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

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A little project ... and 600 posts!

I just noticed that this is my 600th post. Cool. That's amazing, especially considering I have been posting only a few times a month these days.

Anyway, when Paul and I got married, the only piece of furniture he had to contribute was this ugly dresser:

It's a short dresser, so you'd think it would be perfect in a kid's room ... but since it was originally on a boat, the drawers are too hard for kids to open.

Oh, and I need to back up. I guess Paul did come into the marriage with this hum-dinger of a chair:
Reminds me of elementary school, but it doesn't bother him. When we can stomach dishing out money, we'll both get new office chairs. (He uses that and I use an exercise ball.) And when I mentioned to him about his lack of furniture, he reminded me that he did bring that nice desk behind him, too. (Which is a whole other source of "contention" -- if it's even strong enough to be called contention -- since the keyboard tray falls off if you touch it wrong -- aka it falls 3x per day -- which drives me NUTS, but is apparently my fault since I've made him move the furniture a few times and relocate the keyboard to the opposite side of the desk. But I digress ...)

Anyway, Becca has been using this little dresser, and I saw at a boutique that they had put fabric on the front of a dresser to make it look nicer. So we decided to try it. Turns out Becca and I have VERY different taste. I wanted something colorful with blue in it. We found the perfect fabric, but since it was from a "Young Women's" line, she wouldn't touch it, because she is no longer a Young Woman. Sigh. Fabric store worker, you didn't help by telling us that tidbit ...

So we FINALLY found something we agreed on (at the third fabric store!) and got to work. I still would like more color, but I think this is a huge improvement from where we were:

Now Becca is making matching pillows and will take them all off to college next month so I don't have to look at the poor dresser anymore. :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

For Rebecca

For my sister Rebecca, who loves to brush her teeth more than anyone I know. Here are a couple of cute kids brushing their teeth:

Without Shayla we would probably forget to brush Austin's teeth half the time. Good thing she takes care of her little brother and teaches him lots of good things, even when it's not time for "baby school." :)

Salem Pond

It seems when we have company we head to Salem Pond. It's just a fun place to go! So Ryan brought his family into town last month and we headed to Salem Pond. My kids had a BLAST! There is nothing better than running Grandpa's remote-control boats; helping row a boat; playing on the playground with cousins; and getting a little wet!
Ryan and his girls boat racing
Remote-control boats were Tyler's favorite part of the day
Shayla and Zach got to go out first with Grandpa
When the first boat returned, Austin walked over and got in by himself, so Grandpa took him for a ride

The kids got paddles and loved rowing

This girl is too cute!
Austin loved the slide and did it so many times all by himself
Josie was my favorite part! What a cutie!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Camp JJ

My boys got to go to Cub Scout day camp recently (Camp Jeremiah Johnson), and they had a blast! Tyler lucked out beyond belief. Most boys go when they're Wolves and Bears, and that's it. (They go to Webelos Woods when they're in Webelos.) Well, our ward invites the boys who are about to turn 8 to go with them ... so Tyler got to go the first time when he was 7. Then he went again at 8 and 9. That was lucky. But throw in this year and he's just extremely lucky! We had a boy (who we had already paid for) not show up for scout camp, so I went home and got Tyler to come with us. I figured if we had already paid then someone should have some fun! He was thrilled and it was fun to be up there with both of our boys again. Paul took the day off of work and we headed out for some cub scouting adventures:
Zach making Native American game
Tyler making Native American game

Tyler and Zachary doing archery -- always a favorite!

Mini trek in the heat -- at least the boys thought it was a blast!

Tyler throwing a ball -- the rafts are another favorite

Next year neither of my boys will go, so I think Paul and I will skip a year as well. (I've now been four or five years in a row ... or maybe more since I've lost track. I guess that happens when you're going on seven years in cub scouts. :)

Summer yum

What is the best part about summer? POPSICLES!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Not so little anymore

My baby is growing up. I am always amazed when I walk in and find things like this:

Yes, he got his own bowl and spoon, his own cereal and poured the milk by himself. Seriously?! I had no idea he could even carry the milk, let alone pour it without much of a mess.

He's playing more and more with his siblings and got really mad when Shayla stopped playing air hockey with him:
(I had to post the pic of him in his diaper, because it's just so darn cute!)

And one day recently I walked in to find him at the garbage doing this:

He is not a fan of fruits and veggies. In fact, no matter how I cut an apple (slices, matchsticks, skin or none), he will not eat them! But bananas? He's always loved them. Well, apparently when he was eating this banana he noticed those tiny brown specks in the center and decided to get them out. So he grabbed a spoon, opened the garbage and started digging. Look at the disgust on his face in the last picture -- he was not going to eat those brown things! Needless to say, by the time he got all the brown specks out the banana was gone. He hasn't eaten a banana since that day. Aw, shucks!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Wowzers ... how did July get here?

