Sunday, July 27, 2008

Happy Birthday, Bug!

Today was William's birthday - the big 4!
When he got up this morning he was so excited to tell me that he was now 4 years old.
"What happened to your 3?" I asked him.
He thot a minute and then said "It just disappeared."
So there you have it - being 3 disappeared and he is now my big 4 year old!

We've done some fun things to celebrate. Thursday (Pioneer Day) Rick had off work so we took the kids to Chuck E.Cheese and they had a blast playing. Friday we got a big boy haircut and then had his pictures taken. We went to lunch yesterday with Nana & Papa - not really for his birthday, but I think he thot it was. Today Nany & Papa came over for dinner and then cake & ice cream and presents (the pirate ship I got him from my neighbor's yard sale was a HUGE hit!! Yep - I am a cheapo mom - and proud of it!) And tomorrow afternoon he is having his first ever friends party. He is so excited for this dinosaur party - it'll be fun!

So here's a fun slide show of him - there's kind of a gap between new little William and then it jumps to 1 1/2 year old William - guess all those pics in between weren't digital and really, I just haven't had the time to dig thru them and scan them in - so anyways, here's our Bug!!

I guess I should clarify a bit - Bug has been his nickname ever since I can remember - since he was younger than a year old I think. And it really is the perfect nickname for him! He LOVES catching bugs and has spend a LOT of time this summer doing just that. He is such a fun, sweet little boy and I am so glad that he is mine!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

There's a Mouse About the House

This is one of the kids new favorite books! As many of you know, I have recently signed up as a consultant with Usborne Books at Home (you can see the website at and this is one of their best selling books. The little mouse there on the front comes out and he follows the arrows all through the book, going in and out of the pages as he is searching for his cheese - really a fun, cute, and educational book.

BUT, this post has a double meaning. (It really is NOT a sales pitch!!) There REALLY is a Mouse about the house - MY House!! And I HATE HATE HATE HATE mice!! And knowing that there is one in my house just makes me sick!

Rick & I were watching a show on the computer Sunday night when he suddenly sat up and started looking around. I asked him what the problem was. He said that he thot he had just seen a mouse run across the room. No way, I thought. So he got up and went to the other side of the family room, looking around. I jumped up and ran as fast as I could to the other side and jumped up on the coffee table. He started laughing at me. We couldn't see anything, of course mice are great at hiding. So I told him to pick up the couch. He did, and the little mouse went running strait into the laundry room! And Rick ran and closed the door behind it.

"You are to find that mouse and kill it NOW!" Rick laughed at me some more. I HATE mice!! Memories of all our little rodent friends in our Wellsville home came flooding back to me - yuck!

So Rick set a couple traps and he checks them a couple times each day, but so far nothing. Who knows how the disgusting thing got inside int he first place, but hopefully he has found his way out and will tell all of his little mousey friends to stay away from here or they will DIE!

And, um, it might be awhile before all my dirty laundry gets done - unless Rick wants to do it.

Tennis, anyone?

Yesterday I started tennis lessons.

I love to "play" tennis (rarely do though), but I don't know a lot of the rules, and I have no idea on the proper techniques.

So yesterday was just a real basic intro. There are just 5 of us in the women's only class (3 adults and 2 teenagers) and the 2 cute, much younger than me, instructors. We spent time bouncing the balls with our racket, trying to keep them in control (I was running all over!) and then we did play a little bit, with the focus on hitting the ball and getting it over the net.

Today was close to torture! To start with, I rode my bike. The high school, where the lessons are at, is only a few blocks from me, so I had Rick get my dusty bike off of its hangers in the garage, we cleaned it off, he pumped up the tires, and I was off. No problem. We started the morning doing a bit of ball bouncing again. Then we ran around the court a few times bouncing the ball with our rackets (reminded me of dribbling a basketball.) Then we were instructed on the fine points of the correct way to hit the ball, the front swing (I can't remember the right name now!) and the backhand swing.

We spent about 1/2 an hour running across both courts while the instructors, on the other side of each net, would lob the balls at us and we would hit them (or try to), then we'd gather the balls we'd hit (or hadn't) and do it again - over and over again, 1 person after another.

I am beat!! And then I had to ride my bike home and I wondered what possessed me to ride it in the first place. So I am now downstairs trying to cool off, drinking my glass of ice water and excited for tomorrow's lesson!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Check out my Slide Show!

Wedding Bells are Ringing

Jen & Rod were married Saturday in a beautiful outdoor ceremony. By far the most beautiful and lavish wedding I have been to! The location was gorgeous! A short drive thru Millcreek Canyon, nestled in among the trees and even some small waterfalls, is Log Haven. Beautiful Beautiful Beautiful! That's all I can say about the location.

Jen was stunning! She couldn't stop smiling!

The ceremony was beautiful - the bridal party walked down the aisle to the music of an accomplished cellist. The vows that they wrote themselves about made me cry. They each read their own and then kind of did a little spoken duet of sorts - loved it!

Congratulations you two!

