Things I Loved This Late Spring

October 15th, 2016 in About Me

Two days after Shae’s birthday is my birthday. My birthday weekend was our ward’s Youth Conference. We went up to Aspen Grove in Provo. It really is a beautiful place and I was with my favorite girls so it was a nice time.

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People dropped by with beautiful gifts on my birthday. It was very kind, I live in a wonderful neighborhood. My family ACTUALLY SAVED ME PART OF MY BIRTHDAY BREAKFAST. That in itself is a miracle.

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Cameron is a MASTER gift gifter and gave me a craft pack for my gift. She had everything in a bag for a craft to make, her and I.

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Tyler and I went on some fun dates. One date was a walk around the lake and watching a movie outside by the lake. I wish Tyler had time to cook all our meals. When we lived in Costa Rica he did. Wouldn’t you love a handcrafted sandwich like this for date night?

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The YW and I worked on a #iwasastranger project. I had all of them earn their own money to buy things for a ‘First Day of School Kit’ for the project. In the canvas bag was an outfit, a notebook, and an extra thing (they picked from a hairbrush, lotion, something like that). Then we painted the outside of the bags and put them all together. I was so proud of all of them, I just think all these girls are so incredible.

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Mothers Day is getting better and better each year. Because my girls can do thoughtful things on their own. Check out my stash of gifts from them:

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Then they did the most beautiful thing that I think anyone has ever done for me. The girls know that I lost my baby blanket at the farmer’s market 4 years ago. I had baby Shae wrapped in it and it fell off. I went back for a few weeks in a row asking people if they had seen it. The girls had asked Tyler to take them to a store so they could buy me a new blanket and teddy bear. Then they led me on a treasure hunt all around the house and gave it to me. They were so proud of their idea and what they had done. It was the most beautiful thing, I will remember it forever.

Shae & Reagan also did a little program at their school for all of the mothers.

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The older girls and I had a fun morning this spring. We went to a new cafe and ordered coffee cake that was out of this world. Then we went to the Compassion Project which is a visiting pop up human rights exhibit. It is a couple trailors set up and you can walk through them and see how kids live in different parts of the country. You listen in the headphones to what their life is like and it is done very well. At the end you can help out by sponsoring a child in one of those countries.

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My sister came to visit from California. All I remember doing now is letting the kids run around naked in a river and at a park. Her boys crack me up because they ask all the time, “Mom, can I take off my shirt?” Which is NOT ¬†a question I get at my house, so it makes me laugh every time I hear it. Shae & Reagan ran around with them in THEIR way, shirtless!

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We had fun doing after rain walks, feeding ducks, and looking at all the different signs of spring this year.

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I have a wonderful friend that lives further down my street. The girls love to go visit her and this spring she taught them all about the slugs in her front yard. How to race them and kiss them correctly.

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Our family had a day trip to Park City and we ate at an Italian restaurant. The girls and I did some outlet shopping with Tyler had an appointment.

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Abby & Cameron worked hard on training for their 5k. They ran 3 days a week to an app. The app would cheer them on, tell them how far they had to go, when to walk, and when to run. It was a goal they worked on for 12 weeks. In the spring they were in the middle of their training.

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Our family still really is having a hard time with Rocco being gone. Shae keeps like seashell by her at all time, it is her Rocco seashell. She says when she holds it up to her ear she can hear him breathing.

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Abby was in another ballroom competition with her friend George, video here.

Lastly, I helped their dance studio get ready for their fairy festival. I did their dance team bulletin board. Although I think I have been let go this year, sob. I loved doing it!

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Shae’s Farm Birthday Party

October 15th, 2016 in Parties

Shae asked to have a bunny birthday party. When I was looking around to see if there was a company that could bring bunnies to pet for a party, I found a traveling farm. A traveling farm! Well that needed to happen. Shae at school was friends with all of the boys in her class. They were all so sweet to her, let her play with them, and were so kind to her. The girls in her class had a lot of drama that year. Shae really keeps her distance from anything that has even a little bit of stress of conflict. So she asked if she could invite her school friends AND her neighborhood friends. I said yes but did not realize how huge of a party that would be. I pulled it off but I don’t know if I can ever do that again.

 

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Shae and I have birthdays two days apart. Something I loved about where my birthday fell in the year is that sometimes I got to have Easter parties as birthday parties. So I asked her if she would like to have an Easter egg hunt at her birthday party. She loved the idea and I went to town finding the best stuffed Easter eggs I could online for the party.

Most of the party was going to be in the backyard so I just put up some simple directions inside for the theme.

