June 30, 2009

For Comfort and Warmth...

About 2 months ago, we received some sad news. Lisa, my cousin Josh's wife, was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is a young, strong, healthy and beautiful mother. Lisa was getting her physical in preparation for a humanitarian project she was taking some college students on. Instead of getting to do the trip, she prepared herself for a mastectomy, chemo and radiation.
Lisa is a very strong woman and she will be a fighter.
Since there is very little that I can do to help them (they live in Raleigh), I decided I would make Lisa a blanket. I got busy gathering pink fabrics for her to okay before she returned home from a quick Utah visit. I was so impressed that I found 2 with pink ribbons that I really liked. I wasn't sure about using the ribbon prints, so I checked with her first and was prepared to pull them, if she didn't like them.
I went to Raleigh last week and was able to take the blanket with me. I hope that while she is going through the chemo and radiation, that she is comforted and kept warm by this blanket.
We are praying for you, Lisa and Josh. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help.

June 29, 2009

I Heart Faces- Week 25 "Wedding Bells"

This week's theme on "I heart faces" is Wedding Bells. One day, I hope to have a lot of weddings under my photography belt. But, for now, I only have a few. I took this picture years ago, before I got my DSLR. I was not the paid photographer- I was there to enjoy the wedding of my cousin to his wonderful wife. Sometimes, you don't have to have the best camera to get fun pictures. (Although, it does help to make it a bit more artistic).

Be sure and check out the other entries over at www.Iheartfaces.com

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June 28, 2009

Learning with training wheels

I have a daughter that is scared of everything. She is very fragile and cautious. On the trampoline, she bounces on her bum and thinks that is about as much as she will ever dare do. But, all Ivy has wanted to do, all spring and summer, was learn how to ride a bike and she's okay with the idea of training wheels. Finally, Scott put the training wheels back on Jade's bike and let her try it. The whole time, we had to remind her to look up and watch where she was going. She would turn too quickly and nearly fall over. Knowing her hesitant personality, you would think that she would have had enough and put the bike a way forever. Nope- she loved it.

Jade learned how to ride a bike- without training wheels- last year. She's not afraid of climbing a robe, two stories tall, to touch the ceiling, she'll do handstands on the balance beam and back flips on the trampoline. But this girl will not ride a bike. She's simply scared that she'll get hurt. My very resourceful and brilliant husband got his bike down, got it fixed enough to ride it, and put Jade on the back of him. He took her for a ride and got her so excited about riding a bike. She got off his and had Scott take off the training wheels of hers. Then she was off. The bike is too small for her, but she's eager now to get one that will fit her.
I brought my bike up too. My really old Trek that I bought before my mission. It's only 17 years old. Is that too old for a bike?

June 26, 2009

Sand Dunes in the Wind...

Scott loves going down to the Sand Dunes. He loves riding his quad. And on this particular trip, he enjoyed a lunch of grilled chicken breasts, salad and strawberry shortcakes all covered with sand. The wind made the day not end up being one of their favorites- but they will be doing the same lunch minus the sand. Mark's poor truck was coated in a nice brown film of sand. Check out below how windy it was that day. At least Scott and Mark look good in their jerseys. Trevor and Cody are going to have to consider investing in a jersey, or they won't be invited many more times.

June 24, 2009

Moving and Selling a Trampoline...

If you are ever in the market to buy a used trampoline, only look in your own neighborhood. Moving it from one house to the next while keeping it built is way easier (and far more entertaining to watch) than if you take it apart and carry it piece by piece.

Just thought I'd share a little word of wisdom.
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June 23, 2009

A KitchenAid Dishwasher Lasts Two Years...

And then it breaks and you have to do your dishes by hand. We were not prepared for dishes by hand and we don't own a dish rack. I think we should get the cool red one at Costco- just in case it breaks again. Guess what, the dish rack at Costco is a KitchenAid too. They must know that their thermal fuses only last two years. And for those of us that don't know what that is... they put it in there to protect the circuit board from a power surge. So, it is good engineering, but it still sucked to have to do Sunday breakfast, lunch and dinner without a dishwasher. Not to be forgotten, my long day on Tuesday waiting for the repairman to arrive between 1 and 5 pm. Oh right, he didn't get here until 6:30 and never called to tell me he was running late.

