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Sunday, July 27, 2008

How About Some Pictures

I offered to get some pictures together for Heather to upload, but she had plenty she had taken herself and kindly let me know I was fully capable of putting up my own post for the week :)

I always feel at a loss of anything to add on a weekly post because Heather covers things so well from her perspective. My week is pretty mundane compared to the outings Heather takes the kids on. I've been eating a bit less the last week in a renewed effort to shed some pounds, so therefore I am sure I've been a bit more cranky...notice I said more cranky. I have plenty of work to go, but at least the days of being hungry have had a little success.

Earlier in the week I offered to go with Spencer to a neighbor's trampoline to take some pictures. He was a bit skeptical at first, but quickly got into the spirit of things. We were rolling on the ground laughing at who could do the funniest things in the air for a picture. This pic was Spencer's favorite of the bunch.

Not much else to add, so here are a few more photos to close things out. (Click for bigger versions).


Dear Friends and Family,

This week I finally turned my attention to the backyard and got the weeds up. If you hadn't seen our weed garden in one corner it may be hard to believe but we filled the back of our truck with weeds to take to the dump. The good part is that when you're pulling weeds that are waist high you really feel like you're accomplishing something. The bad part is as you struggle to pull the suckers out you are mentally kicking yourself for letting it get that bad. So for a few days our yard is looking pretty nice! I had the truck for a few days this week as we had to have the brakes replaced in the van (very necessary before a downhill trip to CA!) - so figured we might as well put it to use.

This week was a fun week. On Monday was Jeremy's work day at Lagoon. Meredith stayed with Taylor and the rest of us went up to Lagoon for the day. We went swimming in the morning. It was an act of parental love. Our kids didn't seem to care that it was cloudy and the water was only 70 degrees but we sure did! Spencer got brave and did all the tall water slides with me and ended up loving them. The girls were happy to stay on the swings. We really had a split of ages on this trip. Allison didn't want to try any of the bigger rides but was very happy to help out Robyn do all the little kid stuff. Spencer after trying out the little kiddie pirate ship ride went on to drag Jeremy onto the adult pirate ship ride. Afterwards they sat green-faced on a bench for a while. Jeremy decided to stick with the girls after that and Spencer went on some of the roller coaster rides with me. There was one that said you "might" get wet. There was no might about it - although Spencer got splashed, I got drenched. It was almost 1000 degrees by then so soggy wet clothes felt pretty good. There was one ride called the bat that Spencer loved and convinced me to go on three times with him. The next day I couldn't turn my head to the right and I was quickly able to realize why - it was all the head banging back and forth.

Tuesday two of my roommates from college Jen and Emily along with their kids came to visit. It was wonderful to sit and visit and catch up. Emily's kids and mine are all exactly the sames ages and gender so our kids had a great time. It was a day for catching up as that night we left the kids with Meredith and took Lauri up to Bountiful for Jeremy's cousin's step-sons wedding reception. We haven't seen them for a few years and Jeremy and Lauri enjoyed reminiscing. Jeremy got invited to plan a trip to Sturgis next year so he is going to see if he can work it out.

Thursdays we have been doing a field tip each week. Since nothing else was happening that day we went on one of our bigger outings to the dinosaur museum. Kids loved it. Taylor walked for 2 hours willingly (not always the case), Robyn wanted to keep digging for bones and we found a prehistoric fish named a Robin fish which we all thought was cool. It was a fun afternoon and air-conditioned! With temperatures ranging from 100 to 105 this week air conditioning has been very important!

On Friday night we had a neat opportunity. We had a date scheduled and then on Thursday Donny Osmond's drummer asked Jeremy if he could bring a disk of pictures up to him in SLC. He got tickets for the two of us to go to the pioneer concert at the conference center with the Osmonds performing with the Tabernacle Choir. Seeing the Choir sing "she's a little bit county, he's a little bit rock and roll" was unique as was seeing President Monson with strobe lights flashing in front of him as the Osmonds sang. It was a lot of fun to go to.

Taylor has been doing good. He went to summer school for the first part of this week and now he is out for the summer. His seizures seem to be a bit harder than usual lately. So in August we are going back up to Primary's to check out his VNS and discuss some med changes. Over all though he is still in a really good place.

