Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Piano Recital

Tonight was Ellie's first piano recital. I promised Ralph and Judy that I'd post video, so here she is, playing Sugar Cookies. She did a great job!

Joey played The Rainbow Connection, and did well too. Unfortunately I zoomed in to get rid of the heads in the audience, but forgot to refocus, so it's blurry.

Robbie is now practicing an hour a day, and it's really paying off. He loves jazz, and definitely has a talent for it.

Their teacher awarded prizes for the most days practicing, and the boys tied for first place. As Rob said, it is probably the first time Joey has been happy that he is forced required to practice daily. They each scored a Slip-n-Slide, Water gun and some fireworks. Joey also admitted that the regular payoff of playing well in front of an audience was pretty cool.

Our performers:

And all four kids:

With their teacher, the fabulous CarolLynn Gregson:

Ainsley can't wait to be her next student.

The kids were so happy to have Great-grandma Clayton at the recital and for our treat at Dairy Queen after the performance.

I missed Father's Day photos this year, so tried to sneak one in while everyone was cleaned up.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Just a Two-Photo Post!

Yes, it seemed significant enough to make it the title of the post.

This week was busy, with a swim meet on Monday night, and a Time Trial on Wednesday night. I was timing for both of them, so didn't manage many photos, but wanted to post two from the meet on Monday that I love. This one is Ellie, waiting to race. A cap and goggles are not usually flattering, but I love the way her features stand out. I love her blue eyes and thick eyelashes, her cute nose and full lips, but most of all, I adore her freckles. She is such a pretty girl, just going into that awkward phase with too-big teeth, but still so beautiful to me.

And I'm so proud of her. Here she is swimming the butterfly, something I can't even imagine being able to do.

Love this girl.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Favorite Swim Team Tradition

Lest my last swim team post sounded too rosy, I'll set the record straight and admit that we do have the occasional whining about having to practice everyday. Especially on the mornings after a meet, and especially from a certain redhead who needs his beauty rest. But they all wake up early in anticipation of the team breakfast that takes the place of practice once a year.

Even the picky eaters get excited about it.

The shutter-happy moms too. I love this shot of Ellie, Amelia and Hallee. (It seems redundant to warn any reader of this blog about a post with a lot of photos, but if anyone needs such a warning, there it is).

Love this one too.

They had a professional photographer there to take the team pictures, and I just stood behind him and snapped away. This is Ainsley's age group, the six-and-unders. Ainsley's on the back row, third from the right. She loves her coach, Claire, who is a mom and so great with the youngest kids.

Next is Ellie's group, the eight-and-under girls. (There were too many boys to fit in the same shot). Ellie's coach, Angela, is a BYU swimmer, but she was out-of-town, so they're posing with the head coach, Tommy. He's done a great job with the program, and even taught me the right way to swim last year. Ellie is the one kneeling right in front of Tommy, and Amelia is right next to her.

Here's Joey, with the ten-and-under boys, and their coach, Nick. Joey is second from the left in the middle row.

Robbie is on the front row, right side, below his coach, Matt. All of the coaches have been awesome, but Matt and Nick have taught all of my kids lessons, and I so appreciate them. Jonas is on the front row, far left side.

Here's a photo of the photographer, attempting a large group shot (he's on the lifeguard chair on the right).

With his superior lens and angle, I'm sure his photo is much better than mine.

After breakfast and photos comes the part the kids all love...the coin toss.

They each bring three dollars in coins, which all gets tossed in the pool.

They line up until the whistle blows...

And then it's fair game. Joey is right in the middle of this shot, and he scored big. He found one of three marked ping-pong balls, which can be redeemed for $10. Plus another four or five in coins, so a nice profit.

Here he is collecting his cash.

Joey was pretty excited when he found the ping-pong ball. I overheard the coaches saying he sounded like the boy who found the golden ticket. This is definitely his happy face.

Ainsley stuck mostly to the steps, but even she just about broke even.

Pictures with water and sunshine make me happy, but I made the mistake of shooting in aperture priority and opening it up too much. Hopefully I'll get some better shots later this year with this experience in mind. Here's one of Robbie and Joey with Tanner and Jonas.

And the silly face shot.

I hope I have another opportunity to get this cousin photo right! And that I survive the ordeal that it will surely be. :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Been there, done that, blah, blah, blah

When I'm trying to play catch up here and back-dating a bunch of posts, it becomes clear that this blog is totally uninteresting unless you are pictured here, or a grandparent of someone pictured here. So feel free to skip this post if you're not.

Melissa invited us to join them at the zoo for Megan's birthday. I always take way too many photos there, and this one is standard.

It might seem like it, but I am not posting every photo. The baby lemurs were a highlight, very active and fun to watch.

Here's cute Peter, being a good sport being dressed up by his older sisters and cousins.

This is what going to the zoo with nine children looks like in the rare moments they're all in one place.

We haven't been here since the installation of the dinosaurs, so most of us enjoyed that.

Everyone except Duffy (running away), Peter (trying to run away) and Amelia (ears plugged).

We managed to convince them to pose next to this dino, which was not animatronic.

There is no such thing as a perfect shot with nine kids in it.

Every time I ride the train I question my kids judgment, but they love it.

Here's where the photo nazi in me comes out, making the kids pose for one last photo looking directly into the sun. Good times.

We're only two weeks into summer break and we've already checked off four activities on our fun list! (S'mores up the canyon, Bear Lake, Slurpees at the park and the zoo). Yay!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Well, hopefully it was a happy Father's Day for Rob, even though it was very low key. Actually, the low-key (a.k.a. nap) part of it was probably his favorite part. The gifts were sub-par, some iTunes cards and a bike helmut. Not a new one, just his old one wrapped up, with instructions to pick out his own. No doubt he'll find some other bike stuff while he's shopping.

Plus DOZENS of drawings the girls have been working on and saving for weeks.

And to top it all off, they each made him a necklace.

As proof that he's a great dad, he even wore them all day, including to Davy and Emma's house for dessert. The necklaces sum it up nicely: Daddy rocks, and Daddy is awesome.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Chalk Art Festival

After Colin's blessing (see this post), we decided to take advantage of the fact that we were already downtown and go see the chalk art festival at Gateway. We always stop for any fountains, Joey is especially enamored with them, and usually pretending that he is Percy Jackson, controlling the water.

This was one of the first pictures we saw, and it was probably the boys' favorite.

I loved this one:

And this one:

We got to see an artist at work. Looks like a messy job.

I got a photo with the "free hugs" people because my brother in the family I lived with in France does this in France. The girls wanted to know why they wanted free hugs. :)

This was one of the girls' favorites, and they thought it was fun to see the artist too.

It was fun. Definitely something we'd do again.