Sunday, March 9, 2014

March 9, 2014

 Whew!  We have been soo, soo busy the last couple of weeks!  Below  are a few shots showing some of the things that have been keeping us hopping these last couple of weeks.  Above, is Rhyse in a huge box of can helping bag canned items at the food pantry.  The girls often end up accompanying me to the activities.  Here she was a great help reaching and sorting through the cans at the bottom of the box. 
 The last two weeks have been packed with church basketball.  Both Landen and Craig's team's made it into the Regional Finals and had some very intense games.  Landen's team was a teacher's team (with him as a deacon) and was the team that qualified our ward for the tourney.  They later brought a few of the priests to play with them.  They had made it all the way to the finals (5 games) and lost in a heartbreaker by just a couple of points in the last minute.  Church ball in Utah is a REALLY big deal and this was quite an accomplishment to make it that far and with a teacher's team to boot.  Church ball can also be pretty wild and aggressive and we had to be careful where we sat so we didn't get smashed during the game as well as have some debriefing sessions about how you can be VERY angry and throw a major temper tantrum but still be a good member of the church at the same time:}
 Tal and Prilly have spend many hours working on their ASTA songs.  They both performed last Saturday and did marvelous.  Capriel played a little Concertino by Perlman and Talia the Concerto in G by Seitz.  Prilly's song had a number of sections where she had to put her violin down while the piano (a very nervous me) played some challenging sections.  She came in and out perfectly on her parts. 
 Another late night this week was when the YW babysat so parents could go to the temple.  Breck brought out her ever popular face painting skills and kept many girls occupied for the night. 

 A cute shot of Breck and Devin at our "Break from Tradition" Thanksgiving Dinner at the Elements.  It was a fun experience, made the Holiday very relaxing and enjoyable, and freeing to break tradition for once. 
 Today Breck accompanied the choir in stake conference.  The choir leader had actually written the arrangement and was extremely particular about how it was performed.  She spent many many hours at rehearsals.  She played confidently, followed well and sounded great.  I was so proud of her!  She even had to coordinate with a soloist and an organist!
 I've been working at reorganizing the craft room and the girls have found a renewed interest in creating the last little while.  Capriel is especially creative and has spend many hours creating projects of her own design.  The glue gun is her new best friend! 
 We had our yearly ski night Friday night.  Rhyse went for her first time, and Landen boarded for his second (he'd gone the day before with the school).  He picked it up quickly, to no ones surprise, though it did come home from the school ski day with a giant gooseegg on his head from's the story-"hitting his head on a tree in thick fog, on a black diamond run that he hadn't meant to go on, 20 minutes before they were supposed to be back on the bus to return home."  He said that his had hit the snow and tree and his board came over the top of his head.  Needless to say,  Craig shelled out the big bucks to get helmets for all the kids at the stake ski night.  Rhyse was totally stoked to ski and ride the "magic carpet" mini lift on the bunny hill.  The only trick is that both Craig and I are poor skiiers and helping a beginning to ski when you can't really ski yourself is the ultimate test in patience and agility.  By the end of the night she was beginning to leave her little safe haven between my legs and half ski half sled on her skiis away from me.  She is a very emotional, demanding, independent child who has very strong opinions on how she wants things to be, so it was touch to not abandon her on the hill.  But I was proud of her for sticking with it and working hard at improving.  I had one experience on the magic carpet where a dad and his child fell down and then crashed into me resulting in a tangle that I was almost incapable of extricating myself from as I was moving up the mountain on the conveyor belt.  Breck also tried boarding for the first time and was able to go down the runs many times.  She is extremely sore today!  Tal is a pro and took off as soon as we got there with friends and pretty much wasn't seen for the rest of the night.  Capriel did the same, except she did it (true to her style) at a breakneck speed.  The kids said that they would often see her on the lift all by herself, and multiple people commented on how fast she would cruise down the hill.  Sometimes she would even come and ski next to her friends practicing on the bunny hills.  She would often crash hard, but then just pop up and keep going. 

 Here's a quick shot of the state of our office/craft room during the Valentine's prep days.  These are the days when I feel proud of myself for letting my children "create" while cursing myself for ever letting things get this out of control!
 Craig got heart attacked on Valentines by all who love him. 
 My baby is getting so big!  I'm fighting a real sadness at seeing my kids grow up. 
 We had a wonderful Shepherder's dinner with my sweet Grandparents.  Lamb, potatoes, carrots, corn, biscuits that Talia made, salad, and peaches and cookies for dessert.  It was so fun to be there with them and hear Grandpa's stories about the life of a sheepherder.  We even got to eat on tin plates and drink out of mugs to keep it real.  I love my Grandparent's and feel so grateful to be close to them and be able to learn from them regularly.  They have taught me so much about devotion, discipline, love, commitment, endurance, and service. 
 Rainbow loom bracelets are also consuming large amounts of Tali and Capriel's time.  Tal is able to pull up difficult tutorials and create some very intricate patterns. 
Let's see, we also cleaned the church this week, cleaned the Spectrum (the USU stadium) last week (for a soccer service project). 

