Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter (a day late)


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Spring Break 2011

With our Germany trip coming up in the Fall we decided not to travel anywhere for Finley's Spring Break. But that doesn't mean we haven't had any fun. This is how we spent our few days off (WARNING!!! - LOTS OF PICTURES AHEAD) ...

We met up with our friends at Playworld. No pics, just lots of fun at the indoor play center in West Valley while it rained outside.

Children's play area at the Church History Museum. 
They re-did this area recently and it is SO cute. Way better than the outdated exhibit from before. The kids love it here. It was our second time going. The first was a nightmare with lots of crowds and unsupervised children. This time was much better and the kids had a blast. They even got to ride the TRAX train.

 Fishing on the boat.

 Chillin' in his newly built temple while contemplating life.

 Trying to turn the VERY HEAVY pages on the Golden Plates.

Destruction of the Temple.

Baby Animal Days at This Is The Place Heritage Park
We went first thing in the morning so that Ryan could come along with us before going into work (he took a 1/2 day). It was awesome. All the cute baby chicks, bunnies, the one baby kid, some lambs, piglets, and the calf were out to be enjoyed. Berlin loved being able to hold the bunnies and had no fear. Finley was a little more hesitant.

All I know is that I am grateful that I don't have the obnoxious kid that runs up screaming and then grabs the little animals, holding them upside down while shaking them silly as their parents look on and laugh. No wonder the poor animals scattered from them as they literally dropped one to torment another. I secretly wish someone would scream, pick those kids up, grab them too tight, hold them upside down and shake them silly ... just to see how they like it. Needless to say, that's when we moved onto the pony rides - before I caught myself being rude to the child.

Next we hit the petting area with the bigger animals. I love that we can just walk around and hang out with the goats & sheep. It's great for the kids to have this close-up experience. Especially since we'll be getting some chickens next year. This little goat couldn't get enough of the kids and he just walked with them the whole time we were in the petting area. Finley and Berlin loved it. We just might have to get us a pet goat too.

These two couldn't get enough of each other. This is the strangest cow (yes - it's a cow folks) I've ever seen. Her baby calf was also pretty darn cute too.

In the old schoolhouse the Humane Society had animals up for adoption. Ryan (based on our experience adopting Bentley 7 years ago) warned me that we shouldn't go in there or I would get all emotional. I laughed him off, but sure enough after going in and falling in love with the two border collie/lab mix pups that were in a cage, I started to cry. I really really wanted to adopt one of them. It always breaks my heart to see animals in a cage like that waiting to be loved.

The kids panned for gold, made some AWESOME Spring crafts (bunnies from a pair of socks, tissue paper flowers, and bird feeders), Finley chatted up the local Barber (that was a funny conversation indeed), checked out the dirt houses, and then we went to help some Pioneer women do their morning chores.

I'm just wondering ... how do I get my kids to work this hard at home?

So, even though we didn't go to some hot, sunny, warm exotic locale, we did manage to find some fun things to do around town. Now all the kids can talk about is Easter morning (tomorrow) and of course Finn's birthday next week.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I Survived

my first Half-Marathon (the SLC 2011 Marathon).

It came, it went, and I not only survived but I finished in the 2 1/2 hr time-frame that I had set as my goal (my official time was 2 hr. 31 min. 55 sec.). YAY!!!! And, I have to say that the recovery hasn't been that bad. Other than being tired on Sunday, my muscles have not revolted and I was back at the gym first thing Monday morning. 

I wish I could say it's the hardest thing I've done, but Finley's birth trumps even this. Of course, I couldn't have done it without these people:
  • Ryan: his support and encouragement (despite his personal opinions on organized races) were priceless. And he always watched the kids on my Saturday runs and during extra Zumba classes ... without complaining.
  • 3 of my sisters who also ran it.
  • Family & friends who supported & cheered me on during my training and on the day of the race.
Do I ever want to do it again? Ummm...Ask me in a few months. I just might consider it.

These are the signs that Finley and Berlin held up while they cheered for me that last leg of the route along S. Temple (thanks Aunt Becky for helping make the fun signs!). 

I seriously almost started crying and got really chocked up when Finley blew me a kiss, gave me a thumbs up, and said he loved me. But then I couldn't breathe and I had to calm myself down. The one thing I remember most about the whole day - seeing them cheer me on.

 Our personal cheerleaders

 Heading over to Temple to cheer us on.

Julie, Shauna, Valerie, Me

Monday, April 18, 2011

Chillin' at home

I'm a homebody - nothing new, and lately we've just been chillin' out at home after school is over and in between tumbling, dance, soccer and playdates. In all honesty, I love these "down" days, they are good for me. There's nothing like watching your kids put their imagination to use. Here's what we've been doing in our down time:

Building a house/restaurant (Shivers)/cabin/grocery store/castle/tent out of an old box. I have been cleaning out our storage room and making LOTS & LOTS of piles of baby clothes, toys, etc. for DI, family &  friends. This wardrobe box was leftover from when we moved into this house. I was just going to toss it but Finley kept asking to hide in it and surprise Berlin (after watching it done on Funniest Home Videos). So I ended up giving it to the kids.  They have had so much fun coloring on it and playing inside.

 ready for work
getting in the car
 checkin' out his kid meal toy

 Berlin can always be found practicing her dance moves - the arabesque is her favorite.


Finley loves to draw and when I can't find him (or it gets too quiet) I can usually find him here. He is currently working on illustrating all the Star Wars movies. And I have to say, he's doing a pretty good job so far. Can you tell which movies these are from and who the characters are?


Finley has also been writing stories at home. His Kindergarten Teacher is really encouraging them to write sentences and stories to help them practice their writing & sounding out skills - spelling of course is not important. Here's the latest one ...

"Read this story. I went to the factory and I will tell you what the factory's name was. The factory's name was the candy store. I ate all of the candy. When I got to my house I had a tummy-ache and I had to go to the dentist. I felt better. I repented to Jesus and Heavenly Father."

Does it get any better than this? I don't think so. It's perfectly perfect in every way.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Snow Bunny love

With all the cold weather we had last weekend, we took a few hours in between Sunday's General Conference sessions to have a little family fun in the snow. Since April always seems to grace us with a wet snowstorm, it has become tradition for us to build a pet snow bunny. Here he is ...


Of course with all our wacky weather, his head was already falling off the next day due to the increase in temps. But it was fun while it lasted ... now maybe Spring will stick around.