Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Music

 A wonderful man in our ward, Brother Merrill Lofthouse, tries to get some musical talent together every so often to work on a piece to play in Sacrament Meeting. Here are Colin and Allie Franz playing violin while Brother Lofthouse works with them on nailing a part of the song.

Colin's 13th Birthday

Colin is officially a teenager. Hard to believe we are parents of a teen. Five more years and he'll be graduated and going on a mission. This life sure flies by.

 He's been asking (and asking and asking) if he could get an iPod Touch. Apparently, we are a couple of the few parents who have not allowed their child at the ripe old age of 12 to have one. The 12 year-old has expressed much frustration over this. Even the day before his birthday, he questioned me, with much consternation, as to whether his dream might come true.
Chad took Colin, Micah, and Orion to Trafalga Fun Center for some birthday fun

 At breakfast on 9 May, he was greeted by muffins, bacon (someone loooves bacon!), fruit, and hot chocolate made on the stove (another request of his). Streamers donned the ceiling, confetti was on the table. He received his first rhyming clue to his birthday gift. And oh! what joy when he discovered that it was an iPod Touch. And he was spoiled by his grandparents! Grandma and Grandpa Barnett, and Aunt Amber took him out to the Black Bear Diner for lunch, and then shopping at his favorite store, Rue 21. He got the shoes, jeans, (and necklace) pictured above. A week later, Grandma and Grandpa Miller took him out to Texas Roadhouse, and he got a few shirts, again from Rue 21. This boys loves fashion.

Liberty Park

 Colin had a tennis match (in the heat of the day, poor thing!) at Liberty Park. The rest of us brought a picnic lunch and then played. We ended up at the pond first. No one had planned to get into the water. It's full of fish and ducks. But it was so hot, the older three finally eased themselves in.

The real fun began when they discovered all the algae (or seaweed, as they called it). Having the creative minds they do, they decided it would be great to make clothes out of it. They went around, gathering all the algae they could. They worked with determination. I sat back to watch, amused.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Independence Day!

 Chad totally won brownie points when he took the kids to the Independence Day parade on Redwood Road with Aunt Amber. It was roasting hot. The kids love to get their faces painted (well, until they get older). The girls even had me paint their nails to be patriotic.

 And Colin. Oh, Colin. This boy has been counting down to this day. Since, like, Halloween. I think he said this is his favorite holiday. He had fireworks he'd saved since last year. And he was saving money to buy more. But then something wonderful happened! He was offered a position at the TNT tent on 6200 S 4800 W. We were just checking out fireworks when we got to chatting with the owner, Paul Diamond. He learned how much into fireworks Colin was, and asked if he'd like to work there! Talk about stoked! He worked for several days, earned some good money, and used some of it to buy a bunch of other fireworks.
 Matthew and the girls were looking forward to the events to come!
 And my Micah. Trying to get a picture of him. He was being so funny.

 Here he is, typical. Trying so hard not to smile. Biting his cheeks. But I win!
We had a great barbeque. Grandma Miller came down for it. That evening, we headed over for the neighborhood barbeque and fireworks at the Pearce's. It was a great time. Fun had by all.

Micah's Alaska Float

 Micah prepared well for report and float on Alaska. He learned many things.

Fast Facts
  • Date of Statehood: January 3, 1959
  • Capital: Juneau
  • Largest City: Anchorage

Did You Know

Its bloodiest battle was at Attu.
It is the largest state in the Union.
Its flag was created by a boy Benny Benson, and has the Big Dipper and North Star.

Barnett Visit and Matthew's 4th Birthday

 We were so excited to have Uncle Blake, Aunt Maren, and the cousins come to stay for a few days! We always love being with them. The kids have a great time together. And the adults enjoy our time together.

 We took them to the playground by the Ron Wood ballpark. I just love this picture!

 Opening gifts. Matthew got an ant farm and bug collecting kit from Grandma and Grandpa Miller, a pool with sand toys from Grandma and Grandpa Barnett, Spiderman walkie-talkies from Uncle Blake and Aunt Maren, and a plush suction cup-handed Spiderman toy and Spiderman beach towel from Mom and Dad.

 Matthew's face here cracks me up. He looks like the Joker with the blueberry stain around his mouth.
 We went with Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Amber, and the gang to the new Curiosity Museum at Thanksgiving Point. Grandma and Grandpa paid for the older kids to do the ropes course, which was really awesome.

 We will have to go back and discover more another time. We didn't even get to it all. The outdoors looked so fun, and Matthew had a blast cooling off in the water.
 That evening, we went back and celebrated Matthew's birthday. Love this picture of the cousins!
 Grandma and Grandpa Miller came down for the birthday. We had a piƱata with lots of candy, and gift bags with silly string.

 Our sweet boy. He really wanted a Spiderman cake.
What is Matthew like these days?
*He believes whatever Micah tells him: dragons hatching from egg-shaped rocks, magic marks (tatoo-like drawings with pen on his body), magic tricks, etc.
*He expects Mom to read books to him every night. I love this time. Mira and sometimes Ella will join us. We try to get everyone situated so that we can all see. He loves his library books.
*Wrestling on the floor with Dad and Mom is one of the most fun things. Sometimes he'll come up and just say, "Let's wrestle!" He likes to tangle on the floor, rolling around, trying to be the man to come out on top.
*Matthew loves electronics. Not a day goes by that he is not asking to play Minecraft, watch a Minecraft video, play Temple Run, Geometry Dash, 2048, etc. I'll often have to delay this by saying, "After lunch you may play." He isn't usually happy with that answer.
*Mama's boy!
*He's starting to read simple words. But when we prod him to try to read, many times he'll just want us to do the work. But he is learning!
*He sleeps with Jack almost every night. He likes that.
*He is a trampoline jumping boy. Shooting hoops, playing Poison Ball, just jumping. It can be in the heat of the day and he wants Mom or Dad to jump. Chad has been good to jump whenever he can. I like to wait until it's a little cooler.
*He's just learned to pump on the swings all by himself. It's pretty great.
*He is still a very picky eater. We offer him a variety, but he has decided beforehand that it is not good.
*His favorite foods are peanut butter and jelly or honey on bread or tortillas, cut into triangles; blueberries; strawberries; pancakes; broccoli; peas; cinnamon toast; plain pasta or rice; hot chocolate; applesauce; cereal.
*He loves playing pretend with his siblings using the swords we have. Like he's in Minecraft using his diamond or iron sword.
*When he gets excited, he does the cutest little jump up and down happy dance.
*His friends right now are Phoenix and Alyssa Badger, and Kyle Harris. In fact, just today he played with Alyssa for 7 hours straight!
*Matthew enjoys playing in the water. He loves having a watering can in his hand, and being toted around in the water.

We love our snug little bug in a rug.