And I had such fun taking pictures of my 3 little ones - the girls were decked out in new dresses bought for the occasion (on clearance after Easter - great deals!) and William was in a handsome pin striped suit. I just couldn't resist the beautiful location - so here they are in a slideshow! (ok, so I can't get figure out this slideshow, so it has it's own post above!)

Afternoon Tea

One of my bestest friends from Jr High/High School - Jenifer Tomchak, got married Saturday, July 12th. As part of the festivities , she hosted an Afternoon Tea at the Grand American hotel in downtown Salt Lake City on Friday. I was privileged to be among the few that were invited. This Tea was the first time that the women in her family and the women in her fiance Rod's family were meeting. I loved his family! Such wonderful, classy women. I really felt welcome and we had a great time visiting and enjoying our fancy tea party (as Rick called it!) I wish now that I had taken pictures of all the yummy yummy food - little finger sandwiches (ham, turkey, cucumber, hummus, egg salad, some kind of seafood) that were so fancy and all SO yummy! English scones with lemon curd and strawberry jam, and dessert - wow!! Such a selection! I couldn't resist the lemon curd dipped in chocolate and the strawberries & cream. And my raspberry herbal tea was so refreshing!

This is definitely a must do! Such a great time and beautiful hotel! Thanks again Jen for inviting me - it was wonderful - when can we do it again?

Las Vegas and a BIG Surprise!

I got home from Girls Camp about 1:00 Thursday afternoon and by 2:45 we were on our way south for the 4th of July weekend. One of Rick's best high school buddies, Kenny, and his wife and kids live in Vegas and invited us to come down. Now I really did not want to go, but we made a little deal that he get the deck done (or mostly done) and we would go. So I had time to shower - so nice after 4 days! - then unpack my yucky stuff, repack, and get all the little last minute things for the kids ready and off we went. I was SO impressed that Rick had not only himself packed and ready, but the kids were packed as well! Way to Go, Honey Buns!

So we were on our way for Las Vegas - or so I thot. Rick told me that he had a BIG surprise for we, but wouldn't give any hints, but Gabriella did - she kept asking if we were at St. George yet, so I figured we were stopping there for something. Then when I told her that we were passing thru St. George I saw Rick raise his finger to his lips and wink at her thru the mirror. So I finally got it out of him (by guessing) that yes, we were stopping in St. George, Kenny & Melissa were coming up from Vegas and meeting us there and we were going somewhere with them, and that I would not want to go to Vegas after the surprise. Oh - and Kenny and Melissa were bringing a babysitter with them - a 16 year old MALE babysitter! Ok, honestly that kind of worried me a bit. My kids have only had teenage babysitters maybe a couple of times ever and only for a couple hours and never having to put them to bed at nite. On the rare occasions we do go out at nites we swap babysitting with friends and are home by 9ish so the kids just go to bed a bit late. So yeah, I was nervous, and especially because it was a boy and I knew nothing about him! But, being the good sport, I decided that if Kenny & Melissa trusted him that much, then I needed to also. So I told myself not to worry.

We had a little bit of time before they got to the condo we were staying at (Rick's boss's) so we grabbed some Wendy's and then went for a quick swim in the pool - oh it felt wonderful!
Kenny & Melissa and their boys got there and then the 4 of us were off for this BIG mystery surprise. And I was definitely surprised big time!

Rick knows that I have always wanted to see Les Miserables. And he planned this all by himself! That is impressive! We went to the Tuacahn outdoor ampitheater in St. George - it was awesome - a little hot (about 95 degrees the whole time!) but just wonderful! I loved it - we will DEFINITELY be going there again to see more productions (probably not anytime real soon, but someday!) Thanks for a great surprise Rick!

It got over about 11 and when we got back to the condo all of my kids were still awake! I wanted to scream - they just would not go to sleep. For starters, one thing Rick did forget was the pack 'n' play for Tabitha - she has never gone to sleep in a regular bed. So I laid down with her, and Rick put the others in bed. Gabriella went to sleep pretty quickly (I think) but around midnite William came in my room, where I was still awake with Tabitha. I think we all 3 ended up falling asleep sometime around 1 AM or after. And what do you know - the kids were all awake bright and early at 7 AM!! I was one tired and grumpy mommy!

After a quick breakfast we were on our way for Las Vegas. Luckily everyone got a good nap either on the way there or after we got there - very much needed! That first day we pretty much just hung out and Kenny & Melissa made us a very yummy dinner of grilled pork, beer brats, pasta, fruit, all sorts of yummy stuff! Then we were off to see and do fireworks, which sadly I didn't get any pictures of. But I will say, I was disappointed in Las Vegas 4th of July fireworks - not what I was expecting, but still a nice little, short show and the kids had fun doing sparklers before.

Saturday we spent most of the day at Lake Mead, about 45 minutes from Vegas. It was SO hot! Near 115 degrees! But in the water it felt so good! Then you'd get out and immediately be so hot again! And it was pretty windy, too. But we all had a lot of fun - my kids LOVE going to "the beach" as they call lakes like this. It was nice that it was shallow for a good ways so we didn't have to worry too much about the kids going out to far - they had plenty of room to roam! Tabitha, Gabriella, William, Kayle, and little Kenny, getting dirty.
Gabriella's hair - proof of the wind!

