Thursday, May 19, 2011

Oh yeah...

...The ones in the camera. I should blog those too so I can be totally caught up.

Raelin showing off her sweet dance moves: I love some of the outfits she comes up with. Sometimes goofy, but still SO much cooler than mine when I was a kid. No, you may not see any pictures of that. They're fit to be burned.

Landon was loving his sink bath.

And it is officially camping season!! YES! We are all so excited! We haven't been able to go yet due to schedules and weather, but the kids did camp in the backyard last weekend and we went up the canyon for dinner on Sunday. Landon was enjoying an Italian sausage. He might have picked it up off the ground... At least it didn't have mustard on it (mustard is grosser than dirt and harder to wash out).
Brice and the kids built this awesome tee-pee with a bunch of stuff they found by the campsite we were at.
The creek (currently a river) was amazing! I didn't get any pictures of it, but I'm sure we'll be back up again soon. The water is rushing and is spilling over its banks in many places. It's a pretty spectacular sight!
What a masterpiece! I wonder how long it will stand... We'll have to go back up soon and see.
I love this smiley face!
Ryker had his kindergarten graduation last night. It was so cute! The kids did such a great job! And it was short and sweet, which was good because Landon didn't nap and he was a bit of a wreck.
Ryker was having a really hard time looking at the camera and not at all the things going on in the auditorium. But this picture is so very Rykery. Also Rykery was the award he brought home today: "Most Energized." If that's not Ryker in a nutshell, I don't know what is!
As much as these two butt heads, they are also the best of friends!!
Congratulations, Ryker! Good job buddy!

Final random stuff

Well, that didn't take nearly as many posts as I would have thought! So without any further adieu, here's the last of the updates in no particular order.

Brice took a Ju Jitsu class at BYU last semester and at the end of the semester he entered a tournament. He had three matches and lost but had a lot of fun! He'd had a crazy busy week with lots of heavy lifting and a little bit of illness and he just isn't in as good of shape as he once was. It was loads of fun to watch him and the kids had fun playing on the mats they set out for kids to play on. I only have a few pics and they didn't come out very well, but we got all three matches on video so it's okay. I just wanted to put something up here with his story. He's the one in dark clothes.
Codie cuddling with sick Alaina.
Love the crooked hat!
SO happy to be outside FINALLY! We went to the duck pond for lunch with Brice one of the first nice days we had and it was so fun!
Alaina loved chasing the ducks all over. She was so cute with her arms out, running all over!

We planted a couple trees and this is Alaina in one of the holes. I just loved her expression. It's so her.
Landon thought eating the dirt was the most wonderful thing ever.
Rocks weren't too shabby either.
Roots, not so much.
Trying to eat the dirt without getting his hands dirty? Just lap it right up, kiddo!

Raelin's been taking piano lessons from one of our amazing neighbors. I love her face; so focused!
We aren't very good at making sure she practices, but she's learning so much and she makes up songs on her own that are really pretty!

We were at the park recently and Raelin caught a baby bird! That girl amazes me! The little bird was so cute but so scared. The kids let it go and than chased it back over to where they found it.

My cool kids in their sunglasses.
Alaina fell asleep with her head buried like an ostrich.

Best Easter Ever

This Easter was so great! It was unhurried, unchaotic, and more Christ-centered than any other Easter I can think of. We have a big family and we love having big holiday celebrations, but they are busy. This time, for some reason, things just worked out in such a way that everything was pretty low key. Brice got asked to speak in Sacrament meeting and his talk was great! I also loved that it gave us the opportunity to talk about the resurrection often for the week or two before that Sunday. It really helped to set the stage, I think. After church we came home and called around to see if Brice's brother or any of my family was going to come join us for the Resurrection egg hunt.
I like this tradition because I'm always looking for ways to bring more of Christ into the holidays that are ABOUT Him, but that are being overshadowed by marketing and consumption. This hunt is just 12 eggs and each has a scripture passage and a token from Christ's death and resurrection (a thorn, a small nail, a toothpick cross, a stone, etc.) and you read them in order so that it tells the story.
Brice's dad had been out for a visit and he was just about to head home, but we convinced him to stay for the hunt and the story and it ended up being just him and us.
Then we headed up to my parents' house where we had another egg hunt, this time with candy, but we'd decided to just do minimal candy and some eggs with money in them instead of candy. SO nice not to have just a crazy amount of candy and the absence of the sugar rush that goes with it! (Sorry the picture didn't rotate; you'll just have to turn your head this time--I'm not fixing it.)
I think that it really helped to keep the spirit of the holiday not to get all candied out. There's something about loads of candy that sends people (especially little kids) into a frenzy.
The egg hunt at my parents's house is always a favorite because the adults get to hunt too. It usually involves tree-climbing,
roof climbing, dismantling of various things in the yard, usually the fence, etc. These are two different trees that Raelin is in, by the way.
We all love it! This time, we also got to meet a pair of salamanders that were living in a sprinkler box.
How cool is this girl!!!

