A whole bunch about us you may have never wanted to know.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Peanut-butter face

I wonder how many thousands of pictures I'll end up with like this:

You know, the ones where you think to yourself, "Why didn't I wipe off her face before taking a picture?" This is only slightly better than the "Why didn't I clean the background before taking a picture?" question ... :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The IN crowd

This is what our family is now calling the IN crowd: Aspen, Kylen, Austin and Gavin:

When James is born we'll also let him join, but only because his middle name will be Brandon.

And here was everyone's favorite -- Kylen checking out Aspen's screams:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Some things I forgot ...

I forgot to post a few fun pics and things from our last week. How could I forget to post about Zachary losing his first tooth?!? That is always VERY exciting in our home, especially since my kids are late teethers and therefore lose their teeth late. I tell them they'll probably lose their first tooth in second grade just to prepare them. Both Tyler and Zachary have lost their first tooth in the month BEFORE starting second grade, so they've both felt "ahead" of where they should be:

Zachary was also thrilled to get a dollar for his first lost tooth (from the tooth fairy) and another dollar from grandma for his first lost tooth. Good thing he didn't lose it before she came home! He was so thrilled it was adorable.

I've said before what good boys I have, but once again I realize how great they are. Tyler also had a loose tooth (looser than Zachary's was), so as soon as I made Zachary's fall out he was sure he could get his out as well. I asked him to wait so Zachary could have the limelight for a bit himself since it was his first tooth, and Tyler obliged. The next morning when they woke up Zachary discovered his money and Tyler lost his tooth. And we had cousins staying with us so they could share the joy. (We'll pretend to forget that the cousin, who is more than a year younger than Zachary, has already lost several teeth ... :)

The other thing is that Shayla got an adorable haircut. It's not combed here, but it's cute nonetheless:

(Thanks Liz for the skirt -- it's the one I got at the RS auction. :)

And here's my boy sleeping with his eyes open:

The other kids wake him up all the time because they insist he was already awake since his eyes were open. Sigh ...

And when you mess around w/the little squirt you can get some cute, random pics:

I forgot to post this one w/the canoeing post. Gavin lent Austin his sun hat for a little bit, so I snapped some cute pics:

I've been meaning to get Shayla and Austin both sun hats all summer and haven't gotten to it yet. However, next month at our RS Super Saturday we're going to sew reversible sun hats. Huzzah! :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pioneer Day

I've been feeling very grateful t his weekend. Part of it is gratitude for the pioneers and what they went through because of their beliefs. Part of it is because I have freedom to practice my religion in peace -- with very little discrimination or mockery. Much of it is because I have been blessed beyond belief with a great family -- both my husband and kids, and my parents and siblings. I also have to say that I have thought more than once this weekend about how grateful I am for air-conditioning!

Anyway, in honor of our pioneer ancestors there is a parade in town. We had fun, as usual, and got some fun pics of the celebration ...

We got there 20 minutes before the start time and got enough space for us and family. As we were walking to our usual place (a street perpendicular to the parade route), I could hear something very large coming up behind us. I figured it was a parade float or something, so I didn't turn around right away to see what was behind us. Then one of the kids did and yelled, "Whoa! A tank is behind us!" Yes, coming down the road behind us was this:

How fun is that to just see it coming down the road? (Of course, when it's not attacking!) This is the same one my kids have actually crawled through at various events, and they never bore of seeing it.

This parade was the first for both Austin and Gavin. Becca was right on top of taking care of Austin during the gun salutes and fire truck sirens:

Gavin's mommy took care of him, too:

BTW, Gavin recovered very quickly and even scored a piece of candy later:

On the way to the parade Shayla asked if there would be princesses. I said yes. I hoped the "beauties" didn't disappoint, and as you can see they didn't:

The best was the Miss Payson royalty. There was a redhead right in front of the onion carriage (I now realize I didn't get a good pic of her). When she got in front of us I yelled, "Hey, red head!" She looked over and I pointed to Shayla. She said, "Awesome!" and waved right at Shayla. Shayla had the BIGGEST grin ever on her face. It was ADORABLE!

