Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Kierstin & Renee

The hardest part of moving is knowing how much you will so miss your friends. Those kind of friends you've spent a lifetime building all of those treasured life moments with.

Kierstin and Renee have been friends since Renee moved into our ward when she was only 2.
Renee is our official daughter #2.

Where there was Kierstin, there was Renee, where you saw Renee, there was Kierstin.
Renee shared Kierstin's bedroom, had her own floorspace. She had followed the same rules, and would get called out for treating Bradley like a real brother. She was even called on to giveblessings and family prayers.

Unfortunately, she does not get to come over as often as we like now. However, when she does, it's back to the same ol' same ol'.

Renee likes to "cook something up" when she comes over
(although I must admit sometimes it turns out better than others.
Lesson learned last time; you need to turn off the heat before
you add the rice cripspies or they get a bit too crispy!!)

These monkey cupcakes were the bomb this visit...Renee found them in a magazine.

Renee likes to wear her creations!!

(this pic doesn't show the lovely brown glob against the black! Giggle!!)

Final result...

They were so darling!
(cupcakes too)

I don't know if you can see, but they each had a different expression!
So clever! If it was me, they'd all had looked like the one in the magazine!

This dead one, was my fav!

Renee's birthday is July 3. We had a surprise belated birthday cake...

Who me?... I'm sure she wished she could be closer!

Cathching up with an old friend, Callie Campbell

They're oh so cool, in the pool!All good friends need "s'more" good times like this!!

You know you're good friends when you don't really have to "do" anything

to enjoy eachother's company!

Love you Renee, come again soon!

4th Fun starts July off with a BANG!!

I LOVE the 4th of July. I am extremely patriotic. I know that this country was established by the hand of God and set aside as a foundation from where the Lord could restore his church. Many brave men and women have put their lives on the line to make this a land of freedom. this is one of my very favorite pictures. Everytime I look at it it brings tears to my eyes. I know that men like George Washington, were called of God and sent to earth at that specific time to help bring forth the Lord's work.

We had established strong July 4th traditions in H.B. Our incredibly talented Stake put on a 4th of July production every year that was truly an amazing and inspiring way to start the 4th. We'd then have friends over for a soccer or kick ball game at the park. Back to our house for a BBQ and then fireworks in the street and the big finale ones at the Pier. I was so sad that we were going to be missing out on our 10 year traditional way of celebrating.
Fortunately, we were able to coax our dear friends the Ritters, who thankfully brought miss Renee for us and the Arnolds out to visit us for a day of swimming, relaxing and enjoying one another's company:
Kierstin, Renee and Alex enjoying the day!

Jeff, determined to get those hips a turning!

Alex, so patriotic!

Junebug torture!

1st started with, Brian & Sophie, "Look I caught one!" to

big brothers putting them down shirts!
(poor junebugs!)

the big brother mischief makers
Nathan, Bradley & Matt
(yes, Mat's hand is wrapped from almost tearing off the tip of his ring finger
a few days before!!)

Fireworks weren't as great this year. The city of Murrieta has their big shabang the weekend before to celebrate the city's birthday and we weren't sure how sticky the city would be about doing it ourselves but we did set off a few.

Pool fun in the earlier afternoon:

Jeff decided to take advantage of the moment! Sophie's such a good sport!

In H.B., Brian had mostly guy friends, except for Sophie. Other girls have offered time and again the play with Brian. When I ask him why he doesn't want to play with them he'll say,

"they're girls and I don't want to play girl stuff!"
When I pointed out Sophie was a girl and he loves to play with her he said;
"well mom, she's SHOPHIE!!"

They play so great together. Sorry guys, we have an arranged marriage in the works for Sophie and Brian!

Jeff and his dad

Brad & Nathan enjoying the pool

Bryce's cannonball surprise!

Thank you dear friends for making another very fun 4th of July celebration!!

Cub Camp

I forgot to add Bryce's Cub Scout summer camp experience to our June activities. It happened the week right after school got out.

After surviving the first day which was "not fun." Bryce decided (after much encouragement) to give it another go. And he did have more fun the remainder of the week. It helped that he had his good buddy Ethan in his same group. Which, really was such a great blessing considering he doesn't really know a lot of people in our new den that we got to have so many from the previous den in our group when there were about 20 groups!! That's what I call a tender mercy, I'm ever so grateful for those!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

June Celebrations!

