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'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!

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.

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!

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.