Spencer is starting to have some struggles. Most of the time he is good but then a change or some event will set him off for a few minutes where he reacts wrongly - out of proportion anger, fear, etc. A small taste of what it was like last summer. We had run out of fish oil so we got some more and started that back up to see if it helps. So he goes in after vacation as well to discuss changing around his meds. Its not bad yet but we want to not let it ever get that bad again. If you stop him, a minute later he knows that he reacted wrongly. We're trying to teach him to stop and think before he reacts - hard to do. He is really excited to fly on a plane by himself tomorrow to visit the grandparents. On Friday the kids and I went to the mall to find shirts for the boys for the family picture. Spencer found what he assures me is the coolest shirt and wanted Taylor to match him. On Saturday we convinced him to get his hair cut. The hair stylist knew all the code words "if we add some layers on top, it will look even more shaggy". He thinks Grandma won't recognize him now that you can see his eyebrows! Today he is very worried that he looks dumb with shorter hair but I think Jeremy convinced him that yes he does look a lot better. It amazes me how much appearance means to Spencer and Allison when things like showing your underwear or having a dirty face means nothing.

Allison has really taken off reading lately. I'll often find her curled up with a book especially a comic book. She gave a talk today in Primary that Jeremy helped her with. If she is not nervous she can read the whole thing by herself. She is still very easily moved to tears/whine. Not sure how often she is actually hurt and how often that is just her pre-programed response now. She has been trying to convince Rocky to sleep with her at night which he is happy to do but Robyn freaks out. Every night finds Allison at our bedside around 2 am with a bloody nose or a nightmare and needing to sleep in our chair. A habit we need to break. I find little snippets of bloody tissues everywhere lately.

Robyn has picked up the tissue thing by shoving pieces up her nose. And then she comes to find me asking me to use the tweezers to get the pieces out that get stuck. Spencer went through that phase as well. Hope it passes soon. Robyn has learned the "royal we" i.e. "don't touch the Bobyn, (she can't say her r's), give Bobyn a snack please, Bobyn not go night night". She is still very opinionated. I tried to show her two dresses for church today, of course she asks for the pink one that she has worn for several weeks now "its in the closet mom, go get it please". Robyn talks almost constantly lately. We tried watching Nancy Drew as a family last night. Jeremy hates people talking during the movie. Robyn is there as some form of punishment for him as she only stops talking if there is an action scene. Her other habit lately is to say "what?" whenever you tell her something. I won't post pictures of her dancing this week as that is what she spends most of her day doing - always in some form of tutu and high heeled princess shoes.

Jeremy and I keep going amidst the chaos of our usual life. Jeremy got some dumbbells for downstairs so we should all be buff soon. I have been shredding and freezing zucchini a ton. We picked Spencer's cabbage that he was so proud of this week and everyone discovered that coleslaw is not their favorite! Allison picked all our peas so the girls have been busy getting all the little peas out to eat. Jeremy took a bunch of family pictures for some friends yesterday. He has been getting some flash equipment that has made a big difference in the quality of picture.

I am very excited to see my family this week. I went yesterday to get everyone their own shovel and bucket for the beach (thought that might be a good idea to prevent disagreements) and Target was all out. They said all their summer stuff was over. I had to laugh when its a 100 degrees outside! Love to all, Heather

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sand is everywhere

Dear Family and Friends,

Our kids are loving the sandbox. You would think that with it across the yard not that much sand would get into our house. Oh no! Our bathtub at night looks like a little beach when you let the water out. We are still learning the rules of sandbox play - "honestly you thought it would be fun for everyone to dump a bucket of sand on their head?" or "why did you put a bunch of bucket loads of sand all over the yard?". Kids are out there every day though having a great time.

We went and met some new neighbors across the street this week. The have a girl Allison's age and a boy Robyn's age and they have played together several times. They have a 5 year old boy who tails after Spencer willing to do whatever he wants - Spencer loves it.

Summer keeps everyone busy. This was the last week of Spencer's summer school camp in the mornings. He loved it. One of the afternoons he had a friend from our old neighborhood who was in his summer school class come home with him. They spent the afternoon playing board games. This last week it really hit me how different he is now - back to the normal at times difficult 9 year old that you guys would know. Last year we attempted to go to Alpine Candy factory to have each kid pick out a $1 worth of candy and then go to Cabella's to look at the stuffed animals. We ended up spending the entire time at the candy factory as Spencer lost it because he couldn't decide if he had made a right choice on the candy - hitting, screaming, paranoid that I would talk/look at him - this lasted for over an hour. This year he was all excited to pick out his candy, walked out with a smile and read about all the animals as we walked around Cabella's. He told me afterwards that his meds must be really helping him as it was a fun and easy outing.

