Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I'm too young to have a teenager!

Thirteen years ago today I was very excited to be giving birth to our first baby! I was 22 years old (barely) and had just finished finals a couple of days before. He was born on a Sunday night at 8:53pm and even when the doctor made fun of him for his giant banana shaped head then sent me home all of 12 hours after he was born...we didn't care a bit. We were so in love with our sweet new baby boy!

Ten days after he was born we packed up our little Dodge Shadow and drove all the way to Baltimore for Glen's first internship with E & Y. We didn't know a single soul, had a brand new baby, and I had just come from a full semester of school and 2 part time jobs...I was definitely feeling more than a little lost!

We ended up making many wonderful friends that summer and grew to really love our new life as parents!

At the end of that summer we trekked back to BYU, then did it all again the next year...this time with an active one-year-old. The summer he was two, we made the trek out East one more time and haven't left since!

Over the years with lots of healthy foods...

and plenty of exercise...

and more exercise (some things never change)...

We now have an awesome teen-ager living in our house!

Happy Birthday Spence! We love you and are so proud of who you are!!!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

April Showers!

We'll be looking forward to some beautiful May flowers after all this April rain!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Fun on the "perfect date"!

So the perfect date, dawned just a tad hot and humid...definitely no light jackets needed, with Glen out of town for the third day in a row. So it was left up to me to decide how to spend the perfect date.

Activity #1--a trip to the farm

The kids loved the hay ride, pretend tractors and of course all of the animals. The turkeys, chickens, cows, horses, sheep, goats, pigs, and peacocks (aren't peacocks found on all farms?) were each so fascinating to them, that they had not had their fill even after 3 hours! The goats won a special place in their hearts when they came over to eat grass out of their hands.

Activity #2--miniature golfing.

This picture is of Ellie in complete devastation after she'd hit her ball into the hole not realizing that it was actually a tube down to another level. Although she was so sad that her ball was seemingly gone, it was hard not to laugh at how much it meant to her. Luckily as soon as she had her lavender ball back in hand she was all smiles again!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Happy Perfect Date!

What can I say? I've always enjoyed this short little movie clip and get it quoted to me a lot every April 25th.

Enjoy the perfect date!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Spencer's First Talk

So he'd made it almost a whole year (only 10 days before his 13th b-day), without receiving that dreaded call from the bishopric asking him to give a talk in sacrament meeting. But, alas, it was not meant to soon as the bishopric realized they had a fresh deacon (helped by Spence's "bragging" about how he was the last one left) it was a matter of a day before he got his first assignment--

Leviticus 19:18--"Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD."

Spencer doesn't like his picture to be taken, so this is the best one I could
come up with him in his suit.

My first talk in sacrament meeting was over and done before the bishop could move the microphone down to my level (no exaggeration at all), so I was petrified enough for both of us hoping he didn't inherit my tendency to talk as fast as humanly possible.

Spencer, however, did much better than his mother. Not only did he do a lot of research, completely wrote his own talk, but he got up and spoke clearly and confidently. I felt a surge in pride (the righteous kind I hope) while he stood there and I truly could see a glimpse of the wonderful missionary and husband and father that I hope for him to be someday.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

13.1 miles!!!!

A few months ago some friends from the ward decided to get together a running group to train for the Charlottesville half-marathon. I may have been a little crazy at the time, but I decided it sounded like a great motivation to get back into shape.

So Glen and I started spending 2-3 hours each Saturday testing the limits of my endurance by running longer than I've ever run before. Of course Glen has run a couple of marathons, so I was definitely a hindrance to his pace...but he was patient with me and kept me moving forward.

So on Friday afternoon, seven other women from the ward and I headed down to Charlottesville, a beautiful little college town in the Shenandoah's and we loaded up on pasta, registered for the race, and just hung out...without any kids!!! Quite a rare experience considering we had 21 kids between us all! Of course all of this was with a definite nervous tension about what was to come in the morning!

