Saturday, February 28, 2015

Also in February

Olivia's 100th day of school. She had to make and wear any kind of hat for their little kinder parade through the school. We had a dollar store New Year's hat on hand and she decorated it with 100 colorful gemstones.
 She also got to have dress down if she chose to dress like a 100 year old lady :)

A new adventure for us was an outing to the Curiosity Museum at Thanksgiving Point 
(on a random school free day). Joseph works around the corner from it so he met up with us over his lunch break that day. We were almost the first ones there but it got busy so quickly! We have a Thnks. Pt. membership again now so it we hope to be in and out often over the next year.


It was an unbelievably nice day in the middle of February (ergo my kids in shorts in all our pics). I sat on the playground of the museum and soaked up the warm sun while the kiddos explored and ran around. Also, I am in love with these shoes and I'm sad they've gotten so beat up this winter (only because I wear them all the time! Leopard print goes with everything!)

We also had a family movie night one Sunday over at Joseph's office. It really isn't much bigger of a screen or better seating but my kids thought it was the coolest thing to venture out somewhere new and watch a show (we ended up watching Maverick which Bean and Cares loved, and it kind of bored the littles about half-way through!)

I indulged these cuties in finger paint one morning and it was short-lived and super messy but they had a ball! This picture makes it look so tame which it certainly started out as...and then they just wanted to cover page after page with solid, soaking color in goopy heaps so that's when I decided they were done :)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Olivia's PJ Party


 Olivia's 6 year old birthday party! My kids are such party planners (I'm pretty sure I help fuel their excitement looking at Pinterest with them and brainstorming ideas :) Livs had her heart set on a PJ party complete with dolls, her favorite food, donuts, and crafting and coloring.

 We spent a lot of time getting things ready for her party which included making these little doll-size sleeping masks. They turned out so cute and I loved using up lots of fun fabric remnants I had laying around.
We also made fun dolly notebooks, again using up craft paper pieces and adding colorful washi tape

  I didn't grab a picture but we had little Mason jars for party gifts full of lots of girly things like hair ties, a ring pop, tissues, and hand sanitizer. My Olivia loved gathering items for those and had them all assembled for her guests 2 full days before her party!

 The table all ready for party guests (of course the wrapping paper cover and banner decor were all handpicked by Olivia. She has remarkable taste :)

 The girls colored an AG coloring page when they first arrived

 We brought Livs' tent down from the playroom so the girls could play in it off and on.

We made beaded bracelets for the girls and then tiny ones for their dolls (or stuffed animals) and our big craft was decorating sleeping masks with rhinestones. I found a killer deal buying them in bulk from amazon and then we used up gems from our craft stash (I think tons were leftover from Cares' party 3 years ago when we decorated sleeping masks too!)

 These 3 were at the party because 1) Livs adores them and thinks they are the coolest (and Cares really, really wanted to be included, and 2) to be my party helpers and help all the little girls with whatever they needed since I was the only adult around. They were very silly and totally giggly the whole party and not actually all that helpful :| It was no big deal until it got distracting from the party and Livs was getting frustrated. It all worked out but I did have to sit down with Caroline after and get after her a little bit, especially when we had talked about things beforehand that she had clearly disregarded. Gosh these ladies got really hyper! It was actually really funny for a while...and then not so much :)
 Anyway, what would a party be without yummy snacks? We had deluxe donuts and mini powdered donuts with fresh fruit, yogurt, granola and sprinkles to mix however each girl wanted.

  Livs ended the party opening gifts and happily posing with her little friends as she did so.

 It ended up being such a fun event. My friend Lindsay took Luke and Bentley for me during the party and I got to hang out and craft and play with these cute girls. So glad we could make it a great day for our special girl. She has the cutest little friends and cousins!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Birthday Festivities

 Breakfast in bed!


 A genuine American Girl doll. Grace is the girl of the year and has adorable freckles and pretty highlighted hair so Livs fell in love and just had to have her!

 She and I got pedicures together after school 
(worked out nicely for me that she wanted me to get one too :)

 Texas Roadhouse for dinner per her request. And she really wanted to make sure she got a chance to sit on the saddle and have the staff sing Happy Birthday!

