Friday, August 24, 2012

Back to School

"Fall is here, hear the yell. 
Back to school, ring the bell. 
Brand new shoes, walking blues. 
Climb the fence, books and pens.
I can tell that we are gonna be friends."
We're Going to be Friends by the White Stripes, Napoleon Dynamite soundtrack

That song is such a great one, and it's been running through my head a ton as we've just finished our first week of first days back to school.

Olivia started preschool on Tuesday, a day before the big kids started, so they were very helpful in making her feel excited and ready, and cheering her on as we dropped her off:
 Princess "pack-pack' hand-me-down from big sister. Livs LOVES it.
 The little lady chose her own outfit all the way down to the socks. Too fun :)

 1st grade girl!
3rd grade boy!
(never mind the watermelon we had cleaned the mud off of and hadn't yet taken inside :)
The kids all did so well this week. Caroline has been falling to sleep in record time at night—she is not used to waking up at 7:15! It's been a great start so far, 3 days in anyway. And I have to admit it's been lovely to have 2 kids around most of the day—we got so much done: cleaning the toy room, tons of laundry, a 3 mile run with the double stroller, and an ever blissful Costco outing with both children sitting happily in the cart :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

8 Months

Growing like a weed this boy! He just seems to be getting longer and longer and stretching out some of his delicious fat sad for me. Yes, he is still plenty beefy but he slips out of the Bumbo more easily lately—a sign that his thighs are slimming down. And he hardly fits in the Bumbo anyway since his legs dangle way down and kick against the table as I feed him. 
Luke is officially on the go and moving everywhere. He still hasn't figured out how to go from sitting to crawling but when he tumbles over he is eager to get moving on his belly. He has sprouted 5 teeth and has 1 more cutting very close. He jabbers and talks and sings all the time. When he is feeling frustrated he truly jabbers "mom mom mom" and it gets me every time. I know it's just an easy sound for babes to make but how cute that it sounds like he's calling for his mommy, right?

Another new trick: Luke has learned where the door is in his room. Whenever he wakes from a nap he now turns himself perpendicular in his crib, pulls down on the bumper pad and peers up over the edge of the bed so he is staring right at me when I come to get him. It is pretty adorable—especially because he gets so excited with great big grins and squirming wiggles of joy.

Needless to say Luke is the darling of our family, always the favorite amusement for the bigger kids, and still our soft, sweet, baby boy. We cannot get enough of him and love him immensely!

Monday, August 20, 2012

End of Summer Fun

School is right around the corner but we're not there yet! We have been playing a lot the past week and enjoying the freedom from schedules and homework and lessons.

Luckily our Joseph has a birthday in August so we can always count on him for crazy fun.
He took the kids to Boondocks 2 days in a row! Once to play laser tag with a big group from the office (happy birthday Mike!) and then again since he got a free unlimited pass on his birthday (and I came then too). The crazies got soaked on the bumper boats and then we all made bank in tickets playing Skee-ball:
 The birthday boy and his new Tarmac (he bought it used from his Uncle Dave but I hear it is fast, "like a rocket" according to my brother-in-law who rode with Joseph this morning).
And a delicious German chocolate cake from the master herself, Ruth Ann. I love how Nanny still spoils her kids by making their favorite treats.
Saw this idea on Pinterest and it was a huge hit. It was so easy to make too--I just found random things in the junk drawer and in the basket to head back up to the toy room, threw in some leftover gems from Cares' birthday party, added water to this big tupperware, and stored it in the freezer overnight.
We learned a few minutes into it that sunglasses were important to wear as little ice chunks were flying all over. It was a surprisingly wet and cooling activity for a summer afternoon and the big kids especially loved being "antarctic archeologists"--coined by Bentley of course.
A fun park day at a spot we haven't visited for a long time--gotta love the cool sand excavators.  

Today we hit the aquarium. Huge highlights: baby sharks in the shark tank (my kids thought they were the cutest), and sharks out for petting: a leopard shark, a horn shark and lots of cat sharks. Such a great addendum to our Shark Week feast last week!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Blackridge Reservior

We finally made time to play at the Blackridge Reservoir just right up the hill. It really is such a close beach and completely free but somehow we mainly end up at Draper pool when we need some water play in the summer. Now, after washing out sand from towels and swimsuits the past few days I realize why the pool is so grand! We actually love swimming outdoors anywhere we can.
We did have fun up there last week. The kids and I played at the lake on Wednesday afternoon and then we met up with our friends there again on Saturday. We love the Barnes! All our kids match up exactly in age and get along so well (plus Bentley needs that surge of boydom when he lives with so many girls :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

35 for the Birthday Boy

35 reasons why I love my 35-year-old husband:
(I've never done one of these lists before so here goes--should be easy because my Joseph is pretty much awesome :) 

