Wednesday, December 30, 2009


My brother John and his girlfriend Bethany came over the day after Christmas for a visit. We were just finishing up a game of Life (which incidentaly, they had given us) and we were chit-chatting about this and that when out of the blue John asked Maddie and Jeni if they would like another aunt! He was so matter-of-fact about the whole think I don't think they quite knew what to think at first. But we are all excited to welcome Bethany to the family. Congratulations on your engagement you guys!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Building houses

When I was growing up my Mom would make the most amazing gingerbread houses. She made them with windows in them that you could peek through and see Santa and Mrs. Clause sitting next to their Christmas tree in front of a fireplace (with a yellow light behind a felt fire). There were icing stockings on the fireplace and a wreath on the mirror over it. They were incredible and always smelled so wonderful as you were looking inside! It was a tradition I continued for the first few years of our marriage but sometimes life is just too busy and so - you buy a kit at Costco instead! This kit had all the gingerbread pieces already baked and cut out and came with the frosting and candy as well. There were two gingerbread men that we decorated and put inside their house to live for the Christmas season.
Gracie even helped with the decorating. Taste a piece of candy, then put the remnants on the house, taste another piece of candy...
In many ways this kit is so much more fun for the kids. I let them decorate it however they want rather than stressing out about making it look perfect. I also don't care when they pick all the candy off long before Christmas even gets here!
Good job kids, it looks great!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...

The kids woke us up bright and early the morning after Thanksgiving for our traditional "Set up the Christmas Tree" day. Bob and I were not very cooperative and tried to sleep in, but they persevered and were able to drag all the boxes of Christmas decorations up from the basement all by themselves. Unfortunately the Christmas tree itself was to heavy for them so they had to keep coming and poking at Bob until they finally got him out of bed to bring it up for them! After Bob brought up the tree they managed to put the whole thing together except for the top two rows of branches! I helped them with those and put on the lights and the angel at the top and they decorated the rest of the tree. I think having the kids do most of the work is definitely the way to go! Now if only they would be this eager when it's time to take everything back down...
Saturday we made our annual trek to a tree farm where you can find the tree you want and cut it down yourself. We picked out this tree for us and another tree for Bob's dad who decided that he wanted to spend Thanksgiving weekend in the hospital instead. Silly Grandpa!
Yay for big, strong husbands who can single-handedly cut down and haul away two trees all by himself while the rest of us followed behind and cheered him on. Someone had to take the picture, right!
It was tricky trying to close the car doors so we could go home!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Trick or Treat!

We had some happy haunters at our house this year. Maddie was a lovely renaissance princess in red and gold. Jeni was a fifties girl although she had a hard time remembering what decade her costume was from. 50's or 80's? Whatever it was she was cute and loved having a pink costume.
Nathan was a dragon again and loved to growl at anyone he could.
Gracie was a leopard this year and it looks like she is trying to take a bite out of my leg in this picture. Watch out for her!
I saved my leg by finding some chocolate for my ferocious feline! That is the preferred food of this little cat!
Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I love fall!

At the beginning of October we went up the Blacksmith Fork Canyon to enjoy the beautiful fall leaves. We got there in the early evening and the kids had so much fun throwing the leaves around, throwing rocks in the nearby stream and waiting anxiously for Uncle John and Bethany to arrive so we could start a fire and have a picnic dinner.
Grace tried to copy her older sisters but her arms just aren't long enough!Nathan was ready to eat!I love the way the air smells when fall comes and the chill that comes in the evenings. I love the brilliant colors of fall, as if nature is cutting loose and putting on one last grand show before going to sleep for the winter under a blanket of white. I love fall!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Back to School!