I didn't bring my camera with me, so all I have until my friend
emails her pictures from the day, are these photos from the
race's website bragging about how beautiful the course is.

On Saturday morning, a gorgeous April day, we woke up at 5:00am, tried to eat just enough to give us energy without making us sick and headed to the starting line.

Conveniently the website neglected to show a photo of
the killer hill at mile 5! Actually if I'd done my research better
I would have realized that this course is "famous" not only
for it's beautiful scenery, but also its hilliness!

At 6:30 the gun went off and we were off...2-1/2 hours later I was finally done. I'm exhausted and sore even a day and a half later, but I DID IT!


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Better things to do with $30,000!

We've lived here in the DC area now for almost 8 1/2 years and for the entire time we've lived here I've had one of my kids in a co-op preschool. Sometimes it has seemed like a lot of work, planning, hosting, and teaching preschool every 6-8 weeks, but I figure over the course of my five kids we will have saved at least $30,000 in preschool tuition fees! Not to mention the more important fact that I firmly believe that the academic, social, and spiritual education they've received has far surpassed any experience they ever could have had in any paid preschool program!

During the course of my eight and a half years of constant and zealous participation in different groups, I have become something of a preschool coordinator for our community. People call me when they're interested in participating in a group and I collect the names, divide up the kids into groups, assign a leader, and help them get started and then let them do their own thing. Most years we end up with 3 or 4 different groups going at a time.

Every year has been rewarding in its own way, but I have to say that this year by far has been the best year yet. There are eight kids of Pre-K age, and somehow the dynamics of the kids' personalities, the other Moms, and our fun curriculum have just made it into a fantastic year!

So here was life at our house yesterday:

After reading books, watching short clips of volcanic explosions, the kids each got to make their own volcanoes!

Each explosion was just as magical as the next with shrieks and giggles to accompany each one! Unfortunately our poor deck will most likely smell like vinegar for weeks to come.

Even Ellie and her friend Bradford (he comes over to distract her while I'm teaching) have a great time joining in on the volcano snack!

Check out our infrequently updated preschool blog if you want to see some of the fun things we've done over the year!

Fun, fun, fun!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Happy Birthday to our blog!

It was exactly one year ago today that we posted our very first blog post! I started off slowly with only two posts in all of April 2007, but then I began to realize how fun it was to blog and 184 blog posts later I haven't looked back since.

The picture from our first post...Easter 2007

Here are some fun statistics from our blog over the year:

We've had 7,613 visits from 45 different states (we're just missing Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and if you happen to go on vacation to any of these places you'll have to make sure you give us a "hit").

California, Virginia, and Utah have given us the most hits...with California taking the top prize (thanks to my sister, Kristina, and Glen's sister, Lara...thanks!).

My brother Pete's blog takes the prize for giving us the most referrals with Kristina's close behind.

Here are some of my favorite posts from over the course of the year:

1. Ellie's fashion tips--she's grown a lot since then, but her sense of fashion remains just as opinionated and glamorous

2. Spencer's revenge--so I learned my lesson the hard way about telling Spencer's secrets on the blog and leaving our blog's password saved into our computer

3. Dolphin explosion--Glen's macho prize from Busch Gardens finally "dies" in a grand and dramatic fashion

4. Cafe Rio Taco Salad Recipe--What's not to love?

5. Top Ten List--Find out about our highlights from 2007

6. My life in NUMB3RS--Our crazy lives summed up in numbers!

One year later...Easter 2008 (aren't they growing just way too fast?)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Just playing Johnny Appleseed...

With the recent advent of the more Spring-like weather, the kids have been playing outside for hours each day. They jump on the trampoline, collect rocks, climb trees, play tag, and run, run, run. It's great--they come into the house completely exhausted each night and sleep really well!

