Friday, June 25, 2010

WDYL - Water Park

I like to have something fun for the girls to do the majority of the days in the summer. On Wednesday this week we had already gone to the park and were going to go to the cabin, so we hooked up our very cool Ball Sprinkler.
The girls spent morning hours playing with the water and then after a break for lunch, they went out and played again. I love having UPF swimsuits with good coverage so I don't have to worry about sunburns! Can you tell by the looks on these faces that they loved it?!
Eliza loved watching her sisters, pulling up grass and taking little naps. She is so fun!
The girls also love to play with cooking utensils while in the sprinklers. They make cupcakes, soup, and noodle salad out of water, grass, leaves and woodchips. It is great imaginitive play and we all love it!
I got some good crocheting done while I watched them play in the water. What a decadent day.

BIG Backyard

Everything finally went through with the leases, we got our plans approved (a very long process) and the yard is really coming along!! I can't believe that in one year it has changed so much - see the beginnings of the process here.

Last Friday, huge strides were made. We laid the sod! Because our neighbors own a sod farm, we were able to install sod for only $200 more than seed. A tiny amount when you consider that we added 4800 sq ft of lawn!
Our neighbors and friends came out in force to help us and we are so grateful! It looks beautiful and my goodness do I ever feel better! THANK YOU!
Now all we have left until it feels finished (I'll still want to add pretty touches and a fence, but they aren't so time sensitive) is to rake out the rest of the gravel in the back. We will move the playset back there and eventually put a trampoline and shed there as well. Ahh...major progress!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Father's Day 2010

This was a great Father's Day! We let Jason sleep in - pure torture for girls holding presents and cards. So, as soon as he appeared in the family room, he was bombarded with hugs, Father's Day wishes, cards, and lots of expressions of love. They continued all day until church. He received special homemade cards (mine was purchased) a Mickey Mouse shirt and khaki shorts - outfit pictured below!
Jason is the most amazing Daddy! He works hard for our family, but makes sure that the girls always know he is around and that they are the most important thing in his life. He is positive and fun, but also knows where to draw the line and the girls respect him for it. The girls know without a doubt that he loves them - he not only tells them multiple times a day, but shows it in his joy and revelry in their company, achievements, random phone calls, and the return of love. Yep, he's perfect!
Eliza fell apart at the last 10 minutes of Sacrament and Sara screamed in terror when I suggested nursery. So, I took the two of them home (Eliza for a nap) after the first meeting. On the drive home, Sara insisted that the grandpas needed cookies for Father's Day. So, while Eliza was sleeping, we made homemade cookies for them.

Laura had made sure that both Grandpas had cards. She helped pick them out at the store and made sure that she and Sara had them made special and ready to deliver. Yep, my girls are awesome and thoughtful.

We loved being able to catch both of our Dads at home and give them a bit of spoiling on their day. The girls were ready and generous with their hugs and attention and they both seemed to thoroughly enjoy the special attention from the girls - and liked seeing us too.

I took the opportunity to take good pictures of the girls with their Grandpas! I loved how they turned out!
I'm not sure if they were all smiling because of the sugar from the cookies, but I think that it may have been from the girls' excitement and affection!
A special thanks to our Dads for all they have done for us in our lives and the wonderful attention and love that they continue to give not only to us, but also as wonderful Grandpas to our girls! We are so blessed to have you both actively participating in our lives and to live in such close proximity to us!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Laura's First Piano Recital

Laura had her first piano recital this past Saturday. She played five songs and the ones she selected were "My Invention", "Cowboy Joe", "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam", and "I Am a Child of God." We absolutely adore her teacher, Sis. Bullock, because she is very technically proficient and exacting, wonderful with Laura, and just great!

Laura, the uber-crafter, made special invitations for the people she wanted to invite to her recital: our little family, both sets of Grandparents, and her special friend in my parents neighborhood Sis. Hawkes.

She looked precious, performed beautifully and loved being the center of attention. I am sure that Laura will perform in some capacity throughout her life.

Summer Has Arrived - Cabin Season

We went to the cabin with my parents on the Saturday before Sara's birthday - yah, I'm a bit behind. It always feels like summer has really arrived when cabin season begins.

