Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin carving...

Each year the kids get to go to the local pumpkin patch for a school field trip and pick out a pumpkin.  So for the last few weeks, almost nightly, they have been begging us if we could carve their prized pumpkins.  On Wednesday we finally agreed.  So,  Nathan, Aubrey and Emily designed what each of their pumpkins would look like and David did the carving.  I was the general picture taker/ keeper of hands away from knives/ assistant designer/ and runner to store when Emilys' pumpkin was already half-rotted.  It was a pretty fun evening, yet exhausting.  Glad it was done, and looking forward to three little jack-o-lanterns sitting on my porch tonight, all lit up and greeting the trick-o-treaters.  So here are some shots of the carving...
 Getting started on the carving...
 Aubrey, making a scene about the pumpkin guts.  Look at that face! And just imagine the noise behind it.  She sure loves drama.....
 Betsy and Jay playing with the lids.
Designing the face.

They all turned out pretty cute.  I will post another pic of the pumpkins, and the kids all dressed up and ready for trick-o-treating next time!!

Family Fall Frolic

Two weekends ago our family took an impromptu drive toward Sunrise Ski Resort. The weather was wonderful, and the kids had a great time running, climbing and getting dirty. I got some pretty great pictures of the afternoon....
 Unplanned, unposed, and unbelievably cute.
 Nathan and Aubrey doing what they do best.  Climbing trees...
 Emily playing monkey.
 Jay, balancing along a huge downed tree.
 Betsy, being her usual happy self.
 David and I, courtesy of Nathan.
 My three most favorite boys in the whole wide world.
 Me, with my three beautiful girlies.
My five kiddos.  Aubrey, Jay, Emily, Nathan and Betsy.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Life going on....

Life has gone on quickly over the last month.  I have taken few pictures, and have blogged about them even less.  Now that the infamous trip to Nauvoo is said and done, things have started getting busier... (why is it that just knowing that the holidays are coming makes everything go into warp speed??)  So here you have it, the happenings since September 10th.....
Here is a random, but sweet shot of my husband doing what he does best:  Being a wonderful daddy.  He had just returned home from another few days away for work, and all the kids were thrilled to see him.  We love it when daddy is home!!
Nathan has been working hard at Cub Scouts and has a great time at it!  Here we are at Pack Meeting last month.  Nathan received his Wolf Badge, and is officially now a Bear.  I still don't understand what half of it all means with Scouting, but I am proud of my Nathan for doing so well, learning so much, and advancing into Bears! Oh, and I got a kiss!  Which isn't happening as much anymore, since he is getting older.  Sniff, sniff....

A month or so ago, a random white kitten wandering into our yard and decided to stay.  I am not a cat fan, in fact I pretty much hate cats, but Aubrey took an INSTANT liking to it, named it 'Snowball', and sufficiently smothered, tortured and never let it go.  This is the only picture I took of the cat.  It stuck around for a few weeks and then disappeared one night as randomly as it appeared.  I was more then okay with it moving on, as was the dogs.  Aubrey was a little sad, but seemed to get over it quick enough.
 Every year during Fire Prevention Week, our fire station opens its doors to the public and gives tours, demonstrations, and serves dinner (hot dogs).  We went last year and the kids enjoyed it.  We decided to go again this year.  The kids had a good time eating their dinner (and I enjoyed not having to make it!), and bouncing in a little bounce house they had set up.  Aubrey won a free smoke detector and glowsticks.  It was hard keeping track of all five kids in that crowd all by myself, but we all made it back home in one piece!  This might have to become a tradition...
 Last week Nathan proved yet again how smart and wonderful he is.  We went to Snowflake Intermediate for an awards ceremony.  Nathan was presented a perfect attendance award (no absents or tardies).  I am not the type of mom that insists that my kids go to school with pnemonia just so they can get perfect attendance, but I am proud of Nathan for loving school, and wanting to be there!  Good job!
 But this is even better!!  Nathan has done SO well in school this year.  He was given the Superintendents List Certificate.  That means that he has kept all his grades at or above 95% or A+.  He is such a great kid, and I love him so much!  WONDERFUL JOB! Visions of valedictorian are dancing in my head.  Smartie pants....
Just a few days ago I went in for Parent/Teacher Conferences.  Each of my kids are doing wonderful in school.  Nathan is at the top of his class (notice the above picture..), Aubrey is doing great and is very well behaved, and Emily is a sweet, wonderful student.  LOVE THAT.  Great job my little scholars! =)

So there is the quick version of the happenings of  the last 6 or 7 weeks.  Life goes on....

