Sunday, April 22, 2012


Although Easter was a few weeks ago, it's one of those "catch-up" posts that I'm determined to put on the blog since we actually did get some pics of the family after church before anyone changed clothes (which seems to happen every year!).

I don't want to forget the beautiful sacrament meeting that morning, the pretty spring day, or the generous meal prepared for us at Chris' mom's.  I love Easter, love the profound meaning behind this holiday, and hope our children will remember the words that were spoken by Brother Grow that lovely morning.

Also, the kids just may want to remember the "non-traditional" Easter treats that appeared in their baskets later that afternoon.  Yes, being the procrastinator poster child that I am, I found myself at Target around 9:30pm Saturday night for what I had planned on being"one stop shopping" to fill the baskets (the traditional Easter candy and a new spring outfit for each child).  Well, let's just say that by the time I had carefully picked out each item of clothing, and finally made my way to the back of the store to grab some jellybeans, cadbury eggs, and peeps, to my dismay they were CLEAN OUT of everything we would consider appropriate Easter treats (chocolate peeps were the only thing left and they looked disgusting).  So, since it was coming up on 10:30pm and stopping at the grocery store was out of the question, I had to use my imagination . . . Spree candy took the place of jelly beans, European chocolate bars instead of cadbury eggs, and gum instead of peeps :).

Easter 2012 pictures . . .

You're never too old to dye Easter eggs

Our attempt at family pictures after church . . .
 My sweet neighbor noticed us out front snapping pics and took one of the family.  Anyone notice that we have absolutely NO idea how to pose ourselves - anyone notice Sophie back there??

2012 Easter baskets
 The baskets with treats before I added the clothes . . . oh, tictacs too - the little girls love those!
 The finished product . . .
 Easter Egg hunt in the backyard

Cousin picture at Grandma Pat's

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

as of late

It's been a perfectly busy (what else is new), but wonderful beginning of Spring.  I have many pictures, memories, and thoughts to post and hope to get caught up by the end of the month (ya, I know, you'll believe it when you see it :).

So, life is good. We spent a few days on the slopes with cousins who were in town, enjoyed a warm few days staying at my parent's home in St. George while they were basking in the Hawaiian sun (thanks Mom and Dad), celebrated three birthdays and Easter, finished another season of high school hockey (unfortunately no state championship this year), made it through piano federation and a sectional tennis tournament, held Ryan's Eagle court of honor, put away the skis and gear until next season, started running and playing tennis again outdoors, and planned our summer (sports' camps, EFY, Pioneer Trek, swim team, family beach vacation, China, Bear Lake, and of course plenty of hiking, tennis, time at the pool, and yard work).

a few "catch-up" pics:
Ryan on the ice - Skyline Eagles Hockey 2012

 The girls celebrating Valentine's Day at school -
both girls have best friends with the name "Gracie"

 My parents deserve the "grandparents of the year" award for sitting in FREEZING cold temperatures watching their granddaughters compete in the "Sweetheart Circuit" over President's Day in St. George. 
Thanks Mom and Dad for your support!!

Loved skiing with my girls and their friends at Snowbird

 National Honor Society dinner - 3/28/12.   Ryan and some of his best friends (he was the only guy at our table and made the comment, "um, I guess the dudes I hang out with really aren't that smart" - haha).

Spring Break!!  Liza and Gracie taking it easy by the pool.

 Way to go guys!  Jefferson and Ryan received their Eagles - 4/10/12

Easter dinner at Grandma's and plenty of time hanging with cousins

Sunday, April 1, 2012

read to me

Today after the second session of conference I was so wound up I needed to a. get outside for some fresh air and a walk, and b. do something productive.  Four hours of sitting on a couch watching conference just about does me in.  Don't get me wrong, I love conference, but I do much better if I can listen and be active at the same time . . . should have thought ahead and planned a project for today :-).

Before our walk, I noticed the girls' book shelves were in dire need of some organization, so I began pulling out books that they had outgrown and made a pile to give to the kids when they start their families, and a pile to save for our eventual grandchildren.  Suddenly, I was awash in tender memories as I felt the spine of each familiar, worn title from their childhood.  Books have always played an important role in our lives and I was surprised how many of these treasures tugged at my heart as I reminisced the hours spent cuddling with each child on the rocking chair or snuggling in bed reading a favorite bedtime story.

