Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Over Christmas Break, we braved the snowy roads to drive to Utah, where we met up with my parents, Aunt Ninnie, Uncle Andrew, Aunt Lenora, and cousin Henry! It was a blast! I have a lot of other posts to catch up on all the fun we had, but had to start with what was the absolute highlight for J and M - visiting BYU! Talk about a blast from the past. Coop and I haven't been back to Utah since he graduated nearly 10 years ago. It was so weird! We were too old to be students but too young to have kids there. Just kinda some weird old wanna-bes! Ha! But It was super cool getting to show them around to our old haunts. 
We ate in the Wilk, then again at the Creamery, walked all around, played with the Eyring Science Center's cool gadgets, enjoyed Minerva Teichert's collected in the JSB, bought t-shirts (thanks Nana and Bopa!) and remembered the "good, ol' days" when we talked about getting married right there on that piece of grass. The kids enjoyed it way more than we would've ever thought!

Bean life science museum

We remembered having taken baby J to the Bean life museum before we left BYU. If memory serves, she was terrified of all the stuffed animals until she saw the butterflies. And then it was the happiest day of her short life. So naturally we wanted to terrify a whole slew of new kids!
Baby L wouldn't have even been a snack for that guy. And she was surprisingly unfazed. J and M's favorite display:
And Dude thought this bird was the most hilarious thing he'd ever seen. He could not stop this ridiculous laugh. That is until he turned his head and saw he was face-to-trunk with a giant elephant. He yelled, "WHA?" and froze. Love that kid. 
Zebras are such cool looking animals. G was slightly nervous. 
And seriously, the way they posed these guys was amazing. Really got dude's imagination going. The kid is obsessed with animals so he was basically in heaven. Almost as cool as if he could follow the Kratt brothers around!
Not so scared anymore. Just a ham. And a Cougar fan!
I know I'm a nerd but I just couldn't resist a staring contest with these guy. He looked so serious. The kids thought I was genius, which, of course, was the point.
And M with her all-time favorite animals.
Such a cool place! So glad we went!!

Monday, October 06, 2014

Papa and the park

In the fall, Papa came to visit and help out a bit for a week. It was so nice having him here - the dishes have never been so clean! On his last night, we took advantage of the won't-be-warm-for-much-longer weather and headed over to our state park for some bonfire fun. Everybody was pretty excited!
Did I mention how helpful it was to have an extra set of hands?
The older three and I went exploring before the fire was ready looking for the best shots of the evening sky. So pretty! Nobody step in fresh buffalo chips!
G finally woke up and joined us as we let Tazz do some more exploring in the other direction.
She was ready to run!
This was the first time most of the gang, including Papa, had enjoyed the wonder of tin foil dinners. Too bad we forgot our utensils. 
M with her flaming ball of marshmallow char. To each their own.
Baby L watched from a safe distance. The kids had so much fun they wanted to know if we could do this for FHE every week! 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Our Little Evil Genius

Baby G isn't so much a baby anymore. I'm not sure there are words enough to adequately describe the tiny little human she has become. I'll try though. She is a darling demon. A smiling sandstorm of terror. A happy little hellion. A charming one-man wrecking crew. A scheming, twisted, plotting, mischievous, chaos-causing...I should probably stop. You get the picture by now anyway. The crazy part is she does it all with the cutest smile on her face! And has no conscience whatsoever. She's trouble. Right here in River City, or wherever we are. Here are just a few of the crimes she's committed this month alone:
-Cracked raw eggs on the counter and floor.
-Devoured bags of marshmallows or chocolate chips that were hidden in the highest kitchen cupboard.
-Dumped out 3/4 of a new shampoo bottle.
-Dumped out the nutmeg.
-Dumped out 1/2 the GrapeNuts box and a whole bag of Rice Krispies (I'm sensing a pattern - she likes to dump).
-Poured half the salt shaker in her spaghetti.
-Smeared paint all over her baby sister's standing saucer. And her baby sister.
-Colored with markers on the carpet, her sister's bed, herself, the table, the walls...need I go on?
-Oh oh, colored with Dry Erase Marker all over the computer screen and keyboard.
-Pooped on the curtains. Yes, the curtains.
-Pooped on the CD player. Yes, we still own a CD player. You have to put actual CDs in it.
-Pooped in a towel, wrapped it up and then slept on it (WHY WOULD ANYONE DO THAT???)
-Emptied all dresser drawers during most nap times.
-Made sure there was no longer anything hanging up in the closets.
-Repeatedly sprayed her baby sister in the face with a spray bottle.
-Escaped nap time to go wake the baby.
-Cleaned the bathroom by scrubbing everything within reach with toilet paper that she dipped in toilet water (this one's a favorite of hers. Can't tell you how many times she's done it)
-Smeared toothpaste all over the bathroom mirror.
-Put the puppy at the top of the slide.
-Painted her face with glitter nail polish right before church.
-Climbed displays, hid in toilet paper fortresses, and disappeared completely when our backs were turned at Walmart.
-Colored with permanent metallic marker on the chalkboard.
-Tormented her brother by stealing his favorite everything.
-Transferred all her food from her plate into her full water cup, skewered a whole apple with a fork and shoved said apple like a plunger into her cup again and again. And then tried to balance her plate on top.
I know that most kids do or have done these things at some point in time (or at least I tell myself that to feel better). It's just how many of them she manages to do in a single day that blows my mind. And ruins my house. To say nothing of my sanity! It's a phase, right?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New school year! 2014-2015

