Monday, August 31, 2009

Look Who's 9!!!

Nine years ago when Parker was born, I never imagined he would always celebrate his birthday the first week of school. Because of this lovely fact and the craziness associated with back to school, I am just now posting his birthday picks 2 1/2 weeks after the fact. It is the same reason why he won't be having a birthday party until September!
This year his birthday was extra special because he actually had family in town to celebrate with him. The Jones family were visiting and we able to spend his birthday morning with us.
Here is Parker getting all ready to open up his gift from his best buddy Ian.
Carson was so thrilled with all of the birthday gifts you would have thought it was his special day.Parker can never have enough Lego's

Later that morning cousin Ian joined Parker at school for show and tell and then he helped Gracie and Bayden hand out his birthday treat. After several years of trying to follow the school's "healthy" snack policy, Parker asked if he could just have a really good brownie, so brownies is what they got!
Gracie and Bay love helping out in the classroom.
He got his special lunch, but unfortunately the rest of the day was filled with activities, so we didn't get to go out to dinner until last weekend. He told me it was worth the wait. There are lots of things to love and appreciate about Parker, here are our top 9:
1. He loves babies. He always wants to hold them and loves trying to make them laugh. He'll be a great dad someday.
2. He is a good listener (except when playing the Wii)
3. He is VERY flexible which makes him a
4. Great friend and brother.
5. He has a great imagination. Parker comes up with great plans and ideas and even makes me want to play some of the games he creates.
6. Parker is totally compassionate. He thinks a lot about others and how they are feeling. The best part about his compassion is that he does it privately without drawing a lot of attention to himself. This boy is definitely NOT an attention seeker. He likes to quietly serve and worry about others.
7. He loves to sleep. This is just a fantastic quality to have in our home, especially since he is our only child that actually sleeps well! Parker is our only child who has ever admitted to being tired and sometimes asks if he can go to bed. He is the golden child.
8. He is an athlete. Introduce this boy to a sport, any sport and he loves it. In his perfect world he would play every sport in hour long intervals all day long. He doesn't even need to be the best at a particular sport, he just loves it for the fun of doing it.
9. He communicates his love for others consistently and sweetly! Yep, he still tells me several times a day out of the blue how much he loves me. Seriously, it is always spoken at just the right moment and melts my heart every time. It is a phrase I never tire of hearing from him because coming from him it is always so heartfelt.
Parker you know our list could go on and on, but all you really need to know is how much we love you and how proud we are to be your family!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back to School

Although I'm still in denial, it is true we are back in school. August 10th (yep, that's not a typo) was the big day we headed back to school. Whatever happened to the Tuesday after Labor day? Summer was good to us, so we were all a little sad to go, but mostly just me. I love having these guys home to chat with and play with, so although they were done with me and excited to head back to school I was not. In fact, I was secretly hoping all summer that California's solution to its deficit would equal an extra month of summer for me and the kids. They decided to increase class size instead.

Here is the gang before we made our pilgrimage up to the school. Can you tell which child is having a bad hair day?? I won't mention any names Bay.
McCall is starting 6th grade at the Middle School and didn't make the walk with us this year (yes, that is a huge sob you just heard from her way to sentimental mama)Parker who looks like he should be starting middle school is headed to 3rd grade this year with Mrs. Holl as his teacher.
Carson is now at school for a full day (yes, another sob) as he enters first grade.

McCall waited at the house for her carpool, while the rest of us walked up to the school.
Here is Parker with his teacher Mrs. Holl and the sun blaring in his eyes.

and here is Carson with his teacher Mrs. Dalia. He is thrilled he got the "pretty" teacher.

Carson with his two best buddies a.k.a. chatty kathy 1, chatty kathy 2 and chatty kathy 3! I had to laugh when I walked in and noticed she had all three sitting on the same row. I suspect that won't last long. We feel lucky he got to be with his buddies though.

And here is when his teacher told the kids to wave goodbye to those annoying parents who keep taking pictures, blowing kisses and really don't want to leave their kids. Hmm..I might be guilty of this, but would you want to leave that sweet face?

Bay and Gracie had fun going along for the ride, but were really holding out for the good stuff. Donuts and cinnamon rolls provided by the PTA!!!

oops, uploaded sideways, but you get the idea. Here is Bay with one whole donut stuffed into his mouth in a single bite (I'm calling America's Got Talent)

Gracie was smart and picked the yummy cinnamon roll like her mom. Next week is her turn to head back to her little speech preschool and she is ready! Now it is back to reality and trying to dig myself out from all of the Back to School paperwork.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ride for a Reason

I never said we were great journal keepers, which is obviously evident from the long absence from blogging. Sometimes we get so busy living life, that it is hard to find the time to write about it. However, I love to go back and read my journals from when I was a kid and my kids love to laugh at them. I think we will definitely want to come back and read about life right now, so I'm re-motivated to be a better record keeper.

This weekend we got to cap off a fabulous summer by participating in the Ride for a Reason bicycle ride to benefit Parkinson disease and Cancer research. Mark and I have volunteered the past few years for this benefit and this year we decided to not only volunteer, but become participants as well. It was awesome and is now a new family tradition! We had such an amazing time as a family. This year we rode in behalf of our sweet friend DeWayne Hall who suffers from Parkinson's disease. We explained to our kids beforehand who we were riding for and to keep him in their thoughts whenever their little legs would start to burn (after 29 miles even mine started to burn). This years theme was, "Saving Lives has Never Been So Much Fun!" Our whole family would totally agree with that statement. It was so much fun and I would highly recommend it for any family in the area. Not only are you having fun, but you are raising money and awareness for two great causes.

Thank heavens for a rolling start because Team Fellows didn't roll out of our driveway until 9 a.m. We rode down to Lake Natoma from our house to the starting line. We loaded up on juice and chocolate chip cookies (way better than a power bar) from Karen's Bakery to get us through the first leg of the ride. Off we went. As you can see from the photos, Mark had quite load to pull which resulted in a lot of attention coming his way. Every 10 miles or so they had rest stops set up, each with a different theme. The first stop was a 50's stop with poodle skirt clad volunteers. Their was ice cream for the kids (and mom), a hula hoop contest and a bubble gum blowing contest and lots of yummy treats to eat (a very important component to any bike ride I'm going to participate in!)
Our second stop was Hollywood! The kids got to walk down the red carpet being photographed by the paparazzi before they were whisked off to the make-up artists for face painting and then over to the dressing room for a fabulous costume and photograph. Of course there were more yummy treats. At about 21 miles the kiddies legs were getting pretty tired, but we had earned raffle tickets all along the ride and we only had 20 minutes to make the last 4 miles back to enter our tickets in the raffle. It's amazing what a little blue ticket can make your kids do, we definitely need a few of those at our house.
We got our tickets in the raffle and then ate our delicious lunch catered by Outback Steak House. The funniest part is that we totally consumed way more calories along the way then we ever worked off. To top it off we even won a few prizes from the Raffle drawing. It really was a great day.
Later that evening we had a family pot luck at the club with some great families in our ward. We ate, ate, ate, swam a bit, ate, ate and ate a little bit more. It was fun to watch the kids having such a great time with all of their friends. Unfortunately, I forgot the camera. It was a great day of fun to gear us up for the week ahead...Back To School for us!