Friday, June 27, 2008

Ode to Pixar

They did it again! Tonight we took the kids for a belated "great job in school" celebration. The outing of choice was of course dinner and opening day of the latest Pixar movie "WALL-E." You know that only Pixar can entertain the entire family from kids to adults, grandparents, teenagers, and even little ones. It was simply delightful - so entertaining and enlightening (truly an insightful commentary into our consumer driven society) at the same time. After the show the discussion became heated about what which pixar film in "best" (Chris said this one, "Incredibles" still is at the top of my list, and the kids love them all).

However, we always look forward to the Pixar "shorts" before the feature, and Ryan and Caroline said tonight's was the funniest one yet - they were laughing so hard I could hear them from the other end of the row. So, in honor of Pixar - here's the "short" that was in first place before tonight . . . our family fell in love with this computer animated little girl, especially her frustrated expressions at the end - too much!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Summer is HERE

Finally, it has arrived in all it's glory and HEAT - summer! It's been wonderful . . . swimming lessons every day, hanging out at the pool, hiking (four hikes just last week), going to the park, planting the garden, etc. So, in celebration of this most wonderful time of year, I put together a slideshow of all the reasons why we love summer - enjoy!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

What a Dad . . .

Happy Father's Day Chris - really, what an awesome dad you are. I'm not sure if any other dad on the planet can make up silly songs on the spot for practically any occasion, or has his kids laughing hysterically every night during story time, or has invented such cool entities as "blind monster," the "prayer mice," and "dot-to-dot," or has "fill in the blank" prayers for the kids when they are little. Just a few things about our dad that we couldn't live without, so thanks Chris for always keeping things fun.

Of course, just like Mother's Day, the best part of Father's Day is the homemade cards . . . the little girls were so excited to give Chris their latest creative endeavors - check it out:

And since it is Father's Day - here's to all the other wonderful dads in our life:
Grandpa Terry goofing off with the kids in Sea World. Thanks Dad for always being such a great example of love, kindness, and patience for all of us. Travis, Jenna, and I were pretty lucky kids to grow up with a dad like you. Now the grandkids adore you and are so blessed to have such a fun grandpa.

Grandpa Terry and my Grandpa Les Howick at Bear Lake. Grandpa Les loves all the grandkids and great-grandchildren and enjoys spending time with us all . . . the kids especially look forward to the ice cream cones Grandpa always keeps on hand just for them.

Grandpa Ron just loves his grandkids! He is always so thoughtful to think of each child on their birthdays and send something special just for them. We all appreciate the kind cards and e-mails he sends to all of us for each holiday and special occasion.
Happy Father's Day to all the great dads in my life - I love you all!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Here's to my great kids

I know, I know, everyone believes their own kids to be the best - the most wonderful, special, intelligent, and creative creatures to grace the planet. Ours are still working on that, but I have to say that this first week of summer break has truly been delightful, just sweet moments watching my two oldest children take on more responsibility and realizing that they are no longer little . . . that they are now really growing up.

Just this evening at my bookgroup, one of the younger mothers commented on how she is worried about her little ones becoming teenagers. I thought for a moment about how really great it is watching your children begin to be their own people, to gain more independence, and to learn from their mistakes. Both Ryan and Caroline have demonstrated their maturity and their desire for more responsibility and independence these past few weeks and I couldn't be happier for them.

Summer is the time when they become little entrepreneurs and try to earn some money for themselves. I don't believe in giving an "allowance" or paying them for chores, so for some extra spending cash they get to earn it. This will be Ryan's second year his "dog sitting" business and he's worked hard delivering fliers around the neighborhood, as well as attaching several to neighborhood mailboxes and lampposts. Caroline decided to get in on the action and begin advertising her skills as a most excellent babysitter, so she came up with her own flier and made the deliveries to all the families in the neighborhood with young children.

This evening watching Caroline come home ecstatic from a babysitting job with a crisp $20 in her hands, and then picking Ryan up at 11pm from a friend's home after a day of fun and then night games with good friends who come from great families, I couldn't help but be proud of my two oldest kids. They are a wonderful example to Sophie and Liza and have made wise choices regarding their friends and how they use their time. I couldn't be prouder and tonight I was just filled with gratitude for Ryan and Caroline, for the good friends they are to each other and how lucky I am to be their mom.

These pics are from the last day of school: Ryan and good friend Sam, Caroline and Kaitlyn in the outfits of choice for the last day of school - Caroline is never one to miss out on a chance to dress wacky and I love that about her! Btw, she began the day with a wig, dark sunglasses, and a baseball cap on as well - what a kid :-).

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

This is NOT happening . . .

OK, so this is what greeted me when I woke up this morning - a dusting of snow on the mountains here behind our house. So, the heat is turned on and my kids are asking for hot chocolate for breakfast and it's freaking June 11th!!

I guess the big question for today is: "Do I take the girls to their swimming lessons in an hour??" I think I'll wait until it stops hailing before I make that decision.

Monday, June 9, 2008

"Under the Big Top"

Well, the annual ballet recital was a success . . . meaning I successfully had all three girls in costume with hair and make-up and to the theater only 10 minutes past the time they were supposed to be there. Now, if my mom wasn't helping me get them ready, we would have really been in trouble! Thanks to everyone who came and supported our girls, it was a delightful evening and ever so entertaining thanks to Liza's onstage "Lion" antics, Sophie's intense focus during her rousing "circus horse dancer" performance, and Caroline's beautiful dancing. A fun evening for all . . . .

Caroline, Grandma Pat, Grandpa Terry, Grandma Janice, Liza, and Sophie

The "Entertainer of the Year" award goes to . . . . LIZA, for the best circus lion performance EVER, oh, and don't forget keeping the entire audience in stitches during her time on stage!
My three beautiful dancers.
Elizabeth and uncle Travis after the show.

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Preview

Tomorrow evening is the annual ballet recital and this year all three girls are performing. As they were waiting with their friends across the street for a ride down to the dress rehearsal I couldn't resist the photo op, so here you go: one ferocious LION, one darling ACROBAT, two fancy CIRCUS riders, and one sweet ELEPHANT.
Obviously, the recital is entitled "Under the Big Top" and from what I saw at this evening's rehearsal it is about the cutest thing ever!

Everyone is welcome - 7 pm Saturday night - call us for details.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

More from the peanut gallery . . .

OK, Liza has been on a roll lately so I thought I would highlight tonight's moments:

1. When telling Sophie, "you can go play with your friends as soon as you . . . (this is when i mimed playing the piano)," Liza studied my fingers and excitedly guessed, "after she goes outside and finds spiders to keep as pets?"

2. During dinner we were having a conversation about how time has flown and in just three short years Ryan will be 16 and driving - yikes. Liza piped in and added, "oohhh . . . and he gets to kiss girls too!!"

3. While at the table, Liza studied a slice of nectarine and announced to everyone that it looked like a bum. Of course we burst out laughing and told her that wasn't appropriate, in which she replied, "ok then, it looks like buttocks." Now that one put us into hysterics, especially Caroline who finds anything Liza says hysterically funny.

4. After dinner Liza and Sophie were drawing pictures and Liza ran into the kitchen to show me her masterpiece. In great detail she told me it was a strawberry shake with vanilla ice cream and blueberries. When I asked her what the green thing was on top, she said simply: "oh, those are the avocados."