Tuesday, May 25, 2010

NOW recital season is over

Robbie didn't tell me until this morning that he had a band concert today. I can't hear an inexperienced band now without thinking of this prank. I must say, I'm glad Robbie's doing the drums. They may be loud, but they are not out-of-tune or screechy. He did a great job today on snare and cymbals.



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Monday, May 24, 2010

At least it melted

Four inches of snow in our yard today!
I though we might lose a few branches on the tree in our backyard. Luckily it all melted pretty quickly.
Still, I hope we are done with snow until at least November.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

And cut!

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Joey's play was our last performance of the season. He had a great time taking weekly drama classes, and loves to be in the spotlight. Unfortunately for us, all 80+ kids had speaking parts, plus multiple musical numbers, so it was a two-hour production to see Joey's one-minute part. I think we'll give acting a break until at least Junior High.
At Hires, almost as much a family tradition as El Farol's. Again, we feel grateful to live so close to family and appreciate their support.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Ainsley's ballet recital

There were FORTY-EIGHT classes performing, so I told Rob, the kids, grandparents and Aunt Jan just to show up around the 7:00 intermission time. Ainsley's class was not long after that, so it worked out well. It was fun to watch—Ainsley is naturally graceful, and she was so excited and happy.
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It's great to have family support.
I asked Ainsley what the caption for this photo should be and she said "Ainsley and Lulu, butterflies."
No performance is complete without ice cream afterward.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

School's out...for Ainsley


Today was Ainsley's last day of preschool (until fall anyway). It was a fun party at the park. They released the butterflies that started out as caterpillars in their classroom, they got treats and treat bags from Mandy, and they played and played. I took about a hundred photos—it takes about that many to get one or two good ones.
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

She'll still need braces...

But Ellie no longer sucks her thumb! She's been a thumb sucker since before she was born. I have to admit, I loved it when she was a baby. She was a self-comforter, and even started sleeping through the night early on. A couple of years ago I posted that I hoped she'd stop before kindergarten, but she only quit sucking her thumb while she was at school. Rob told her many times how much it hurt to have braces, and he threatened to buy yucky-tasting stuff to put on her thumb, but to no avail.
Until a few months ago, when she decided she was done. She even asked us to put tape on her thumb each night so if she accidentally started, she'd stop. The biggest shock of all was when she told me she didn't want to sleep with her blankie anymore. I have such mixed feelings. I'm proud of her for breaking a tough habit. I'm hoping this will mean less time and money at the orthodontist's. And of course I'm glad she is growing and progressing. But I miss that baby/toddler/preschool stage. I'd love to be able to hit the rewind button every once in a while and hold her and her stinky blanket while she sucks her thumb.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The king of all wild things

Joey was truly well-cast. I went to his play (Wonderful Witches of Oz) this morning at Butler Middle School, and he did a great job. He has one more performance on Saturday, this time for family and friends.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Yahtzee!

If Joey, Ellie or Ainsley is in charge of the game for family night, it's usually Hot Potato or Mother May I? The rest of us pick Yahtzee. Everyone can play, and we can have a quick game by teaming up. Tonight we played boys against the girls. The girls' first two turns scored a 1 on the ones, and 6 on the twos. Hard to get much worse than that. The boys, on the other hand, got their large straight and yahtzee, so the score was 90 to 7. We miraculously shortened their lead to only 29 by the end of the game, and we had a good time. It's definitely one of the "things we do."

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Love morning church

Stake conference was uplifting, but this might be the highlight. Rob had no assignments, and we met at 10:00 a.m., so we got naps!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Great friends, good food & food for thought

Usually I try to avoid taking the daily photo in social situations, just so I don't embarrass Rob too much, but I've decided I need more friend photos in my story. I am an introvert, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate great friends. Tonight we had one hour in between the stake conference priesthood and evening sessions, so we made the most of it with the Morgans and Healeys at Bakers de Normandie. It was a perfect evening—the weather was beautiful, the food was delicious, the company was delightful, and we topped it all off with a spiritual shot in the arm. More about conference tomorrow...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hidden talent

