Ansel fell asleep like this

Summer exhaustion at it's best. 


Lagoon Day

I have such good memories spending time with cousins at Lagoon. However, when we took a trip there recently, I was surprised by how much it has changed since my youth. The kid area has doubled in size (no more old pool or place behind the bathrooms for teens to smoke). The roller coaster options have tripled! And the Terror Ride was celebrating its 50th year. What has also changed is my ability to go on every ride. I was looking forward to going on the Colussus with Jess since it was the first time he'd visited, but after going on a mid level (maybe even an entry level) coaster, the motion sickness was starting and we skipped it. Instead, we went on the sky ride. And now, after typing that, I am officially a 35 year old mom. Haha! Some photos below of the day spent at the amusement park. 

One of the new kiddie rides enjoyed by the boys. I love Ollie's wave to us here. 

Entering the revamped Terror Ride with grandpa (who remembers when the original ride opened! Cool!).

Ian was a good observer of it all. 

Prepping for the Tidal Wave to begin with Grandma. 

Ansel says his favorite ride was, well, every single one of them.  

A good time had by all. And we were sure not to skip the Log Flume. A classic that took me back :)


Tour of Utah

I love when I learn or do something new because of another person's interests. I guess I've been doing that my whole life! I've been lucky to know lots of neat people with different hobbies and this time was no exception. 

This past weekend, due to Jess' love of road biking (or cycling), we went to watch the final leg of the multistage cycling race in Utah. We headed downtown and walked to the course. It was a lot of fun. More fun than our kids initially thought. We cheered as the peloton passed us and watched with anticipation to see who would win. We could not believe the shape these guys were in (if you want to be a good hill climber, body fat should be around 3-4%, so your very light but with enough muscle to rock up those hills) and the endurance they had. We even snagged a water bottle an athlete threw to the side of the road while climbing up State Street. Picture someone catching a ball at a baseball game. Everyone wanted a piece of the action!

Afterward Ian wanted to swim in the fountain at the Capitol building but had to settle for just getting his feet wet. You'll notice that Ansel plunged his feet in too, shoes and socks included. He told us he didn't remember he had shoes and socks on when he did it. Ahhh, to be four. 

Now Jess wants a new bike and we've all done something we'd never done before. Cool!


Swim lessons

Last year my sister asked if Ollie would like to take swim lessons from a college girl in her neighborhood. I jumped on the suggestion with an emphatic YES! I'd been on the lookout for something better than what I'd tried in the past. Turns out, this girl is magic. She has the skill of swimming and she's great with the kids. I put Ansel in this year too.  Every time the two of them finish their lesson they want to stay and keep swimming (Why wouldn't you when the pool looks like that?).

Today we had our last swim lesson and both of them jumped off the diving board. A goal we had set at the beginning of summer. Woot! 

Now if only this girl could stay in college forever and continue teaching. Ian is already looking forward to it :)


School lunch

Making school lunches is coming soon. Too soon! I registered Oliver for school this week and I realized we are only 3 Saturdays away from a new school year. Summer always goes so fast. 

To prep, Oliver had some good info for me. He was reading through some coupons we got in the mail (are my kids the only ones who find coupons in the mail so very interesting?).  One coupon had some "Moola Saving Mom tips" from which Ollie thought I could benefit. 

"Mom, you could take this advice," and then he read the tip, "Think outside of the box - [school home lunch] doesn't always need to be a sandwich and chips! What about cereal or a toasted waffle with fruit or even leftovers!"

Noted Ollie, noted. But first, more summer goodness. 


Beach babies!

We recently visited the beach in CA and spent some time with our extended family for my family reunion. It was such a great time. We were so excited to go that we made the 10 hour drive in one day with only one 30 minute stop. Everyone was like, "let's get there!" except for poor Ian. He's just loves to move and all he wanted to do was get out and crawl. But he's a champ and we all endured and made it in record time. When we finally got there, the beach and ocean were a site to see!

We enjoyed many days with the sand between our toes and the water rushing through our fingers. 

All tired out from a full day. 

Ansel runs from an older cousin!

Ian loved the sun and sand. I never got a pic of Oliver on the beach because he spent most of his time out in the water boogie boarding and wave jumping. 

