Saturday, February 28, 2009

My Cute Kids!

I can't believe how few posts I have about my kids! Why is that??!! My life definitely revolves around them. I guess it's just nice to get away from them sometimes, even if it's just in the privacy of my own blog. That being said, it's high time for me to tell you more about them! A few posts ago I promised to repent and start taking more pictures of my kids. I really have been doing better at it. Here are some pictures I took of the kids this last week, along with some info about them. I'm also going to have them tell a little bit about themselves.

Here is my oldest, 10-year-old Makenna. Isn't she cute?!! She was our only BYU baby. She just got her braces on a couple of weeks ago. She is a very sweet, responsible girl. At school and church she is very shy and quiet. Sometimes I wish she was more like that at home! She talks and laughs non stop at home and we are constantly having to tell her to quiet down.

Makenna loves to draw, watch Smallville, and to tease her brothers. She is in two gymnastics classes this year. I can't believe how flexible she is. She can effortlessly do the Chinese splits. Even in jeans!

Pretty much every day we fight over her hair. I love it like this, but very rarely style it this way. You can probably tell why. Makenna says it is much too "fluffy" this way. What can I say? I grew up in the 80's. When asked to tell about herself, Makenna says, "Don't put that picture of me on your blog Mom! I'm not going to say anything because you put that picture of me on your blog!" (Well, that worked out well! Can't wait for that girl to become a teenager!)

This is Matthew. He is 9 years old. He was born when we were living in Newport Beach, California. He constantly amazes me with his creativity. Two of his school teachers have compared him to Bill Gates because he is very intelligent, but definitely thinks outside the box.

He loves to play Spore on the computer and Sim City on the Wii. He also enjoys learning about the solar system. He spends a lot of time playing outside and loves to build things in the dirt.

I had a very disturbing experience with Matthew this week. He came up to me and asked, "Which is more like an eagle, a Klingon bird of prey or a Romulon War Bird?" Uh oh! Someone has been spending way too much time watching Star Trek with Dad!

Matthew says, "I like Daisy. Makenna and Jonathon are always being mean to me. I like to play outside, play the computer, and play Sim City on the Wii. My Aunt takes us on trips to the movies. My teacher is Mrs. Buchanan. I like to make paper airplanes."

Meet Jonathon! He will be seven in May. He is such a sweetie. He is very smart and really enjoys going to school. His reading has really improved this year. He enjoys playing outside, coloring, and playing lego Indiana Jones on the Wii.

I love Jonathon's smile! It always makes me smile. I love how he does his best at school and tries so hard to follow the rules.

Jonathon says, "I'm good at gymnastics. I'm good at karate. Jason is my friend. I like playing outside. Cody is my friend."

Here's the baby of the family, Kevin, being held by his big sister Makenna. He is also known as the "Chunky Monkey." Kevin is my only child at home now during the school day. He has a really cute personality and is fun to spend time with. For the last six months he has been obsessed with the Disney movie Cars and will watch it as often as I will allow. He loves to play with his little cars and act out the scenes with "Lightning the King,""Doc Husband," and "Chicken."

Kevin's other love is our dog Daisy. She is a puggle. Her dad was a pug and her mom was a beagle. Kevin is very attached to her. Unfortunately, neither Kevin nor Daisy have much need for personal space, especially when it comes to tongues and mouths. Disgusting!

Kevin says, "Daisy was licking me. I like to play with Daisy. I like Happy Feet. Daddy holds me. Grammy Pat hugs me. Nenna (Makenna) holds me too cuz I'm heavy."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Makenna's Blog

Last week, I had this great idea for Makenna to start a blog. It seemed like it could be a fun mother/daughter activity for us to work on together. Unfortunately, she is a bit lukewarm about it at present. I'm hoping she will become more enthusiastic as she receives some comments. She hasn't received any yet for her first post, , so I am asking, no begging you to read the first entry and to leave a comment. Thanks! The address is:

A Walk To Remember

I really love serving in the Young Women's program. It's so much fun! Ever since I graduated from High School I have wanted to be a Young Women's leader. I had a long wait! I started out in student wards where we just had Relief Society. Eventually, I moved on to family wards, but I was always called to be in the Primary or the Relief Society. I enjoyed serving in those organizations, but still hoped to eventually end up in Young Women's.

About 18 months ago, I was called to be the Beehive advisor. Yippee!! I was sad to leave my primary class, especially because my daughter was in the class, but excited to finally make it into Young Women's. I really enjoyed getting to know the Beehives. What great young women they are! I also loved working with Jill Williams, the YW 2nd Counselor. I really miss seeing her every Wednesday.

