Family of Fans

Family of Fans

Friday, August 26, 2011

First Day of Kindergarten

Marquessa has officially started Kindergarten. I have no idea how it happened. I'm pretty sure I blinked, because just a few months ago I was holding a 4lb 5 oz baby girl in my arms trying to believe that I'd really been chosen to be her mom. But, it's happened.

Okay, I admit it...I'm emotional. I'm a crier. I come from two families of criers, I got a double-whammy in the gene pool...I couldn't escape it if I'd tried. But, honestly, I did pretty good at holding them in this time. Marquessa gets a little bit of anxiety over my tears, and I didn't want to scar her for life on her first day.

School is fun, exciting, new...and I always want my kids to be excited and look forward to school. I wanted to start some "back-to-school" traditions. So, we threw Marquessa a first day of school "party".

(Welcome Home!)

(Cupcakes and balloons!)

That night as I was tucking Marquessa in bed, I asked her if she liked her surprise after school. She told me she did, and asked if there'd be another surprise for her the next day. I smiled and explained that was just for the first day of school. After calculating my words for a few minutes, she responded with: "Well, tomorrow is my next day of school."

What a kid!

I miss her like crazy when she's not home. But, when she runs to me with her arms wide open when school is out...that right there makes it all worth it.

"Real" Camping

When Paul and I first got married, he was a virgin camper. His family had the mentality that "camping" meant a Super 8 or Motel 6 that didn't have ESPN or SportsCenter.

You know you're really camping when you either (A) have to squat in the trees, or (B) have to do your business in an outhouse. (Sorry ESPN, no SportsCenter, and not even cell service!) I have to say, that after 13 years of practice, my man is pretty good at real camping.

When I was growing up, we would always camp in the Uintah's just east of Kamas, UT. My parents, along with us and my brothers and sisters-in-law, have been making it a point to get to our favorite campground every year.

It just so happens that we always seem to see moose while camping. This year was no exception.
(Here's the little fella...not the BIG man on campus)

Marquessa got up close and personal without meaning to. She walked out onto the path at the same time the moose did, and they spooked each other. Back at camp, I only heard the scream (and my heart literally skipped a beat), and looked up to see the biggest moose I've ever seen.

But, to hear Paul tell the story Marquessa jumped straight out of her shoes and ran off without them, just like a cartoon. Walking back to camp, he was carrying her in one arm, and her shoes in the other. The moose (two of them) stuck around our camp the 3 days we were there, but didn't get as close again.

We also went fishing.
(Courtney's first fish!)

Why? Because Courtney wanted to catch a fish. I don't particularly enjoy fishing, and I don't eat fish...but, we go because that is what my family likes to do. It was hilarious to watch Courtney get excited about the fish, and then...not so much!, when the fish flopped off the hook straight at her. Poor kid almost peed herself screaming in fear.

Uh...we're having bad luck with the wildlife this summer. First the "camel incident", then the moose, and now the fish...oh, boy.

Here, in the mountains, on this river (his river)...this is how I will always remember my dad, fishing.
Not to worry folks, he's in fantastic health and not going anywhere, anytime soon. This is the dad of my childhood memories, that's all.

(the Utah Cousins hanging out in the eagle's nest)

We'll keep the rest to ourselves...we've got to have a few secrets about a few of our favorite things!! ;)

Window Crayons

Some people think I'm crazy. Some have even told me I'm crazy. But, what you are about to witness, may solidify your opinion on the matter....

One of my favorite things I've come across for my kids, are Window Crayons. I love to let them draw on the storm door, the windows, the sliding glass doors in the kitchen.

It's so fun to let them be creative and expressive, and watch them get excited to share their masterpieces with the world.

And heck! If I have to wash the windows/doors anyway...why not?!

Bear Lake

Believe it or not, Paul and I have both lived here in Utah our whole lives.
And neither of us had ever been to Bear Lake before this month. We had SO much fun!

Trivia time: Paul and I met on a blind date, set-up by my Uncle Todd and Aunt Mindy nearly 14 years ago. We were celebrating our 13th Anniversary the weekend we went to the lake. And, we happened to be camping with Todd, Mindy and the kids.

Apparently, there are a few things that cannot be missed when in Bear Lake, especially during raspberry season. (Who knew there had to be a "season" to get a good shake?!?)
Getting our shake on...

A moment to share some tidbits of glory about Paul, though it might not make sense for a minute - bear with me.

Paul served a mission for our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) in Belem, Brazil. One of his favorite mission companions, Curtis Mouldenhauer, happens to own/run the KOA campground in Bear Lake. (Ah! connection!) And that's where we ended up camping.

