Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My month long vacation

Dear Burglars in my neighborhood,

It's true. I'm out of town for a month. Please feel free to rob me. I could probably get better stuff from my renters insurance. Just leave the photos. Oh, and Brad will be home soon, so you better be quick about it.

Dear Everyone else who cares,
The best part about having your husband be a professional student is that he gets somewhat of the traditional student breaks -- a week off for Thanksgiving, a month at Christmas, spring break, and, oh yes, SUMMER BREAK! He actually still works everyday during each of these breaks, but he does take some time off and his schedule is much more flexible. So while he will not be gone for a month like I will, we are taking advantage of the time we have before school picks up again in the fall. This week we are in Ohio, and here's a bit of what we've been up to:
Nick has been enjoying his wonderful cousins. Preston and Ella make the best of playmates.

Aunt Mallory is always willing to play with the kids and take them on adventures outside. We're all lucky to have her. And if anyone out there is looking to hire an awesome art teacher, she's available. :)

We took the kids fishing a few days ago. Here they are practicing their casting form.

This was Nick's reaction when I told him to look at me and smile. He told me I had to be quiet because I was scaring the fish away.

I LOVE my father-in-law. The man is hilarious and is such a fun Grandpa.

Ella caught her first fish!

Nick has been playing hard and having a ball. After sleeping 12 hours one night, he woke and asked for some breakfast. I put him in this kitchen chair, went to get his milk, and found him asleep when I came back. He NEVER falls asleep like this and I was shocked! He slept for 2 more hours on the couch!

Wonderful Miranda turned 18 this week! All of the adults went kayaking down the Little Miami River on her birthday and had a blast (but have no pictures since my camera is not waterproof!)!

Yes you read that sign correctly. Today we went to a dairy that has a petting zoo, batting cages, a fun play area, an ice cream shop, and, you guessed it, miniature golf. I think the name is so clever!
It rained off and on today, which provided for Chase's favorite activity: jumping in puddles.

Chase loves animals and was in heaven at the petting zoo.
Nick, practicing his milking skills.

Mally and Grandpa Jeff

Grandma Debbie and Chase
This was Nick's first time mini golfing and he loved it!
This is what he did every single time he got the ball in the hole.

Chase watched everyone else for about 10 seconds, then begged a ball and a club off of Mal and Grandma and joined in the fun.

Quick Chase update: He turned 18 months last week and had his well-child check up. He's 26 pounds (55%), and 35 inches (off the charts). And I don't even have to record his head measurement because it is still off the charts, just like Nick's. My nice pediatrician always says "Room for all those brains, right?" Sure. He's talking up a storm now and will literally repeat ANYTHING you ask him to. Words he says by his own free will and choice include: Mama, Dada, Nick, Chase, ball, bear, dog (ruff ruff), please, cow(mooo), cat (meow), chicken (bok bok), monkey (ah ah ah), thank you, grandma, grandpa, Miranda, baby, flower, car, airplane, ice cream, night night, bye bye, water, milk, cracker, apple, bread, play, book, again, more, ect. He also sings "Bob the Builder" and bits and pieces of "ABCs" and "I Am a Child of God." He loves animals, balls, Nick, and being outside. And we love him to pieces.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Are you even KIDDING ME...

This summer something new has happened. Every Wednesday night I have a date with me, myself, and I...and my TV. I am not a TV lover. I'm sure I have mentioned before how I think I would throw it out my window if certain members of my family would let me. But I am in LOVE with 'So You Think You Can Dance.' I am by no means a dancer. My high school friends would emphatically agree with this fact! :) But when my best friend Jen (who is a dancer) came to visit in May she introduced me to this show and I am hooked. I had NO IDEA that dance could be so moving. I seriously cry every week. C-R-Y. ME. I KNOW. I can't remember a time in my life where I cried once a week!
Now I find myself counting down the minutes 'til Wednesday night at 8:00. I've already checked their tour schedule to find out the nearest city they're coming to. And I'm already plotting to drag Brad to the concert while his mom babysits (they're coming to Colombus) and I just sit their and cry my eyes out (like I did when I went to the Mormom Tabernacle Choirs Christmas Concert in high school {my poor boyfriend}...or like the time I went to see my beautiful and talented cousin portray Cosette in Les Mis in NYC {the poor strangers who were sitting beside me}...or like the time...well, you get the idea. I think it vitally important to our marriage that Brad also experience an equally humiliating experience with me, don't you?). Every time I am so moved by music and the arts I find myself wishing, no, praying that my children are one day so inspired and moved by something that they're brought to tears. It's undescribable.
Tonight Melissa and Ade danced a number about a woman fighting breast cancer and it was INCREDIBLE. I'm sure it will be all over the internet tomorrow, so if you missed it tonight find it and WATCH IT! And grab a box of tissues...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Art Festivals Galore...