June 22, 2009

Our Helper

Jade loves to help us do yard work. She likes to do the hard stuff, not the weeding or throwing away of the weeds, she likes to shovel. And, she likes to do it with her tongue out. (I have to apologize to her, tongue out is a trait she gets from me. She may look a lot like Scott, but the tongue out when concentrating is definitely an Amy thing).
Anyway, back to the story. My mom and dad came over the other day, and Jade was in the front yard working a way while Scott and I were spreading dirt in the back. My parents arrived and were a bit concerned that Jade might get in trouble for the help that she was providing. They came to the back to let us know that Jade was indeed helping and that if we were bugged by it, we should praise her for her hard work. I'm not sure why we would have been upset, but we heeded their counsel.
When we got to the front, we found that she had moved all of the dirt from the front of the truck bed to the tail gate. She said she didn't want Scott to have to climb in to get it. What a thoughtful little girl. :)

June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day to my dad

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Thanks for always being there for me and taking me on daddy-daughter dates. Thank you for always being willing to give me a father's blessing whenever I needed one. Thank you for watching all of my dance performances and for not laughing at me when you would try and play catch with me. Thank you for accepting that I was not an athlete and never would be. Thanks for being a best buddy to my little girls. Thank you for embracing my husband as if he were your own son. Thank you for all that you do for us and for the smiles you bring into our lives.
(Father's Day is a perfect excuse to share some of the old pictures I have scanned.)

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Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to the love of my life!

Thank you for being the most wonderful, supportive, encouraging, and loving husband a girl could ask for.
Thank you for the smiles and laughter and sarcasm you bring into the home.
Thank you for being a playful dad and husband- even though I HATE being tickled, I love playing with you.
Thank you for always knowing how to lighten up the room by making me gag.
Thanks for letting me try anything I ever want to do, even though there may be a strong chance I won't succeed.
Thank you for being a strong and worthy priesthood holder who will call upon that power whenever needed.
Thank you for being the one that will sit with Ivy in the middle of the night while she needs a bath because her fever is so high.
Thank you for supporting me in having the girls in as many classes as they can handle.
Thank you for loving life and knowing how to help me enjoy it more too.
Thank you for having the most wonderful smile I have ever seen- it truly lights up a room.
Thank you for all that you did while I was so unable to do anything with my broken foot.
Thank you for being my "funny guy" when I'm taking pictures and can't get a natural smile.
Thank you for loving me with all of my faults.
Thanks for always being the one that jumps in and makes group activities happen.
Thank you for being the dad that gets involved in the girls and their friends.
Thank you for making our home a home with games inside and out.
Thank you for all that we have and the memories we have made together over the years.
Thanks for being my husband and the girls' dad.

You are wonderful and we love you!

June 17, 2009

Ivy's Little Buddy

I am so glad we moved back to Utah, where we get to be closer to my parents and Scott's parents. As special as our visits were when the grandparents would come visit us in Kentucky or Michigan, it is much better getting to have more frequent, more relaxed and shorter visits with them. I wish we were closer to Bob and Janet- but hopefully they can retire down here so that we can spend more time with them.
The other day, we were working on the yard. My parents came by for a quick visit. (Actually Jade called and invited them for a visit so that she could show them how she blows a bubble). While they were visiting, I stole some pictures of a tender Grandpa and Ivy moment.
I think Ivy was telling "Dampa" all about the sore she has on her foot. Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine, but you can tell it was a sweet exchange.

June 15, 2009

Our Project is nearing completion...

Here is the almost completed Memorial Day project. The next steps are the curbing and then the mulch and rock. I'm thinking about putting some tall bushes or something behind the tramp. We're going to put mulch all around it and then put some stepping stones right in front of the entrance.

