Thursday, August 25, 2011

A conversation about Halloween

Mom: So, you guys need to decide what you want to be for Halloween.

Fin: Why, Halloween is not for forever?

Mom: It's a few months away, but it will be here before you know it.

Fin: I don't matter [this is his way of saying, I don't care.]

Mom: Well, if you want a costume to go tricking-or-treating in, then you need to tell me your costume soon so I can make it, or atleast start it before our Germany Trip.

Berlin: I want to be Hello Kitty. You can make me a big cat head.

Mom: Umm, that's probably not going to happen.

Berlin: Ok, I will be She-ra. Next year I will be Hazel.

Mom: Who's Hazel?

Berlin: That girl that is friends with that boy. Ugh! You know mom!

Mom: Um, no. I actually have no idea who you are talking about.

Berlin: The girl that gets lost in the forest with that boy!

Mom: Oh, you mean Gretel? Of Hansel & Gretel?

Berlin: Yes! I told you you knew!

Mom: Ok sassy pants. She-ra huh. You'll rock that.

Berlin: Ya, I will. But I need gold boots.

So after lots of conversation & mulling over, this is what they have decided upon....I think :)  And so the planning begins.


Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of School

Finley started 1st grade today! Crazy to think my baby boy is in first grade and will be gone all day long. But, I wasn't as sad as I thought I would be. He was so ready and excited to go back to school. He sure does love a good routine, and school provides that for him.

Bringing his own lunch was a big deal to him. He thinks that's the greatest thing ever. So we planned it out last night and I made it this morning after I got home from the gym. He kept saying, "Mom, I don't want to be late.... Berlin, hurry up, get dressed already, I can't be late..... Are we late?... We should start walking now mom. I just can't be late."  Yeah, I think he's ready. Hopefully his enthusiasm lasts all year long!

Can't wait to walk home with him and hear how his first day went. 

Dog Lake (aka Dog Pond)

This has been the week of hikes. First, the Limber Pine Trail while at Bear Lake, then Silver Lake up by Brighton, and now Dog Lake. We ventured up Millcreek for the latter, longer hike yesterday. This time we remembered the pack for little Miss Grumpy, so no temper-tantrums were had. 

Finley gets the award for super-duper AWESOME hiker. This was Finley's longest hike ever (5 miles round-trip) and he hiked the entire way! He even braved the steep down-hill parts even though he was a little scared. So proud of that kid. He really is a hiker and loves to be up there in nature. He's a cutie with his little camel-pack on.

I, of course get the award for being one tough cookie carrying Berlin on my back the entire hike. This will definitely be the last summer/fall she gets packed on our hikes because I cannot imagine carrying a 5 year old in a pack - even if she still only weighs 30 lbs. I hope that Berlin learns to love to hike. 

Bentley gets the award for the best behaved dog on the trail. He was awesome & he LOVED this hike. Lots of streams and water for him to lay in. Even when a couple dogs crowded his space and tried to take his fetching stick. He was a great hiking companion.

Just a cool wasp nest in one of the trees. Love how it's woven around the pine bough.

Ryan's just all-around amazing and gets the award for being patient. He held back on the way up and stayed with Finn at his little pace. They are good buddies and I am sure they had some great conversations coming up. When I hike with Berlin on my back I have to keep a slightly faster pace in order to keep my momentum up under the weight (and I have to admit that walking slow pretty much anywhere drives me nuts). So we usually end up ahead of them. Ryan's a wonderful dad. I love being outdoors and in nature with my little family.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Silver Lake

We took Grumpy & Happy Dwarf up to Silver Lake this morning for a short hike. Can you tell which is which?

It was a beautiful morning. We were thinking of hiking up to one of the other lake trails that split off from Silver Lake, but with Grumpy in tow, we didn't dare. Maybe next time.

Grumpy, in the midst of her, ""I am the boss of me" temper-tantrum.

These cute, fearless little guys were all over the place.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ready, Set, PLAY!

We (meaning I) have wanted a playset for a really long time. This year I decided it was time to bite the bullet and get one. Thanks to Costco and their affordable wooden playsets, we did just that. Back in May I told Ryan that all I wanted for mother's day was to have the playset built. Thanks to a very wet & rainy Spring, it didn't quite happen on our timeline. However, yesterday afternoon, Ryan finished the playset. Ryan deserves all the credit in getting this done. He did 100% of it by himself over a two week period. I helped out a tiny bit, but not much. I was kinda his Vanna. So, even though the instructions say it's a 3-man job. It can be done with just one very PATIENT man, you just have know it takes a little longer. 

Needless to say the kids are very, VERY grateful to their pappa and are so happy to have it done!

The gazillion boxes of wood/parts to label and organize - 3+hrs

Building the rock wall and slide - 5+hrs

Building the play set house/fort - 8+ hrs

The evident joy & happiness of the kiddos: PRICELESS!


arg...a review of sorts

I have been wanting some patio seating for a few years now. I really love the iron ones but they or course are WAY out of our budget for how much we need for the upper and lower deck. And I'm a bit (just a bit) picky. But when I spied this set on-sale at World Market over the 4th of July weekend. I got really excited and sent Ryan over. 

Needless to say after purchasing 2 occasional chairs, 2 loungers, 2 side tables, 1 coffee table, 2 pool loungers and 2 occasional benches, we cleaned the store out. The only thing we didn't get was the dining table & chairs which I kinda now regret seeing as they were 75% off. The best part, is that all this furniture (including the seat cushions) was a steal. Seriously, less than our monthly health insurance payment. 

After spending 2 days oiling the wood furniture (I soon realized this was why they were on sale... no-one WANTS to oil their wood furniture but it had to be done, and will continue to be done every spring here on out - boo). Ryan and I were out relaxing on the pool loungers when Ryan suddenly crashed to the ground. His had broken. The funny part is that what broke was a pre-assembled/built piece, not one that we put together - (phew). I have called the store, posted a comment/review on the website, and still have had no word back. 

Hence, the "Arg" in this posts title. I HATE it when stores don't respond to customer complaints. All we want is to return it or exchange it, or get partial credit on the lounger. You know, just acknowledge that I exist mostly.  It's so frustrating that they won't call me back. So now, Ryan, having just built our new play-set, gets to figure out how in the world to fix the lounger. He's not happy about it, but atleast I have more confidence in his building/fixing skills then I do in pre-fab wooden outdoor furniture. Again, my hubby kinda rocks. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

a Belated Pioneer Day

Pioneer Day kinda came and went. Let's be honest, that's what happens (atleast for us) when Holidays fall on a Sunday. And it didn't help that Ryan worked a half-day on Monday (the day most Utahns celebrated), and I spent most the day working in the yard trimming trees for the neighborhood clean-up bins. And since we aren't parade folk, we kept it low-key and celebrated later than most.

This is the one thing we did on the 24th....drawing on the barn with chalk. I even lent a hand. These are the only fireworks we did this year with the kids. Honestly, they are the best kind... safe, quiet (Berlin hates the loud sound), and no smoke/charcoal residue to deal with. 

Later in the week we made these cool edible covered wagons (thanks to our nursery leaders for the cute idea), pretzel cabins & tepees with the kids and had rootbeer floats. That's about as celebratory as we get. No matter, it was still a great week remembering our Pioneer Ancestors.