"Baby Signing Time" Star!

Well, maybe not exactly the STAR, considering she wouldn't actually do any of the signs! She knew them all but when it came time to film we were in a park with a hundred distractions and they were a little behind schedule which made it nap time by the time we got started. She did look adorable in her costume and had fun running around with a balloon (if you look really close on the show you might catch a glimpse of her). She was actually the youngest baby cast and she had to audition just like everyone else (but we're pretty sure she only made it because I slept with the VP of the production company- is that too much information?) Another bummer is that they had to cancel her second day of filming because of rain so she didn't even get a second shot to show her stuff! Oh, well. She did get to meet Rachel, whom she's actually met quite a few times at Chris' office, but this time she was wearing the official "Rachel" costume.

Piano Man

Last night Max had his annual Spring Piano Recital and he did so well. He has been taking Piano for 2 1/2 years now and I am so impressed with how far he has come this year in particular. Last night he played 2 pieces, "In the Hall of the Mountain King" and the theme from "Jurassic Park". He also earned a composer statue. He worked really hard for it and had to memorize terms, take a theory test, do extra performances and practice regularly in addition to some other things. We are grateful for everyone who came to support him, I know it meant a lot to him. Afterwards we enjoyed ice cream sundaes and root beer floats at my parents house.
Excellent job, Max! I am really proud of the effort you have put in this year. I hope you can see how it paid off and that you will continue to work even harder to develop this wonderful talent!
Max with his teacher, Aimee Ward.

What time is it? Summertime!

Yesterday our neighborhood had an end of school party in the park (it was the last day of school for our local school). It was a lot of fun and many of our neighbor friends were there. The kids enjoyed water guns, a slip 'n slide and even sprayed whipped cream all over each other! Max wasn't sure he wanted to go (he thought he was too old for this kind of thing) but he ended up having a blast. Fortunately there wee a few older kids there and he even had fun chasing a certain cute girl around. Abby was most in to the slip 'n slide and had fun showing off her skills. Even Afton got into it. She liked to play in the water the slip 'n slide shot up and watching the kids slide down. She didn't understand why everyone got mad at her for standing in the middle of the slip 'n slide and was not happy when I took her off. Oh well, nothing a warm towel and a popsicle can't fix! Everyone brought a picnic lunch and yummy treats to share... there were some awesome cookies I'm going to need to track down the recipes for! It was nice to sit in the sun and enjoy the company of some of the other moms, too. Of course, in weird Utah weather fashion, it was hot and sunny to start out and by the end it was raining...COLD rain! But, it was super fun while it lasted and a great way to kick of summer! Thanks for organizing it, Cami. I think this will become a fun tradition for our neighborhood.

Watch Out, Ladies!

Max is not happy with me right now. I MADE him get his haircut, literally. Ever since he was 4 and people told him he looked like Harry Potter he has insisted on long, shaggy hair and even taking him in for a trim was torture. Well, I gave him about a weeks warning and told him I was putting my foot down... we were cutting his hair really short for the summer! I explained that at almost 11, he was too old for the messy look and needed to look like a kid who cares about his appearance. We talked about the importance of putting his best out there for the world to see and what people think when they see a handsome young man as opposed to someone who looks like they just don't care. Besides, I told him, the ladies will love it! Anyway, it's been a couple days, I LOVE it, and I think it's growing on him. I did have to sit down and go through a magazine with him to show him how cool that style really is, though.


Last Wednesday Chris decided to work from home for the morning. Being the faithful "Daddy's Girl" that she is, Afton insisted on sitting right next to him for most of that time. When the phone rang and Chris answered it he was surprised to hear Afton on the other end. She had been playing with his cell phone (she's pretty much obsessed with phones right now... everything is a phone and she says "Hello" so cute and then has this whole long conversation with super funny facial expressions and everything) and accidentally called home (or was it an accident... maybe she's just a genius...hmmm?)! She thought it was pretty funny to have her Dad answer and talk to her and luckily I was sitting right there and had the camera handy to capture her cute face. 



