Monday, June 30, 2014

Elisabeth is TEN!!!

 Yep, and she's still riding on the quarter machines :)! Not really usually :), but we were on her birthday date night and after we bought a couple of things at the store she jumped on and thought it was pretty hilarious!

And then we went out for some frozen yogurt.
 Since we we're in North Carolina over Elisabeth's birthday, she asked if she could have her two best friends from school over one night before we left to swim in our pool and have some homemade pizza and cinnamon rolls. So that's what we did. The kids helped some; they loved cutting the cinnamon rolls with floss!
 Here are Elisabeth, Tammy and Emily. We bought some flip flops and water balloons from the dollar tree and the girls each made a pair of water balloon flipflops that they wore when we walked over to the pool.
 Emily's younger sister Kimmy is good friends with Annabelle so when they came to drop Emily off we invited Kimmy to stay.
 I can't believe we have a ten year old! Two more years and she'll be babysitting! Hooray!

 She specifically asked for BYU clothes so she got a couple of items. She also go the dress above and a towel from granny, money from grandparents which she used to buy a rainbow loom and we got her the piano music for Disney's Frozen movie.
Elisabeth you are definitely a bright spot in our lives. You amaze us with your talents and your determination to learn new skills. You are dedicated, diligent, honest, compassionate, musical, smart, lovely and just all around wonderful in every way! We love you Elisabeth! Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer Lovin'

 I love summer break. I love that I don't have to dash anyone anywhere, except for piano on Thursdays. Besides that we are free to do as we please! Our mornings are lazier than when we're in school, that's for sure, though I still try and get up early most mornings to read and exercise so that I can be ready for the chaos when the chaotic wake up! :) Just kidding, they're not really chaotic, life is just much more busy when you add 5 kids to the mix and I LOVE it! Several mornings a week the kids jump into my bed if I'm still reading in there or exercising in my room and they snuggle up in our sheets.

We still have a bit of a schedule which I mentioned before, but we usually get all our 'chore' type stuff done by 2pm and then we have a few hours before Scott gets home from work so we play! We go to the library once a week to check things out and bring our other ones back. I love the library. Really I do. I use it SO much, we all do. Audio books are lifesavers for car rides (don't like to do dvds too much in cars b/c there is no room for imagination), huge selection of movies for our family movie nights and loads of books for every day use! Elisabeth is just finishing the Percy Jackson series and we're going to bring those audio books, along with Harry Potter, on our epic road trip this week(and actually we leave the morning that this blog is posted at 3am; 3,838 miles, 58 hours, 11 states and all with 5 children in a stuffed full minivan!).  Some afternoons we hang at home and play with neighbors. Some afternoons we go swim at our community pool or go to the WOW museum which are pictured here.

 Some afternoons the library has cool presentations. Last weeks they had a cool one on 'motion'.

And this little lady adds some spice in our life! She's learning to dress herself and likes to express a lot of independence in all areas of life. She is so BUSY, I am grateful she still takes naps each day so I can have a few minutes of a little more relaxation and peace. :)

Monday, June 23, 2014

2014 Family Pictures






Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Annabelle's first piano recital & 6006 blends!

 Annabelle had her first piano recital last week. She memorized and played two songs, "Winnie the Pooh" and "Part of Your World." She did great! Here is Annabelle with her teacher and some of the other students.

Charles and Elisabeth are still going strong and doing an amazing job!
 Nora likes to pretend that she can play too. Someday she will :). And look at the placement of those fingers; very intentional! :)

 And completely switching gears, Scott noticed that we've blended over 6000 times using our Blendtec(high power blender; Blendtec and Vitamix are the two out there that can blend anything). We got it for Christmas of 2010 so 3 1/2 years ago, or about 1277 days, which would average about 4.7 blends per day! Wow! Well, that being said, I do make green smoothies every day and I usually blend it a few times to make sure things are Jamba Juice smooth, and then I use it for other things: chop nuts for granola, grind flaxseeds, coconut flour and all other flours from their whole form, make soups in winter, popsicles in the summer, salad dressings, batters etc.

Our Blendtec is well loved by the entire family!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Cub camp, date night & Father's Day

 Here are a few random pictures of things we've done throughout the past week. Once or twice a week I take the kids to our rec center where they have an outdoor playground and paved track that goes around the soccer fields. I run while pushing Jane and Nora in the stroller and the older kids bike. It's a good way to get in some exercise for all of us, and afterward we stop at the playground for 10 minutes.
 One night last week Scott and a friend from church, Robert, took Elisabeth and Charles to the Rockies baseball game. They were playing the Braves which is Scott's favorite team. While they were there I took the girls to Coldstone and then we went to my relief society activity which was a walk around a park; kids were invited which was perfect.
 Charles attended his first cub camp this past week. He enjoyed doing all the activities though because they spent most of their time outdoors his allergies were really giving him a hard time; one day I even went to pick him up a few hours early after he called saying his eyes were stinging a lot and he'd been in the bathroom for awhile trying to flush them out. Poor Charles. I'm going to try and see if there is an essential oil mixture I can come up with or something similar that will help.

