6/18/15

May


I was surprised at how few pictures I had for May.  It was super busy, but obviously didn't take time to take many pictures.   Wildflowers are huge and beautiful this time of year.
Adam's mission greenie, Jeff, is one of the inventors and owners of Mission belts.   Adam is super proud of him and was excited to see that both of our missionaries were wearing Mission belts. 
I sent Ava to school looking slightly better than this, but when she came home and looked like this it made me laugh.  I don't know what she does during the day, but she usually looks like she's run a marathon by the time she gets home.  I told her to smile and she gave me this face. Crazy girl.
Mother's day this year was more like Mother's week!!  I got to go to 2 Mother's day tea parties (within 30 minutes of each other) at school.  First was Grant's and they sang songs and played a game called "who's mom is it?".   Each kid drew a picture of their mom and answered some questions about them.  All the moms were nervous about what their kid might say about them. 
 
This was Grant's drawing of me.
Nothing to embarrassing about these answers.  Thanks Grant. 
He had to serve me brownies and strawberries before he could get any for himself.  He was so cute and happy to have me there. 

Next was Ava's Mother's day tea party.  They also sang songs, drew pictures of us and answered questions.  She made me a boutonniere to wear during the party, and she told me I got to have as many cookies as I wanted, but she could only have 2. :)

Ava's drawing of me.
Part of her booklet she made about me.
 
Noah made me a card and flower pot at scouts for Mother's day.  He also brought me breakfast in bed and lectured me on not spilling in bed before handing it over. Ha!

On the actual Mother's day, I was spoiled again.  Adam helped Noah make breakfast to deliver to my bed (it's hard to eat in bed, so I ended up coming downstairs to eat), the kids did the usual Mother's day singing in church and each of them made these cute cards (along with a cute flower bracelet).  Adam surprised me with a new fancy purse and made dinner that night too.  Definitely one of the best Mother's days so far.


When my mom was here she helped the kids make this bead bell thing, and surprisingly they kept it a secret for over a week.  They were super excited to give it to me.  They said it has to go in the kitchen window because the sun has to shine thru the beads.
One day in May Noah was coming down the stairs to tattle on Ava for doing something and he slipped somehow (he stumbles all the time for no reason) and bonked his chin on the corner of our metal stair railing.  It was deep enough it probably needed a stitch or two, but not deep enough that I wanted to take him in to get those stitches.  I didn't have any butterfly bandaids, so I found some superglue and glued it shut.  It worked perfectly.  Didn't reopen and healed just fine.
Went to open house at the kids' schools.  They love showing their siblings what they have been working on in their classrooms.
Noah's class just had butterflies hatch, so he couldn't wait to show us those.
Noah and Adam went fishing with their scout den.  They left really early and with a dad who fishes a lot. He was very confident they would catch fish like crazy.  Not 1 bite!!   Supposedly, they stopped stocking the lakes due to the drought.  Adam said they still had a great time.


The boys went to Fathers and Sons camp out in May.  Adam took a half day off so they could take the boat out on the lake.  It's a fishing lake, so they couldn't go fast, but they had fun casting (no fish, again). Another dad brought up his canoe too.  The boys LOVE Fathers and Sons.  They talk about it all year.  Adam always says he's surprised by how much they love it, because they don't do anything that exciting.   The boys tell me it's because there are no girls there. Ha!
This year for our girls weekend (during Fathers and Sons), I gave Ava the option to go to the movie theater or go to a pottery painting place.   Obviously she picked the pottery painting.  She loved it.  She got to pick out what she wanted to paint, then paint it however she wanted.  She got tired of it after a little while (you have to paint everything 3 times for the colors to show up good), so I had to help her finish it up.  She designed it and told me what to do at the end.
It  turned out really cute and when it's her turn to set the table, she likes to serve the water with it.  Now the boys want to go and paint their own tea pot, so they each have their own at dinner time. 
After we painted, Ava and I met some friends at the Cheesecake factory for dinner.  Ava got to pick out any dessert she wanted.  She chose the biggest piece of chocolate cake.  After dinner we went to Nordstroms to pick out her water shoes for summertime.   She is such a sweet little girl when she is by herself.  The whole time she kept talking about her brothers and wondering what they were doing and asking if we could buy them something.  I asked the boys if they thought of Ava at all while they were camping..........nope.  :)
 
