Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Grandpa Clark

My dad took us to the zoo when we were in Utah. We had so much fun with him! We enjoyed the cool, comfortable weather, watching the animals, and time with Grandpa.

Carter loved riding the train!

Lily was the photographer behind the camera for this shot.

Two ferocious spiders!

Grandpa and the girls.

We were all tired after the long day of walking at the zoo. Carter insisted that Grandpa carry him. Thanks, Grandpa!

The next day we went to the Clark Planetarium. My kids loved this place! They were so interested in the Foucault pendulum. They loved the anticipation as the pendulum swung closer and closer to knocking down the next little key. Grandpa followed those kids all over the planetarium...upstairs and down, and back up again!

Here's a cool story: we had lunch that day in the nearby food court. As we were walking out, I saw a cute little baby girl in her stroller...and I recognized her! I didn't recognize her because I had ever met her, but because I keep in touch with her mommy, my cousin, via our blogs! Baby Quinn was in line with her daddy (who I also wouldn't have recognized if not for our blogs!). So I stopped and said hi and he told me my cousin, Crystal, was there! So I made a beeline over to see her. I am so glad for our blogs that have kept us in touch! Love you, Crystal!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Drive Up

The kids and I drove up to Utah together for our first big trip of the summer. Some say the drive from Phoenix to Provo can be done in 10 1/2 hours...but I've never braved it with the kids, especially without Aaron.

We usually break the trip into two days but this time we split it into three, having playtime with cousins both nights. We drove the two hours up to Flag and stayed with Neal and Chris the first night. Fortunately, Topher, Natalie, and Joey and their families were there...so it was a super fun par-tay! I didn't get any pictures but we had a lot of fun!

The next morning we drove from Flag to St. George. It took us 6 hours, with two bathroom/nursing stops. Our first stop was at Lee's Ferry. We walked out on a bridge across the Colorado River and even saw a native California Condor perched under the bridge. Arizona is beautiful.

The kids on the bridge.

We stopped for a minute by these gargantuan rocks. I asked the kids to stand by them for a picture but they refused because they were afraid the rocks would roll and crush them.

We visited the St. George temple grounds. It was peaceful and lovely there. These are my two willing models. They were happy to sit still for me to photograph them.

Carter, however, was on the go. He only held still long enough to look at a motorcycle and a fire hydrant.

Carter thinks these things are so cool. He likes to count them when we're driving. He notes the different colors and shapes of hydrants. He doesn't yet know why dogs like them. I'll keep that one a secret for as long as I can, otherwise, he might want to try it too.

Carter is holding a pass-along card. They are a friendly way of sharing our faith with others. I visited with a sister missionary who is serving in the visitors' center with her husband. I noticed a French flag pinned on her lapel and introduced myself to her in French. It was so much fun to chat en francais! I was utterly shocked to learn that in May 11,000 francophones visited the St. George temple grounds! Usually around 4,000 pass through per month. I couldn't believe it!

We had a grand old time playing with Sherrie and Gayle and their families. They are two of the funnest families on the whole planet! I am so glad we belong to each other. My kids had a great time playing with all our cousins. It was so much fun. In that first leg of the trip, Hazel met 16 new cousins!

The kids and I got in the car to make the last leg of our trip up to Provo...and the van wouldn't start. Turned out I needed a new battery. So sweet Sherrie tagged along with me (held my hand, really) while I got a new battery. Thanks, Sherrie!! We got on the road a few hours later than hoped, but it turned out a-okay. I was just glad the battery died in St. George rather than in the middle of the desert. We were blessed. The last leg took 4 hours. When we reached Provo, the magnet was pulling us to Jordan and Kelly's house to meet our brand new cousin, baby Ian.

He is sweet and sleepy, just like a newborn should be. I could see lots of Kelly in him at the beginning of the trip. By the end of our two weeks there, I was deciphering some more of his daddy in him. He's a precious boy. We love him!
I have a wish list of things I'm wanting. It has things on it like a concealer brush and a hand wheat mill. Well, my list has just grown one item longer. The Silhouette, a digital cutting tool, much like the cricut...but better! You don't have to have cartridges for it! It comes with images, you can use the fonts and images from your own computer, and download more from their website for 99 cents. Yikes!

Thrifty Decor Chick is doing a giveaway for one. A million and two people have entered the giveaway. I did too. You can too! Good luck to us!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Kindergarten complete!

Sending Lily to kindergarten was challenging for me. I missed her terribly when she started all-day kindergarten. We settled into a routine through the school year. While I missed her, I'm so pleased with the education she received this year. Now the school year has ended and we're nearly a month into summer and having a great time! We had a fabulous trip to visit family in Utah, which I'll post about in coming days. First things first!

She received an award for knowing all 70 phonograms in the Spalding curriculum. I loved the uniforms the kids wore this year. It made dressing for school in the morning easy, provided an atmosphere of modest dress, and decreased perceived social classes based on who has the coolest clothes.

The kindergarten teachers at Lily's school are amazing! Lily learned about all the presidents of the United States and the founding of our nation. The kindergarten put on a fun and stirring patriotic performance with song, dance, and word. Lily was Thomas Jefferson on Mount Rushmore.

"I'm a Yankee doodle dandy, a Yankee doodle do or die. A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam, born on the Fourth of July!" Those little kids were so cute dancing up on stage. I loved it!

Ms. Carol and Lily were good pals this year. I'm incredibly thankful for her positive influence in Lily's life. Now my Lily has lost her first two teeth, can read, and is an official first-grader. Wow!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Happy 31st!

My man is getting old! Okay, not really, he's just as old as me now. Aaron was out of town for work on his birthday. He said the folks at work sang Happy Birthday to him and were surprised to hear that he is 31 and has three kids. Good for him, looking like a young 'un.

He got home right at bedtime so we had a late dinner and birthday celebration.

We gave him cowboy boots, which he's been wanting for several years now. Hooray! His parents also gave him a Cutco knife. Wahoo! My parents gave him gift cards for Red Robin and a leaf blower that he's been wanting. Well, his gifters know what he wants!

Aaron doesn't love birthday cake. So he got brownies with Breyer's mint chocolate chip ice cream. It was delicious! Hazel was intently focused on the candles on Aaron's brownie. Lily was too, in fact. She tried to blow them out for him. :)

Aaron is an amazing man. I couldn't ask for a better husband, friend, and father of my children. He is incredible! Happy birthday, Aaron!

I'm so proud of him!!!

My little man is learning to swim. This is really out of his comfort zone. Carter has played in the pool every summer, but at his age, last summer was a life time ago and he doesn't really remember it. It's time for him to learn to swim.

Like I said, it's out of his comfort zone. He cries when his (fabulous) swim teacher takes him into the pool, but he's learning what she's teaching him. He swims to the edge of the pool and walks hand-over-hand to the stairs to get out.

I can tell that, even though swim lessons have been scary for him, he feels a sense of accomplishment and pride for learning to go under water, swim to the edge of the pool, go around the edge of the pool to the stairs, etc. I was worried that he would be scared of swimming and not have any fun. But today we hit the jackpot and he had fun in the pool!...We played tag and he loved it! He floated in a tube and we chased each other all around the pool.

He even goes off the diving board! Not willingly...but he does it, and then swims right to the edge and over to the step. I'm so proud of my little guy! Here's to a summer of fun in the pool!