Thursday, July 11, 2013


Last Saturday, Rick was home and I was planning on going for an early run. Carson happened to be the only kid up early, so I told him to grab his bike and come along with me. He and Everett have been on an animal tracking kick after reading about it in a book (The Curious Boy's Book of Adventure, very cute), so he was thrilled that he'd be able to spot some animal tracks and such. We saw a ton of deer; it was great!!

Can you spot four?
Mama deer and teeny tiny baby.
We'd gone a couple of miles down the trail, when I told Carson I thought if we kept going we'd come out near the YMCA. He said he could make it, so we kept on going, up some big hills and everything. (I did give him some pushes up the big hills. I think, though, if he had a bigger bike he could have done it. He is much too big for this tiny bike!) It was so exciting when we got to parts of the trail that he recognized as being close to the park by the Y. We made it! It was about four miles from our house to there, and then he timed me while I did some exercises at the gym. It was such a fun morning!!

Then I called Rick, who brought the other kids and some breakfast tacos over.

Spiderman baby!
Later that day, our favorite lifeguard from the pool texted to tell me to hurry over for a fun free event by the pool. Apparently the HOA arranges every year for a kids' train ride, bounce house, nachos, and snow cones to celebrate the Fourth of July. The strange thing is that they don't advertise it at all, so no one shows up. We were the only people there! (They gave us all the leftover nachos. If anyone wants some nacho cheese, please come over.) Talk about a fun Saturday!
Carson has been reading like crazy this summer. We got new books at the library this morning, and he's already started and finished a Nate the Great book, James and the Giant Peach and half of The Great Glass Elevator. (Should I be concerned about the speed reading?? He does comprehend things enough that he can re-tell me the story, but I worry that he reads so fast that he's missing details...) I have been looking on Craigslist for a set of encyclopedias for him. I figured with the massive amount of reading he does, some info like that could be useful.

If you ask Carson to tell you a secret, he'll lean close to your ear and whisper something like, "A group of owls is called a parliament." Or, "The dot above the i and the j is called a tittle."  Once he told me, "you may make better decisions with a full bladder." Not sure where he got that one. When I was helping him in the bathroom the other day he informed me that toilet paper was invented by the Chinese, but at first only emperors were allowed to use it. The things he says from reading everything he can get his hands on are pretty hilarious. I love hanging out with my big five-and-a-half-year-old!!


I remember those first few days after arriving in good old Provo, Utah to attend BYU. It was exciting, but also quite scary and overwhelming. One of the first nights in the dorms, I met Jen and Brittney, two cute Texans who lived just down the hall. We sat in the hallway and chatted for a while, and I remember going to bed thinking they just might be some fun friends.

Was that seriously 11 YEARS ago??? Since those first days of freshman year, we had so much fun together studying, dating, breaking up, more dating, more breaking up, getting our degrees, getting married, etc. etc. And now we all have supported husband through medical school, have had multiple children, and we all reside in Texas!

Brittney, Jen plus kids came down for a visit over the Fourth of July, and we've decided to make our get-together a yearly tradition.
There were nine kids present (Isla is napping here), and nap times and bed times went unbelievably smoothly! Everyone got along well. Carson and Kate were like two peas in a pod, running around creating games like, "Hide and Read." Trevor and Isla crawled around, following each other into the bathroom to make sure there was enough water in the toilet.
We had a talent show one night, with some lovely dancing by Kate and Jane!
A lovely morning on the Fourth of July.
Making matching shirts on the Fourth.
Rick was home during the evenings and on the Fourth, so we kept saying we were going to go do something fun while he babysat. But each night we ended up just chilling on the couch chatting. Most conversations started with, "Hey, remember so-and-so?? Whatever happened to him??" Followed by a facebook search. I do have some of the best ever memories with these girls. I mean, we all watched and listened and gave advice while we were dating and deciding to marry our HUSBANDS!
This photo shoot was terrible. Rick was a patient photographer, but I don't think any of us had spent much time on hair or make up, so obviously we weren't going to be happy with any of the pictures.
Breakfast on the last day. I felt so empty after they all left!! Until next year...

Friday, July 5, 2013

These two.

I had a rare hour tonight, alone with just two of the kids. Rick took Carson and Faye to the pool for a pre-bedtime swim, and Everett and Isla were a little too tired to go. (It felt like we were sort of dividing up the family based on appearances... if you look like dad, go to the pool with him. If you have some of mom's genes, stay home.) 

My Everett thrives on one-on-one time. We've had super fun house guests here this week, and Everett was quite emotional/tantrumy/hard-to-deal-with while they were here. Pretty much the moment everyone left, he transformed back into sweet Everett, and after a quiet afternoon reading new books from the library together, he was on cloud nine. When I find the time to give him attention like that, he is such a different boy. I just need to do it more! 

Pretty much everything Everett wears is intentional. His Halloween socks make him run the fastest; if he's wearing a baseball cap, he's probably planning on being on a certain team for a big game with dad when he gets home; I've even found him in Rick's closet studying his clothes to mimic what dad wears.
This was this afternoon, creating a book called, "Beach." 
Thinking about what to draw next. 
One of Everett's summer goals is to learn to make grilled cheese by himself. He's doing great. 

And while Everett and I had our precious alone time reading and talking together, this sweet little girl crawled around and giggled every time I would pretend to poke her with a toy. My little Isla is such a happy little thing.

This funny grin is her typical happy face. My current favorite thing in the world is to sit her right on the edge of the pool. She does this happy grin for a minute, and then leans in towards the water, closing her eyes and bracing for the splash. It is just too cute!
Baby girl can often be found at the top of the stairs. And naked.
Still no teeth or much hair, but still such a sweet girl. 
As I was putting Isla to bed, our nice quiet time was brought to an abrupt end with the other two running in from the pool. Everett put up his guard again, and the magical sweetness was broken. Good thing I know how to get it back!