Sunday, May 31, 2009

Day 151--Daddy's Little Girl

Ellie got the best seat in the house as we spent this GORGEOUS evening at Great Falls enjoying the fresh air and beautiful sights!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Day 150--Fast Saturday

We have a tradition in our family that each Saturday before fast Sunday we go out to dinner right before we start our fast. It's usually the only time we go to sit-down restaurants and it's something that gets the kids excited about fasting. Of course this weekend wouldn't normally be a fast Sunday weekend, but since we have Stake Conference next week it is this week.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Day 149--Welcome to Virginia Aunt AnnaLisa!!!!!

My sister AnnaLisa just graduated from BYU and has decided to come to Virginia to stay and there are seven very happy people here that are ecstatic about it!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rocking the World

Check this article out.

It evaluated major metropolitan areas in America for causes of death, diet of residents, mental health, physician availability, and percentage of the population that walk or bike to work and then ranked the cities on how they fared in these areas.

What's the verdict?

America’s Top 10 Fittest Cities:
1. Washington DC
2. Minneapolis
3. Denver
4. Boston
5. San Francisco

How cool are we?

You already know that we live near DC aka America's fittest city!

But did you also know that I grew up in the Minneapolis area?

And Glen grew up in Denver?

So, just like that 1, 2, 3....our cities rock the world!

Don't I look healthier already?

Day 148--Day at the Beach

This is a common occurrence at our house during bad weather...

everyone puts on their swimsuit and plays "beach". They have lawn chairs and towels set up in the living room with all their beach toys. It keeps them happy and there isn't an ounce of sand anywhere!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Day 147--Fresh Air and Exercise????

After it finally stopped raining today, I was eager for the kids to go out and get a little fresh air and exercise.  
I guess they got the fresh air part down.  

Have you seen this kid?

You may have noticed that my most recent blogposts seem to be short a child. You know...the one who ducks or smirks whenever a camera comes close by.

Well, I was starting to get worried that I just couldn't possibly take enough pictures of him here at home with him always hiding from the camera, so we decided that we needed to send him to tri-camera training mission to get him sensitized to the camera.

We thought a trip to Canada with my dad, brother, and sister should do the trick. He'd get to see so many scenic and amazing sights that he'd become so overcome with joy with it all that he just wouldn't be able to keep himself from smiling serenely into the camera. It was a plan destined for success!

I had a really good feeling about the mission from the beginning. Every time we talked to him he excitedly told us what a wonderful time he was having and what they would be doing next. Then we started getting the emailed photos of the trip... First there was the whale watching cruise in the Straits of San Juan de Fuca just outside Victoria, British Columbia, but he wasn't actually in any of the pictures since the whales were far more entertaining.

Then there was the rock throwing picture at some unnamed British Columbian lake. He wasn't smiling, but he wasn't posing either. So far, so good.

And look here at this one. He only did a partial duck and a semi-smile on the Victoria--Vancouver Ferry. Progress!!!

Then he called us and told us about these stunningly beautiful Butchart Gardens in Victoria and how much he enjoyed them. Hmmm...he is kind of far away here, but I think he might be smiling a little.

Here he is with my sister, AnnaLisa at Emerald Lake in British Columbia. Well...I think he's just a little tired in this one.

And this one doesn't count since I totally understand his sour expression. If I walked out of the house with my hair looking like that I'd be a little grumpy too.

Today he got to hang out in San Francisco with my sister, K, got to go boogie boarding in the Pacific Ocean, and as we speak is watching....
so I'll suspend final judgement on the success or failure of the mission until I get the pics from today.

In the meantime, COME HOME SPENCER! Our chips are going stale, our milk is going bad, the lawn needs to be mowed, and we have leftovers accumulating in the fridge. We miss you!!!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Day 146--Color in a Gray Day

Maybe a little too much color...

New Memorial Day Tradition

When you've lived in the DC area as long as we have (more than 13 years, including our Baltimore time) it begins to seem as we've already done everything there is to do here. Then there are times like this weekend where we're proven totally wrong.

We normally avoid going downtown on any major holidays, because, well, it's a complete nightmarish throng of people, but we really wanted to go this year, so we decided to leave our house at 5:45am and try to beat the crowds and...

take some cool pictures with the sun rising over DC while we were at it.
Then we discovered how awesome the memorials are without any other people around...

the same memorials that would be crammed with thousands of visitors in just a few hours.

We even discovered a new memorial that we'd never seen before. Completely off the beaten path of the rest of the monuments was the WWI memorial, built in 1931 and completely empty.

Ever heard of the Declaration of Independence Island Monument? Me neither. It's this little island is dedicated to the memory of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence. It was also completely empty except for several cute little duck families who eagerly ate our leftover banana bread.
Even the squirrels were cuter in DC this weekend. With gray and black squirrels everywhere I don't think too highly of the overgrown rodents, but when they're albino and sit there and pose for the camera, even I have to admit it was a little cute.