Sara was old enough this year that we tried Little Miss Fearless on the zip line. It took some warming up, but pretty soon she was flying down it like an old pro.
Laura adored it too. She would have done it all day - with her tongue sticking out on every ride down. Alas, she wore out all of us adults getting her started, stopped, etc.
Eliza was initially interested in the zip line. But very quickly, she decided it was a horrible idea for her sisters to be flying past her in the air. She was very relieved when it ended.
The big girls also had a great time swinging. Sara is not used to a big swing, unfortunately. She let go when she decided she was finished swinging (without informing her pusher) and literally bit the dust. Yes, the owies on her face in her birthday pics are from the header she took off the swing. We will be bringing up her yellow swing the next time we go up.
Naturally, we did a project while we were there. We - pretty much Jason - built a new bench for the deck. And then we tried it out and my Mom caught us kissing.
After that, we all did our favorite cabin activity - relaxing. Nothing is more delicious in the summer than relaxing at the cabin!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Brownie Cupcakes

We are a house full of girls. So, we spend some serious time baking and bonding and licking batter together. This week I may have discovered a serious addiction when I had the desire to recreate BYU Catering's mint brownies in a cupcake form. They weren't beautiful because I didn't want too much frosting or food coloring, but they are pure decadence and I think I beat out the inspiration. But I made them again for Super Saturday and put in a picture of my new pretty cupcake.

  • 1 Duncan Hines Chewy brownie mix made according to directions on box
  • 1 C mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Nestle)
  • 1 can of white frosting or 1/2 recipe buttercream frosting minus flavoring (I have a thing about frosting, so I made my own, but I'm sure a can with extra attention would be equally good)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
  • green food coloring
Preheat oven to 350. Make brownie mix according to directions. Stir in chocolate chips to brownie batter. Divide batter (about 2.5 T of batter per cupcake) into liners. Bake for 18 minutes. Let cool completely - 15 mins in pan to set and 15 mins outside. Mix vanilla, peppermint and food coloring into frosting. Frost cupcakes and serve. Made about 16 cupcakes for me.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What do you see at the Zoo?

We just keep going to the zoo. We love it! And, we love going with different friends even more. It seems like a new experience each time we go with new people. We went with Steph recently (her write-up HERE) and it was great! The kids and mommies had a great time being with some of their best friends.

The kids really got into seeing the animals together and talking all about them. I think I enjoyed watching the kids interact more than just about anything!
They also suggested we all go to the bird show - something we hadn't done in years and really enjoyed. Nice suggestion!
We also had some special moments at the zoo with my parents yesterday. The memories we shared of past times and new ones we made were precious. How we love the Lion Drinking fountain - "we drink the lion's spit" says Sara and Laura. This was something I loved doing as a kid as well!
The girls really enjoyed sharing the zoo with my parents. Going with them made it even more special. And I loved being able to chat with them about the past - especially my Mom's as she grew up right near the zoo and shared lots of fun memories with me!
When we went with my parents the girls got a special experience of being able to dress up in the Asian Highlands. They loved playing one of their favorite games at one of their favorite places!
Then, there are some things that are great no matter who you go with and are just made better by great company. The carousel and train are always some of the highlights of our trips to the zoo. The train is so nostalgic and fun and the carousel is beautiful and exciting.

Finally, Mommy loves going to the zoo with friends, because it's actually documented that she went - thanks for taking pictures of me with the kids!
I think going to the zoo will be one of our summer weekday activity staples. We all just love it there! Thank you everyone for coming with us and making our trips even more fun!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Headbands and Magnet Boards

Remarkably, I have been crafting lately. I have discovered sassy headbands and they are my new favorite short hair accessory. But, they are expensive. So, I decided I could make them and hair clips as well. I liked them so well that I have and have been distributing them to my girlfriends.

Then I got sick of the museum in the basement. Or, rather, I got nervous about the tape ruining the paint. So, I bought magnet boards for the girls. And I dragged Deb and Karyn over to help teach me how to make fun magnets for the boards because I don't paper craft - Thanks, ladies. Laura loved helping and I think they turned out great. I love how they clean up the walls and eliminate my paint worries.