Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Festival of Nativities

Dan has decided to become incredibly popular & busy lately. He was asked to sing 1 solo in Relief Society, 1 solo at our ward party, 1 solo at our former ward's party, and 1 solo in Sacrament Meeting. Somewhere along the way (I'm pretty sure it was before he was asked to do all those different solos) he decided to join the stake choir. They did a 30 min performance at the Festival of Nativities last Thursday, then 2 Devotionals last Sunday (Dan did another solo at the Sunday performances, bringing the grand total to 6 if you count the Sunday performances separately).

Thursday evening I told the kids that Daddy had a performance that evening, and they surprised me by saying they wanted to go (I hadn't been planning on it)! We got there just a couple minutes before they sang, so we went right into the chapel to listen. Afterwards, I thought we'd stay for a few minutes to look at the Nativities (the gym was full of tons of them!).

Then we found the children's rooms.

We finally got going more than an hour later, past Katy & Ryan's bedtimes. They LOVED it! There was a cute little craft (baby Jesus made from a short popsicle stick with a button for a head, sitting in a condiment cup), some hands on Nativities (a refreshing change from being constantly nervous as we looked at the beautiful ones in the gym), a story corner, and - best of all - dress up clothes!

Of course, at the moment my camera has a dead battery and I have (once again) misplaced the charger. So all we have are some pretty horrible quality cell phone pictures. The room was pretty dim, which didn't help anything. At least we have something I guess!

First off we have sweet Ryan as Joseph. He stayed in this one for quite a while while playing with Nativities.


Here we have shepherd David & his little lamb, Katy.

Then I got one of all 3. And none of them look good. Oh well.

Katy actually wore 4 different costumes throughout the night, but I didn't get a picture of her as a wise man or an angel. This was the cutest by far, though. Sweet little Katy-Mary, loving baby Jesus. :)

Then we have another mediocre group shot. They had to wear hair nets under the hats, if you're wondering what's going on with Ryan's head.


All 3 of the kids had a really wonderful time. I was very impressed with the whole thing. Okay, so maybe it's just me, but you know how when you go to something like this you notice the things that should have been done differently? There was none of that here at all. It was very well done.

The next day Katy & Ryan both asked if we could go back. It went on for 3 more days...the days we had Dan's work party, our ward party (and the other ward party), and the Stake Musical Devotional. Sorry kids! We'll make sure we plan better next year and all lots of time there!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fractions?

So I missed blogging about Halloween and Thanksgiving, and I may come back to them at some point, but I want to just get this down really fast before I take my much needed relaxing time.


I helped in both boys' classes today (hence the much needed relaxing time), and right before I left David's class, his teacher said she wanted to show me something. In math they did something for the first time where they wrote numbers in to make an equation balanced. For this one particular example, they were supposed to make both sides equal 3. So, maybe 1+1+1 on one side and 2+0+1 on the other. I guess the only other option is 3+0+0. The only other option using whole numbers, that is.

David wrote 1 1/3+1/3+1 1/3 on one side, and 1 1/2+1 1/2 on the other. Now, we talk about fractions sometimes with relation to food, but I don't think I've ever written them down for him. I certainly haven't gone out of my way to teach him. And yet, he was able to figure out and write that 1 1/3+1/3+1 1/3=3.

With all the times that child gets in trouble, it's nice to have something to pat him on the back about.

Friday, October 22, 2010

the whole "it's a boy" thing...

Yes, I know I'm kind of a jerk for whining about it. Plenty of people desperately want to get pregnant and can't, or get pregnant but miscarry, or have a baby with fatal birth defects, or something like that. I really do know how blessed I am that we have never had any problem bringing children into the world. I do. And I feel bad that I feel bad about the gender. But all that logic isn't changing my disappointment, so I just need to get this off my chest and hopefully that'll help me get over it. If you are someone who has struggled with any of those real problems (as opposed to my non-problem), please just skip this post so you don't hate me.


