Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A New Hobby

At our last stake conference, we were encouraged to get to work on our family history. We have been taught this many, many times, but for some reason both of us felt an urgency to really get started. So we jumped into it....and we got very overwhelmed!!

Thanks to a very knowledgeable friend, we got a few pointers and some essential tutorials and now we are knee-deep into family history work. And we have discovered: It is fun!! And exciting!! And frustrating!! It is a lot like solving a mystery or building a puzzle... and it is extremely rewarding. Lately I have been spending all of my "free" time searching, sorting, and discovering. We live in an exciting time when most of the searching can be done right at home from our own computer! It is pretty amazing!

Repeat Champion

Recently our kids competed in the Jump-A-Thon at their school. They all did very well and had a great time at the competition. Our daughter was the top jumper in the second grade. She was so excited to win in "for two years in a row." She once again reminded her Dad that he needs to build her a trophy shelf. Our Star Wars fan did really well too. He was one of the top runners-up in the kindergarten competition. As if they didn't get enough jumping in, they have spent the past few days jump-roping...great exercise, but very loud if you happen to be downstairs trying to take a nap!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Happy Day

Yesterday, after the funeral, we got to come home and celebrate our Star Wars fan's sixth birthday!

He has been counting down for over sixty days and was so glad the big day finally arrived.

Of course, he wanted a new Star Wars figure.

Not to mention a few other gifts as well.

He was really excited to get to go out to eat with Mom and Dad. He chose Arby's (because he likes curly fries).

He was really excited to eat his cake...

because he decided that a six-year-old is old enough to "blow" out his candles by licking his fingers and pinching the flame.

The evening ended with a messy-face contest. The kids decided (not my idea!) to eat their cake without the fork.

This was the end result. It was a great day!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Until We Meet Again

Last Thursday afternoon, our boys' shooting coach and his wife were killed in a car accident.

We have been saddened by this sudden loss.

He was such a fantastic coach and our boys looked forward to learning from him every week.

He taught them many valuable lessons, many about shooting, but the most treasured lessons will be those of love for family, respect for parents, and his example of selfless service.

We treasure the time we did get to spend with him and for the fun memories we will remember often.

And we look forward to the day we will get to see him again!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring Break part II

At the end of the week, Dad joined us for a quick trip down south... to Sunny St. George. I got to run in my final marathon-qualifying race (so, it's now official- I'm in!!) I ran a 10k in Washington and took second with a new (post-college) P.R. 41:29.

I was a bit surprised at my time considering miles 4- 5 1/2 were one looooong hill.

But I felt great and I am pleased with the outcome!

We spent the rest of our weekend relaxing with our fun St. George cousins.
Our daughter got to spend girl time with her little sister cousin that she always wished she had.
The boys spent their time doing lots of boy things, like shooting BB guns,

watching motorcycle stunts,

playing with lizards,

and frogs.
And, of course, an Xbox 360 battle for the ages!!

We also enjoyed late-nights and sleep-overs...
not to mention our uncle's fine bbq,

our Aunt's tasty cookies,
and a gourmet buttermilk-pancake breakfast!

A special treat that capped our Spring Break week was getting to see some special Cedar City cousins.
We've missed these cuties...

and we're so glad to have them living close(r) again!

It was a fun reunion!

We also got to meet another Cedar City cousin...who is also our newest cousin @ two weeks old! He was sooo cute...

and we think his parents are too!!

Spring Break part I

While a power-outage and a snowstorm may have delayed our Spring Break festivities, it didn't slow us down for long!

Along with sleeping in, no homework, and lots of play-time, we managed to find time for these fun activities: Lawn-mowing (Braeden finally got to try out his new mower that he is going to use this summer), a backyard hot dog/marshmallow roast, some Spring cleaning, a shopping adventure to the dollar store, a family history lesson at BYU, a good cleaning out of the garage, a family-night feast at Grandma and Grandpa's house with cousins, a good vacuuming and washing of the car (boy, did it need it!), a day trip with friends to pick up their new 4-wheeler, and much more..... (to be covered in part II).

Here are a few pictures from our feast at Grandma and Grandpa's:

We enjoyed Grandpa Black's creamed eggs...they seem to get tastier every year!

Our second oldest told us he came back for seconds...and thirds...

We loved playing with our cute cousins!! It was a fun family night!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Power Out

This week is our Spring Break! Our kids are thrilled to be out of school for a whole week!! We received a note taped to our door last Friday evening informing us that Monday morning at 8:00am the electricity in our neighborhood would be turned off. Something about needed updates to a growing system...and that it would be off for three hours. I was somewhat annoyed by the interruption to our schedule, but grateful that it was going to be Spring Break so it didn't really interrupt much. Monday morning came...when my alarm (forgot to turn it off) rang, I turned it off and slept in. I do remember wondering what my kids would do without any power, but I didn't worry too long because I soon fell back to sleep. I could hear them upstairs playing every now and again so I guessed that they found something to do....and then I sensed it. You know that feeling of many eyes looking right at you...a face in your face. Yep, I awoke to several sets of eyes in mine. "Look, Mom!!" A tooth in my face...one that had been yanked! "Look what we pulled out!" For the last hour that's how my kids had kept themselves busy.

Our Star Wars fan has now lost his first tooth!

So, should you ever have a dull moment when your power goes off, never fear! Your kids will find ways to entertain each other, even if it means pulling out each other's teeth. (Yes, it was loose, but just barely.) The tooth fairy arrived last night and now we are headed out to the dollar store to spend the hard earned/yanked cash!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Ad Lib

Apparently our youngest didn't get his fill during the holiday season. He came up to me the other day begging to make cookies. But, not just any cookies, (I can whip up a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip in no time at all) he wanted gingerbread cookies. "So I can eat the arms and then the legs." I didn't have time at that moment so I put him off...thinking that this sudden craving of his would soon pass.

Well, it didn't. The next day he asked again and again and again. Trying to be a patient mom, (I pray for that trait daily) I thought about how I could appease him...and maybe spend some valuable mother/son time together too. This is what came to mind:
We made the cutest, tastiest gingerbread man ever!! We even added a hat and boots! And we got some counting in too! The best part: clean-up was a breeze.

Hair Cuts

It was time for hair cuts today...when the boys' hair starts to hang out over their ears, out come the clippers! I've got a system down. I start youngest to oldest...they strip down to their underwear (easier clean-up) and one by one the shag comes off. I started cutting my boys' hair several years ago and I must admit that I wasn't very good at first (I could really only do a buzz), but I don't think I'm too bad anymore (I have finally figured out how to taper)! Cutting their hair definitely saves a ton of $!! The $40 clippers pay for themselves in one month! Today while I was cutting hair I remembered my great uncle tell about how they cut hair when he was young. They would all meet Saturday evening once a month and everyone would get a hair cut...all the neighbors. They would cut each others' hair. The idea sounded fun at first...turning a mundane task into a social gathering, but then I thought about all the hair everywhere. I'm kind of grossed out by all the cut hair on the floor...even when it's from my own kids heads. I think it would be disgusting for everyone to be walking around in each others cut hair! No, I think I would have to keep it as a family adventure rather than a neighborhood one!! I really do like how nice all my boys look on Sunday with their freshly cut hair...especially my hubby!!