June is the busiest month of the year for us. We have 3 out of 7 birthdays in June...
Brian's -2nd, Danny's -18th, mine - 19th (yes, Danny totally lucked out. I told him if he ever forgot my birthday... well, he'd be in for it!). School usually gets out on either our birthday week or the week before, then there is usually girl's camp or scout camp that week and father's day!!

Needless to say, we are in a state of constant celebration!! Brian's Bday I already got down.
So, it may be belated but not any less heartfelt.....

Happy Birthday Danny!!!

He's 21... Again!!!
(age is really irrelevant after that point)

We had a favorite dinner of his, crock-pot chicken, heated up the
jacuzzi and soaked it up (so nice!)
and then, ate cake!
Quiet, but nice.
Happy Birthday and EVERY Day Danny!!

The day after was my birthday. Nice day. We heated up the pool (still a bit chilly for me without it!) and all enjoyed a swim. Danny heated up the Barbie and BBQd some yummy chicken for me! So nice he took over the thing I hate most about my job - making dinner!!

Nice relaxing day, did nothing except read and play in the pool and eat chocolate!!

Kierstin was at girl's camp all week and got back on Friday, my birthday. Funny thing, when we moved out here she was excited to hear they usually go to this really great girls camp with GREAT food! She was excited cuz the camp the H.B. stake attends is vegeterian. However, we discovered a couple of months ago that our new Murrieta stake was trying a new camp, the same one the H.B. Stake went to, the dreaded Veggie Camp!! Of course, Kierstin started lamenting to her friends about the vegetarian menu. The leaders were perplexed the girls found out it was vegeterian. They had wanted to keep that under wraps until closer to camp so they wouldn't hear so much moaning and groaning. I had to admit Kierstin had unwittingly spilled the beans. She knew, cuz she'd been there before. It all worked out though. The H.B. stake had tried to keep it under wraps the first year too and realized it was better letting everyone know so they could prepare by bringing beef jerky, etc. She had fun in spite of the menu!

Sunday after Kierstin got back was father's day. Neither mine or Danny's birthday was on father's day this year. However, I never minded sharing my birthday with my dad. We have always been close. He has given me everything money can't buy, which is priceless, a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on and my testimony and a solid knowlege of the functioning and love of the Lord's church and its programs. Most importantly, he has been an example to me! I couldn't have been blessed with a better father!! Happy Father's Day Dad!!

And, of course, a tribute to the special dad of my kid's lives...
Danny, this is one of the main reasons I married you;
I knew you would make a terrific father, and you have.
Danny just googles over Kierstin. He is her biggest fan. He is constantly bragging about her soccer abilities and scholastic abilities and mostly, her spirituality. He'll talk to people about it until they are glazed over.
The boys absolutely adore their dad, they want to be just like him when they grow up.
Dad is a strong, smart, FUN and also a friend.
Dad is the go to guy for fun.
But most importantly, he has a testimony of the gospel that he shares with the kids, constantly. He is always encouraging them to find out for themselves.
And most importantly, he honor and respects his priesthood.
Thank you for being such a great father Danny!

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Jokester in the Family

Every family member has their own character identification within the family; see if you can figure Bryce's.

Last week, Bryce officially learned how to clean the bathroom. That was his family responsibility for the week, keeping the upstairs bathroom tidy. I showed him how to clean it from the mirrors, to cabinet wipedown and, of course, the yucky toilet. He was actually rather cheerful about it as he has tired of being the duster and toy picker upper.

So, on Wednesday evening I was in the kitchen, doing the dishes. Bryce comes in, looks at me a few moments and says "mom, why are you using the toilet brush in here?"

"Of course I'm not Bryce, this is a dish brush."

He gets this wide-eyed "uh-oh" look on his face and says "Oh NO! I just used that to clean the toilet!" That was the first day I'd let him have a go at it by himself.

I just looked at him and looked at the brush in my hand. Yes, I guess I could see how it did look similar to the toilet brush. My mind was quickly running over all the things I had washed with it during the day ready to turn out my cabinets and SCOUR EVERYTHING including our mouths! I was REPULSED!!

I turn to look at him again, not sure what to say and he starts laughing hysterically.....
"Just Kidding MOM!"
Ha, Ha, Bryce; You're so NOT the funny guy!
(but you sure got your mom!)