Summer Visitors

August 5th, 2014 in About Me

YOU GUYS! Summer is crazy! We aren’t even doing vacations, not even *A* vacation and it is still jam packed. Also Reagan is on a mission to break one of her bones or crack open her head every day. So I can’t take any time for a hobby. When I leave her with a babysitter this is how the instructions to them go: “If you go outside, she will try to run into the middle of the road. If you try to play in the front yard, she will try to jump into the window wells. If you go to the park, she will climb to the highest part, and try to fly off. If you go to the pool she will try to go as deep as she can and throw herself under. If you do not block off the upstairs she will try to swim in toilets. If you are not STARING RIGHT AT HER she will try to climb on the stove and turn it on. She will in fact climb onto the kitchen table and hang off the chandelier. Any knives in the house or scissors she somehow will find and try to make music with them. Basically if you are not staring right at her, she will be trying to hurt herself.” Then I leave and pray that she survives someone else watching her.

So I don’t have too much of what you would call free time. Or what you would call down time. During her naptime  of course I am very productive and gets lots done. I cry. I breathe. I collapse onto the couch and cannot move.

Oh but we love her, she is the life of everything. But the family blog has been pretty empty because I just have -0- time.

A highlight of the summer so far has been the California cousins coming to visit. Usually we go to see them, this time we got lucky and they came to us! The girls got to skip the last few days of their school year so they could spend time with them.

I think what I loved the most is that everyone is at the perfect stage and ages right now. Cameron and their youngest that is a boy still play together really well. Abby and their daughter just are best friends. Both of their teenagers are in fun sweet teenager stages. We love being around those two. (These two were one of the biggest reasons I married Tyler, I love these two so much!) And look at how sweet they were with my babies:

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Daybreak is a really fun place to live. So we went to the river, ziplining park, canoeing on the lake, walks to the temple. Such a perfect place to live for when you have visitors in town. Free things and not long drives, can’t beat that! Whenever we go to California Tyler’s brother plans a fun camping trip for us. So when they came to visit us we wanted to do something. Although camping would be way too much for me to pull off! So we just rented some wave-runners and went to the prettiest part of Utah (we think!), Eden.

Tyler and his oldest nephew had a ball. It was fun to see them have so much fun. I tricked kids into getting onto the wave-runners and having fun. I got everyone to go on and everyone had a great day. The babies went from wading in the water to eating pirate booty non stop in their chairs.

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I think we have spent the last four 4th of Julys together, I love it, I want to do that forever. Our favorite parts of the 4th were watching Uncle Ryan dance with the fireworks. And sweet Shae’s reactions to the fireworks.

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We had such a wonderful time with everyone. But that isn’t even the most exciting thing that happened during that week. I will be back to tell you what that was soon!

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Dance Year Al fin !

June 20th, 2014 in About Me

Wow it sure is a relief when dance season is done. It gets so intense at the end of the year. No let me take that back this year was the first year I didn’t feel stressed. Abby has been dancing for 6 years now. So it only took six years, wow I am a slow learner.

They performed at Kingsbury Hall and love everything about it. Hanging out with their friends backstage, performing, the finale with all their friends. Tyler is always surprised to see how happy Abby looks on stage. And Cameron, man, she has that performance face down pat!

 

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Abby finished her first year on dance team. It was a relaxed dance team program where they do a competition, but just for fun. Then their other performances are at fun festivals and old folk homes. Dancing gives her a very big boost of self esteem and happy endorphins. For Cameron it helps her learn to focus. After a summer off we are an even busier dance year next year!

 

For the grandmas I have links to the girls’ dances. Abby’s is here and Cameron’s is here.

The Jungle Book

June 20th, 2014 in About Me

The girls love to take theatre. Actually I didn’t feel like doing it this year but they begged me all year long so I caved and enrolled them for the second half of the year. They both have so much fun. This year they attended class at The Children’s Theatre and their play was The Jungle Book.

Cameron was the oldest in the youngest group. I don’t think I enrolled her in the right class, but she didn’t seem to notice. Next year I’ll do a better job. In the play she got to play an elephant where she was supposed to ad-lib a silly question. She went with, “Why does bubble gum have bubbles?”

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Abby was the youngest in the older group. She had quite a few lines and got to play a couple characters. I didn’t realize she was the character with wings on flying up in the rafters during the play. I just about died when I saw her perform up there, I thought she was going to fall! Tyler and I both were so happy to see her so happy. During the dress rehearsals and performances she just boomed happiness.

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We have done theatre classes now at two different places, and I think next year we will try another new one. Still trying to find the one that fits the girls the best. But I know they sure had fun this year and I am glad they talked me into signing them up again.

