33 years ago today...

...I was born. Happy Birthday to me! Thanks to my parents for bringing me into this world and raising me so well, my sweet husband for loving me and spending the rest of his life and eternity with me, my children for being so awesome and completing my life, and everyone else who has loved and supported me along the way. It has been a wonderful 33 years and I look forward to many more!

Wish You Were Here!

We're on Vacation! And we're having a blast! It's only been 3 days so far and we have fit enough in for a week! We made the drive from Utah to California on Wednesday. We made excellent time and were grateful for the new In & Out in St. George (cheaper gas, not as crowded and icky, much quicker than Las Vegas). The kids traveled great and we arrived at Grammy and Grandpa's house in record time. So, we decided to use our time well and get started on the fun!

Fashion Island

Wednesday (6/25)... This has always been one of our favorite places... even when I was a little girl. We decided to come here because the kids had been trapped in the car all day and we figured it was a good place or them to run around and release some pent up energy. We started with dinner at California Pizza Kitchen (we know there is one in Utah now, but it's not the same without an ocean view). Then we rode the carousel and played in the fountain. It was freezing cold but the kids had a blast. Afton wasn't quite as sure about it and it took her a while to get into it... besides the fact that she had to keep cuddling with dad to warm up. On the way home we drove through the neighborhood we lived in when Abby was born and also drove by the Newport Beach Temple. It was a great way to spend the evening and start our trip!

Universal Studios

Thursday (6/26)... If you've never been to Universal Studios you should definitely try it (better for older kids). I had been once when I was maybe 10 but didn't remember much about it and no one else had ever been. When we lived here we had Disney passes and decided we really wanted to try something new. The kids actually did the research and picked this park... and they chose well. It was a great day. The weather was perfect, the lines were short (5-15 minutes TOPS!) everyone was on their best behavior and we got to do everything we wanted to. It's not a very big park so you don't feel like you have to rush to do a million things and it's only open until 8 pm so you don't feel obligated to stay, even though you're exhausted, just to get your moneys worth. Definitely something we would like to do again.

Balboa Island

Friday (6/27)... we slept in to recover from our very fun day yesterday. We spent the evening with my mom and went down to lovely Balboa Island in Newport Beach. Another thing you should definitely do if you are ever visiting the area. It is such a cute little place and totally "Southern California". And it was seriously the most beautiful night. We rode the ferry, walked the pier, had dinner at Ruby's (one of our favorites... excellent shakes), and rode the Ferris Wheel. When we got home Nana played cards with the kids, which they love to do. It was an awesome night and we loved spending time with my mom.


Second Chance

Afton got a second chance to film for "Baby Signing Time". They are almost done with the editing and just needed a few more shots to fill in some gaps. So they called us and came to film on Thursday night. She did great this time. I think it helped that we were on her turf, there were no other kids around, and Chris got to be in some of the shots with her.They started in her bedroom where she stood in her crib and signed "good night", "stars" and "moon". They had stars projected on the wall and she thought they were so cool. She was so cute and animated until she figured out she could jump in her bed then that was way more fun. So, Chris pulled her out and they did some sweet "goodnight kiss" shots where they gave each other hugs and kisses and did the signs again.Then we were off to the backyard where they had a little camping scene set up and they looked at the stars and did the same signs again. You can sort of see her signing "stars" in this picture. She looked so adorable and had so much fun.

I'm actually surprised she did so well. They didn't start filming until 30 minutes past her bedtime and it took about an hour and a half so I thought she'd never make it. But she did awesome and fell fast asleep the minute they were done.

Abby's Birthday Celebrations!

While at the family reunion in Flaming Gorge, my mom surprised all of the June and July birthday people with cupcakes and gifts. Of course the focus was on the kids and they loved their little "Surprise Party". Thanks so much, Mom!
After enjoying Father's Day dinner we had a little birthday celebration for Abby and my niece, Lizzie, who was turning 3 years old the day after Abby. Of course they had cute gifts and Abby loves the Strawberry Shortcake doll and horse they gave her.
The actual day! Abby shares her birthday with her cousin McKenna Higbee. They were born just 4 hours apart and have loved telling everyone they are "twin cousins" ever since. (It's actually a very interesting story if you ever want to hear it... long story short: McKenna was very late and Abby was 6 weeks early... we decided they must have been up in heaven plotting how they could get here at the same time!) Lucky for us McKenna was visiting from California so we celebrated together and we celebrated big!
We started with a little pampering... a day at the salon that ended with matching fingers and toes!
Then we had a delicious dinner with both families at Tepinyaki (I have absolutely no idea how to spell that!)
The whole gang after stuffing ourselves way too much.
Next we were off to the park for cake, ice cream and swimming with all the Higbee family. The girls had a blast and were so cute.
We are grateful to everyone who came and for all the awesome gifts. Abby has had a great time playing with them all the last few days.
Abby loved swimming with all her cousins and jumping of the diving board. She could have stayed there all night.

