Thursday, August 18, 2016

Piano Boys

This year, the boys both started piano lessons with Jackie Walker, an awesome lady from our church. They were both excited and a little nervous to try something so new and different.  I'll admit, it was a little rough at first getting them to practice and helping them through the frustration of doing something new and sometimes hard (and I know this will continue on and off, sigh...), but I think they are both really enjoying it now.  I love hearing them plunking out a new song and I love hearing them confidently playing one they've practiced at.  These pics are (sadly not great...I forgot my good camera!) ones I took at their recital in May.  Asher played the Star Wars theme song, and Beckett played Blue Suede Shoes (along with others, but these were their favorites). The boys both did fantastic!  They were both proud and satisfied with their performances.  It's so awesome to see their love for creating and understanding music beginning to blossom.  Over the summer,  they both played more on their own, and even started playing songs they like by ear.  Awesomeness.  Beck started tinkering with 'Come Thou Fount' (my favorite) without realizing it was a real song, he just thought it sounded familiar...we were surprised to say the least.  He also figured out parts of 'Hedwig's Theme', the main theme from the Harry Potter movies.  I printed out some sheet music for 'Come Thou Fount' and Asher can now play it, as well as a Newsies song, and others from the radio he's been figuring out on his own by ear.  I'm so proud of them and I love it when they want to go and play because they simply enjoy it.  Lessons are about to start up again in the next few weeks, and I'm looking forward to seeing what new songs they start playing this year.  Love my piano boys!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

First Day of School 2016

 The first day of school.  How in the world did it come so fast?!  I am baffled.  This summer flew by faster than imaginable and now it's all starting back up again.  I miss having the kiddos home with me, but I don't miss the fighting (haha).  Dawson will miss his big bros during the day, but then, he'll have me to himself too...I'm glad to have a sweet little buddy with me still.  These two smarties are off to a great start this year.  They both have good teachers and are excited about the year.  I'm in a bit of denial though...this is Asher's last year in elementary school, then it's off to middle school. What? 

This year was a smooth start...they boys got ready, ate breakfast (cinnamon bread french toast, their choosing), and even let me take pictures.  I love seeing what they want to be changes all the time so it's fun to get it down to remember every so often.  At this very moment Asher, (5th grade) wants to be a pro soccer player, and Beckett (2nd grade) wants to be an Olympic swimmer (inspired by none other than Michael Phelps' spectacular Olympic swimming we've been taking in each night).   The sky's the limit boys!  Here's to a great year...


Eighteen Months

This sweet little boy of ours just keeps growing and learning so much every day.  It's such a joy to watch!  Every new word and understanding gets noticed by someone and we all join in on a little family pride.  The time is, of course, whooshing right by, faster than we'd all like.  We sure do love our little buddy.  At eighteen months, these are a few things to note about Dawson:

  • He loves all things that, trucks, trains (a favorite at the moment), airplanes, you name it.  He's always driving something around, making sounds to go with them.  It never fails to surprise me how little boys just know how to make all the sounds.  His little 'beep beep' and 'choo choo' melt us.  Too cute.
  • As of this past couple of weeks, he's become a little momma's boy.  He wants momma all the time.  It's very sweet, but I'm a little worried about leaving him with a babysitter when the next night out comes around! (Note:  He adores Daddy too.  He just whines about me more right now.  (Chanting dada is also a common occurance!)
  • He loves pasta!  Noodles of any kind I tell ya.  He will eat and eat and eat them.  He also likes watermelon, rice, cantaloupe, toast, and of course milk.  
  • Prayer time has become so fun.  Dawson not only automatically folds his little arms, but bows his head and closes his eyes too!  And, he's started adding a little 'amen' at the end, just like the rest of us.  
  • He hums the Star Wars song...the Darth Vader one that's so catchy.  I have no idea how he figured this one out, except that maybe his brothers passed it on.  The funnies thing is that lately he turned the beginning part into 'ma, ma, ma,  huh hu-huh, huh hu-huh.  Yep, I made it into the song!  I really need to get this one on video because it's just too funny.
  • He also sings bits of 'Old MacDonald (especially when he wants to read his Farm pop-it book), 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star', and 'Ring Around the Rosies.'
  • At some point he decided he really likes candy, and asks for 'nandy' all the time.
  • He loves to sleep with his 'ki-ki' (blankie), and 'goggy' (doggy).
  • His brothers are his favorite.  He now calls them 'Ah-hee' (Asher) and 'Ke-ka' (Beckett).
  • He also will give hi-fives but ONLY if he knows you well. There is a checker at Smith's that tries every week, and Dawson still hasn't obliged!  He just looks at him and smiles.
  • Dawson loves to play outside and really likes slides.  Now that the super hot summer weather is hopefully over, he'll be able to get out there more often.
  • He says 'NO.'  If he doesn't want to eat something, if he doesn't want to do something.  He knows how to use no.  Oh, boy.  On the flip side, he will give an emphatic nod of the head, or a 'yes' repeated over and over in order to get whatever it is he wants.
  • Dawson is a talker.  He copies words we say all day long!  He has things to say and he's working on finding a way to say them.  Watching our little man learn to communicate is fun for us all.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Surprise 60th and DSP 2016