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Her cake was perfect for her party, and HUGE, and heavy! She picked a chocolate chip cookie flavor.

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The farm that came had a donkey, bunnies, chinchillas, tortoise, bunnies, pig, chicks, and a goat.
I had to split up the kids so half were in the petting farm and the other half were playing games with our babysitters.

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The kids got bunny ears and to go on an Easter egg hunt for party favors. The Easter egg hunt was a hit and the kids sat on quilts while going through their eggs.

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This is the first birthday party in a long time where people brought presents. Holy moly, that was a lot of presents!

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Here is a little video from the party and a group picture. It was fun to see all of the boys that Shae loves and that were so kind to her during her school year.

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Shae’s 5th Birthday

October 15th, 2016 in About Me

My angel baby exited toddlerhood, her as a baby is long gone, she turned 5. She just can’t ever turn 6, I would like her to stay at 5.

On her special day she woke up to her requested breakfast; chocolate milk and heart pancakes.

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She got a few cute gifts and loved/hated being in the spotlight. She loves the extra love, she doesn’t love everyone staring at her. It makes her a bit uncomfortable.

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A couple weeks before her birthday we gave her an early birthday present. She acted the same way (video here), she loved the present but hated the attention! We got her two bunnies but sadly the did not last. I shall tell you the little story:

Meet Spotty–then Freckles. Now meet Thumper–then Pumpkin. Shae’s sisters talked her into changing the names. We loved these little bunnies. The bunnies were SWEETIES and easy to take care of. One day I sent Shae & Reagan to go give Freckles some carrots. They came running back in and said Freckles was sound asleep and wouldn’t wake up for the carrots. I ran in there and saw that Freckles was dead—and also covered in baby carrots. It was the day before Shae’s birthday and I told Tyler to hurry and find a bunny that looked just like that to replace it with so she would never know. He found one that was white and I thought up a good white lie. I would tell the girls that since they fed Freckles SO MANY carrots that his spots went away. It worked. Although this new bunny was all white, has red eyes, and doesn’t like to be touched. A week later Pumpkin died. It was so odd they were acting totally fine and happy and the next day–dead. It turns out that the lady who sold everyone this liter put online that ALL OF THEM HAD DIED. She thinks it was some gene mutation. So I told the girls that Thumper had ran away to go live in a field. Now we have one HUGE, white, red eyed bunny that doesn’t like to be touched. We take good care of it but–it isn’t the same.

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Back to Shae’s birthday–for her birthday she chose to go get her hair done. There is a place down the road that just does washes and styles. Shae picked to have her hair braided for her party later in the day.

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She had her huge farm party (next post) and then for our late night mini trip she chose to go to the little library a few blocks over. My friend runs this little library and she loves it.

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Shae got some birthday money and spent it on Shopkins. She felt so big going to a store, picking something out, and buying it with her own money.

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Shae is my angel and she had a wonderful 5th birthday.

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Moab-Odds & Ends

October 10th, 2016 in Our Travels Worldwide

Sadly, I don’t think we ate anything really good in Moab. They need to up their foodie game! I did cook a lot at the home. We rented a really great home in Moab that had a community pool. Boy do my girls LOVE to swim, they could go on a vacation where all we did was swim.

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The girls loved where we stayed because there were big bunk beds in one room where they all fit. That is what they talk about most from the trip–getting to sleep in those bunk beds.

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The weather was perfect. The girls were dolls. Moab was such a great family trip. It was the first family trip we did since Mexico. Which was not a fantastic trip. I’m glad we can start traveling again together!

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Moab–The Arches

October 10th, 2016 in Our Travels Worldwide

Wow, being in the Arches had me feeling like I had traveled to some far away country. Everyone really must see the Arches at some point in their life.

Boy oh boy was the weather perfect. Light jacket in the shady places, no jacket in the sunny places. I had Reagan on my back during the hiking–probably the last time I can pull that off. It was not hot and we did a lot of short hikes that the girls could do with ease.

 

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Little video of the girls enjoying the Arches here:

Moab–Native American Day

October 10th, 2016 in Our Travels Worldwide

Abby & Cameron have both taken a Native American camp at the Natural History Museum of Utah. They always love to hear Native American folklore, learn what games they have played through the centuries, watch clips of their ritual dancing.

So I knew in my plans in visiting Moab that we needed to see some Native American¬†hieroglyphics while we were there. I knew before we went that it was the “Birthing Scene” but I wanted to see if they could guess it. And they did! They are very fascinated with how their bodies hold eggs and that one day they can create another human inside themselves. So the birthing scene was a nice choice for them.

