Friday, July 31, 2015

Birthdays weekend

The end of July came with a fun, long birthdays celebration for me and for Max this year.

Thursday afternoon JB and I went out to eat at Rodizio Grill for a date to celebrate my birthday (he took a picture of me there and put it on Instagram, and people left the nicest birthday wishes, shucks!).

Then Friday was Pioneer Day, and we met family at Lagoon. Max and Ben rode the new, crazy Cannibal ride with JB and uncles and loved it. I just didn't feel like having my heart race and stomach flip out.

Saturday was my birthday, and JB and I went to a wedding in the morning, a sealing in the afternoon, and a reception that night. It felt like three dates on one day! I love my new sheets, shoes, capris and cookie scoop.

Max was getting anxious for his turn in the spotlight. Sunday was our shared day, with cake for both of us, and presents for him after Sunday dinner with the family.

BTW he asked for that shirt so it was my gift to him. I need a BYU buddy around here.

Then, Monday was his birthday. Did you know that his original due date was around JB's birthday in August. But they revised my due date, and then they induced me after my birthday 10 years ago when they thought he would be a huge baby. He was born at 1 AM July 27th and weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces, so, he could have kept cooking I'm sure.

It was his turn for a friends party this year (we only do them every few years). He planned it all and even typed the invitations: A Nerf dart gun party in the church gym with pizza.

I think we had 13 other boys there from school/church/neighborhood. We invited some younger brothers because they all play together anyway. 

Some quickly emerged as Alpha males as they ran for the flag or organized assaults. And they almost all got nice and sweaty.

Max was very pleased with the presents. This is his last friends party. Maybe in the future he can invite a friend along to do something fun. Notice Ben and Andrew eying his presents, too. They have "helped" him play with the Kendamas and Legos and such.

I had wanted a boy first (back when I thought I would have some girls by now),  and I'm so glad Max is our first born. He's a great big brother. He's growing into a perceptive, listening (sometimes listening TOO much to mom and dad's conversations!), thoughtful, smart, brave and funny boy. He is helpful, responsible, and anxious to make sure his younger brothers toe the line and are safe wherever they are.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Bear Lake

Recently we were invited on a moms and kids quick trip to a friend's parents' cabin (read: lake house) at Bear Lake.

It was beautiful. The house, the view, the lake, the drive, the friends -- we all just had the best time.

There was room for each mom and her kids to have a bedroom or two. And a huge kitchen to cook all together.

James wanted to live in the swing.

Or scare me by walking down this spiral staircase.

The big boys played the Wii, ping pong, soccer and tag.

Andrew found a Hulk costume in the dress up box and was in heaven. See how he's trying to sleep in it in the picture below? That first night was rough because all the boys just couldn't settle down. See James's jubilation.

Also, a note about the dress-up box -- I walked into the house, and pink poofy princess dresses were strewn all over the floor. It was a shock to my eyes. So much pink! So much princess We have nothing like that at our house. The other 3 moms who were there have all girls except one other boy.

Andrew and James got along with the girls just fine at the beach the next morning.

Max and Ben just took to the kayak. They loved it. I, the scairdy-cat anxiety-ridden reporter mom, thought they should just stay in this nice mini-pond (big puddle).

But they ventured out into the lake and did just fine. It was chest deep for a quite a ways so there wasn't much danger.

I got some cuddles and a picture of me to prove I was there.

Back at the house all the kids piled into the hot tub.

They slept much better the second night. I felt relaxed, I read a whole book, I talked and laughed with friends. The only thing that would have made it better was being with JB. So many things he would have enjoyed. We would love to go back some time as a family.

Friday, July 17, 2015


Just another day at the office. Eating a Nutella sandwich and saving the world.

But we don't just have one Superman, we have two.

This picture below may remind JB's family of another iconic picture from family history of two supermen brothers.

In that one, the young brothers (now both fathers and upstanding citizens) were in supermen underwear, so in the interest of privacy, we'll leave it in its frame on our shelf.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Cub Country

JB -- the bestest sport ever -- accompanied Max and Ben recently to Cub Country. It's a day camp for cubs scouts, and because Ben turns 8 this year, he was able to go. He was SO happy about that.

They did obstacle races and stuff.

I think this was fencing or sword fighting or light saber dueling. I thought about posting some of the other pictures with the other scouts in our den, but privacy and all -- but they are funny.

Then there was shootin'.

And they pushed people in makeshift go-karts. They crashed JB several times into several trees. Like I said, he's the bestest sport around.

The trading post store is the worst. Full of sling shots and "you'll shoot your eye out" stuff. One of the boys in our neighborhood returned home to a whip, much to his mother's dismay/chagrin/wry acceptance.  Max and Ben contended themselves with candy.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Good people

I think JB and I both had an uplifting week last week, full of good friends and good people and good times -- at good places.

 His mission companion came into town to visit. Here's what JB wrote to me when he sent this picture:

"Nearly 22 years ago I met Darrin Buttery at the MTC.  We were fast friends right away and ended up serving together for several months.  Today, as we attended a session together I couldn't help feeling a bit like Alma when he reunited with the sons of Mosiah.   He's still my brother in the Lord!"

They also went to some Jazz Summer League games together. They bonded over basketball in Brazil, as well.

And JB went with his dad to several Summer League games, too:

He was able to take Max and Ben on the last day and they loved it.

We also went to the temple together after he went with Buttery. The Salt Lake Temple is closed for a bit so we went to Bountiful and it was beautiful.

Finally, another great thing that happened this week was I saw my BYU freshmen year roommates again. We got together at a park with most of our children -- we were missing one roommate, but it was so great to see these girls (well, women! But I feel like a girl again when we are together).

I came to BYU somewhat awkward and shy and self-conscious and lacking much self-confidence. These girls embraced me and my quirkiness and brought me out of my shell and praised me and loved me. I will be forever grateful. They are now sweet and caring mothers and wives, and so uplifting and interesting! I wanted to talk all evening, but Andrew was laying down on the playground's pavement trying to go to sleep for the night.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Fourth of July

We love our neighborhood on July 4. We decorate bikes the night before, eat a pancake breakfast in the morning, then line up with the crowds.

And then we head down the middle of the street, passing neighbors and friends, then getting passed by them.

Max and Ben are now old enough to meet us at the end, where the fire truck shoots up a spray, that this year came right. down. on. me. 

At the end, there's a block of carnival games and treats.

Ben purposely ran through the fire truck spray. It's a highlight of the summer for him. 

Also this weekend, we went to Lagoon and Lagoon-a-beach. Look at Jamesy, livin' the good life.