The candy factory highlighted our family differences. We all had the same amount of money. Spencer got as many of the cheaper suckers as his money would buy him. Allison got one of each of the cool animal gummies. Robyn went for the biggest sucker she could see while I went for the chocolate toffee (no contest). When we got home Robyn alternated licks with Rocky and Wookies (the next door dog). Very gross and all three were very happy while Allison and Spencer watched laughing. I was the mean mom to stop the fun.

Allison is always busy playing with friends. She went to help me clean Lauri's place and stayed patiently in the car watching a movie with Robyn. But she was ecstatic when a friend took her to the movies in the afternoon so she missed going to the dentist with Lauri. She sometimes gets the short end of the stick when it comes to errands. One of the things she is most excited about with 1st grade is that she doesn't have to go grocery shopping or run errands with me anymore. This Friday and Saturday she went to the daddy daughter campout with Jeremy. As Robyn refuses to sleep without a crib she stayed home. Allison had a great time - not wanting to participate in the group activites as she wanted to just go off and play with her friends. She stayed up till 11 playing with all the little girls and thought it was great.

Robyn was heartbroken watching Jeremy and Allison drive off together on Friday. But it was cousin pizza and movie night so she quickly perked up when cousins arrived. Made me realize what a calming influence Allison is as Robyn and Kayla found lots of trouble to get into. All had a great time though. Robyn is wearing dance skirts everywhere right now. Some days it seems like she is just bouncing off the walls, she is everywhere wanting to do everything. Usually means she needs a good nap.

We went to Camp Floyd one afternoon this week. Its an old state park where the union soldiers stayed right before the civil war for one year. It was way out there in the middle of nowhere and pretty small. Spencer "why do you drag us to these dumb places" and then a minute later "this is so cool, come look at this". They had the old inn there and it amazed me that with the adobe walls despite it being 100 degrees outside it was nice and cool inside.

Worked on painting the basement a bunch this week. Was all excited to being close to having the yellow in all the main area and stairway done. Then on Friday I went downstairs and realized the last can of paint dried to a completely different color than all the rest. So 2 walls are a lighter yellow than all the rest. Was very ticked off as it is noticable and needs to be fixed. So I will be painting some more. This happened right after coming back from the doctor to find out that yes something was wrong with me and I had to go Cipro antibiotics to clear it up. I was not in the best of moods. But then my old roomate called me up to say she was in town and she and another old roomate wanted to come visit this coming week. And then another friend called to invite me to a BBQ at her house for Saturday. So I still went to bed with a smile on my face.

So Saturday we got together with a group of friends that we have been friends with for 10 years now. It was a late night (giving dirty/sandy kids baths at 10pm is not a fun experience) but so worth it. I wonder by now how much we are friends because we have things in common and how much we are because we have been through so much together and so many memories. We have been through kids hospitalizations, miscarriages, births, bed rests, pregnancies, kid problems and always know we can call on each other. We only see everyone as a group every couple of months now but it is always a great time.

Today Jeremy and I had a meeting with the stake president. I have been called to be the stake relief society secretary. Not quite sure all that will entail but I am sure I will learn a lot. Its very different than anything I have done in the past and I am pretty sad to give up teaching as I learn a lot. But if you ever come to really like a calling then you know you'll be released!

Yesterday I started making an attempt at cleaning up our yard. When I realized my old roomates were coming it was a bit of a wake-up call to realize that there were more weeds than bushes in many areas. Only got a couple of hours in so the front is looking better but the back is still very jungle-esqe. Our neighbors moved yesterday so we spent time helping them box things up. Allison and Spencer are very sad about it. We will have to have some play dates.

Like always it seems that there is more to do than hours in the day. So we choose to let a lot of things slide - otherwise I would go nuts. Made our first zucchini cake this week with cream cheese frosting. Sitting on our deck with a book and a piece of cake with the door shut so I can't hear Robyn crying for "more stories, more drinks, more cuddles" and summer life seems pretty good.

Love to you all and am counting down 2 more weeks till I see my family in CA. Heather

We went to a museum with a 1800s crazy quilt and I thought of Christina. Allison and Robyn at the baseball game - who wants to look at the game when you can play with each other.