We have some pretty dramatic kids. And Robbie is NOT one of them. He's always been mellow and easy-going. But it turns out that doesn't mean he can't ham it up. It was fun to see the fifth-grade's "Fractured Fairytales." Robbie had several parts, including this role as a protester trying to save the beanstalk:
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He couldn't have had a better-scripted part since I was, in fact, standing in the back filming him.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

On my nightstand

Too many books, too little time!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Legoland

No, we're not taking a trip to Carlsbad. We don't have to, we've got Legoland going on right here at home. At 9 1/2 and 11 1/2, the boys have pretty much outgrown their trains, cars, action figures, dinosaurs, etc. It's only been ten years since we started that toy collection, which is now obsolete. I'm glad they still like to play with Legos. I don't even mind the mess. In only ten years the Legos will have been long boxed up and the boys will be in the mission field and college. Ten years, which I know now is like the blink of an eye. So I'll enjoy Legoland while I can.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Swim season

The kids have been asking for weeks if it was time for swimming to start yet. When they got home from school they changed their clothes in record time, and we were some of the first people to arrive for the swim team workout.
The sun came out, the water was warm, the kids were happy.
Ainsley put her swimming suit on around noon, even though I told her I wasn't sure they'd let the little kids in the pool. That must be why she was sucking up to the head coach here. Who could say no to this face?
For Mother's Day Robbie made a card filled with "reasons I love my mom." Paying for his swim lessons was one of the top reasons. I'm not about to tell him that Rob is really the one taking care of that. He already worships his dad, no need to add fuel to that fire.
As we were driving over, Joey said, "I'm so glad we get to go swimming. I love it, and I'm really good at it." Rob is also the one who provided the confidence and healthy self-esteem gene.
Ellie told me today that swimming is her VERY FAVORITE thing to do.
And Ainsley was able to get in and play on the steps while the kids swam laps. Hopefully next year she'll be on the team too.
The clouds and wind moved in during the hour we were there, and by the end of practice it was cold and rainy. The other three kids might listen the next time I recommend bringing a sweatshirt.
Swim season has practically become synonymous with summer around here. It is what we do. I bet if I were to analyze my photos from last year, swimming photos would be at the top of the list. I'm looking forward to a lot more photos and great memories this year.

Proof that I'm not a very good mom

Joey was so excited to give me the gift he made at school. Of course I smiled when I opened it, and thanked him, and loved that he wrote "I love you mom very much" on the letter C. I appreciated the irony that I had spent four hours die-cutting these letters out of cardboard for his teacher. But, this is just not my style. And my mom, grandma and husband will all be first in line to tell you that I don't keep things simply out of sentimentality. Sorry, it's a personality flaw, I know.
So I'm hoping that Joey will be okay with me re-purposing these letters. We'll see them every time we walk into the house here. Anyone want a wicker plaque?
And for those of you who only get to enjoy Rob's sense of humor on his blog, I'm sorry. I had to laugh when I found this on the bulletin board not long ago:

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Happy Mother's Day

Rob and the kids do an exceptional job of making me feel appreciated most of the time, but even more so on Mother's Day. Fortunately all of Rob's Sunday morning meetings were cancelled, so just having him around to help get all the kids ready for church was a treat. On top of that, I got to sleep in, and woke up to the smells of a delicious hot breakfast. Rob tells me there was a lot of talk about what to get me—Ainsley suggested a loaf of store-bought bread. She's the only one who doesn't love my new habit of making homemade bread. When that idea was shot down, she decided a new swimming suit would be just the thing, since swimming season starts tomorrow. Maybe if I gave up the homemade bread I could get excited about putting on a swimsuit. :) Instead, I was happy to receive gifts the kids made at school, some new slippers, a shirt and a new iPod.
But it really is not about the gifts they give me, it is the gift that they are to me. I love these kids. I've used Mother's Day (and Father's Day) as an excuse to get shots with them individually for a few years now, and they're learning to just smile and humor me so they'll be done more quickly.
We got to spend time with both sets of grandparents after church, and I realized that although I've taken photos of them with each grandchild as a baby, we didn't have many recent photos. So they posed for me too.
I'm so grateful for my mom and Rob's mom. For my grandmas and all of the moms who inspire me.
Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Over-compensating

