Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Draper Temple

The Draper Temple dedication was this past Sunday. It has been amazing to see the thousands of people that have flocked to Draper to view it. People dressed up in their Sunday best touring the temple and then getting lunch at one of the local restaurants. There has been a good feeling in Draper since the open house began, and now that it's ended, we kind of miss seeing all the well dressed folks around.

This is one of my favorite pics of the temple. We are so lucky to have it here in our midst!

Life in Utah

Hard to believe we were swimming in the neighbor's pool last Friday. Yes, it's heated, but it was still 70 degrees outside. Now, this week, snow and freezing temps. This is why life in Utah is so exciting. You never know what's around the corner.

I love how this pic shows the contrast. I especially love the kids' footprints as they run off to the bus. Life as it happens!

It takes a lot to make this boy tired. I think a day up at the slopes was just the ticket. Next time he's babysitting after a day of of snowboarding we might want to come home a little earlier.

This is the face sisters save especially for their brothers. The face that says, "don't bug me!" Jordan or Matt took this pic!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Fever

Not quite 70 degrees and they're busting out the lemonade stands. There is just something magical about Spring!Oh ya, but it wasn't lemonade it was KoolAid. Blood red Koolaid too. I think it could have used a bit more water!Is that your lipstick Kaela, or just really red Koolaid?Bridger was ready for batting practice. He had his baseball, bat, and headband, and he was ready to swing. Emma was just being her usual adoring self. Warm weather is infectious-even the school decided to throw a beach party to celebrate. Kaela was all about it and wanted to win the prize for best beach attire.Almost time for LaCrosse to start. Ready, set, craddle. Matt and his buds love a little hoop time. Well, maybe a lot of hoop time.Swooshing it isn't really a problem when the baskets only 5 feet high.Jord taking a breather from the little homies. Somehow I managed to catch this pic. He's been avoiding the camera lately. Here's Dad enjoying the nice Spring weather.

J-dogs 8th grade Catapult Project

Cute Jordan is such a good kid. We had bought, what I thought was an expensive, catapult kit ($40 seemed outrageous for a craft kit.) Jordan so diligently assembled the kit (this took hours) only to find out that the Trebuchet (French for sling shot) would only launch a little tiny wooden ball and he was suppose to be launching a golf ball. When Dad saw his dilemma, he stepped in and saved the day. I love how Dad's do that.They gathered some 2x4s and some other odd and ends and managed to make a pretty fierce catapult. The cool thing was, was that Jordan had designed it himself, on a piece of paper, and then the two of them went out and built it.Putting the finishing touches on. It won't win the "Most Attractive" award, but boy can it launch. Power Baby! Way to go Jord!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

St. Patty's Day - Go Green!

The green french toast were fun, but the kids were afraid I was using moldy bread.The Queens of Green. Love those socks! Kaela was really living up to her Queeny role with her tiara. She bought it at dance the night before, very cool.I wasn't sure if Emma would go for the green french toast. She did, and she liked them. Infact, she asked for more green food for lunch.Showing us how well she liked them.Emma and Lauren got lots of treats for "yucky" day. Emma kept calling it yucky day, not sure why. Maybe it was the yucky green nailpolish we all put on for the occassion.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


There is just nothing like a BFF! Emma and Lauren, we love you!

Making Mom's Chocolate Cake!

Betty Crocker and her sidekick--enjoying the fruits of their labors.
Emma's hasn't quite got the whole beater thing down yet. Keep working on it sweetie. It's too bad we don't have a picture of the cake. They're just never around long enough.

Kaela and Danene

Some people enter your life and you feel like you've always known them. It's that way for Kaela with Danene. Four and a half years ago we were put in a new ward for church. I was expecting our fifth child and Troy was going to be sitting up on the stand. I wasn't sure what I was going to do when the baby was born because Kaela liked to sit on my lap every Sunday. A beautiful single lady sat in front of us, Danene, and when the baby was born, she took over with Kaela for me. Kaela sat on her lap every week. Then, last year, life got even sweeter, she became Kaela's primary teacher. As a result, Kaela has developed a very special relationship with Danene, and to say that she loves her would be an understatement. When we moved from the ward last summer, it was really hard for Kaela. She missed and still misses Danene terribly. There are days when she will cry for her, make her special cards, or insist we go visit her. Luckily, Danene lives close. She even came to visit us last Sunday. She brought Kaela a gift from her trip to Africa. She told us all about the volunteer work her and her sister are doing with a village in Mali. Kaela was beaming. In the pictures above you can see the exuberance in Kaela's face when Danene gets to the house. We love you Danene. Thanks for loving us, and especially Kaela!!