What a great way to celebrate... it truly was a birthday week! I can hardly believe she is 7!! She is growing up way too fast and I am so proud of the wonderful little girl that she is. Happy Birthday Abby! We love you so much!


New Life

For those of you who don't live near us I'll give a little background. We live in a very small town... there is one stoplight. In order to get pretty much anywhere you have to "go into town", which involves at least 20 minutes on winding back roads just to get to the freeway... then add the time to get to your destination. Most people don't like this fact but put up with it to live in a beautiful rural place. I, however, love it! Especially in the spring. It is actually one of my favorite things. Why? You may ask. Especially when anyone who knows me well knows that I hate to drive. Well, this is why: I LOVE the animals. I love it when Spring arrives and I look for all the baby horses, baby cows and baby sheep (I know, they have technical terms for these beautiful little creatures, but I'm from California and didn't grow up around animals and that's what my kids and I like to call them). Anyway, I memorize where they all are, give them names, watch their growth and sometimes stop to take pictures like these:Yesterday as Chris and I were driving along the back roads we noticed this BRAND NEW baby horse. I t was just barely getting up and starting to walk. It was all wobbly and so adorable. Luckily I had my camera so I made Chris pull over so I could snap a few shots of my new favorite creature. I only got one or two okay shots before the little guy started to nurse and then that's all it would do. So sweet!As we were leaving the owners were heading out with some ropes... I'm assuming they take the mother and baby away until the baby is a little older. I'll keep my eyes open and try to get some better pictures when they are back.


History Lesson

On the way home from Flaming Gorge we stopped in Vernal to visit the Temple. It is an old tabernacle that was refurbished and made into a temple a few years ago. We were interested in seeing it because Chris' great grandfather helped build it and actually built the towers with the help of his sons (ie. Chris' grandpa). It was cool to share this history with our kids... and even cooler because this was the first time Chris had ever seen it.
One more fun historical fact... that area of Utah is well known for the dinosaur bones that have been found there. Well, Chris' great grandfather is actually credited with finding the very first one! He was plowing in his field one day and hit a big "rock". He had to dig it out in order to continue plowing and found something he was sure was not a rock. They called in the experts who verified it was a dinosaur bone and they dug in that area for a long time after that finding lots more. Next time we are in the area we will need to go to the dinosaur museum and see what else we can learn!


Reunion in Flaming Gorge

What a blast. We literally had the best time! We are so glad so many people were able to come and thought it was the perfect week! I made this little slide show... it's my first time doing one. It was so hard to narrow 269 pictures down to 50! Painful for someone like me. I tried to pick them so everyone is represented. Sorry there are so many of my kids, but hey, it was my camera. We love you all and can't wait to do it again!

Daily Highlights-
Wednesday: Arrived just in time for dinner, getting settled and visiting.
Thursday: Boating!! Canoes and paddle boats were the favorites. Part of the group enjoyed horseback riding. Fishing. Hot Dogs and S'mores for dinner. More visiting.
Friday: River Rafting... 'Nuf said! Visiting again.
Saturday: More horseback riding. Brave ones went kayaking down the river. Rock Painting and a real treasure hunt for the kids. Even more visiting.
Sunday: Father's Day. Hated saying goodbye and can't wait to do it again.

Overall Highlights-
Having Grammy and Grandpa there. Cousins who don't see each other often becoming instant best friends. Evening Campfires.
Tree Climbing. Baby Birds and other wildlife. The view. Games, Games, and more Games. Children literally putting themselves to bed because they were so exhausted. Being together.

Thanks for the Memories.

Happy Father's Day

I know I'm a day late... we were on an awesome vacation (I'll post it as soon as I crawl out from under this mountain of laundry and I figure out how to condense 269 pictures into an interesting post... hopefully later tonight). We had a great Father's Day. We actually gave Chris his gift early... he went on an awesome river rafting trip with "the guys" last month and had a great time. Yesterday we were able to see 3 of the 4 living fathers/grandfathers: My grandpa (through my mom) was with us on our vacation, we had dinner with my dad and then we visited with Chris' dad. We missed seeing my other grandpa (through my dad)... so Happy Father's Day to you! We want everyone to know how much we love and appreciate you. You are all so important to us and we are grateful to have you in our lives. We also want to recognize those that have already passed away for the impact they had on our lives as well. We know we wouldn't be where we are today without the sacrifices of our ancestors. So, again, Happy Father's Day to all of you!
All of us with my dad, Reed J. Farnsworth. 
(You're on my blog again, Dad!)
All of us with Chris' Dad, J. Marvin Higbee.
The best dad in the whole world... I hope my children realize how lucky they are to have such a great dad. He truly is amazing and I feel blessed to be his wife. Happy Father's Day to you, especially! (And I'm not just being nice to make up for that last post!)


