Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Lights at Temple Square!

Last night Katy was in charge of our family night, and she surprised us with a trip to see the lights on Temple Square! She made a plan with Dad and off we went. It was really cold and snowing just a little bit. But we had so much fun walking around looking at all the lights, reflection pond, nativities and most of all the temple.
We couldn't keep Katy out of the snow and water. We warned her many times that she would be cold if she got wet. And before we knew it, she had her gloves off in her pockets and wet pants up to her calves. She got a little chilly!

We even got to peek inside both the old tabernacle and the new conference center. We were amazed at the difference in size! We had never been inside the Conference Center, so we were amazed with how big and beautiful it is. We asked our guide lots of questions like . . . How many people can be seated in here? How long did it take to build? Is the Tabernacle Choir preparing for a Christmas Concert soon? Tyler had lots of questions too. He stumped our guide with the question . . . "How many feet high and wide is this building?" LOL! We love our Tyler!

We topped off the night with some hot chocolate chips cookies and ice cream back at home. We are so happy that we were able to go to Salt Lake to see the lights this year. In years past, things have been a little crazy when we've attempted to see the lights. It was fun to be together with our family . . . to think about Christmas and spend a night together. I'm sure this will be something we will never forget!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Birthday Countdown!

Today is one of my nephew's birthdays. And I've been thinking about him like crazy lately. Last week I realized that his birthday was coming and that's when the mental countdown began. This last weekend I spent a lot of time in bed with my leg up and every once in awhile I'd think, "Just a few more days until Kade's birthday!"

Now I know that a countdown is normal for me to do with my own kids' and their birthdays, but I don't usually consciously count down days for my nieces and nephews. But for some reason this cute Kade (as you can see from the great picture above)has been on my mind.

I've thought several times this morning about when we can call Kade to sing "Happy Birthday" so that our time zones would match up okay. But by the time we woke up this morning, Kade was already at school.

And then it hit me. While I was doing the dishes this morning I realized why Kade has been on my mind. He's turning eight! and that's not just like any other birthday. Eight is a big one for Kade because he's going to be baptized in a couple weeks.

I don't know why we have different thoughts about loved ones at different times like we do, but for some reason I could feel that this was an extra special one for Kade. I'm so happy for him.

Kade, we love you. We are so proud of you for choosing to be baptized. Grandma and Grandpa Clark told us that they get to come see you for your baptism, and we think that is great. You will have so much fun having them there with you. They love you so much.

We hope you have an extra fun birthday today in that yummy, Florida sun. We want you to know that we love you and we're thinking about you.

Happy Birthday Kade!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Magic of Time

This post is dedicated to my dear Jenny for encouraging me daily to keep blogging.

It's 8:30am. Tyler just took off on his bike for school, Katy is still curled up in bed and Shawn is in a continuous morning giggle with Bret in my bed. Jenny quietly, and very sneaky-like, closes the door to my room so I can sneek out the front door. We're headed to the Orthodontist for a new retainer that was lost in the waves at Laguna Beach.

As the front door closes behind us, Jenny says, "Mom, you forgot your shoes!" I'm holding them along with my sweatshirt because I had to get out quick before Shawn would see ( the unbelievable love of a 2-year-old for his mom. . . ).

We climb in the frost covered car. Jenny's sitting next to me and she grins as she comments that she's got seat warmers under her bum. She has recently come to think that she is old enough to sit in the front seat with me. I reluctantly don't refuse because I secretly love having her by my side. I start up the car and then finish getting ready with my shoes and sweatshirt.

That's when I turn to Jenny and plead, "Come on! Just stay home with me . . . let's do home school. Then we can play every day." She smiles like she always does when I say this and playing along says, "That would be fun, Mom".

At this moment, my heart swells with love for my Jenny. And I see how the magic of time has changed Jenny to not only being my little buddy but also my friend.

When I reflect on my life and how quickly time goes by, I see how important it is to "find joy in the journey—now" (President Monson). My kids are growing up so fast that it almost breaks my heart. Each moment counts for so much.
As we pulled into the school parking lot, I was sad as I watched Jenny gather her things and flip her backpack onto her back. I really could have gone for a sluff day. But it makes me smile to see that I found joy in something so simple. And I pray that these moments will come again and again.
I love you Jen! :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bridal Veil Falls

We had one of the funnest days today! Bret called from Vegas and said that the inspector was coming to our house and it would take him about 2 hours to complete the entire inspection. It was time for Shawn's nap so I wasn't really sure what to do. I grabbed the kids and we headed for Taco Time for a little lunch. I had them throw their suits in the car just in case we found some water to play in. After we ate, I decided to take the kids up to Bridal Veil Falls to play in the water . . . I thought this would be fun and we could stay long enough to let the inspector get his job done. On our way up University Ave, I called my Dad to see if he wanted to come with us and he said, "YES!" So I stopped at his house and picked him up for our little adventure.

