Friday, December 31, 2010

Pedestrian Overpass

My mom lives near a high school with a pedestrian overpass.  Owen thinks it is one of the coolest things he has ever seen and loves to take field trips to run around on it. Personally, I was a lot more excited by the Chinese food for dinner and chance to see my grandparents.  Owen stared at his empty plate and talked about corn dogs for that portion of the evening, but it's okay since he'd already had his fun, right?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Best Grandma Ever

And don't even try to claim yours is!  Oh, and Merry Christmas, too.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Nutcracker Ballet

We had a girls' afternoon and attended the Nutcracker.  Just ask the girls, everything is better with Aunt Kellie involved. I think Andrew was glad for the excuse of small children to care for today.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hello Sunshine!

We took the long way to CA to avoid the massive snowstorms in the Sierra.  Instead we had snow, rain, snow, rain, rain, rain and one tiny moment of seeing far away sunshine trying to shine down on Vegas.  Then rain, rain, rain, rain, and rain.  Yup, it was a long drive.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

All Four, All at Once

The post-church quickie photo shoot.  Not too bad.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Introducing Brandon Mull

Eeek, eek!  Breathe, breathe, breathe.  Hyperventilate and then fan your face.  That was all before Bryn could even tell me what she was talking about.  Turns out Brandon Mull of Fablehaven fame was coming to Bryn's school to do an assembly and she and a friend would be introducing him.  Today was the day. She did a great job and sounded very professional and not at all nervous.  Go Bryn!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

All Four

Not in the same picture, but all within a half hour of each other.

Owen, showing me his map/maze of this earth that he made at Nana and Grampa's today. Drawing has become one of his favorite pastimes lately, though legos are probably number one.

Claire, with peanut butter on her face, mesmerized by Princess Ariel.  Her hair is crazy these days.  (Claire is watching me post this and she says, "Oh, look it's me, it's Claire.  She's so beautiful, but she has a lady bug dress; she wants a Cinderella dress.  Mom, she wants a Cinderella dress.  Where's her Cinderella dress!?!")

Bryn and Ella, who fell backwards onto the couch while hugging.  You can see all of Bryn's damaged parts from last Friday are healing up nicely.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Phone Needs Help

So do my expired coupons, and my messy desk, and and and.....

Friday, September 17, 2010

Chinny, Chin, Chin

Poor Bryn fell off her scooter tonight.  She landed smack on her chin.  We weren't home.  She was with her friends.  Their parents weren't home, either. (Parent/child communication breakdown is a post for another time.) Fortunately, a kind stranger driving by saw what happened, called me, and helped them to a neighbor's house.  Then that lovely mom got Bryn all calmed down and all the blood cleaned up.  That's when we finally showed up.  Our other neighbor who does wilderness camps and has much first aid experience cleaned it out properly and taped her up while telling us it was a definitely stitch worthy cut.  Andrew took her to instacare where she finally quit freaking out.  You'd think the stitches would be the scary part, but it was all about anticipation for her.  And now she's home again, home again, jiggety jig.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Who needs a brother?

Having the kids back in school has been hard on Owen.  I anticipated Claire being bored and needy without them, but she's fine.  Owen is the one who spends his days pining away for when Ella comes home.  Today he attacked her (literally) when she walked through the door.  She's a good sport and happily wrestled with him.  Who needs a brother when Ella will fight, play Batman, make paper airplanes, etc?  I never thought my boy and girl who are over four years apart would be the closest pair out of all my kids, but I'm very grateful for their relationship.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Claire on the Stair

No good can come of a toddler knowing how to climb out of a crib, and this picture is late-night proof of that statement.  She doesn't look very contrite, does she?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Lunch with Dad

It's always exciting and fun to meet Dad for lunch.  Who knew you could see your dad in the MIDDLE of the day?

Claire, now: "Oh look, I have a pink bow.  That's bee-oo-ful, Mom.  I'm so pretty.  Where's my backpack?  It has princesses on it. Can I pick my nose?"

Hmmm, maybe lunch with dad isn't the important part.  She obviously has such high level concerns to attend to.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Some days that whole sweetness and cuteness of my children thing just kills me.  I love these kids!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Greek Festival

None of the kids liked the food, but they all liked the dancing.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Painter's Assistant

Owen and I repainted an end table today.  He was thrilled to get his hands on the brush instead of being told it was mom's turn which is usually what happens when the paint is out.  Thanks, Buddy!

We got a surprise visit in the middle of our project when Claire decided she wasn't going to take a nap, and then figured out how to climb out of her crib.  No thanks to you Claire!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


This is Claire.  She's half naked.  Her hair is crazy and a half.  Her pants are falling down (but hey, she's wearing them!) She's gotten herself outside and up on the trampoline.  And she won't get down.  This is classic Claire.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cool Tricks

Owen thinks putting a pencil behind your ear is some pretty cool stuff.  I think Owen looks like an alien or a bug.  But a cute alien or a bug.  Maybe the humans attacked when he landed and that's how he got the cut on his head.  No one can figure out where it came from.  Owen must have a hard head to not notice things like that.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"I got ponytails!"