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2 Elsas and 2 Annas

June 20th, 2014 in About Me

***I wanted to mention Blue Host took down all of my comments ever made on my site. It was so sad because there are many I wanted to save forever! But it was either that (because there are also so many spam) or shut down my whole site****

 

I….

I’m sorry?

I have a problem with Halloween costumes.

I always buy them in the summer in preparation.

I….

what do you want me to say?

 

I had them try the costumes on before I packed them away till Halloween. I was overcome with how cute they were we ran down to the pier and took pictures. Which is only 1 minute away by car, Daybreak is a fun places.

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At The Same Moment, Around the World by Clotilde Perrin

June 4th, 2014 in Children's Books

At The Same Moment Around the World by Clotilde Perrin atthesamemomentaroundtheworld atthesamemomentaroundtheworldchildrensbook atthesametimearoundtheworldkidsbook

At The Same Moment Around the World by Clotilde Perrin, I don’t want to jump the gun, but I believe is at the top of my list for favorites. In the book you are taken eastward from the Greenwich meridian, from day to night, with each page showing a different time zone. It shows a bit into the lives, scenery, and cultures of children all over the world. Oh my these illustrations, I wish I took more pictures to show off more. At The Same Moment Around the World by Clotilde Perrin is just a gorgeous book. Do you see in the last picture of how it even includes a map in the back? Such a wonderful book.

The Island by Marije and Ronald Tolman

June 4th, 2014 in Children's Books

The Island by Marije and Ronald Tolman The Island Marije and Ronald Tolman The Island Childrens Book

It has been a long time since I have showed you all a new children’s book that I love. Now most of the time we buy books they are chapter books. But these were beautiful and the girls and I were glad to find them. The Island by Marije and Ronald Tolman is a father and daughter team that made this beautiful picture book. You follow the polar bear along his adventures. The illustrations are so imaginative, whimsical, and detailed. We love to sit and talk about what the polar bear maybe was thinking or saying.

The Island by Marije and Ronald Tolman is an addition to our collection that we were thrilled to find.

You Are My Sunshine Baby Shower

June 3rd, 2014 in Parties

I hear by proclaim that I am retiring from “showers” for a decade. If one of my 12 year old nieces need one in a decade, sign me up. But until then, I am retired. I loved doing Laura’s shower as my last shower for awhile though!

My little sister Laura is having a baby boy at the end of the summer and she requested a You Are My Sunshine Baby Shower.

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I was kind of sad that I just had to set up, say hello, and run. We had to do it when it worked for everyone and I just ended up being the odd man out on the planning. Abby had a dance competition. So I wasn’t around for the games or gifts or anything. It was brunch and we served different berry sweet rolls, a yogurt parfait bar, fresh fruit, quiches, juice, and donuts.

But I heard she had a wonderful time! I liked this sweet theme a lot.

Boy banner from TwoChikkadees on Etsy

Sunshine wood decor from TheDoubleDubs on Etsy

Last Missionary!

June 2nd, 2014 in About Me

All my siblings are done with their missions. I was the 1 of the 5 that didn’t go! Do you think I can request a 2 year span of my life where I get lots of extra attention and love from them? I’ll submit my request when all my girls are teenagers at the same time.

Sarah went to Thailand, Laura New England, Bryan Mexico, and Jonathan just got back from Nicaragua. When we lived in Costa Rica we actually drove through his mission and saw 10-12 other Elders.

So when Bryan and Jonathan have had a Superman vs. Batman rivalry for awhile. When Bryan came back from his mission Jonathan dressed up like Batman, and the rest of us wore Superman gear. Now this time around it was switched. Bryan showed up dressed in a Superman suit and we all showed our loyalty to Batman.

Bryan showed up to say hi to the kids as Superman and then drove his motorcycle to the airport. Ask me how many girls were taking his pictures on the way and at the airport? If any of them were too flirty I would have ran them over with my mini van. Well no no no that isn’t right. Unless I would like them as my future sister in law, THEN I would not run them over with my mini van.

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We had too much fun with that photo shoot. Ok so then we waited for Jonathan to get through the gate!

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I like to hide on the sidelines and get a picture of my brothers when THEY first see their families:

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MAN! I can’t wait for my girls to do this. Well no I can wait, I’m not ready for that yet.

So he ran through the banner and was back!

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Wala, all done with the missionary stage for quite awhile. We shot some sibling pictures…because they are OKAY. I guess. A veces.

Also, no I’m not pregnant, I am having a chubby summer. I’ll get back to normal.