We just had a really great Memorial Day weekend. We went up to the Zermatt Resort in Midway, Utah, one of the most beautiful places on earth. Midway is on our Top 5 list of places to live someday. Anyway, we'd been to the resort before and had a blast so we decided to head back up and we took Chris' parents with us this time.

Chris and his Dad went up a little after noon on Saturday and played golf at the Homestead and the kids and I, along with Chris' mom, left about 4:00. We got to the resort, checked in and got settled. After meeting up with Chris and his dad we walked around a little while and then had dinner at Matty's, right there at the resort. We were all pretty tired from a busy week so we decided to stay in for the night and play games and watch movies.

Abby and Afton cuddling up to watch a movie together.

Let the games begin... Chris and Max achieved world domination after combining forces and beating Grandma and Grandpa at Risk. Following the game they went out for ice cream while I put the baby to sleep and then we watchd the movie "Alvin and the Chipmunks".

Sunday morning: we enjoyed a delicious brunch at Schneitter's... way more food than you can ever eat and soooo good.  And look! The sun is shining (at least for now)! This is the kids with Chris' parents.

Riding on the carousel. Afton looks like she is having fun, but the minute it started moving she was not happy! She was just fine to sit out the next ride and watch the horses go around and cheer on the kids. This was probably her favorite thing there and she kept asking for the horses... as long as she didn't have to get on.

Max and Abby.

One of Max's favorite things at Zermatt is this giant Chess board. 
He actually beat Chris this time... which made him very happy!

While Chris and Max played chess we took the girls to play in the water fountain. Afton went nuts and was so cute, although she kept wanting to get in and go swimming!

Chris and his parents. We were so glad they were able to join us.

All the kids on top of the fountain. As soon as I took the picture Afton tried to jump in and was so quick that Max barely caught her in time!

Me and my cute girls. I think this is the only picture of me all weekend. 

Next we were off for a walk. It is so beautiful up there and everything is especially green right now because of all the rain. Next we went back to our room for naps and Chris' parents had to head home.

Following our naps we played a little golf. We didn't make it too long because it started to rain, but we had fun. Look how gorgeous that sky is! I took this picture just as it was starting to sprinkle because I knew it might be my only chance. Aren't the clouds amazing? And look how cute my family is!

Chris teaching the kids how to skip rocks while trying to keep Afton from walking right in to the lake. Abby didn't quite get it, but Max was able to get a few to skip.

After dinner at Matty's, again, we were off to the pool. This is what Abby wanted to do most all weekend. They have an indoor area and an outdoor area that are connected by this little passage that you swim through. They also like the inside jaccuzzi that has a big cliff with a water fall. (How funny is our one little blonde with all that dark hair!)

After swimming we went back to our room and got cleaned up and then watched another movie: "Vantage Point". It was really good and Max loved it, but I'm so glad that Abby fell asleep before it got too intense. We were so tired from such a busy day that we were all sound asleep by 10:00!

Monday morning we just got up, got packed and headed for home. We stopped at Sundance on the way down the mountain and had breakfast at the Foundry Grill. The drive down the Provo Canyon was absolutely amazing. With all the rain everything was so green and beautiful... it looked surreal. It was a great way to end a fun and relaxing family weekend.

I can't close this post without remembering all those who have gone before, especially those who have or are currently serving our country. We know that our lives would not be the same without the sacrifices they all made in our behalf and we are grateful for them.

