Friday, June 22, 2007

Happy Father's (and Grandfather's) Day!

Every year at Father's day I think of my beloved Grandpa Oliver who passed away from lung cancer when I was ten years old. He was a doting grandfather and I loved him with all of my heart. I sure hope he's accepted the gospel up in heaven. He was a great man!
How could I think about Father's Day without remembering my daddy. He was the greatest dad a kid could ask for. I had a healthy fear of him which kept me from making bad choices. He spent countless hours playing with us. Football, jumping on the trampoline, teaching me how to shuffle cards, doing the five kid hang, wrestling and rubbing kids with his stinky socks still on his feet. What a great example he has been to me. His ability to change for the better astounds me. His perseverance when the light is too dim to see the way makes me hope that there is a little bit of his strength in me. I love you with all my heart dadda!
Scott makes fun of this story. This is a picture of me and my dad taken right after I graduated from high school. He came up to me with tears in his eyes, hugged me tight and said to me, "We sure had some ride, didn't we kiddo?" That meant more than anything in the world to me. My dad came to almost everything I did, concerts, sporting events, you name it, he was there routing me on. He was my biggest fan, and it gave me a quite confidence in myself that has helped me throughout my life. Thanks dadda!
Here we are in the testing center at BYU waiting for Scott to finish with a test so he could meet my parents. I had bought that shirt for dad for a Father's Day present and he wore it with pride!
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Happy Birthday Scottie!

I needed to take a minute and wish happy birthday to my beloved spousal unit! I can't begin to describe my gratitude that Scott was born June 17th thirty years ago! He is the love of my life, the father of my children, the strength that bears me up. He is my teacher, my best friend, my example. He is tender, patient and kind. How would I make it without you?
Here is Scott's high school graduation picture!
Scott was the MVP of his high school's Varsity soccer team! And extremely cute, might I add!
This is one of my favorite pictures of my Scottie. Here he is at some scouting thing with two of his best childhood friends. Scott is the one without the dorky looking ski cap on in the middle of summer in Southern California!
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It's a Birthday Bicycle Bash!

Here's Benjamin, as always, thinking he certainly must be big enough to ride the same bike that brother rides. Even at four months old he was certain he was big enough to walk. He would continually try to jump off my lap and get moving by himself. People at church would look at me like I was some freakin' psycho throwing my four month baby all around. When we first got into the swimming pool, Benjamin was 19 months, he was sure he could swim by himself. He kept trying to push my arms away, he went under the water several times. No wonder he's already broken a collar bone and had his chin dermabonded! He is "Danger Boy."
Ryan decided that bike riding required shoes. The girls already had theirs on.
Here's Emily using all her strength to make it up the gentle slope which is our driveway!
Here's Ryan pouting after the second or third time he unacceptably wobbled on his bicycle. He has a hard time trying new things. But with his mommies gentle prodding (more like brute force) he hangs in there and picks things up well. We're proud of the strides Ryan has made. He had the misfortune of being the oldest child (like his mother before him) and we have made many mistakes on him. But he bears it all with quiet resolve and tender forgiveness.
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Birthday surprises!

Gee. . .I wonder what could be under the green blanket?
What do you know? It's a bicycle. Julia was very excited to receive her very own bicycle!
She dawned on her riding gear, her gift from Grandma and Grandpa (gee, how did they know that this helmet would match the bike?), and posed for the camera!
Here she is again posing for the camera. What can I say? The camera loves Julia and Julia loves the camera!
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Happy Birthday Julia!

On Saturday Julia turned 6 years old. Grandma and Grandpa Oliver were here from Utah to help celebrate the momentous occassion!
She lucked out. . .if Grandma and Grandpa weren't here she wouldn't have gotten the extravagent $30 double decker disney princess cake extrodinaire!
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Mummies and Sarcophoguses (sp?)

Here are the closed coffins, expertly crafted out of egg cartons.
When you open them up. . .surprise, there are mummies inside!
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Friday, June 01, 2007

Summer behavior tracker

This is the system Julia's Kindergarten teacher used in there class during the year and it seemed to be very effective. If you are behaving and being obedient your frog stays on the green lily pad. If you misbehave your frog jumps to the yellow lily pad. If you are in really great big crawl under a rock trouble you leap over to the red lily pad. I decided to put it into practice in our house this summer and so far even the threat of moving the frog to the yellow has kids hopping!
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Octupi, Puzzles and Coasters

In a desperate attempt to keep my kids busy and happy so they have no time to bother each other and me, I went to the library and borrowed a gianormous book of crafts. These octupuses (or octupi as I prefer to call them) turned out pretty cute for our first attempt. It was kinds of frustrating. We used the cardboard for gift boxes first, and they started to bend. So we had to unwind all the yarn (which would inevitably get all tangled) and wind it back onto cereal boxes. But it was worth the effort, they are much beloved!
Ryan loves puzzles, so we got a box with three inside at Wal-Mart. They are of wizards and dragons and even glow in the dark. We totally scored. One has 100 pieces, one has 300 and one has 5oo. We figured we'd start with the least number of pieces and work our way up. We're saving the one for 500 pieces for when Grandpa Oliver is here and he can help us.
Once a month I attend a stamp camp. This is one of the things we did the first time I went. We made coasters. I enjoyed it a lot and have been wanting to try it again, so the kids and I went over to our friends' house and shared the crafting fun. I think they turned out cute. Try to guess which one is Ryan's, Julia's and Emily's.
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After a frustrating bought of teenage vandalism, our pool re-opened, much to my children's relief. Here's Ryan swimming with his fishy ring and his noodle.
Here's Julia, she expertly crafted her own snorkel out of a straw.
Benjamin was done swimming after about half an hour. Testament to the temperature of the water. It was cold! Usually we have to drag him out with much wailing and nashing of teeth.
Here's Emily trying to swim for the camera like a beautiful mermaid.
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Pillow leapfrog

Wednesday they were driving me crazy at about 4 o'clock. It's amazing what you can craft when you're in desperation mode. I got every pillow in the house and lined them up from the front door to the back door. Then I had them leap over every pillow. They liked it, and it was amazingly fun and successful until people started getting crazy and slipping on pillows and falling onto the tile floor. Oh, well, nothing lasts forever.
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Sidewalk Chalk and Hopscotch

We were at the mall Monday (Memorial Day). The kids somehow got us to take them inside of the toy store. I figured we needed some summer supplies, so I got a big tub of sidewalk chalk. Emily immediately asked if we could play hopscotch. The spoiled kids are also sugaring themselves up with popsicles.
Here is Julia meticulously crafting her hopscotch grid.
Benjamin was either trying to eat the chalk, coloring on himself, or breaking the chalk into pieces and throwing them into the bushes.
Daddy came home from work in the middle of our hopscotch extravaganza!
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