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Book Club Idea

May 31st, 2014 in About Me, Parties

I hosted my neighborhood book club earlier this month. I only get to do it once a year, actually with all the members we have I probably won’t get to do it next year. So I was excited and maybe over did it.

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Autobiographies are really just my favorite type of book. I love being able to transport myself into someone else’s mind and their life experiences. Also every time I read someone’s stories it makes me think of my own. Firoozeh Dumas is tied with Ruth Reichel as my favorite authors in this sphere of literature. Sweet Firoozeh even took the picture of our book club meeting and posted it online. Made my whole day, whole week. bookclubfoodtable

So for my turn at book club I had everyone read Laughing Without an Accent by Firoozeh Dumas. I also asked them to write a short story/essay, an experience from their lives. To read outloud so we could get to know each other better. Everyone was so nervous to do that but it was great, there was crying and laughing. The perfect mix, right?

Since one of the lessons I took from Frioozeh’s book is the beauty of culture, the respect we need to have to others’ cultures, things of that nature. I had all the women attending message me where their family line was from. Then for the food I prepared something from each of the countries. I took a trip to an eastern european deli downtown, then to a western european deli downtown, then had only two countries that didn’t fit in that mix. So it really was no too hard.

 

For the decor I found a vintage travel poster from each of their countries and printed it out.

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I also printed out a photo from each of their countries, just to see if they could pick out which one they were from.

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Celebrating our cultures, who we are, and having good food was a recipe for a great night.

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You know what! I have two extra copies sitting in my closet of Laughing Without An Accent by Frioozeh Dumas. If you want one, be the first or second person to comment, and I’ll mail it over right away. 

Things I Have Loved This Past Little While

May 30th, 2014 in About Me, Parties

First off, I love my neighborhood. I do. I am having a not my best stretch for the past while, and my neighborhood and ward have been one of my saving graces. When moving back from Costa Rica I wanted to live downtown. I still have many days where I drive there for the girls’ different things. I still one day want to live down there. But we moved back and nothing—oh man, I mean nothing–was available. So I settled on Daybreak because it had the feel I wanted and also all the parks. I’ve never been in a ward or a neighborhood where I have felt more loved. I don’t know what I would have done without all the smiling faces, friends, support, etc. It is wonderful to see how things should *work* no not perfect, but they work very well. It doesn’t erase problems, but you can see how it lifts people. It is nice to see how a ward works when people support each other, care about each other, even when they might be going through things at well. Who am I kidding, we are ALL going through things. It is sure going to be a sad day when we leave, because we are not here for forever.

I’m also so lucky to have a group of girlfriends that make me laugh, spend time with me, and I can be silly with. They are all old blogging friends that I have known for…I want to say 5+ years. Emily, Evonne, Lindsey, Leisha, Kristina (boo Kristina, put back up your hilarious writing), Kim, and Stephanie. We get together about every 6 weeks with a lot of funny texts and Facebook messages in between. When someone has internet trolls ripping them apart, we make huge hilarious cards to paste to their door. When someone has an awful Christmas, we drop a Christmas off at their door. If someone isn’t feeling well, we bring them dinner. Some very sad things have happened to some of us over the past few months, and we have been lucky to have each other during those times.

The last time they were at my house I thought up the best game. This would work really well for a group of girlfriends you have that know each other pretty well. I’ll explain it really fast:

*Draw names

*Give everyone a couple weeks to think of their person’s two most favorite things, and one thing they hate. Ask them to buy those things. Our budget was 15 or under.

*At the party, mix everything up and display it

*Have them guess everyone’s 2 likes and 1 hate

*Whoever gets the most right wins the tackiest thing you can find at walmart (mine were gangsta gnomes)

*Everyone goes home with their 2 likes. And then switch around the hate things to someone who likes your hate.

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The night ended as Evonne dressed as JayZ and myself as Beyonce  lip synching. Who knows what happened, but I love my silly friends. 

I love this little girl below. Boy is she a hard one! But she also has so much pizzaz in her, I can’t wait to see who she is one day. I love that whenever I sneeze she runs to find me and asks, “MOM!! YOU OK?!”

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I do not love that my fairy garden does not look like this anymore. Someone help me find all my fairy pieces that took forever to collect around the neighborhood! One day I will have nice things that stay nice, right?

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I REALLY loved going overboard with Abby on her book report project. She picked a scene for her favorite book series (Sisters Grimm) and we went crazy. It even talked about a smell of the room so we bought a car fragrance thing and put it behind the curtain. I MEAN LOOK AT THIS!

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Lastly, I love date night. Dear Tyler Brown, every date night I think, I really like this guy. We have the longest list of the best babysitters and we spoil ourselves to regular date nights.