Monday, August 29, 2011

My Parents, My Heroes

Recently I got to go to a family reunion. It was great to see aunts and uncles, cousins, cousins' kids, my sister and her kids. But something that was special for me (besides seeing all those great family members) was getting to see my parents.

My parents are my heroes. They have always been a great influence on me. They were very good role models to me growing up and still are.
I love that my mom was a stay-at-home mom. She was always there for us. She would even go on field trips with me. I loved that. I was never embarrassed by my parents. I loved being around them. I want to be like my mom. I realize I am becoming more like my mom, in appearance as well as temperament (*sheepish grin*). There have been so many times when dealing with my own children that something will come out of my mouth and I think, "That's exactly what my mom used to say to me when I was younger... and now I know why."

A lot of things my husband does reminds me of my dad, which is a very good thing. They are both good husbands, fathers, good Priesthood holders, and all around great guys.

While I turned to my mom more when I was younger, when I was a teenager and young adult, I was able to turn to my dad for more things dealing with life. I still feel I can turn to both my parents when I'm trying to figure out life and parenting. I even call my parents from time to time when I'm having a hard time with my children just so they can laugh at me. They don't do it to be mean. It's because they've been through the same things and know it will only last so long. Plus, when they laugh it's a stress reliever for me.
Both of my parents are good examples of how to support a spouse and I know that both my husband and I have learned things from them that help in our own marriage. My parents have always shown us a good example of continued courtship in marriage. Even with six children they took time for themselves and that shows with how comfortable they are with each other when all the kids are out of the home. They have always shown great love for their children and show that same love for their grandchildren.
My children adore their grandparents. My husband adores his in-laws. I adore my parents.
Thanks, Mom and Dad. You are my heroes.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

Big Springs

We LOVE this place. I've blogged about it before. Our first experience there as a family was welcoming the Fall colors last year.

We went back right before Jr. Jr. was born.

I blogged about how we welcomed "Spring" there.

And this Summer we made several trips up to Big Springs with family and friends for both picnicking and hiking.

Now that school has started, we're not going to let that stop us visiting this special place.
We went just the other day. This time we brought our butterfly net. We took turns with the net, sometimes catching and gently releasing butterflies.

Jr. Jr. even took a turn with the net. Boy, did he have fun swinging it around.

We LOVE Big Springs.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Banana Split Day 2011

Besides being National Second-hand Wardrobe Day and Kiss and Make Up Day, August 25 is also National Banana Split Day.
We got a little creative in our celebrating on this one. Instead of eating ice cream and junk food before bed (this time), we read one of the books we love, "Why the Banana Split." It is authored by Rick Walton and illustrated by Jimmy Holder.

This book is full of puns and we love it.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tacos and Beyond

It's time to "some spend" time blogging about a sign we saw during Park Week.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Such a Bigger Girl

My little girl is not in kindergarten anymore. She's a first grader. Check out my blog post from last September, "Such a Big Girl," to read about her starting kindergarten. Now to talk about starting first grade:

She has been excited all Summer about starting school. Ever since she finished kindergarten. "Now I'm in first grade." And she finally got to start.
The end of Summer came really quickly. We only finished Park Week a couple weeks ago. Since then we've had road trips and birthday parties and holidays. Oh my. And we still have so much going on (It's still Summer, even if school is going again). I'm not used to elementary school starting in August (started in September where I grew up) so I'm still trying to adjust to that. But enough of my rambling, let's talk about my big girl.

She got up and got ready without any complaints, of course. And no dawdling (on the first day of school). She was excited to take her new backpack and lunchbox. And to wear her new rainbow pants.

"I'm Rainbow Bright," she's been saying ever since Mommy and Daddy said that's what her pants reminded us of. She doesn't even know who Rainbow Bright is.

"I'm Green and Black Bright," Jr.'s been saying. He didn't want to be left out.

Nichole lined up with one of her friends who was in her class last year and is in her class again this year and then they headed in with the teachers. Another thing I'm not used to in elementary school. I went to elementary school where there was only one class in each grade. When we got together with other classes in the same grade, they were from other schools. And that did happen from time to time. Rural Outdoor School, anyone?

Again, enough about me. Jr. was excited because then it was "Jr. Time." While Nichole had her first day of school, Jr. got to choose what to do at home. We played Lego Star Wars on the Wii. We read some of "Lego Star Wars The Visual Dictionary," which we had checked out from the library. And after lunch Jr. watched Return of the Jedi. Can you sense a theme?