And who would have ever thought that we could see a cool water bird like this in the middle of DC? I don't know what it is. Maybe a heron or a crane? But in any case it was a cool way to finish off our trip downtown.

We all walked away with a greater appreciation for this great land we live in, the heroes who have sacrificed to make it great, and what it means to be an American.
All before nine o'clock in the morning.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Day 145--Happy Memorial Day!

After such an early start to our Memorial Day we spent most of the rest of the day getting things done around the house.  Like finally putting away the winter clothes!  

America the Beautiful

O beautiful, for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness, and ev'ry gain divine!

We have found a new Memorial Day tradition that we loved...DC at sunrise.  We arrived in DC about 6:00am, caught some gorgeous shots of the sunrise, and got to see the WWI, WWII, Vietnam, and Korean War Memorials all before 8:00 and well before all the crowds arrived.   It was probably the most meaningful Memorial Day we've ever had. 

Thank you to all the men and women who have fought to protect our freedoms over the years.   
We honor you this day.

Happy Memorial Day!

Make sure you check out I [Heart] Faces this week for lots more silhouettes.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Day 144--Feeding the Elders

We love having the missionaries over for dinner....Elder Lebbie and Elder Packer.  They only laugh a little when I take pictures of all the food and we love the spirit they bring into our home.  All of the kids adore them, but Ellie in particular has become good friends with both of them.  Elder Packer has been in our ward for over 7 months now, so we are expecting that sometime soon he will be transferred.  :(  

Flower Power

Every Mother's Day weekend we have a tradition that we head to Home Depot,  fill the back of our van with flowers and soil and spend an entire Saturday shoveling, raking, tilling, and planting making our yard beautiful in the process.  

We're a couple of weeks behind this year due to Glen's recent bout with getting sick only on special holidays, but yesterday we officially finished off our Mother's Day festivities and made sure that Home Depot can stay in business all in one fell swoop.  

Glen and Emma filled the flower boxes along the stairs with pink petunias and white impatiens.  

Glen filled the pots by the door with multicolored dahlias and hung a pretty hanging plant.  

Adam, Ellie, and Cami helped me rake, till, dig, and plant in our little mailbox patch.  

Of course our mailbox still holds a special place in my heart due to the long hours I put in assembling it.   I love how these lemon zest petunias ended up looking with the red salvias behind them.  

In the middle of our mailbox plantings, Adam's moth hatched out of its chrysalis.  It doesn't get any more exciting for a six-year-old than being able to watch the transformation from caterpillar to chrysalis to moth right before your eyes, even seeing him uncurl his wings and dry off.  I was even fascinated.    

As a side note, these lemon zest petunias are my new favorite!  I had never seen flowers quite that color  before and I loved the pretty splash of color they brought to our yard! 

We took this little patch where our strawberry plants are and planted some peppers, carrots, basil, mint, cilantro, and the rest of the flowers that didn't fit in the other places.  Now if it weren't for the fact that I broke the lawnmower this past week by adding the wrong kind of gas to it, our yard would be looking almost perfect right about now.  

And after all that hard work on a humid day,  we were more than ready afterwards to take a splash in the community pool that just opened up for the summer.  
Just in case you're wondering where Spencer is with all this hard work around to do....for the last week and a half he's been in Canada whale watching and seeing the sites with my Dad, brother, and sister (pictures coming soon)!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Day 143--Belated Mother's Day

Every Mother's Day weekend we have a tradition that we go to Home Depot and buy a small fortune in flowers and soil in an effort to make our yard bloom with color.  Because Glen was a little under the weather on Mother's Day weekend,  Home Depot almost went out of business because of us.  Thankfully after today they're back in the black again and our yard is looking great!  

Friday, May 22, 2009

Day 142--Green Spring Gardens

We went on a preschool field trip to Green Spring Gardens today.   There were paths around the gardens and lots of beautiful flowers to see.  Last time we were there, there were also butterflies everywhere, but we must have gotten there a week or two too early this year since we didn't see any at all.  Since we had just learned about butterflies in preschool yesterday, Ellie just had to wear her butterfly wings for the occasion! 

Flashback Friday

My awesome sister keeps doing these "Flashback Friday" posts with fun old pictures of our family that make me laugh. I decided to post one of my own this week. This picture is from 1976.
Aren't we adorable? I love the polyester suits my dad and brother are wearing!  (I'm the one on the far right).  

Thursday, May 21, 2009

9-1/2 Years Down....One More to Go!


When we moved to the DC area in January 2000, Spencer was quickly invited to join a co-op preschool group to take the place of someone who had just moved out. Spencer had never been in preschool before and we were excited about the opportunity, but little did we know then the decade long adventure that I was embarking upon!

