Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween 2009

The kids were so excited to take off this morning. They were dressed in a flash and out the door before I knew it. They were all so excited about their costumes and couldn't wait for the Halloween parties at school. Here are few pictures of each of them with some friends!
Jenny and her friends decided they wanted to be Hippy Ballerinas this year. All of us moms weren't sure what that meant exactly, but we went with it and I think they all turned out darling! Jenny got to tie-dye her shirt all by herself (which was something we had never done before) and she made her own Tutu. She was excited!
Tyler took forever to decide what he wanted to be this year. About three days ago his eyes finally sparkled when we said, "How about a Grandma?!" He couldn't wait! When he got to school this morning, he found out one of his friends was a Grandpa and their clothes even matched! It turned out pretty awesome considering we didn't plan it.

Katy's costume was probably the funnest for me this year. We found a picture of Lego online and Katy was sold. She knew she wanted to be a RED one. I had so much fun in Katy's class this morning. As I helped with some fun games, it was so fun to talk to each of the kids about what they were dressed as. I really don't love Halloween . . . But there is something magical about it for kids. Nothing funner then dressing up!

And this is Mr. Halloween himself. We lucked out this year and actually got a costume on him. For weeks he's been talking about how he was going to be a pumpkin and couldn't wait. And no matter how bad he's sweating, he won't let me take his hood/stem off for anything. He has had a lot of fun so far and can't wait for "Trick or Treating"!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sign of a True-Blue Cougar fan!

Well, today was the big day!
Jenny got braces!
We took this picture before we went in for her appointment . . .
And we took this one an hour later when her braces were finally on! And if you look closely you will notice that she chose Blue and White bands. . . for BYU! (of course)
I love you, Jen!
You have a beautiful smile!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Close you's eyes, Opens you's hands

As Bret has traveled around the United States for various reasons, whether it be for In the Attic, Real Estate seminars or vacation, he has always made it a priority to bring home a little surprise for each of the kids. It has become his own special tradition. Each time Bret travels, comments heard around our house are, "How much longer until Dad's going to be home? I wonder what he's going to get us!" Phone calls at night from Dad, never end without questions like, "Have you got anything for us yet? How big is it? He says it's bigger than a feather but smaller than an Elephant!"
The moment he gets home, the first thing he says when he walks in the door is, "Everybody on the couch! Close your eyes and open your hands! NO PEEKING!"
Once they are seated with hands out front and eyes sealed, he proceeds to place something in each of their hands. Once he announces that they may open their eyes, the room is filled with excitement.. . . giant Jawbreakers, cups of slime, bags of gummi bears, screaming monkeys. . .
A while back, Katy came in with a surprise for me. With excitement in her voice she proceeded to tell me, "Close your eyes and open your hands." Upon feeling something in my hands, I opened my eyes to see our morning newspaper. "Thank you, Katy." I said, and off she went, proud as can be for being a good helper. Did I notice Shawn in the background watching this exchange?
A few days ago, as I was standing at the kitchen sink, I felt Shawn tug on my pant leg and I heard him say, "MOM! Close you's eyes, opens you's hands". And I turned to see this . . .
After doing as I was commanded, he presented me with one fresh raspberry he had picked off the raspberry bushes in our backyard. So proud! After waiting for me to eat the raspberry, he was gone.
Only a few minutes had passed when all of sudden he was back . . . "Close you's eyes, opens you's hands!" And I was presented with another. One by one the berries were picked and presented with pride.

Each day now I'm presented with raspberries, fresh off the bushes, one at a time. The magic for Shawn is in the picking and presenting (since he doesn't like to eat them himself). But the magic for me is to see the tradition and excitement pass on from one generation to another. I can only imagine the fun surprises that are still to come!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pack Meeting - Hike to Battlecreek Falls

It was a special Pack Meeting in our ward a couple weeks ago. We got to hike to Battlecreek Falls which is somewhere Bret and I have never heard of
let alone been there.
Before we started the big hike, Shawn worked on his big muscles and we listened while awards were given out for this last month's accomplishments.
Bret has been serving as Den leader for the Webelos den for the last several months. Each month he gets to stand up and award each of the boys for what they have been working on. I have loved watching him take such good care of these boys. He always puts his arms around them to show how proud he is of what they've been doing. And he ends each time with giving them a little kick in the pants. . . . Only Bret! The boys have absolutely loved having him for their leader. (We missed Sam in this picture above.) But we've been counting down the days for this Webelos den to get their newest Webelos member.

And we knew this new little boy was counting down the days to be with his Dad. Since Tyler just turned 10, ( Did I really just say 10?!) it was time for him to move up into the Webelos group. Bret helped Tyler with his new neckerchief and slide and Tyler was given a new book with new challenges to work on.

Just about a week after Tyler moved up into the Webelos Den, Bret got called to serve in the Elder's Quorum, so Tyler will have some new fun leaders. Tyler loves going to scouts so we know he will have fun no matter what! But hopefully Bret will keep up on his Webelos skills so he can help Ty at home.

Then we were off on our hike. The hike wasn't very far but it was a little steep. Bret hoisted Shawn up onto his shoulders and carried him the whole way. Shawn was mighty proud to be on his Dad's shoulders looking all around.

One of our dear friends, Christine, is one of the den leaders and she came on the hike with us. Just like us, she was little surprised by how steep it was. Bret was so kind to stay back with her to make sure she made it all the way safely. How did I get so lucky to have someone with such a big, kind heart!?