***Quick Note: I started writing this on Friday I believe, 3 days after the ultrasound. Today is Sunday, 2 days later, and I'm definitely feeling a lot better already. Just thought I should finish this up and put it out there.***

So, I have never gone to an ultrasound wanting it to be a boy. If I'd had a few girls I might've eventually wanted a boy, but I never got that opportunity! With #1 I wanted a girl mostly for the the-clothes-are-so-much-cuter kind of reasons (hey, I was only 19 at the time!). And because I grew up in a family with 4 girls and 1 boy, I just assumed I'd have mostly girls as well (I realize the flaw in the logic there...). I was disappointed that it was a boy, and I cried about it, but not much. With #2 I hoped for a girl, but I was pretty easily okay with having them both be boys so they could be buddies. When we found out #3 was a girl, I was ecstatic! It was SO FUN to buy pink things after having to deny myself that pleasure in the past.

When we went in for ultrasound #4 I was pretty confident (I told Dan 75-80%) it was a girl. Why? My pregnancies with David & Ryan barely phased me. I wasn't nauseous very much or very long into the pregnancy, I had plenty of energy, and the different hormone balance made my emotions more level than normal. With Katy I was really tired, actually got sick, was nauseous several weeks longer, and struggled with my emotions . This pregnancy has been a lot more like my previous girl pregnancy than previous boy pregnancies - I have been absolutely exhausted, overly emotional, and only within the last couple weeks (I'm almost 19 weeks now) has the nausea subsided somewhat (still hasn't completely gone away). No, I never did actually throw up, but I spent several hours every day for all of August and September just laying on the couch, waiting for the yuckiness to pass. And when I was feeling so miserable, I thought "At least this means it's probably a girl, I'm going through this so I can get another girl, it's definitely worth it."

Nope, apparently my pregnancies are just getting harder (so NO I will not reconsider having another baby to try for another girl!). I've been more nauseous, and it's a boy anyway. Rip off!

I have to say that I have been the most sad about the gender diagnosis this time than ever before. The reason this time is harder comes down to two things. First of all, we're going to be done after this one, so I can't just think "Next time it'll be a girl." Second, we've experienced both genders, and we've really enjoyed the pink one!

It's probably not fair to compare our experience with David as young, new parents with our experience with Katy as seasoned veterans. I know that there are many factors besides gender coming into play here. By the time we had our girl, we'd learned lots of tricks for taking care of babies (loud white noise, "super hold," etc.) . I'd learned how to nurse, and how to survive with a demanding little one (you sure learn to use those nap times!). So maybe it wasn't gender influenced AT ALL, but we definitely enjoyed our girl's babyhood a LOT more than our boys'.

Here's a tacky, superficial reason for wanting another girl: our girl was far cuter than our boys. Even as a newborn. Here's all three of them at 2 days old:



The boys both had the awkward, mushed, newborn look, Katy was already a beautiful baby. Yes, they grew cuter as they aged...and so did she. I still get comments all the time about how cute she is. Yes, it's a horrible & stupid reason to prefer having another girl, but our girl has been just absolutely adorable.

Also, our girl has been far sweeter & more cuddly than the boys. She still asks "Can we snuggle for a little while?" Could be just personality and not gender related at all, but from our small sample size, that's been our experience.

Here's another superficial one - I LOVE the cute girly things. I love Katy's pink bedroom with pink curtains and flowers on the wall, her love of skirts (If you see her wearing pants, either I need to do laundry or I fought hard because it's cold outside!), princess dress up clothes, and her sparkly shoes. I love how she loves dancing, how she picks flowers any chance she gets, and how much cuter her toys are than the boys'!

So I have plenty of dumb reasons for wanting this baby to have been a girl. But I really do have some practical reasons too!

Practical Reason #1 - bedroom situation
We have 3 bedrooms - one for mom & dad, one for David & Ryan, one for Katy & the baby. Katy can share her room with a boy for a couple years, but not forever. They will be 4 years apart, so Katy will probably start caring about changing in private when the baby is only a couple years old. We can have her change in the bathroom for a while, but I really think they should be separated by the time they're 8 & 4, probably even a year or two earlier.

