Thursday, July 30, 2009

pop rocks...


Or something like a firecracker you throw down.... never done it but the girls enjoyed daddy time on Sunday morning as they used up the whole box in sheer excitement!
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More fun!





Ok - found another few cute sprinkler pics. The fav thing right now is to jump in the sprinkler, jump on the tramp - alternate as needed and then finish drying out with books on the patio furniture. It's great... Little G will learn someday the similar joys.
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Sprinkler Fun



nateWe were given a sprinkler and we tried to put it to good use that very day. Unfortunately it needed to be stuck into the ground... a slight overlook on my part. So, we put it in planters that flooded and ultimately had daddy go out and hold it for the girls. It really is a cool sprinkler with balls that when put in to it, pop out the top and daddy had a good time setting records for the longest balenced ball. We've since broken out our other sprinkler and have enjoyed it too... Our porch is finally cleared off and its a nice little retreat in the cooler summer evenings.
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ABC Bday!


At the request of my persistant children, we had to have a birthday party for something a few days back. After some thinking, I had an idea. We'd have a day full of appreciation for the alphabet, everything we'd do would have direct connection. So, we started with abc pancakes...we almost made it to z, and Gabe found he really liked them too. Then, we did alphabet hunt through the house to see if we could find things that started with all the letters of the alphabet. We listened to some fun abc songs while we did it. It was a good time. Then we made sugary cinnamon cookies and had a abc 'cookie walk' with some friends over. They wrote out a letter and when I called the letter they happened to be standing on they could ice a cookie writing their chosen letter with icing. It turned out wonderfully! We even made our mac and cheese noodles into letters at lunch. It was a grand time! The only thing we forgot was the official birthday song... oh well. I don't think the kids noticed.
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Monday, July 27, 2009

Ch - ears!


My sister was able to come by with her kids and our cousin and spend part of the 4th of July weekend with us. It was nice to see her, although the cockroach that she woke up to on Saturday really didn't start the day off too great. That's another story. Bugs. The kids here are getting the 'hairs' off the corn so we could eat it. It was nice to have a group working together for the feast of the day, and I think they had some fun of their very own. The boys found out what 'bullheads' are, why we don't anger the ants, how big cockroaches in the desert get, and what a monsoon is. Quite an eventful time here in just over a 24 hour period. This picture captures the fun that we had while they were here.
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Happy Father's Day... way late!


So - my dad's Father's day present was really late, but I thought it was a cute idea, so I took a picture of it. It's all the grandkids around the world. All the grandkids love grandpa. He's always so patient, soft-spoken, and willing to stop what he's doing to read a book with them. They love that about him. I love my dad and I'm so glad the girls have been able to get to know him as well as they have. We hope to have many more wonderful memories with him!
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Sunday, July 26, 2009


Hello, This is Brian telling YOU the story Jessica won't.

I took Jessica out for a date (finally) around dinner time. It was a warm evening here in the desert. All the kids were out of sight, out of mind at the babysitters - just the two of us.

I decided to really step up the night and take my sweetheart out to eat. After some (long) discussions trying to find what she wanted to eat, we (she) decided on Wendy's.

A 10 minute drive and we were there. I open the door and walked her inside the establishment for a delicious dinner alone.

We were 2nd in line and decided on what we wanted. Jessica, a salad and .....something. Me, and number 2 with a 5 piece nugget and a large Frosty. Jessica also decided she wanted a Frosty, but she was going to go back up order that she told me.

Most of the family in front of us had sat down and I think the husband was left to order. He had finished, paid and then sat down with his family. We were next.

Jessica orders, followed by me. I pay and the guy starts to get drinks and Frosty's.
BEFORE he comes back, Jessica decides to take a bite of my Frosty when I wasn't looking. When I turned around and noticed her snacking on a SMALL Frosty, I couldn't help it.

The red Frosty cup, not only signaled that it was a small sized Frosty, but oddly enough, looked just like the previous order's small Frosty on the counter that was now.....MIA. What was even more magical, was the fact that the order taker had not yet returned to bring anything from our order.

While my wife knew something was up based on my reaction, it was still unknown to her. I simply told her that I ordered a LARGE Frosty,that was a small and was there when we stepped up to order.

In an instant, she realized what had happened. Her face was beet red when the guy returned to bring MY Frosty, and had a puzzled look on his face when he saw her with a soon.

While she won't blog it......I will.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mixed Blessings...