Claire loves ponytails, but she's not so boring and fashion backwards as to think they should just be for hair.  She's a true trendsetter, going for the layered toe ring look.  Very fashion forward, and by totally hindered by her parents.

I walk in the room.
Claire:  Ponytails don't go on toes, huh, Mom?  Ponytails go in hair.  NOT on toes!"

Yes, it's a lot like that drawing on paper thing.  You say it to make your parents happy, but when their backs are turned.....

Monday, September 6, 2010

Windowsills are Fun

I have no idea why, but Owen loves to play with his toys on his windowsill.  Claire likes to join in with Owen more and more now that the girls are in school and he's the default playmate.  It's sweet to finally see them playing together happily.  (Claire is known for her history of torturing Owen.)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Batcave Fort

Owen has a loft bed in his room and he calls the space underneath the Batcave.  He's been wanting to sleep in there forever, so I finally told him he could, thinking that would mean we'd throw a pillow and blanket on the floor and that would be the end.  Nope, he needed a whole fort with a flip down blanket to hide under, etc.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Fireboy and Friends

Owen chose his own outfit today--red pants, red shorts, orange shoes--and proclaimed himself Fireboy since he was dressed just like fire.  How is a mom to argue with that?  Here he is with his trusty sidekicks, DogHat and Plokalots.  (Okay, I made that part up, but since they all got in the picture, they need some kind of names, right?)

Friday, September 3, 2010

"I know you...

I met with you once upon a dream."  Claire loves all princesses right now, but this is her favorite song.  She likes to pick the mini roses from our bushes, jump and throw them in the air and sing this song.  She'll also go on about getting married and finding a prince and being a hero and true love, and every other Disney platitude ever thrown our way.  I'm sure this is all normal and fun, but I do worry about just what messages I'm sending when she watches these shows over and over.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I love it that my kids are old enough to be capable workers and that they're young enough to still think it's mainly fun.  Owen and Ella deadheaded all the front yard flowers today.  Thanks, guys :-)

Monday, August 30, 2010


Owen really likes to help with anything that goes on in the kitchen.  Claire just likes chocolate.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bedtime Bozos

When I was pregnant with Owen, I felt a bit sorry for him.  He was going to be stuck with me as his only playmate since his two sisters were over 4 and 6 years older than him.  Turns out that he and Ella are the best of friends and can play happily for hours.  Owen absolutely adores his big sister, especially when she's being goofy and he gets to join in the fun.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Next Door

If there is anything Claire loves in life, it's our next door neighbor's yard and front porch.  She's constantly checking to see if they're home, and even when they're not she'll go sit on their porch and wait for a bit.  One day she even opened the front door and walked on in.  Now that's what I call neighborly.

Today we were unloading the groceries and Claire spent her time on the neighbor's steps picking flowers.  It's a good thing they really like Claire!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Tie Guys

Owen has realllly been wanting to have a tie like daddy, so what better way than to get them matching ones.  Big O is so proud, and I think that while Andrew doesn't want to admit to being all matchy-matchy, he likes the idea, too.

Friday, August 20, 2010

"Not a Good Choice"

Here's the conversation I just overheard and what I found when I went to see what was going on.

Owen in his lecturing voice:  "Mommy is going to be mad at you."
Claire, ever so happily: "Yeah!"
Owen:  "Mommy is going to be really mad."
Claire: "Yeah!:
Owen, slightly panicky now: "Claire, you have to stop it!  You are not allowed to do that!"
Claire turning serious: "Not a good choice, Owen?  NOT a good choice!"

Definitely not a good choice.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Part of beach week every year is going to the Boardwalk on cheap night and riding all the rides.  This one got six kids at once which is probably our record for the evening.  It's craziness trying to coordinate twenty-something people of varying ages and still get everyone on all the rides they want.  (Casualties this year include Kellie and me as we didn't get on a single ride.  Giant Dipper, I miss you!) 

This ride was Owen's first of the evening.  He started stomping around and whining while in line, and I thought he'd gotten scared and was wimping out.  Nope, he wanted to go ride the big roller coaster that's right behind this ride.  Grow, Owen, grow, so I can have a roller coaster riding buddy.