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

The Little Gymnast

With all these pictures of Max doing plays you may wonder what Abby has been up to in her free time. Well, her chosen activity this past year has been gymnastics. This thrilled me, of course, because gymnastics was my thing as a little girl. My world revolved around it and, to this day, relatives tell stories of me flipping around the park or off furniture and scaring them all. But, enough about me (What? It's not all about me?). Abby did great and really progressed a lot. I hope she decides to do it again next Fall, but I think she's pretty set on Tae Kwon Do (which is great, too). Anyway, She took classes at All American Gymnastics, which is where I would train and compete when I spent the summers in Utah with my dad. Some of the coaches are still the same and some of them are kids I had class with! Crazy! These pictures were taken at her last class before summer and I love how serious she is trying to be for the camera. It reminds me of me when I was little. Every class was an Olympic competition... even if I was just doing a somersault! Forgive the blur... the lighting was really bad and I couldn't use my flash... some silly rule about blinding flying gymnasts.
Doing a backbend during warmups.
Just look at those straight arms and (almost straight) legs!

Cartwheel. I'm totally impressed with how well she does these...
on the left and the right!
Last September she could barely get those legs over.

Abby patiently waiting her turn.
And what a cool photo, if I do say so myself!

Vaulting away! I hated vault... I was afraid of it.
Not Abby, she ran right for it and flew on over!

Balance beam... she informed me this was a passe kick.
So cute how she uses the technical terms.


School is out!!

Today is the last day of school. Does it mean I'm a bad mom that I'm not super excited about it? Don't get me wrong, I love my kids, but the phrases "too much of a good thing" and "absence makes the heart grow fonder" keep running through my head. There are some things I am looking forward to: not having to get up and out the door on time, no making sack lunches, no driving carpool, no homework, no structure, freedom to do what we want, fun vacations, etc, but it's only been an hour and I'm already feeling like my space is being invaded. The true introvert in me is coming out and remembering that I really like peace and quiet and having my own time and space. So, here's to summer and hoping I survive it!

All that said, my kids had a great year. They loved their teachers and friends and both grew a lot. I am grateful they both enjoy school, do so well (Max even got an award for being on the High Honor Roll) and are able to go to such a great school. Believe it or not, they are already looking forward to next year (as am I, hee-hee, only 13 weeks to go!), and were actually sad that this year is over (I think Abby even cried).

Truthfully, I am really glad to have them around for the summer and we have some really fun things planned. It will be a wild and crazy summer and then the baby is due. Having them home to keep me busy will help it go faster... and I do enjoy their company.


Soak up the Sun!

Warning: WAY too many pictures ahead (I couldn't help it!)
If you've been following my blog at all you know how unhappy I have been with the way Mother Nature has been treating us this Spring. Well, my girl finally came through, and with a bang. After weeks of temps in the 50's and 60's, rain, wind and even snow, it was suddenly in the high 80's! No warning, no transition, nothing. Not that I'm complaining... I'll totally take it... and love it! So, what's a mom to do when the sun is finally shining? I went straight to the grocery store and purchased a top of the line $14.99 plastic pool at Smith's. The kids were thrilled!! Seriously, you would have thought it was Christmas. So, here's to cheap plastic pools, sprinklers, sun and the promise that summer is finally coming! (After we have the forecasted very cold and rainy Memorial Day Weekend!)

Check out those eyelashes!

Sorry... it's Afton's first time with one of these little pools so, like the dutiful scrap booking mom I am, I took about 50 pictures just of her. Can you blame me? Look how adorable she is! They turned out so cute that I had a hard time choosing which ones to post. I did make them as small as I could so they would take up less space and, as always, you can click on the images to see them bigger.

There is nothing like a little sun and water to help your kids get along. Max and Abby could have played for hours in the sprinklers. They made up these crazy games where they were spies rescuing people and the sprinkler was a portal or secret passage or something. Afton was their commander and the little pool was headquarters. They would come ask her what to do and she would give them a blank stare and say "yeah" and then laugh as they ran off. They also loved doing tricks through the sprinkler and Afton loved watching them.

As a mom it's so nice to have these moments every now and then... moments of laughing and playing and enjoying each other. I wish they came along more often. I guess that truly is the magic of water.


Look, HAIR!

Finally, at 20 months old, Afton has HAIR! 
And it's blowing in the wind! 
And today she woke up from her nap with bedhead!
My dreams of ribbons and bows may come true sooner than I thought!