Being in the RS Presidency is a mixed blessing. I had wanted so badly to be a 'part of the action' before I was called to be 2nd counselor. It was a talk with my mom that made me realize that I can still do so much without being in the Presidency. Right after that - a call to RS was offered. Funny how God works.
Its been a year now, and I've learned so much that I don't think I could have learned any other way. Gospel principles that have truly eternal importance as well as physical importance. I can see how the principle of self reliance is so important - so crucial and basic. It is a fundamentally important building block in our lifestyle yet so many overlook it. Tithing, Repentance, the list goes on. I see sisters come to the ward with bright smiles and willing hands receive so much that the Lord has for them, and sisters whose emotional or mental hurt can be physically felt from across the room. This calling has given me some great epiphanies and also has been very trying at times to think "Why can't we all just get along?" or "Doesn't everyone try to not be offended at all these little things?" What harm a cross word, or look, or even a non-intended deed can do to a strong faithful member. It is truly scary and makes me think about where my own faith is built upon- rock or sand?
The hardest thing that I have seen is sisters whose potential and radiance illuminate the room the minute they walk in- this is just the set up. The sisters have no idea that you can look at them and see Divine Potential reaching beyond the skies. They might not be members, or they might be inactive... but they just don't realize their true potential and where true happiness is. You hope and pray for them. You work with them and encourage them to do their best. However, Satan is a very cunning and wicked man who spins a web of deceit and hate in so many hearts. The sister has one particularly personal tough trial. The deception begins where they feel lost and alone and angry at the world. And although they still think "I'm going to be the best I can" You can see their grasp almost truly seeing this- just loosen from the Rod of our Savior and as the winds blow on them, they step away from the Iron Rod. It is painful. Heart breaking. Now they just, "hope".
It's just a smidge of what our Savior sees every day. Children in broken homes, lacking the basic necessities of life. Women who think they are only worth what the media tells them or what some 'man' says they are worth. Good people making very very poor choices that will have eternal consequences. And I cry, and I can only imagine the amount of tears shed by the Lord for each and every sister. He knows them and me at a much more personal level- seeing all we were called to do before this life and it must crush him beyond imagination when we refuse to use the atonement. To use the tools he has given us on this Earth to make it back to him: scriptures, Visiting Teachers, prayer, temples, etc.
I look at my daughters and just hope beyond hope that I'm doing all I can to help them feel their divine inheritance as Daughters of God. I want them to be the Princesses they want to be. I know they can feel Christs' love even more than I can at times. Chloe calms instantly when speaking of Christ. Eva is a little more spastic but she knows Christ brings happiness.
“Our challenges, including those we create by our own decisions, are part of our test in mortality. Let me assure you that your situation is not beyond the reach of our Savior. Through Him, every struggle can be for our experience and our good (see D&C 122:7). Each temptation we overcome is to strengthen us, not destroy us. The Lord will never allow us to suffer beyond what we can endure (see 1 Corinthians 10:13).” - Robert D Hales.
Let me be His Hands on Earth. Let me feel true compassion for my sisters' souls. Let me not abuse my responsibilities I've been given on this Earth and forever remember to Endure to the End.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

9 mo checkup

Gabriel had his well check today. 18.5# and 29 inches long. He's growing more every day!! The kids were at a friends house while we went to the doctor and it was so nice to just have mommy/Baby time. He is quite a fun little tornado when he knows it's just him. Oh -and yesterday after bites of veggies he's refused for a million times, we started clapping for him. He clapped for himself then, too.
I'm having a hard time officially putting Chloe in homeschool, and not putting Eva into preschool. They are two different birds, to put it lightly.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

9 months... My little Brute.

9 months and he's almost walking, crawling is completely mastered by now as well as pulling up on everything. Shaking. Everything. He's my little "Brute" and I love him. He's destructive, picky with food, and clingy - to me right now- and always watching. He laughs with his sisters and teases them with his binki. He crawls to them when they cry and gives them fives, kisses and hugs for the better. He loves to get into dirt, water, and anything he can watch smush under his little palm. He gives daddy the biggest grin of the day where his eyes almost close behind those big long lashes when he sees him come home, and eats all his food when daddy's doing the sound effects of boy-land. He looks at mom as if to say 'nice try' when she attempts similar sounds. He is shy when strangers say "hi'", ducking his head into his shoulder, or the neck groove above my shoulder whichever he can reach first. He loves to swing at the playground, hates the grass and dirt on his feet, and never sits still. He is my little tornado. My little destructor. My little boy!
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I love this picture of our girls at B's work picnic. It was chilly up on the 'mountain top', so they cuddled with each other. At times they cannot stand being in the same room without having drama, and yet here they were together on something. Picture is worth a thousand words. They really doooo love each other, and I have the proof! It makes me think of my own sisters and how we come together sometimes at odd times but we do even though we have a lot of differences. I love my sisters too. A lot.
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An addition to Grand Canyon Railways Post....

