Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Elisabeth is 12!!! Happy Birthday!

Elisabeth turned 12 today, which means she's no longer in Primary but has moved up to the Young Women's class at church, which she is super excited about! They surprised her with this sign on our garage on her birthday:

We took her on her birthday date, with mom and dad, last Friday. She choose Culvers which has frozen custard and fast food :). I ate some rice cakes with almond butter and apple slices before we left since I'm a vegetarian, but I enjoyed dipping french fries in ice cream; something I picked up from my dad years ago :). 
 Saturday she celebrated her birthday with Abby and Maddie at the Classic Fun Center. They did some arcade games,
 roller skating (they're all pretty new to skating so it was a little scary and dangerous; I stayed with them and took turns holding Maddie and Abbys hand since Elisabeth was okay on her own; but they still fell a couple of times which is scary).

 After skating they did the bounce area.
 They got pretty tired and thirsty from all their bouncing :).

 Afterward, we came home for home made pizza and cinnamon rolls, and they watched, "Once I was a Beehive" and played a new game Elisabeth got from Abby called Mad Lib.

Today Elisabeth gets to pick the meals, so we'll have french toast for breakfast, and enchiladas for dinner, and then tonight we get to do what she's been wanting to do for a long time: go to the temple to do baptisms. We sure love our Elisabeth and are grateful to have her in our family.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Cat and Mouse, and Father's Day

Our good friends the Ludwig Family, invited us over for dinner one night last week and after dinner, as we were outside visiting, we watched the neighbors cat, who came into the Ludwig's back yard, find a mouse in the yard and pounce on it! I know that cats are good for catching mice, but I'd never witnessed it before, and although I wasn't up close like our boys were, I could see the cat pounding on the mouse with it's paw and then of course you can hear the boys commentary of, "It took it's head off!" and "It only left the intestines!" Gross. I wonder why things like that fascinate boys and disgust many girls...maybe because God made us the nurturers and boys the hunters? Either way, they found it quite fascinating, like a science experiment. 
 Father's Day this year was bittersweet. We love and admire Scott and the father's in our lives, but it was also my first father's day without my dad since he passed this past September; needless to say, I cried multiple times throughout the day, and the week leading up to that day...not long or hard, but just tears in eyes mostly because I was having more memories come to the surface.

We kept it simple (thank you Scott) and we had frosted mini wheat for breakfast since cereal is a special treat around here (though I had a green smoothie), and we had cheese tortellini for dinner. Scott got new biking shorts, a collared tshirt for work, weight lifting gloves and a new watch band from us. And he was totally surprised with a new road bike (not from me or from someone in the family; it was a sweet random act of kindness)! His old bike we got used and it has continuously had issues with the brakes and the shifting, and we'd been talking about getting him one for awhile, especially since the sprint triathlon is coming up in August, but they're so expensive that we were going to wait a little while since we've had lots of other big expenses recently. We are grateful for such a thoughtful and generous gift.

 Father's are so important and necessary in homes and communities. I am so grateful for the wonderful men in my life including my wonderful husband who is the father of our  5 children, for his dad and for my dad who taught us so much, for our family and friends.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Zumba, RSL Soccer, Wheeler Farm, Temple Double Date

Even though Elisabeth is at home and can babysit Tuesday mornings when I go to Zumba, sometimes a couple of the girls like to come and watch. And such was the case last week and they got into my purse and took lots, and lots of pictures and videos. Here are just a few: 

We stretch during the last song and sometimes Nora will come out and stretch with me. She's pretty flexible. 

Scott and I were gifted tickets to the RSL soccer game last week so we went on a midweek date night. The game started at 8pm and the weather was beautiful, the sun was setting, it was still warm but not hot and not cold. Scott and I both played soccer and enjoy watching so we had fun cheering on the sidelines and eating churros and burritos. I can't go to a game and not get food!
I tried to take a selfie of Scott and I sitting in the stadium, without him knowing :). He looked down at the last second and tried to quickly look away :).
I sure love this guy! Even after nearly 13 years of marriage, we still enjoy one another's company and in fact love being together.
Since the kids are off of school, we're going to make it a goal to meet Scott for lunch once a week at Wheeler Farm, which is within walking distance of his office.

Every 3rd Friday of the month is our ward temple sealing night and we've gone a couple of times with our close friends the Hansen's and gotten dinner afterwards, which always makes for a nice evening.