Like last year when we picked her up, Nichole didn't have a lot to say about the first day. Again calm, but we're sure she enjoyed herself.

My bigger girl.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Joy Is...

Hearing all three children laughing in the other room because they are playing together nicely.

Joy is also being able to bake some bread and make dinner because all three children are playing together nicely.

August 22 is Be an Angel Day, and my children definitely are.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Lego Jedi Academy Birthday Party

We like reasons to celebrate. What are some of our current reasons to celebrate? A very clean living room and bathroom. A new vacuum cleaner.

Oh, and somebody's 4th birthday.
Time to throw a party!

Welcome to the Lego Jedi Academy. Please come in. While you wait, enjoy coloring a Yoda mask.

Time to learn the ways of the force. Knock down the villains with beanbags.

Now that you've learned to control the force, try it blindfolded to destroy the Death Star piñata.
Hooray for already bagged candy inside the piñata. Everyone gets the same amount.

Phew. Time to relax with our new friends, the Ewok cupcakes... and ice cream.

Present Time!

Now for light saber training.
Defeat that evil Sith.

Congratulations. You are now a Jedi Knight. Here's your certificate of accomplishment.

Now have some fun playing with those presents.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Busy Busy Busy Again

Boy, we've been busy. Summer is ending. School starts soon. We've been getting ready for Jr.'s upcoming birthday. We took our annual trip down to Monticello for Jeremy to do balloons at the San Juan County Fair.

This year we did not go to Arches National Park. Jeremy had a show the evening we were to leave so we didn't get going until really late.
But like before, we drove over to see the Monticello Temple while we were there.

I thought about taking the kids to the city park while we were in Monticello (playground, lots of shade, plenty of room to run around) as it was only a couple blocks from our motel, but everyone was sooooo tired that we took naps instead. Oh well, it's not one that we'd be going to often anyway. "Hey, kids, let's go to a park to play. It's only a five hour drive to get there."

So busy busy busy. Gotta find that balance of being able to blog and get things done.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Curse You...?

Remember this guy? I blogged about him back in October (the small one, not Jeremy).

Now, how about this? (again, not Jeremy)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

National S'Mores Day 2011

Now that Park Week is over, we know of a whole bunch of places to roast marshmallows for National S'Mores Day, August 10. So guess what we did today. We made S'mores with our microwave at home. Too busy to go out to any parks though the kids did ask if we were going to visit a park.

Mmmm, S'mores.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Park Week- Day 11

We did it. We survived Park Week. Two weeks of it. Day 11 was our last day. Good thing, too. We didn't put sunscreen on today (except Jr. Jr. got some after the first two parks), and we all got a bit burned (except Jr. Jr.). Not too bad, though. But if you do Park Week, don't forget the sunscreen. For our last day, we decided to head up Provo Canyon to some of the parks we pass often but never stop at. Here's where we went:

Canyon View Park (Provo Canyon).

Playground. Walking trail with signs about the area. Provo River running by. Bridge over the river leading to the Provo River Parkway. We were able to walk easily from this park across the bridge and Parkway to the next park.

Mt. Timpanogos Park (Provo Canyon).

No playground. If you want a nice relaxing walk (not a hike, but a walk), this is a great place for it. Well maintained. Beautiful landscaping. Flowers everywhere. Jeremy and I both had the same first impression- it's like a mini Thanksgiving Point Gardens. It was pleasant.

And the restrooms. There was actually a changing table in the restroom. Whoa. First I've seen during all of Park Week.

We walked from one end of the park to the other where it connected again to the Provo River Parkway and we walked along to Canyon View Park again.

Nunn's Park (Provo Canyon).

Has a campground. Also a little playground. Plenty of picnic tables.

We stopped by to see Bridal Veil Falls. It was so nice. There is a Bridal Veil Falls Park, but we're going to have to try that another time.

Vivian Park (Provo Canyon).

We pass this one all the time on our way up to Big Springs but we've never actually stopped before. We've thought about it but finally got to as part of Park Week. Two playgrounds. Pit toilets, but fancy pit toilets. And the Heber Valley Railroad stops here.

Canyon Glen Park (Provo Canyon).

More bridges over the Provo River.

Another nice relaxing walk. And the playground. It's not your typical playground. It's filled with rocks to practice rock climbing. Fun, huh?

Again, nice restrooms. And it has a little ampitheatre. The kids love putting on little shows.

So we did it. 2 weeks of Park Week. The End.

It was a good family day.