My husband is hot...

...and he just keeps getting hotter, which is probably a good thing since I'm pretty much stuck with him at this point. While at the pool the other night the light was so good and, let's face it, even I can only take so many pictures of my kids in the pool, so I shifted my focus to my super cute sweetheart.

I love how the light hits his face. He looks so peaceful and you can just catch a glimpse of that very sexy 5 o' clock shadow.

Check out those smoldering eyes giving me the "come hither" look... MMMmmm! How could I ever say no?

I love his quiet confidence... absolutely iresistable.

And then 

he did

(wait for it)


And I'll just leave you with that lovely image. 
Please, feel free to click on the image to see it larger.
Have a nice day!


We LOVE the Browns!

Chris and I have known Derek and Emilie Brown since before we were married. Chris actually met them while they were all in Young Ambassadors at BYU together. They got married right before Chris and I started dating and so we double dated a lot during our dating/engagement/newlywed time. We even traveled together and Derek played piano for our wedding reception (he's amazing). It has been fun to stay in contact throughout the years as we have all moved around the country... sending Christmas cards, emails, and even getting together when we all happened to be in the same city. Well, we've all been back in Utah for almost 3 years now and Chris is even working for the company that Emilie started with her sister Rachel (see link to the right for Signing Time). It has been so fun to hang out with each other again and for our kids to become friends.

Anyway, Derek and Emilie were staying at the Snowbird Resort and invited us to come spend some time with them. So, yesterday we took the day to relax! The kids swam (even though it was way colder than we thought it would be... there was still a lot of snow on the ground), then we went to dinner and watched a movie. We definitely need to do more together. Thanks so much for inviting us... we had a blast !
Zack and Abby... they are about 10 moths apart and love to play together. They both make up the wildest games!
Alex and Max... these two are totally cut from the same cloth. They have the same interests and get along so well. They are about 6 months apart and first played together as babies. Every time they get together they just pick up where they left off.
All the kids... Abby, Zack, Afton, Alex, and Max. Afton actually looks more like one of their kids then ours with those blue eyes and light hair. She was so funny... all day she was so obsessed with Alex because he's THE Alex from "Signing Time." She would follow him around and sit on his lap and kept calling him "Alex and Leah" like it is in the song. It was funny because she has spent time with him before but this was the first time she was old enough to make the connection. 
The original four... I wish I had a picture of us all way back when I could post with this one (actually I do, but it's not digital and I don't really know how to work my scanner. Maybe I'll get Chris to show me how and add it later). It would be pretty funny.

Summer Tradition

Last Thursday was the first swimming/BBQ night with my family over at my Dad's and brother's houses. This is one of our favorite things to do in the summer and something we always look forward to. We had a lot of fun and look forward to the next time! Sorry to anyone who isn't pictured... that's what you get when you leave early.
If there was ever a baby who loves to swim it's Afton. This little girl can't get enough of the pool and will stay in it as long as we're willing to let her. She even pretends she's swimming in the bathtub (I guess all kids do that at some point, but she signs it so it's even cuter!) This pool is perfect for her because they have a kiddie pool just deep enough for her to stand in and safe enough for us to sit on the side, watch her float and reach in and grab her if we need to. And it's even covered so we don't have to worry about sunburns. The light was perfect for taking pictures... I love how this one of her in the towel turned out (I actually took a ton and love them all, but this is my favorite... nothing like sunset for great photo light).

Abby had fun playing with Afton... 
I'm not sure how much fun Afton was having.

Abby's favorite thing about the pool is the slide. They totally remodeled it after last summer so now it is really cool rock with a waterfall. She also loves to play with her cousins and Aunt Aubrey and sometimes likes it when her uncles throw her really high into the air! She is becoming a better swimmer every year!

Max is quite the swimmer. He especially enjoys playing under the waterfall and making up secret games. He also likes being rough with the big boys, getting dunked and thrown in the pool.

Abby and Max with my little sister, Aubrey.
My cute nephews, Taylor and Ben.
My not so little (I think he is the tallest of all 5 boys) younger brother, Peter, and my Dad (see Dad... you ARE on my blog!)

This is my brother, Luke, looking very cool in his awesome shades and... um... interesting beard!

Beauty Sleep

Not much to say... I took this picture last Sunday. Afton had fallen asleep on the way home from church so I put her on the chair in the living room while I made lunch for the kids real quick. When I went back to take her to bed this is how I found her. I don't usually take sleeping pictures, but the headband over the eyes made me laugh so I couldn't resist.