Sunday, July 27, 2014

July 27, 2014

Another week of swimming lessons.  I'm going to miss being at the pool every morning, but I won't miss trying to keep Tommy out of the water for an hour and a half every day.  Thursday was especially fun because Daddy had the day off so he could come and watch too.  Lily was anxious to show him everything she has been working on.  Annie is now much more comfortable getting her head underwater and getting water in her eyes.  Lily is a pro at going underwater to retrieve toys at the bottom of the pool.  Great job girls!

Lily volunteered to wash the cars on Tuesday night.  Her enthusiasm lasted about 15 minutes.  Then Mommy and Daddy were left to finish the task while trying to get all the kids to help.  Tommy just wanted to play with the bubbles in the bucket.  Lily and Annie just wanted sole control of the sprayer hose.  We got the work done and the kids had a great time.  We were all soaked by the end.

Wednesday morning I came home from working out and saw this beautiful sunrise.  I love how the rays are streaming through the clouds in all directions.  It was a beautiful moment.

Annie loves wearing this black tutu as a wig.  She calls it her "crazy hair".  Silly girl.  Lily literally got crazy hair from jumping on the trampoline.  She wasn't too happy about it.

Lily was happy about getting a letter in the mail from her Grammy this week.  She was even more excited to find out that her grandparents gave her money to buy clothes for school.  She put the letter in her top dresser drawer for safe keeping.  Thanks Grammy and Grampy!

Now that Lily can ride two wheels on her bike, she wants to ride/practice with Daddy every night.  Daddy has been taking all the kids out for bike rides after dinner in the evenings.  Tommy is finally used to the trailer and even smiles and laughs when he rides now.

Tommy seems to be growing up overnight.  He is looking more like a big boy every day.

Lily and Annie went to two parties this week!  Lucky girls.  On Friday they were invited to a pizza party at a neighbor's house that lasted four hours.  They were exhausted when they got home.  On Saturday they went to our best buddy Nathan's birthday party.  They swam and played and came home very tired again.  We're so lucky to have great friends!

Last Sunday one of the speakers in church talked about protecting our marriage and family.  She told a story about a sweet moment with her children that she wanted to put in a glass jar and preserve forever.  Since then, Jeremy and I have been trying to notice and appreciate "glass jar moments" within our family.  One night Jeremy was jumping with all the kids on the trampoline playing Duck-Duck-Goose.  The girls were giggling and smiling.  All of the kids were so happy to play with Daddy.  I know these pictures don't do it justice, but it was a glass jar moment for me as a mom.

Speaking of trampolines.....our neighbors' goat decided to try and jump the other night.  We caught him climbing onto their tramp.  He was even smart enough to go through the entrance!  Jeremy climbed the fence and went to pull Gus off the trampoline.  Then all the animals tried to follow Jeremy home.  Country living!

I made chocolate zucchini cake with one of our first zucchinis from the garden.  The girls wanted to lick the frosting from the beaters.  They were a chocolatey mess before church this morning.

Tommy is almost too big for this seersucker outfit.  We think he looks like a little ice cream man in the stripes and bow tie.  I had to snap a picture after church.  We also buzzed his hair.  It was getting a little long.  He looks so much older with the shorter hair.

That's all for us.  We're counting down the days until our double family vacation.  The kids can't wait to see Puna and Papa and Grammy and Grampy (and cousins).  See you next weekend!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

July 20, 2014

This week was all about swimming lessons!  We went every morning for about an hour.  Lily and Annie are taking lessons this year.  Tommy WISHES he was taking lessons.  The first day when we arrived at the pool, Bubba was so excited he started squealing and waving his arms around.  It has been a long battle all week to keep him out of the water.  I'm thinking of hiring a sitter for next week.  It is just torture trying to keep Tommy away from the girls and the pool.

Lily and Annie requested nail polish.  Annie wanted bright yellow nails.  Lily wanted a different color on every single nail - including her toes.  It was a fun project to do together while Tommy was napping.

 Things got so hot in our house that we had to escape to the mall to enjoy some air conditioning.  We played on the toys and spent almost two hours in Barnes and Noble reading books and playing with the train table.  Tommy really loved the trains.

Our local mini golf and bowling center is doing a 99 cent summer special.  So we had a fun afternoon there playing a round of 99 cent mini golf.  Tommy and Annie were a little scared of the dark.  Tommy cried every time I set him down to hot my ball.  But by the end of the game everyone was feeling safe and brave.

After mini golf we went up to campus to run through the gardens.  We got our feet wet in the fountains and played hide and seek.  Fun way to spend the afternoon.