Despite his look Taylor enjoyed the game and cooler weather.

Robyn kept wanting to be entertained during the game.

The girls love to paint. Allison had Grandma teach her to knit.

Rocky helped clean up the s'more mess on the kid's faces

Mom taught Spencer to knit as well. He has been persevering all week in his attempts but hes had a much harder time of it - good practice for keeping his temper and patience.

Dear Friends and Family,

Our kids love zucchini - not to eat it but for zucchini bread especially chocolate zucchini bread. So we have been indulging this week with the first zucchinis of the season. Spencer is on cooking dinner on Mondays so he is set to make chicken zucchini casserole. Summer must be here.

My parents were here Monday and Tuesday. They slaved away in the heat making a raspberry trellis and working on a sandbox. They did a ton of work. I mentioned it at a Relief Society event Tuesday night and had a neighbor mention they accidentally got 2 extra cubic yards of sand that they needed to get rid of. Another neighbor had a bunch of rock they needed to get rid of. So Jeremy spent Thursday night shoveling rocks and Saturday carting over sand. The kids are loving it. As soon as it was filled the kids were out there. They came in for lunch brushing their feet off after Jeremy reminded them to brush off all the sand first. Then as they stood in the middle of the kitchen Jeremy pointed to the sand everywhere and asked them to go back outside and brush off their legs, arms, bottoms etc.

Spencer started 2 weeks of summer school on Monday. He is gone every morning from 8:15 to 12. Taylor has school 3 days of the week where the bus picks him up at 8 and 12:20. So its a little tight and busy getting everyone off on time. I think I was getting too used to sleeping in and staying up late. Spencer's school is talking all about inventions and he has had a great time. He comes home ready to eat lunch and hang out reading comic books or playing games for a few hours.

On Friday we celebrated 7-11 day with slushies on our way to see an Orem Owlz baseball game. Spencer had earned free tickets at his school. We only made it to the bottom of the 7th inning before Robyn was way too giddy and tired. Kids mostly enjoyed all the non-game stuff like the playground, cooler weather, dancers etc. Jeremy and I got to meet Collin Raye who was there with an acquaintance of Jeremy's, which was cool. Collin was there with his 8 year old granddaughter who is in a similar state as Taylor.

On Friday the kids and I got to meet a friend in her backyard to eat a picnic lunch and pick cherries off her tree. We had a great time catching up and have been busy making cherries jam since. Today we are going to tackle a pie. Last night Jeremy and I got to go out to dinner, see a movie (Hancock) and walked around the shops. We picked up a cherry picker because every year I make jam and declare we need one - so finally we bought one. Kids are all excited to try it out this afternoon.

Thursday the kids and I and Meredith went to a new local museum. It was a very eclectic collection but really interesting. From pioneer and city of Lehi history to the bugs, rocks and fossils of the US. Kids all were given a rock to start their own collection at home.

Rest of the week was normal summer stuff, getting my permanent crown in, taking kids to gymnastics, piano etc, trying to paint some in the basement, getting Allison's hair cut, getting safety and emissions done on the van, trying to write my church lesson, etc. It sees like its always a matter of choices - I can choose to mow the lawn or paint the basement - always something not being done. I am getting better at just letting it go as there is never time to do everything you should do.

Jeremy only had meetings from 6 to 6:30am today so he came home and made breakfast and did the dishes - most relaxing, easy Sunday morning I have had in a long time. Has made the whole day seem easier. Jeremy has been working hard this week to loose weight. Of course kids don't help diets - when you are trying not to eat, they are constantly asking for snacks which you have to prepare. Jeremy is sticking it out. He found a used recumbent exercise bike on Craig's list which he got this week and has been trying it out. The gears sound a little rough so we are looking into doing a tune up.

Love to you all and really looking forward to seeing my side of family in 3 weeks! Heather

Once again I thought I would jump on early this morning before Heather's full post and get a few pictures on. I didn't take a ton this week, but one I really liked of Heather and several of Robyn. She is such a cutie the camera just seems to find her.

I've spent the week mainly working and getting some odds and ends done around the house. Saturday had me working early on the sandbox filling it with sand, and having Robyn jump in to play the moment it was done. She spent much of the afternoon enjoying it, so Bill it is much appreciated already.

Heather and I had a pleasant date last night, having some Chinese dinner that I wanted and watching the movie Hancock that Heather was looking to see. Along with walking around the shops at Riverwoods, it was a rejuvenating time together. We enjoy having some alone time every so often.

