Thursday, July 31, 2008

Family Carnival

With Joseph's sister and her family in town from North Carolina we needed something fantastic to celebrate our time together. Flori suggested a "family carnival" a few months back where each sibling would be in charge of a booth or activity. Everyone pulled together great ideas and when we attended the carnival Monday evening it was a huge success--yay! Here's how we pulled it off (in case anyone needs a great idea for a family party with lots of kids and equally silly adults around to join in the fun!)

We met in John and Krista's big and shady backyard where Nanny and Grandpa had borrowed a neighbor's darling lemonade stand and tied tons of helium balloons to it.

Food: Corn-dogs, veggies and dip, fruit, and chips. Plus, Jim and Luci provided snow-cones for dessert as their carnival "booth."
1) Face-painting (which lasted off and on throughout the night)2) Three-legged race & bean-bag toss relay3) Penny toss into floating bowls for "penny prizes" (this is the one Joe and I ran so no time for pics)
4) Water ballooning any chosen uncle (watch out Bob!)5) Picture posing in silly farm cut-outs (can you spot my smiley Beans?)

6) Raffle (Each time we participated in a game we could write our name on a ticket and add it to the raffle bowl. There was an adult bowl for adult prizes and a kid bowl for kid prizes.)
7) Fishing Pond
8) Pinata

What a party we had! The kids were all so excited and loved playing the games together and getting totally involved in each activity. Thank you to all the LeBarons for making the carnival happen--we loved it :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Never Enough

More from Lake Powell people--click here to see.

Monday, July 28, 2008

B&C in LP

There is so much to share about our Lake Powell trip this year--we had an amazing vacation filled with tons of fun activities and fun people to play with us! It turned out to be quite the memorable year for us because it was filled with so many "firsts": Caroline's very first time there, her first Sea doo ride, first banana ride for both of the kids, Bentley's first cliff jumping experience, his first time on the huge slide, and even his first try water-skiing even though it spooked him as soon as the skis were on and the boat engine running--then he wanted out...The kids also had their first "ride" on the tubes (playing on them behind the big houseboat), first LP hike with Daddio, and first "cloud-jumping" for Bentley. It was also our first year without Marshall since he is now in the midst of School of Infantry training with the Marines. That was very weird for me and I thought about him every time we played in the water and headed out on the boat for water sports--he was always ready for anything active and I missed his youthful energy.

And since I can't post all 150 of our fabulous pics, the following 100 or so will have to do :) Okay, okay--I will try to keep things simple but it is almost impossible when 1) we were in one of the most gorgeous places on earth. I may be a little biased but the rich colors and panoramic views were simply stunning everywhere I looked all day long (fellow LP lovers know exactly what I mean :) 2) I have 2 of the most darling and silly kids I have ever met and I constantly photographed their funny faces, sweet poses and daring adventures. So, now that I have justified myself, I feel ready to bring on the pics:

2008=FIRST year for all 4 of us to be in Lake Powell together (first time I've had a blue border show up around a picture too--hmm, wonder how I did that?!)

Big boys (i.e. Tye, Ben, Joe) cliff jumping

Baby boy Max cooing for the camera (notice doting Cares in the corner--she simply could not help herself from being right by the baby at all times)

First of many tube war wipe-outs (that Joseph sure plays to win--sending poor Ben right into the water)

Wow--my hubby is pretty flexible...when sheer centrifugal force takes over... (notice our houseboat in the background--we absolutely love it)

First of many tube rides for Cares and Beans

Cares and her driving/posing skills shining through

My little olympic gymnast in training

First cliff jump for Bentley!

First Lake Powell hike for both the kids

Grown-up 's only banana ride

Cutie pie Cares chillin' in the boat

Sharing popcicles--such loving siblings...

Bentley the fish! I could hardly keep him out of the water :)

Cares and Aunt Stacey

First banana ride for Beans and Cares

Inspecting baby Max and trying to get him to smile

With Grandma Bobbi when we first arrived

Classic LP sunset

Caroline's first sea-doo ride!

Putting the houseboat slide to good use (I think Bentley roped every aunt and uncle into going down the slide with him at one point or another!)

First time in the lake for tiny Max--he was very brave as long as he didn't have to feel too much water against his skin.

Oh, I could sit and reminisce about our trip for hours on end (that actually sounds ideal now that we are home and I am totally worn out from late nights playing games and watching movies and water-ski runs that worked my poor back and shoulders). What a wonderful week--how is it already over?!

Monday, July 21, 2008

From 2 to 3

Or 4 to 5 really. In any case, our family is growing--we are expecting a new baby in early March!! Now, if I can just get through this phase of feeling like I might throw-up at any given moment then things will be much, much better. Oh the joys of pregnancy :)

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Little Bit of This...

and a little bit of that...from the Nordstrom Anniversary sale early this morning :)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Simple Pleasures

This weekend my hubby and I worked on our house like crazy. Who knew it needed so much organization and overall help?! We mainly tackled our basement and garage and were able to stow away a lot of clutter after getting those two spaces all figured out--so it has been rewarding but busy (and very dirty). The kids weren't all that thrilled about our "fun weekend plans" of cleaning--go figure... They did find one way to entertain themselves with 2 empty tupperware boxes--playing ship:
They remembered to pack up many key essentials. You just never know when you'll need a pirate sword...

My clever babes also 'roped' their daddy into playing "buckin' bronco" (a Smith family classic mind you. I loved playing this with my dad when I was little and getting thrown off his back time and time again. Ahhh--such good memories :)

It was hard to tell if they had any fun or not...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Splash Park 08

This morning we needed groceries so I promised the kids we could take a 30 minute detour and hit the splash park on our way to the store. They got super excited and dressed speedily in their swimsuits. We arrived, the kids ran around, got totally drenched, and then decided they were done. I hardly had time to take pictures before they opted to sit by me and have a yummy snack--and then get dressed for grocery shopping. It was kind of funny how unimpressed they were! I think they had fun for a good 10 minutes and then that was enough. Good thing we have the pool to hit on these hot summer days. Yesterday, Bentley went down the big water-slide at Lifetime about 30 times in a row. Splash pad vs. big twisty style water-slide--I think the water-slide wins!
Getting soaked right away

Enjoying the cool water

Happily trotting around

and deciding they're done with the water. Little rascals...

They seemed to love it last year--click here to see (wow, they've grown so much!!)