Apparently summertime fun does not include blogging! I couldn't believe when I looked and saw that I haven't blogged in more than a month. We haven't even been busy ... except for trying to stay good and lazy. At least that's my goal for the summer. Amazing how even when trying to be lazy we've got lots going on. I guess them's the hazards of having five kids and a husband in both working and doing school full time.

Where to even begin? Well, my sweet, adorable, kind-hearted, amazing daughter turned 6. She is adorable! She wanted a Strawberry Shortcake cake since she already had a figurine of Strawberry and her cat. Perfect! I found an easy way to make a strawberry cake, and viola -- finished cake in about 10 minutes. Not bad, eh? (She loved it, and that's the only thing I care about. :)


Somehow I always manage to spoil this girl for her birthday. This year I got her two things I thought were perfect. One of my friends growing up had one of these, and I LOVED it! Shayla has had a lot of fun with it:

The other perfect gift just fell into my hands the day before her birthday. It was donated to our ward yard sale and brought to my attention. I bought it before the yard sale even began, and I got a steal of a deal. She was THRILLED and LOVES it:
 (By the way, it didn't come with furniture, so today when I saw one at a yard sale I was going to see if I could get them to sell me just the furniture. Turns out it was already sold -- for 5X what I paid for ours!!!)

And of course we had to get her a Lazy Town to watch with Grandpa:

For Shayla's birthday party we had a pajama party. We thought it was a fun idea. However, one of the little girls kept mentioning over and over how weird it was to be in her pajamas mid-morning. She even asked her mom to drive her across the street so nobody would see her. Silly kids. Anyway, I had Becca draw a princess (who she forgot to draw smiling ... ?!!) and the girls decorated their own crowns to try to pin on the princess. It's so funny to watch kids cheat blindfold games -- they're so inconspicuous. Here are Austin and Shayla's attempts:

The evening of Shayla's birthday was her dance performance. Oh, man! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE watching my little girl in dance. Is there anything cuter?


What a fun day! And she's already 11 months away from the next one. :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Busy body

Shayla has had one week of summer break, and I've decided this summer with her home all day will kill me. She always has to be busy doing something. Too bad she's not extremely helpful or I'd send her to work with Grandpa, who is a busy body himself.

To try to ease the boredom of summer, Shayla came up with a schedule for herself. It cracks me up:

  • Games
  • Draw pictures
  • Journal
  • Make place mats
  • Jump rope
  • Journal
  • Crafts
  • Kites
  • Clean the windows
  • Go on a picnic
  • Bubbles
  • Play school
  • Play dough
  • Mosiac
  • Streamer dance
  • Make cookies
  • Friends
  •  Make a family newspaper
  • Parents day
  • Make a map
  • Make suckers
  • Play marbles
  • Sound quiz
  • Make a dance
  • Start piano
  • Pump up bike tires
  • Sleep on trampoline
  • Work on numbers
  • EZ Bake oven
  • All about Me poster
  • Typing
  • Sign language
  • Weave yarn on sticks
  • Rock painting
  • Ride bike
  • Journal
  • Chore
  • Friends
  • Scrapbooking
  • Bubbles
  • Cut pineapple
She started the calendar today. She had finished half of her list by 9:45 a.m. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh!!! We did cut a pineapple today, but I didn't really have plans to have a pineapple every weekend of the summer. :) I'm sure she'll figure out more and more to do as the summer continues, but I'm thinking first grade can't come soon enough!

Friday, May 25, 2012

High School Graduation

Yes, following the big kindergarten graduation we had high-school graduation. Shayla was quite upset that Paul took off the day for Becca's graduation and not for hers. Oops.

Let me backtrack slightly to Sunday when we had Seminary Graduation on Sunday. As Austin expressed his displeasure at having to spend a second hour in the same day in the chapel, I realized that we were basically the only people there with kids so young. I guess that's what happens when you're 7.5 years ahead of where you started out. :) Austin actually got fussy at the precisely right moment for Paul to step outside and see the eclipse. We were a little bummed that the seminary graduation was right at the pinnacle of the eclipse. Since there was a musical number right then, I let my kids step out with Paul to take a look. (After all, this own't happen for another 10 years!) Apparently a bunch of other people had the same idea. I missed it, but I'll live. :) Anyway, we had 16 seniors in our ward receive Seminary diplomas. I believe that's one of the main reasons we were lead to live where we did -- they have been a great group for Becca to grow up among.

Anyway, Becca was so excited and nervous to graduate from high school. And we're so excited and nervous to send her to college. We've been her parents for less than 8 years, so we're not really keen on the idea of sending her off to be on her own. But what do you do when they grow up?