The other favorite float was from Bank of American Fork. We have pics w/their float every year, because it is a huge pig (like a huge piggy bank). They've renovated their float this year to this:

Hello! Not only a pig, but a super pig! For those who don't know, Tyler LOVES piggies, and his favorite pig, Silky, is a super hero. She can stop bad guys, stop volcanoes, etc. So when he saw this float he watched it and then turned around and said, "She's just like Silky ... except for the coins popping out!" Very cute:

Oh, and the people near the float gave everyone "super hero" masks:

I love the parade. It's called Fiesta Days because it's the city celebration. But we all know it's on Pioneer Day to honor those blessed pioneers. I thought this float was especially cool with a replica of the Provo LDS Temple:

And where else will you get a parade where the kids think it's as cool to give high-fives to missionaries as it is to Smokey the Bear, Cosmo (BYU's mascot) or clowns?

This Dukes of Hazard car just brought back memories. Growing up my parents had an old Dodge Dart in the backyard that didn't run. (Boy that sounds redneck! ;) Anyway, me and my siblings would keep the windows down and play Dukes of Hazard. Of course, we were always trying to get away from bad guys and HAD to get in the car through the windows -- that was the extent of the playing every time ... ahhhh, memories ...

This was the scariest entry:

No, not because it's Jabba the Hut and a Jedi. It's because this was for a political candidate, who sat in a car and pretend to fight Jabba the Hut. You want me to vote for you because of that?!? I'm afraid that may just backfire with voters who want a sane representative. But my bro-in-law did point out that they just won the vote of every boy ages 4 to 14 ...

And the creepiest entry this year, well, I'm not sure why he was there:

We laid low the rest of the day -- just being a bit lazy and enjoying each other. (Oh, except for Becca who used the afternoon for a fun date. Oh, teenage girls ... :) Hope you also enjoyed Pioneer Day -- whether your state takes the day off or not. :)

Canoeing once again

We got to go canoeing again this past weekend -- this time with my family. It's so nice and relaxing to be with family and to watch the kiddos have a blast. The pond is actually kind of gross, but it's so peaceful there -- and it's always great to see how much fun the kids have. :)

This is how you know my dad is a real man:

Yes, he went out with five grandkids in the canoe, none of which were probably any help paddling. In fact, I'd guess most of them made it harder for him to steer! But he brought enough paddles anyway so everyone who wanted to could help. We're so glad he's back!

This one looks like a race with my family winning. It wasn't, but it's still a fun pic:

My dad also brought his remote-control speed boats. (It looks like you can't see them well in this pic.) It was fun for them to race the canoes and just try to topple each other (since the canoes were out in the water and able to turn them back over if necessary).

And of course you have to feed the ducks when you go! Princess Shayla really got some umph in her throws:

Much to the delight of the ducks:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Welcome Home

Today we got to spend the day with my family, which was totally fun as always. There were many here ... which I'm sure was a delight (and overwhelming) to my parents. :)

Yes, my Mom and Dad returned home from their mission Thursday, much to the delight of many. :) This is the banner my sister made to welcome them home (with some of the grandkids who were there to shout and cheer as they pulled up):

They had been in the car for way too many days. :) After leaving Omaha, they decided to drive to South Carolina to spend time with my brother's family. Then they brought my two nieces home with them. (All of us here are excited about that, because we haven't seen Hailey and B for four years now!) After leaving South Carolina they drove across the country to arrive in Utah Thursday afternoon. I called to find out how close they were, and they said they were .7 miles away. That .7 miles seemed to take FOREVER as we excitedly awaited their return! :)

My parents are the most selfless people I know! They were very blessed for their service, but their service wasn't without sacrifice. This is only a partial list of what my parents missed to serve for 1 year:

- Tyler's baptism
- Cris' ordination to deacon
- Alyssa's wedding (their first granddaughter to get married)
- Dustin and Heidi's engagement and Heidi's bridal shower
(Fortunately they got to come home for two days for Dustin and Heidi's wedding!)
- Aspen's birth
- Austin's birth
- Gavin's birth
(Kimmie went to them for her baptism :)

For some people this may not be too bad, but my parents live for their kids and grandkids, so I know it was hard to miss so many special occasions. But, hey, we all survived. :)

Although they missed many things, they had experiences on their mission they wouldn't have had at home. We know that was exactly where they needed to be for the past year. They've had the goal for a long time to serve, and now they have done it. Here are pics of them meeting Gavin for the first time:

And you can see Austin is also happy to have them home:

(Shayla's been telling people he's so happy because G&G are home. :)

And speaking of Austin, this is how cute he looks in Gavin's borrowed Bumbo:

Needless to say, Ridge Way is going to be seeing our car a lot more often in the days to come. :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ty Guy got his Wolf

Tonight is pack night, which reminds me that last month at pack night Tyler earned his Wolf Badge. Hooray! He had actually earned it the month before but for some reason didn't receive it, so he got to receive it when we had lots of family in town. (Mind you, pack night was too late for all the little ones to attend, but he got to show aunts and uncle when we got home.) He LOVES, LOVES, LOVES scouts and has awesome leaders. He earned a bunch of arrow points in addition to his badge, as you can see below:

Way to go, Tyler!

