Saturday, August 22, 2009


I am very grateful for my kids. Here is a bit about what we have been doing lately. It might be a picture overload...

In a couple weeks our branch is going canoeing. We borrowed a canoe tonight to try out the logistics of keeping a baby afloat in a canoe. It went rather smoothly. He sat in the car seat with his life jacket. The entire time he had the "what on earth have you done to me" expression on his face (and the binkie very firmly inserted). We canoed a mile up and back to the "downtown" of our town. It is very pretty.

This weekend was our town's annual Ox Roast. There were no oxen involved so far as we can tell.We had a lot of fun - traditional carnival rides, a great parade, funny games like frog jumping and tractor pulls and fireworks (that we didn't stay up for). And we fed the baby a popsicle...

At the parade I couldn't get Abby to pose for a picture. (I think she was afraid she'd miss some candy.) I told her to show me how she could spin around and sneakily took the picture. I thought it turned out pretty well. We have some friends that live on the parade route so we were able to enjoy the parade on their lawn with lots of friends.

The other day Abby announced to me that she was going to the temple. This was her outfit. I loved it! She looked very cute. She kept telling me she had to take the red paper to the temple to get married. I am not sure what the paper was for. (I tried my hardest but couldn't get out of her who the lucky guy was.)

Here is a little bit on how my kids sleep. It doesn't vary much from night to night. This is Briton's favorite pose and Abby's favorite location.
This week we accompanied 7 other moms and their kiddos to the beach (Lake Michigan). It was the perfect day and the water was 74 degrees. Earlier this year when we visited it was in the high 50s. I love Lake Michigan!

Here was Briton's first airplane ride and Abby's gazillionth.
This is one of Abby's top choices in accessories: curling ribbon. We do belts, headbands and bracelets (lots and lots of bracelets). She is very creative and girly.

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There you have it. We are doing well. We're happy and healthy and grateful for many things - like I said at the beginning of the post, we are so happy with our kids and the way they brighten our lives. They are wonderful and they make us so proud. I watched a beautiful funeral online (isn't technology amazing) today. I am heartbroken that my friends had to say goodbye to their sweet daughter, but grateful for the testimonies and the spirit that was shared at the funeral. I felt uplifted and my faith was strengthened. Isn't it wonderful to be able to say, "Families are forever" and know that is isn't just wishful thinking or something nice to hope for. It is real and we can all know it for ourselves!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Benefit Yard Sale

The daughter of my good friends, James and Val, is in the fight for her life as she waits for a new heart. They are wonderful people and have been a big support to my sister and her family as her little boy underwent heart surgery just this week. There will be a yard sale to benefit their family this Saturday. I wish I could be there because I love them and because I have learned to love garage sales!

Victory for Vittoria Fundraiser:
Yard Sale, Bake Sale, Boutique, Tool Sale
Saturday, August 15th 7am-4pm
4880 W. 6040 S. Kearns
(donations can be dropped off Friday 1pm-8pm)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Singing in the Rain

Here is another camping trip. We went to another lake. This one you can see the opposite shore. You can also see the bottom of it since it is so shallow for a football field or two from the shore. (This is Mike and Abby pretty far out in water up to Abby's waist. That is the way we like it!)

The kids love playing in the water and sand.

We love our tent! (We especially love that it keeps us dry since there was a crazy storm all morning on Saturday. There were puddles all around the edge of the tarp, but they stayed out of the tent.) I think that Abby would sleep in the tent every night if we'd let her. She is already asking when we are going camping again. We have one more excursion planned for the season in a few weeks.
Here is a nice little story. We packed up camp a bit early due to the rain. Our prayer over breakfast had included a simple request that we could clean up camp with a break in the rain. We were able to position the car, beach umbrella and tent so that we could unload the tent right into the car without getting ourselves or our stuff wet. Very nice. We knew that we wouldn't have that luxury when we were taking down the tent. Well just as we put the beach umbrella away and started taking the tent down the rain slowed down drastically. (It had been torrential.) We stayed dry the entire time. "Ask and ye shall receive."

Being that we cleaned up early, we drove home a different way and stopped at a hands on museum in Midland. It was nice and kindly priced. Both of the kids enjoyed the displays on music. (When the picture of Briton was taken there was some syncopated music playing that he had a lot of fun with!)
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Wednesday, August 5, 2009


We were thrilled to have cousins visit on Sunday. B and B are just days apart and they had a great time together.