Semi-Practical Reason #1b - bedroom decor
So, Katy will be sharing her bedroom with a boy for at least a few years. Does that mean poor Katy has to have her pink bedroom redone more neutrally? Or that Baby Boy has to spend a few years of his life with a pink room? Neither option appeals to me, but it has to be one or the other!

Practical Reason #2 - baby clothes
When David came along, we were poor college students working part time for ridiculously low pay. The majority of his clothes were hand-me-downs or purchased at DI, garage sales, lots on ebay, or maybe at a lowish quality store if we were lucky. Then David & Ryan both wore them, and neither were exactly easy on them. They're all in my parents' shed, so I haven't had a chance to look through them, but if I remember right we're going to end up either dressing this boy in trashed old clothes or having to buy new ones.

By the time we were expecting our Katy girl we'd both graduated and Dan had a good full-time job. And I'd discovered and started shopping regularly at the outlet stores near my parents' house - mostly Carter's and Children's Place. So Katy had lots of new, good quality clothes, and only she has worn them. Nevermind that they're cuter than the boy clothes, they're in MUCH better condition! Well, lucky for new baby Sidney, she can have an entire wardrobe of gently used clothes!

Another Semi-Practical Reason - pink baby gear
We bought a pink bouncy chair when Katy was a baby (the one we'd had for the boys had vibrated itself to death). And we got a pink bumbo in a raffle last spring. It doesn't really matter, but if I'm going to have a boy, I don't really want him sitting in a pink bouncy chair or bumbo.


And one of the biggest reasons that made me cry in the first shock wave of finding out - having another boy dooms us to many, many more years of scouting! I've been in cub scouts since last March, and I've never been very happy about it. David turns 8 next month, with Ryan following 20 months later. So I'll at least HAVE a cub for just shy of 5 years, hopefully I won't be IN cubs that whole time. Then 3 years after that, Baby Boy will turn 8 and it'll start all over again. And cubs isn't the end of it, that's just the only part I have experience with at the moment. They'll be involved until they're out of Young Men's, right? So we're going to have someone in scouts from next month until this baby goes away to college. Sigh...


Yes, I'm very whiny. I don't know if helps anyone to have all my reasons here in one place. I really AM getting used to it. I don't know that I'll ever be able to say I'm glad it's a boy instead of a girl, at least not until teenage hormones turn Katy into a she-devil. But I'm rapidly getting over the disappointment that I don't get my perfect little 2 boys & 2 girls. And now I'll always have the special mommy-daughter relationship with only my sweet Katy. Uh-oh, this sure isn't going to keep her from getting spoiled...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ultrasound Pictures!

I have decided that there are 5 main milestones in pregnancy - getting the positive test, hearing the heartbeat, feeling the baby move (although that one is a bit vague, I always have a couple weeks of "Was that it?"), getting the ultrasound, and, finally, having the baby. And next to actually having the baby, I think I get the most excited about the ultrasound. It's so cool to actually see a little person (at 18 weeks the baby is 5 1/2 inches, head to rump) growing inside you! I mean, you know it's there, but it's so neat to have proof!


David, Ryan, and Katy were all delivered by the same doctor, Dr. Peterson in Orem, UT. With him, at my check up around 20 weeks, he'd call the ultrasound place and have me schedule an appointment for sometime within the next week or so. I don't know if the difference is doctor to doctor or regional, but Dr. David here in Vancouver told me 4 weeks ago to go ahead and schedule my ultrasound for any time on or after 18 weeks. So the anticipation for the date was so much worse, knowing the actual day for almost a month in advance!

So Dan took Tuesday off of work, and he, Katy, and I headed in to see our little one. We were very excited!

Side note - I'm pretty sure we were emailed copies of Katy's ultrasound pictures. 4 years later, this place only gives printed pics. And of course our scanner isn't set up, so we'll make do with pictures of pictures.

Here's the baby! Really, it looks like every other ultrasound picture you've ever seen. But it's the baby growing in MY belly, so we shall oo and ah.

Here's another shot of the cute little profile.

And here's the face. These pictures always look kind of creepy to me, but we'll throw it on here anyway.

I don't know why they always take so long to get to checking the gender. The tech started at the head and moved down the body, taking lots of measurements of everything - head, heart, stomach, etc. Meanwhile, I'm dying to know if my strong suspicion of it being a girl is correct!