With five kids I've heard a lot of funny things my kids say and do while they're playing together and they don't think I'm listening. So a couple of days ago my curiosity was piqued when they came back in the house for some supplies before running right back out...scissors, toilet paper, and tape. Huh?

Apparently they're pretending to live in the woods and they happen to not like wearing shoes (the not wearing shoes part is actually true),

so they wrap and tape toilet paper to their feet while they plant seeds.

Sound familiar? Yep, they're playing Johnny Appleseed with the modern twist of tp and tape.

Isn't being a kid great?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

FHE help?

I need some help planning a FHE lesson on an unusual topic and I'm hoping someone can help me out. I decided our next family home evening lesson will be about "tact...or how to avoid making your mom cry in the middle of a store by telling her she looks pregnant". Can anyone help me out with any cute flannel board stories or scripture references?

Friday, April 11, 2008

What happens when...

What happens when you carelessly leave your favorite shoes outside near the trampoline instead of bringing them in like you're supposed to?

In this instance, it would be a couple of slugs have decided that your beloved sparkly shoes would make a great new home for them!

In case you're wondering, Cami actually put these shoes on to her sockless feet about 30 seconds after this picture was taken and ran off to catch the bus. Ewwww!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Spring tradition......the cherry blossoms!

We've been living in the East now for almost 11 years and one of our longest standing traditions is going to see cherry blossoms each Spring. We keep hearing that there are other, less congested places you can see just as many beautiful blossoms, but to us it's worth it to brave the crowds and enjoy our unique and wonderful city...crowds and all.

The blossoms are only in bloom for a short period of time, so we have to time our visit just perfectly before they're gone. As luck may have it, General Conference weekend is usually prime viewing time. It was a soggy, cool weekend and we were nervous we might miss our chance...but Sunday night after the second session the rain had stopped and we took off for DC.

As you can see, the sogginess and evening hour seemed to have scared away the hordes of people that normally crowd this sidewalk around the Tidal Basin.

A family tradition--all the kids in a tree! (As you can see Adam was terrified of being in the tree...actually he wasn't excited at all about the wet sidewalks and the cool breeze either)

The only time Spencer not only allows for me to take pictures liberally...but even asks for me to take them as he ascends every good climbing tree he comes to.

It's not too often the kids have to wear their winter coats posing for this annual picture with the Jefferson Memorial in the background.

Most years we walk around the entire Tidal Basin, but due to the sogginess and the late hour we cut our walk short and ended our visit at the WWII memorial. I hate to admit it, but it was actually our first visit to this lovely memorial. After visiting this powerful, symbolic place in the dark I decided that we needed to come back again in the daytime to enjoy it more fully.

I love living near DC!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The curse of poor genetics!

Twenty seven months without Laffy Taffy's or corn on the cob and thousands less in our bank account...

and here is the happy result! One down, only four more to go!

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Ellie has quite discriminating taste for fashion. If it doesn't have pink, ruffles, or flowers then it's not fit to be worn! So imagine my surprise when I picked her up from her play group today and found her wearing this...

I actually couldn't stop laughing when I saw her (especially that hysterical hat) and couldn't wait to hear the explanation for this radical change in fashion.

So, apparently in her eagerness to continue playing with her friends during playgroup she thought going to the bathroom in the toilet to be much too tedious for her, so she just peed right there on the floor...

then rather than hanging around in wet clothes, thought it would be much easier to just strip down and play NAKED. (Hopefully all her friends are too young to be scarred by her flagrant indiscretions).

Sadly, I daresay she would do it all over again if faced with the same situation. She's so easy-going and laid-back that nothing about the whole experience bothered her at all. If she knew the word, I'm sure she would've exclaimed, "Whatever Mom!"

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Thoroughly distracted...

Here is the object of my complete distraction of late.

The Book Club discussion of this book is tonight and I've still got 1/3 of the book left to read. My kids, my house, my blog, my exercising, making meals, etc. have all gone down the tubes since I finally picked it up to read on Monday. :)

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