Sunday, February 27, 2011

Our year so far...

Our year so far has been a bit crazy. The craziness started on January 8th when Mark landed himself in the hospital. He was released and then readmitted two days later for more symptoms. After a week in the hospital, countless tests, numerous doctors appointments with various specialists we are still trying to figure out what is going on. We are sure an answer is just around the corner somewhere. Luckily, we have had a lot of other fun and memorable events to help keep our minds focused on other things. Here is the big guy living it up at the hospital. We were so happy to get out of there!
The kids and a few of our neighborhood kids were all so EXCITED when Mark came home with an I-pad! They had anticipated this day for months and their was a lot of screaming going on in my house when this group of kids opened the bag to discover the i-pad. They have had a lot of fun this month exploring all the cool things an i-pad can do. They've had so much fun with it, that we have actually had to impose the Friday after school/Saturday only I-pad policy so they can rediscover what reading a book and practicing the piano is like. I could definitely live without all of these electronics.
We've had some pretty good rounds of hide and go seek. Gracie found a pretty good spot on top of the armoire. I don't have a clue how she got up there, but obviously those gymnastics classes are really paying off.
I got to celebrate my birthday. Mark did a great job of making me feel special even though he wasn't feeling well. My family and friends all made me feel so loved with the phone calls and little treats left on my doorstep. Here we are at the tail end of our day and Bayden didn't want anything to do with taking a picture to commemorate the day.
One of my favorite birthday presents was shelves for the boys room. My friend Perry, Parker and I got to work one afternoon after my birthday and installed these handy dandy shelves! I love them and we had a great time doing it together. I also managed to get the cabinets in my bathroom painted, I love them.
Of course you know we also had Gracie's birthday, but we also had Carson's. I will write more about it tomorrow. He was so excited to turn 8!
We have had our fair share of Basketball games. Carson is playing for the Cougars this year and hope his team ranks as high as the BYU cougars!
We had a fun little birthday celebration dinner at Benihana's. We celebrated all three of our birthdays and had our best chef yet!
Obviously Parker couldn't stop eating his sundae to smile for a picture.
Of course with Carson turning 8 we have been busy preparing for his baptism. Here he is just prior to his baptism interview with our bishop.
Here he is on his baptism day. We had a such a great day and I will write more on that too.
Parker's started his second session of indoor soccer. It is so fast paced, it is my favorite to watch.

He has also been playing basketball every Monday and Saturday and unlike last year his team is actually winning more games than losing (actually I don't think they ever won last year). I think he is really enjoying it this year.

We hosted a baby shower at our house for one of my dear friends. Bayden was my right hand man as we baked and decorated for the big night. He probably won't appreciate this picture when he is older, but it sure makes me laugh


The kids were super excited that they got to go because the theme was "Sweets". Parker and Carson had soccer, but the girls and Bayden capitalized on the yummy treats.
Parker had his big Coloma field trip. All of the fourth graders leave for 3 days and 2 nights to learn all about California History and the gold rush. It is a great experience for them as they learn from teachers all about that time error, experience a typical day of a gold miner and are transported back in time. Parker's name was for his expedition was Platinum Parker. He got to pan for gold, live in a cabin with some of his closest buddies, sing songs around a campfire, hike all over and his personal favorite have 3 cups of hot chocolate for breakfast each morning. Ah the life of a gold miner! Unfortunately for me, my boy didn't come back with any gold, darn it! I'm just glad he came back because we I missed him like crazy and felt like I was forgetting something the whole time he was gone.
Again, Bayden didn't not want to commemorate the moment with a picture. The other kids were super excited for him.
That about sums up what we have been up to so far. We got to have some pretty fun visitors at our house the past month, but again that is a separate post. Hopefully I can stay more on top of things and not have to do a brief synopsis like this every two months.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Gracie's Birthday Party

A few days after her birthday Gracie girl had her game/tea party birthday party. Here she is anxiously waiting for her guests to arrive!
Here is the little group of cuties that joined us for the party. When we asked Gracie what she wanted to do for her party, she responded "I want to play games and eat." I gave up all of my fancy ideas and kept it simple. They started outside with a fun and "energy releasing" game of tag.
All that running helped them work up an appetite for our little tea party.
After the treats were all consumed, we made some cute little masks. Here is the before and
here is the after. I picked those masks up on a whim and they turned out to be the hit of the party. I swear they worked on those little masks for a good 1/2 hour, which limited our game playing a bit. At least Gracie got in a few dances with her friends as Taylor Swift blasted in the background. Gracie loves Taylor Swift and constantly wants to listen to her music.
Of course Bayden was thrilled to get in on the action since he considers all of Gracie's friends as his own.
These two little ladies were my magnificent helpers! I couldn't have done it without them and there sweet little personalities.
Time was running out, so we did a quick opening of the gifts. We all cheered when she got that Tangled doll that she so desperately wanted. I found out later, she actually told her friend to buy it for her!!!! I was dying, apparently Miss Manners needs to make a visit to our home for some serious training.
Before I knew it the parents were knocking at the door and we hadn't even had cake and ice cream yet. We did a quick song and Gracie made her wish and then we gave out our party favors and send goodbye to her sweet little friends.