So she finally gets near the area, and says "I think I see boy parts." But then looks at something else for a long long time (probably 10 min or less) while I sit there hoping she was wrong. Then she finally gets around to pointing it out to me - nope, she wasn't wrong. And I guess she was worried about me being in denial, so she printed out 3 different pictures to prove it to me (out of 7 total). Yup, there's no doubt about it. That's boy parts.

I'll need to do a whole separate post about the gender thing. I know it's stupid to be upset about the gender when I've been so incredibly blessed to not have to deal with any pregnancy related problem - infertility, miscarriage, birth defects, whatever. And I don't want this baby growing up with a complex because Mommy wanted him to be a girl. Well, like I said, I'll do another post about it soon. Maybe that'll help me process it.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Katy's first day of Preschool!

My baby started preschool (two weeks ago, of course, apparently I can't blog about anything until it's been a few weeks). I cannot believe she is that old! The boys seemed much older to me when they started preschool. Probably because they weren't the baby anymore by that point.

So, the boys got to go to an official, money-costing preschool. Katy is not so lucky. For one thing, she doesn't need it (David needed it to learn to sit still...we're still working on that with him...). For another, we're trying to cut costs at the moment (oh yeah, we bought a new car...I guess we could blog about that, too...). So Katy gets to do a once a week preschool with 3 friends from church, rotating houses monthly. Which works really well with me being unavailable in March and for a couple months afterwards. She's gone twice so far, and she loves it!


(I forgot to rotate this picture before uploading it, and blogger did it automatically. How did it know?)

Awww. I just love that girl!


When we showed up at the end, they were reading a story. It was Ten Apples up on Top, to go with the A theme. They also painted a picture of an apple tree (brave Teresa!) and colored a letter A worksheet. Katy showed me the things on her paper that start with A - apple, alligator, and rat. That's an armadillo, Honey. :-)

I'm doing the month of October, so I get to teach about the letter C tomorrow (or, rather, today...I have this set up to post tomorrow so you won't miss my beautiful frog post!). Should be fun!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

One frog I am NOT willing to kiss!

Two weeks ago we had some pretty big rain storms. We're very used to rain around here, but it's usually the drizzly, don't see the sun for days kind of rain. This was brief (less than half an hour) periods of heavy rain, several times over a few days. And apparently it was too much for the local froggies, because we saw several over those days. Most were hanging out just outside the front door, one was sitting on the front door (perched above the window), and one was just INside the front door:



He was cute, so I took his picture, then took him back outside.

Apparently he had brought a friend inside with him.

I found him yesterday under my kitchen sink.



Now, I have no proof that this frog has only been there for two weeks, and it seems pretty weird that it would shrivel up so quickly. But it was fairly close to the front, and showed up when I was just putting the cleaning wipes away. So it wasn't like I was doing some deep cleaning that would unearth things that had been in there a long time. And maybe shriveling up happens really rapidly to amphibians?

I'm going to choose to believe that it was only there for two weeks. And that only 2 frogs made it inside, both of which have already been found. Because I don't have the energy to do the cleaning I would have to do if I thought there might be more of these lurking in my cupboards!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Back to School!

Now that the kids have been back in school for 2 1/2 weeks, I'll get around to posting their pictures. It's a good thing nobody really relies on this blog to know what's going on in our lives!
David is in second grade now, so that's a number two, not a peace sign. He prefers thumbs up, anyway (see here, here, here, and here, and that's just the month of August!).


And Ryan is in first grade now! For some reason that hits me harder than David going into second grade. Sweet little Rynan, all grown up and going to school all day every day.

And while I was sitting on the porch, watching them at the bus stop down the street, I remembered (from looking at other people's back-to-school pictures on facebook) that I wanted one of both of them. This is what I got. Oh well, at least I got decent individuals!


