Reagan’s Mermaid Party

January 31st, 2017 in About Me, Parties

QUEEN MERMAID REAGAN ORDERED US ALL TO THROW HER A MERMAID EXTRAVAGANZA:

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Her royal subjects got to work sending out her invites:

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Then we got her party favorite–flower necklaces, bubbles, and these adorable metallic seashell wants my friend Alex made for the party.

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We decorated the mermaid’s throne area…

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Ordered a magestic cake…

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Ordered her sisters to dress like mermaids as well, just no crown or spector for them of course…

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Invited everyone she summoned…

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Told mermaid stories on the front door storyboard…

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Had her servents, her older sisters do all the face painting…

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Ordered everyone to jump and play as she directred…

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Her royal subjects sang to her as she blew out the candles on her cake…

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And then adorned her with presents and hugs.

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It was a magical birthday, birthday video here:

Reagan 4th Birthday from Vanessa Brown on Vimeo.

Reagan Turns 4

January 31st, 2017 in About Me

Hasn’t Reagan been around forever? How is she only 4?! Her personality is so big and our lives revolve around her so much it seems like she has always been here. She makes things FUN, silly, and more relaxed. She is very strong and independent BUT is also very attached to me. She will chose to be around me instead of friends or sisters. But when I drop her off places she doesn’t look back. It is an interesting mix, maybe this is what youngest kids are like?

She is a strong girl in lot of ways, but her body is just STRONG. She is a wonderful dancer, it is interesting to watch a kid BORN with a natural gift in that and see it come out. Reagan is smart, fierce, protective, kind, and hilarious. Boy oh boy if I can keep her on my good side, she will be my partner in crime forever.

For her birthday she chose to have a mermaid party. To be honest it was probably the least favorite party I have done. It was outside, we rented a bouncy house, water slide, etc. It was pure chaos, normally my parties are not like that. I can’t believe I am going to type this but I am. She had a ball at her party but at one point my friend and I looked over to her sitting alone on the backyard stairs. Soon a puddle of yellowness came out from under her. When she was done peeing she hopped up and went back to play. She was having that much fun at her party. Thankfully I hosed it and her off and away.

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Aren't the mermaids my mom made her adorable?!

For her birthday breakfast she asked for pink jello, chocolate milk, and chocolate chip pancakes. She got to stay up with me that night and I believe we watched cat videos together–her choice.

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For her birthday she got some thing she LOVES, Reagan loves to be fancy. So makeup, jewelry, shopkins, and mermaid books were her gifts.

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As a family outing she chose to go to Red Robin and the movies.

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Back to School Dinner & Family Theme 2016

January 30th, 2017 in About Me

Summer passed quick and soon it was time for our annual Back to School Dinner where we announce our new family theme and receive priesthood blessings from Tyler.

This year the theme had to do with work so I gathered everything I had in the house to do with bees.

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We dined on the same menu we do every year because it is what the girls ask for. Fettuccine Alfredo with Prosciutto, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Homemade Bread, Berries & Cream, and a cake.

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Our theme this year is the formula for a successful family. It is in our church’s Proclamation to the Family. We are trying to (some weeks failing, some weeks winning) to focus on the things in this paragraph.

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Then they got a blessing from their Daddy for strength during the new school year.

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Back to School 2016

January 30th, 2017 in Our Travels Worldwide

It will be a sad day when I have girls refusing to do our Back to School Fashion show. It hasn’t happened yet and they still are quite into it. They try on all their back to school clothing down a runway to music. Then they pick out their favorite outfit from the bunch to take their Back to School Pictures in!

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Every year I look at these pictures and think, where did my little girls go? Well two still seem young. Cameron doesn’t seem that old yet. I guess it is just mainly Abby, she is teenage sized now.

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Check out our back to school Fashion Show!

Back to School Fashion Show 2016 from Vanessa Brown on Vimeo.

Montana–Flathead Lake

January 29th, 2017 in Our Travels Worldwide

Even though the water was cold one of my favorite parts of the Montana vacation was sitting on the hammock, looking through the trees at the lake.

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Sitting by the water late at night…

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Watching the little fish and tadpoles in the lake…

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And swimming in the lake. It was cold and it took a couple of days to get used to. But we got used to it by floating around in our floaties and staying together while hanging onto each other’s squirting sticks.

