Saturday, January 17, 2009

Duck Hunting Duo

Carter and Jayden were off early this morning on a duck hunting adventure. One of Carter's clients owns a private island on the Snake River and he invited them to hunt with him. They rode out to it on a jet boat (a highlight for Jayden). From their description it sounds like a hunter's paradise. There was a cozy, heated blind and lots of ducks. They were really pretty birds, called GoldenEyes.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Poor Makenna's Faceplant

Makenna slipped on the ice yesterday coming home from school. With her hands in her pockets, she landed on her face, as you can see. She was a bloody mess and nearly hysterical. A bump was raising right before my eyes. It took some work to calm us all down and clean her up. I took this picture this morning, but I should have waited because the blue-black eye is deepening as the day goes on. She was pretty tough, though, once the initial trauma wore off. So my question to any friend out there with medical savvy... should I medicate her shredded cheek with Neosporin and bandage it or leave it alone?

Everyday Happenings

One Sunday my boys decided they all wanted to match. (Actually I guess Kyler decided to copy Jayden so they would all match, but Jayden played along and Brennan wears whatever we put on him. ) Of course I had to take a picture of my little men in kacky pants, white shirts, and bolo ties. Those bolo ties are special, too. The one Jayden is wearing was given to him by a wonderful man in our ward. It has an Indian brave on horseback. Kyler is wearing one with a real scorpion that was Grandpa Mawson's. And Brennan is wearing a wooden/turquoise tie that was my dads.

Every kid has to have a few pictures in the album of himself with food all over his face, just to humble him when he gets big and starts thinking he's hot stuff.

Makenna decided to get a haircut, which I think is absolutely adorable. She may have done it just so I would stop pestering her everyday about pony-tails and braids. She's not a fussy kind of girl, but she sure is beautiful!

This was one of those beautiful moments when a mom sees a glimmer of shining hope. I asked Jayden to rinse and Makenna to load dishes after dinner the other night and I busily hurried on to some other task. When I passed by again, here they were, blaring music on the stereo, chatting together happily, and actually doing a really good job! This rekindling my constant hope that someday my sweet children really will pull their own weight around the house and, even better, actually like each other!

Our Garden Valley Adventure

The day after Christmas our family decided to brave the snowy weather and take a weekend trip up to Grandma and Grandpa Andrews' cabin. We had a terrific time and I will treasure the memories, but we did end up having a bit more of an adventure than we'd bargained for.

We traveled carefully on slick, snow-packed roads to find around three feet of snow at the cabin. (That was in the level areas - MUCH more in the drifts). Luckily we'd brought sleds and we used them to get the little kids and the suitcase up to the house.

Next is Carter chasing the children with a dead mouse he was emptying from a trap. Nice, Dad. They really are loving it, as you can see. That's what dads are for.

We left all our Christmas gifts behind except for a couple new boardgames. So we spent the weekend out playing in the snow and playing games inside when we wanted to warm up. It was so nice. There was one memorable trip to the hotsprings pool, skipping barefoot through slush into the water, and soaking while snowflakes swirled around our heads. It was one of those things, like eating at McDonalds, that you only do because you have kids.

Here are some shots of the children playing in the snow and a few shots for Grandma and Grandpa to see how much snow was here. I think Grandpa will congratulate himself for deciding to stay in Arizona this Christmas.

This is the back end of Large Marge.

I took these pictures on Saturday. There were about two feet of additional snow Sunday, but I didn't get any more pictures because by then were trying to figure out how we were going to get home. Carter borrowed some chains from another vehicle and with some creativity and shoelaces (just kidding) he managed to make them work long enough to get us onto a plowed road. It ended just fine and it was a neat end to the Christmas holiday.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Kyler is Five!!

The last five years with Kyler have flown by! No longer my dimpled, grinning baby, he has grown into my active, smart, dimpled, grinning little boy. Carter has accused me of giving him anything he wants. That surely isn't true, but I have to admit there is something about that twinkle in his eyes and that little grin that melts my heart every time. I have worried about Kyler, being sandwiched in between the two "big kids" and the two "little kids." But his easy-going nature has allowed him to be flexible and find his own place in the family. And we couldn't do without him! Kyler is quick with a smile, quick to help, and quick with a hug. He is especially artistic with colors and he has picked up reading in a flash.

We celebrated his birthday at Grandma and Grandpa Andrews' cabin in Garden Valley right after Christmas. (I have some fun pictures of that trip I will post later) It was quiet with just our family, but he had cake and presents and I hope Kyler felt how much we love him.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Beautiful Christmas Morning

We hope everyone out there had a terrific Christmas! We loved every minute of ours. We've spent the last several Christmas holidays together at the cabin with lots of family, which is completely wonderful. This year seemed awfully quiet and mellow compared to what we are used to. It is nice both ways.

Here are the things I will remember about this year. In times past I was disappointed when the kids managed to arrive at the Christmas tree and see what Santa brought them before I could be there to see their reactions. So I engineered things differently this year. The kids had a "sleep-over" in the family room downstairs, which they think is really exciting. I put the baby monitor in with them. They talked into it to wake us up in the morning (early!), and then we all arrived together at the tree. I was bleary-eyed, but ready with cam-corder in hand. I liked that. Maybe a new tradition in the making.

Brennan was happy about his cool new firetruck. Notice the chocolate all over his face. While everyone else was enjoying their presents, Brennan quietly raided all their stockings.

A blurry shot - sorry. Shaylie is in little girl dress up Heaven.
Now she's a High School Musical cheerleader. Oh, my.

We woke up to quite a bit of new snow Christmas morning, and I'll always remember Jayden and Makenna spending two hours shoveling and clearing the driveway so they could test- drive their new wheels.

This year I was especially excited to send out Christmas cards and bake, bake, bake! Last year I missed those things because we moved two days before Christmas. (I wouldn't recommend doing that, by the way). The whole month of December was a blur. So this year I had an extra appreciation for all the little things, like reading Christmas books and stories with the kids, eating too much fudge and toffee, and special family home evenings. My favorite was the evening we spent with Grandma and Grandpa Robinson and Grandpa Mawson. Grandma taught a nice lesson and then we all acted out the nativity. That was a first for us. I loved the ice and snow melting off the Baby Jesus during our performance because we'd just brought Him in from Grandpa's nativity scene outside. And my cute little sheppherd carrying a llama. And my angel breaking out in a ballet dance followed by curtsies and applause. Good times...

Jayden's Arrow of Light!!

After three years of hard work, Jayden has earned the Arrow of Light Award! In case you aren't familiar with Cub Scouts, that is the highest award you can get. Kind of like graduating. Jayden, you are a good boy and we are so proud of your dedication to accomplishing good goals! His friends Mason (above) and Jared also received the award. Good job, guys!
Jayden is very lucky to have lots of family support close by, and his grandparents and great-grandpa also participated in the ceremony. Grandpa Robinson is in the picture above and Great Grandpa Mawson is below. It was wonderful to have them there for his special day.

I hope you stay at it, Jayden, I really look forward to seeing you earn your EAGLE!