{ Spring Break Playground }

Our spring break this year didn’t involve any fancy vacationing spots or out of town guests-just us.

It was nice.

We had a new swing set that had been gathering dust in our garage since Scott’s birthday in December, and we decided that now was as good a time as any to get that thing put together. We knew from reading the reviews online that is was a beast to assemble, so we were prepared to spend the whole week to put it together.

Aaron got to buy himself a few new fun tools, and we all worked together to build it.

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Since then, the boys have been having such a great time playing on it. Ryan can already climb up the rock wall, and they both love going on the glider. One afternoon we were playing and having lunch on the little picnic table below, when Scott started posing and begging for me to take some pictures of them on their new playground. A request for pictures? A request I never pass up.

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Scott was so funny creating all these great poses he thought of. He would wait for me to snap the picture, and then beg to see the picture, then hurry back to come up with his next pose.

Ryan was happy to just follow him around and then try to pose like Scott was.

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We call these next few part of the “interpretive” series of his. Gotta love some random twizzles and stuffed cats.Little boys on swingset-6

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Ryan loves to sit at the top of the slide and rock himself back and forth. The slide is pretty fast, and he usually ends up flying off the end if we aren’t there to catch him, so I think he has conditioned himself to just sit safely there instead. I love having a swing set (a playground as Scott calls it) again. The kids have missed there old one from our other house, and this was just the thing to make this house seem more like a home for them.little boys on swingset blog-8


{ Austin Becomes a Deacon and Mother’s Day Weekend }

12 years ago I was due to deliver this cute kid, and my due date landed on Mother’s Day. He ended up coming early, but each year we get excited to look at the calendar and see if Austin’s birthday will fall on Mother’s Day that year. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my special day, than with my oldest son who got the Priesthood.

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He is such a great kid-we really couldn’t ask for better. It was pretty neat that as the bishop Aaron got to interview Austin before he received the Priesthood. I know it was a special experience for them both. Both Grandpa Don and Mitch got to stand in on the ordination as Aaron ordained Austin to a deacon, and Mitch recorded down parts of the blessing. It was a very special thing for Austin to be able to have.

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We were lucky to have my parents here for the weekend, as well as a surprise visit (my parents didn’t know) from my brother Mitch and sister-in-law Michelli. They have been spending the last view months in South Carolina doing an internship-we feel super lucky to have them so close by. We spent the weekend talking, cooking yummy food (Mitch and Michelli are way better cooks than me), having Mitch teach us how to use our computer better, and relax.

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Grandma and Grandpa

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Everyone that was there that weekend. We were using our camera timer and tripod, and after the 2nd picture it started raining, so this was going to have to do. I think Abby was pretty much done taking pictures anyways. Okay, and aren’t Mitch and Michelli seriously SO cute! We love you guys so much!

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My Mother’s Day picture with my beautiful kids. I LOVE being a mom to these guys!

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Our happy little family-plus some crazy kid in the front..oh wait that’s Scott showing his true colors. He was pretty much done with pictures too.

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Our men spoiled us with flowers and a big basket of chocolates and treats, and the kids had dozens of homemade cards to make us smile. It felt pretty good being a mom today. Thanks guys for a great weekend!


{ Austin’s 12th Birthday }

Our stream of springtime birthdays continues, as this kid turned the big 12.

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Brianna came with me to pick out some birthday decorations, and begged me to get this birthday ribbon for Austin to wear to school. I was pretty sure that he would not want to wear this ribbon that I thought was maybe better suited for a younger boy. Brianna reassured me that he would love it. I had to eat my words big time. Austin loved it, and loved all the attention that this little ribbon brought him too. All the girls at school wished him Happy Birthday, and gave him cards. He was pretty happy to be the birthday boy.

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The little boys helped me set up the house for his birthday celebrations that night. All those balloons are suppose to be a soccer goal, with grass underneath it..get it. Yea, well just squint a little and you’ll get the idea.

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His soccer themed birthday warranted a soccer cake of course. As luck has it, we have some random soccer Legos on hand that the girls helped me fish out of our huge box of Lego pieces- so a Lego soccer field was built on top of his cake. Don’t mind the pirate looking faces and Elvis hair-do on some-we did a little bit of improvising, but it’s all good. Chocolate “mayo” cake was his choice for his special day.