For our date night this past weekend Scott and I made butterscotch brownies (we ate one and saved the rest to share with my Marriage and Family relations class on Sunday & for our Father's Day treat), and then we pulled out the art books I had gotten for the kids from the library and we sketched some pictures and visited. It was such a nice, pleasant and peaceful evening; I sure love that man!

Father's Day morning we made blueberry pancakes and bacon and opened gifts.

Elisabeth and Charles, each on their own, made a coupon book for dad. I loved it because he redeemed two of his coupons that very morning which meant Elisabeth cleared the breakfast table of everything and Charles made our bed! Thanks guys!
I am so grateful to Scott for being such a good husband and father. He has always worked hard and been a good provider for our family. He has always been such a great example of a follower of Jesus Christ, someone who loves and serves those around him, especially us! I am grateful for Scott's dad for, first of all, deciding to become a father which is the most selfless role one could take on, and then working hard to raise great children. I am grateful for my father who worked 2-3 jobs as we grew up, to provide for our needs. He, along with my mother, taught us the importance of working hard to be successful through their example and word. Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

How to Eat Right in the Real World

 Scott and I have a date night every week, usually Friday night, and probably two of those are in-home date nights where we get take-out or do a movie once we put the younger two to bed (w/strict instructions to the older ones that if they are being loud or if they come out and interrupt our dates they will go to bed too), and the other two weekends we actually get a babysitter and go out. We have a couple of girls from church that we use regularly as babysitters. This past Saturday Scott and I went on a date at an odd time, from 930am-1pm because Green Smoothie Girl, Robyn Openshaw, was in town on a speaking tour and though I've been to probably six of her 'green smoothie' classes before, this was a new one, 'how to eat right in the real world', and Scott has never been and even though I always download lots of info when I get home, it's not the same so he was able to come with me and meet Robyn and listen in.
 Because I am a big fan of Robyn and have been to so many of her classes, even though she usually has a couple hundred in attendance, she knows who I am. So we visited for a minute before class. She really is amazing! Her class was awesome! She talked about The China Study (fabulous book and the most comprehensive study on health/nutrition ever done), about whole foods and why we should eat them, and other factors in life that help us to be healthy and happy.
We were going to meet our friends the Ashby's there but their babysitter fell through and they couldn't make it, but they invited us over for shakes that night so we still got to hang out. Well, and I should say, our families had shakes but Mine and I had these amazingly delicious and refreshing Mango Banana smoothies. I'll have to post that recipe on my food blog with exact measurements once I make it again, but basically it was water(1/2-1c), a little orange juice(1/4 c), frozen mango(1-2c), a banana, vanilla extract and ice.

Monday, June 9, 2014

When Scott's at work

When the kids are home from school I don't really have time to do anything besides cook, clean and be with them involved with their activities. I need to find more of a balance though because this past week I stayed up probably thirty minutes past Scott several nights working on lessons for church and other calling stuff which I did not like and neither did he. We like to go to bed together every night that way we have time to visit and read together etc. So I'm going to need to come up with something a little different. An hour each day, sometime during the day would be ideal but even thirty minutes of time to read and work on lessons would be great. I think I'll try and do it while Nora is napping because that's when I did it when kids were in school. I'll just need to sit down with the kids and let them know so they aren't constantly interrupting my thoughts...they're supposed to be reading and doing other quiet things anyway so it should work, it just hasn't so far hence 'the talk' that needs to take place. Here are some pictures I've captured from this past week of things we've been doing while Scott's at work.

We had our library summer reading kick-off and we went to a couple of different libraries and signed up. At one of the libraries the kids got library reusable bags and when we got home we decided to paint them.

Poor Charles doesn't have a brother but rather 4 sisters so we try and do things throughout the day that are fun for him, like legos and blocks, sports etc. Sports are especially good because he has a lot of energy!

The girls had a couple of friends over last week; they are sisters and were in Elisabeth and Annabelle's school class, and the older sister, Emily, is one of Elisabeth's bffs. They played in the sprinkler, played board games, ate homemade whole wheat cinnamon swirl bread and juice pops!

We have a pool in our neighborhood as a part of our community so we go there nearly every day. My kids are becoming little fish.  I don't have many pictures because I am on very strict watching duty while I'm there and don't even keep my phone near me for fear of distraction but I had the little girls get out with me, get my phone so we could quickly snap this pic of Jane, who has gotten quite comfortable in her lifejacket, and then they got out and walked back with me to my purse to put it away.

We have a membership to the WOW (world of wonders) museum so we went there one day last week. I imagine we'll go once a week during the summer when it's either too hot or too stormy.

 And here is Nora, helping me lick the spoon clean after making our almond protein bars which are amazing and which recipe you can find on my realfoodsmom blog here.