We parked down below, in the little parking lot at the bottom of the trail, and we walked up to the base of the Falls. It was so fun to have Grandpa come along. Shawn kept smiling at me because Grandpa was pushing the stroller.

The second we got there the kids took off through the water with their flip flops on ready to attack.
Shawn wasn't nervous at all. It was a little tricky keeping up with him. He knew exactly where he wanted to go next and there was nothing stopping him.

Jenny and Katy started climbing up the falls with Grandpa right behind them. I noticed Katy was in the lead the whole time. When they came back down Grandpa said Katy was like a little mountain goat . . . there was nothing stopping her. I think she would have kept climbing if we hadn't called her back.
Grandpa challenge Tyler to make a Dam and Tyler was all over that!

He started gathering rocks . . .
. . . and before long the girl chipped in a little help too.

Don't they have the cutest little bodies!?!
By this time Shawn was a little tired, so he and I just watched and wandered a little.

I thought it was so fun to have my Dad come along with us today. I'm so glad that you were home, Dad, and that you were willing to come with us at the last minute. Thank you for being such a cute Grandpa.
We will always remember this day. . .We love you!

Tyler's 9th Birthday!

Tyler's 9 and we can't believe it!
Where does the time go?
We started celebrating the night before with a yummy Sweet and Sour Chicken dinner (Tyler's Favorite) and some Brownies and Ice Cream(since Tyler doesn't like cake) for Dessert . He picked himself out some TRICK candles at the store and had a blast trying to blow them out.

Then on the big day we had some school friends come over for a birthday party. We headed to Kangaroo Zoo and then hit the park for some pizza and cookies.
Tyler gave them each a bag of gadgets and goodies. These funny teeth and the slimy goop were the biggest hit.
Mark and Jaxon
Ty with Kade
Cameron and Spencer
The two cutest girls in the world!
. . . and one monkey!


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

4th of July 2008

The Fourth of July festivities started for us last week with the Children's Parade. We decorated our bikes/scooters/rollerblades the night before so we would be ready for the "big" 6 block walk. Katy was a little disappointed in how slow she had to go on her bike. I think she thought she would be able to dazzle people with her amazing bike riding skills. And Jenny and Tyler kept asking where all the people were. There's nothing like being in a parade when there aren't any people there to watch it. But it was fun!

Waiting for the parade to start!

Then we hit the hot air balloons the morning of the 3rd.
It's always to fun to meet Grandma and Grandpa Z and Kym there.

. . . nothing better then sitting on a Grandpa's lap!

. . . or riding on shoulders! After the balloons Bret treated us to a yummy breakfast (1200 calories yummy) at IHOP. You gotta love that spinach/mushroom omelet!
Last year we started something a little new on the 4th. We decided to start it off with an early morning run. This year my Mom and I ran the 5K and Kym, my Aunt Leslie, and Uncle Rory ran the 10K. My sister talked me into training for it a few months ago . . . and I'm so glad. I've never run that far in my life so . . . It was exciting for me to actually be able to finish the race.

. . . and there's nothing funner then doing it with people you love. Thanks for encouraging me Kym! Way to Go!
Then it was time to cruise home for a quick shower and then back for the parade. I can't get over how handsome these two are! OH! I love them!
We had Otter Pops . . .
and treats . . . and more Otter Pops!
And we can't imagine the parade without cousins! We had so much fun throwing poppers, fighting for our spot and sharing otter pops with our fellow parade neighbors. :) Anyone for some White Glasses?

After a little nap we headed over to a family BBQ for some yummy food and water balloon games. Thank you Cindy! It was delicious! We had to sneak out a little early so we wouldn't miss the STADIUM OF FIRE!
The weather was absolutely perfect that night. We thought we might be "sweatin' buckets" the whole time but the clouds came over and there was even a little breeze. It was perfect!
Shawn couldn't get enough of Grandma Z the whole night. She was the only one he wanted to sit by. And he definitely kept her going on the Licorice and Cinnamon Bears!
Bret even managed to get a few "back scratches" in.
Jenny had so much fun being with Kymmie all day. She just can't get enough of her. We are so glad she lives close enough to play with us. We love you Kym!

Thank you Grandma and Grandpa for being such good sports with Buddy! He definitely knows who he loves and what he wants!

By the end of the night, when it was finally time for the fireworks, Shawn was read to crash. He made it through the first few minutes and then he zonked.
We had such a fun day! The 4th of July is probably one of our family's favorite holidays. It's so great to be reminded each year of how blessed we are. What a privilege it is to be an American. We are so grateful to live in America and have the freedoms that we do. We pray for the men who are fighting for our country today and their families for being so strong and loyal. May we all remember how blessed we are throughout the entire year!