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One of his gifts from the girls was a new soccer ball. Funny story about the ball. Austin and Aaron had gone to Wal-mart a few days before, and Austin pulled the soccer ball out of the rack and was juggling it around while Aaron was looking at something. Some random customer guy gave Austin a lecture about getting the ball all dirty, and that nobody wanted to buy a “dirty” ball. Austin gentle put back the ball he had dirtied all up, and walked away trying not to laugh a little inside. We let him know that when we went to pick out the ball, we made sure we bought the “dirty” one since he had already played with it. He was happy to show us some tricks he had learned, and proved that dirt or no dirt, the ball worked just fine.

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His ball on the shoulders trick. He kicks the soccer ball up and catches it between his shoulder blades and balances it there.

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He can pick up the ball with his foot and balance it in the air on the side of his foot.

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And last but not least, he can kick the ball up and balance it on his nose. He’s pretty impressive with all his soccer ball tricks. He is always showing us his new moves that he is learning. He pretty much has that ball attached to his foot 24 hours a day.

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One of his gifts was a pair a aviator sunglasses. You can see he was pretty thrilled about that. It doesn’t take much to please this kid-one of the things we love about you Austin, you still get excited about some of the little pleasures in life.

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…he made it a point to wear them while he opened a few more of his gifts.

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A brochure to a soccer camp we signed him up for this summer.

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He got a card with $50 in it to add to the dog fund. Did I mention we might get a dog? Yeah, that a whole other post in itself. Short version-the kids have tried to convince us that a dog needs to be in our family-they are doing  a pretty good job so far. More on that later. I have to admit, those two puppies on the front of that card are pretty darn cute. It’s the little fact that those cute little puppies grow into dogs- that is my hang up. Anyways…

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His two birthday books for this year-we were keeping with the dog theme. The kids really wanted to have us get a dog for a present for Austin-but we are not quite that convinced yet. The dog books were a good start.

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His big present was that each of the balloons had money in them for him. He ran to his room to get his pen-made-into-pin-spitting-contraption, to blow dart the balloons to pop them. He was happy to get some money to go buy a pellet gun. He plans on shooting some squirrels in the backyard to eat. Yum. Unfortunately, I am not a very supportive mom, and am kind of hoping he doesn’t have a great shot.

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12 Things we LOVE about Austin:

  • He gives the best hugs
  • He is very forgiving of others
  • He is super laid back still. I love that he just goes with the flow
  • He is so excited to get the Priesthood. I love to see his testimony as it has grown in the past few months in preparation.
  • I love to watch him play soccer, and am so proud of the way he carries himself on and off the field. A true athlete in my opinion.
  • I love to talk to him after prayer time at night.
  • He is so funny. He is always cracking us up with the funny actions he does to songs we listen to in the car. We are usually dying laughing by the time we get home.
  • He loves to talk things into existence. We will be talking, and he will throw a nice little comment in about something he wants. Example: “Yeah, I’ll go get the mail” “okay, great, thanks Austin”… “and then come inside and have Oreos and milk.” he’ll add in as he walks away. Sneaky kid.
  • He’s not afraid to belt out a song with the rest of us. We are having a little bit of One Direction mania around this place, and he humors us to crank it up loud, and he’ll sing right along with us.
  • He still thinks I am a great cook. Such a great kid.
  • He is so great with the other boys at church-a few that need some extra attention, and he is so patient with them, and tries to understand them a bit better. He really is such an amazing kid.
  • I love that he comes to give me two or three hugs at night before he goes to bed. Did I mention he gives great hugs?

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We love you so much Austin! I hope the next 12 years slow down a bit, because I sure want to enjoy you a bit longer. You are so much fun to be with, and we are so glad you are part of our family.


{ Brianna-AKA Princess Leia }

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In school this last semester Brianna has been studying the different decades in History class. They would study a different one each week, watch some old shows from it for fun, and then have a dress up day at the end of the week for extra credit. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a lot of 70’s clothes when 70’s week rolled around, so we decided to play up the whole Stars Wars theme since it was released in the 70’s Her teacher LOVED it.

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{Track Season }

Brianna and Austin both decided to try out for track this year. They learned it was a LOT of running, but both stuck it out until the end of the year.

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Brianna getting ready for her first race-the 800 meter run (two times around the track)

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I think both Brianna and Austin loved the social aspect of track the best. They have made the comment that they are NOT going to do track again next year.

Brianna and her friend Mia.

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Austin hanging out before his first race with his friends.

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Doing a warm up lap before the race.

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He was also running the 800 meter race-this is after the first lap..

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..and after the second lap. The poor kid was hurting pretty bad. This pretty much made the decision for him that he does NOT like track. He runs best when it’s behind a soccer ball-and he’s happy keeping it that way.

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I was so proud of both of them for trying so hard this season. I think they proved to themselves that they really can do hard things.

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