Everything changed last September when I was called to be the YW president. Help! I was absolutely terrified! I had never even served in a presidency before, so I felt totally unqualified. Fortunately, I have a wonderful presidency and fabulous class advisors who make my job so much easier. At first I was really sad to leave my Beehives to work more with the Laurels. I still miss my Beehives, but I love being with the Laurels. I am truly amazed by how mature and responsible they are. And I've really enjoyed working with Sister Irene Hauver, the Laurel advisor. She's amazing! I love the great example she sets for the girls.

For our mutual activity last Wednesday, we went on a "walking picnic" that the class presidency had planned. One nice thing about working with the Laurels is that they are responsible enough to plan and carry out their own activities. Mostly I just show up and join in the fun. It's great! Anyhow, the plan was for us to get a little exercise by walking around to the the various Laurel's homes to pick up food for a picnic. We started at Shelby Simper's house, where we picked up chips and hoagie buns, then walked on to Madison Hauver's house to get juice and potato salad. From there we went on to Noelle Rust's home to pick up veggies for the sandwiches. We ended up at Brittney Teeples house. She brought out the ham, cheese, mayonaise and mustard. We had a great meal on her front porch. The weather was perfect! In the summertime I ask myself over and over again why I live in Southern Nevada. But at this time of the year I remember.

Here are a few of the pictures I took at the activity. Summer Simmons, one of the Laurels, helped me (Thanks Summer!) to fix all the red eyes. Here's the weird thing. Because it was dark and I was using the flash, ALL of us had red eyes in EVERY picture, exept for Irene and Madison Hauver. NEITHER of them had red eyes in ANY of their pictures. I am very puzzled by this phenomenon. Does anyone have any ideas about why that would be?

(From left to right) Brittney Teeples, Madison Hauver, Irene Hauver, Noelle Rust, Summer Simmons, Ashlie Simmons, and Shelby Simper

This is a picture of Summer and Ashlie Simmons. I'm so happy that Summer brought along her young sister. I'm hoping to see a lot more of Ashlie at our activities.

Here we have the whole Laurel gang. I'm so happy that everyone was able to come that evening!

Here we have Ashlie Simmons, Shelby Simper, and Summer Simmons. What cuties!

This is a picture of Brittney Teeples and Madison Hauver. We sure will miss Brittney when she heads off to school.

So, that was our Walk to Remember. I am excited to spend more time with these wonderful girls at all the fun activities we have coming up.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Memories: Makenna's Kindergarden Days (2004)

I have a confession to make! For the first 18 months of Makenna's life, I took lots and lots and lots of pictures. And I did lots and lots and lots of scrapbooking. Then everything changed! I had another baby-Matthew. Life got pretty crazy and I stopped scrapbooking completely. That was nine years ago. Even worse, I've hardly even taken any pictures. I know, it's terrible! I am appropriately ashamed. And I am resolving to do much, much better in the picture taking department. As for scrapbooking, I think I'm done with that-maybe forever. I just don't have the interest anymore. I'm going to just blog the pictures and memories from now on. Unfortunately, I'm pretty behind. So, I hope you'll forgive me for all the "Memory" posts that will be coming along. I don't expect my friends and followers to read and comment on them all. Of course, if you'd like to, that would be great. Just don't feel obligated.

As I still haven't learned how to scan photos, I'm going to start with ones I already have on my computer. I seem to have quite a few kindergarden pictures for Makenna, so I'll begin with those.

This picture was taken outside Makenna's kindergarden classroom at Newport Heights Elementary School in Newport Beach, CA. We lived there for 5 years while Jared was in graduate school. We moved to Utah the following summer, so Makenna was only there for kindergarden.

This is Makenna with one of her kindergarden teachers, Mrs. Kerri? Holland. What a great teacher! She managed to run a tight ship, while still being nice and sweet. She was also the prettiest and most stylish school teacher I've ever known.

This is Makenna's other teacher. I wish I could remember her name. She was actually a long-term sub. Makenna's regular teacher, Mrs. Mountain was removed from the classroom. Long story. Let's just say I wasn't sad to see her go. The substitute teacher, however, was great.

The fun corner of the classroom. Note Matthew in the red Hawaiian shirt.
Here is Makenna with a life size replica of herself. I love that little pink dress. Still have it , just in case...Makenna's class was raising these cute little chicks.

The next few photos are of us on the kindergarden playground.

Yes, I admit it. I LOVE to swing. Everytime we go to a park I just can't seem to resist!
The next few pictures were taken at an after school Hawaiian party.

Here is Jonathon at age two. Thank goodness he eventually outgrew the thumb sucking!

This is Matthew at 4 years old. I love this little red Hawaiian shirt. It has now made it all the way down the line to Kevin. Having three boys in a row does have its advantages when it comes to hand me downs.