This week flew by and was filled with fun. I love the laid back days of summer where we have nothing we HAVE to do and can just go play and fun. We hit the State College Arts Festival twice this week, first on kids day. Every craft that is sold is made by kids and it's so fun to walk around and see all the talent. Here are the boys:

I don't know why blogger flipped some of these pictures back around even though I rotated and saved them. Just tilt your head to the right a bit. This one is of Chase showing me the stick he found and was very excited about:

They had some fun activities that the kids could do, like cookie decorating. Here's Nick with his masterpiece:

And our cute friend Olivia enjoying hers:

And, of course, the Chase-man, who made a huge mess:
They also got to paint a picture on an easel, which they thought was super cool:

After all the sugar and activities, poor Chase was plum tuckered out. I don't remember the last time he fell asleep in the stroller:

We went to Spring Creek Park the next day, just the three of us. It's our favorite park, and one that we frequent often. It has a creek that the boys wade and throw rocks in, a huge sand area, and a great little playground. But of course the only picture I took was of them on the airplane:

The next day the boys and I went to the local Boalsburg People's Choice Arts Fest. They had a little train that toured the fest, which was a big hit. That night we met some dear friends of ours at the adult part of the SC Arts Festival. We had a picnic and then walked around to see the sites. I can't believe how creative and talented people are! Here are my boys with their cute friend Simon:

They had some spectacular side-walk chalk displays. These were mine and Nick's favorites:

The other exciting thing that happened this week was that Nick learned how to write his name. During art time on Monday he was writing some letters and I said "Nick, do you want me to teach you how to write your name?" to which he responded, "I already can do that, Mommy!" And he proceeded to write this (again,tilt your head to the right. Stupid computer):

It's not perfect by any means, but I had no idea he could even do it! My little boy is growing up! I'm excited that he's excited about learning new things! And we LOVE summer!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I'm home from camp and all is well. Not only did Miranda take care of my kids physical needs, she even kept them on schedule, monitored their TV time, and cleaned my house, so transitioning back into our normal routine this week has been easy! Such was not the case last year, so I'm very appreciative. I meant to take a darling picture of her with my boys, but I forgot to before she left (of course). Lucky for all of us, Nick has been practicing his photography skills and captured this beauty.
Everything at camp went great, except for the fact that it poured rain EVERYDAY. We just went on with our acitivities as planned and came home with a lot of wet and muddy clothes. I love girls camp. I think it's probably one of those things that you either hate completely or love absolutley, and I love it. The songs. The cheesiness. The testimonies that are grown (hopefully).The girls in my stake are incredible. And the women that I planned camp with were fantastic. Here we are:
Things, camp-wise, are a lot different here than they were for me in UT. Everything is done in year levels, not wards, and so the stake camp directorship plans everything. There have been moments of stress and tears in the past few months, but the moment I got up there and saw the girls it was all worth it. Now we'll take a few months off and then start planning for next year! My only complaint of the week was that I missed my boys like crazy (including Brad...if you're wondering why, read the post below). I've never been away from them for that long (last year I took Chase with me and came home to visit Nick twice), and it nearly did me in and made me all the more grateful that I'm able to stay home with them. Love these two:

{photo from Del Grosso's amusment park, 2 weeks ago. That post is coming}

On a side-note, Nick has been working really hard at learning, recognizing, and writing his letters and I'm so proud of him. He knows them all by name, knows the sound they make, and is slowly starting to sound things out. I think he has his Daddy's brain (phew!). Can't believe this silly boy will be 4 in a few months!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Home Alone

Bekah always tries to get me to post things on "our" blog. I might have written something short in the past, but realistically this blog is completely hers. Well she has been pretty swamped getting ready for girl's camp this week, which is where she is right now, so I thought I'd help with a substitution post. This week I think I'm roughing it more than she is. My sister Miranda came to town to help me out which has been great and even allowed me to get a little work done, but our home just isn't the same. Bekah is amazing with our kids and I really appreciate it, so in tribute to my temporarily missing wife I'm posting a list of some things I didn't know I loved until they were gone.

  • Someone to listen to me endlessly go on about whatever is on my mind

  • Listnening to Nick tell me about the fun things his mom did with him that day

  • Just seeing her when I get home every day

  • Her constatly loving temperment with our children

  • Listening to her get excited about simple things

  • Knowing how much she cares about everyone else around

  • Getting calls at work to see how soon I'll be home

  • Someone else to take turns waking up with Chase at 6:00

Bekah gets home tomorrow! There's only one problem though, we're both going to need a nap.