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Lastly, I made a family video of our trip. The first part of the video shows the reaction of the girls after jumping into the lake for the first time. It was not what I expected!

Montana Family Vacation from Vanessa Brown on Vimeo.

This Montana family vacation gets two thumbs up.

P.S. Sweet Peaks Ice Cream is amazing in Montana http://www.sweetpeaksicecream.com/

P.P.S. How can I order a screen door, picnic table, and tree covered backyard to eat all our meals at?

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P.P.P.S. Love the way my girls sleep on vacation too.

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Montana–Day 6: Llama Trek

January 29th, 2017 in Our Travels Worldwide

On our way home from our vacation we stopped to do a llama trek. I booked this activity mainly for Tyler, he loves llamas and has always wanted to do this.

All of the activities we did were fun, adventurous, and a success. But like I said, the people were not very warm or polite. So when we arrived to our last activity I was a bit apprehensive. I was really quite tired of feeling like I was a bother to people WHILE I was paying them to I guess, be a bother. I was so glad when we were greeted by kind tour guides, who were excited we were there and to take us out. This facility offers a lot of different things in Montana and I could write a long post just about how much I enjoyed working with them. So let me link to them right here: Swan Mountain Outfitters. Because they were generous, attentive, kind, and FUN.

Back to the trip, I knew this activity would push my girls (and who are we kidding, myself too) physically the most. They were going to do a five mile hike while pulling llamas. Note to parents, if you want your children to not whine during a hike and not stop a million times….HAVE THEM PULL A LLAMA. It also helped that it was shaded, gorgeous, and fun facts were given the whole way. The tour guide showed us the roots that they use to make Root Beer (or Sarsaparilla, I forget which one), the names of wild flowers (Aster was out there, Reagan’s birth flower), and lots of different facts about animals. Cameron is a big fan or minerals, plants, etc and was excited to find her favorite kind of tree out there. The tour guides even helped me carry Reagan on their shoulders.

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They took us on a wonderful hike, we crossed a stream, and had a delicious lunch in a meadow.

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But most of all I loved watching my girls pull llamas through the Montana forest. It also was the most random thing to turn my head and see a llama face right over my shoulder.

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I wish I had a picture of our tour guides so I could give them a proper shout out. But I’m so thankful to them and this company for helping me have such an unforgettable time with my girls.

Montana–Day 5: Boating on Flathead Lake

January 29th, 2017 in Our Travels Worldwide

My girls have been jet skiing a few times but never boating. While growing up myself, a couple of summers we had a boat. Two big memories I have from boating as a teenager are: #1 Having to jumpstart the boat in the dock from the car, hahaha #2 Having SO much fun with my dad. I wanted my girls to go tubing behind a boat but little did I know there would be someone in my family that all the sudden becomes very protective around boats. TYLER. Oh my goodness you guys, it was cute and cracking me up, and sometimes really annoying. He was so scared the girls were going to get hurt, left in the water, scared, etc. He showed me a line that he wanted me to drive back and forth in and not divert from. He wanted me to go a certain speed limit. And lastly, he wanted to be on the tube with the girls. Anytime he felt like I was speeding up too fast he would start screaming like someone had died. Oh goodness, I have never seen him that protective over his girls.

Quite possibly the girls could be scarred forever from being on a boat. Or maybe they didn’t even notice and had fun anyways. The water was pretty cold but by then they were getting used to the cold water and took turns jumping off the boat or jumping off the big tube.

 

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Can you feel his protective, suffocating love from the screen?! Hahaha, I laughed so hard that day. After we boated for a long time we were STARVING. I thought it would be fun to take the girls to an old time soda fountain shop. It was also a old time candy store and the girls really enjoyed eating there. The food was so good too, I told you we didn’t have a bad meal while in Montana! It was called Norm’s News Soda Fountain & Candy Shop. It was a hit!

