Monday, March 31, 2008

Easter in St. George!

This was the best shot of all the kids in their Easter clothes (all from Grandpa). Hannah's matching yellow dress didn't fit, so she wore my old dress from when I was little--all eyelet with a pink ribbon waist--very vintage! jk

The Hunt!

Watch out for Hannah--she's quick and methodical! We had to slow her down so the younger ones could find some eggs.

Cousin Logan loved the dinosaur eggs!

Jake was slow and steady!

Cousin Liam was having fun just running around after the big kids!

Alex just stole from his little brothers basket!

Owen with some chocolate drool!

My brother Steve and his wife Michelle

Liam would give you these to-die-for eyes and then sneak an egg from your basket! So cute!

Hannah showing off her loot!

The Practical Joke

The highlight of the day was when Alex played a joke on his unsuspecting Grandma...

It was a real bug he found in the backyard! He thought he was so funny! Thankfully someone warned her or she seriously would have had a heart attack! I opened it just to pretend to Alex that I was surprised and I still screamed...even though I knew what was in it! Something about those black spindly legs! eck! It was pretty funny!

It was a wonderful Easter at Grandma and Grandpa's house and we feel so thankful and so blessed!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring Break--Part One


John's grouchy driving face!

We loaded up the camper and drove as far as Bakersfield where we parked in a Walmart parking lot for the night. I never noticed the amount of motorhomes in the back of Walmart parking lots until we got one but I guess they have an open door policy.

yes, we own it.

yes, we're a little WT!

no, we don't park it next to our house!


More driving...

We were thrilled whenever Owen took naps because he is in a pre-talking, often screaming phase. Not so fun on a long road trip!

The big kids just color, read, play their leapsters, or watch movies. I love that they can lay down in the camper and take potty breaks whenever needed!

Vegas Baby!

We made it Las Vegas and stopped at a favorite place off the strip--Bass Pro Shop.

It is a hunter/camper/fisher haven; however, we are none of those! (at least not to the extreme!)--we just like the taxidermy animals everywhere and the extreme sports equipment.

This place really is amazing--HUGE and the kids love it!

After that, we went to the strip where we forgot our camera in the camper...Of course! That's okay, it probably would've been pg13--bordering on rated R anyway! I forget how crazy Vegas is--nudy pictures everywhere--on billboards, statues, flyers littered on the ground! The kids kept covering their eyes, "Ahh! naked person!"

We were there during the day but still fabulous!

Anyway, we found some good, clean fun by watching the water fountain show at the Bellagio which the kids loved! Owen freaked out every time the water got really high--it was pretty cute. Then we went to the Segfried and Roy Secret Garden at the Mirage to see the white tigers and dolphin habitat. It was good but not great (the aquarium at Mandalay Bay is much better!) We walked through the Forum Shops at Caesar's to see Triton's fountain come to life and then went to the botanical gardens and chocolate waterfall at the Bellagio. Hannah wanted me write that she got a blister from her Crocs and walked up on her toes all day. She was such a trooper--she never complained. The kids had a great time!
We got to my parents house in St. George and settled in for the night.

More to come later!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Off we go...

12 hour road trip, here we come!

We're headed down to Southern Utah for Spring Break to visit Grandma and Grandpa in St. George and because I'm not very savvy when it comes to lap-tops or other people's computers, I have a feeling I won't be posting for a week. Look forward to a big Spring Break synopsis when I get back! (I'm acting as though a lot of people read my blog!)

If you do and you love me, leave me a comment so that I have lots to look forward to!!
Have a wonderful Easter and a great Spring Break!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sad Day

We attended a funeral today for Ronna Skarda--a beautiful, wonderfully sweet woman, who died prematurely from cancer at 49 years old. This may sound strange, but I actually enjoy funerals. Having faith in eternal life seems to buffer the sadness and almost (almost) makes it seem joyous, especially in thinking of the reunion on the other side. The reality of those left behind, however, is poignant and sharp and can be devastating. I love to celebrate that person's life and hear the wonderful stories and anecdotes. Funerals tend to buoy me up and give me a more clear perspective on life and love.

What I learned from Ronna today:
1. motherhood is a gift, an incredibly precious gift! She cherished being a mother and there was no greater role in her eyes. As her daughter put it, Ronna "started early and ended late!" She was a mother at 15 years old (and before that to her little sisters) and had Skyler when she was in her mid-forties. It was the only thing she wanted to do and she put her whole heart into it!
2. tell your children (and others) often how much you love them. Ronna wrote these beautiful, heartfelt, very personal letters to her children and always expressed her love for them. It made me want to put more thought into my notes and conversations.
3. discuss the eternal aspect of your relationship with your children. Ronna told her children that they were best friends in the pre-existence and that she came first so that she could be their mom. Isn't that so sweet!? I love that knowledge that our spirits are so connected and will be forever. I often feel that deeper, spiritual connection with my own parents and with my children and I want to acknowledge that and cultivate it! We can (and should) have a deep and spiritual bond and friendship with our kids.
4. the first four minutes after your husband gets home are crucial--they set the tone for the rest of the evening! (john loved this one!) Ronna taught her daughter to cherish her relationship with her spouse and to greet him with enthusiasm and make him the focal point when he gets home from work with a peaceful and pleasant atmosphere (for at least four minutes!) Ain't that the truth!? It can change their whole mood! Ronna would even hurry and hang up the phone with her daughter if she could hear that her son-in-law had just got home. So cute! (I bet she put lipstick on too!)
5 thru 10... love life, love others, be grateful, be happy, be prayerful, and live each day like it's your last!