We enjoyed riding the "one wheel."  It took a bit of skill and concentration, but this thing is awesome. 
These guys were worn out by bedtime and would quickly fall asleep as Jess read them Prince Caspian. 

Hilarious cups my sister brought to the barbecue. 

We visited Legoland and Ansel was so excited because he was tall enough to ride the rides. He'd been talking about this visit for a year and all of his amusement park dreams came true. 

We had a chance to visit Uncle Clark and eat lunch with a beautiful view. In this pic, Oliver is capturing Ansel with his meal and many sauces.

And here's our family shot from the night we took photos. 3/5 smiling, okay, I'll take it. 

What a great time. We are ready to go again!


The 4th

July 4th was quite the day. I am starting to think that it just may be my favorite holiday. Who doesn't love watermelon, fireworks, water fights, conversation, barbecue and babies crawling around on the grass? My kids were pumped the minute they woke up. Here are some pics from the day. 

Jess helps Ansel hold a 27 lb. watermelon

Ian's first 4th of July

Ollie plays a old bugle to celebrate freedom at Grandpa & Grandma's house

Water blob that our aunt made for the festivities

Jess hands out sparklers

And my favorite photo of the day, my dad holding Ian and watching fireworks. Their faces are exactly the same! Too dang cute. 

Aerial fireworks were legal this year, so we had quite a show. We got a kick out of the names of the fireworks: Road Trip, Look at This!, R U ready?, Monster Crusher and the like. At one point, Jess was lighting the firework pack we brought. It was a $29.99 special and the fireworks were more of the variety we lit when I was a kid. He was coming up with his own names and how they related to the aerial ones my bro-in-law was lighting. After Road Trip, Jess lit a small fountain of fireworks and called it the Staycation. Hilarious. 

On the way home we spotted a fire. Turns out it was very near my dad's house. We rushed to the scene. I couldn't believe it! I got close and took pics while my family was in the car. When I got home I smelled like fire. It was all a little intense. In the end, one house was partially burned but the fire was quickly put out. After hearing there were over 8 fires in our area on the fourth, Utah may not be having aerial fireworks next year folks. 

Getting older!

This guy is crawling like a champ. His first tooth is just barely coming in. He's so smiley and seems to say hi, dada, no-no and he sings. I can't believe he's approaching 1 year. Such a cutie.  

Say what part ii

These are too good not to share. 

From Ansel:
He called yellow jacket wasps, "life jackets."
When driving home from California he said, "are we in Brazil now?"
And he calls Elmer Fudd from Looney Tunes, Alma Fudd. 


Say what

My kids have got some awesome sayings these days. 

Oliver when responding to the fact that we were going to the store. A task which he does not like. "Why don't you just plant a garden so we don't have to go shopping?"

Ansel in response to my declaration that I wanted to make sourdough bread, "does it have lemon or lime juice in it?

And Ian's first word, "dadada."
Our little summer group at Wheeler Farm. The boys thought it'd be funny to pose next to fake cows. Good stuff!


As we speak

Ansel just said to me, "Mom you are going to be 36 in March. You are so old!" We're keepin' it real over here. 
This guy is so into age right now. He wants to be 8 so he can have a sleepover with his cousins down south for a week. 

You see that's what Oliver's been up to this week and we miss him. I'm pretty sure he does not miss us. He's having such a good time.
Love that water slide face!



Broomstick with Ian!
Double piggy back ride with Oliver and Ansel. 
This guy is such a top notch guy. Cool as a cucumber when I tend not to be. He's always willing to listen to my latest concerns. He reads to these boys at night and they laugh and laugh at the funny jokes and awesome voices he makes. We all look forward to seeing him after a long day. He is one good father and I'm grateful I get to parent with him. Good to the core. 