After that first half year with Spencer before he went off to kindergarten, I've gone straight from one preschool group to the next with each child. Two years with Cami. Three years each with Emma and Adam since they have October birthdays, including one of those years that overlapped and I was a part of two groups at once (double the fun?). Now Ellie is half way done with her two years and I'm seeing a light at the end of the tunnel!

Somewhere along those nine and half years these preschool groups went from just being a cheap way for our kids to go to preschool to an exciting way for my kids to have the best preschool experience ever (I have also become a bit of a zealot over the years)!

I've loved the other moms and kids we've gotten to know over the years and in fact some of my very best friendships have developed through my preschool associations.

And I'm totally in love with the things they've learned. They've learned about heroes that have made our country great and the beauties of the world around them. They've learned about artists and then tried out their style of art. They've learned music at the feet of professionals. They've learned character traits to help them be a better person and most of all they've been taught by mothers that exemplify and live those same character traits; by mothers who love them and feel passionately about teaching their children too. Money can't buy that kind of education. (Dang, now I'm all teary eyed and can hardly see the computer.)

I better get off my soapbox now before I ruin my keyboard and embarrass myself any further by continuing to bare my soul.

Today I took my last turn teaching for the year and I think the reality that this phase of my life is coming to a close in one short year is hitting me hard. I know this kind of preschool is definitely not for everyone, but I am grateful for the experiences we've had.

Plus, how can you hate cute little preschoolers crawling on your floor pretending to be caterpillars while they ate their caterpillar snack and saying, "I am a caterpillar. I'm getting big and fat."

and then turn into beautiful butterflies?

I will miss these days.

Day 141--Butterflies and Chicks

Today I had two big things which were worth being pictures of the day, so today is a picture bonus day. Here are Ellie and her friend Eve all wrapped up in their chrysalises about to become beautiful butterflies on my last day of teaching preschool for the year! 9-1/2 years (in a row) down only one more to go!!!!!!!

Right after preschool Ellie and I walked to the elementary school to watch the kindergartners perform "The Little Red Hen", which was just as cute and well done as when Emma's class did it two years ago!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Glen's First Century!

What? You don't think he looks like a centenarian yet?

Well, it's true. As of Saturday evening he's officially the hottest looking centenarian EVER! After running several marathons he decided that he needed a new challenge in his life, thus he has moved on to bigger and better challenges!

On Saturday he braved the thin, dry air of Utah and rode in his first ever 100 mile bike race (a century in biker's terms) with his brother Alex and my uncle Buddy.

Look at those wimpy Utah trees--if you could even call them trees!

After braving swarms of bugs and 80° temps he's still got a fist pump for the camera!

And here's another fist pump in case anyone was wondering how happy he was to be nearing the finish line. (His brother Alex is right next to him there)

And they're still smiling after 100 miles! Way to go Glen!!!!!

Day 140--Not Again Mom...

It's sad when even my four-year-old starts giving me the "look" when I pull out the camera on her. On a brighter note, Ellie informed me today that she wanted to change her name to Cinderella when she grew up, but we could still call her Ellie if we wanted.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cute and Trendy!

I've never been one you would call trendy. Frumpy clothes, sensible shoes, no muss hair styles, Scrabble lover, five kids, bookworm, home schooler, blogger, heck I even drive an 8-year-old minivan. I may as well wear a polyester sweatshirt that says, "I am the captain of the Geek Squad."

I used to think that I was just making a statement by my non-compliance to society's fads, but now I realize that I'm just so clueless that I don't even recognize that a fad exists until it filters down to the racks at Costco, which is where I believe trends officially cease to be trends anymore.

While my ineptitude at noticing trends has had the effect of making me decidedly UNtrendy in most aspects, in one it has made me TOO trendy...

Naming my children.

There I was scouring our family tree looking for classic names that would never go out of style and lo and behold I pick the trendiest names on the list.

Most of you have probably heard that Emma, who we named after her great-great-great-grandmother, has just been crowned the #1 name in America. (Just remember we picked the name BEFORE Rachel and Ross did).

And if you go here to this website, you will also see that Camille is the #1 girls' name in France and Ellie is #2 in Scotland!

Even more shocking...if you go here you will see that LARA is in the top 100 in the UK popularity lists right next to Zara. Can you believe it? Lara!? The most misspelled, mispronounced, misunderstood name I've ever had.

Just think, if I lived in the UK right now I could walk into any old store and find a keychain with my name on it. Or a license plate to hang on my bike (or as the case would have it my minivan window). Or {eek!} even a pack of cute stickers I could use to label my dictionaries.

You might just have to call me Lara G. just to know which Lara I was.

If I lived in the UK my name would be cute and trendy!!!!!
Just like me!

google analytics