Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Silliness

Making silly noises and faces with Daddy
 
Taysum wanted his picture taken eating lunch
And Bailey didn't want to be left out either

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Memorable Memorial Day Weekend

All day long, Taysum was convinced that he needed to make a surf board.  I put him off, saying we'd talk to Daddy about it when he got home.  So, after Celeste's party, Ken took the kids into the garage, found an odd piece of wood and cut out, sanded and painted surfboards with them!  That man never ceases to amaze me!  The kids had a blast and I was able to finish up my garden barrels!




Even Hayden got a little one!
Saturday morning they had a great time catching some waves!

Taysum insisted that it was a "beautiful summer day and that they needed to go swimming.  It was still pretty chilly, but we broke out the hose and pool and let them run around for a bit.
That afternoon, we decided to go on a hike into Cottonwood Canyon.  I remember going once when I was really young, but that's it.  Ken went with the scouts once and really enjoyed it, and it's really close, too.  The kids did great and they really loved it!  We were really proud of Taysum for walking the whole way!  It was very beautiful and a perfect day for it!

The runoff was unbelievable!


I just love those cute Cutler kids!
They wanted to climb some "BIG" rocks!
We found a nice little spot to stop and rest and eat our snack we had packed.

One of our plastic bags got away from us and got caught in a tree.  The good boy scout that he is, Ken threw rocks at it until he got it down.  It was pretty entertaining to watch! ;)
The kids were throwing, too...

This Memorial Day, was the best Memorial Day I've experienced.  We usually have a nice time getting together with family, listening to patriotic music, putting out the flag, saying the pledge of allegiance, etc.  However, this year, I went to one of the Memorial services they have in our area each year.  My Dad is usually asked to participate and this is the first year I've made it to one.  It was raining, but not too badly and it added to the peace and solemnity of the occasion.  I had my umbrella and shared it with a stranger.  I was really proud of my Dad!  They have three services, one in each of the cemeteries in the area.  I attended the one in Cowley where my great Uncle Ed was recently buried; he was in the service.  Later, Ken attended the one in Lovell as a representative of the Boy Scouts.  My nephew CJ came in his Cub Scout uniform and he was on the front page of our local paper.

One of the school choirs sang as well.  They did a great job.
Our Color Guard.  A member of our bishopric, Bro. Thomas led the color guard (he's holding the rifle) and my Aunt Meg provided a marching cadence as the drum corp.
The rifle salute was provided by members of our local guard (3 or 4 of whom are our neighbors, the Hisers).

"On behalf of a grateful nation..." my Dad presented the traditional bouquet of red poppies to those who gave their lives that we might enjoy the blessed lives we've been given.

It was such a moving program and I was surprised at how deeply it stirred my soul.  It was a bittersweet mixture of emotions: pride, sadness, loss and hope all at the same time!  When I got home, we had our own little Memorial Day service.  We put up our flag, sang "My Country 'Tis of Thee", said the pledge and a prayer.  I was so glad we were able to share this with our kids!


 
The rest of the day was spent preparing for a family dinner together that night. We and the Lindsays all met together at my parents' house and it was a really nice time just being together!  That night when we got home, the kids colored some Memorial Day coloring sheets my dad had printed off for them.  Then Taysum sang this song for us.

video 
I am so humbled and thankful to be so blessed to live in this wonderful nation.  She certainly has been struggling as of late, but I still "stand beside her."  I'm so thankful to be able to raise my family here.  I'm so thankful to all those who have given their time and lives to make that possible!  I'm so proud of my Grandpa Garrick, my Dad, my Father-in law, my Great-Uncle Ed, my Uncle Rick, and Ken's Great-Uncle Robin, who gave his life in Vietnam.  I'm sure I have a few other relatives who are in the service and I am thankful for them as well.  What a great country we are privileged to live in!  "In God we [still] trust" and may "God Bless America!"

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Garden in a Bucket

In front of our house, there are four large barrels.  Every year I want to put flowers in them... but it never quite works out how I planned.  So, this year, I decided to plant our "garden" in them!  I planted beans, potatoes, pumpkins and zucchini (things I thought would be easy to grow).  I was nervous, because I've never been very good with plants, but it's been a very rewarding experience!  Step one was to clear out all the weeds:
Before
After
Before

After

I moved this planter by our door and planted flowers.  I planted pansies, because that's one of my favorites.

Before

After
 
This experience has been wonderful so far!  It's taught me a lot about hope and the reward of hard work!  I feel more connected to my parents and grandpa also, because they were such great gardeners!  I'm excited to see what happens!

Called to Serve

My "baby brother" Tyler is going on a mission!  He was called to the Chile, Concepcion Mission--to serve two years for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!  He'll be learning Spanish!  The cool thing about it being in Chile is our Uncle David served there.  We are so proud of Tyler's decision to serve!  We're so thankful for the wonderful example he is to us and especially to our children.  We love you, Uncle Tyler!

It was a such a great experience to be there when he opened his call.  We were all together at Lindsay's house celebrating Celeste's birthday.  Tyler had received his call in the mail that morning.  I think it was probably one of the hardest things he's had to do, but he waited the whole day until we were all together that evening before he opened it!  Even Matt and Megan joined us over Skype! :)

Drum roll, please...
video
Something wasn't quite working with the volume, so Ty had to read it again so Matt and Megan could hear. ;)
A picture of the brothers!  (And Megan)
The gray area is the Chile Concepcion Mission area... it's a pretty large mission!
 
He will enter the Provo MTC August 31st.  He can hardly wait to go!  I know he will be a great missionary and that the people will love him for his kindness and service.  I know he will work hard and do what it takes to do his part to serve the Lord, Jesus Christ.  We love you, Tyler!

Last Days of Kindergarten

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that Taysum was in Kindergarten this year; now it's over and we're halfway through the summer before he's a first grader! 
The last week of school was just one big party it seemed!  They went on a field trip to the zoo, to the library, to a movie, they had a fun day sports day, they went swimming, and all sorts of fun things!  And all in the rain, too! :)  They had a good time even though it was pretty wet!


Yes... it was wet and cold enough he needed his heavy coat!

First Day

Last Day
Thanks for a great year, Mrs. Floy!
 
Ken and I had a hard time deciding whether to have Taysum move on to Kindergarten this year or not.  He's pretty young in his age group, and we weren't sure if he was socially ready.  We know now we made the right decision!  We are so proud of how far he's come and how well he's done!  It certainly wasn't easy, but he did his best and made it through the year!  We couldn't be happier with all he's accomplished!