Monday, June 20, 2016

AC Summer Piano Recital

The kids have a summer schedule which includes cleaning up after their own things (bedroom, dishes etc), piano, extra chore, job room, reading scriptures, reading and more. I found Jane on her already made bed, early one morning, reading her scriptures which made my heart so happy. 
Each Monday, a family in our ward who has a pool, opens it up to the neighborhood for swimming. We've gone to this for years and the kids love it. 

They also have a trampoline and a playhouse they like to play in.
Elisabeth has learned lots of fun new tricks to do on the trampoline so whenever she can play on one, she does.

Annabelle and Charles had their Summer recital last week and they both did very well. Charles played Disney's, Go the Distance, and Annabelle played, Shave and a Haircut. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Kids Jogging Club, Shirt and Tie Cake, Romney's Visit

Scott and I want to start a jogging club with the kids and a couple of their friends, but before we invite others to join, we thought we better get this going with our own children first to try and figure out the logistics. For right now, they are running between .5-1 mile, but we'll up that number soon. Annabelle is having a harder time, but we are not giving up on her. I told her the two older kids can run ahead and I'll stay with her and we can jog as slow as she'd like and just do .5 mile until that feels comfortable and then we'll slowly increase. I think it'd really help her to have a friend so I'll need to talk with some moms and find out who'd be interested. 
Abby, one of Elisabeth's close friends, asked me if I'd help her make a cake for her brother's mission homecoming. I was happy to help, to work with Abby and teach her some cake decorating skills, and we even had Elisabeth and their other good friend Maddie helping as well. Abby wanted to make a 'tie' cake, like the kind you wear with a white shirt, and she said his favorite color is red. We worked on this Friday from 10-2.
So this is what we came up with: 
I think it turned out very cute. She added his missionary tag to the cake when she brought the cake home. 

Friday night my sister Becca and her family arrived from Idaho. They had a short visit and left Sunday afternoon, but we loved our time together. Saturday morning we went for a hike in Pleasant Grove at Battle Creek.
It's a beautiful hike, very doable for all the kids, and we love the waterfall at the end.

I love this picture of Charles holding Jane's hand as he carefully guides her down a steeper slope toward the waterfall.

Monday, June 13, 2016

UVU Piano Festival and Summer Chores

During the first few days of Summer Break, Elisabeth attended a Piano Festival/camp at Utah Valley University in Orem. She was there from 9-2, Monday through Wednesday and loved it. 
While Elisabeth was busy learning and playing music, the rest of us were at home getting our summer daily chores done which include their normal chores (piano, tidying bedroom, unloading dishwasher, taking care of their stuff, reading), plus extra reading time with a book report that's supposed to be turned in each Friday on what they've read (they don't have to finish the book, but they need to write on what they've read that week), weeding for 20 minutes, running, an 'ask mom' which means they ask me what I need help with and then do that chore, and a room that they're to be in charge of and keep tidied in addition to their bedroom. So far so good and they usually get everything done before or just after lunch. Sometimes the reading is done just after. 

Charles' extra chore a couple of  days was loading and hand washing dishes

These 2 girls are tidying up the kitchen

checking their chores off their chart. They are learning that they can get a lot done in the mornings without any trouble or complaint.

Nora cut herself some bangs one day this week which I wasn't happy about. Luckily, they don't look too bad. 
On the last day of Elisabeth's piano camp, we planned to stay in the Provo/Orem area instead of driving back and forth (which Jane HATED doing because she gets car sick). First we went to the Blendtec headquarters where returned my Twister Jar but then as I was walking out, I met the owner and had a nice long conversation with him and we talked about some of my issues with the twister jar and I decided to go back in and ask for my twister jar :). Next we stopped by Krispy Kreme who had their Hot Now sign on and we each got a donut,
We dropped by the BYU broadcasting building where Studio C is filmed and though we didn't get to meet any of the cast, the kids got a little poster and Studio C bracelets.
After that we drove over to the Creamery on 9th and bought some produce and lunch and ice cream for the kids,
and then we headed over to my cousin Rachel's house who lives in Pleasant Grove and the kids played while Rachel and I chatted and got her kitchen painted...that's my kinda visit, where you can talk and get a mindless chore done at the same time! I like to be 'doing'.
Elisabeth had a little recital that same evening but I didn't want to put Jane through the torture of driving back there once again that day for an hour recital, so Scott just took her and made a video and took some pictures so that we could all enjoy it at home. She performed a duet that night with another girl, a friend she made while there, named Clara. It wasn't a challenging piece but she enjoyed doing it and she liked playing a song with her new friend.