Sunday, May 31, 2015


Let me just say that there are good things and bad things about Facebook.  This time of the year, when all my friends in Arizona are already out of school for the summer and we still have weeks left, Facebook can be a bit depressing (although I relish in it when they all head back to school and we still have lots of summer vacation left).  In any case, we still have two weeks left of school.  I am doing my best to keep my head in the game, but it is getting hard, really hard.

Thankfully, we had Memorial day on Monday and have had some extra time to get out and do some fun things.  We have also been trying to squeeze fun in to every spare moment here and there.  Over the last week we have been on several bike rides, been to the park a few times, played some soccer, gone to the skate park and been to the pool twice.  I was looking over some of the pictures I took this week and I continue to be in awe of this beautiful place we live. I guess when all my Arizona peeps are out enjoying summer (in the heat), I can take solace in the fact that we may still have school, but when we do get to get out, it is into this.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

I Do It Self

I have noticed a trend over the last little while that my baby girl is becoming less of a baby and more of a girl.  On her second birthday she learned to say that she was two and now it is not uncommon for her to say "I two" or "I two now".  This is often proceeded by her being asked how she is doing. And since she is two now another common phrase we here around here is "I do it self".  Whether it is buckling her own car seat or putting on her own shoes and socks, she is anxious to do it by herself.

Unfortunately for Carrigan, while she thinks she is "big enough to hunt bears with a switch," her little learning body tends to be a bit of a limitation.  Fortunately for Carrigan, she has a brother who is willing to step in and help.  Case in point, this week CC decided she wanted to roll in the trash can which is several times her size, but when she failed Merrick stepped in and helped her and they "did it self" together.

I am so thankful for CC's unstoppable spirit and for Merrick's helpful nature.  Together they make a great team.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Kindergarten Round-Up

In the spirit of full disclosure, let me say that the subject of this weeks blog, Merrick's kindergarten round-up, actually took place a week and a half ago.  I elected not to include it in last week's blog because I thought both that Carrigan deserved her own birthday blog and that said blog was lengthy enough without adding in any other topics.

In any case, a short while ago, Merrick had his kindergarten round-up.  The afternoon started in the gym where we met the principal and learned a bit about the school.  Then Merrick got to go with a real kindergarten teacher to a real kindergarten class and do real kindergarten things, while I stayed behind for the boring stuff (it actually was not boring at all learning that your kid is heading to a really great school in the best district in the state).

After all the learning was said and done, we went on a bus ride.  In foreshadowing of days to come, Merrick took off with his friends and left me behind.  I should start bracing myself now for the first day of school when he takes off and leaves me behind in a blubbery mess.

Many of you may know that last year I seriously considered sending Merrick to kindergarten early as he only missed the cutoff by 5 days, but in the end decided to keep him home one more year.  The funny thing is I think I felt more prepared to send him last year than this year.  I guess it is because last year it was my choice to send him, but this year, whether I am ready or not (and I am more not), he needs to go.  So here is to my baby, growing up and taking on the world of kindergarten.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Carrigan Turns 2

This week we had a big milestone for little CC, her second birthday.  This year her birthday fell on a Monday, and just days before Papa was scheduled to come to town, so we did our best to strike a balance of still making her birthday special while waiting for the weekend for our big celebration.

Two years ago Carrigan came into the world with a bang in the middle of the night.  She seems to like to celebrate her birth in the wee hours of the night and this year she and I had our own celebration from 2-5am.  Once morning finally rolled around she was peacefully back to sleep, but our special breakfast plans went out the window.  Instead, after lunch, Carrigan, Merrick, and I went to the children's museum.  Since it was a Monday, in the middle of the school day, the place was dead and both kids had a blast.  I even broke my cardinal rule and let them do the face painting station.

That night, once dad was home, we had dinner and special cinnamon rolls waffles for dessert (the special breakfast re-purposed).

Our big party was Friday night.  All the local family, plus Nana and Papa, came to celebrate Carrigan and her big day.  We had a Minnie Mouse party with food, fun, and of course, cupcakes.  CC was spoiled rotten by family near and far with clothes, shoes, jewelry, money, lotion, and a scooter from mom and dad (made complete with a Minnie Mouse helmet from Grandpa and Lollie).

