Monday, August 31, 2009

These are the days of our lives ...

Just a glimpse at our lives this past week.

We went to the zoo hoping to glimpse the new baby elephant, but she won't be out for another 3-4 weeks. But we weren't too disappointed as we were still able to see the baby giraffe, the 3 lemur tiger cubs, and the baby monkeys.


And of course the Lake. We went up to the cabin last weekend. Ryan's brother Oliver was there with his family celebrating his bday. It was nice to spend time with them and Finley loved all the playtime with his cousins, Brighton & Brandon. It was Stars Wars mania. We had 1/2 a day of sunshine, then 2 days of solid rain. BOOOOOOO! Out of the 5 weekends we've been up there this year, we've had 2 days of sunshine. The rest of the time it's rained. But here's Berlin & Finn chillin' in the little amount of sun we had.
Soccer started last week. We have practices on Mondays and games on Saturdays for the next 2 months. We are trying a different league this year since there was an opening on the team that had 3 members of Finn's sunbeam class already on it. Let's just say that he LOVES it. Not because it's soccer, but because he gets 1 hour with his buddy Logan two times a week outside of church. He thinks this is the greatest.

AND THE BEST PART ... is that I just happened to meet an owner of a Madsen bike at Finn's soccer game on Saturday. You know, that hot little bike I'm totally coveting, yes that's right Coveting with a capital C. Ok, I didn't just happen to meet her. When I saw the blue madsen bike on the playground I made it my business to find out who's bike it was and then went over to ask her a gazillion questions. She was so polite & nice and she even offered to let me (and eventually Ryan) take the bike for a ride. Turns out her husband does their webdesign & blog stuff and is best friends with the owner. All I can say is that after taking hers for a test drive, I am coveting it even more. It's not a matter of "if" I get one, it's when.
My sister Valerie watched the kids so Ryan and I could have a date night out at the movies last week to see Harry Potter. The kids had so much fun with Aunt Val. They walked to the playground, baked cookies and had a bubble bath. I'm so grateful that I have such an awesome sister so close and that my children ADORE her (it's kinda hard not to). Thanks Val.

B is for Bouncing ... There's a fairly new bounce facility in South Jordan (Jumpin' Jacks) by my friend Mel's house. We met up with them last week to check it out and the kids had a blast. The room is huge and had 7 blow-up bounce rooms/slides set up (and 2 others not inflated). We liked it so much that we bought a 1 month unlimited use pass for $20 and are heading out again tomorrow morning. The best part is that it's air-conditioned which, considering how hot & muggy it's been, makes the pass an even better deal.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'm featured on ...

one of my FAVORITE blogs that I stalk daily: Grosgrain. I am featured with the other Utah Etsy artists offering giveaways during the Utah Etsy Fall Give Away bonanza. Check out the Grosgrain article here: and don't forget to enter HERE!

All I want for Christmas

Ok, so it's not Christmas, but I have been finishng up my shopping for the kids (yeah, I know, I'm crazy, but I like to have it done by the end of September) and it got me thinking as to what I want this year. I don't really need anything. I have been blessed with so much. But there is one thing that I really, really want...

the Madsen Cart Bicycle in the blue

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

How fun is this! I could take the kids to preschool, to dance, to tumbling, to the park (thank heavens all the above are only 3-4 blocks away). It would be so awesome. I love that it comes with a bench and 2 seatbelts.

so, hint hint Ryan! :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Utah Etsy Mega Fall Give Away

I have been a member of the Utah Etsy Team for almost a year now. To welcome the new school year and all the changes it brings, the Utah Etsy Team artisans are having a huge giveaway. Each Tuesday for the next SEVEN weeks, a new give away category will come up... there should be multiple vendors with a free item you can win. Rules will be posted each week with the new give aways. The winners will be posted the following Monday. This week is children's accessories and I am giving away the children's patchwork chenille scarf seen below.



Click Here to see the other items being given away ...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Livin' it up while the good weather lasts

The fact that Summer is over has really made me sad. With the long Spring that we had, and what appears to be an early Fall (we've totally had Fall weather the past couple weeks - perfect weather that is), I fear that Winter may soon be here before I know it. And that realization is freakin' me out. So I decided that we would do everything possible to enjoy the outdoors while we still can.