Sadly another summer has come and gone, which basically means winter is upon us. Not that I'm dreading it or anything... But these great kiddos are growing like weeds, and about as numerous as them as well. I just can't believe how big our elementary schoolgirls are:
Not to forget the crowd at home! This guy insisted on a school photo as well and having seen the girls indicate their grade with their fingers, he gave me this:
Not sure what that's supposed to mean but it's so him. The little girls are not to be forgotten either. No seriously, don't forget to keep an eye on them or you cannot imagine the trouble the fashionista on the left can cause. We are hoping that she will graduate from potty training this year (sooner rather than later) and that Tiny will be accepted into the sleeping-through-the-night class that we'd all like to join. She could also use to grow some hair. Ah the exciting things this year holds!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Picnics are the best!

Our kids are pretty much convinced that picnics are the finest way to dine. They beg to have them daily. And when we do eat outside, they then beg to have them twice daily! 
 What could possibly be better than this?
 Even L agrees. Summers rock!

Monday, August 04, 2014

6 months old!

It is just mind blowing how much babies learn in the first 6 months! I'll do a quick review of some of her developmental achievements of the last few busy months. Just look at this little rolly goober learning that she has tasty toes:
 She's been trying to crawl for weeks now. She'd assume the position and rock, inching one knee forward and then inevitably pushing backwards to try to sit up instead. Silly girl. 
And speaking of sitting up...
Ta dah! She somehow mixed things up a bit, learning to get into a sitting position before she learned to actually sit, but did master the sitting itself shortly after turning 5 months old. 
 Okay, mostly mastered. She falls sometimes too but is never unhappy about it!
She's also learning to play with toys. This face clearly says, "This is so much fun!"
 Big brother is doing his best to teach her how to play. Isn't this the cutest?
 And speaking of cutest ... 
Then this blue-eyed girl finally figured out the crawling thing AND pulled herself up to stand the very same day. One developmental milestone at a time crazy girl!
To make up for it, she's not so advanced at the whole eating food thing. Actually, I'm pretty sure she thinks we're trying to kill her when we put something in her mouth. And I'm even more sure none of it actually gets down her throat. How exactly is it possible for her to have spit it on her eyelid???
Oh and I would also bet money that big brother taught her to make this face for the camera too:

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Go Lego Club!

Despite the grumpy face from Mr. Cantankerous, the kids have been in love with Legos lately. Like I might as well just get rid of every other toy because it's the only thing they play with. Ooooh, imagine how clean my house could be if I actually did that? A girl can dream. Anyway, the kids were pretty pumped when I told them the library had started a Lego club. I think Dude was refusing to smile here merely because I was trying to take his picture. Or because he was supposed to play with the big Legos like a little kid.
 G had no issue with it and went straight to work building the biggest tower ever.
 Fortunately he got over it and built one of his monsters:
 The girls were slightly intimidated at first, sitting at a large table full of Lego experts, aka. pre-teen boys. They clearly understood that there was a whole world that they knew very little about. That meant unfamiliar vocab, fancy trick pieces, and the ability to build without instructions. I was proud of how they just did their best without embarrassment.
 And then to top it off, J won the door-prize and the much coveted and most recently released Chima Lego set (guarantee she did not even know that name before today)! She may have enjoyed the envying attentions from that previously mentioned more experienced crowd a little bit. Needless to say they can't wait to come again!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Down at the Waterfront

Could Portland be any more beautiful??? Nope, I don't think so. At least not on a perfect summer day! This guy was not too certain about this crazy fountain thing:
But then we loaded an even crazier number of people on these bicycle/clown car things and did our very best to mow down pedestrians. I mean avoid them. What did I say? However, if anything so unfortunate as that were to have actually happened, it would've been all them. I cannot tell you how many pedestrians were just begging for it, aka. refusing to get out of our way while they took their pretty time despite plenty of bell-ringing. 
They weren't the only hazard. We also rode across a high, narrow bridge (which might scare some people), and struggled to make it up inclines that were much harder than they first appeared and down inclines that threatened to make us lose control (while someone was holding a baby)! Oh and then we decided to do part of the loop again! Good times. No really. It was! And quite the workout I tell you what.
We look about as good as the view :) Sisters are the best!
Nanas are too!
 Eventually he got more okay with the fountains. 
 Naturally M was all about it! I so love her fun-loving, no-fear nature!
 J is more of a bathing beauty:
 Great camera work daddy!
 When we got back to the starting point to turn in our vehicles, the fountain was back to this exciting formation. M was the only one brave enough to venture into the center. I had to basically drag dude in with me for a picture! What an awesome day.