Katy and I have been enjoying our Mommy-Katy time! She is happy to tag along with me on errands (the boys are cranky and difficult the entire time), and I really enjoy spending time one-on-one with her. We've gone out to lunch twice (both times because we were out running errands and I suddenly HAD to eat...it's a pregnant thing), and it's really cute to sit with her and have a conversation with her. :-)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Swimming Lessons

Last summer I never got around to putting the boys in swimming lessons. We were living in the apartment still, so we went swimming at the pool there pretty often. For free. So I decided that that counted.


This summer I wanted to make sure they took some official lessons. I decided to take them to the YMCA since they had the schedule I wanted (M-Th for 2 weeks). So I signed the boys up for a session in June. At 50-something dollars each, I just couldn't justify putting newly 3 year old Katy in.

Then I found out about their Y Splash class. It was one week, all 5 days, 45 min classes. The first 15 min was on water safety, then 30 min of swimming in 2 big groups. It was FREE! Not only that, successful completion of the class (showing up every day) gave us a coupon for half off a session of swimming lessons!

I'm not spending over $50 for Katy to take lessons, but I'll spend half that! Also, it made it so I was willing to put the boys in for another session. Everybody was happy!

So, swimming lesson pictures are rarely all that good. I have many where I'm not even sure which is my child. These are the best of them:

The first day (and in the Y Splash class), Katy refused to put her weight on any of the floating things. Then she got brave and learned to kick using the "marshmallows!" She might not have learned to actually swim (which is why I didn't want to put lots of money into it), but she made progress!

I'm pretty sure that's Ryan swimming on his back.

I don't know why I have a close up of David and not of anybody else, and not a good shot of him swimming. Oh well, here's proof he was there!

video
Well, I got a good movie of David swimming at least! That's him going from the right to the left. I was very impressed with the progress he made. His crawl stroke got a lot smoother, and he started being able to breathe without having to stop swimming.

video
Here's Katy kicking with the marshmallows. I have to admit, I had a hard time remembering to watch her brothers. They were farther away for one thing, and they mostly just kept going back and forth in various combinations of using or not using the kickboard & swimming on their front or back. Katy's teacher had them do all sorts of cute different things. She had so much fun, and I loved watching it!

video
I didn't get a good shot of Ryan swimming with his class, so I had him swim for me during their free time at the end. It's dizzying watching him go forward instead of sideways. Or maybe it's how all over the place he is. Believe it or not, this demonstrates great progress on his part as well!

So, to summarize, everyone made noticeable progress and had a good time! Yay!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Smith Family Reunion - Camping on the Coast

When I was growing up, I did a fairly normal amount of camping. I went to YW camp every year, and we'd go as a family probably one more time each summer. I didn't love it, didn't hate it. Dan, on the other hand, had developed an extreme hatred of camping from his boy scouting years. So in 9 years of marriage, the only camping we had done was one father/son campout for Dan & David (when Ryan was too little), and one backyard "campout" for the boys & me.

Then Grandma & Grandpa Smith decided to have the family reunion at a campground. And we didn't have a good reason not to go, and I wanted to see the family. So we went camping!

Okay, so we slept in a yurt. And there were bathrooms & showers very close by. So as far as camping goes, it was pretty wimpy. However, I found that I have become wimpy in these years of no camping. It really isn't for us. I really don't get the draw. It takes so much more work than sleeping in a motel or at a friend or family member's house (and I didn't even have to do any cooking!), and is so much less comfortable. Also, we never once sat around a campfire, and still managed to have everything we brought reek by the time we got home. Shudder. If we are presented with a similar situation again, we will be one of the families who rents a motel room nearby.

Well, despite the campingness, it was a fun weekend! The kids especially had a really good time!


No real story here, just nice to have a picture of both boys smiling and looking at the camera at the same time.


There was a place with some seriously cool trees and logs to climb on. The kids LOVED it! Here, Ryan is showing us the tree with weird giant roots.

Katy went climbing too, although I only have close ups of her. She's so pretty. :-)

And here we have David showing us the hollowness of this tree. Sounds kinda claustrophobic to me, but the kids liked it!


Friday afternoon I took the kids to the beach. Only when we got there, there was no beach. Seriously, the waves came completely up to the rocks. Which the boys didn't mind, but Katy FREAKED out about. She climbed way up and sat there, occasionally crying about it. Once I was sure the tide was going out, talked her into starting to climb down, and a big wave came right up to the rocks again. We left shortly thereafter.