Fathers and Sons was over Memorial Day weekend, so 'unca Eli' came over to stay for a couple days.  Adam sold Eli his old bike and forced him out of bed at 6 am to test it out.  You can see how happy Eli was about that idea. 
No napping for poor 'unca Eli' afterward either.  We went to the lake with our friends right after they got back from the bike ride.  The Tidwells brought snacks to eat and you would have thought we didn't feed our kids at all......they devoured the chips in minutes.  
 
I think Katie has most of the skiing pictures on her phone, but I found this one of me on Adam's phone.
After the lake we ate lunch at a pretty good Mexican place, and Adam promised anyone who skied or tubed an ice cream, so he had to deliver.
As soon as we got back from the lake we got ready for a Memorial Day party at our house.  We were doing dutch oven, so it was sort of a mad dash getting all the food ready, because we got home from the lake later than planned.  While I was getting food ready, Adam and Eli took the kids to the park to launch rockets (Eli brought rockets for the kids to build - he did most of the building).  The food was super yummy and the company was great.  Busy full day, but lot's of fun.  Eli crashed on the couch about half way thru the party.  :)
Noah hated watching Ava's gymnastics class, so he decided he wanted to try it out himself.  He's actually pretty good at it and really likes it.
Noah won the Life skills award at school for friendship. 
Well, that's a wrap for May.  It flew by in a flash, as do most months nowadays. 











6/8/15

April in Review


 Took a little day trip to our friends property near Tahoe.   
Noah collected all the bullet shells he could find. 
 
The kids were disgustingly dirty, so we stopped by the little creek to rash their hands, feet and faces.

 Found this fun cement slide park near our church (had NO IDEA this place even existed).  The kids ran up and down that thing for over an hour, and could have continued.  I tried it 2 or 3 times and was tired!! 

 They tested out all sorts of items to find the fastest medium to get down the slide.  Towards the end we found a small piece of wax paper that made them fly down the slides - almost too fast. 
 The slides are next to a creek, so we went exploring for a little bit. Of course Noah found some trash and turned into something that had to come home.


Easter
I was such a dud mom this year.  I didn't pull out any decorations, not even their baskets, for Easter.  Easter sort of showed up on the calendar before I even realized it was coming. :) 
As I was contemplating what the Easter bunny should bring, I couldn't get over the fact that Easter has become like a mini (sometimes not even mini) Christmas.  I realized how stupid that is.  I decided to tell the Easter bunny that he has to scale it WAY back (not that we were too excessive to begin with, but seriously I can see how out of control it can become).  
Anyway, every year the kids get new books on Easter and Christmas Eve, so they each got a new book (Noah got a few chapter books because they came in a set).  They also got some new Legos to share - smart bunny must have known it was general conference the same day and Legos is the toy of choice on conference Sundays.  
 
 It was raining Easter morning, so the wimpy bunny hid their eggs in the house. 


Ava tested out each piece of candy/chocolate before breakfast.

 Unca Eli (what the kids call him) came for Easter/General Conference.  The kids love having him around.  He's pretty good at Legos, so he was useful too.
 Eli hadn't heard of blown out eggs, so Ava was demonstrating how to blow out the egg.
 During the conference break we experimented with egg decorating.

 We tried fingernail polish, crayons, silk ties and markers.  The markers ended up being the most utilized form of decorating. 
 The marbled fingernail polish egg.  Didn't quite work like we thought.
 The silk tie one turned out cool.  We cut up Adams old ties and found out one of his ties was NOT silk (like he was told). Ha!! 



 The kids 'found' or picked some flowers from our neighbors house and decided to make a happy birthday creation for their dad.  I didn't know what was going on out front until I came out and saw this.   They were so cute putting things just how they wanted it.  They picked the grass to make sprinkles and make a smiley face out of the bark.  The funniest thing was when I looked out the window and they had Doug and Linda by the hand dragging them over (they made them close their eyes) to check out their masterpiece.
 'Hape Brthda Dad'
We celebrated daddies 37th birthday in April and he got a fancy new bike that he loves.
 Whenever I take Grant shopping it's like a blast from the past.  He loves to organize the cart just like I used to when I was little.  He makes me hand him the items and then he arranges them very neatly in the cart.
 The kids finding their inner Rachelle during Cosmic Yoga.
 