1. He's so very funny. He makes me laugh at least 10 times every day. Aren't all great marriages built on humor?
2. He's tall (which means he gives me the perfect hugs where I fit right under his chin and feel so small and safe wrapped up in his arms.)
3. His curls.
4. He's smart.
5. He's easily the most creative person I know and I love that he gets to use his artistic skills for his full-time, real-life, grown-up job.
6. He's kind.
7. He's very friendly and outgoing and has helped me become more so during our marriage.
8. He's completely trustworthy and reliable (and all that other scouting stuff...)
9. He loved his mission and served with all his heart.
10. He loves the Gospel and the Savior.
11. He loves me perfectly even with all my imperfections.
12. He is an amazing father and serves/plays with/adores/teaches our kids in all the right ways. Plus, I am pretty sure he LOVES being a dad.
13. He loves his family and has great friendships with them, and he continually prays for them too. I appreciate his loyalty to and love for them so much (and that he is equally engaged with my family too)
14. He loves sunsets and taking pictures of them often.
15. He is a true Apple devotee and has taught me everything I know about computers.
16. He is always warm. Love that during our cold Utah winters :)
17. He smells so good. Yes, just before work in the morning all fresh and clean. But even during our long sweaty bike rides he smells just like his Old Spice deodorant. (Lucky!)
18. He's officially way too good at every game. Ever. So I just try to have him on my team whenever I can (unless it's Canasta and then I have to play girls against boys just to see if I can win for once!)
19. He's strong...ask him about the time he helped our landscaping crew move the hot-tub...
20. He's determined.
21. He loves to try new activities/foods/vacations while I like to keep with what I know and love. He helps me push the envelope every now and again.
22. He's so hard-working.
23. He's the best sleeper I've ever met.
24. He lets me sleep in way more than I ever let him.
25. His family is...amazing...all of them. I love them!
26. He is so very patient, especially with me and very forgiving.
27. He likes to scare people. Now, this is not my favorite when it comes to scaring me but if I am privy to his plans to get someone like my little brother or Bentley then it is very fun :)
28. He is fast on his bike and has incredible stamina. I am so proud of him when he crushes my times on Strava!
29. He gives the best homemade gifts (it helps that he is a graphic designer and has so many options at his fingertips, but he truly puts a lot of time and thought into them which always shows through the final product).
30. He loves candy. It's so endearing to me that he truly lights up "like a kid in candy shop" when he is in a candy shop!
31. He tells the best bedtime stories to our kids and their cousins when we are together.
32. He loves to travel as much as I do.
33. He is the most calming and peaceful force in our home.
34. He loves to be nerdy with me and just hang out on the couch together basking in the glow of our laptops :)
35. He is my favorite plain and simple.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Summer iPhone

Some of what we've been up to via Instagram and the iPhone:

This is my red hot just been for a bike ride face. Honestly, I am addicted to cycling. Joseph and I love biking dates as much as movie dates and we take turns during the week riding in the mornings/evenings. It is by far my favorite way to exercise. It is just so beautiful being outside and working hard. I am so excited for the fall too--best biking weather for sure.
 The Sound of Music at Hale Center Theater--such a fun date night with the big kids
Silly jumping shots outside Fro-Gurt
 the baby boy is getting close to sitting up on his own for more than 2 minutes
Morning LP kids ready to load onto the lake
 Sewing diapers for Teeny Tears.
 Dinner date with my amazing friends. Going on something like 20 years of them.
Just another fire right up the hill from us--Pinyon Fire. This picture is from Wednesday afternoon and I borrowed it from my friend's blog. She lives just around the corner from me and this fire looked so close and impending from our neighborhood (even though it was still a few miles away). We are so lucky it stayed behind that hill and that all are safe and sound. I have so much love and gratitude for the hard-working firemen who keep saving us from danger!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


One of our favorite August traditions: a day at BYU to visit the Museum of Art and the bookstore, and then lunch at Los Hermanos. Hopefully we are bringing up mini cougars in the process!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Day at the Museum

Natural History Museum: 
Sitting inside a huge dinosaur foortprint
 digging up fossils in the big dig area
Just after as we wound up the ramp past these huge (amazing) dinosaur bones we ran into 2 of my Smith cousins and 2 aunts (Barbara and James/Kim and their kids) and Pam and Charlotte). I'd just seen the ladies at a bridal shower for another cousin the night before but it was fun to see James and their cute families, and to show off my darlings a little bit too.
This sand and water table was Bentley's favorite thing. He could have played in it forever! I loved how easily he joined in with the other boys there and started working with them to build dams and route water.
Gorgeous skyline from the top level of the museum. Hard to believe that Lake Bonneville used to cover that entire valley from where we were on the hillside all the way to the mid level of the Oquirrh Mountains in the background.
Natural history...astounding and overwhelming to me all at the same time

Such a grand outing for us! Luke was very sweet hanging out in his stroller most of the time we were there. We left for them museum right when he woke from his morning nap but then he didn't sleep again until we were 5 minutes from home—a long 4 1/2 hour awake stretch but he didn't make any fuss about it. And then once we were home he pounded out a 3 hour snooze in his bed... good baby! We are trying to soak up our last weeks of summer and we're lucky he's so flexible with all our adventures.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Powell 2

More fun in LP:
 Once the big kids were brave enough to try the slide there was no stopping them 
(love Caroline's pointed foot :)
 Kayaking adventures:
The hubby and I even escaped for a little kayaking date.
I was so sore from water-skiing that I could hardly even paddle—Joseph basically gave me a nice little tour of Gunsight Canyon while I relaxed!
 So still and gorgeous and quiet up there.
Wednesday morning we loaded everyone up and hit Antelope Marina and Cathedral Canyon:
Luke was a pretty good sport about wearing a life jacket
We happened upon this boat just across from the marina. We learned that it caught fire while a guy was refueling it. Crews towed the boat away from the marina to let it burn out and we saw the ambulance boat dock and load up a very burned man. So sad.
 Antelope Point has a fun little swimming area (it was pretty slimy/mossy but felt great in the heat!)
 Luke lounging in the shade while the kids swam
Back on our beach: 3 darling boys in matching swim shirts!
A hiking adventure with all the dads and the LeBaron kids:
My brave little cliff jumpers:
 So fun to capture these kind of shots with the waterproof camera. Good idea babe :)
A few shots of my fearless Olivia. She LOVES the water!
Until next year...