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I have such interesting & smart girls.

ALTHOUGH, I do remember at the end of this I did a picnic dinner for everything. And everyone complained about every little thing that I just sat in the car and ignored them all. Haha, sometimes those interesting & smart girls can be such stinkers.

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Moab–Jeeping Day

October 9th, 2016 in Our Travels Worldwide

I want to catch up on blogging–I hope I can make it happen. This Moab trip happened six months ago and so I am trying to remember all the fun little details.

 

Jeeping was the highlight of the trip, the girls adored it. My two younger ones are dare devils and my two older ones are scaredy cats. So it was fun to see Cameron & Abby loosen up and have fun. One of the dips was called the “Belly Button” and that is a memory we won’t forget. Abby has a weird phobia–for years—of belly buttons. So we relentlessly teased her that she was in fact–sitting in a belly button hole.

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On the tour we saw some more dinosaur tracks. The guide showed the girls how far their step reached and where the pack probably was heading on this trip. The guide company did a really great job. The owner drove the other jeep in our group and had 6 daughters. His new son in law was driving our jeep. Their banter was cracking me up. Oh man when Tyler has 4 son in laws—will we survive?

 

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The other jeep took video and so our jeep is in some of the shots, you can see that video here. The views were spectacular!

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Reagan and Shae were letting out sequels the whole time. Abby was nervous at first but when we got over the first part was on board. Cameron maybe 1/3 of the way in was on board. Man Moab is so beautiful and April is the perfect time to go, perfect weather.

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If you do a jeep tour go to Dan Mick, it really is one of the best tours we have had in all our traveling.

 

 

Moab–Dinosaur Day

August 1st, 2016 in About Me, Our Travels Worldwide

For Spring Break we headed to Moab, Utah. Tyler and I spent 2 days there a few years back and we have wanted to take the girls back ever since. There is so much to do in Moab and I feel like I could fill another week full of what we didn’t do. So we will just have to go back!

I planned the trip around my girls’ likes–one of their biggest loves is DINOSAURS! So of course I had to do a dinosaur themed day.

First we went to Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail where there are real fossils and imprints in the land from dinosaurs. Can you tell how excited my kids are?

 

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Then we went to Moab Giants to walk around on their man made dinosaur trail. It is pretty cool to see their recreations of the dinosaurs.

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My girls were in heaven, such a cool dinosaur day for them. And in perfect weather! Not hot at all, but not chilly.

PS Cameron was very excited to come in contact with some minerals she is in love with!

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Easter

August 1st, 2016 in About Me

Easter this year snuck up on me so we did all our Easter things that morning. We dyed eggs, made PB chocolate eggs, and got ready for a dinner. It was just our little family. I really love my little family.

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The Easter bunny came that morning and brought random–what mom had in her closet presents. I forgot to buy things for Easter, I’m telling you it REALLY snuck up on me.

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We got ready for church, I did NOT forget to buy Easter dresses! We went the cowboy route because we are going to Montana for our summer vacation.

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We had an Easter dinner and talked about our Savior. Such a fun Sunday!

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Things I Loved This Early Spring

August 1st, 2016 in About Me

My brothers have close birthdays so I took them out to a new restaurant for their birthday. We had crab, oysters, mussels, octopus, crab cakes, and scallops. JB hadn’t had some of that, one of them he thought tasted just like drinking a cup of sea water.

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Abby finally was brave enough to learn to ride a bike. It has been a huge fear of hers so this is a big deal that she can now do this!!

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We took the girls to go to the open house of the Provo temple. Shae said it was full of upside down birthday cakes–all the chandeliers everywhere. Then we went out to eat and I got this shot.

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Abby, Cameron, and I went to the dedication for the temple as well.

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St. Pattys Day is always a day I wish I put more thought towards. But it is right around Abby’s birthday so it never gets the attention it deserves!

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I went to a couple fun cooking classes. My sister Laura and I went to a Pie, Galettes, and Crostatas class. Pie dough is such a delicate thing, it was fun to learn the science and technique behind it. Tyler and I went to a donut making class and that was trouble. Now I know how to make the most delicious donuts and eclairs.

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The girls took some spring break summer classes downtown. One day was at Bad Dog Arts making fun art projects. The next day was at Zaniac for a robotics class. Lastly a day at Salt Lake Culinary Institute learning how to make some Asian dishes.

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Lastly for April Fools Day I did the only thing I ever do….spring my kids with silly string in the morning. That is another day I wish I could give more attention to but its in birthday season!