As always, I'll leave the details to Heather. Hope you all enjoy the photos and like the kids, I'm looking forward to the vacation. Don't stress too much about outfit colors and styles; I'm sure it will all work out and look great. How could it not with a good looking bunch like we are?!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!

Dear Family and Friends,

Hope everyone had a great fourth of July. My Mom and Dad came down that evening to stay with us which thrilled our kids (and the parents!). We had our annual neighborhood of fire with around 5 other families attending. We always wonder how many people will actually show up, as every year its different families that come as vacations/reunions pop up. Kids had a great time having a big water balloon fight (350 balloons), chasing parachute fireworks, waving sparklers around, watching Jeremy's big pyro show and eating as much junk as they could find. Jeremy spent the morning of the fourth down in Provo with his photo group taking pictures of the hot air balloons taking off. The rest of us had planned to sleep in till Spencer eager for the festivities to start started practicing the piano at 6:45. It was a great day.

Saturday we all went out to eat french toast at Kneaders - my favorite breakfast place. Stuffed and happy we went down to Provo to wonder through their colonial village. It was really interesting. All the people were dressed up in colonial dress and were showing how people lived in those times. They had a lot of information on the history of the printing press as that was one of the museums in the village. The most interesting tidbit for me for the day was learning that upper case and lower case terms come from referring to the upper and lower boxes (cases) the print type were stored in. An older lady was making little dolls out of wooden clothespins and fabric scraps and she gave one each to the girls. Robyn kept rocking hers singing Rock a bye baby - in a very loud voice - the rest of the morning. Snow cones and listening to some outdoor concerts topped the morning. We spent the rest of the day hanging out, cleaning the office, and planning out the sandbox Dad said he would build for us.

We are taking care of a little rat dog of our neighbors right now. He alternates between cuteness and annoying. Depends if he is yapping or not. Kids think he is great as he is no longer biting or barking at them.

Painted a bit in the basement this week and Jeremy put up door knobs. A little bit closer each week.

Monday we spent the day at the doctor with Lauri and trying to tackle laundry. It amazes me how dirty clothes can get and how many outfits kids can wear in a week. We're going for the stained look lately.

Tuesday Spencer, Allison and I went to 7-peaks, the big water park in Provo for the day. We had a great time. Robyn thought it was great to monopolize Meredith who came to watch her and Taylor. Spencer and Allison worked up the nerve to go on the smaller slides with me. I led the way by going on the boomerang first to show I could be brave too. That ride is like a giant u, you go straight down and then straight up. Didn't seem like fun till halfway down when I realized despite how I felt I wouldn't die. Spencer and Allison liked best just hanging out in the wave pool or on the lazy river. When its 98 degrees outside the water feels great. Don't forget just laying on our towels while kids ate massive amounts of snacks. It was fun and like all fun with kids, a lot of work too.

Wednesday Lauri, the kids and I headed up to Ogden. We went to Hill Air Force base to get Lauri's prescriptions for the next 3 months filled and then went on to the base museum. It is 2 hangers full of aircraft history plus many airplanes outside. Spencer became an official wheelchair pusher with Taylor and after a few scares till he realized he could never let go of the chair unless he put the brakes on he did great. Then we went on up to my grandma's house to visit and see my mom and dad. Our kids haven't seen them for over a year so they were very excited. Long day but a lot of fun.

Thursday was full of grocery shopping and going to the dentist. Was very relieved to get the root canal done as tylenol and antibiotics really weren't helping that much. Part of my tooth had cut off the infection making a little cyst inside my tooth that they "popped" with the drill. Ouch! But immediate relief as all that stuff drained out.

So another fun week of summer. Been running outside more lately at night. I keep taking Rocky as he wants to go so badly. But I am afraid someone is going to call me on animal cruelty as by the end I am dragging him behind me. Love to everyone and hope you are enjoying your summer.

Love Heather

Heather is going to post the regular update here soon, but since I took a few photos while we walked around the local festivities she has me posting a quick note. We've had plenty of fun with the fireworks, bbq food (junk food) and of course the visit from Grandparents from California. The kids were anxiously waiting on the front lawn waiting for Bill and Lynda to arrive. Once they did I don't think they had a moment of silence until kids went to bed being peppered with the equivalent of "look at me" happening the entire time.

Not much to say, I'll leave the details to Heather.