I've missed a few daily photos this week. I just didn't feel like it. So I'm making up for it with extra photos today. Here's one from Megan's bridal shower today—she is beautiful in every way.
Here's Ellie with her cute friend Alice—how perfect is that for a birthday party theme?
And Rob told me a few minutes ago that my daily photo was waiting outside...this isn't the shot he had in mind, but I loved this one.
This is what he was looking at—the Oompa Loompa sisters. This is a pretty accurate glimpse of what they'd be wearing most days without some intervention.
They love to be "twins," although Ainsley can't go a whole day in the same outfit, so she swapped her leggings for shorts at least twice.
I love Saturdays.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Iron Man II

I'm pretty sure the last movie I saw in the theater was Percy Jackson, with the boys. In fact, when I scanned the paper today, I didn't even recognize most of the films. Haven't seen Avatar. Haven't even seen Titanic. But a Marvel Studios production? Yes, count on us for opening night. If we're "lowbrow" for enjoying a blockbuster, so be it. I was skeptical about going to a comic book movie until Rob convinced me to go see X-men ten years ago. Now I almost want to read the comics. But I don't think they'd live up to my expectations. These movies are SO well-cast. Robert Downey Jr. is the man. Maybe all guys named Robert are studs. :) Can't wait 'til it comes out on Blu-ray.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Busy day

Once I got the kids off to school and Ainsley to preschool it was non-stop. Went to Target for groceries, then the Distribution center for more military sized scriptures (I need to make five more, including one for Ainsley—one of these days I need to see if I can catch her "reading" and record it, it's hilarious). Then it was back home for a cub scout planning meeting, which ended just in time to get Ainsley to ballet. While she was there I went to the hardware store for scout supplies and barely managed to get everything together in time for our 4:00 den meeting. Made it home by 5:30, fixed grilled cheese for the kids, and headed to the ward since it was our night to clean the church. I did manage a photo there:
Rob had a bishopric meeting, so I took the kids home, had them all shower and tucked them in, and then collapsed into bed myself at 9:20.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Practice pays off

The boys did a great job at their piano recital tonight. Joey played Green Onions by Walter Noona. He played better in front of a crowd than he ever does while practicing. He definitely thrives in front of an audience.
Robbie played Persistent Rhythm by Martha Mier. It's a great jazz piece, and he was awesome.
Here's Joey with his cute teacher Emilee, who is a senior at Skyline. Unfortunately for us, she's starting school at BYU in June.
Fortunately for us, her mom is Robbie's teacher, and has agreed to add Joey as her student. CarolLynn is wonderful pianist and person.
The recital started at six, so we grabbed some dinner at Hire's afterwards. We're lucky to live near so many grandparents, and always love to spend time with them.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Making out with a car was worth it

When Davy asked Rob to be in his latest commercial he agreed, with the promise that Emma would make him a cake. We're not even cake lovers, but Emma's cakes are that good. So yesterday we all scored—not only did Rob share his cake with us, but Emma made us all dinner too! Everything was delicious, as usual, and we had a great time hanging out with their family. Ellie and Ainsley are begging us to go out so that Sydney can come and babysit (or, as they always correct me, KIDsit).

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Party day

Tomorrow my Grandpa Vern turns 95. We had a party for him today. The kids were impressed to learn that 80 of those years he has been an avid skier. He started at age ten, skiing and jumping regularly with his good friends Alf Engen and Jack Walker, and didn't stop skiing until age 90. It was fun to put some photos of the kids skiing in the cards they made for him. Hopefully he won't be able to tell that they're at Park City, not Alta. :)
Here are some of the great-grandkids singing happy birthday. It was fun to see so many from my mom's extended family.

Before the birthday party, Rob took the kids to Free Comic Book day at the local store, where they scored comic books, balloons and drawings from some comic book artists. Not too bad for a lousy-weather Saturday.