We made a whirlwind trip to Utah for a funeral on Thursday.  Our sister-in-law Becky's mother (Janice Gilchrist) passed away last Saturday and we wanted to support Becky and her family for the funeral.  We got everyone in the car at 6:30 a.m. and arrived in Orem just in time for the funeral.  We stayed for the luncheon - thanks for inviting us Becky - and turned around to go back home.  A little more than 12 hours after we left our house we were back at home.  We made a pit stop in Malad, ID for some BBQ that we heard was amazing.  It was not amazing.  It was good, but nothing to write home about.  The kids hardly ate a thing.  We are so sad for the Gilchrist family.  Janice was a beautiful, gracious woman.  She was always so kind to us when we were young newlyweds living in Provo.  It was a sweet funeral.  Full of wonderful stories of Janice and her family.  The stories inspired me to be more patient and loving as a mother.

Saturday morning was our stake pioneer Dash-n-Dine.  They do a 5k run/walk, Primary pioneer parade, and then a huge pancake breakfast.  Jeremy had to be there at 6:30 to help cook.  That meant I had to be up at 4:45 to get in my 8 mile run before Jeremy had to leave.  It was a long morning.  But the activity was really fun.  Our ward is assigned to wear the color green for the parade.

Going through some old family photos, we found these of Jeremy as a baby/child.  I can sure see where Tommy gets is good looks - and adorable big brown eyes.  He is a cookie cutter of his Daddy for sure.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Nauvoo Trip - Daddy and Mommy's Highlights

Now it's Mommy and Daddy's turn to list our favorites.


1.  Touring the Joseph Smith Homestead, Mansion House, and Red Brick Store.  It was neat to walk where the prophet Joseph Smith lived.  Hearing about the hiding places located in the homestead and mansion house was fascinating.  Very humbling to think about all that Joseph Smith was willing to suffer to restore the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth.

2.  The wagon rides and carriage rides through town.  It was so great to see all of Nauvoo and hear the wonderful stories about the buildings and the people who lived in them.  There was a sweet feeling in the wagons as the missionaries spoke to us.  Such a wonderful way to see all of the city.

3.  The Printing Shop and learning about the Nauvoo Neighbor Newspaper.  It was amazing to see what a painstaking process it was to print a newspaper back in the 1840s.
"The Nauvoo Neighbor was a weekly newspaper edited and published by Latter Day Saint Apostle John Taylor in Nauvoo, Illinois from 1843 to 1845.
The Neighbor reported on local, state, national, and international news and also commonly featured agricultural, commercial, scientific, and religious news as well as excerpts of literature. It, along with Times and Seasons, was the primary vehicle in which a Latter Day Saint perspective on the incarceration and assassination of Joseph Smith, Jr. was transmitted to the public.
The first edition of the Nauvoo Neighbor was dated March 3, 1843. The final edition was published on October 29, 1845. Publication ceased when the majority of Latter Day Saints, including Taylor, decided to leave Nauvoo and emigrate to the Salt Lake Valley under the direction of Brigham Young."  (source: Wikipedia)

4.  The Jonathon Browning House.  Tommy was grumpy and insisted on sitting on the sidewalk outside to drink his chocolate milk, so Mommy didn't tour this house.  But Daddy and the kids had a good time learning about the gunsmith and his family, seeing the home, and seeing one of the first machine guns. 

5. Carthage Jail.  The first picture in this grouping is actually on the Nauvoo Temple grounds; we never got a family photo at Carthage.  The statue is of Joseph and Hyrum Smith who were both killed while imprisoned at Carthage Jail.  The statue below is of Joseph and Hyrum and is located on the grounds at Carthage.  There was a wonderful live program performed in the Carthage Visitor's Center full of music and stories about the martyrdom of Joseph Smith.  It was beautifully done.  Not a dry eye in the room after the performance.  Such a special place.


I have been to Nauvoo once before so I thought I knew what to expect from this trip.  I was so amazed at how much has changed in the past 20 years.  There were so many more buildings, programs, and activities.  The temple is such a beautiful addition to the city.  The whole place touched my heart, strengthened my testimony, and surpassed my expectations.

1.  The Temple.  The last time I went to Nauvoo, there was just a hole in the ground where the temple once stood.  I was touched by how beautiful the temple was and felt grateful to go inside and participate in an endowment session.  What a heartbreaking thing it must have been to leave this temple behind when the Saints were forced from Nauvoo.  It is so inspiring to see it stand again today.

2.  Living Legends Program.  This program was on tour performing in Nauvoo while we were there.  The dancing and costumes were stunning.  It was an impressive program.  Jeremy and I had a great night away from the kids watching this show.  Thanks for tending the little ones Grammy and Grampy!

3. I'm going to cheat and combine a few things since they're related: 1) Being together as a family for over a week.  2) Watching the kids learn and explore.  3) Seeing our children have so much fun with their cousins and grandparents.  I think that says it all.  The long drives weren't fun, but we had a great time being together and exploring new places together.  The kids would run and play until they crashed every night.  We had more smiles than tears.  We had a great experience.  Lily and Annie talk about Nauvoo as if it were Disneyland.  They felt the Spirit there.  They felt the love of family there.  I don't know how much they'll remember in the future.  But I do know that they understand Nauvoo is a special place and they learned and felt things that were new to them.  It was a great experience. 

Thanks for a great reunion Grammy and Grampy!