That night Dan joined us. After dinner we went back to the beach, and this time there was a nice big stretch of sand.
The lens isn't dirty, it was just quite foggy right there. We took several pictures before figuring out what the heck was going on.


Friday evening was also when Uncle Danny showed up! This was especially exciting because this was the last time we saw him:

Yup, it had been 2 years. All 3 kids, even Katy (who obviously had no memory of him), were SO EXCITED! He came to the beach with us, and the boys loved playing with him!

Katy was still traumatized with her beach experience earlier that day, and refused to be put down, so she didn't get to have fun with them.


Saturday morning we went to the beach one more time. I had put the kids in swimming suits the first time we went, and they hardly got wet. So this time I didn't, and they went way in. That's just the way it works with kids, isn't it?

Oh, and we broke the rules and let Molly run free for a little while. She loves the water and had lots of fun!

Silly boys.

Ryan is difficult about smiling for pictures, so I really love this one of him. He looks so happy!

Katy continued to be afraid of the water, but had a good time collecting shell pieces. Hey, at least she wasn't insisting on being held this time!

Oh Molly, you probably think we're about to throw a ball for you. Too bad you chewed it up within the first few minutes of being there...

Look, I'm there too!

Oh, and I finally took a picture of the kids with someone else in the family (besides the silhouette of Uncle Danny) right as we were leaving! Here they are with my Grandma Smith, so their Great-Grandma. They don't know how lucky they are to have so many Grandmas & Grandpas!

So all in all, it was a fun time. I will never again choose to go camping if I can possibly help it. But the beach, trees to climb on, and time with family were all very enjoyable. Oh, and the stars Friday night were incredible, the best I've ever seen! Dan even said they almost made it worth it. ;-)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Utah trip: the final post

Now that we've been home for a month, I will finally finish blogging about Utah. I have plenty of other stuff to blog about! I was going to be so good at being up to date, but MAN I've been exhausted lately. Of the 31 days in the month of August, I took a nap at least 25 or 26 days. And I've spent a LOT of time just lying on the couch with no energy to do anything (even sit at the computer). Sorry Dan.

***I would like to clarify that I while I frequently use the term "old" in this post, I am not referring to anybody's age. It's just way easier to say "old friends" than "friends they used to play with when we lived nearby."***

So anyhow, the last couple days in Utah we got to visit some friends! We spent two nights with Dan's good friend Joey & fam. Sadly, his oldest son Keaghan was visiting his grandparents in Idaho, so the boys didn't get to see him. But Katy & Kinoah got to play! The first time I met Joey (Dan met him at work) was at Keaghan's 4th birthday party when Kinoah was a teeny tiny baby and I was just barely pregnant with Katy. When we left Utah almost 2 years ago, the 9 months age difference was still pretty significant. Now that they're both 3, they were fast friends and had lots of fun playing! So when we finally made them go to bed, they wanted to sleep together in Kinoah's bed. I didn't think it would last more than a few minutes, but it worked! So I didn't get a picture of them playing together, but at least I got this:



Friday we rounded up some of our old neighbors - the Lows, Smiths, and Hulls (who also happened to be in town) - and went to the park. The kids had a great time playing with their old friends! It was so hot and yucky outside though, so we didn't last all that long. Even sitting in the shade of the neighboring house, it was pretty horrible.

Then we visited the bookstore that our friends the Weists opened since we moved. It was cool! We let the kids all pick out a book to read on the drive home. David tried to pick some really easy ones. He easily passed the level 40 (end of 4th grade) reading test last year (1st grade), so we insisted he get something harder. We "won"...but he still hasn't read it. Maybe I should instead.

After that we drove up to Sandy so Dan could hang out with some old co-workers. I had a hard time deciding what to do with the kids. I wanted to do something fun, but my lack of energy decided that we'd go see Toy Story 3. Which was fun, just not quite what I'd been hoping to do since we could easily do that here. On the way back to Joey's house we stopped at Arctic Circle for ice cream & to play. We used to go there fairly often, so it fit in with my plan to do lots of things we used to do.