We are finally back to school and loving it! Nathan started first and headed off to his first day of Joy School on September 1st. He has two girls - Brooke and Ashley (the one with pigtails who, incidentally is the girl he is going to marry! They already have it arraigned!) and two boys - Easton and Everret in his class this year. I don't think he knows what to do with boys around! Anyway, he loves it and asks everyday if it's Joy School today! Maddie and Jeni started a week and a half later on the 10th. Maddie is in fourth grade this year and Jeni is in first grade. Jeni was very excited to go full day and to be able to take a lunch. I think that's a big event in a child's world.

It is nice to be back into a routine again but I had the strangest thing happen the other day. The three older kids were off at school and then Grace unexpectedly went down for an early nap. I had almost 45 minutes all to myself! I had no idea what to even do with it other than sit still and listen to the quiet!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Camping at Dahlgreen Valley

We decided to celebrate the last weekend before school started by going camping in one of our favorite places - Dahlgreen Valley. It's on the north slope of the Uintas and it isn't an organized campground. You just find a spot you like and pull off the road into it and set up camp. There is a spring in the valley for water but other than that you are on your own. We got there in the dark on Thursday night. Friday morning the kids had fun playing in the trailer while we cleaned up breakfast. Grace discovered this little stroller and had so much fun pushing her baby back and forth and learning how to navigate around obstacles.
Nathan had his new Sco0by Doo bag that he made with Sandra and he used it to carry everything everywhere he went. We never left home without it!
While we were there we went on lots of different walks. The valley has a couple of small streams wandering through it and there were signs of beaver everywhere. We found one of their dams but we didn't ever see a beaver.
Later Maddie and Jeni put on a concert for us singing Scooby Dooby Doo (they are obsessed with it right now) or Hannah Montana songs. Nathan was suppose to play the guitar too but got distracted.
Grace loved having her new pink shoes on and being able to go outside and explore with the big kids.
This was a hike where we tried to bushwhack from one side of the valley to the other. We got most of the way across but then it got way to marshy, at least for whimpy I-don't-want-to-get-my-shoes-wet me. By this time Jeni had developed a blister on her foot (that happens when you don't wear socks with your shoes) and Maddie being the gallant big sister she is gave her a piggy back ride most of the way back to the trailer.
I want you to notice two things about this picture of Grace. First, see how her shirt and hair are dirty? That is because I guess she would get tired and decide she needed a little rest so she would lay down in the dirt for a few minutes and then get up and off she would go again. Second, see the rock she is happily gripping in her hand? She almost choked to death on the dumb thing a few minutes later! She put it in her mouth and wouldn't spit it out and being the paranoid parents that we are we put a finger in her mouth to try and scoop it out but instead ended up accidentally shoving it down her throat. It was the scariest few seconds ever until she was able to cough it back up and started bawling her head off. Sometimes that is the BEST sound in the world!
After that scary incident we decided we'd had enough of the great outdoors, packed up our stuff and headed for home thankful to listen to Grace crying because she was stuck in her car seat again!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Our visit to Washington

My sister Keri and her kids came down from Washington for a visit at the beginning of August. The night they came in I fixed a big spagetti dinner to feed everyone. This is Grace and her cousing Laura (who is 17 days younger) sharing a plate of food. It starts out clean enough but then... ...things get a little bit messy. There was spagetti all over the girls, all over the table, chairs and floor. They had a wonderful time!
Keri stayed down for a week and then on August 8th we loaded our kids in the car and followed them all back up to Vancouver for a visit of our own. We enjoyed seeing their new house and letting all the kids play together. One day of our trip we went out to the Oregon Coast Aquarium. I love the huge tanks they have where you walk through a tube in the middle of the aquarium. You are surrounded by fish and they have these windows built into the floor so you can also see what is underneath you.
Grace didn't like walking on the windows in the floor so she keep trying to run away and find something else to entertain herself with.
Time for a break!
Another night Keri took our kids and Bob and I went on a dinner cruise on the Willamette River that runs through Portland. It was a really fun way to see the city and a fun date!
Later we went out to Pacific City beach. The weather was perfect and even though the water was cold we still had a great time.
Nathan loved playing in the water this year. Last year he would run away from the waves and hated it when they got him. Not this year!
This is a huge sand dune at one end of the beach. Bob and Jeff took the older kids all the way up while Keri and I entertained the babies down on the beach. Once Nathan finally made it to the top he decided that he needed to roll all the way back down.
Anyway, good times were had by all and we were very sad when the 15th rolled around it was time to say goodbye and make our way back home.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Nathan!