P.S. Danene is still single-hard to believe, I know, with how pretty she is-so if any of you out there know of any great guys we can line her up with, leave me a note!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Something's Changed

Over the past couple of weeks, something has changed with my thinking. I think it's a change for the better. It has to do with kids and what is the right approach to learning and developing talents. A conversation with one of my sisters about letting kids choose what school they want to go to (so many choices now days with all the charters, home schooling, privates around) and a conversation with a friend about how kids will learn and excel in what really interests them have led me to believe that kids need to be able to choose what they want and as a result, they will be happier and do better.

I used to think that all good mothers enlisted their children in music (i.e. piano, guitar, violin, etc) and then insisted that they practice every day. I always told my kids that it's good for their brain development (which I still think it is, much like learning a language.) I also think it's good for developing discipline. But, as of recently, I've been getting flack from my two oldest about wanting to go to guitar lessons any more. It has been kind of a battle and I'm tired of the contention. So, with my recent change of heart, I announced to the family, at dinner one night, that we would be finishing the things we were currently enrolled in and then once they're done, every one can choose for themselves what they'd like to participate in this next year. The only stipulation is that they must finish what they start.

I was a little surprised by everyone's response. I thought I would hear a shout for joy or some kind of celebration. When I asked why they weren't more excited about it, I sensed some hesitation in my oldest son's response. He admitted that he wanted to be done with guitar lessons, but wasn't sure he's entirely done with playing the guitar. I was pleased to see his hesitation and hope that by being able to choose for himself he will still enjoy playing the guitar for years to come. If not, then at least he'll know that it was his choice.

One of my daughters, that takes piano, has been complaing a bit and not wanting to go into her lessons. When she was given the choice to quit she suddenly wasn't sure. At first she said, "I'll quit in a couple of months." And then she said, "I'll give it till the end of the school year." I think she likes it, but doesn't like feeling forced to do it. I think there is a lot to be said for free agency.

A few days after announcing this to my kids, I was talking with a friend. She said, "don't all mothers force their kids to play and practice the piano?" She told me that her father or grandfather (I can't remember which) was a piano professor and so it would be embarrassing if his children and grandchildren didn't play. She remembers being forced to play and even spanked if she didn't. She said it was a scarry experience.

Hearing my friends' experience only reinforced for me more that children deserve the opportunity to choose. Their is a sense of liberty when you get to decide for yourself what you want to do.

I have kids that would do everything under the sun and some that wouldn't do quite as much. But, whatever they choose to do, they must stick with to the end (end of a season). We will support them, but not nag them.

Another interesting thing happened last night, while we were sitting around talking with Troy's family. We were talking about people playing the guitar and some said something to my oldest about him being good at it. Again, he said he'd like to still play, he just doesn't want to take lessons. I don't know how far he'll get with out lessons, but he'll figure that out for himself now.

I'm excited to see how the next year plays out. I'm looking forward to not nagging and just supporting. I still will try to introduce my kids to new things and will encourage them to do their best, but hopefully their sense of freedom will allow them to excel in the things they want to and not in the things I want them to.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Betty Crocker

Have you ever wondered who the real Betty Crocker was? Ever wondered where she lived? How old she is? What makes her bake?

Well, I am pleased to inform you that Betty Crocker actually lives at my house. She bakes in my basement kitchen--all kinds of wonderful chocolate treats.

She's not the cleanest cook I've ever met, in fact, she's quite messy, especially when the whole neighborhood decides to joins her. Today she even sent out invitations to invite every girl she knew to come and bake with her, sit and eat with her, and generally, just make a mess with her. But, I have to admit, since she's switched from pancake mix to cake mix, her creations have turned out quite tasty!

So, Betty, this blog's for you! May your baking bring you all of life's happiness and bounties! Maybe it will even bring you fame. Watch out Martha Stewart, here comes Betty! (I made the font purple because Betty's favorite color is purple)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Hairdo

Kaela, the Hairstylist.
Emma, the happy recipient.

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it.

- George Moore