Saturday was our day to hang out with my best friend, Gayelinn! We were supposed to stay that night, but her air conditioner wasn't working, and I just couldn't intentionally sleep somewhere hot when there were other options. Some best friend, right? Sorry Gayelinn! So anyway, we played at her house most of the day. Dan took David to go get his IQ tested by Auntie Jen (which confirmed our suspicions that he is very smart, thankyouverymuch), so Gayelinn & I went on an outing with the remaining 5 kids. We had to get Lehi bakery donuts (it was on my list). Then we went to Wines park for a little bit, but it was yucky hot. So we went to Emmett's & Ethel's for cheap ice cream sundaes. There we discovered that they changed how they do their french fries (they used to be soooo gooooood). Sad. Then we went back to Gayelinn's house.

That was when the raining started. It was CRAZY! There was a lot of major flooding on the east side of the neighborhood.

Gayelinn's house is higher uphill than where the flooding was...but her backyard got nice and muddy! Katy & Kyson played in the sandbox after the rain. Ewwww.


The big kids had a good time hanging out together. Ryan said it was his favorite thing about our trip to Utah.


Well, since I'm too picky to sleep in a hot house, we went and spent Saturday night at Auntie Jen's house. She hadn't had room for us earlier in the week, so it ended up being really nice to spend that night there instead.

Sunday morning we got up, packed up the car AGAIN, and drove back to Eagle Mountain to go to church. We were late (when are we not?), then we took off immediately after Sacrament meeting, so we really didn't see that many friends. It was funny to be back in our old ward though. There are SO many kids, so it is SO loud! It wasn't like people were letting their kids be noisy, just the tiny bits of noise from fairly reverent kids added up!

So we were in such a hurry to get on the road after Sacrament meeting, we didn't count the hours very well. We made it to our hotel with a little while before bedtime (usually we get somewhere and immediately everyone crashes). I took the kids swimming in the pool, then we watched Home Alone 2, which happened to be on TV.

I thought Ryan was looking cute while watching the movie. I like the Lovey-on-his-head look.

Katy, how is that comfortable?

Katy all snuggled up and looking sweet. Thanks for the photo bomb, Ryan.

Not too long after this picture, we knelt down for family prayer. Katy said that she thought she was going to throw up. It was out of the blue and she'd been acting totally fine, but I grabbed her and ran. We made it to the bathroom...but not to the toilet. Ewwww (Lucky for me the maid came and cleaned it up! That was a nice change!). Poor thing. I'm sure glad we decided to stop (there was some debate about trying to drive straight through), otherwise we would've been in the car when sickness struck! After that, she was fine for like 28 hours, then threw up one more time in her bed at home. Poor little girl had probably just had it with all the junk food and heat and travel!

Monday we drove the rest of the way home. It was pretty uneventful, other than a short parking-lot-on-the-freeway experience due to the road being temporarily closed, and later some construction traffic. Which at the time was very frustrating, so this probably would've been much angrier if I'd gotten around to posting this a month ago.

Well, that's it for our trip to Utah. I'm not sure why I felt the need to go into such great detail. I'm sure it's boring. Oh well.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Oh Where, Oh Where Has Our Dodge Neon Gone...

(Dan & Baby Ryan with our car 6 years ago on 8/31/04)

I interrupt my ridiculously long winded and slow in coming Utah trip postings to bring you the sad & frustrating news that OUR CAR WAS STOLEN! Our nice & reliable Dodge Neon is currently being enjoyed by somebody else!

Friday morning, Dan drove to the transit center, parked his car, and rode the bus into Portland. Like he has almost every day for the 18 months that we've lived in Vancouver. I happened to drive by the transit center that afternoon around 1:30 or 2, and pointed out Daddy's car to the children. Sometime between then and 6:12 that evening, somebody decided to take it!

We bought this car brand new when we were pregnant with David, 8 years ago. While we have seen the stupidity in throwing away money on a brand new car, at least we got a really reliable automobile. In 8 years we have NEVER had ANY problem with it. We've filled it with gas, gotten (not all that frequent) oil changes, done our safety & emissions as needed...and that's all the money we've had to put into it besides the original cost.