And having pack night tonight just reminds me that a month has gone by without me sewing on his new patch and/or arrow points, and nearly four months have passed without me sewing on his religious knot. Sigh. But he loves to earn them. When he has his birthday in about six weeks Paul and I get him in our den -- it will be a blast! :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Remember how I said that Shayla is totally into Lazy Town (where the main character has pink hair)? And her favorite book in the world (which she can read herself) is Pinkalicious (where the girl turns pink from head/hair to toe)? No wonder she wants pink hair:

One day I should try to buy her the "Stephanie" costume from Lazy Town. I'd do it for Halloween this year, but we already have an Ariel costume. :) In the meantime she can stick with this kind of pink hair ...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Randomness abides

So I don't know that I've posted a "real" blog for a bit. I've been busy. And I've been having fun. We loved having family in town for about 1 1/2 weeks, and we're sad Paul's bro and sis don't live closer. (His bro's family came from Arizona and his sister's family from Washington -- we're smack dab in the middle for them. :) Our kids LOVED playing w/their cousins and were sad when they had to leave. I'm glad they have cousins on both sides they love playing with.

Today I had a mini mission reunion at my house. One sister was in town from Brazil, so another flew in from Georgia (where she is living after having served there), and other sisters from nearby came for a visit. My only comp who came was one who lives in Springville, and still we don't see each other nearly enough. So sad to lose touch with people you had such wonderful experiences with!

This week I also completed the first week of the "Couch to 5k Running Plan." I thought I did pretty good. :) I outpaced my buddy a little bit, but I think it's because she started a juice diet the same week. (She's lost 10 pounds so far ... but I'm still not convinced to do it myself quite yet.) In any case, we're very excited and we're going to run our first 5K on Sat., Sept. 11. I'll have to miss part of our Relief Society annual retreat for this, but I think it'll be worth it. I've had a goal to run a 5k for a bit, but I'm finally using this plan to put it into action. Now if only I could get my eating to improve a bit ...

And the best news is that I get my parents back this week!!! I am thrilled! They finished their mission a week ago and then drove to South Carolina to pick up my nieces. They'll leave SC tomorrow to drive across country to return home. We're so excited to see them -- and my nieces whom I haven't seen for four years. I have barely scrapbooked while my mom's been away, and she'll kick me back into gear. We're also thrilled to have my baby sister Rebecca join us (although we haven't talked her into scrapbooking yet) since she's joining the ranks of the SAHMs. I'm so glad -- I don't see my sisters nearly enough since they're all busy working! :)

And with that randomness I'll include a random pic. My bro and sis-in-law gave us some pretty nice banana chairs, and I'm surprised at who loves them the most:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Little Stinker Part II

I got Austin's three-month pics back and they're cute. However, I'm still so bummed to think how much cuter they could have been if he had been smiley. Sigh.

Here they are ... I saved my favorite (the one smile) for last:

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sharks, for Grandpa

I think every little boy thinks sharks are cool. To add to that, my boys get a shark on Finding Nemo named after their Grandpa (Bruce). So, Grandpa, here are your two newest grandsons thinking of you ... (okay, probably not, but they're cute anyway!).

Austin & Gavin:

This pic looks like synchronized flailing:

Yes, for those of you who know my dark-haired sister: The dark-haired baby is mine and the blonde is hers. Go figure.

These cute boys are sure to be buddies!!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Little stinker

So, I decided for Austin's three-month pics I'd just pay a professional and get good ones. I didn't want to have to worry about posing him, getting the right lighting, using the right background, etc. So I took him to get his pics taken.

My perfectly happy boy? Not so when getting professional pics! The little stinker was tired and barely cracked a couple of small smiles. Sigh. Good thing he's cute even when he doesn't smile, because we're going to have plenty of those.

After a short nap I came home and started feeding him, and he wouldn't even eat he was smiling at me so much. So I put down his bottle and snapped a few pics:

Once again I have been shown that kids don't perform on cue ...