CC sure gives us a run for our money sometimes, she is sassy and opinionated, but we couldn't love her anymore and are so grateful that she is a part of our family!  Happy birthday Carrigan!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Father's and Son's Camp Out

Today is going to be a real treat for my faithful readers.  The big highlight of the past week was the father's and son's camp out and since I was not there (as I am neither a father nor a son), I am going to hand the blog to Jeremy to write for this week.  Before I go though, I will say that us girls had a really fun time back home.  We went shopping, out to dinner, and got frozen yogurt.  I didn't get many pictures from the weekend, but here is one of the two youngest girls in the family, Carrigan and Isabel having a blast in the bathtub.

And without further ado, here is Jeremy...

This last weekend was really fun.  It was the first time that I took Merrick on the father's and son's camp out, a yearly tradition for our ward, and much of the church.  We went to a boy scout campsite called Camp Merriweather, just outside of Tillamook, Oregon, home of the world famous Tillamook cheese and ice cream factory, more on that later.  

The camp itself is really cool, these boy scouts up here are spoiled.  My scout camps consisted of endless hours of hiking.  This camp is a short hike to the beach, has a lake, and Adirondacks to sleep in.  As soon as we got there we hiked down to the beach.  We didn't stay down there for long though.  You can't tell from the pictures but it was about 40 degrees on the beach with 20 mph winds.  So after 10 minutes of having our faces thoroughly exfoliated by the all the sand fling around we went to the lake.

At the lake we ran into the other members of our ward that had come up early.  The story that they told us was that there was a row boat that was half submerged on the beach and my nephew and his friend, both about 12, decided to flip it over, take it out in the water, and row across the lake to a cabin they could see through the trees.  The cabin was unlocked and was really a big shed where all the kayaks were housed for the camps.  So, naturally, being 12, they decided to ditch the row boat and get a few kayaks.  When some of the adults saw this they decided to get some as well, even though they knew this would eventually lead to the scout camp employees telling them they couldn't use these because they were for the scouts, and liability reasons, and all those other crappy excuses that professional scouters use to make sure no one has fun, which they did the next day right before we left, but I digress.  When Merrick and I showed up, Merrick really wanted to go out on the row boat to see his friend on the other side of the lake.  So we hopped in the row boat and paddled out through the lake.  That is when I snapped this picture, which was my favorite one of the weekend.

That night we roasted hot dogs and s'mores.  I had a fun time and as we went to sleep I wondered why we don't camp more.  Then the wind and cold temperatures reminded me why we don't camp more.  I love being outdoors, I just don't like sleeping outdoors.  In fact, one of the reasons that I work is so that I won't have to sleep outdoors.  Needless to say, I did not sleep well.  But, Merrick did.  And, even after not going to bed until about 9pm, an hour and a half past his normal bed time, he was up at his regular time, just before 6am.  All the other kids got the memo that they were supposed to sleep, so Merrick and I were the only ones awake in the whole camp of about 40 people.  One thing you may not know about Merrick is that he doesn't really have a volume control on his voice so we decided to go down to the lake so he didn't wake up the other campers.  When we got down there he wanted to get in the kayaks, I was hesitant at first because I didn't want to get wet at six in the morning.  But, I let him talk me into it and I was glad I did.  It was one of those experiences that made wish my phone hadn't died so I could have taken a picture.  But, at the same time I am glad I didn't have a phone because it just let me enjoy the moment, and I don't think a picture would have done it justice.  We paddled out to the middle of the lake, which was as smooth as glass without the wind, and I stopped paddling and just floated.  I had myself a bit of a moment as it was just Merrick and I on the lake, the birds were chirping, and the sun was just coming up over the trees.  It was a great moment and one that I think embodied the spirit of the father's and son's campout, and I was glad to share it with Merrick.

Afterwards, we went to Oceanside, another beach nearby, where thousands of jelly fish had washed up over night as you can see by the picture.  Then we made one last stop at the Tillamook cheese and ice cream factory for a nutritious lunch of free cheese samples and ice cream.  It was great weekend and we both are looking forward to next year's camp out.