So at this point, I think the chance that we get our perfectly reliable car back is pretty slim. There's probably a fairly good chance it will be found, but with some level of damage. Or we won't ever get it back. We had pretty minimal insurance on it, so that'll be just money out of our pocket. Good thing we didn't decide to pay for central air last weekend!

I have to say, I am SHOCKED at how many people have had this happen to them. It seems like the vast majority of people have a similar story involving either themselves or a member of their immediate family! Ridiculous! Who is raising all these children that grow up to take someone else's car?!? What am incredibly selfish thing to do!!!

So for now (while we wait out the week in which they supposedly find most stolen cars), we are a 1 car family. Dan drove my car today (and he drove into the city so had to pay for parking...he just couldn't park in that same lot again yet), so the kids & I are stranded. I said that was fine since I have no plans to go anywhere, but I still hate the idea that I can't change my mind. Our only other option at this point is for us to wake everyone up and drive him at 7 a.m. Which will result in crankiness for everyone and extra nausea for me. Fun.


I thought that the first picture was of baby David, and when I couldn't find it I started looking for a more recent picture. I found this one (5/11/08), which shows off where I turned too close to the curb and lost the pretty silver thing. Sorry Dan.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Utah trip day 3 - BYU, Fuddruckers, and Auntie Jen's House

Thursday was the day we planned on lots of Morrill family time. But it turned out that 2 of the Tolen cousins had concerts that late morning/early afternoon, and we weren't feeling like dealing with the try-to-keep-the-kids-quiet thing. So we went and wandered BYU a little! Really, we only made it to the Wilkinson Center and the HFAC, but that's where we spent most of our time anyway. We went to the bookstore and bought everyone t-shirts (the $5 ones for the upcoming football season!). We went down and saw the hall where we met. Awwww. Then we went upstairs to see if either of our instrument teachers were available (they weren't). Then the kids got antsy and I got tired, so we left. We were almost to the car when I remembered that we should take a picture, so here we are in the parking lot. Hey, at least we got the Y in the background!


From there we went to the Creamery and got ice cream cones (I got Bishop's Bash, which was what I usually got back when Dan worked there before we got married). It would've been a more enjoyable experience had there been somewhere to sit out of the sun. We all ended up standing right next to the building in order to use the shade.

So then we went back to Nadine's house to do some laundry and pack up. It took a long time. That was one of the biggest problems with our staying at several different places, it was always a pain to unpack and repack the car.

Finally at dinner time we met up with the Morrill clan at Fuddruckers! The kids had a good time playing with the arcade games, mostly without even using money.



Ryan and his cousin Ciel had a good time playing together. It was cute.

Katy & David played on the non-working machines. That probably doesn't say much about their smarts, come to think of it...

Dan started giving investment advice to the older cousins, who were actually quite interested. Which surprised me, because I'm usually not. :-P

And here we have the whole group. Gary Spencer Ryan David Tony Zach Dan Katy Ciel Maddie Grant Tayler Becky Brie and Kathleen. Wait, where'd Jacob go? Okay, we have almost everyone. And obviously I'm the photographer. Hey, I was already in one picture that day!

After dinner we headed to Auntie Jen's new house. And when I say new, I really mean new, as in recently finished being built. Her future neighbor's house is currently a giant pile of dirt, which provided lots of entertainment for the children! Poor Katy hadn't been allowed to yet since we don't trust her outside on her own, so I spent a little while out with her. And of course I took pictures.

Tried to get a nice group shot. Shouldn't these kids be old enough to smile nicely? We've got David looking good, Ryan looking like he's in pain, and Katy, well, I guess Katy IS smiling, but not looking at the camera.

Suddenly they're much more obedient when I tell them to stick their tongues out!


Seriously, giant pile of dirt.

Then I needed to go sit down (this pregnancy has made me wimpy! I have no endurance for anything!), so Katy got to come play in Auntie Jen's "backyard." She made a fun game out of trying to jump over the weeds. Is it wrong that I find most everything she does so very adorable?