Sunday, April 6, 2014

changes and new goals

This weekend was General Conference.
The messages shared were wonderful. One of the things I felt inspired to change was this little blog. I decided to make it private and to make it a family journal. My goal is to write at least a once a week update on what the family is up to and then to print a hard copy of this blog every year for our records.

And so, first a little update on one of our family goals for the year. We decided that we would hike all 18 Red Rock trails together before the end of the year. We did two hikes before this pregnancy made me too sick to hike for a few months. These pictures were from the two hikes we went on in January. We got lost on both hikes. My big beef with these trails in Red Rock is that none of them are very well marked and there is no set end point. I hate that. I like a destination to reach. Regardless, we had a good time. The weather was perfect and the area is so beautiful. Our hope is that we will raise our kids to love the outdoors and to be active and healthy. Zach is a good little hiker, and he doesn't whine (too much). Willow enjoys being packed around.


Friday, February 14, 2014

birthday interview/ update on Zach

Zach's birthday was wonderful this year. Brad was in charge of everything and he did such a amazing job--Zach loved it! For his presents, Brad built Zach a bunch of swords and marshmallow shooters, and it has been nothing but sword-fighting and marshmallows flying through the air ever since. Brad was able to take some time off of work to spend time with us for Zach's birthday. We had a marshmallow battle, ate lunch at In-n-Out, and took donuts to Zach's kindergarten class. It was such a fun day celebrating Zach.

This has been a great year for Zach. He has loved Kindergarten so much. His teacher is wonderful, and he has made a bunch of friends in his class. He is quickly becoming a terrific reader, and most recently he passed off all 150 of his sight words! We are so proud of how well he is doing in school, but I am even more proud of how hard he works and how kind and thoughtful he is to the other students in class. Zach is such a huge helper to me at home and I don't know what I would do without him. We love him so much!

Here is Zach's six year old birthday interview:
How old are you today?  six
What is your favorite color? green
What is your favorite animal? snakes
What is your favorite movie?  The Lego Movie
What is your favorite book? Spiderman
What is your favorite tv show?  Justice League
What do you like to play? Mario Kart wii
Where is your favorite place to go? to the museum
Who is your best friend? Jordan S
What is your favorite game? Sorry
What is your favorite song? What Does the Fox Say?
Who is your favorite person? Jordan S
What is your favorite toy? my swords
What is your favorite thing to wear? my Spiderman shirt
What do you take with you to bed? my stuffed lion
Where would you like to go on vacation? to the woods
What do you want to be when you grow up?  in the army
What is your favorite food? strawberries
What do you like to eat for breakfast? cereal
What do you want to do for your birthday? I want to play on the kindle and eat cake!

Saturday, December 14, 2013


For the past three years we have lived at least six hours away from any member of our family.  This year we were finally able to sleep in our own bed during the festivities and IT WAS AMAZING!!! In fact it was so nice I don't even need a Christmas present this year. 

The day started out by us waking up later than expected because as usual we stayed up watching movies all night.  But once we were all dolled up and packed up we were at grandma's house in less than an hour.  That fact alone made this day worth living and it only got better from there.

After catching the tale end of the annual Thanksgiving sports extravaganza at the park we headed back over to the house for dinner.  As expected it was as delicious as every other year.  We had awesome turkey, stuffing, potatoes, rolls, salad, gravy, and PIE!!!

This year in particular there was a lot of time to be able to talk as siblings and tell incredibly hilarious stories.  It could have been because most of the kids were sick or maybe because they all got hooked on electronics.  In fact I don't think I saw Zach's face the entire day.  I know that Whitney and I will put the kibosh on it next year but it was nice to play the oblivious parent this year.

Then again for family history it is worth noting we were home within an hour and SLEEPING IN OUR OWN BED.

The next day we were lucky enough to have Jeff, Cameron, Kristen, David, and Lindsey come and check out the new house.  We had all decided that Ben and Olivia would be old enough to babysit and left the life of our children in their hands while we went and saw Catching Fire.  We made sure everyone had enough electronics to keep out of each others way and we let Slash in the house to fulfill his duty as watchdog.  As planned everyone was alive and happy when we returned home.

When it was all said and done it was a really enjoyable Thanksgiving weekend.  After some discussion Whitney and I decided to let it come around again next year. We didn't get much pictures but we did feel like these two were blog worthy.

PS You are hearing from me again because I gave Whitney a chance to redeem herself but it has already been 3 weeks.  I will give her one more chance to set a New Years resolution and claim her seat as captain of the blog.  You better pray for her.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

snow day

Brad wrote an update on what we have been up to lately. I think he is staging a coup to dethrone me as boss of the family blog. And we can't have that now, can we? But he did a great job, so scroll down a little ways to read what he wrote.

This morning was one of those mornings. In a good way. Since moving to a new house in a new ward, we now have 1 o'clock church. I can't remember the last time we had that time slot and I was not too excited because guess who has naptime right at 1 pm? Willow, that's who. And she can be unbelievably monsterific when she doesn't get that nap.

It has been raining in Las Vegas, so this morning, with lots of time before church, we decided to go for a Sunday drive to see the snow up on Mt. Charleston. The views were breathtaking. It's been a long time since I've seen snow. And when I have seen it, it wasn't magical-first-day snow. It has been the ugly, grey-and-dismal snow. And that snow is just a disappointment.