I'm really excited about how well it is turning out. The girls love jumping on the tramp and Jade is really being able to get a lot of good gymnastic skills practice in. Scott's back flips are getting prettier and Ivy is starting to actually jump instead of just bounce. Me, I'm not much for jumping on the tramp. I end up paying for it for several days after- that darn foot of mine.
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June 13, 2009

Tibble Fork- First Outing of the year

Sundays are a wonderful day to enjoy family and friends while experiencing the beauty of nature. The other day, after church, a group of us gathered up in the canyon for a picnic dinner and a nature walk by the lake. It was a beautiful evening- despite some rain. We all brought our own dinners and Jocelyn brought her very yummy brownies.

We will definitely be doing more of these outings throughout the summer. Feel free to join in and or recommend some wonderful places for our Sunday evening outings. The first was up American Fork Canyon at Tibble Fork. Of course, we won't be doing these every weekend.

I love taking pictures and capturing the joy that is found in the beautiful faces of children. I sometimes wonder if others find it obnoxious that I always have my camera in front of my face. I hope they don't - but I still wonder. I do need to do a better job of sharing the pictures with the other families I'm snapping. Here are some collages of the pictures that I took while we were up the canyon.

Family Bliss- giving credit where credit is due...

Last night, I received an email letting me know that "my" post on Family Bliss had been approved and would be posted today.  I hadn't submitted a post yet, so I was a little surprised.  I went to the post and absolutely loved it.  But, I didn't write it.  I'm not sure who did- or who has access to my WordPress account for Family Bliss, but somehow it was created under my profile.

So, it links back to my blog and I wanted to let the correct author stand up and take credit for her great post about Dad's and the lessons we, as Mom's should learn from them.  Hopefully, I'll be able to update this post with her blog link.

In the meantime, tak a look at this great post on Family Bliss.

June 11, 2009

Daniel's Summit- Semi-annual trip

Every six months, we take a day, and go to Daniel's Summit Lodge for breakfast. Is it the best breakfast in Utah? No, but it is one of our favorite family activities. I confess, we used to do it on a Sunday. Now that I teach Sunday School, we don't have as many Sundays to steal away. (How honest is that? I could have just said, "We are trying much harder to keep the Sabbath Day holy," and that too would have been true, but we do feel that spending a Sunday as a family, away from our normal lives is times the best way to keep the Sabbath holy).
Back to the story... This year, since we were going on a Saturday, we decided to expand the invitation to some friends of ours. So, first thing in the morning, we got the girls all cute. Of course, it wasn't without drama- but in the end, both girls were dressed and ready to go. Then we headed up the mountain.
On our way, Scott's allergies started acting up and he'd forgotten to take his Zyrtec. So, we stopped at Walgreen's and our friends continued up the mountain. This meant we were a ways behind them. Now, our blue car has gone 140 mph on the autobahn. We know our car can go fast and handle well. Scott did not go fast up the canyon, but he did push it a little.
We were getting close to Deer Creek, the girls were coloring in the back and Jade says, "I'm starting to feel sick to my stomach." So, just like any other mom, I suggested they put their coloring away and watch the road until they felt better. Not 5 minutes later, we hear a "Blah" but not from Jade. Ivy sat there in her seat puking. Fortunately, all she had had that morning was a glass of water- so there was no stench or disgusting mess to clean up- just some clear goo and water. (Is that t.m.i.?)
Other than Ivy needing a potty break, we made it the rest of the way without incident. Of course, our friends beat us there by a considerable margin.
Daniel's Summit Lodge was yummy and we took some fun pictures.

Then we were off to Strawberry Reservoir. This is where we have taken some of my favorite pictures of the girls. Unfortunately, the weather did not hold up long enough to get any good family pictures and spending time on the dock was cut short because all of the boats headed to shore before the storm hit. But, before the storm forced us away from the reservoir, the kids got in a little fishing. They managed to catch some weeds. Which is pretty much all we ever catch.

One of these weekends, we're going to have to find a real fisherman to take us to a lake so that the kids can see that there really are fish in these lakes, not just weeds.

On the way home, we got stuck behind a really bad motorcycle accident on the freeway. While we were stopped, both girls dozed off from exhaustion.