Monday, October 10, 2011

The rest of the story...

In an effort to finally get our trip to Nauvoo finished, blogged about and documented, I am going to do a HUGE post, full of pictures, and then be done with it!  I have much more to blog about that has happened since our Nauvoo trip, so I gotta get this done!
 Here is David and I under the bridge that was one of the original drainage sources that helped drain the swamp land of Nauvoo.
 At the end of Parley Street on the banks of the Mississippi River.  The raft behind us is what many of the saints put their wagons across the river on.
 I got to be the helper at the JK Browning gun shop.  This was by far one of my favorite places in Nauvoo. 
 Going on the oxen ride.  We also got to visit a lot with the Don and Karen Parker, who are also serving in Nauvoo on their mission.  They are a wonderful couple that are in our ward from Snowflake.  Elder Parker actually was part of the team that led the oxen for our little ride.  He and David go way back.  Elder Parker was also his drafting teacher in high school.
 Standing in front of the mansion house.  We didn't have the opportunity to go inside, but we wandered around the area and also saw the Red Brick Store, and the grave sites of Joseph, Hyrum and Emma. 
 Me and my parents at the Old Nauvoo Cemetery.  So many old headstones, and so many unmarked graves of faithful saints who died while in Nauvoo.
 At the Family Living Center.  My dad gave us a demo on making rope, barrels and showed us how they made rugs at a loom.  My mom gave us a presentation on how to make cloth, and bread in the bustle ovens.
 This is a self-taken picture of us outside the Nauvoo temple after our session.  No one around, so David got to strech his arm out good.
 We got to go to the play Rendezvous and watch my parents act.  It was WONDERFUL!  My dad is a natural, and my mom sings like an angel.  So fun to see them in action!
We bid a fond farewell to Nauvoo and headed toward the airport to go home on Friday morning.  We made a detour to Springfield, IL where we took some tours around many Abraham Lincoln sites.  We saw his tomb, old house, the courthouse, his law firm, and went to the amazing large museum all about him and his time as president, his assassination, and his family history.

No more pictures, but we flew home out of Peoria, IL to Mesa, AZ.  We finally landed and got into Mesa over 4 hours late {LONG STORY!!} and slept well at my sister Heidi's house.  The next morning my wonderful sisters all took me out to breakfast for my birthday.  We went to Crackers and enjoyed a quick meal.  David and I then headed northeast toward home, and our five little kiddos.  We were really starting to miss them and it was wonderful to get home and have them back in my arms. 

So there you have.  The very shortened, very condensed finale of our trip to Nauvoo.  And for next time, all the weeks and activities of the rest of September up til now...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

NAUVOO! Part One

It has officially been one month and a day since we left on our week long trip to Nauvoo.  My memory fades fast with as much as goes on in this house, so I better get this post done, and trip completed, before it gets forgotten!
So, here are my wonderful parents just returning home from their performance in Rendezvous. It was absolutely wonderful seeing and spending time with them! 

Early the next morning my dad, David and I drove to Carthage Jail.  Just being there was overwhelming.  Standing at the window, touching the bullet hole in the door, walking up the stairs.  I stood at the window upstairs, looking down to the ground with tears rolling down my cheeks.  Our prophet was murdered and fell from that very spot.  The spirit was strong, yet the feeling of peace was great.  Such a sad, yet sacred place.

 This is one of only two sun stones that were on the original Nauvoo Temple.  They look so small up high on the building, but it was pretty big and solid.  And such talent to carve it with so much detail. 

And here is my dad, working at the black shop, as part of his tour.  He took us through the tour, and because we happened to be the only people there, gave me the small horseshoe they make as part of the presentation.  It was so neat to see my dad, in his role as a missionary.  He does such a great job, and has a wonderful time doing it.

 Later that evening my parents took us out to eat in a neighboring town to a yummy Mexican restaurant, and on our way back, we stopped at 'Davids Chamber' and walked around a while.  Here is a pic of us on the bridge. 
There is SO much more, but don't have anymore time right now.  So stay tuned....