Friday, April 24, 2009

Spring Break '09 Recap

Spring Break was winding up this time last week... finally getting around to posting about it!
(This has been a busy week finishing up one calling to start a new one. This week there was an Enrichment Meeting I was in charge of as a counselor in the Ward Relief Society Presidency- and now that it's done, I've been released. I have been called as Assistant Stake Camp Director and we had a big meeting this week for that as well- and I'm trying to play catch up there since meetings have been happening for a couple of months already. Anyhow- enough of that...)

So- Spring Break. We spent most of the time at home this year, relaxing & playing with friends. I relished in the lack of a schedule. The kids woke up in the mornings and snuck downstairs, trying to be as quiet as possible (except for Jackson) to allow me to sleep in. I think they knew if I got up I'd tell them to turn off the TV and computers, get ready for the day and clean a room or two. Smart kids tried to get me to sleep in as long as possible. It worked. Cleaning and organizing did not happen. We did throw in a few fun away-from-home activities so I didn't feel like a complete loser mom. ;)

Kobe's Cub Scout troop had a special tour of the local police station over break. They got to learn about how so many people get arrested for being too drunk at the Bills games, how the police practice sharp shooting in the Bills Stadium (not on game days of course), and how if someone wanted to fly a plane into the Bills Stadium, there's not much they can do to stop it. Nice. They got to look in the police car and learn that the back seats are hard plastic seats so if a criminal vomits or urinates back there, they can just hose it down. Nice. They got to stand in smelly jail cells and learn about how bad some of the people they bring in smell. Nice. The boys got to ask questions of the officer like, "Have you ever caught a terrorist?" and "How fast does your car go?" The most important thing I learned is that if a police car is traveling in front of me, he's still monitoring my speed. Gotta remember that. ;) Kobe had a good time!

On the warmest day of the week, which wasn't too warm anyway, we took a little trip to the Buffalo Zoo.
Kobe brought along his Webkinz Buffalo to visit the zoo buffaloes. There were lots of kids around when we got there, so he was a little shy to hold up his Webkinz. We snuck a quick picture though.
The zoo has a rainforest building, "Rainforest Falls", which the kids really enjoyed with waterfalls and exotic animals and birds.
Jackson fell in love with the Sea Lions for some reason. Every time they'd swim by he'd say, "Awww" , as if they were the cutest animal he's ever seen.End of the day with a snack and drink for the ride home...

We also took a couple of trips to the school playground. They got a new one this year and Kobe's been dying to try out the part that is reserved for the 3-5 grades. (He's in 2nd.) Everyone enjoyed our time there- especially Jackson who I had to carry to the car kicking and screaming when it was time to go.

The girls and I had a little adventure of our own, using a spa gift certificate Greg got me almost a year ago and was about to expire. We scheduled manicures! The girls were so excited for this and quite enjoyed the experience. After watching the pedicures nearby, Jillie is dying to try that some day. Reagan was pleased that she could get french tips.On the way home they insisted they needed haircuts, so we stopped in for those as well.

Jillie with bangs...and Reagan, short again...

It was a nice week and one that was difficult to come back from. No one wanted to go back to school. Everyone says they are ready for summer vacation. Counting down the days til June 24th. (Yes, we are in school THAT long!!)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

You are invited...

(Thanks Holly for making these for me!)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Sunny's Day

Another one of my favorite people is celebrating her birthday today-
My sister Sunny!

Too bad for her I'm a creature of habit. I checked the post I wrote for her birthday last year and here's something I wrote in it...

"Sunny- unfortunately I was a little late getting your gift in the mail... and I'm a little late posting this... but I hope your day has been fabulous!"

Well guess what?! Sadly it applies this year too. I guess our late night phone call really put me behind in getting this post done!

So let's get to it...


1. Her middle name is Casandra.

2. She is skinny- and will always be the skinny sister.

3. Some of her skinniness is probably due to her frugality. She doesn't splurge on junk food.

4. She is so frugal, and a bit of a hoarder, but she's learning to toss things or at least give them away.
5. She is so frugal that she considered going out in public like this.

One pair had a lost shoe, one had a broken shoe. Luckily she found the lost shoe and I HOPE she got rid of the broken pair.
6. Her and Derek's frugality made buying their first house possible this year!

7. They have the cutest little blond hair, blue eyed little man named Hyrum.
8. At Christmas time she set out to recreate the molasses cookies our Great Great Grandma Pearl used to make. She found a recipe that seemed to be the right one and made them with the help of our Mom, Grandma and Great Great Aunt Byrdie.{Back: Grandma Pauline, Great Great Aunt Byrdie. Front: Mom, Sunny, Hyrum}

9. Sunny has a passion for family history.

10. Sunny is a gardening pro. Last summer she maintained 2 gardens. They were in an apartment then, so the gardens were in some friends yards!