It wasn't long before we finally made it to the falls. And boy were we surprised to see how big it was. And to think we never knew . . . !

Off came the shoes and the climbing began. The mighty challenge was to cross the river to the other side . . . and boy was that water cold!

Once Tyler got over his nerves, he made it to the other side! He was so excited!

And it didn't surprise us to see Katy climbing trees on her way over.

For Shawn, the water was just little bit too cold for his little toes. . .

Bret surprised us with a stop at the Purple Turtle on the way home.

And Boy!, did those Oreo, cookie dough, and raspberry shakes taste awesome after that big hike!

Happy Day!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What to do on a Saturday in July . . .

We've been talking all summer about going up to play in the fountains at the Gateway, so Saturday we finally went for it. We ended up staying for hours because the weather was perfect, Bret found us a great table with an umbrella for shade and of course . . . FOUNTAINS!!!
Shawn didn't let his big brother out of his sight.
He made sure he was only two steps behind.

Katy was a little hesitant at first . . .
. . . but before we knew it she was soaked!

We couldn't keep her out!

Jenny was (as Bret would say)
She hung out with Mom and Dad for awhile in the shade.

But it wasn't long before she was pulling everybody
into the water and getting soaked herself!

I don't think it will surprise anyone when I say that Tyler had the most fun putting cups over the fountains and watching them fly when the water blew.
Notice Tyler's cup in the air and how excited he was!
Shawn waiting for his cup to fly . . .
just like Tyler's.
Pretty soon everyone started taking breaks more often
and exclaiming how hungry they were.

Bret suddenly disappeared and the next thing we knew he was back with a bag full of
tacos, burritos and 3 huge Cokes!
It definitely hit the spot!

This is Katy "doin' the gangsta'". What a meatball!

Shawn was so tired after a while.
But he was so brave to just entertain himself
while the others still played in the water.

It was a super fun day!
It was good to be outside in the sun,
fun to do something different,
and great to all be together!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tyler's 10th Birthday!

Tyler's turning 10 so we said, "Let the party begin!"
We started out with a full day at 7-Peaks . . . 5 hours. I think that was a record for us and boy was it fun. Everyone had a friend to play with and it was 100 degrees?
What could be funner?
Then that night Tyler couldn't wait for his cousin Max to come over for a fun sleepover. We hit Olive Garden and then home for endless Wii Games!
Tyler has been planning his 10th Birthday Party since last Fall when we heard that they were postponing the release of the 6th Harry Potter Movie until July 15th 2009. As soon as Tyler heard the date he turned to me and said,
So there was no question as to what we were going to do. Bret got us some tickets for an 8:15am show Saturday morning and we were there bright and early. I wanted to make sure we didn't get doggy seats with it being a birthday party and all, so we got there an hour before the movie started. Bleary eyed and all we were the only ones there, and the doors were locked. But Hey! - We got the best seats in the house.
And the movie was awesome!

Bret, Katy and Shawn stayed back to feed some ducks and prep our house for surprise gifts when we got back from the show. And I have to say they did a great job. The room was fully decorated, presents wrapped (in newspaper :)) and Tyler was very surprised to find a new bike!

The first gift he opened was a . . . . pack of Cheese!

The second gift he opened was another . . .
Pack of Cheese!
The third gift he opened was another . . .

Pack of Cheese!
and the fourth gift he opened was another . . .

Pack of Cheese!
Bret definitely knows what Ty loves . . . and what a great sense of humor!

To top off the celebration, we hit Los Hermanos
for the best Fajita's in the world!
What a fun Birthday Celebration!

We are so grateful to have Tyler in our family.
We love him so much!
Some things we love about Tyler are:

He has the BIGGEST heart!
He is a good friend to everyone - always so kind and nice
He is so smart that Grandma Clark calls him a "Walking Encyclopedia" :)
He is a hard worker
He is a lawn mowin' machine!
He is always willing to help
He ran his first 5K this year!
He loves science!
He loves to cook and wants to be a chef someday!
He is growing like a weed!
He loves to ride his ripstik and bike!
We love you Ty!
Hope you had a great B-day celebration!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hope of America!

Jenny participated in the Hope of America show again this year! It's one of my favorite things to go to. Since the beginning of the school year, Jenny has been going to show choir early in the morning before school starts, two days a week, to learn new songs and singing techniques. Then the morning of May 6, 2009, they joined up with over 35 schools across the county to perform songs for us in the Hope of America show. Every student knows the actions and words to every song and they dress in different t-shirt colors and sit in specific seats so that they display the American Flag. It is amazing!
The show is such an amazing production and I was proud of Jenny for choosing to be a part of it this year. Grandma Z came and sat by me and we soaked in as much as we could. With tears in our eyes, we heard songs about freedoms to V.O.T.E, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., the military, Declaration of Independence, and "This is America" which is always my favorite. On this song, the entire crowd is invited to participate in the actions and WOW. . . it's amazing.
Thank you Grandma for coming to see Jenny perform in the concert again this year. We can always count on Grandma to bring a little something to nibble on like, chocolate covered cinnamon bears (that melted last year because we were literally in the nose bleed section of the seats), M&Ms and licorice. YUM! We even got to go for an ice cream treat this year to "Spoon Me" after the show. As usual, Jenny savored every last bite!

Jenny has some of the cutest friends. We are so grateful for each one of them.
Here are a few of them . . . Meg, Bailey, Jessica . . . We love you!
Thank you for being so wonderful!