What a little daddy's girl! Makenna's cute little Hawaiian dress is one of her school uniforms. Uniforms were not required, but were strongly encouraged. Unfortunately, I found out about the uniform policy after I had bought Makenna's school clothes for the year.

Here is Jared showing of his hula hoop skills.
Here is a picture of Makenna with a little red-haired boy in her class. Sadly, I can no longer remember his name.

Makenna's teacher, Mrs. Holland, told me that she heard them talking about getting married someday. Makenna always insisted that she did NOT have a crush on him-
but I had my doubts...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

"Little" Miracles

In Gospel Doctrine today we talked about "little" revelations and "little" miracles. We discussed how we are sometimes looking for such dramatic revelations or elaborate miracles that we miss all the "little" ones in our lives. Today, I experienced one such "little" miracle.

Yesterday morning I received an e-mail from an old, dear friend whom I hadn't heard from in years. She mentioned that her mother had been experiencing some severe health problems and her father had made the difficult decision to place her mother in a home. She requested that I give her dad a hug if I happened to run into him.

My heart went out to her parents, but I knew that there was no chance that I would "just happen" to run into her father. I had not seen him for years, certainly not in the 3 1/2 years since I had moved back to Overton.

I stayed after church today for a meeting with my Laurel class. My husband and I decided that he would take the kids home and help them change their clothes, then pick me up on the way to my parents' house for Sunday dinner. After the meeting, I called Jared and suggested he pick me up in back of the church. "That's good," he said, "Unless you'd rather have me come pick you up on the side."

The side sounds good," I responded, then walked to the side of the church and waited for Jared to come.

Suddenly and unexpectedly, I saw my friend's father get out of his car and walk toward the building. I walked over to him and was able to give him the hug my friend had requested. We talked for a few minutes about his wife and the trials he'd been through. I don't know if the experience touched his heart, but it deeply touched mine. I know we did not meet by chance today. I am so grateful for the precious "little" miracles in my life.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentines Date

I dearly love my children, but sometimes it sure is nice to get away from them for awhile....even if it's just for a few hours.

This year for our Valentines date we went to the Cheesecake Factory at Caesars Forum. Caesars Forum is a unique shopping area in Vegas, complete with statues, fountains, and ceilings painted to look like the sky. If you are planning a trip to Las Vegas and are planning to do some shopping, check it out!

The Cheescake Factory is one of my all-time favorite restaurants. Both the food and the atmosphere are fabulous. I love how menu is one of the longest I've seen, but ironically Jared and I always seem to get the same thing.

This is Jared's Factory Burrito Grande. You probably can't tell from the picture, but it is HUGE! And Jared finished it off. I will never understand how he manages to stay so thin!

This is my Chinese Chicken Salad. There was enough to stuff myself, and still have a full take home box to eat the next day. Delicious!

Jared and I both ordered the Snickers Bar Cheesecake for dessert. YUMMY! If you like cheesecake and haven't tried the Cheesecake Factory, I highly recommend that you do so. They have every kind of cheesecake possible.

After we left The Cheesecake Factory, Jared held the camera at arm's length and snapped a couple of pictures of us and then....

practically ran over to the Apple computer store. Doesn't he look happy??!!!

After I had FINALLY managed to drag him away from the Apple Store, we decided to get some pictures of us by a fountain. Unfortunately, neither of us were brave enough to ask a complete stranger to take our picture, so Jared just took this one of just me. Sorry about the red eyes. I don't have a clue how to get rid of them. Perhaps one of my oh so wonderful friends will show me what to do...

Luckily, a kind stranger offered to take our picture, so we were able to get our couple picture.

So there you have it, everything you wanted to know about our date and more. Hope you all had a fabulous Valentines Day too!

80's Hair

The comments about my 80's hair have prompted me to WOW you all with some even more impressive pictures.

This is one of my senior pictures. Like I needed any more attention drawn to my humongous hair!

This one is from my junior year. Yikes! What in the world was I thinking?!! The crazy thing is that I remember lots of people telling me what a fabulous picture this was. And they were serious!! Or at least I thought they were...

Yet another picture of my monster bangs. You know you want them! Right? It's truly amazing what hot rollers, a mini spiral curling iron, lots of gel, and half a bottle of hairspray can accomplish!

Someday I will be able to laugh at his one....but not yet! Don't you just love my perm? I didn't have the slightest clue how to take care of one. I would wash my hair every night, sleep on it wet, and brush (Yes, I do mean brush!) it out in the morning. Presto! All ready for school!

The scariest part is that in 10-20 years I will look at my hair in my 2009 pictures, cringe, and ask myself, "What in the world was I thinking???!!!!"