Usually this is a bring-your-friends-neighbors-and-acquaintences sort of thing because it's just so much fun, but this time it just worked out to be us, my parents, and my sister's family. It was nice to have a small group, even though the big group is also lots of fun. And the little boys were so cute, just kicking it in the grass and pokeing each other--their favorite pastime.
Oh, and this year we did something different for egg dying. I found this idea online and thought it looked like fun so we tried it! You just take the eggs (uncooked), wrap them in silk (ugly ties from the DI work GREAT!), then in a nylon, and boil them in water with 1/4 cup of vinegar for 15-20 min.
This is what we got! Not too shabby, eh?
Not all of them turned out, but the ones that did were so cool!
The other thing that I really liked this year was that the Easter story got told several times throughout the day which I thought was so great to keep the focus on Christ instead of bunnies and candy. Between Brice and the other speakers, the story was told in detail in Sacrament meeting, then I told it in the class I taught, then the egg hunt told it, then my mom told it after the egg hunt. It was a really great Easter and I hope that we can always do so well at remembering our Savior throughout that special day.

At least it hasn't been three months...

Yup, still sucking at the blog thing. School's almost out and I'm hoping that helps. We'll see.

At any rate, here goes nothing. Catch-up might be a few posts long...

Birthdays. There are lots of them this time of year. Russell's (my nephew's) is on the 29th of March and then my dad's is April 1st, and then my niece's is the 2nd (but she lives in Cali, so we didn't get to celebrate with her), mine is the 4th, and my brother's is the 8th. Not to mention all the cousins and uncles interspersed throughout. My birthday was the best one I've had in a long time!! Maybe ever. I've kinda had not-so-amazing birthdays the last few years because it always comes around at the end of the semester when we are about out of money and finals are coming up so we're out of resources to invest in much of a birthday celebration. But this year, Brice made my birthday amazing!! He made me cinnamon pull-apart (what we call "ball-y coffee cake) for breakfast, and then he made me LOBSTER and crab legs for dinner!! It was fantastic! I was so impressed and mmmm, it was delicious! It was practically Red Lobster at home, complete with those cheesy rolls they have. My husband is an amazing chef! LOVE IT!

Then he somehow managed to get me a serger sewing machine! I've been wanting one for my diaper business to make the soakers and it's awesome! I've had so much fun with it and it sure is easier to make those soakers with the serger than to cut everything out and try to make sure the zig zag stitch catches all the layers. He's so good to me.

We also went to my parents house around my b-day and had a celebration with family. My dad and I had fun fighting over cups of milk (he made me laugh and I got some up my nose!) and blowing out candles and other dumb stuff.
The kids had a great time running and rolling down this huge hill at BYU.

Alaina thought it was so funny and she would pretend to fall and then roll the rest of the way. Gotta love the way she does her shoes too. We put them on her the right way, but as soon as she gets a chance, she undoes them, pulls the tongues out and redoes the velcro. She just likes 'em that way, with the tongues flopping all over the place. Funny girl.
If you ask Alaina to make a funny face, this is what you get.
This is the most recent diaper I made for Landon and I think it's my favorite. My business has been moving along slowly but surely. I've had pretty steady orders for the last little while. I love making diapers and talking to people about cloth diapering. It's always fun to get requests for fabrics I might not have thought to use and to see how they turn out!
I don't know why Alaina is putting a bucket on Russell's head and I didn't take this picture, but it's funny!
One morning, Raelin and Ryker surprised us with a breakfast creation. We came to the table to find this: toast, kiwi, orange frosting, blue frosting, and mango. They made up their own frosting recipe consisting of powdered sugar, granulated sugar, milk, and food coloring.
They instructed us to put the fruit on the toast and then pour the (rather runny) frosting over it. I was pretty skeptical, but it was actually not half bad!
I think a lot about how frustrated I get with a lot of their antics, but this one helped me to look at things in a different light. Instead of thinking about how much stuff they get into and how they just help themselves to so many things that aren't theirs to get into, I've also realized that (in part) because I don't (usually) freak out and ground them for life when they make messes and snatch food and all those other things that I always feel SO frustrated about but never know what to do about, they are really quite creative and self-confident. The invent wonderful games even though they make a big mess in the process. They are bold enough to invent a meal, again, making a big mess and using things I might not have wanted them to use. But if I scold and punish them for the mess making and being presumptuous, which is my instinct, I would stifle all this creativity and independence and that would be a tragedy. So I'm trying really hard to let go a little and see more of the good things that are happening instead of just the trouble their explorations cause. It's a work in progress because I hate how messy the house always is and I doubly hate how hard it is to get them to do an ounce of cleaning.