11. Sunny is a sewing pro too. She once made the cutest little graduation cap and gown that an 11 month old Jillie wore to Greg's college graduation.

12. She has encouraged the artistic talents of our Dad and her husband by commissioning art work from them.

13. After harvesting raspberries last summer she made her own fruit leather.

14. She also canned a lot of her garden harvest.

15. She can eat a box of mac 'n cheese all by herself.

16. She also loves white rice with butter and soy sauce.

17. Her favorite restaurant is Olive Garden.

18. Her favorite snack is popcorn and she usually eats it like someone might come behind her at any moment and swipe the bowl from her if there's any left.

19. She is a happy girl- usually. :)

20. She used to be very flexible, and probably still is.
21. She could fit in the smallest spaces22. She has always felt at home in nature.23. She enjoys camping in the mountains.

24. She has been on a couple of handcart treks at Martin's Cove in full pioneer attire in the summer heat.

25. She isn't bothered too much by extreme temperatures. Or at least she cares more about saving money. Her heat is turned up to a whopping 50* even in the winter and the air conditioner only comes on if it it's over 100*.

26. She has put a lot of work in to her new house already since the walls and trim were all painted in peach, yellow, and purple- like this...

Dad flew out to help too and they've turned to this...27. Her nieces and nephews think she's a wonderful aunt!28. She once lit off illegal fireworks in an Iowa field on New Year's Eve. 29. She has inherited Grandma Nellie's energy and enthusiasm. I didn't realize til recently looking at this picture how much they look alike.30. Sunny is giver of meaningful gifts.
31. Sunny has had Church callings in Primary, Relief Society, and most recently Young Women's. She dying to get a calling in their new ward since they have been there since March without callings.
32. Sunny has a strong and unwavering testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
33. She's as cute as ever!

Happy Birthday Sun!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Weekend Blowout!

We started out our Easter Weekend with the first day of Spring Break. I spent the morning blowing out eggs for decorating. Some people have questioned why I do that instead of boiling them, since it is more time consuming. Jillie's the only one here who really likes to eat hard boiled eggs. Not that he ever liked that type of egg, but in the last 6-7 years Greg developed an allergy to eggs. But my biggest reason blow out and not boil is so they can be used as Easter decorations. Who wants to make pretty eggs and hide them in the fridge anyway? So next year, find a large needle or a nail and poke a hole in the end of an egg. Gently swirl the nail around in there to break up the yolk. Poke a hole in the other end as well.Now, blow. Yes, it looks gross. Some about make you pass out from blowing so hard. Breaking the yolk is important to staying conscious. :)I used to make french toast out of the blown out material, til the family decided it was just too gross!Rinse eggs, blow any water out, and you're ready to decorate.
You can tell we have some "tweens" in the family as evidenced by the David Archuleta eggs.
The Easter Bunny arrived over night! He brought Jackson a Webkinz Jr. dog that Jackson has named "G". Kobe got a Webkinz lemur who is now called "King Julien" after the character in Madagascar. The Easter Bunny hacked into the girls Stardoll sites to renew their Superstar status.
Then the hunt. We had to hunt early since Jillie and I went to the Palmyra Temple on a youth temple trip.(Jillie and her friend Corinne walking up to the temple)
(Jillie and I at the temple.)

Jillie got to do some family names (baptisms and confirmations). Mom sent out 12 female names and I think 7 males. Our Bishop's grandson did the men. They had Jillie wait until everyone else was done to do her baptisms. When she got out of the font she sat in a chair right there by the font for the confirmations. I felt especially excited for the 5 (?) sisters Jillie was baptized for today. I imagined them all together and so excited that Jillie did this for them.

After church was the usual plethora of pictures of everyone in their new clothes...
Our friends- The Lewis' and The Christensen's- came over in the afternoon for dinner. We had 6 adults and 12 kids. Good food. Good times! (And I was happy with how the egg centerpieces looked on the tables!)After dinner was the Easter Egg Hunt. Since we began celebrating Easter with these families a few years ago, we've added some money to the eggs per their traditions. Our kids couldn't be happier that some eggs have cold hard cash in them. Most of the kids are old enough now that they couldn't care less about the candy- just the money! Jillie figured out that she should just walk around shaking eggs and only keep the ones that rattled.Checking the loot- adding up the money!

It was another wonderful Easter Day. Most importantly we are so thankful for the amazing gift given to us by our selfless, perfect Older Brother, Jesus Christ, so that we might live again with our Father in Heaven.