Saturday, May 31, 2014

New Preschool Grad

Olivia finished her 2nd year with Miss Angie and is more than ready for Kindergarten. I have loved seeing her progress this year and how completely happy she was to head off to school each time. Miss Angie is her favorite and she had lots of little friends in her class—some returning from last year and a bunch from our ward. Happy days with this smart little lady of mine!

 All the boys Livs' age from our ward: Zach, Creighton, Clay and Ethan
(she adores them all :)

With her sweet friend Lily

Always a special treat when Daddy can come and bring flowers too!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sunny G in May

Back to our beloved spot for Memorial Day weekend! Cec and her 3 youngest came with us again like we did last year and it was such a fun weekend celebrating Cares, playing as cousins, and enjoying the beautiful outdoors.
 Livs was worn out before we even got there and had an awkward snooze in the car

 Started the weekend off right with Swig sugar cookies :)

Park time on Friday afternoon:

Ran my farthest run (6.4 total) and maybe my farthest ever since my knee has been pretty bad ever since. Ideally I'd like to run about 12-15 a week spread over 3 days or so—working through physical therapy now to see if I can build back up longer distances.

 More pictures from Cares' birthday hike over in Gunlock.
Luke and I stayed home so he could nap and we sent the others to go explore and play.

 Saturday evening with lots of family we love!

 My cute parents on the new lounge chairs for the patio.

 Sunday morning we attended sacrament meeting and then spent a while at the lovely SG temple. 
Luke was thrilled with that plan! So we had to get him smiling:

The kids wanted to use my phone to take some pictures too. We started out normal enough and then got bored. Cares thought we were pretty funny so mission accomplished!

Memorial Day was spent playing at the pool and then packing up to head back home. We always feel so blessed to have this time with grandparents and cousins in the lovely SG desert!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Caroline is 8!

Dearest Caresie—

Such a special age for my darling girl! I am just so happy to have you in our family to be the giggliest, happiest, most passionate person around our home.

This year you had the best teacher, Miss Harrawood, who was fun and encouraging and really used your help and great example to set the tone for your whole 2nd grade class. It sure made this mommy proud of you!

You are such a fun girl and full of energy and excitement over building forts, playing AG dolls, heading off to dance class, playing with friends, organization projects and family trips. Now that I write these I know we are total kindred spirits as I love these things too :)

We are eagerly looking forward to your baptism this summer and I love how prepared you are with your extra scripture study with daddy and your desire to listen and learn as we study the gospel. You already have a huge heart which is very sensitive to right and wrong. You always feel so bad the few times you've made a bad choice or hurt a sibling—and you try hard to keep from repeating those things, learning so well how to be obedient.

You are a fantastic older sis and I hope you'll keep setting such a great example of love and happy helping and doing your best—Olivia definitely looks up to all you do and follows so many of your good efforts.

I love you forever pretty girl and hope you'll always know it!


For Caroline's 8th birthday we were down in SG again this year over Memorial Day weekend. She chose McD's breakfast (see? kindreds!)

 She chose to go hiking for a fun activity—
over to Gunlock where the desert flowers were blooming all over
 Lots of fun with cousins exploring caves and redrock

That evening we had tons of family over for swimming and cake and ice cream since Tom and Jess were in town, and Maggie and Justin are now a permanent SG fixture (yay!)

Cares was so patient and waited to open and play with her new AG doll until this trip. She and Maddie were in doll heaven all morning and played for hours until it was time to hike if we wanted to fit one in. So much fun for this sweet lady of mine and I wish she could just stay a little 8 year old forever. Seriously. It's such an awesome age full of independence and so many skills but also young enough to play make believe and do things which still make her my little girl. I love that Caroline so much!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bentley is 10

 To my sweet, oldest darling,

Happy Birthday! Cute Bentley, I am just the luckiest mom to have you in my life! You are such a good spirit with the happiest soul and most obedient nature. You are easy to parent and always such a good friend, helpful son, silly brother, and great buddy to all of us. I cannot wrap my head around the fact that you are 10 years old—a full decade under your belt while it seems like you were my tiny bean burrito just a few years ago!

This year has been pretty awesome: scoring tons of points in basketball games, running many miles every week, making lots of new friends in your 4th grade class and introducing Cares and Livs to Studio C—a huge favorite for you kids. You've also taken on a lot more responsibility with babysitting duties and have taken good care of your little brother and sisters (remember how you changed Luke's poopy diaper last week while I was cleaning up the kitchen and I didn't even know you'd done it? Super cool!)

I will always adore your tender heart and the special moments we share talking about answered prayers, how our spirits knew each other in heaven before we came to earth, and how our testimonies grow. I can tell you are sensitive to the spirit and building your faith in Jesus Christ which is incredible for a such a young boy to think about and act on. I pray always for your strength to make good choices and find happiness in your life as you stay close to your family and your Heavenly Father. I love you so much Beans and hope you will know how amazing and funny and cool and hilarious and committed you are. Happy year ahead of you being 10 too!!

