Monday, July 15, 2013

Vacation Time!

Here are my favorite pictures from our 12-day trip to Florida!

Clearwater beach.  The water was warm and the sand was powdery soft.

Miles and his cousin Luke really hit it off.  They swam, demolished sand castles, and wrestled all day.

Having a blast.

Clay loved the shallow, warm pools that formed on the beach.

Disney World Magic Kingdom

Spent the day with Grandma and Grandpa.

My cuteness is enough to make me king.

Look at my strong muscles!

Feel the rhythm at Animal Kingdom

About to get soaked on Kali River Rapids

A great day, a great trip, and no sunburns.

Monday, June 24, 2013


It's wild blackberry season at our house again, and the most enthusiastic picker around here is the youngest.  Clay is such a good blackberry picker . . . he doesn't even need a bowl.  As soon as we show him a patch with some ripe berries, he starts marching in place and panting for sheer excitement.  Then he grabs every one he can see and stuffs them in his mouth.  He'll even venture into the deep, thick woods with me just to taste a few more.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

June already?

Here it is, June already.  So to recap for the last few months . . .

In March my sister Amber had a baby!  Little Stevie B. is Miles' and Clay's first cousin on my side of the fam.

Clay is growing into a busy toddler.  He is so cuddly and snuggly!  He likes to walk up to friendly-looking moms and church and stand by them until they pick him up and give him a hug.  At home Clay walks around pointing at our fish pictures and saying "ish, ish."  He likes to bring me books to read to him, and he likes to play keep away with Miles.  They take turns throwing his pacifier or bouncy ball, then they run to chase it.

In April we enjoyed (yes, really!) a camping trip to the Wichita Mountains.  We went with another family in our ward.  The moms and babies stayed in a hotel. :)  We did a fun hike that involved scrambling up a boulder field to the top of the mountain.  Miles led the way.  He was so animated and cheerful.  Although I think he should have drunk more water because he had bad growing pains that night.  Apparently he cried until 2 in the morning.  Alvin was annoyed about that.

Clay reluctantly started weekly playdates with his friend, Bailey, so Miles and I could start violin lessons.  Whenever Alvin and I have discussed our financial goals, I've always reminded him that I want to set aside some money so our kids could take music lessons.  And now my dream is being realized!  We found a Suzuki violin teacher, and we've been practicing every day and listening to the Book 1 songs.  I love it!

In May, Miles completed a year of preschool.  He's had several singing programs throughout the year, but he always sat with his lips zipped.  At the final graduation program, Miles sang all the songs!  I started crying right there.  Here he is, dressed as an "a-a-alligator" for his letter parade.

We took a weekend trip to Dallas, which is only a 3 hour drive.  We stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge and swam at their indoor waterpark, then we went to a castle for dinner and a show with knights and horses and jousting.  

We had a very wet and stormy spring in Oklahoma this year.  I'll have to get Alvin to write about the recent tornadoes, but just so you know, our house and trees are still standing.  Even Alvin's two gardens survived.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Trip to the park

I love the mild winters in Oklahoma.  They almost make up for the wickedly hot summers. 

This is our friend, Bianca, riding with Clay in my Christmas present.

Happy 4th Birthday Miles!

Miles recovered from his Science Museum accident (see below) enough to enjoy his 1-friend birthday party.
 We invited his best friend Adler and Adler's mom over for a special dinner of "Basagna." Miles opened lots of presents (Legos, Curious George story collection, baby zebra, Chuggington track from his fellow train-lover), then we enjoyed cake and ice cream.  Miles wanted a leaf cake, and he suggested we go outside and find a leaf that was very flat, and smash it in the cake.  I asked him if it was okay if I just drew a leaf on the cake with frosting, and he said that was fine.
 I think the one-friend party was a great idea (thanks, Mom!) and a big success, not to mention much less work for me!  The boys had a blast together and loved running around and playing with the new toys.
 Happy Birthday, Miles! We love your energy, observations of the world, and crazy dances. I love playing chase at the park and reading books with you. You really help our family by doing your Morning Chart, unloading the silverware, and helping Clay. We are so glad you came to our family!