Spring is coming!  I've loved watching the baby lambs that are being born in a field

Saturday, February 22, 2014

February 22, 2014

 Brecklyn recently finished up her swim season.  Her final swim at Regions was an awesome PR on the 100 Free!  After a lengthy tiring meet, Talia set up a little spa time for Breck in the bathroom complete with chocolate pudding, brownie, scented towel, etc... Talia spends a lot of time taking extra special care of Rhyse, or doing kind deeds like this. 

I can't believe the progress that Breck has made in a her swimming in just a little over a year.  I remember two summers ago trying to teach her (at 12) how to do the strokes, and really thinking to myself that she probably wouldn't ever learn to do the strokes.  And here she is competing well at a high school level.  I am so proud of her work ethic, determination, and sacrifice.  Here she is extremely nervous before her 50 free.  She learned that swimming is a very mental sport.  Breck had a wonderful season, making lots of new friends, and enjoying every minute of all the pasta parties, hair dying (her hair is still pink from a failed Skyview blue dye attempt), bus rides, overnight meets etc.... It was fun to see her completely relaxed and being the funny, happy, optimistic person that she is with her pals.  I even heard tell that a senior boy had a crush on her! 

Lan has been playing with the teacher's church bball team.  He's had a great experience and loved playing with a good team.  I had to post this picture just because of how cute he looks in a mans jersey!  The funny thing about Landen is that he doesn't ever think about the fact that he might be a lot younger or smaller than his teammates.  He just plays intensely till the last minute.  He played almost the entire season with a broken finger, simply adjusting his shot to use just two fingers on the right hand. 
Rhyse has a fun mom's preschool this year.  This is there group at Firehouse pizza, learning how they make their pizzas.  One of my favorite things that she has learned this year is a lesson on manners.  She took this simple lesson to heart and has seriously improved 100 % on using her kind words, complimenting, and being gracious.  I'm not sure I've ever seen such an amazing transformation!  In fact, after I picked her up from a friends house, the Mom said, "It was the funniest thing, but Rhyse did nothing but compliment me for the first 5 minutes she was at our house.!" 

Rhyse and some of her best buds, dressed up and having a tea party.  I was happy to see that she was willing to divide up all her valentine treats to provide the food for the occasion!
Valentine's day was the day Capriel's Chinese class celebrated Chinese New Year.  Rhyse and I got to go and help and learn all about how to use chopsticks, try a number of different Chinese foods, learn a CHinese dance, and learn more about the Chinese culture.  Capriel doesn't speak Chinese at home much, but it has been fun to watch her begin to add Chinese characters to her artwork, and speak it with her buddies. 

President's Day, celebrating my decade long desire to actually raise a flag on special holidays. 
This is the only picture I captured from a fun day with our dear friends the Ellis's.  We had a great time hanging out, and catching up on play and talk time. 
In the last couple of weeks Rhyse has begun to decide that she is willing and capable to engage in many of the typical preschool activities.  Most of these she has absolutely refused to try and engage in previously.  Cutting, drawing, and writing are the main activities I can think of right now.  It is so fun to see her relax and be willing to risk trying things.  The above picture is a snack she creating all on her own one day.  I thought it was pretty clever:)  The picture below is her version of a snowman and its baby that she took a picture of herself.  

I'm loving my new camera, and though I have an incredible amount to learn I love that I can capture a decent shot now and then.  Capriel loves to just toss a backhandspring in now and then. 
Rhyse and I stole a VERY simple valentines breakfast from Pinterest this year, and was probably the most popular one yet.  (Even more, believe it or not, than the flesh colored German pancakes, heart pancakes, and other previously tried but not super successful Valentine breakfasts)
Here is Talia's Valentine box that we made late the night before.  It did involve plenty of frustration, and tears, but I think she was happy with it after a few hours of sleep. 

I love this picture of Breck because it shows how Not-Completely-Awake the big kids are as they shove down a couple of bites of breakfast, and sprint out the door still trying to pull themselves together and  try and catch the bus at  6:55 each morning.  Note the Valentine's hair and color coordinated outfit!
My little Valentines helper. 

Talia is loving gymnastics and soccer equally and trying to decide where she wants to spend her time.  She is working to master her back tuck, aerial, kip and giant. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Christmas 2013

 Making salt dough creations together. 
 Rhyse loves Coleman
 Breck and Ol' Saint Nick! 
 Talia's candy creche and crazy pose.  She sure loves to be silly. 
 This couldn't be a better shot!  Our runaway Jesus was adorable, Joseph completely attentive and our gentle Mary finding humor in the most difficult of circumstances.  The donkey (front) ?  I'm not sure what he's doing.  Maybe some time of animalistic Hallejuah chorus. 
 A few shots from the Harrison Christmas party. 
 Both Lan and Rhyse scored with some awesome shoes from Gma and Gpa during the white elephant gift exchange.  I felt honored to be able to bring my children to this party because I felt such goodness and love emanating from my Grandparents.  They are good, kind, intelligent, capable, gracious, generous, strong, and grounded people and I adore them and want to be like them in so many ways. 

 This gift was completely Rhyse's arrangement.  It consisted of white sugar cubes with colored elastic hair ties wrapped around them, artistically placed in a little treasure chest!  What could be more precious. 
 Brecklyn having fun with some of the clothing gifts she obviously wasn't quite sure about. 

After the 3 on 3 tournament.