—Love, Mom

Bent's birthday was full of delicious food (of course :) with breakfast in bed, lunch at Jimmy John's with Luke and me (we checked him out of school for a fun date), and a yummy dinner at Pei Wei where Grandpa Sherm joined us. Of course there were Legos for this obsessed boy to build too=birthday perfection.

10 days before his birthday he had a fun friend party up at Grandma Bobbi and Grandpa Sherm's cabin. It was pretty much 10 year old boy heaven and they had a ball playing sardines in the dark, quiet upstairs, shooting dollar store dart guns at each other, hot-tubbing, and playing games in the basement. Joseph took them all up there and entertained/fed them for a few hours before bringing them home around 9:45 that night.

 This is why Joseph was awesome fun for that party—
he assigned all the boys nicknames for their dinner cups :) 
Loved that this party was such a breeze and that my parents would share it with the boys for a few hours. It was a huge success!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mothers Day 2014

Every year this holiday arrives and I cannot feel anything but incredibly blessed. I have a loving mother who always was and still is totally involved in my life. That right there is a huge gift and I know I am so lucky to have her. But I also have a dear second mother in Ruth Ann—an amazing woman who teaches and loves and serves me as her own daughter, another huge blessing.

And then there is this life-consuming, overwhelming and awesome role that I fill as mother to my 4 darlings. Each beautiful baby has been a gift in his/her own right—how did I get that miracle happening in my life 4 times? I love my children more than they'll ever know and they have made this life of mine more real, more important, and more passionate than I ever knew it could be. It's a fairly easy road with my kids still so little—crazy busy and exhausting but they are all still so obedient and helpful and innocent that they make my job easy. It's a lovely time in our family and I hope to soak up these angel babies while they are young and gathered safely under my wing.

My little family made me feel very loved and adored with the sweetest gifts and notes from school and preschool: a handmade coupon book from Bentley (lots of free babysitting coupons!), hand print mold from Olivia, and a pretty plate Cares colored/decorated for me. Joseph made this cozy blanket too which was a huge surprise—I love it!


And then there was a bunch of yummy food all prepared by Joseph. He is pretty handy in the kitchen—I need to put him to work in there more often!
 buttermilk waffles with homemade buttermilk syrup
 and white lasagna with veggies and my favorite bechamel sauce 
(authentic Italian recipe from Mary's mission...yummmm)

Lots of love and a happy day for this mama.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Goldilocks 2014

Goldilocks 2014—we did it! After last year's soaking wet morning my sis and I were eager to to try this event again and finish a full course. We chose to do 40 miles knowing Cec had never ridden that far before and it would be a good goal to complete.

This race was the day before mother's day so mid May but it was not a lovely spring day! The weather that morning was so risky—windy, way cloudy, and the forecast changing from 30% to 40% chance of rainstorms. We were stressed but just hoped it would hold out long enough for us to ride at least most of our course. We knew we could handle a little rain but not a downpour—those are freezing and super slick on a bike.

 Joseph dropped me off at the starting line in Daybreak and I wore lots of layers in case it warmed up and I could ditch some. I did get rid of my gray half-zip and about 10 minutes later wished I had it back!

Squished amid the group of women riding 40 miles, waiting at the start line. Our start time was 8:30 am and I was amazed at how many riders there were just for my group. It was a weird feeling when I usually ride alone or with just a few other people—I do not like sharing the road with so many cyclists! We stayed in a pack for 5 miles or so and then the crowd slimmed out and we had plenty of space.

This was around mile 8 or so and it looks like things were clearing up. Too bad it started hailing on us about 5 minutes after I took this picture. Then it turned into light rain that lasted about 20 minutes or so but we just kept on riding! It wasn't too wet to slow us down but it sure chilled us. We didn't stop at the 17 mile snack/aid station because we weren't tired yet and it ended up being a wise move to  just keep our hearts and lungs pumping so we could stay warm!

I love that this race was right in my "backyard" and stayed so close to home and the roads I am very familiar with. My cute family came out to cheer me on twice, once when we passed our little neighborhood right at the beginning, and again right near the end. When I met up with them this time I had texted Joseph to being me a neck gator as the north wind had picked up and was making me so cold riding right into it. I also look very happy because Cec and I had just stopped at the last snack station a mile or so up the road and we had eaten pretzels and bananas and chocolate and swedish fish. Seriously those pretzels were soooo good! Funny how I was wanting that salty snack but it makes sense since sweat drains a ton of salt from the body. 

We took this right after we crossed the finish line. Hooray for us! It was such a great ride and we were just really grateful the weather was pretty nice to us and didn't take us out with a deluge.

I vote for 70 degrees and lots of sunshine next year while we ride 60—who wants to join us?!