September 30, 2009

Grand Entrance

The weather has been such lately, that you wouldn't know it was fall unless you glimpsed the fiery hues that have set the mountains ablaze in brilliant color. The warm temperatures have hinted summer, but the leaves convince otherwise, and, as if to make a statement, they are more bright and bold this season than they have been in several years.

Tradition dictates that we take a drive up Provo Canyon each year to see the leaves and take a few photographs (that never do justice to the colors or the landscapes). Our favorite spot is a pull-off just above the Sundance resort. It was nearly dark and I neglected to bring the tripod, so we were limited in what pictures we could take. Nevertheless, I think we got a few good shots.

Fall is so refreshing. I'm glad it has finally arrived!

This post authored by Amber

September 12, 2009

A Wicked Good Time

Each September, Jason's work graciously rents Lagoon for the company summer party and we are able to enjoy an evening at the amusement park courtesy of Nuskin. Last year, we ran into a little bit of a problem with Spencer (you can read all about it here). I was a bit anxious to see if he would be tall enough for the "big" rides this time. As it turned out, he measured exactly 46 inches tall, the height requirement for nearly all rides in the park. Hallelujah!

The first ride we went on was Wild Mouse, then the Spider, and even Wicked. Wicked! Can you believe my little boys went on Wicked--and not just once, but three times! In fact, if you ask them, it is their favorite ride. Now, it is the Terroride (that hokey, miserable excuse for a haunted house) that drives pure, unadulterated fear into the hearts of my children (well, actually just Brevin). Go figure!

While many things manage to make me feel pleased as a parent, I cannot deny the rush of pride I felt as I witnessed the stares of people who were obviously impressed to be standing in lines for such rides with two very young boys. Even the videographer who was there to document the events for the company asked to be seated next to Brevin and Spencer so he could position his camera on them during the entire time while riding the high-speed roller coaster. It was awesome!

Garrett spent much of the night waiting while his older brothers were seeking the ultimate thrills that Lagoon has to offer. He did come along on the log ride, and we discovered how much he enjoyed the little cars. He also managed to stay awake the entire time we were at the park, which is saying something, since we did not leave until nearly 10:00 p.m.

Yeah, we had a great time!

This post authored by Amber

One Fell Off And...

Yes, those are stitches on Garrett's forehead. While I expected him to acquire a stitch or two in his pursuit to conquer the heights (he is always climbing on the kitchen table, garden wall, and even on top of the piano), these came courtesy the very simple task of getting off the bed in my room. As he slid down the side on his stomach, the distance between his feet and the ground was just enough to throw him off balance when he dropped down. He fell right into the nightstand, and a gash resulted. He didn't cry much, and the cut didn't bleed, but it looked a little wide and there was an immediate amount of swelling underneath that was suspicious.

After calling Jason on the phone, I decided to walk across the street and get a second opinion from another mother, my sister-in-law, Angie. We both felt I should pursue professional intervention.

It was only 3:30 p.m. so I figured I could try calling my pediatrician. He had gone home for the day, but there were two others in the same office that would be able to attend to Garrett, so I went in to the office (rather than rush to an emergency room or instacare facility). It's a good thing we went in, because he needed three stitches to close the gap. I had to wrap him in a blanket and hold his body still on the table while a nurse held his head and another did the stitching. On the whole, it took about 15 minutes, much quicker than it would have been in an emergency room.

Garrett was so calm during the whole ordeal. His demeanor allowed me to be rational in responding to the situation. I mean, I even had the presence of mind to take the camera along to snap some photographs. Now, if only I had thought to change his clothing before we headed to the doctor's office. Yes, he is still in his pajamas at three-thirty in the afternoon!

This post authored by Amber

Time for School

Spencer has been looking forward to being a part of an official preschool (and not one taught by his mother). He has longed for a classroom with colorful posters, child-sized tables and chairs, bookcases, puzzles, blocks, and more--and he has probably also looked forward to having a teacher who will do more than throw on a pair of jeans and pull her hair in a pony tail to get ready for the day. Finally he has some consistency in his schedule that is not interrupted by the needs of a newborn sibling. He attends from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at Miss Heather's Preschool. Yes, now he has it all, and he is loving it! Just look at how he's beaming:

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
Garrett is enjoying the new found friendship in a cousin that is just his size (well, at least a little closer to his size). Addilyn comes to play while preschool is taking place, and she is obliging enough to allow Garrett to perform piano duets with her. It is a lovely new arrangement!

This post authored by Amber

September 4, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?

When we moved into our home, the front yard was a bit of a mess. The property sloped to form an uneven hill that was inefficient at retaining any amount of water. Grass had been laid down upon rocky, uneven dirt with no thought of adding topsoil. Despite all of Jason's good intentions and care with watering, there were numerous, perpetual dry patches where the grass was dying from the root up.

Two years ago, Jason and his father began considering ideas that would increase the usable space of our lawn while adding curb appeal. The solution: tear up all the grass, add a rock wall with bordering flowerbeds, back fill, bring in decent topsoil, and lay new drought resistant sod.

The final results have been nothing short of amazing. And while I had relatively little to do with it, I often except praise on Jason's behalf from many a passerby and neighbor. The most incredible thing has been how the petunias grow in the new space. I promise, we do not use Miracle Grow and I do not dead head them (or anything). They just thrive and flourish in that little bit of earth that is theirs.

While I'm on the subject, I have to mention how much I enjoy our vegetable garden, as well. This is the first year we've planted onions. I love picking them on a whim when I need them for a recipe or to add slices of red onion to my salad. It's almost as delightful as eating fresh off the vine tomatoes. Once again, Jason is the main care taker and ensures that things grow well.

Before I know it, I will be posting about harvesting our pumpkins! Perhaps my recent photo spree of all things garden has been my attempt to hang on to all the colors of summer before they are gone for another season.

This post authored by Amber

Musings of a "Soccer Mom"

In his final year of U-8 soccer, Brevin has shown that he is a dedicated player, and his form has really improved. He is more focused than he has ever been in past games, and he is willing to play any position the coach deems necessary, even if that means being put in as the goal keeper (a position he is not entirely comfortable with, yet). The photographs above were taken from his first game; it was a heated battle between Brevin and a neighbor friend (and former teammate) from across the street. Just look how intense their faces are. In the end, Brevin's team (the Charging Buffaloes) won 3-2 during the last seconds with a whistle-beating goal.

Although Spencer is new to the game of soccer, he is a natural talent. He can really control the ball as he dribbles across the field at a rapid pace. He may have picked up a thing or two from watching Brevin's games. Spencer has patiently waited through two soccer seasons for his chance to play, and now that he's in, I feel he will likely pursue this sport. His team is the Dragons, and they have a seasoned coach who has turned these little cub soccer players into quite the athletes.
I have enjoyed watching them both play. I hope I don't frustrate them too much with my constant coaching from the sidelines. I can be a bit competitive and bossy...Yeah, I might have to admit that I am officially a soccer mom.

This post authored by Amber


Perhaps you noticed the new photographs on our header and sidebar (and if you didn't, there's no way you'll miss them now).

Jason's parents arranged to have a family photo session to accommodate the growth and change in group dynamics. Now, attempting to get that large of a group coordinated and looking at the camera is no small feat. Throw in gusty winds, and the task becomes nigh unto impossible! But thanks to the magic of Photoshop, Brevin's eyes were opened and my hair was tamed. Even Garrett looks as though he is being quite pleasant (which I assure you, he was not).

Okay, so I am satisfied with the new pictures...that is until they start looking old with the passing of a few months. Then we will have another reason to do this all over again.

This post authored by Amber