It was fun to spend a little bit of time with Mouldenhauer and his family. What incredibly generous and neat people! Fun to find out some mission stories I'd never heard before the TV in the attic to watch basketball playoff games?! (Yeah, I heard the story Paul. You only watched "one"...mmm-hmm!)

Though we had an amazing time, we decided that KOA camping isn't our preferred method of camping. The girls sure liked the swimming pool and the playground, however!

We also took a drive up the road to Paris, Idaho. My great (4x) grandparents were settlers of Paris/Fish Haven. It was fascinating to be able to connect to that part of my heritage.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Whirlwind Week

We have a new nephew! Everyone meet....Taz. Taz, this is everyone.

My mom spent a week in Arizona with my brother Brandon, his wife Jenn, and the twins.

At the end of her week there, she brought the two girls back to Salt Lake to spend a week with their cousins.

And what a week it was! (I'm still recovering!)

We went to Chuck E. Cheese. (Yes, with 9 kids...and yes, we're crazy!)

Had water games and relays in our backyard....

Had a picnic with Grandpa near his work, and fed the ducks...

We went to the Salt Lake County Fair...

(where Courtney and Peyton got trampled by the camel!)
(How dare you smile at me right before stomping on my kid!)

(made monster masks)

Went to the park in our PJ's...

Went and had lunch with my "Gramma" and then to the Willow Pond splash pad in Murray...

And last, but not least, went to Zoorassic Park at the Zoo.
(I'm waiting on my brother and sister-in-laws to send pictures, because I'd forgotten my camera that day. I'll post pictures later!)

Makin' a Splash

Have you ever been to the Herriman Splash pad?

It was quite the place. But, with cold water and a stiff breeze...the fun didn't last too long. Really!? It's the end of July?


So much for that idea!

At least they're cute....

A Little Mother/Daughter Date

I decided to take the girls on "alone dates"...never done this before!
So, first, I took Marquessa on a little play date, just the two of us. Neither of us had ever been to the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving point.

What a cool place!

We had fun playing games, discovering new things and "diggin' up bones".

I took her to lunch (for dinosaur nuggets of course!), and let her pick out something from the gift shop.

I cannot begin to tell you how much I love this girl...

Picking 'pre-historic boogers'....that's my girl. :)

A Reason to Celebrate

We had the opportunity to go to dinner and spend some time with Anne (Marquessa's birthmom) and her family before they moved out of state for her husband's schooling. Changes that big can be daunting and difficult...but, we wanted to make sure they know how much we love them. Looking forward to when we can see them all again.

July 24th

The 24th of July in all about celebrating pioneers,
first and foremost because of the
"Mormon Pioneers" that settled Salt Lake City.

Well, aside from that, I like to think of it as celebrating "blazing trails". So, we blazed a few that weekend. We actually decorated the girl's bikes for the neighborhood children's parade.

We then quickly blazed a trail home in the middle of the parade (thinking that my pioneer children did not sing as they pedaled and pedaled and pedaled - but they sure made a lot of wailing noises!). The kids had had enough fun for one day...which meant, so had I.

Paul's brother Jim and his family were visiting from Colorado Springs that weekend. They helped us cut the trail on another new adventure, ice-skating at the Olympic Oval. But, for some reason (probably my inability to wield a camera while wobbling on two precarious blades on the 'fastest ice on earth') I didn't get a picture with the three cousins. :/

(Paul, the secret's out...Marquessa was teaching you how to skate...)

Marquessa is now asking for lessons. (Which we discovered that Anne, her birthmom, had taken lessons for a few years as a child.) We may just have to find her lessons!

Hyrum - Annual Family Reunion

Family Reunions...who actually likes them?

Would you be surprised if I told you that I come from a very large family (mom's side) that loves family reunions so much that they actually camp together for an entire week, shedding tears at the end of the week? Oh, and planning for the next reunion begins 1 month after the last, or 11 months before the next? Well, I do.

(here's a small glimpse of the less than 1/3 of it...)

That tells you what kind of an amazing family I come from. My mom is the oldest child of 7. Her youngest brother is only 4 years older than I am. I am the eldest grandchild...there are 29 of us, and there are 29 years between us. That doesn't include spouses, and my cousins kids. Suffice it to say, there's a LOT of us together for one week a year at Hyrum State Park and Reservoir, near Logan, UT.

The week is always filled with boating (water-skiing, wake-boarding, etc.), slip-n-slides, water games,

crafts, ice-cream runs,
(mmm...Aggie Ice-Cream!)

a family movie night (provided by my super talented and technologically genius cousin),
(This year it was Mulan)

good food, a family talent show...and lots and lots of laughter.

Just talking about it makes me want to go back. I'm pretty sure Heaven will be just like Hyrum...