 We were lucky enough to have Grandma Bobbi join us

 Later in the evening Livs and Joseph had a fun chat with Nanny and Grandpa Neil (Livs is holding her new AG doll backpack that Nanny made and sent all the way from Texas for her birthday)

After baths the kids cracked into the new Magna Tiles Grandma Bobbi gave Livs (and the other kids—an expensive present so they are for all the children...and Joseph :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Olivia is 6

Dearest Olivia Ann--

Happy Birthday beautiful girl! You are such a giggly, bright spot in our home and a loving, patient sister. Thank you for being Luke's best buddy and playing with him every morning before Kindergarten. I absolutely love hearing you two in your make believe worlds as you play puppies, house, and princesses, and as you host your own Disney Toy Collector videos with the things around our house.

This has been a huge year for you starting Kindergarten and you have been a star student! You a such a smart little lady and things like reading and math come so easily for you. I love how kind you are to your school friends too. You seek out to embrace everyone and are a sweet friend to your whole class. You've also been loving your ballet class and are becoming a joyful dancer!

I just love you so much Livs! I think it's been easier for you to get along in our family as you have grown older each year and I really like seeing you work things out with me or big siblings when we frustrate you. You are so easy to play and laugh with, you have brilliant ideas and creative artwork, you share love and notes and huge and kisses all day long, and you are one gorgeous girl. I adore your cute dimple, your pretty blue eyes, and your lovely blonde locks. Most importantly you have such a good heart and help keep our home a happy place on a daily basis. Thank you for being my 6 year old girl!

--Love, Mommy

Monday, February 16, 2015

Valentines 2015

 FHE heart attack per tradition

 Valentine' boxes! Thank goodness Joseph is such a pro!

 Bentley's class party — his last one :( I still love that he loves to have me there. Maybe that will never change? Please?

Valentine's Day fell on a Saturday so on the actual day we had ourselves a gorgeous day for a long ride all the way out to Eagle Mountain.

 And then we spent the evening on a family date with our 4 crazy darlings. Pretty perfect way to spend the holiday of love! 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Early February

 Smith family gathering to celebrate my Dad's birthday 
(and the other February babies in our family)

 A morning at the aquarium with Cec and her young ones for Connor's birthday party.
Cec's kids were off-track and had lots of free time to stay and play while we had to get back to afternoon kindergarten.


 Fantastic read that I soaked up for a week. It was a little slow getting into but I loved learning about rowing and learning about a sport I didn't know anything about. Plus anytime I read about really hard, physical work it motivates me to push myself just a little bit harder with my own physical efforts (my inner athlete yearns to sweat and work and exhaust myself just because it feels so dang good! These rowers were pretty amazing physical machines and I loved hearing how life and struggle and work in the real world helped them to achieve greatness on the water...lots of life lessons there).

 Another fascinating read that I wanted to remember as I raise my children. These were key points I snapped screen shots of so I could have them to discuss key issues with Joseph and how we want to teach and help our kids. I am totally on board with doing things for a reason and investing our hearts and souls into all areas of life —to really live it and find the good and marrow in all of it, even it's hard and even if it's time consuming and even if, in the end, we don't win or make the audition or get some kind of prize. The beauty is in the journey and how it shapes us along the way.

 Preview of Livs's recital costume! She dancing to "The Circle of Life" from Lion King in this year's concert.

This is actually from a Saturday date we had on January 31st – but I never would have guessed we'd be biking during any day in January at all! This was the great winter that wasn't — Utah just really wanted to be in spring mode as soon as January started and I think I got about 10 outdoor rides in that month. Crazy!

 Pretty deer while hiking the Herriman trails one afternoon. I never knew I would love living in the foothills so much but I am a huge fan. Open space right outside my door, trails and hills right in my own neighborhood and views of the valley and Timp at every turn.

 February also marked the end of Bentley's Jr. Jazz season. His little team worked so hard this year! These 5th grade teams were really good and very tough competition. It's cool to see the teams getting better and better each year but I know it gets frustrating for Bentley to struggle to get even a little space so he can take a shot. He worked hard though, played his best at every game and even made a few baskets so that was really rewarding for him. His team has 8 players on it but somehow these 6 were the only ones who showed up consistently for games and practice, and for many games they only had 5 boys there which meant they didn't get any breaks and ran their hearts out for an entire game. As always I am so proud of my guy when he puts so much work and effort into anything — and I know he had a great time with his team.