Wednesday morning we went to Thanksgiving Point to visit the Barn, ride ponies, and chillax on the wagon ride. The kids were all giggles when the baby calves came over to eat their shirts & shorts, especially when they got a hold of my shorts. That apparently was even funnier. Finn loved feeding the pigs corn, while Berlin couldn't get enough of the horses. Berlin was a bit unsure of the pony ride at first, but she ended up loving it and even named her pony, "Pony Pony" (so original huh). After that she kept begging to ride a horse. I said, "Boo, you already rode a horse," to which she replied/sassed back, "That was a pony! I want to ride a horse NOW." Oh the truth of it all. How could I dispute what she was saying. Unfortunately, she'll have to wait until our next visit to ride the bigger horse (pony).

Finn, all pensive on the wagon ride.

Not sure what happened on this shot, but I love Berlin in this
picture. Too bad it's all washed out.

Hooray for baby bunnies!

Hardened criminals doing time in the Utah Territorial Jail.

Feeding a very tired goat some hay (alfalfa).

Feeding some chickens corn kernels.

Finn's reaction when I told him we were going to get 2 chickens next spring,
and that he could help me feed them and gather their eggs..."Uhhh, yeah right Mom."

Berlin having 2nd thoughts about riding the pony.

Finn LOVING that he gets to ride his pony all by himself, with absolutely no help from me.

Moments like these are priceless and I'm glad we were able to create some great memories today. Tomorrow I think we'll hit the zoo and MAYBE (fingers crossed) we'll get to see a glimpse of our new baby elephant, but for sure the new baby giraffe, baby snow leopard, baby tamarin twin monkeys, baby black footed cat, and the baby meerkats & prairie dogs! We just love seeing all the new baby animals that our zoo has been blessed with this year.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

a bee sting and one BRAVE girl

After a fun afternoon at the park with some friends, Berlin disturbed a little bumble-bee while playing and was stung. She was freakin' out and screaming and then we saw the bee buzz away and we knew what had happened. I've never been stung & Finley has never been stung, so this was my first experience with a Bee-sting as well. She swelled a little at first, but by the time we got home the little white bump was gone and in it's place a little red rash. Lucky for us, that's as bad as it got. Phew - no allergies to bees!

The sad yet sweet part about it all was that she was more upset at the fact that a bee could be mean to her than she was about the pain. It took a few minutes to calm her down once stung and after that she was fine, like it never happened. Except that she's talked about the "mean bee making her sad" all night long.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bear Lake & a Bout of the Pooks

In the past we've gone up to the lake almost every other weekend during the summer. This year, with my calling in the Primary Presidency and Ryan's calling in the Young Men, we just haven't been able to get up as much as we would like (and the 2 weekends we did, it rained). So last weekend we decided to drive go up and stay thru Monday. Saturday, however, I ended up with food poisoning and spent the afternoon dealing with the pooks in the bathroom & the kitchen sink. By Sunday I was feeling better, so we drove up to Bear Lake that afternoon. We spent Monday morning playing in the water, in the sand, and just soaking up the sun. Later that afternoon we went hiking. It was a perfect day.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dinosaur Museum

Earlier this week the kids were cranky. I was so tired of all the fighting, teasing, screaming, & temper-tantrums that I decided to take the kids to the Dinosaur Muesum down at Thanksgiving Point. They love this place and I knew it would be the perfect thing to cheer everyone up.

We had such a blast building a two-headed dinosaur, digging for bones on an archealogical dig, and destroying land, lake & tree in the water zone.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Hodge Podge

This post is a hodge podge of things that went on in July (sorry, it's long ... what can I say, we've been busy).

July wrapped up our Summer swim lessons. Berlin hated it while Finn loved every moment and ended up doing 3 summer sessions (5 weeks) in all. He loves to go under water, jump into the pool, do cannon bobs (rapid bobbing in the water), and trying to float on his own. He loves to go in the deep-end with his life-jacket on and practice his strokes. It's amazing how different he is in the water this summer compared to last year. We'll start him up again in the Fall just to keep him going thru the Winter, but we took a break to have some fun before preschool starts next month.

