was so ashamed, even though everyone was so excited to see him.  After that,  he couldn't get enough of his freedom.  He took to howling and whining all. night. long. Mostly when Shawn was gone. He doesn't listen to me when I tell him to be quiet - he only listens to Shawn and Caden.  But I noticed that if I hit the blinds he would be quiet, so I took to sleeping with an arsenal of shoes on my nightstand that I could chuck at the blinds whenever he started tuning up so that I wouldn't have to get out of bed every ten to fifteen minutes. Yes, that's how often he started tuning up again.  I was already having a hard enough time sleeping at this stage of pregnancy, and then with Jack adding to my sleeplessness, I was completely exhausted.  And enraged about that dog. And entertaining very violent thoughts...

Meanwhile, Jack managed to sneak away again after an enjoyable couple of hours swimming with the family:

Dare I to admit that after he didn't come back for a couple of days I hoped he was gone for good? Well, it doesn't matter, because just when my hopes were up, a neighbor called and said that Jack was at their house. If it was even possible, his nightly serenade got even worse!!

A beyond exhausted me, told Shawn on a phone conversation that we had while he was out of town, that I knew that I was going to be beyond furious if I had this baby and couldn't sleep at night when the baby was finally sleeping because of a stupid dog!! 

Shawn recognized a serious situation in a wife that needed serious placating and called back in a few minutes with the news that he had a surgery scheduled for Jack and a brand new shock collar purchased as well.  (his other had stopped working).  I was glad that he was taking steps to fix (no pun intended) this dog's problems, but in my mind I had decided that we needed to find him a new home.  I wasn't enthusiastic about spending even a dollar on him (let alone $250ish!!!!)

But anywhoo, this last week since he has had the surgery has been heavenly!  He hasn't made a single peep at night- do I dare to hope that that nightmare is over?! Last night I found myself saying something down-right sympathetic about him.  Perhaps he's gaining back some of my affection!? I think everyone's glad that they don't have to listen to me whinge about him anymore...

Monday, July 1, 2013

superhero sunday flip-book style

Sunday these two little boys were sitting on the couch  beginning a game with their super hero action figures.  I had my cell phone handy and they were looking so cute that I requested a picture:

Then they started into a serious game and I couldn't resist capturing it because I love to watch them play:

Although it may appear so, I did not include all of the pictures.  But if you speed through them you can see how quickly their games actually move:)

Sadly, I can't share the non-stop sound effects:

I've always loved seeing little feet, that don't even begin to curl over the edge of the couch, poking out from under a book or a pillow:

It wasn't long before they were on to their faux-fighting and wrestling on the floor - an activity that they can't resist and participate in at least once an hour all. day. long.:

I love my crazy, cute, exciting boys!!