Her graduation was at Utah Valley University. We got off the exit 40 minutes before her graduation and thought we'd made great time. But then it took us 20 minutes to get to the parking lot! I was sure glad my Mom had gone a lot earlier and saved us seats. (She got the second row right where Becca would walk after getting her diploma.)

The ceremony was long and boring. What graduation isn't? They had 7 or 8 speakers and 400 graduates. (Again, Austin would have much rather been napping than sitting in a boring graduation ...) At least Becca was toward the beginning since she's a B. (Rebecca, your Youngberg kids will have to wait forever! :) They had the kids pick up their diploma cases and then walk over and stop for their parents to take pictures. Guess who wouldn't stop for her Mom to get a picture? She didn't see anyone else stop, so she was too afraid she wasn't supposed to. I got her to look at me for a quick picture at least:

Caleb has always joked about taking an air horn to graduation to blow when your person's name is called. They had up signage not to blow air horns as to not interrupt the next name, but people did anyway. (Fortunately everyone kept it short so it didn't interrupt others' names being called.) My mom heard them and said, "We should have brought one!" My bro was prepared and pulled one out of the diaper bag. If anyone asks, it was baby James blowing it:

Caleb heard it and started pointing in our direction. He was so happy to graduate:

I didn't realize until we were already headed to graduation that we hadn't pre-set a place to meet up with Becca after graduation. Sigh -- that turned into a nightmare! She knew where we were sitting, so we waited there for 30 minutes before finally deciding she wasn't coming to us. We tried her cell phone repeatedly, but she hadn't charged it and the battery was dead. Paul wandered around trying to find her and couldn't. Finally she ran into my sister (who was looking for Caleb), and they called my Mom. Phew! That was so annoying! We finally met up after about 45 minutes of everyone calling and looking without luck.

The cousins were so happy to graduate together:

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Becca graduated with high honors -- I did not expect that. (Not that she's not smart enough -- she definitely is -- but because of what a struggle it was to get her to hand in her homework! :)
I always forget how short I am until I see pictures ... at least I'm in school colors. :)
Becca & family
While we were still trying to find Becca's boyfriend (who we have no pictures with at graduation since we never found him), Becca's Beehive advisers found her:
Sis. Arthur, Becca, Sis. Baird
They had no relatives graduating, but they decided they'd come see their nine favorite Beehives graduate. How awesome is that? (They're better than I am -- I won't even go to my own nieces' and nephews' graduations! :)

And since this blog is as much for family memories as for anyone else to read, I better include the picture we took of Becca and Kyle after he was finally found (after she had turned in her cap and gown):

After all, the day had more in store for Becca after graduation since it also happened to be the same day as her first kiss!!! Am I to discuss Becca's kissing on my blog? Too late. :) She and Kyle have been dating for more than a year and have been awesome about making sure they're not too physical. She had a goal to get to college before she got kissed. (In fact, I told her I'd give her $100 if she made it, and she almost did! :) Earlier this year she decided her goal was dumb, but Kyle had promised not to kiss her during this school year, so he didn't -- not even for prom. But now that the school year was over they went for it. Good thing she doesn't read my blog or she might kill me for sharing and embarrassing her. (Then again, things I think will embarrass her don't and things I think nothing of mortify her.)

Way to go, Becca! (On the graduation, not the kissing. But congrats on that, too? ;)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kindergarten graduation

Last week Shayla finished up kindergarten and had graduation on Friday. She was pleased as punch! (Where did that saying even come from -- how can punch be pleased? Must date back to Kool-aid commercials where the walking Kool-aid jug had a big smile. But I digress ...)

Anyway, they had a cute little program and did some fun and silly songs:

Shayla LOVED her teacher this year. She loved school so much she kept asking me to take her early, even if she beat the teacher there. Oh, and even when she had read her library books, she wouldn't return them because she didn't want to miss those five minutes of class. What a sweetheart! She took lots of pictures and drawings to her teacher. I wonder what a school teacher does with all of those? (Christina?) Maybe they're easier to toss when they're not your own kids drawing them.

Anyway, this is Miss Mellor, who spends more time than she should preparing to be a fantastic teacher:

Summer is going to be SO BORING for this poor girl! She loves to stay busy and always wants to be doing something. We already have a list of things that she can check for ideas when she gets bored. (We looked in an idea book for after-school activities, and it had a few she was really excited about, including washing windows. Yes! I hope she loves it! Other ideas the book had: whale watching or feeding zoo animals. Okay, like those are realistic after-school activities! Obviously I got the book on clearance. :)

Anyway, here I am with my sweetie:

I love my Shayla Bela!