Saturday, December 4, 2010

"Dear Santa" by Madeline

Dear Santa,

Thanks for all of the presents. Oh, and I want something. But what could I have?

I want a magical pen.

I actually want a real mermaid.

One more thing- a shooting star.

OK- Love,

(Hmmm... I wonder if Santa can figure out something on her list?)

Monday, November 22, 2010

October Wrap-up

This year, we spent a day at Gardner Village with our cousins participating in the scavenger hunt, "Which Witch?" The kids had a lot of fun spotting all the different witches and Halloween displays and earned a cookie from the Bakery for their diligence. Ryan, Ethan, Abby, Emma, Jade, Madeline.
Petting zoo.
The girls and I decided to make Halloween silhouettes for our windows. I also made a big witch flying on a broom to put in the big window above the door, but I forgot to take a picture! (I love how Ryan is shooting me in this picture.)
On Halloween, Jen and her kids came down and we made doughnuts to feed friends and neighbors. This is something my mom did every year when I was growing up, and I think it's a tradition worth keeping!
I think there were 8 dozen dougnuts and lots of chocolate glaze! To be honest, this was more work than I expected. But when our kids came back from Trick-or-Treating, they were ecstatic because the word on the street was about the awesome "doughnut house" and they were proud.
Here are the costumes for the year:
Miss Madeline was SilverMist (TinkerBell's friend).
Emma got to wear a costume that Peg made years ago for one of her girls.
We added a wig, makeup, and a nose and she was the cutest clown ever. Thanks Mimi!
Both Ryan and Ethan were Harry Potter this year so they had fun doing spells together all night long.

Occupation Day

Emma decided she wanted to dress up like a Scientist for "What-You-Want-To-Be-When-You-Grow-Up day." Her favorite thing to do is explore nature, dissect something, or collect insects, flowers, rocks etc. She also loves to take notes about what she observes. Once I found a notebook where she had written her observations about a low-hanging icicle and she described it with words like "cold, glittering, hard, smooth, wet." And another time I found a notebook that she had used while "spying" on me while I was making dinner. It said: "Likes to cook, answered the phone, wearing a ponytail and earrings." Not only does she love to learn, but she is a natural whiz, so we think she would make a perfect Scientist someday.Note the sparkly purple feather pen. She was super excited about her costume until her teacher made her put her props in her desk (so they wouldn't "be a distraction") and some boys said she must want to be a Nerd when she grows up. The same boys soon had everyone on the playground calling her a nerd and the poor thing came home in tears. So at the age of 7, my daughter learned that it's no fun to be smart (something I did my best to rectify). Everyone thought the girls who dressed up like rockstars were so "cool." Yeah- it's this sort of thing that really makes me want to homeschool.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Visits from Mimi and Papa

When Doug and Peg were here, we also attempted the Timpanogos Trail... but this time with the three wee ones and ME, so we only planned on making it to the lower falls- it was such a beautiful day and the mountains were glowing with gorgeous colors.
This picture was taken in our side-yard by the neighbor's apple tree- note Ryan's shaved patch- that would be due to mama who forgot to put the gaurd on and zipped him about three inches before noticing. (I think you may remember, this is not the first time it's happened either.) Nice.

One day, Peg took Madeline for an outing and they came back with a little dressup jewelry set for Madeline. She had dangly clip-on earrings and she thought she was in heaven... Don't go Mimi! We want you to stay forever!

Summiting Timpanogos

Shan and Bryce decided to hike Timp together. It is pretty much an all-day event and a pretty difficult hike, but these two are troopers! They left early in the morning and here they are about 1 mile into the hike at the lower falls.Middle falls... Here is the big bowl where they rested before climbing the last steep part.
Climbing up...On top of the world!They were so high, they saw mountain goats! Back in the parking lot and happy as can be- way to go Bryce!

Pictures from the First Day of School

I love how Emma is into accessories now- this is her new favorite pink scarf that goes surprisingly well with almost everything.

A Week of Fun

Bryce came to visit for a week just before school started and these are a few of the fun things we did:

We had to take him bowling at BYU...

And hiking the "Y"....

and fishing...

and Seven Peaks Waterpark...

where poor Bryce had jetlag from staying up too late before his flight and the time change...

where Ryan was a daredevil and rode the ultimate Yellow Slide for the first time...

and we all had a great time.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The "Lands"

Disneyland's new name should be "The Busiest Place on Earth." It's happy too. But I think it would be a lot happier in small increments, with fewer lines and lots of naps and peace in between attractions. They go all out. Don't get me wrong- we all thoroughly enjoyed the day and it is something you must experience at some point. It was just that watching parents intensely pushing strollers of crying, tired, and over-sugared kids made my head hurt and I wondered if our homes shouldn't be the happiest places on earth instead? I guess what I'm saying is that Disneyland is fun, but it's still just Disneyland. It doesn't make our kids feel nourished, confident, secure, and loved- all the main things I'm going for here.

Given all that, there were some pretty neat highlights. The first being the new interactive Jedi Adventure:Both Emma and Ryan were chosen to be Jedi Apprentices. The day could have ended here and they would have been happy!The great thing about watching Ryan up there was he kept helping the boy next to him whose light saber refused to release. They were trained by Masters, and then Darth Vader and his troopers rose up out of the floor in a cloud of smoke (Da, da, da, dun, da, na- dun, da, na). Pretty fantastic. And then, each child was able to duel Darth Vader. How cool is that?In the end, the Dark Side was defeated and Darth Vader and his troopers retreated. This is the triumph picture.
We also enjoyed a really fun Princess Party and learned how to dance with twirling ribbon.
It's a Small World is still one of the best attreactions at Disneyland- nice and long and cool after waiting in the hot sun.
Madeline's Disneyland goal was to find Ariel. We waited in the Princess line for an hour, but no luck-we encountered Belle, Tiana, and a very voluptuous and scantily-clad Jasmine instead. (Seriously?!) But on our way out, we noticed the princesses were switching shifts and I caught a glimpse of familiar red hair. You know we waited in that same line for another hour!
I really think it was the happiest moment in Madeline's life thus far. So cute.
This is the time in the afternoon where everyone is too tired. We decided to have ice cream sundaes and french fries at an indoor restaurant and that did the trick.

Favorite Rides: Ryan- Indiana Jones; Emma- Space Mountain; Madeline- Winnie the Pooh
The following Saturday, we hit Legoland and it was really neat.

Mini Town was totally amazing!
Face painting was a definite highlight for Madeline. She finally felt like a fairy (SilverMist to be exact).

This is Shan in the giant hurling Claw and it honestly made me sick to watch. I rode it too, but not on the highest "scare" level.

We loved the Pirate Water Adventure the most, but I have no pictures since I didn't want the camera to get wet. And boy, did we get wet!