At the Science Museum

It all started with the snow.  There was enough of a dusting during the night that Edmond Public Schools cancelled school on February 21, 2013.  It was Miles' birthday!  I didn't think the slush on the roads would merit a snow day, so I got the kids ready and drove Miles to preschool.  We even dressed up extra nice for his birthday spotlight and took a special snack.  But when we arrived at preschool, the parking lot was empty.

So we did the next best thing to celebrate Miles' birthday: Science Museum Oklahoma.  We love it there!  Tons of hands-on exhibits and toys for the kids.  I just follow them around and let them explore.

Here is Clay trying out the light board.  Now that he's walking, he legs take him to try out all the big-kid things he can find.

Presenting . . . our birthday boy!  Miles turned 4 on February 21.

He hid in this dark room, then threw open the curtains and ran out.  Many times.  The last time, he ran straight into a table.  With his mouth.  Oops!

It hurt him really badly.  His tooth cut his lip and bled all over.  I tried to mop it up with a wet-wipe while he screamed.  Some nice museum patrons kept an eye on Clay while I dealt with Miles.  Eventually, we left the museum, went to see Alvin at work for some extra TLC, and discovered that Miles' front tooth had been bumped out of place.  Then I spent the rest of the afternoon calling dentists and taking Miles to get his tooth inspected.  Fortunately, it was a baby tooth.  Fortunately, it wasn't knocked too far out of place.  And fortunately, it didn't get infected or broken.  At this point, one month after the accident, his tooth has turned gray, but looks like it may stay in his mouth for a few more years.  Maybe he can be a pirate for Halloween.

Now Miles will always remember that on his fourth birthday, he went to the Science Museum and broke his tooth!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

We've been ...

Well, I feel I should explain where we've been the last month or so.  It's a place called "Busy!"  Maybe you've been there?  It started with a quick Thanksgiving trip to Arkansas, then a trip to Salt Lake City, Utah to visit extended family.  Primary was rather consuming with binders and manuals and class lists to prepare for the new year.  I'm only the secretary, but half of the presidency was gone with brand new babies.  Then Christmas, of course, followed by Clay's first birthday, and a baby shower for a friend.

So now that the end-of-year rush is over, will things slow down some?  I don't know.  But my to-do list is considerable shorter, so I can ease off the gas for a few weeks, at least.  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  We sure enjoyed ours and feel so fortunate to have celebrated it with family in Utah and our own children here in Edmond.  Kids sure make Christmas magical.

Visiting my grandparents in West Valley City.  They gave Miles and Clay toy cars.
My grandma has a stocking for each child (5), grandchild (30), and great-grandchild (still counting).
Christmas Nativity.  Jesse made a great shepherd.  Amber was a 5-months-pregnant Mary.
If only this shot had a mirror so you could see how the camera man elicited such genuine smiles!
Now that we live outside of Utah, we actually made a point to go see the lights at Temple Square.  My memories of doing this as a child center around one word: COLD.  But this time, we bundled up, spent half our time inside the City Creek shopping center, and drank hot chocolate.  And the weather wasn't even that cold.  By the end I had to unzip my coat to cool off!
Our camera man even got a smile out of Grandpa this time!
Back in Oklahoma, we stumbled upon this awesome ornament.  Sponsored by one of the big oil companies, of course.
Santa made a great display of gifts for Christmas morning.  Alvin got a Wii, I gave Miles some pulleys and rope and helped him rig up a system across our living room, Clay loved his ride-on toy, and I got the best present of all: a Chariot stroller/bike trailer.
Clay, on his first birthday.

He got two presents, and one we had to take back to the store.  Good thing he's just one!  I think when he's older we'll let him choose a non-December date to celebrate his birthday.
And the baby shower!  This was the first baby shower I ever threw, and it was a blast.  You can't go wrong with an under-the-sea theme.  Miles and Clay loved the decorations that I put up a few days early.  We didn't play any games at the shower, but everyone helped cut out and glue felt fish to make a mobile for the baby's nursery.