August 31, 2011

Another Trip to Washington Lake

As we had done  last year, we decided to plan a family camping trip to the Uintas as a final opportunity to enjoy as much of the summer vacation as possible.  And just as we had done last year, we went to Washington Lake.  But unlike last year, there was more water than we had ever seen in the lake and the shores the boys had  fished from were completely submerged. We were also able to spend time with Greg and Tilly's family and Grandpa Park this year. 

Everything was lush, the air was cool and pleasant, and the fishing was fantastic. (Although I will say the mosquitoes and horseflies were a little out of control.)  This place will always hold special memories for me, and I will always look forward to adding to them.

 We have a picture of Brevin and Spencer standing on this same tree stump some five
years ago when we were at this campsite.  This year Grandpa Park  stayed in that spot.

I'm always a bit nervous to see how a new baby will take to camping,
but Ella looks pretty content, don't ya think?  She did fantastic!

Having his own fishing pole made all the difference for Spencer. 
He can cast like a real pro.  He also brought in five fish just using a fly.

Brevin was on a fishing hot streak, too.  He caught eight during the trip.

Garrett loved throwing rocks into the water, climbing, exploring, riding
his tricycle around camp, and hanging out with his cousin, Coulter.

This turned out to be the most difficult photograph to take due to the number
 of children involved.  Not to mention all the hats making it hard to see faces and
the fact that half are sitting in the shade while half are not.  I must have taken 
close to twenty pictures before I got one to turn out...sort of.

What can I say?  I love this picture taken at Upper Provo Falls.

 This one just might make the family calendar next year.

This post authored by Amber

Primarily Pioneers

Our Primary organized a Pioneer Day activity with stick pulling, tug-of-warring, butter making, horse and buggy riding, and rope bridge crossing.  It concluded with a Pioneer Day children's parade, and was a great success and a lot of fun for the participants.  Brevin and I dressed up for the occasion.  (Spencer had an asthma attack and opted to stay home.)  I managed to get some pictures that I thought were worthy of sharing.

Most children left the activity feeling grateful that they didn't have to work (or play) as hard as the pioneers did.  Even so, Brevin makes a cute little pioneer, doesn't he?

This post authored by Amber

Catching Dragonflies

Thanks to their older cousin, Rachel, Brevin and Spencer have a bit of an interest in entomology.  On summer evenings, they arm themselves with nets in attempts to swipe at the elusive dragonflies that buzz our home.  On this occasion, Grandpa Park even tried his hand at collecting, but Brevin was the only one who nabbed three out of the air.

Brevin and Spencer swiped simultaneously and got some pretty good air (just no dragonflies).

Jason goes for the ones well out of reach.  They end up well out of his net, too.

Brevin managed to hit this dragonfly with the edge of the net, stunning it.
That allowed us to get pictures of the dragonfly being held.

This post authored by Amber

Well, It's About Dang Time!

Two months have passed without any mention of Ella's development.  (Isn't it bad enough that she will never have a scrapbook or detailed chart of when certain teeth came in and when they fell out?) I guess I feel too safe in saying, "Oh, I can blog about it tomorrow." Suddenly, I realize just how many "tomorrows" have stacked up and magically turned into "yesterdays" with the task left undone.  I feel a bit in a daze as I turn another calender page over and wonder Where the heck did that month go?  Well, before my memory of the details fails me completely, here is what can be said for the passage of time:

Ella at Six Months

We learned at her doctor appointment that Ella still falls into the 10th percentile for weight and 5th for head circumference.  All this despite moving up to two solid meals per day. She's holding her place at 65th percentile for height, however. 

Small, though she may be, she shows a consistent growth pattern and she demonstrates all of the usual developmental activity for a child her age, so no one seems too alarmed by her petite physic.  She is very attentive to her surroundings and responsive to people.  She loves looking at faces and smiling back at people.  She laughs a lot now, too.  She hates having her legs and head touch the ground when placed on her back, and has gotten very good at holding an insane, ab-crunching position for a long period of time.  She recognizes her name, she rolls over in both directions, and she makes a lot of babbling noises.  Jason is thrilled that her first, very distinctive sound combination is "da-da" (or more accurately "da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da..."), but I can still claim the number-one spot in her heart, because she is definitely a "mama's girl."

Ella at Seven Months

While I don't have weights and measurements to prove it, Ella seems to continue her trend of being on the smaller size.  She is up to three meals a day, and it is much easier to feed her now that she no longer thrusts her tongue.  Her hair is long enough to put a curler in it, so she is often sporting a "wave" atop her head garnished with a flower.  Her first tooth erupted on August 20th (bottom right),  and all she had to show for the teething process was a week-long runny nose and a little bit of diarrhea (is that even a teething symptom?). She likes to donkey-kick when she wakes up in her crib and uses that as a means to turn on her music box.  She has added a "bwah" to her vocabulary, and it is so fun to hear her chattering.

As you can see from the pictures, it is much harder to get a still photograph of Ella with her doll.  She kicks and plays and reaches to pull everything toward her.  She is now sitting independently, so we will move to the miniature rocking chair for the next monthly photos.

Until next time, Ella-girl!  (Hopefully it won't be in two more months....but it likely will be.)

This post authored by Amber

August 24, 2011

Brevin, Birthday, & Basketball

The final birthday during the calendar year for our family falls to Brevin.  He patiently waited (and anticipated) through all other celebrations, talking about his expectations for his own special day.  I hope we did not disappoint him.  Of course, nearly everything was at his own request, so I think we did okay. 

Brevin's Friend Party

These were the tickets given as invitations to the event.  Thanks to the magic of Photoshop,
Brevin can posterize people just as well as Jimmer Fredette can.

Jason was kind enough to don his referee duds and make the calls for the three-on-three basketball game.


Though Brevin often hails me as being "such a creative mom" I will say right now, I am not.  I am a hard-working mom who feeds off of other creative people who are kind enough to post their brilliant ideas on the worldwide web. Take this awesome cake idea, for example. (Man, I love Google!)

These are all of the players who took part in the game (well, except Garrett) and followed it up with a hot dog lunch, courtesy of the referee. I  am sure parents were thrilled to receive their sweaty, stinky boys back home after the party.  These kids went all out and played a hard-core basketball game. 

Brevin's Family Birthday Party

As cool as the three-dimensional cake was, I was not about to make it a second time, so for
cake and ice-cream with extended family, we resorted to a plain basketball cake.


After presents were opened, the year-in-review video viewed, and the family crowds had gone home,
we had a special fireworks show in honor of Brevin's birthday and Utah's Pioneer Day. 

Brevin's Ninth Birthday

On the actual morning of his special day, Brevin wanted orange, basketball pancakes. 
 (I think, by this time, I had exhausted my supply of orange food color.)


The day was wrapped-up with dinner at the restaurant of Brevin's choice, Red Lobster. It seems like only yesterday he was choosing McDonald's or Chuck E. Cheese's.  I guess having your kids grow up isn't all bad!

Besides enjoying the sport of basketball (which is glaringly apparent from this post), Brevin has an impressive resume of talents and abilities.  (How else would you expect me to feel about my own child, right?)  But the thing I love most about Brevin is his passion and commitment to whatever he is involved in.  He isn't the best at everything he does, and I don't need him to be.  He does give everything his all, nothing half-hearted. That is what makes him so extraordinary, and that's what makes me most proud to be his mother.  I love you, my Brevy-boy!       

This post authored by Amber