Rick & buddy Kenny - Play nice, Boys!

Melissa with Kayle, Me with Tabitha, William, & Gabriella

We had a great visit and the drive home Sunday wasn't too bad either. The kids are definitely getting better at traveling. Thanks Kenny & Melissa for everything!

A Big Owie

The main reason why I was worried about going to camp was because 3 days before, Tabitha got a BIG owie.

I was helping Gabriella with her piano practicing and William & Tabitha were playing behind us. I guess he tried pulling her up and over the arm of the couch and pulled her arm too hard. She screamed. But stopped after a couple minutes and I figured whatever it was that had happened, she was fine. But then she started screaming again and I soon realized what happened. her elbow had come out of place. Nurse Maid's Elbow. We know the signs - Gabriella had it happen to her the first time when she was about Tabitha's age, and then a few other times afterwards. I called my neighbor who is a PA but just barely missed him leaving for work. So it was to the doctor we went. I knew all it should take was a little twist of her arm the right way and all would be well. Our doctor wasn't in, so we actually ended up seeing my neighbor! And oh, how he tortured my little girl! Ok, not on purpose, just trying to get her arm back where it should be! He felt it pop in but she still wouldn't use it, so he tried again. Then we had to get X-rays to make sure it wasn't broken. It wasn't. So he twisted it some more. Then when she still wouldn't do anything, he got another doctor to look at it and twist it some more. He felt it pop in again! So we were finally sent on our way, told to watch her for 24 hours and if she still wasn't using her arm to come back in. Well, I waited 48 hours and still nothing. So back in we went to see my neighbor. This was now Saturday, 2 days before I left. And what do you know - he popped it in AGAIN! So the conclusion was that it mush just be very loose and kept slipping out. So they wrapped it and said to watch her for a few days and if still not using it then to go back in for more X-rays.

Here she is, big cheesy grin, with her "big band-aid"
and her butterfly bouncy ball after we got home.
And yes, after a few days she was finally using her arm little by little and was good as new by the time I got home from camp! So now we just have to always be careful with her - no swinging her around by the arms!

Girls Camp

Ok, I am going to try and get caught up here a little bit!

2 weeks ago I left for Girls Camp - bright and WAY too early at 5:30 AM!! This year was Stake Camp and all the girls in the stake were mixed up according to what level they were. I was with another leader over a group of 10 girls - none that I knew. And they were quite the interesting group!

(WARNING: This picture was taken just before we left to go home - after 3 days and nights
of camping - we are all (missing 1 girl) pretty tired and worn out - and some of us a bit scary!
I'm the one on the left in the goofy hat!)

We went to a Boy Scout Camp - Camp Hunt - at Bear Lake. I was SO excited! I LOVE Bear Lake - we love to go camping and playing at the "beach" there. And my favorite year of camp when I was a teen was probably the year that we went to a Scout Camp, so I knew that there would be lots to do and tons of fun!

Mostly the girls in my group just wanted to play in the freezing lake - but we did get to try out Archery a few times, Tomahawk throwing (VERY hard!), we did a scavenger hunt using a compass, a timed scavenger hunt (and we won!), and got to go for a ride in the ski boat - very fun! And yes, LOTS of time spent playing in the freezing lake. A few of my girls were so excited when I braved the cold and swam out to the dock and then dived in and swam with them in the freezing cold, deep water, right after we saw a fish swim by! It was great fun!

Our last full day there we had an awesome experience - a Trust Walk put on by the older girls and their leaders. I'm not going to go into much detail here, but just say that it consisted of being blindfolded, following instructions, and going thru some obstacles. The whole point being that we need to learn to rely on our Heavenly Father and call on Him when we are in trouble. It truly was a wonderful experience. Girls who did not want to participate, ended up in tears (the good ones) and then told others "You HAVE to do it!" And I learned that I am way too stubborn for my own good (ok so that wasn't such a revelation for me!) and I really need to let my Heavenly Father help me out more that I do.

This is my group of Young Women and leaders from my ward,
just before the 3 hour drive home -

I was so excited to get to drive thru Logan on the way there and back - I miss Logan and it's surrounding areas. So many fond memories for me. That's where Rick and I fell in love, where he proposed and all the fun things he did leading up to it. We had fun times rollerblading around USU campus and drives thru the beautiful canyons. Our first home was there in Wellsville and though I HATED it when we bought it and moved in, I loved it and was sad when it was time to leave - Rick had done SO much work to it - it was our home - where we had our first 2 babies and learned so much.
I was really hoping to pick up some Bear Lake raspberries on the way home so I could make some freezer jam, but I guess it was too soon - there was a raspberry stand, but sadly, no raspberries. Hopefully we will make it to Bear Lake later this summer for our annual camp-out and can get some then!

I as a little nervous about being gone from my kids for 3 1/2 days - but I knew they were in great hands - Grandma came! They were SO excited and had been counting down the days until she came. I even called home on the 2nd day to check on them and I could tell they didn't miss me - they were having too much fun with Grandma! Thanks Mom for coming and watching them and all you did so that I was able to go to camp - you're the best!