Friday, May 22, 2009


William and Angel and Liam have been coming out to Utah from California frequently lately to work on their house here so they can rent it out (they've been working on an addition for...well, forever). We got some cute pictures of the cousins all dressed up for church on Sunday.
We took our kids for a good, hard hike one evening. We hiked to the Y. It's pretty short but super steep. It's so steep that if you fall over the edge, that's it for you. You'd just keep rolling. I was a little paranoid about Ryker falling over the edge, but if you've read much of our blog or you've seen Ryker in action, you know that he is unbelievable accident-prone. He's a magnet for catastrophe. I was constantly telling him to get on the uphill side of the trail and scolding him for not paying attention. But it was great weather and absolutely beautiful. Next time we'll just take a leash...

(Yeah, thanks, Brice. Just dangle him over the edge so you can get a good shot.)

"We made it!!!!" "Ryker SIT DOWN!!!!"

On the way down it was getting dark, so Brice really wanted to hurry. At one point I heard Brice's gleeful skipping song (skip, skip, skip to my lou) and Raelin's panicked shriek as they flew down ahead of me. In this picture she was getting the hang of it and was happy, but a few minutes before she was on the verge of tears. For some reason, I'm always carrying the baby. Usually it's because I brought a baby carrier that Brice doesn't know how to use or that hurts his back. On this hike, she would have it no other way. She cried and cried for the first 20 minutes while Brice carried her and then quieted right down as soon as I had her. Momma's girl.
Here are Raelin and Ryker planting corn in our garden. I was worried that we wouldn't get to do much for our garden this year but my Grammie Quinn sent me some money for graduation and we used that and a whole lot of hard labor (like 20 hours worth of really hard rock moving and dirt leveling) to get a perfect garden started. I'm really excited! A neighbor let me borrow a great book and I think we mught have a bit of success (finally). We've got tomatoes, tomatillos, summer squash, scallop squash, zucchini, watermelon, two kinds of pumpkin--one for carving and one for baking, corn, and herbs. Then Ryker wanted to plant potatoes. I'd wanted to also, but didn't have the room. But for Ryker, I'd figure it out. So they're planted in the flower bed. Then I realized that Raelin might want to have her own mini garden as well. She had mentioned strawberries at one point so I shrunk the corn area to give her a little strawberry patch.

To give you an idea of what kind of project this has been, here's a picture of last year's garden. If you've ever moved landscaping rocks, you know what a pain they are to shovel and move around. Also, the watering system I had last year was completely different from what I wanted to do this year, so I had to dig up the sprinkler pipe that ran the old system, move it to somewhere we could access easier in case we want it for something later, and then cap it off. I had to use the hacksaw because I couldn't find our handy-dandy PVC cutters. Bummer. Of course I found them the next day... Grr.

And here's the new garden with a nice path leading to the future gate and everything lined with wood to prevent it from looking like a mess and spilling over into the neighbor's yard.
Everything is growing well and the watering system (watering furrows instead of a drip system) is working great. We've had some trouble with some bug that sucks all the juice out of the pumpkin before it even really gets started but I replanted those and have insecticide on hand. Problem solved. I hope.

Just cuz she's cute. Love this girl!!! Even the pouty face. You don't see it much, but it is SO cute.

She's so little and petite and I love it. She's always got a smile for everyone and when she looks at you with those big eyes, it's to die for.
I was trying to get a picture of Ryker and I told him to look at his money monkey so he walked over to it (not what I meant) and this is what I got:
I told him to look at me and smile, but he was in a funny mood so he gave me this face:
Eventually I got this:

There's my handsome boy!

Could she be any cuter!?

Cute sisters

Ryker wanted to try on Brice's shorts. Um, yeah, they're a bit big. Brice held them up with his belt, which he had to wrap twice around Ryker's waist to get it tight enough.

Lot's of other stuff to come. We've been busy! So busy that I'm getting more and more behind on the blog every day it seems.

I wrote most of this post this morning and am finishing it at 9 tonight. In the interim I encountered something that totally bummed me out so I want to complain. I wrote this morning about my garden that I'm so excited about and that I have high hopes for. I really worked hard on it and have continued to work on it often since I planted it. I watered yesterday and spent a lot of time making sure it was all working well. Everything was looking great. Today, the same evil juice-sucking bug that killed the pumpkin plant I already talked about killed half of my remaining pumpkin plant and someone or something tore the other half of it. Also, my summer squash plant looks like it got stepped on or whacked with a stick (Ryker's a likely culprit in anything involving sticks). The main stalk is broken, so it's going to die too. It was probably the stupid cat rolling on it. Grrr. I hate cats. For a cat, I like the one we have, but today she's a stupid cat. So I'm moping and sad because I don't want to start over; they were doing so well. And I already had insecticide on the plants so it must not be working. I hate to spend more money to replace the plants and find a bug killer that works, but I also hate for the money and effort already invested to be wasted too. I'm sure things will have a brigthter face tomorrow, but for tonight, I'm sad and mopey and discouraged. Maybe brownie batter will get me out of my funk...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Random stuff

Raelin has been showing off her creative flair lately:

This is a robot made out of dominos
And this is her rendition of some of her plastic animals. I was amazed at how well she could draw from a three-dimensional model--That's hard stuff! (You may have to click on the image to see her drawings)
Last Sunday was a first for the Somers family. We spent the week without Raelin and Ryker. We sent our kids to California with Uncle William and Auntie Raru to visit Mimi (Brice's mom) for the week. They were gone until Friday evening. It was hard to watch them go and we were lonely without them. But we made the best of it :) by going out on dates (thanks, Mom, for lots of coupons and gift certificates) and getting the house in order. Brice and I (and Alaina) went to dinner one night, movies the next, got ice cream the next night, went to a birthday party for our friend BreAn, and went for a fun but strenuous hike (yeah, we're just a little out of shape).

I did a major overhaul of ALL the toys. I pulled out every blessed thing, including the stuff stored in the attic space and dumped it all in the loft:
I purged as much of it as I could. I mean, really, how many toys do two kids need?! I got rid of about 8 bags of toys and it felt great! Unfortunately, when I was done and I looked at how much stuff was left, I still thought it was too much. But they play with it all on a regular basis and there wasn't much junk or knickknacks mixed in with what was left, so I couldn't justify getting rid of it. As much as the mess and clutter drives me crazy, I didn't want to break my kids' hearts by getting rid of their "favorite" toys. So here's what we're left with:
That's right, this is every last toy in the Somers' house except for their set of wooden blocks. Still a lot of stff, but so much better than before. I don't think they've even realized how much is missing! That's what happens when you go from four toys for a month to all this. They didn't even put up a fuss when they watched me give away all their stuff. It had been so long since they'd seen some of it that maybe they didn't realize it was theirs... That's when you KNOW you have too much junk.

As usual, I had some fun taking pictures of Alaina--she's the only one that holds still long enough for me to get more than one shot before running off.

One afternoon, I was hanging out with Brice while he worked on William and Angel's house. Angel and Liam were also there trying to mow the grass (it was too tall to make much progress). Liliana came over for a little bit too.
Cute kids!

And here are pictures from our hike. We wanted to hike Squaw Peak but we started at a trailhead that made for a much longer hike than the 3 miles round trip we were anticipating. We hiked close to 4 miles and barely made it halfway. It was still a fun hike. It was REALLY steep. Our dog had a lot of fun running all over--he probably ran about four times farther than Brice and I hiked. He was surprisingly responsive to my whistle and would come check in when he heard it. He also got a name this weekend. FINALLY!! Meet Cooper!