A Christmas Carol book... reeeally old.
Richter's at the Grand Canyon. Watch out for the blinding legs of light!! It was pretty cold that day so we didn't mind huddling close.
Brian shows the kids the Valley and at the end of the day what do they say their favorite thing was, "A Squirrel." Go figure! At least we've got pictures for the someday when they really do care. I love the funny things that stick out to them, and their simple perspective on the world around them.
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Eva gets in on the Easter Event

Easter Egg action!! She had such a grand time watching them change colors. She could understand so much more this year it was really fun!
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Easter in June... why not?

We had a very busy Easter season this year, and the girls didn't get a chance to dye eggs. I kept promising them the egg dy-ing and finally in June, it happened. Beginning at 10pm Chloe helped get the eggs into the pot to boil. We had promised her that very day and she fell asleep at 5... when she woke up we couldn't say no. And look at the happiness!!
The next day after Daddy got home from work, we dyed and dyed. It went fast and Gabe shows his involvement here, right before lunging out towards the cups.

We had Easter egg hunts for a week!! It was actually quite fun to do when it's not the normal time of year.
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8 months... June

My attempt at those cute little butt pictures you always see in the Dr's office. I think you're supposed to do this before they can turn around and crawl toward the blinky things though. I was as you can see... not very successful.
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Lessons in Camping ...

Our first fishing event in
Arizona was quite amusing. Not only did Brian label me a high mainetance camper, but we forgot camp wood and flashlights. We had lots of food and lots of blankets though. Also, the girls learned that outhouses are disgusting, smelly and dirty. They much preferred our little pink potty in the privacy of our tent to the smelly fly ridden outhouse. I couldn't blame them much. There's an art to camping that I just lack sometimes. We hope to go more frequently as this did put lots of family time together and help us just 'be' without the pressures of job, callings, bills, cell phones. I also learned a bit of geography. Apparently, when the description was mentioning 17 miles S of Heber, it was talking about Heber, AZ not Heber UT. Who knew? I just assumed because it was a Heber, and a mormon sounding name it was in UT. Well I guess as someone once said, "You know what assuming makes?" Yes, the day before the trip I sure felt like an ars as Brian was explaining to me how this was completely on the opposite side of Arizona no where near UT. So, next time I'll have to pay more attention to the maps. But honestly, this lake was the most bug free, picteresque lake I've seen in a long, long, time. I think the fish were safe to eat, too! That beats out Lake Erie by far, and the Maumee River where we grew up. The girls wanted to get daddy a fishing pole for fathers day so we did. He hadn't been fishing in years, and I've never been fishing. Trying to buy a fishing pole while they all really look the same is very difficult. We hope we picked out a good one and to avoid liability for silly bait, I had the girls pick out a few hooks and bait things. Chleo and Eva went with daddy a day before the trip to get Barbie fishing poles from the other mass store out here. No options really but I'm glad they're happy with Barbie. These even had little butterfly's on the end so Brian could teach them to cast without killing someone. Eva was hoping to catch a Pinkie Pie fish, and Chloe was truly grateful not to have really caught anything. Although she does have quite the fish story to tell about losing her hook. We'll let it slide. She's 5. Fun camping stories' is where it's at for us. Not always reality. We could see the fish although they swam right by our hooks. I couldn't understand why there was such little talking associated with this bonding sport. Very guy-ish. Not for me as we all can presume. Chloe wasn't bothered by long silence, nor was Daddy. We fished until the sun went down and then came back with sunrise. Beautiful!!
The fishing trio. Chloe has found a new love, Eva has found out a new 'unfavorite', and Daddy has rediscovered the art of fishing.
Gabe and I hung out with the snacks.
We were blessed by the presence of some Bald Eagles. Chloe spotted them, and I said, "sure, honey. maybe." And ya know it? She was right!
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