Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Furniture Redo - Kids Adirondack Set

THIS ....



EQUALS ... ???

I bought this Adirondack set from Costco when Finley wasn't even 1. Over the past 5 years it's gotten a bit shabby & dull, so I have been wanting to sand, paint and sew new cushions for it. This past weekend, I got the process rolling. I even let Berlin get in on the action while Ryan and Fin were at the RSL soccer game. She was a great little helper.

I am 3/4 of the way done but will hopefully be finished by Thursday. Stay tuned for the reveal pics. I'm so excited!

Monday, June 28, 2010

This is the way we ROCK the zoo ...

rock the zoo, rock the zoo. This is the way we rock the zoo, early in the morning.

My little rock stars hanging out at the zoo. Can you just see the attitude?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Glass is Half Empty

Serving the past year and a half in the primary presidency has been eye-opening for me (to say the least). In all honesty, I have a love-hate relationship with my calling. There are some truths (faults mostly) about myself that I have come to realize - some I've always kinda known about:

1. I am selfish, especially with my time, and there are WAY too many meetings, trainings, temple trips, activities, etc. than there need to be.

2. I don't care much for church "social" activities. I dreaded them as a child/teenager/college student and still do. I much prefer just hanging out with my friends without a gazillion other people being there. Especially when there's usually a bunch of old people sitting around complaining that the kids are too loud and need to be told to sit down and be quiet.

3. I've learned that I'm not a big fan of the Boy Scout program and do not feel their budget should be partially subsidized by church funds (specifically primary funds). Maybe I'll feel differently in 3 years when Finn is 8. But I doubt it.

4. I hate hearing, "this is your calling, it's what you are supposed to do." I just want to shout back, "Um, this is a SERVICE calling. Truth is, I don't have to do anything. Don't like it, then release me." But I don't and I never will because I know it's childish.

5. It ruffles my feathers when someone says, "you have to invite 3 non-members to the ward BBQ/Dinner/Party/Social function and I want you to report the names of those you invited." Yeah, not going to happen. In fact, you'll be lucky if you see me there (remember fault #2).

Yes, I know, I have a poor attitude. Please, feel free to call me a sour-puss. Nothing new to me. I'm just opinionated and have strong feelings about lots of things (just ask Ryan). It's just in my blood.

But it's not all bad - I did say it was a love-hate relationship. In fact I have found a lot of positive in this calling.

1. I love LOVE the children. I love knowing who they are and what they like to do. I love being able to hear them sing every Sunday, to listen to their funny comments, and to see them learn & grow. It's so humbling to be with these kids each week. It's the main reason I haven't thrown in the towel yet. The children really do make everything worthwhile.

2. Sacrifice is necessary for blessings to be received. I know this because many of the blessings that I have received have come when it's been extremely difficult to function in a calling and I put aside my own desires & criticism to serve the Lord and His children. I've grown closer to my Heavenly Father as I pray for help when I struggle to do what is asked of me.

3. I have made some awesome friends in my calling. Having been put into the calling after being in the ward a few months, I really didn't know a ton of people. But my calling has given me a small group of friends that I love. In fact, they are the main reason I occasionally put aside my dislike of church "social" functions.

It's been a trying calling but also a rewarding calling and I can't imagine serving anywhere else right now in my life. I love Primary. I just have to remember this when all the leadership stuff gets on my nerves.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Father's Day

I was in charge of the Primary gift last week for Father's Day as 1. we didn't have time to decide on something before our President went out of town, and 2. it was my Sunday to do the sharing time lesson. Here's what we did:

I made paper neckties for each of the kids to wear. On it were questions about their dad that we had them answer. Then they got a can of Dad's rootbeer to give to them after church. I think the neckties turned out so cute. And the answers were hilarious - especially the ones from the little kids.

Here's a closeup of Finley & Berlin's answers. Hilarious.

(Click the picture to enlarge)

Swim Lessons - Round 1

Berlin had her first session of swim lessons with Miss Amber the past two weeks. She is just in level one and I have to say that out of the 8 days of class, she was great 7 of the 8 days. The other day (this past Monday) was awful. She screamed the entire 30 minutes because she didn't want to go under water - despite the fact that she had already done so the previous week. Weird. But she made up for it and did great the rest of the time. She has a break until August, then she will do another session with Miss Amber. Finn is excited too because next time he gets to do the Level 2 class after Berlin's class is over.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

She & Him

She & Him FREE concert
Pioneer Park in SLC
Aug 26th 8-11pm

I love Zooey. I love their music. So of course, Ryan and I are going. In fact, nothing could keep us from going, nothing. I can hardly wait!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sassy talk with Berlin

Hey Lion ... heeeeyyy Lion!