But THIS snow was magical. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

We put Willow down for a few minutes because she really wanted to check it out. She got over that pretty fast. We're going to need to get some snow gear for the kids for sledding!

There is something otherworldly about snow in the desert, with its miles and miles of snow-topped Joshua trees.

And, of course, snow angels on the side of the road.

This is one of the reasons we decided to move to Las Vegas. When we were thinking about moving to Austin, one of the big deterrents for us was the lack of mountains. Which might seem like a silly thing to care about, but I love living in a valley surrounded by mountains.

I mean, can you blame me?

Are We Dead Yet?!?

As you can see we have not been as stellar at posting messages on our blog as much as we have in the past. In fact I have never been the family blogger.  Whitney graciously took that task on for us so that everyone could enjoy our adventures and see what our family was up to.  Whitney has advanced her technological abilities and moved on to instagram so now it is up to me.  It looks like I will soon become the family historian.  By the end of this post and all the others you will see that: 1. I am not nearly as witty as Whitney. 2. I should have paid attention to 7th grade English instead of writing love notes to my crushes (that is why my writing never surpassed 7th grade love note level).  3. We are still alive and loving life.

Because a lot of people have been getting upset that our blog sits idol this will be a brief recap.  I would dare say some pretty epic things have happened within the last couple of months. 

The first thing I to recap is our epic Halloween.  Many people will remember Whitney's epic chicken costume she made for Zach.  Ever since then I have hounded her to continue to make the kids costumes.  This year she was brave enough to ask Zach what he wanted to be and of course Batman won.  So she set her hopes on an epic Batman and Robin and nailed it.  In fact she won best costume at Zach's fall festival for Willow's Robin outfit. Little does she know that the tradition will still have to continue if she does this good of a job.

Next I thought everybody would like to have the confirmation that we did buy a house.  That is right after seven years of marriage and 8 moves this family was able to find a home that we have to stay in for at least 3-5 years.  We are extremely excited to be in a house.  Whitney and I can see that God handed it to us on a silver platter and we are very lucky for that. It is a perfect house that is exactly what we wanted, which is a good thing because the home buying experience was the worst experience ever.  We have been trying to purchase a home for probably about 1 year now but finally it worked out and we couldn't be happier.  I am sure you will get more pictures and updates but here is a snippet.


Other than that life is about the same.  Whitney had her EPIC birthday this year.  Her birthday happened to land on 11-12-13 and we signed on our house the same day.  So next year if I don't provide her another child than I am not sure she will be satisfied.  I am already prepping her for just getting flowers.  Stay tuned for another year to find out what I come up with. 

Otherwise enjoy some photos and look for some more awfully written posts from me.

Historian Brad

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

the great escape

For the last few months, I've felt like someone took my life and accidently flipped the switch into hyper-drive without my permission. Maybe it was the move, or having a kid in school, or the fact that I am taking a class myself this semester. Maybe it's a busy toddler, or a husband getting used to a new job, or getting used to a new city. But things seem more frantic and busy and my to-do list never seems to end.

After a busy week, including a massive freak out after taking my first test on Friday (and failing-- seriously. A 22%. I have never failed a test this spectacularly in my entire life), I decided to call a time out.

On Sunday morning after I took my re-take quiz, I booked a hotel for the night in St. George, packed up our overnight bags, and we left. We swam in the hotel pool all afternoon.

Then we went to the Dixie Overlook and played in the magic red sand. And Willow ate the magic red sand.

The next morning after sleeping in and a nice breakfast, we left for Zion National Park. Oh, how I love Zion National Park. We hiked just past the Lower Emerald Pool, and then hiked the Riverside Walk. And somehow we made it through seven hours in the park with only two apples and three mini-waffles to snack on. It was pretty much as miraculous as the loaves and fishes feeding the multitudes in the New Testament, because normally my kids can't go more than five seconds without a snack before they turn into horrific monsters.

At the end of the day we stopped at Fort Zion on the way home. If you are ever hungry on your way home from Zion's, STOP HERE. The people who run the place are the nicest, the ice cream is homemade and delicious, they make their pizza dough from scratch, and a Navajo Chief came to teach them how to make the fry bread for their Navajo tacos. That place is legit.
It was less than 36 hours, but it was just the recharge that I needed. A chance to focus on Brad and the kids with no work, no school. Just fun. My kind of weekend.

Monday, August 26, 2013

the first day

Today, my baby went to Kindergarten. And honestly, I have been a mess about it. I was so anxious for him! Will he like it? Will his teacher be nice? Will he make friends? Will he do well and feel happy?

I don't know what I was so worried about. Because this is Zach we are talking about. The kid who makes friends everywhere we go in less than two seconds. And he was so excited about going to school. He's been waiting for this for years.

We live within walking distance to the elementary school, so we walked in the rain together. Brad got a little time off work so he was able to come with us.

And when it was time to go in the gate and say goodbye, he gave me a quick side hug and was like, "Later Mom!" and he was gone without looking back.


And on the walk home I cried. My little partner in crime is off to school. As crazy as he makes me, I am going to miss that little bugger. I am so happy for him to learn and grow and to have this opportunity for independence. It's going to be so good for him. And his teacher is an answer to my prayers. She is a perfect fit for Zach.

All night he has been talking our ears off. Telling us about "quiet critters" and birdhouses and criss-cross-applesauce, and honestly, I don't know what any of it means but he is definitely a fan of school and I am looking forward to what the rest of the school year brings us.
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