Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Nate, heirloom shirt, and more

Excuse the poor picture quality (it is from 1983), but here is a picture of my brother, Nate and I back in the day before I had my braces.
Nate is just 13 months younger than me so he's always turning the age I just was, and as it was just Nate's birthday a couple of days ago, and it has caused me to reflect on Nate's influence in my life.
Although I feel like we were always pretty close growing up, I will start off by letting you all know that the very first sentence that Nate uttered was, "Lara did it."
I did get blamed for a lot of his mischief, but he was also my best defender, quick to explain us older kids' side of the story. As we've grown up his enthusiasm and amazing ability to negotiate and actually accomplish things are an inspiration to me.
Of course I would be remiss if I didn't also mention the fact that it was Nate that introduced me to Glen back in the early months of 1993. For that I am eternally grateful. I truly am blessed to have Nate for a brother, and I truly wish him the best on his new adventure to California.
Now scroll back up and look at the shirt I'm wearing in the first photo and compare it to the one Emma is wearing. Yes the picture quality makes it hard to tell, but they are the very same shirt. My mom made it for me when I started kindergarten (and apparently I was still wearing it when I was 10) and now my own daughter is wearing it to kindergarten 24 years later. It's an heirloom shirt.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Flying high at the new Air and Space Museum

After numerous times of visiting the downtown DC Air and Space museum, we decided to try the new Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum out by the Dulles Airport. It's quite large and built to look like an airplane hangar with an observation tower and all. (Note Adam's winter clothing wearing continues...)

Spencer had been there once before for Scouts and knew that wearing his Heely's in there would be very cool and save him from actually having to walk. Well...he enjoyed them for a short time, before the Heely police came (seriously, they even carry the tool needed for removing the wheel) and put his cruising to an end!

Probably everyone's (except Mom and Ellie) favorite activity of the day was trying out this flight simulator (above). It was actually quite a bumpy, jerky ride that lasted about 5 minutes that looked unpleasant enough from the sidelines. Apparently Adam screamed at one point that he wanted to get out, and one of the other children in the ride was about to press the emergency stop button, but luckily Glen was able to comfort Adam quickly and they didn't get their ride cut short.

Another fun experience was the observation deck. It was a gorgeous view of the Dulles airport and surrounding areas. Of course the first thing everyone had to do was locate our car in the parking lot, because you know seeing your car from above is always enlightening!

Here is AnnaLisa bravely trying to get Spencer to pose willingly for a picture. Obviously it was only semi-successful as we decided that it looks like she's about to throw Spence out of the Observation tower.

A sister by blood, A friend by choice...AnnaLisa!

My sister AnnaLisa has come to live with us this summer. She is a 23 year old returned missionary from the Ukraine Donetsk mission.
The kids adore having her around and are constantly taking advantage of her kindness and patience. Even Ellie has learned to ask Aunt “A-uh-Yee-sa” to take her outside to the trampoline, or to our porch swing.
AnnaLisa is enthusiastic and eager to go places and meet new people, so we're enjoying the jolt of energy into our routines (the free babysitting isn't so bad either)!

Cami's Creation

Cami is the official treat maker in our home. So when we were invited to a cook-out at a friend's house for Memorial Day, Cami eagerly volunteered to make our family favorite, Layered Pudding Cake. As you can probably tell it's loaded with chocolate and sugar, but it always gets gobbled up quickly (that's why we only make it to share with friends, otherwise we would eat it all). °Ü°

It's so easy to make it's just:
2 brownie mixes (baked)
3 boxes chocolate pudding (prepared)
1 large tub of Cool Whip
4-6 butterfingers or Heath bars (crushed)
You start with the brownies, then pudding, Cool Whip,
candy, then do it all again and refrigerate. Yummmmmm!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Short sleeves are evil...

Or so Adam believes. Even on 90° days with his face glowing with sweat, Adam refuses to wear shorts or short sleeves. Spencer had similar adjustment issues when he was about Adam’s age, but his stubbornness was shorter lived. He would usually give in to the comfort of the cooler clothes after about a week of being over-dressed.

Adam is proving to be much more adamant (no pun intended…at first anyway). He even resisted Mommy’s trick of making them all disappear out of his drawer and having them replaced with his cool new short sleeved ones (can you believe he’s refusing car, train, BYU, and turtle shirts so he can keep wearing his old favorites?)

Oh well! Spencer now tries to wear shorts in January, so we figure Adam will eventually outgrow this stage and over-compensate for it at a later age.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Cami's Duet with Daddy!

Here is a video of Cami and Glen at her piano recital playing Pachelbel's Canon. They literally spent hours getting the rhythm, timing, and notes correct (our metronome has never felt so loved before). This particular song holds a special place in our hearts, so it was a truly meaningful, moving experience for us. We hope you enjoy the video too.

A special thanks goes out to Matt & Karey for their help in getting this video up and running. It was definitely well beyond our tech skills!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Book of Mormon heroes come to life!

For sharing time this Sunday we had some special visitors...prophets from Book of Mormon times! It was a rousing success and as you can see the men got really into their roles, even so far as Ammon throwing out arms into the audience (you can see a flying arm in the upper right corner of this picture)!

Glen really had a lot of fun in his presentation of Captain Moroni and he's hoping for a Primary calling after he's released from the High Priests! °Ü°

That be funny!

At breakfast the other morning Ellie was just jabbering up a storm. We really were listening, but comprehension was just a bit elusive to us at that particular time. So, although we didn’t quite grasp the story, apparently it was a comedic story, as her final phrase (which we understood perfectly) was, “That be funny Mama, huh?” °Ü°

Cakewalking adventures at the school Spring Picnic!