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Montana–Day 4: Horseback Riding

January 29th, 2017 in Our Travels Worldwide

I knew horseback riding was going to be a stretch for some of my girls. It took awhile to find a ranch that would work with me on what I wanted. The ages of my kids, duration of the ride, etc. Actually took a long while but I was glad I finally found a spot. Abby and Shae are familiar with horses so I knew they would be okay. I never know how Reagan will react but once she decides to do something she is completely fine. She hopped right on that horse and didn’t look back. CAMERON on the other hand gets very nervous and can hold onto it. Most of the time when she tries something new and gets worked up I have to walk away. Which is sad–but it is just how she gets over things. She has to do it on her own, in her own head. So for horseback riding she was very nervous to get on. And when we started the trail ride she cried for a good 10 minutes. Tyler kept on just about getting off his horse to just stop the ride to get her back. LUCKILY the staff was 100% fine with me saying to just continue on and ignore it. 10 minutes in she took a breath, did SO well, and really enjoyed herself. I was unbelievably proud of her.

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It was so cool to watch the line ahead of me of my daughters riding their horses. I wasn’t worried about Reagan slipping off or Cameron started to freak out again. It was just beautiful to watch and really comforting. I hope we can be friends forever and do things like this as a family.

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After our ride the little girls got to take a ride on the tractor.

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After our ride we ate at a restaurant that I PRAY comes to Utah. How was everything from their lemonade to their macaroni and cheese to their rolls to their meat, the BEST I have had? I wish that I could transport this restaurant here. THE DESOTO GRILL

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Montana–Day 3: Glacier National Park

January 29th, 2017 in Our Travels Worldwide

Glacier National Park is something I should have devoted two (or more) days of our trip too. I didn’t know much about that national park but after a little taste of it I fell in love. Wow is that a gorgeous and magical place. Can you tell I love being around trees yet? It sits with my soul even stronger than the ocean does.

We only drove around and did a few walks around a small section of the park. I was sad to go but sometimes I can push Tyler only so far on our adventures.

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Afterwards we ate at a Saloon with the kids which was such fun and had some of the best pizza we have ever had. It is called Moose’s Saloon–customer service lacking quite a bit, food stupendous.

Montana–Day 2: Wild Horse Island

January 28th, 2017 in Our Travels Worldwide

While we were in Montana we had not one bad meal. Boy oh boy do they have some talented restauranteurs and chefs in the area. We usually went out to one of the meals each day and I cooked the other meals during the day. We had a very warm, cozy, and homemade meal from Farmhouse. If I hadn’t have had so many other places to try on my list I would have just gone there for every meal.

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It is in a really party of town by trees and with an outside stage that people perform on at night. The girls played out there for awhile and had a ball. Tyler likes to play a game with them called “Improv” where he thinks up stories for them to act out. We also had a little photo shoot where Reagan stole the show. I love watching her make her sisters laugh, be silly, and relax.

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For our activity that day we took a boat tour of Flathead Lake over to Wild Horse Island. I have one bad thing to say about Montana—most of the tour guides were pretty rude. So were the waiters, store clerks, etc. We were at the very end of their busy vacation season so I think they were very done with tourists. But our kids were so behaved, the surroundings were so beautiful, and the tours themselves were great. So we pushed the rudeness off with a  lot of patience, I was proud of us!

Back to Wild Horse Island, we started the tour learning about the hieroglyphs in the area and about the glaciers melting. My girls love anything to do with Native American tribes so that was a treat for them to hear the story behind these:

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The boat ride was relaxing and gorgeous. You guys, can I live there?

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Driving up the island we knew it was going to be a special treat. It seemed like it was a setting for a novel, something that isn’t real in actual life. That it was made up in someone’s imagination and came to life.

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We were told that there was a lot of wildlife on the island, but that the wild horse number had dwindled over the years and that they were hard to catch a peek at. After we docked the boat, ate our lunch, got the how to on the bear mace, and played in the water a bit…shaewildhorseisland
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….some beautiful RAMS came running down the hill to drink at the water’s edge. Oh you guys we were so close, and they were so beautiful. I still cannot believe we got to experience that together.

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We hiked around the island, that was a dream as well. It was so, like I said, novel like. We saw the girl RAMS (how embarrassing, what are girl rams called?), some beautiful deer, and saw the water all around us.

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The girls did a lot of just playing in the dirt, being free. I loved how dirty they turned out at the end. Shae really enjoyed this trip and led the way on all the hiking.

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As we drove away at dusk and then watched the sunset over the lake, I decided that is one of the most magical places I have been with my family. How lucky am I.

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