June 7, 2009

Candy and Lemonade Stand

First off, I have to say I am really starting love my neighborhood. There is still a list of things I don't like, and one of these days, I will post a favorites and a not-so-favorites list. I'll give you a sneak peek at one item that will be on one of those two lists... a two story chicken coop.
In our neighborhood, there is a "gang" or a "pack" of boys ranging from 4-10 years old. They cruise the neighborhood on their bikes and scooters, making stops to play at each of their houses. Sometimes, this little group of boys will come by and include Jade in their activities. As you may know, Jade is a bit of a tomboy. You will find her doing WWF smack down with the guys on the Hawkins tramp, or having a battle on the grass with one of them. If she loses, don't expect to hear a girlie cry- you can bet that Jade will be up in a jiff, trying again to take them down. Oh the things that make a mother of a daughter proud.
The other day, Jade had a girl friend over. They had decided to color and make cards for each other. (A girlie thing to do). Then there was a knock on the door. Two of the younger boys in the pack were asking for Jade. They told her she needed some money because they had a candy/lemonade stand. With Ivy and her radar for sweets, I gave the 3 girls each a dollar and we were off to the stand.

While I sat and visited with Kim and Lisa, I started to feel like this neighborhood is getting more and more like the neighborhood I grew up in. Sure, there is a little more traffic, the block where we live isn't full of kids in each house, the kids have to walk farther than earshot to play together, there are a few houses on our street that haven't considered doing anything about the 4 foot weeds covering their front and back yards and there is a chicken coop in the back yard of our next door neighbor, but it is definitely starting to feel less temporary.
Now to get Jade to remember that she is a girl and wrestling with the boys and yelling at them that only one boy can wrestle at a time doesn't fall under the "I'm a lady" umbrella.

June 4, 2009

Holy Cow- I totally forgot...

My Blogoversary was on Saturday. I even got a comment congratulating me on 2 years of blogging. Yet, I still forgot to post about it.

Two years ago, Scott was on a business trip. He doesn't travel very often, so when he does, I usually find a little project to do. One of his trips, I hung drapes in my kitchen nook. But, the most memorable project was starting a blog.

I started the blog on an evening in May. I posted a picture and talked myself out of really doing it. So, I had a blog and I didn't even tell Scott that I had one- until December. In fact, I didn't post again until December. So, I'm thinking I should change my "blogoversary" to December 16th and consider May 30th as my "engagement" date.

Now that I post several times a week, I wonder why I couldn't get started back in May 2007. I started this blog as a journal of our family- originally with the intent of sharing it only with Scott. (Who, by the way, started a blog when we went to Germany- but he only posted to it once). Then, in January 2008, I shared it with my mom, and she encouraged me to share it with the rest of the family and friends. So, I did.

I'm a total blog addict. It started innocently enough. My brother and sister-in-law were blogging their way around the world and I'd read their daily posts. I'd get excited reading about their adventures and it would amaze me how many people from around the world would read their story.

Then, I started reading some food blogs. And then my cousins started their blogs. Now, I have a "reader" full of more blogs than I could ever have time to really read. I skim through them and stop if the pictures entice me- if it's a foodie blog. If it's a journal blog, I read it if something about it jumps out at me. It always surprises me how much people are able and willing to share.

When I really started blogging (December 2007), I was expecting to tell stories, open up my heart and soul to be judged or ignored. As I got going, and work and life were so busy, it turned into more of a photo journal. I have enjoyed my photo journal, but also feel like I'm not giving enough of myself to my blog.

I read some blogs and I'm jealous of how candid they are able to be. I laugh when they share conversations between the blogger and their spouse. I wonder if my kids would be more grateful for a journal of pictures with brief explanations or if they would prefer I write of our struggles, our laughter and our joys.

As I go into the 3rd year of my blog, I plan on being more exposed and available. Now to decide if that 3rd year starts now or December. Maybe, I'll just ease into it and be really candid by December.

Since I have a small audience, please, let me know if you like my blog the way it is, or if you wish to have more of Amy-in-real-life. I welcome your comments and am grateful for your support.

June 3, 2009

Field Day and School is out!

Here is the final post about school- for this school year. Renaissance Academy does a dance festival and a field day. The field day isn't really a day that many parents get involved in, but I had to swing by and get a few pictures. They were playing "duck, duck, goose" while I was there. As with any group 5 and 6 year old activity, it was ADORABLE!