Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Potty training

There is a lot going on in my house right now. The movers arrive a week from today. We are buying a new home in TX. We are putting in a pool. I spend hours on the phone each day dealing with details (car shipping, shutters and blinds, pool designs, inspections, utility hook ups, etc. . . ) the LAST thing I want to be doing right now is potty training.

But Owen has other ideas. He awoke a few days ago and announced, "I nee' go poddy"

And he did. And although he has had 2 accidents each day, he also has had 8 or more successes each day. Every time he would have an accident I would tell him, "OK, let's put on diapers right now!" And he would take them off. And all his clothes. Until finally I would put on his underwear.

Children. They have a mind of their own. It's a good thing he's so cute!

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Swimming. With a frog.

This frog got more than he bargained for when he jumped in with the kids!!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

My Madelyn turns 8

Yes, my baby girl is 8 years old.

I can't believe it.  I remember how grateful I was when she was born.  Julianne and Catherine were about 19 months apart and it had gone so well that we tried for another just as close, but we had a miscarriage.  I started wondering "what if" that is it for us?  What if we never have another?  In hindsight it may seem frivolous to think about those things, but for me at the time it was raw and very worrisome to me.

But, as they say -- nothing heals a miscarriage better than a sweet healthy baby.  And Madelyn was just that!  And now 8 years later, my 3 little girls - 19 months and 2 1/2 years apart are 8, 10, and 12.

Here are a few more pictures from her party on Friday and of her blowing out candles today.

With a move in the next 2 weeks I refuse to buy anything (like candles or cake mixes) so we had to make do with what we had here at the house.  Which meant I made TX sheet cake and put it into cupcakes.  The frosting didn't exactly go on smooth on top of the cupcakes, but they sure tasted amazing!






Saturday, July 28, 2012


After watching the Olympics all day on this very rainy Saturday we took the kids to get gelato. Yummy!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Madelyn's birthday party

Madelyn did a make your own pizza party at California pizza kitchen.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Best Buds

Today we got together with the Adam's buddy Jackson to go swimming. These two boys always have a good time hanging out.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Pool

We have been working with pool companies and have settled in on a pool design we love. I can't wait to see it for real! Here is a 3-D version!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Thank goodness for hot concrete

The pool water around here is not always the warmest. But there is nothing like hopping out to lay on the concrete!

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Niagara Falls

Having driven 6 hours on Friday and being so close to Niagara Falls, we got up Saturday morning and drove the remaining 3 hours to the Falls. Our kids really had no idea what to expect. We got out of the van and from the parking garage you could see the mist kicking up so they were excited. We walked along the river towards the falls. You can hear the roar but can't really see what is coming.


Right before coming to the falls.


the first glimpse -- the kids were pretty awestruck by them!


See that boat? Yep, we're going on it!


Our whole family in front of the American Falls


Getting our "mist" gear on!


They even had little mini ponchos for Owen!


About to board the "Maid of the Mist"


The mist was more like a crazy sideways downpour -- But it was an amazing view.




This is right in the middle of Horseshoe Falls on the Canada Side.


Back at the American Falls


Watching all the hikers go toward the mist. This was a truly awesome experience for all of us. Well worth the morning 3 hour drive and the afternoon 9 hour drive home!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Our trip to Palmyra

Having lived here 4 years we had yet to make the mormon pilgrimage to Palmyra, NY. We have passed up many opportunities to go (when family would visit for example) because it was winter and cold, or because we would like to time it to go see the Hill Cumorah Pageant. But then we realized that there was one more weekend of shows, so we took a super last minute trip.

The drive to Palmyra is about 6 hours from our home. We left at about 9:30 a.m. And almost immediately began questioning our trip. It was raining and not just a little bit. Absolutely pouring down rain for the first 5 hours of driving. I would look at Trent and he would look at me and we would wonder how fun an outdoor theater show would be in the pouring rain.

But . . . just as we arrived at the first of the history sites the weather started to lift and we ended up having a spectacular late afternoon and evening.


The Palmyra Temple


The Sacred Grove


Inside the Sacred Grove -- I will say that this was not really at all how I pictured it. I imagined we would walk a path to a clearing where they best thought that Joseph Smith's first vision took place. It is more like a nature preserve with over 2 miles of trails and benches scattered all along the way.


My "artsy" photo of the sacred grove.


I loved the wood fences all along the Smith Farm.


My cute boys.


Having arrived at the pageant, we stopped to take a photo with some of the actors -- who turned out to be the brother and sister-in-law of some good friends in New Canaan!


The kids with the staging in the background.


All of us!


One photo of the production. It is quite the spectacle. Complete with pyrotechnics, water stunts and an uncanny ability to recreate the paintings from the book of mormon that everyone is so familiar with.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cleaning out

With our upcoming move, I have been doing a lot of organizing and cleaning out. These past four years have taken our little girls (who were 8, 6, and 4 when we moved here) and turned them into 12, 10, and 8 year old girls. That means that doll houses, barbies, dress ups, princesses, and so much more have gone the wayside.

Owen thought perhaps this dollhouse bookcase could be a jungle gym?


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Julianne is growing up

Some days the growing up just seems to happen faster than others. Today was her first day to attend Young Women's in our ward. She went early so that she could rehearse a song with all the girls who went to camp. As soon as we walked in a friend and Young Women's leader asked her how camp was.

 She replied, "it was awesome. I can't wait until next year. I am hoping my mom will let me come back here and go as well as go with my ward in Dallas."

My jaw seriously must have hit the floor.  Who is this girl masquerading as my daughter?  I still remember the teary phone calls each night -- they were after all 3 days ago.

When asked again a little later if she had fun at Girls Camp she said, "It was kind of hard, but definitely worth it."

I guess she has had some time to think about her experience and realize that it has more value than she thought.  Or perhaps she has finally caught up on her sleep deprivation and it has cleared the view of how things really were.

I don't know how she got there, but I am sure glad she did.  She wanted to sing with the Young Women.  She wanted to go to class.  She even got home and wanted to make one of her purses be a scripture bag so she wouldn't forget them (she has NEVER wanted to bring anything but her iphone to church).

So thanks.  Thanks to all the leaders and teachers and camp planners that worked so hard and tirelessly for all the girls, but especially for my girl who almost certainly did not let on that she was enjoying it at the time.

Here is a quick video I recorded of the young women rehearsing their song today.  I must admit, they sounded great! Julianne is on the far right.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Applying for Visas - to China

Who knew traveling to China would require so much paperwork? Trent and I are just finishing off our Visa applications and we had to submit passport like photos taken in the last 6 months with a white background. So enjoy the laugh! Here they are!



I have to print them and cut them to 2x2 and then send off our passports and forms and photos and then I think we are ready!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Grandpa and Uncle Tyler Fly around the world!

Their trip starts today. My kids are anxious to track where they go and what they see! Houston to Chicago to South Korea to Sydney to Auckland is the first part.

Here they are on their flight to South Korea.