And then my child came in for the tackle...
And then he tried practicing cannibalism...

And then they grew up to be toddlers.

Here are all of us.

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

A few posts and my camera bag...(UPDATED!)

Hi. I am posting a bunch of posts right now. Read if you feel so inclined...

Also, I have returned to MI camera bag-less. (I have my camera.) If I was with you at some point in the last 3+ weeks and you come across a blue camera bag with a few camera peripherals in it, would you be so kind as to let me know? Thank you!

The camera bag was found! Pure inspiration:)


This is Abby's effort at a healthy digestive system. I set the table for dinner, turned around and this is what I saw.In other news, we are trying a bit of potty training. Recently, I told Abby that she could have a chocolate chip for using the toilet. She is too smart a girl for that and it backfired on me.

First, she used her negotiating skills to convince me that one chocolate chip wasn't worth much of anything. She insisted that she needed "plenty". Ok, 3 chocolate chips. "No, mom, I need lots and lots." I told her she could have more than 3. (How does 4 sound?)

That wasn't too bad. Then she started wanting to sit on the toilet all the time, crying because she wanted chocolate. This caused a bit of anxiety on her part, I think. The whining caused anxiety on my part.

By the end of the evening she had pottied twice on the deck. (One time she came in the sliding doors, threw the panties on the floor and said, "I don't want these panties. They're all wet.")

We're going to come up with a plan. I think we can do this.

We have a...

...sitter...and an eater. (Boy, does he love to eat.)

2000 miles in 10 hours

Our trip home was kind of crazy. We made it though. Here is a highlight of the pros (+) and cons (-).

- Mom (that's me) has to get double-wide stroller, two backpacks, a carseat and two children onto an airplane.
+ Both said children get on the plane in Salt Lake.
+ Plane arrives in TN 1/2 hour early.
+ Because of the early arrival we are able to get on an early flight out of TN to avoid a 4.5 hour layover.
- The Northwest gate clerk tells me that my transaction has fouled up all of his computers so I better stay close to "wait and see if we can get on the flight".
- Because of said waiting, there wasn't time to buy myself and kids lunch.
+ There are a couple food places next door to our gate.
+ I opt for the "healthy" smoothie.
- Abby sees the ice cream in the smoothie shop and tantrums when she realizes that we are not buying ice cream. (Shall I mention the granola bars and fruit snacks we'd dined on on the first flight?)
- Abby continues to tantrum in front of our soon-to-be flightmates.
- Abby "struggles" to get from the gate to the plane due to said tantrum.
+ Again, both children do get on the plane.
+ Children behave wonderfully on the plane.
- Our luggage does not make it on the early flight.
- I get to think about waiting 3 more hours for my luggage to arrive or making the 3 hour round trip the next day to get it.
+ Northwest agrees to ship the luggage to our local airport.
+ We find our car (that was left in the park and jet place by a branch member who was switching places with us (i.e. going to Utah) the morning we were coming home).
+ We ate a meal (albeit McDonalds) on the way home.
+ We make it home to Mike:)

Finishing up

During the last week of our trip (among other things) we celebrated my dad's 60th birthday. We had a fun time and I was happy to be able to see so many neighbors, friends and family.(Part of) our last weekend in Utah was spent at the cabin. As always, the swings were a hit. Briton went on his first four-wheeler ride. We were at the cabin for less than 24 hours, but it was probably the most relaxing time of the trip. We ate, visited, watched movies and played (but not too hard). It was fun to see the work my parents have been doing down there.

Our last full day in Utah was a bit overplanned. Mom and I started at the spa where my cousin's wife works with a fabulous pedicure (probably the nicest I've ever received). I appreciated some of my other cousins babysitting the kids. After that we went to lunch with one of my grandmas and then headed downtown for a continuation of our full day (with sleeping kids that we'd have to wake up). We toured the new Church History Library (where I saw a member of my former book club, Audrey, in the movie) and then went to Temple Square. The kids were out of steam by this point. (This is the picture of Abby throwing a tantrum because I won't let her climb on the statue.) My mom took Abby to the Gateway fountains while I fed Brit and then Abby and I took the train home. (The train is one of those great simple pleasures.)
That night we went to the aquarium. We love the aquarium and still have a pass.

We finished up the night on the trampoline. (It was so much fun, but unfortunately ended with a black eye.)

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