Oh what a fun trip we had to Utah this summer!  The original inspiration for the trip was my mom's birthday.  This year was her 60th, and everyone wanted to make it special.  My brother, Ryan and I were a surprise, as was the family reunion following her birthday.  The one caveat was that we could not tell my dad.  He loves surprises too, he just isn't the best at keeping them!  Keeping it all from my dad was a challenge, especially since he was repeatedly rumored to be digging for information, but to no avail...we kept him in the dark!

We all met for my mom's surprise birthday lunch at a tepanyaki place near their house, and Ryan and I stayed tucked away at the table.  Jen drove with my parents and then Laurie and Kayla came into the restaurant with them.  When they turned the corner and saw us sitting there it was pure awesomeness!  Ryan was an especially big surprise since his work schedule is totally insane still and he lives so far away.  My mom just cried happy tears while she hugged us.  I think my dad teared up a little too actually, and was truly shocked that we were there, and that we hadn't told him!  It was such a great surprise and so much fun for us all to be together like's been at least 3 year since that's happened.  The lunch was just the mom, dad and the five siblings (the men had the kiddos at Cafe Rio).  It was yummy, entertaining, and so much fun.  I definitely have a cool family!

We met up with our families at Kayla's condo clubhouse to celebrate with cake, ice cream and a presentation of a special book of everyone's (kids included) memories with my mom.  It was crazy bliss with everyone together.  What a fun birthday party!  My sisters all put a lot of work into it before we arrived and it was just perfect.

The next day we started up the DSP (haha...usually it's the LRP for my dad, but this year it seemed fitting to have it be my mom's) reunion.  We all donned our blue reunion shirts (by Kayla) and headed up to the mountains for a great hike up to a waterfall.  It was a hot day, but the waterfall was a hit.  Asher and Beckett were soaked through after running under the freezing falls a few times.  They had a great time.  All of the little kiddos did great too!  We were quite the train of people on that skinny trail, but the people were all very nice to let us pass by. 

A picnic lunch in the canyon followed, and then we headed back to the clubhouse for swimming and more fun and games.  Swimming was a welcome break from the heat, and the kids had so much fun hanging out together, as always.  We cooked, did crafts, played, did sparklers and enjoyed the family time. I love it when we all get together for our reunions because it's crazy fun.  I mean it's crazy, and it's fun!

The next day we were able to head up to Heber for a few hours to visit with Shawntell and Jared's family (Corey's sister).  We haven't seen them for a few years as they've been back East for school and work.  It's so nice for our boys to get to know their boy cousins on Corey's side.  We had a nice lunch and visit with them and Jared even showed us around Heber, which is just the prettiest mountain town! I'm dying because I forgot to take pics up there.  Next time we'll get some with the cousins for sure.

During the trip we stayed at Jen and Josh's for a few days, then with my parents for a few days.  We had a great time at both places and are so thankful for the awesome hospitality.  I think I stayed up late talking or hanging out every single night we were there.

For our last few days, and after the reunion was over, we played in and around Provo/American Fork.  We watched fireworks from Jen's front lawn on the 24th. We played some baseball with Josh and the boys, which was a fun treat for my boys in particular.  I was able to get my Kneaders fix.  Yum.  We played at the Thanksgiving Point Gardens in golf carts, which is something we've talked about doing for a while.  That was a great way to peruse the gardens and the 1.5 hours rental was plenty of time.  Those gardens are just spectacular.  We also took the kids to the farm there and let them do pony rides.  This was Dawson's first time and he wasn't afraid!  He actually really seemed to enjoy it.  We also hit the BYU campus and bookstore, and were able to visit the new Provo City Center Temple, which is beautiful, really.  We even went to an Owlz game in Orem.  Josh was the team manager of Mason's little league team and it was their teams night to be featured at the beginning of the game.  He invited my boys to be a part of the team for the night and even gave them team hats!  The boys LOVED it so much, and it was a perfect game night. 

We had oodles of busy, exhausting family time fun and can't wait to do it again.  Happy Birthday to my mom and thanks to everyone for the great time!