Our very enthusiastic Emma, eager to try her hand at cakewalking (OK...maybe the eagerness had more to do with the consumption part than the actual winning it) won this cake after only 2 rounds...which was good because I'm not sure how many more $1 tickets I was willing to dole out for her cause!

After acquiring this edible work of art we were informed that the parent who had made and decorated her cake was none other than one of President Bush’s personal chefs. Emma and cake were quite the show-stoppers the rest of the night as we toted the cake on the top of our stroller and dozens of people had to stop and ogle over it. Unfortunately the cake proved to be much more impressive looking than tasting.
FYI Emma won third place in the cake decorating contest for K-3 age group (sorry--no pictures of her creation).

Monday, May 14, 2007

Speechless...a true story

We were running late for Adam's dentist check-up this morning. We raced in from the parking lot to the elevator where a tall, older woman of about 70 was already waiting. She was very friendly and immediately engaged the children in talking and button pushing. She spoke in a very heavy German accent and proceeded in small talk conversation with us for the couple of minutes until she reached her floor. As she was stepping out of the elevator she turned and said "It's so nice to see blond, fair-skinned children. I just don't see them often enough anymore." Ummmm....was that a compliment?

ABCQRSTUV Sing With Me!!!!

Ellie also grew weary of waiting for Daddy to come with the keys, so following the very un-lady-like example of her older sisters, she too tried her hand at tree climbing. She did get her feet off the ground, but thankfully not much further.
Shortly thereafter while we were driving (thanks for joining us Daddy!) we noticed
that Ellie was in the back singing.

Now singing is a pretty recently acquired skill for Ellie and although her voice is very

sing-songy, she’s not quite on tune yet, so it’s sometimes hard to recognize
what she is singing. After listening for a bit we realize that she’s very proudly
singing the alphabet song, “ABCQRSTUV sing with me!” Of course, she was SO excited when we figured it out that she demanded that we sing it with her no fewer than 6 times through.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Adam's First Talk

Adam gave his first talk in primary today. His enthusiasm towards the assignment was truly heart-warming and I must say it was hard not to grin ear to ear at his cuteness. Of course he wasn’t trying to be cute. He was just this sweet little 4 year old dressed in his grown up suit, pronouncing big grown up words like “translation” almost perfectly… how cute is “transYation”?… meanwhile keeping his shy smile the whole way through. After church he was all kid again as we waited for Daddy to meet us at the car with the keys!

Down at the Farm

Taking advantage of a warm May day and with the promise of cute newborn piggies we took a trip to Frying Pan Park. Frying Pan Park is a working farm modeled after farms of the early 20th century.

Ellie giggled with delight at each of the animals, but got a particular kick out of the chickens, which she referred to as “cockle-doodle-doos”. We had to make several stops at the chicken coop to satisfy her curiosity at all the pecking and bawking (no real cock-a-doodle-doos). She also enjoyed several conversations with the cows. Each time she caught a glimpse of the cows she would “moo” quite loudly at them. She loved it when they seemed to moo in response, and it seemed that it really was quite a delightful conversation for both Ellie and the cow.

Adam and Ellie have both turned into complete chatter-boxes, so we got live narration the whole way through about what each animal said, what its babies were called, and “Boy that calf pees for a LONG time!”, etc.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Joshua Glen (not our Glen)

On the same day as Spencer’s ordination (May 6) we were able to attend the baby blessing of Glen’s cousin Dan’s little boy Joshua Glen Miner (they were quick to tell us that he was named after another relative—not our Glen!). It was another special occasion and we always enjoy the time we get to spend with Glen’s aunts, uncle, cousins, and grandmother. As to be expected Ellie was completely enamored with baby Josh. Great Grandma was holding him for quite a while and Ellie would barely leave her side, because she “needed” to stay near that baby. She definitely has a large part in her heart completely devoted to babies—real and cloth! Ellie was quick to warm up Great Grandma and we always like to take lots of pictures with her!


Spencer's birthday week was filled with interviews with the primary president, Bishop, and Daddy and a whole lot of being the center of attention (much to his own chagrin). On Sunday, May 6, 2007 Spencer officially graduated from Primary and was ordained to be a deacon.

Staying true to ward tradition he got to choose an article of faith to recite during sacrament meeting. We were not surprised at all that he had to choose the only one that doesn’t begin with “We believe”. He’s a lot like his Mom in that regard! He’s never had any trouble with memorizing, so he knew it perfectly in very little time. His biggest challenge was slowing down enough so that he could be understood. He did speak a lot more slowly than most of his practice rounds, but we still got comments on the impressive speed of his delivery!

We were thrilled that Peter, Mika, Lauren, & McKenzie, and Aunt Marilyn were able to join with us while he was being set apart. The only “negative” to all this is the sinking realization that we’re old enough to have a priesthood holding young man in our family! Spencer is an excellent example and a joy to have in our family.

Happy Birthday Spencer!

On April 30 Spencer turned 12 years old! His actual birthday was relatively low-key, but he did get a cool new red bike and an I-Home for his I-pod (kids these days are so high-tech!). Since I had made his 1st favorite dinner, which is a reproduction of Café Rio taco salad with its famous tomatillo/cilantro dressing, only a few days before his birthday, he had to choose his 2nd favorite for his birthday dinner. So we had crepes with scrambled eggs and Nutella (of course, not together on the same crepe!).

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