The Claire Bear's ride selection is limited, but she enjoyed everything she went on.  And I guess I lied above because we had adults, teens and little kids on this ride.  And also, I went on it, so I guess I did ride a ride, even if I did just stand next to Claire and make sure she didn't dismount while in motion.  I love the Looff Carousel.  I have so many childhood memories of pulling the brass rings and throwing them at the clown mouth. I never made it in.  Oh well, it's the fun that counts.  It's hard for me to believe it will be 100 next year, and I'll have been riding it for a third of that time.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Beauty and the Beach

My girl loves the beach.  She would happily play in the sand and dig for hours.  What she doesn't like is the ocean, or any one of her family members going in it.  She shrieks and panics when people go toward the ocean.  Owen loves the ocean and wants to be in it constantly, and he wants someone to come with him.  This is a pretty classic analogy for their relationship, except Claire is usually the one seeking trouble and O is holding back.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


We stopped and saw Shelly and Kevin's new twin girls on our way to the beach.  They're just a month old but very clearly have their own personalities already.  It's always so sweet to snuggle a newborn.  Owen doesn't feel quite the same way, but I'm giving him a pass since he's four.  And we didn't even bring Claire, because I don't know what she'd do, but I'd be scared to see it.  Bryn wanted to sneak one of the babies home with us!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Last Day of Swimming Lessons

The last day of swimming lessons means you take your test and then spend the rest of the time going off the diving board.  I'm pretty impressed that Ella jumped high, looked at me, and kept her eyes open! All three kids had a great time.  Claire--not so much, since she just put on her swimsuit every morning and then never got to go swimming.  Aaaah, the disappointments of being two!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Lovely Summer Evenings

Every summer we seem to shift to a very late schedule.  I don't like the sun, (it doesn't like me either), and so we stay in during the day when it's hot and go out during the pleasant evenings.  Here are the kiddos at 9pm jumping away on the ever popular trampoline.  We skipped the bike rides tonight after Claire's dangerous meeting with the driveway yesterday.  She doesn't seem to mind, but it doesn't look pretty.  Her expression isn't either, but you can tell Big O and Ella are having fun.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Fondness for Florals

I'm always surprised to see what blooms next in the yard, and then try to take pictures of it.  We've got some lovely creamy lilies and sweet little daisies right now in the back.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Official Fourth on the Fifth

We didn't do anything but sparklers, but that's enough :-)  Claire wasn't completely sure if she liked fireworks or not.  I guess with those short arms, it is a lot closer to her face than the rest of us.  She did like the big ones people were shooting into the sky.  The rest of the kids like it all, and Owen wanted more, more, more.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Who's Two?

Not Claire, even though today is her birthday.  Bryn was way too sad about being gone at camp for Claire's birthday, so we decided to celebrate when Bryn returns.  Claire's birthday excitement consisted of "green greens" for dinner.  And yes, that really is exciting for her.  I still think cake and presents may top the green greens come Saturday.

Friday, June 18, 2010

It's Official

When the slip n slide comes out you know it's really summer vacation time!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bingham Canyon Mine

You'd think that if my children went to the world's largest copper mine which is one of the only man-mad items visible from space, they'd come back impressed by the scale of the hole and wanting to tell me all about it.  You know what they were excited about?  Pressed pennies.  Grandpa has a collection of them, so they were all too eager to get to try what are usually the off-limits machines.  So instead of hearing about the giant hole, the huge machinery, the amazing scale of it all, I saw it on a smashed penny.

Thank goodness my mom was there to point out some of the more important stuff!

Claire and I stayed home for nap time, so no pictures from us today.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Gardening at Night

It's sort of a necessity when your day is filled with Grandma and Grandpa taking you to the movies, swimming and out to eat.  And when you're done, of course you have to stay up late and eat ice cream with berries.

Monday, June 14, 2010

True Blue

My Dad is a true blue BYU fan, so you can guess where we go every time he's here.  He has his own traditions like getting a Bismark (donut with jelly and coconut on top) and having lunch at the CougarEat, but the part the kids love is time at the Candy Jar.  Everyone gets to choose their own candy, Grandma gets fudge and life is good.   Even if you do have to pose for a picture in front of a picture of what's just outside the building.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


For the second year in a row we've had a rainy, dreary Summerfest.  Maybe they should reconsider that name?  The kids always have fun whatever the weather, and it was even nicer with grandparents to share in the excitement.

(Also of note: e-Claire has run off with the SD card.  Well, we're assuming it's her and she's too young to know she's being blamed without a fair trial.  In the meantime, not so clear phone photos or borrowed ones will have to do.)

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Snail Collection

Don't worry, it's just the shells!  Ella has a tendency to want to collect and keep everything she gets her hands on.  She brings home the leftover bits of streamer after a birthday party, she picks up rocks in parking lots, she remembers and loves every stuffed animal she's ever had--even when her mother has long since given them away.  Oh the heartbreak when any of her collected items disappears!

Ella and Grandma have done a bunch of weed pulling the last few days.  Our yard is starting to look like a yard and not so much like an overgrown weed lot, for which I'm extremely grateful.  However, Ella has been collecting snail shells as they've been found, putting them on the outdoor table and then naming them.  Anyone want to guess who Chalky is? Swirly? Mini?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Day with Grandma

The girls went to the mall with Grandma today.  Here's Ella sporting her new shirt, new hat, and some tasty ice cream.  Bryn came home with a new outfit, also and I'm pretty sure Grandma bought herself a few goodies, too.