Thursday, June 30, 2011

12 Weeks

After the pool the other night

I feel and look more pregnant at this stage than ever before...something to do with having 4 kids I guess :)

Now that I am fully showing I hope I start feeling good. After 7 weeks of yucky I am so over it...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How to Play

Our summer days usually include some water time at the outdoor pool or in our own backyard

a little art in one way or another,

and some creative play while Livs is napping:

We've had tons of LeBaron cousin playtime the past week too and it has been a fun part of the summer for these 2. Nanny's house has never been more exciting! Just today there were 20 grandkids crafting and jumping on the tramp and lunching together. Wish I'd snatched a pic of all of them together...but here's a great group shot from Lagoon the other day:

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Snowy Stewart

The LeBaron crew setting out for Stewart Falls
(all documented by Joseph as I, once again, sat this one out)

Cares and Bea holding hands in the foreground

Tommy and Jack

Glorious view of Timp and first sign of snow near the falls

And voila--the trail turned to snowpack!
Such a foreign sight when we have hiked that trail many times in June (see here) and never seen anything like it

Some randoms made it into this picture of Joseph and the kids but look at that snow cave carved out by the river. The kids all had a blast exploring inside it.

I was waiting for the hikers back at the cabin (with Livs and Nanny) where I found a snuggly Anders to cuddle

Lunching after the hike

My cute Livs--Joseph looks rather grubby in this pic but I had to post my happy girl.

We got home from the cabin around 3:30, rested for an hour, and then popped our swimsuits on and went to the pool for an evening swim. Livs has a new life jacket that she is now totally rockin' in the water. It's so cute to see her swim all by herself and stay afloat (a huge relief for our Lake Powell trip coming up in a few weeks too).

Friday, June 24, 2011


What a big adventure for my kiddos yesterday! They wore themselves out and had so much fun. All their older LeBaron cousins were there with them which, I think, made them both super brave, trying lots of "grown-up" rides like the White Roller Coaster and The Bat. Joseph was in heaven taking his big kids on exciting attractions. And no one got lost, no one got sun-burned and all had a fabulous time.

Thank you Grandpa Neil and Nanny for treating my family to such classic summer fun!

Beans and cousin Porter taking it easy

Cares and Tillie on the kids' dino-drop ride

A little bit soaked after the Log Flume

Totally soaked kids after Rattlesnake Rapids--Joseph told me Cares, Tillie and Sisi huddled close together and then got completely drenched by the waterfall at the end. Love that image.

Cares and Joseph on The Bat

My cute girl after playing at Lagoon-A-Beach

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Just Us

Right now Joseph and my big kids are on their way to Lagoon. I truly thought I was going to join them but realized it would be so much easier on my pregnant, easily queasy body to just stay home with my Olivia and nap and cuddle and play with her as needed. We may hit the pool later this afternoon, big plans for sure.

For now, enjoying some photo booth fun...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Zoo Day

Thank goodness for Joseph or my kids would not be enjoying many big adventures this month. On Saturday I had to run a rehearsal up at the U of U so my hubby and I decided I should drop the family off at the zoo while I was at the studio.

Props to Joseph for wrangling all 3 kids (and mostly a stubborn toddler who can never make up her mind about riding in the wagon or walking or being carried. And then throws a fit when she doesn't have it just her way.) I heard that my little family didn't get around to seeing everything but that the Zoorassic Dinosaur stuff was pretty cool.

We ran a few errands after the zoo and totally blew off Livs' nap. The picture below was the result around 5 that night while we grabbed dinner at Rubio's. I have to admit I kind of loved it. I never get to snuggle my baby girl like that anymore and it was so cuddly to have her sleeping so soundly and koala-like on me.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

As a Father

My father taught me to listen
To wild birds’ morning song,
To laughter of the rippling brook,
To gladness all day long.

My father taught me courage.
When I would walk away
And leave unpleasant work undone,
He gave me strength to stay.

At evening when dark shadows
Were waiting everywhere,
He helped me find a special Friend.
My father taught me prayer.

(song found here)

The children in our ward sang this lovely song today along with beautiful sign language actions. The lyrics are so sweet and simple--they had Joseph and me undone before the first verse was even over.

I think one of the happiest things in my life as I've grown older is to see the love my children have for their daddy and the love he has for them in return. It is so raw, so pure, so full of life and joy. It's beautiful.

Joseph is an amazing dad. He loves to truly play with our kids and that makes him so fun. He is the king of tickle-wars and wrestling, telling fantastic made-up tales about "Bentley the Brave" and "Caroline the Courageous" (and "Olivia the Almost Brave"), drawing anything and everything the kids can think of, and singing all sorts of songs. He also makes sure scriptures are read with the kids each night, that we pray as a family, that we work together and play together, and that our children learn what is right and wrong.

During General Conference this past April, Beans and Cares were getting super restless and just wanted to play in the freshly fallen snow. So we dressed them up and sent them out thinking we'd have so much calm and quiet to listen to the afternoon session. But again and again they came to back door and begged their daddy to come play—mostly to help them roll some huge snowballs they'd started making. Joseph was sweet to agree and headed outside to play for a bit. While he was out there Elder Scott spoke and gave the most tender talk on marriage on family. He spoke specifically of taking time out to play with his children and roll around with them in the fall leaves. He described what happened after:

The next morning about 4:00 a.m., I was awakened as I felt two little arms around my neck, a kiss on the cheek, and these words whispered in my ear, which I will never forget: “Dad, I love you. You are my best friend.”