Because of various circumstances Nathan ended up having three different birthday parties this year. First he had a combined birthday party with Scott on Monday night for Moultrie Family Home Evening. Nathan and Scott share the same birthday so Sherry brought a cake for both of them that had a "football glove" on it according to Nathan but it looked suspiciously like a baseball glove to the rest of us. Nana made him a Thomas blanket with his name embroidered on it that he just loves! It was a good day for him.

His actual birthday was on Wednesday and he really wanted a cake so he got a boring chocolate one but it was tasty! I also took him to the store where he picked out a new tricycle that is very noisy! He likes to push the button on his tricycle to rev the engine when Mike comes over with his motorcycle! I think the testosterone kicks in early!
Then we had the last party for him the next Monday after my parents got back from Washington. I asked Sarah to make the cake for him and she went all out! Check out this cool 3-D Thomas cake she did. I don't know how many hours it took but Nathan absolutely loved it. Thanks Sarah!
He also loved the hot wheels and the "Papa truck" he got that would launch the cars across the room.
Happy birthday buddy! I can't believe you are four years old!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Moultrie Family Fun Week

It used to be that every summer we would take a "Boring Family Trip" with all of Bob's family. We would go someplace "boring" and just swim in the pool and enjoy each other's company. The last couple of years we have decided that was too expensive and decided to stay home and see the local sights together. So we started on Wednesday with boating at Pineview. Bob had to work so we were not able to participate. Thursday we all headed up to Logan and started the day with a trip to the temple grounds there. We had lunch together, played at the park and the little zoo they have and then split up to go swimming or to the cheese factory. Grace thought she was hot stuff in Nathan's goggles!We started Friday with a breakfast at Dee's house and then we all got out our Salt Lake City Connect Passes that we had purchased and started out on a whirlwind adventure. First we went to the Dinosaur museum (not the official name but I can never remember what it really is) and showed off our fancy hats.
Maddie and Jeni had a good time running away from the dinosaurs!
Next we stopped at the Aquarium in Sandy where the brave could touch a stingray. Stingray's do not feel like I think they should! They are soft, squishy and slimy -yuck!
More stuff you could touch if you wanted too.
After the aquarium we went to the Lion House for a quick lunch (also included in the pass) and then we went to Clark Planetarium where we walked on Mars...
and then on the moon! Nothing boring about this trip!
After the Planetarium we decided to end the day with a movie so after we ran Nathan and Grace to my parents house we watched Harry Potter 6.
Saturday morning we had early tickets to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple Open House. It was beautiful and not nearly so crowded as the Draper Temple Open House was. Afterwards we decided to head out to the Kennecott Copper Mine since we were right there. It was so interesting! The trucks they use are huge! You can kind of see it when you compare the trucks to the school bus (for moving employees around I suppose) in the picture below. Someone with sharper eyes than mine also saw a goat wandering around down there...
The kids got a kick out of seeing how big the tires on the haulers are. They are over 12 feet tall!
After Kennecott we split up for a while. The connect passes were still good so after lunch we took the kids to the Children's museum where they got to ride horses,
sort vegetables,
and use construction equipment - Jeni, where's your hard hat?!?
Then we went up to Snowbird and rode the tram to the top of the Mountain.
Somewhere in the background you can see Heber. It was a beautiful view but as you can tell the kids were not impressed!
So we rode the tram back down, put our whiny, worn out, cranky kids in the car and ended the day/fun week with a barbecue at Sherry's house. All in all it was a very fun week and we look forward to it again next year!