I love you Ronna! You will be missed!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Make it a good one with lots of kisses and pinches!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Friday Friend Day...and Night!

I've noticed that I've posted a blog almost every night this week! We're usually much too boring to post so often, so I'm sure things will slow down this next week!
Anyway, yesterday was Friday Friend Day which we do every Friday with two other families (you have all the kids--11 in total!--one week and then you're off the next two and can go out sans kids!) It's a beautiful thing! The Larson's were missing due to illness, so we just had the Callaway girls and it ended up a sleepover with the big girls.

Neve, Hannah, and Maren. We missed you Maddie!

They were so excited--typical squealing and hugging and jumping up and down! They are so dang cute! They had a dance party complete with strobe lights (Neve flipping the switch up and down!) and giggled and whispered until nearly 11 o'clock when I finally had to sit down in the doorway to let them know I was serious! (I totally remember my friends' moms doing the same thing!) Crazy! My little girl is growing up!

With boy/girl twins, I figure we better do the sleepovers now because we won't be able to do them when they're older! Too tempting! Any suggestions on slumbering during the pre-teen and teenage years? I hate to have a blanket "No Sleepovers" policy because I loved sleepovers growing up but bad things can happen!

Night at the Theatre

Danville Children's Musical Theatre presents...

Grandma Blatter took all of us (minus dads and little ones) to the showing of Mulan on Thursday night.

The kids with grandma and their cousins, Mason and Katie.

It was a lot of fun and nice to see so many kids from the stake involved! Where are all the San Ramon kids, by the way?? We need to represent!! (Maybe you need to live in the town of Danville, since it is the Danville theatre? Does anyone know? Paige? I guess San Ramon has it's new cute little theatre at the Dougherty Valley Community Center--Jake and Hannah did The Little Mermaid there a couple of years ago.

The kids fell in love with Mushu and cracked up on every one of his lines. They were either very excited or downright nervous (Alex) to meet him after the show!

Thanks Grandma! It was a great night!

Georgia On My Mind!

Are these not the cutest pictures ever!? Look at those dimples! This is my niece Georgia who lives in Denver and we miss her so much. She is growing so fast and I feel like I'm missing it! They are coming to visit us this summer and we can't wait!

(Sorry Jon and Farrah! I hope you don't mind! I had to include these in our family memories...she is just too cute!)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

FHE and Sacred Trees

Who knew you could do so much with Cheerios?

We had Family Home Evening the other night with our kindred friends, the Slavens. We love them! They are so fun and crazy and laid back and our kids adore eachother. She has this great little FHE Book that includes a recipe with every brief, to-the-point lesson (much needed for small ones!)

The lesson was on Joseph Smith's experience in the Sacred Grove and everyone got to make their own sacred tree. Kristi got a little crazy with the food coloring as Monte's advising, "It only takes a few drops!" They were some pretty bright green trees!! "Happy little trees!" The kids loved it.

Chancellor, who ate every one's tree trunks. He's a tootsie roll lover!


Jack Jack and Dallin

Alex with his boot shaped tree!


Hannah with her christmas tree! (certainly sacred!)

Jolly Green Owen!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My Little Tramps

The pictures say it all...

This one's my fave!

There was another one with their behinds pressed up against the screen but I decided to leave it out!)

I love that trampolines have nets around them now. I can't believe we didn't think of that sooner! Just think of all the unnecessary accidents from your youth! Every set of stitches I have ever received (pre-babies, of course) was the result of a trampoline accident. I guess, upon reflection, mine couldn't have been avoided even with a net...first time I came down on my friend Desiree's head but thankfully her dad was a plastic surgeon and stitched my chin up right on his kitchen counter! The next incident was across the street at Nikki's house and I did a seat drop but my knee came right up into my mouth and knocked my front teeth into the roof of my mouth! That was a scary one--blood everywhere! I think I was twelve and rushed to the hospital where another neighbor, a dentist, came and did a root canal. Thankfully I pushed the teeth forward with my tongue and they could be saved. However, years later in my late teens when my braces finally came off I had a very slightly blue tooth that had died over the years from an uncapped root canal! Thanks a lot neighbor!! I guess John fell in love with me with my slightly blue tooth so maybe it gave me character! Thanks a lot neighbor!! Don't worry I was back to my pearly whites way before the wedding! Can't have your teeth clash with your dress!

Gosh, just thinking about the accidents of my youth make me question having the death trap in the backyard! But, as you can see, it gives hours of pleasure!

John and Brad's B-Day Dinner

John and his long-time buddy Brad have birthdays a week apart so we decided to celebrate together this year. This past weekend, we had dinner and headed over to Dave and Buster's to do some "adult" games--it's basically a really nice Chuck E. Cheese for grown men! Needless to say we had a great time.

The group minus many couples who couldn't make it!
Me and John, Bryce and Alicia, and Brad and Rachel.

John with his scary racing face. I have to say it was John's night! He beat us all in NASCAR racing (twice! Sorry Brad!), and the basketball toss, and came pretty close in Dance, Dance Revolution! jk

Alicia and Rach showing off their moves!

Greetings earthlings!

Oh phew, just Rach!

Alicia's awesome shooting stance! So poised!