Video of Finn playing around in the pool before his class starts ...

In July, Ryan's sister Monica was in town from Baltimore. I didn't get to see her very much as it happened to be the same time my family was in town for my brother's wedding, but the one night that I was able to get together with everyone, we went to Bouncin' Off the Walls for Ryan's nieces' (Alia) bday party. These are the few pictures I was able to snap of the kids in action. Plus a couple fun videos.

Ryan and I also took the kids to the Living Planet Aquarium in Sandy. Considering this is UT, I would the say the Aquarium was ok. It's super small, and not a ton of stuff is there. I guess I'm just used to the awesome aquariums in California, all of which are located on the beach and in the actual habitat that I think an aquarium should be in. But the kids enjoyed it and there were no crowds (literally like 2 other families were there with us). My favorites were the very active Octopus and the Jellyfish glow tanks.

I have a couple cute video snippets from these activities (and a few others) on our flip mini that I'll try and get uploaded in a separate post later.

My love affair

with the Laundromat. Ok, so it's not a love affair really, just an affair that I am engaged in for 2 hours every other Saturday.

As our basement is still in major upheaval, I haven't had use of my laundry room and I find myself frequenting the local coin-op every other Saturday. Other than having to spend $20 to do 2 weeks worth of laundry, it's really not so bad. Especially since I can wash like 4 loads all at once in the mega front-load washers. Seriously, it only takes me 2 hours to do 2 weeks worth of laundry. Not bad, especially since I usually have the place to myself and I get to read a book.

The view during my laundry dates:

Friday, August 7, 2009

Lake Mary

We went hiking for FHE this weekend to Lake Mary. It was so beautiful. Finley did awesome. He walked the whole way up, even thru the last stretch that required us to wade thru a little creek uphill to get to the lake. Berlin had the best view, of course, up in her pack. I made her get in after she kept slipping on the first part of the hike that was a bit steep for her little legs. She was the best backseat hiker I could ask for. Her "keep hiking, keep hiking mommy," never got old. She loved all the flowers and had to hold one in each hand at all times. Ryan was even moved to song as we hiked through the flowers and trees. I have no idea what he was singing as it was in German, but it was so appropriate - very "Sound of Music"-ish. A fabulous way to spend our family night together.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Hiking Around

Ryan loves to hike. I love to hike. "So why don't we hike more?" we asked ourselves this past weekend.

Probably because we are so tired by the time the weekend rolls around that we find ourselves being lazy. But we've decided that it's time to start exploring the trails that are right here in our backyard. On Saturday we went up Millcreek with my sister Becky and her twin girls, and my sister Valerie. We did the Big Water Little Water trail. The drive up the canyon was gorgeous. Finley was a trooper and walked most of the way (on the way down Ryan had to carry him on his shoulders a bit). Berlin was determined to walk, but after about 10 minutes of the slowest paced walking I've ever seen, it got boring. I'm glad that she wants to walk, but she's so little that it takes us forever to make progress as she stops to touch and look at everything. Thus, I made her get in the pack (much to her dismay) and I carried her while she cried and then fell asleep. We didn't go the whole way up as my sister and her girls were waiting for us in the parking area, but it was nice to get out with the kids and enjoy the scenery and all the beautiful butterflies. And Bentley enjoyed being able to roam the trail off-leash.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Pioneer Day Weekend

With my family in town for my brother's wedding, we were able to spend some down-time together. On Friday we went to a chapel close to Liberty Park to watch the fireworks display. It was so much fun to have everyone together. The kids loved throwing the "snaps" on the ground and being able to run around. When the fireworks show started, Finley and Berlin didn't like the loud noise, so they clung to me. Next year I'll remember ear-plugs for them.

Wedding Bells

My younger brother got hitched last weekend. Karen, his bride (and my new sister-in-law) was beautiful, and all the little nieces & nephews loved seeing the prince & princess get married in the Draper castle, I mean temple. I am so excited for them and their new life together. Here are just some pics from their special day.