Thursday, August 30, 2007

Back to School








On Monday August 13th, our kids headed back to school and Mark and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. Mark and I were both sad to see the kids head back to school and to see the less regimented days of summer end. The kids were all so excited for the new school year, so that made it easier to send them off.

McCall is starting the 4th grade and is thrilled to have the opportunity to have her first "male" teacher. She told me she thinks "it will be a good experience to see how a man teaches." Mr. Gex is his name and he gives Jay Leno a run for his money. He is so funny. He had me laughing so hard at Back to School Night.
Parker gets two wonderful teachers this year as he heads into the first grade. He will have the opportunity to have the same teacher McCall had, Mrs. Cook. She just recently had her second baby in one year, so she is team teaching with Mrs. Smith. They are both incredibly nice and nurturing ladies. I swear Julie Smith is Joan Clever reincarnated. I love her!

Carson will be attending his little speech pre-school class at a neighboring elementary school with his same teacher from last year, Janet Bunje. The big news in his life this year is that he gets to ride the little yellow school bus. I guess the people at the district felt bad for me and took pity on us, by offering to pick and bring Carson home from school. Oh what a difference a bus makes. It has made life so much easier!

Gracie, Bayden and I are reading lots of books together at home and like to see all of the fun things the older kids learned while they were away at school. I'm amazed at how well Gracie knows the comings and goings of the other kids and I can often find her waiting anxiously by the front window for her best friends to make it home. I think she gets bored with me :-)
After soccer practice that night, Mark and I and the kids celebrated our anniversary by exchanging cards with each other in the aisle at Target. It was a classic! I guess in the end our kids is what the anniversary is really all about. We've had a great life together and that night was another fun memory to add to our collection.

Parker turns 7!!







Since our return from vacation we have been very busy. The day after our return was opening day for soccer. We have McCall, Parker and Carson all playing this year. Mark is coaching both of the boys teams, so it made for a hectic parade on Saturday morning. The day after opening day was Parker's birthday!




Because his birthday landed on a Sunday, we just had a family celebration. He wanted breakfast food for the entire day, so we had pancakes, bacon and fresh fruit for breakfast. After church we had our family away from family, the Millett's, over for more breakfast. For dinner he chose french toast, waffles, hashbrowns and bacon (lots of bacon!) I can't believe he is already seven and two inches taller than his soon-to-be nine year old sister :-) Anyway, I think he had a great day as you can see from the pictures.

Party of Five's Excellent Adventure Part 2










The second half of our fun summer vacation was spent in Salt Lake City. We had a great time with my family during a fun-filled week. Although I treked the kids all over Salt Lake, I think there favorite activity was just spending time with their cousins and Grandpa and Grandma.

While we were in Salt Lake we went to the Hansen Planetarium, The Children's Discovery Museum, and Hogle Zoo. We also got to do a fun family hike around a lake up at Brighton Ski Resort. (I can't for the life of me remember the name of it.) We also went swimming and had a fun progressive dinner with my family. We got the chance to play one of my favorite games, red rover, red rover!!! I also got to eat at a few of my favorite restaurants. No good vacation is complete without yummy food.

We headed home on the 10th of August. After 3500 miles, I think it goes without saying that we were very happy to be home!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Party of Five's Excellent Adventure












After 3500 miles logged we are back from our excellent summer adventure!!!! We had a fabulous trip, but we are also so happy to be home and get back into our schedule (particularly Gracie and Bayden). We started out our adventure in Waterton Lakes Canada. Although we feared the two days of travel for months beforehand, I'm happy to report it was our best roadtrip ever. Everyone was happy and for the most part pleasant. We are trying to forget about Bayden's crying spell from Helena to Waterton. We had packed a slew of movies and books on CD to listen to, but in the end Gracie and Barney's Singing Adventure won out. 22 viewings later, I think it is safe to say we all have the words memorized and were very anxious to move onto some new multi-media in our lives. Frightening enough, I found myself humming several of those tunes throughout the day.




Canada was fabulous! It is definitely worth the 24 hours of driving. We had a great time with our Fellows cousins and Gigi and Papa. Definitely the highlight of the trip was just watching all of those cute kids have so much fun together. We played by the lake, went on a few hikes, went fishing and paddle boating at Cameron Lake, rode bikes, played games, river rafted and of course no day was complete without a drive up Red Rock for our Bear Hunts and then back to the Big Scoop for our Rolo and Boo Boo Bubble Gum Ice cream.


Gigi put together a great fishing hole for the kids where everyone was a big winner and our kids were so excited about their prizes all week long. We also got the opportunity to see lots of wildlife including Bears, Moose, Deer and Elk. Mark was happy because he got to do his favorite thing in the world, go on a long bike ride with his brother Steve. Gigi did an amazing job of putting together such a fun and relaxing trip for everyone (except maybe her). Everytime we get together with Mark's family I thank my lucky stars that I married into such a great family. We all have such a great time together and everyone makes me laugh. Although the pictures don't do the trip justice, I posted just a few so you can see some of the fun we had. We hated to leave on Friday, but we were headed to Salt Lake for an equally fun time with our Pulley Cousins and Grandma and Grandpa. Stay tuned for that part of the trip. I will have to post it later because I still have a few hours of birthday set-up for Parker's birthday tomorrow.