These are the words that Berlin shouted after getting ignored (repeatedly) by the RSL Lion mascot at last nights soccer game. She was so peeved that he wouldn't even wave to her despite only being 4-5 rows away. Awesome.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sprinklers & A Swimsuit Fashionista

We had like 3 days of 75-85 degree weather a few weeks ago. We took advantage and pulled out the sprinkler. The kids had so much fun - despite the constant tears from Berlin that the sprinkler is too tall and she wants it smaller, so small that you'd think it wasn't even on. She lost. Hence her grumpy expression.

You may be wondering, "What the heck is she wearing?" Yeah, I was to when she came upstairs with not one, not two, but three different swimsuits on, terry cloth shorts, and 2 swim suit cover-up dresses. I made her take off the terry shorts & swim suit dresses, but she cried over the swimsuits so I let her keep all 3 on. The best part is that the bottoms weren't on right. She had one leg thru the waistband, and a leg-hole around her waist. What can I say- she's a fashionista in her own way.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Here today, Gone tomorrow - Final

Well, as of noon today, it's done. And I think our yard might be feeling a bit naked. Or maybe it's me, feeling a bit exposed to the world now. I can't wait to plant some new stuff.

For BEFORE pics, click here.

These are all "After" pics. They are going to bring a truckload of wood-chips back and we'll use them to clean up some areas I have already weeded and have yet to weed.

And here's all the firewood Ryan gets to cut. He doesn't know this yet as we had decided not to have any wood left behind. But I couldn't let perfectly good firewood go, so I had them leave me the trunk of the smallest pine tree. This is what he gets for having the scout 50-miler (which isn't really 50 miles, more like 25) when they took the trees out :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bear Lake Weekend #2

Since our first weekend at the cabin was rained out, we went up again to clear out more brush/bushes/trees and to fix a leaky valve on the water heater. Sunday was AWESOME weather so I took the kids to the beach while Ryan fixed the said water heater.

I'm glad we got the beach day in because of course it was cold, super windy, and eventually rained most of Monday. Which means we got to play lots of board games, read books, watched movies, saw deer in the yard, watched birds, and just chilled inside - except Ryan, he kept working outside, even in the rain. He unearthed this little gem:

raccoon? skunk? Definitely one of the two!

Of course, we did sneak in a little hike first thing Monday morning before it rained. Here's the kids on the trail eating their mid-hike snack (fruit leather, trail mix, and capri suns).

Tuesday was a bit nicer so we decided to head up to Minnetonka cave with the kids. This was their first cave visit. Berlin had to be carried the entire time. I carried most the way up and Ryan did the rest. Exhausting! Finley walked, and though his little legs got tired near the end (lots & lots of stairs to go up & down), he was a trooper and did awesome. We speculated if this cave was used by Batman, but Finley deduced that it wasn't because the bat jet wouldn't fit inside. He's one smart cookie. Speaking of bats, we saw plenty and they were kinda cute. Thank heavens the chihuahua sized rats didn't appear - that would have freaked me out.

After the cave, Ryan went back to work on the yard (bless his heart) and I took the kids to the beach for a couple hours. Then we headed home around 8:30pm. It was a long & productive weekend for Ryan and it feels great to have the Spring Cleanup pretty much done. Next time, he can enjoy himself a little more.

Weekend Slideshow:

Here today, Gone tomorrow

I'm a little sad that we are removing ALL 7 pine trees in our front/side yard today & tomorrow, but only when I think of the shade we will be losing. I will most definitely NOT miss the sappiest pine cones ever (all gazillion of them) and the annoying pine needles that are everywhere they shouldn't be. Here's to hoping we can get the grass growing & green again. I've already started planning new trees/bushes for the space which we'll hopefully get planted next Spring.

Day 1 Before

Day 1 After

Tomorrow, these will be on the chopping block - literally.

Front 2 pine trees and ...
One more pine tree by the back deck.

Sunday, June 13, 2010






Five of the ten butterflies emerged from their chrysalis today. It was very exciting (I might even say I think I was giddy like a schoolgirl). They sure are beautiful! Five more to go.

Berlin helped me sprinkle fresh cut flowers with sugar water (along with adding slices of grapefruit) so hopefully they'll survive because we can't wait to release them outdoors - if only the weather would clear up and stay warm long enough to do so.

This will definitely be an annual Spring tradition in our home. I can't wait to do this again next year.

(if you are interested, Insect Lore is the company that our habitat came from)