She chose Ms. Ali's chocolate chip cake. Without a doubt my kids favorite and requested for almost every birthday.
Later that night we took these four cuties out for ice cream and then back to our house to watch Ramona and Beezus with Gracie. These little ladies are actually Carson's friends that Gracie claims as her own. We didn't want to bore them with the little Kindergarten party, so her final birthday wish was an evening with these ladies.
And of course one of her favorite boys too!
I think we managed to celebrate her birthday to the fullest and she definitely felt loved which is the goal of every birthday!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Gracie is Six!

My New Year goal of better journaling has alluded me thus far, but our year has gotten off to a crazy start. Hopefully I'll be able to document bits and pieces of what has happened thus far in 2011. However, I didn't want one more day to go by without writing about one of the most noteworthy events... Gracie's sixth birthday on January 25th!

She had a great day celebrating throughout the week. Here is what greeted her when she woke up in the morning.
She could hardly sleep the night before anticipating her big day. Carson wanted his gift to be wrapped over and over again in several boxes to throw her off. We started off with this big daddy and after several boxes she ended up with...
this little apple pie gift. I don't know who had more fun, Gracie unwrapping it or Carson watching her with delight or maybe me watching both of them.
Of course I had to get a picture of her with her birthday crown. I make her wear it every year. She'll probably still be wearing it at 16 begging me to get rid of it. I just love it. By the way she chose breakfast cake, bacon and juice for her big breakfast.
Here she is opening up her beloved Pillow Pet. This was the gift she wanted most and Parker and Bayden delivered!
Gracie loves to cook. Whenever I am in the kitchen she wants to be right there with me helping me out. McCall picked this apron out for her and Gracie was pretty pleased with herself. She has already used it a lot.
Here is the crew before we made our mad dash to school.
Later in the day Bayden and I made a visit to her school with some sugar cookies for her classmates. Bay loves to visit her classroom.
Of course the best birthday present was that our dear friend Laurie was her for Gracie's special day. She was thrilled to have someone else here to celebrate with her. Laurie made her feel so special as you can see from the humongous smile on her face.
After ballet we had her birthday dinner. She wanted rice and beans and anything else that I wanted to go with it. I found her request very funny, who in the heck wants rice and beans for their birthday dinner. We threw in some taco's to make me happy. What she was really holding out for in the end was her cake!
She got to have a fun little birthday party later in the week, but that will have to wait for another post. For now, I just want Gracie to know the six things that make her so wonderful.

1) I love her sparkly blue eyes: I love the way her eyes twinkle and how they light up a room. I like to call them smiling eyes and they have smiled since she was just a tiny baby. I love looking into her eyes, even when they aren't smiling I find them beautiful.

2) I love how she reads: She is catching the reading bug and I think it is magical to sit on the couch with her each morning and listen as she sounds out words, mat, cat, bat, nan, fan, ran, etc. I love after she figures out the word and then she rereads it with more expression.

3) I love how she twirls: She loves to twirl and dance around our house, preferably to her favorite artist Taylor Swift. I love to watch her twirl and belt out the words to her favorite songs when she thinks no one is watching. As soon as she catches us watching her she stops immediately and gives me that shy little smile a little embarrassed that she got caught.

4) I love how obsessed she is with dresses: Okay, I love and hate it. She only wants to wear dresses and skirts and she wants to look fancy all of the time. She prefers I have no say in her ensembles right down to the bow in her hair and the shoes on her feet. Our compromise, I get to choose on Sunday and one school day she gets Saturday's and the other four school days. I love her confidence in this area, but I have to cringe sometimes when her outfits rival Punky Brewsters.

5) I love how thoughtful she is: Because of her shy nature she is an observer. She see's when others need a helping hand and she thoughtfully tries to help others when they are sad or frustrated.

6) I love how she recognizes beauty in the world around her: She is the first to point out a pretty flower, a bird's nest, a nice illustration in a book or the color of the sky. I appreciate so much when she helps me discover things that are beautiful that I would have overlooked had she not pointed it out to me. She loves beautiful things.

Gracie we sure love you and are so excited for you to be six!