Although Ryan and Caroline are now reading Shakespeare and classic American novels for English class, and our bedtime stories have evolved from "time for bed little mouse, little mouse" to giggling together under the covers as I read Anne's latest antic, I hope the memories of those sweet stories will forever be etched in their hearts as they patiently wait to be passed on to the next generation.

Ryan, Caroline, Sophie, and Elizabeth's favorite childhood bedtime stories:

Beautifully illustrated poetry beloved by all ages . . .
There was a young lady of Niger
Who smiled as she rode on a Tiger;
They came back from the ride
With the lady inside,
And a smile on the face of the Tiger.

The GREATEST book of alphabet poems in print - love!

Ahhh, such a sweet book of poetry 
(and I'm a sucker with anything illustrated by Jane Dyer) . . .
Read to me riddles
and read to me rhymes,
read to me stories of magical times.
Read to me tales
about castles and kings,
read to me stories
of fabulous things.
Read to me pirates,
and read to me knights,
read to me dragons
and dragon-back flights.
Read to me spaceships
and cowboys and then
when you are finished--
please read them again!

Looking for the perfect collection of Fairy Tales?  This is it.  
Our book is falling apart and we've read it cover to cover many times over.  
Every classic fairy tale is in contained in this book, along with fantastic illustrations.

Chris Van Allsburg.  Need I say more?  
Ryan's favorite story (along with Where the Wild Things Are).

A sweet story of the simple life and passing our love of family and nature on to our children, 
as we teach one another about "all the places to love."  Gorgeous illustrations.
I gave this to Ryan when Caroline was born . . . sniff, sniff.

This is Sophie's favorite story.
Such a sweet tale of a little bat trying to find her place in the world.

Liza's favorite story.  The other day I walked into her room just as she had finished reading it yet again, and she exclaimed, "not easy being a bunny?? pssshh, it's not easy being a PERSON!"

The title says it all . . . we love them, "no matter what."

Who doesn't love NO DAVID!  Caroline loved this book and Chris would read it to her night after night when she was a little toddler.

My mom gave this to me the day I brought Ryan home from the hospital.  It will always have a special place in my heart - it's been read hundreds of times to all the kids.
Said the mother horse to her child,
I love you as much as a warm summer breeze . . .
Said the mother bear to her child,
I love you as much as the forest has trees.

Classic.  My kids love this story just as much as I did.

Another classic . . . sends my little girls into hysterics each time we read it, 
especially if you can do the monkey sounds just right :-).

I love you to the moon and back.

And the all time Cantera favorite bedtime story . . .

It doesn't seem that long ago that both Chris and I read this 
sweet, simple poem to each child night after night as they pointed out each picture:

Goodnight room
Goodnight moon
Good night cow jumping over the moon
Goodnight light
And the red balloon
Goodnight bears
Goodnight chairs
Goodnight kittens
And goodnight mittens
Goodnight clocks
And goodnight socks
Goodnight little house
And goodnight mouse
Goodnight comb
And goodnight brush
Goodnight nobody
Goodnight mush
And goodnight to the old lady
whispering "hush"
Goodnight stars
Goodnight air
Goodnight noises everywhere.

the wonder years

Last week Chris introduced our girls to that nostalgic, sweet, coming-of-age television series The Wonder Years. We have been watching two 20 minute episodes every evening and they can't get enough.  We have enjoyed laughing along with our daughters as Kevin Arnold  tries to make sense of the ever changing world around him, especially as he struggles with the familiar territory of junior high school, girls, parents, friends, siblings, and society in general.

There is something so innocent about this show that you can't find on television today (probably the reason we don't watch TV, unless it's the Brady Bunch or Little House on the Prairie :-).  In a culture that has left these old fashioned values in the dust and embraces immorality and shifting values at every turn, it's refreshing to once again have family time together laughing and sharing experiences that are universally familiar to each of us.

I know my kids feel a little left out when their peers are discussing the latest Modern Family episode, but their lives will be much richer for the experience of sitting together at the end of the day watching a show that not only brings a smile to their face, but teaches a valuable life lesson as well . . . without the cringe factor.