If you are having that kind of experience in your family, you are having one of the supernal joys of life.

My husband has most certainly discovered this truth.

And I love that some of my favorite, early memories of my own dad include leg-rides, bull-rides, tickling games and the family log roll. I love that my dad now loves to play with my kids and tell nonsense secrets, throw them around in the pool, and be their loving grandpa.

I feel so blessed to have good fathers in my life and wish them a truly happy father's day.

Friday, June 17, 2011

4th Time Pregnant

*Almost 11 weeks pregnant
*Due January 9th
*Felt like throwing up since just after Mother's Day. Lucky me.

It's hard to write about feeling nauseated when I feel so submerged in it. But during the past 2 days I've started to feel a few spells of "normal" here and there--I am so grateful for small breaks. And this past week I haven't felt nearly as exhausted which has been amazing for my laundry piles and "to do" lists.

Feeling crappy is typical for me with each pregnancy but I certainly feel more helpless with more little children around who are surely feeling neglected. I have never seen my kids more thrilled to see their dad come home from work in the evening--"Finally! Someone who can actually play with us and pay attention to us!" Those are truly happy times for me too :)

Honestly, somedays it seems like a miracle that I figure out lunch and dinner for 3 children and me especially when the mere idea of food makes me queasy--and yet it is the only thing that calms my tummy. Getting kids dressed (really just Livs--the others are pros on their own) and everyone fed may be all I chalk up to the day. And if I fit in a morning and afternoon nap it is a huge bonus. It's quite a risk to have 3 playful children roaming about the house and playing together while I take 20 minutes to snooze on the couch. But they are good kids--just awesome at making huge messes while I close my eyes. I really am lucky that they play happily together and that Bentley and Cares are willing to help Livs fill a sippy cup with water or refill her bowl with cereal. I love to hear her call out "Bent! You help me?"

Here's to bolstering my energy and surviving the remaining weeks of nausea. I have averaged about 14 weeks of off and on sickness with each kid so I planning on more of the same. And then I plan on an action packed 2nd trimester for sure.

One more thing, I am bracing myself for a Christmas baby because that is just so something that would happen me. I never wanted to have a baby in December so of course I will :) Cares and Livs arrived right at 37 weeks so 3 weeks early is no longer a surprise around here...but we'll see...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Goodbye Acura

Our fabulous Acura hit the 150,000 mile mark and along with it came a few repair issues. Expensive repair issues. And so, we felt ready to try something new and invest our money in a new car rather than our old one.

Beans in the Acura as we cleared out our stuff

Last night we became the proud owners of a Toyota Highlander. Ever since Joseph brought home the 2011 Consumer Reports all about cars, I have been hoping for a Highlander (top ranks in all categories). Actually, I have been wanting one since about 2002 (when we opted for a more affordable Xterra instead) but our time finally came. I love it and feel like it's the perfect car for our family. I am such an SUV girl--especially because my parents' cabin requires 4 wheel drive to get to it most months of the year. Oh, and not to mention I live in snowy Utah.

the new Highlander

It was sad to let our Acura go. My parents owned it before we did and it was such a reliable, comfortable, good car. We all really loved it.

Goodbye Acura!

Now, any tips on keeping a new car clean and nice when 3 kiddos will be riding in it with me? Do I truly need to enforce the no food rule?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

New Christmas Plans

From Monday, June 6th, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

iPhone Pics

80's Bentley

Helpful Caroline

Fun little lunch date at my sister's house today. We had dinner there too on Tuesday night after an afternoon filled with cousin time. Our first week of summer has pretty much been highlighted by playing with the Horsleys. We love it.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Best Treat

I am dying over these gingersnaps lately.
They truly are super soft and chewy (from )

2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter or margarine
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup sugar, on plate for later

1. Mix the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and cloves well and set aside.
2. In another bowl mix with a beater 1 to 2 minutes the sugar, margarine, egg and molasses.
3. Add the dry ingredients and mix by hand.
4. Take one good size tablespoons of dough (or more to make a bigger cookie) and roll into a ball.
5. On a plate put at least a 1/4 cup of sugar.
6. Then roll the balls into the sugar.
7. Bake at 350 on an ungreased cookie sheet (air-insulated type is the best) for 10 to 12 minutes.

Delish. These remind me exactly of the gingersnaps my neighbor across the street used to make whenever she had a lemonade stand. Even if I ran the stand with her my family and I ended up spending good money on those cookies!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Summer Play

"No more homework, no more books!"

What do you do on a sunny summer day?
Set up all the cuddly animals in the sun!

And a peek at our end of year teacher gifts
(same as last year but I love them!)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

First Saturday...

...of summer.

2 final soccer games with end-of-year trophies, haircuts for the kids (and Joseph), a nap for Livs and me, tomato basil salad with our own fresh basil, and a REAL soccer game for my soccer playing kiddos (and bubbles in the backyard for sweet Olivia).

Cares had her face painted at a birthday party earlier in the day...

Have I mentioned that I have yet to use the AC in our house this year? June 4th and not a day above 80...crazy.