During Grant's T-ball games I take a few girls on nature walks to the creek.  
 Some pretty flowers Ava picked on one of our nature walks.  Those purple flowers are all on 1 stem - so pretty.
 Springtime in California.  Wildflowers galore.

 De=junking a little in the garage and found this gem - Adam's old clogging shirt. 
  
Adam and I got to go to Scottsdale Arizona for a work retreat.  My mom came to our house to watch the kids (thanks again mom).  They LOVED it and had a blast with her!  
This was our hotel.  To be honest I don't see the draw to Scottsdale, but the hotel was super fancy and had lots of swimming pools, so nothing else really mattered.   We got to see cousin Becca and her cute family for a few hours.  She made us a yummy lunch and we got to visit with her and Caleb.  It's so fun to see her as a mom.  We always love hanging out with her.  Move to California Clarksons!!! It's way better than Arizona.  We want to be neighbors with you. :)
 While Adam attended seminars in the mornings, I went explored the property.  They have a cactus nature walk that helped me see that cactus can be beautiful (in it's own way).

 Saguaro Cactus.  Didn't realize that this type of cactus can ONLY grow in Arizona.  We learned a lot about this cactus on some of our excursions.


 Looks like baby pineapples.

Our first excursion was a river rafting trip.  It was more of a float. Completely flat water, not a single rapid to speak of. HA!! :)  Our boat decided to liven things up a bit and started a water fighting war with all the other boats.  We ended up being the target to many water fights and got drenched by the end.  It was fun.   We saw some wild horses and learned a bit of history about the area. 
My favorite part about these trips is obviously being pampered and given gifts, but mostly I love to see what type of food they serve.  I appreciate good food!   It's nice to have every  meal prepared wonderfully for you, and not have to worry about cleaning or any responsibilities for a few days.  One night is the awards ceremony, so everyone gets all fancy and we eat fancy food.  The decorations are always over the top and the food is amazing (the Tiffany necklace was a nice touch too).  Actually, probably my absolute favorite part of these trips is talking to the other guests about where they live.  They come from all over the country, so at almost every meal or excursion, you meet people from somewhere else.  We always talk about what they like about where they live, what they don't, what their life is like there, etc.  I LOVE that part.   I am so proud of my hubby and how good he is at doing his job.  I can't remember the exact numbers, but to earn these trips you have to be the top 1% (I think, might be 2%).  Again, I could be getting the numbers wrong, but I think they said there are 15,000 employees in this department and 180 invitees to this trip.  
The awards dinner is the night for the fancy feast.  It always amazes me how many utensils, plates and goblets are set for each person.  I learned from the wine drinkers on the table what each goblet is used for.  Luckily I remembered my etiquette night from young womens, so I knew which utensils and plates were mine and when to use them.
 Adam shaking hands with all the big wigs from corporate during the awards dinner (he's on the far right with the little bald spot :)). 
 At breakfast every morning, they brought out falcons and owls to keep the pesky crows away.  They just walked around and the crows would fly away and stop trying to eat the food. 
  
 Our second excursion was horse back riding.  It was pretty slow and boring, but a couple of our guides were return missionaries from northern Utah, so we had fun talking to them about their life and future plans.  Really nice young cowboys. 
It was a nice break from reality, and fun to spend a couple days with just Adam. 
 Some sculptures in the hotel I thought Noah would find humorous.

Adam took the kids on a bike ride one evening and Ava decided she was tired in the middle of it.  Adam said she got off her bike and just laid on the ground, because she "needed to rest for a bit".  Crazy girl.
 The kids started sleeping outside.  Usually 2 of the 3 end up inside before midnight, but 1 of them usually lasts the night (Ava or Noah usually).  Well, that's April for you.  Seems like it was yesterday.  How is it JUNE already?!?!?!?