When Ansel recently came home from a get together with cousins he couldn't stop talking about the "Hexbug triple set!"  He then decided he wanted one of his own for his birthday, no...for Christmas, wait...for summer! Imagine his disappointment when I informed him that just wanting something doesn't mean he'll get it.  I then said something sarcastic like, "if we all had what we wanted I'd have a Audi 4 RS and a pool in the backyard," which is funny because I don't really want either of those things, but heck, I was trying to make a point. Well, Ansel didn't care about the point I was making and decided to buy the Hexbug triple set with his own money. I was a little surprised he was willing to fork over 80% of his current earnings (who are we fooling, it's all birthday and Christmas money from his grandparents), for the toy. I even delayed ordering it because I thought his excitement might die down over time. It did not. The kid counted down the days until the set would arrive. As a side note, during the waiting period, Ansel began to think a little more about money as evidenced by a question he asked me one night. "Mom," he said, "is Dad the richest in our family?"

The Hexbug triple set came just today and it was welcomed with great excitement. I love capturing what it feels like to get the first thing you've bought with your own money. For Ollie it was a globe and he gave the thing a hug. Ansel's excitement was very similar for his set. 

The toy was worth the cash and the boys have been playing with it all morning. And now the neighbors are loving it too. And this is all I really want. 



In the middle of the school year we had a squinter. He wanted to wait until third grade to get glasses, but I felt like a negligent parent after a few months and made an appointment. At the appointment it was clear is he was near sighted, just like his mom and dad (sorry about that Ollie). By the time we were done with the check, Oliver said to me, "Can I get my glasses now?" Clearly, the boy was grateful he could see leaf outlines on trees and read words from far away. 

Cheers to solving a problem with relative ease! And now he's got to wear them to school. The next hurdle. With two days left of the school year, I'm guessing he'll leave that for third grade. And that's totally fine with me. I get it. I was worried about "introducing" my glasses to my peers too.



This past weekend our little family all took part in a first for everyone: our first trip to Montana! We had a wonderful time with my sister and her family. Montana is beautiful and the sweeping hills and tall mountains remind me of Utah before it got a little more populated. We hit up a couple of cool things but all agreed we need to go back again!

Palisade falls, a great hike that we loved. 
Feeding dandelions to the goats. 
Watching bears at the Grizzly (Ansel called them ridely bears) encounter. 
Swimming in the hot springs pools. 
And taking a break from driving home at a restaurant housed in an old Junior High. 



Today Ansel said to me while playing at the park, "Mom, let's act like I'm 80 and you're 70 and I'm in charge."

I love what comes out of Ansel's mind. He's thinking about a lot of stuff. Some of which include trying to make sense of new words and phrases:
Diccar is guitar
Diarrhea is bacteria
Mind is mine
I'll take the short cut and you take the long cut
Paralyzed for fertilized
Compuner for computer
Liverty for liberty

He's also very into learning how things work:
I overheard him explaining to his buddy how muscles help our bodies move. 
When I had a cold, he told me that the white blood cells were working hard to get rid of the illness.
He loves to ask how old he'll be when I'm 40 or how old Ollie will be when he's 9, etc. He asks this kind of thing daily. 

And finally, when he gets tired, he'll go downstairs, swing on the swing, lull himself to sleep, then get off and take a nap. This he does regularly.   

I love this kid. 



The other Sunday I was taking a walk and was looking up when I saw this:

An owl in my neighborhood, in the wild. So cool! I hurried to show the rest of my little family. We watched the the owl blink slowly and turn his head nearly 360 degrees. There are so many birds in our neck of the woods. 


8+ months

This guy is so smiley. He lifts people up and lightens the mood with a smile. His little curls are so fun. And his eyes are a tad bit hazel. 

I love him. We love him so much!


Coin collector

I love having kids partly because their interests enable me to learn new things. Take for instance, coins. Oliver is very much into coins and how rare certain versions are, etc. So many kind friends, neighbors, and family have helped Ollie build his foreign coin collection. And now he's getting into the rare coin business. We have a man who lives in our neighborhood who owns a coin shop and the other day we paid it a visit. 

As we walked in, Oliver knew exactly what he wanted.  I chatted a bit with the lady at the counter, then Ollie took his turn, "Do you have any Benjamin Franklin half dollars?" Um, what? I thought to myself. I had no idea this coin even existed and here was my seven year old talking with the coin dealer like it was no big deal. The dealer went to the back and grabbed some coins for Ollie to look at. He choose a fine grade coin and handed over $7 in exchange. Ansel joined the fray and bought two silver dimes (one was a mercury dime, another coin I did not know existed) for $3. We talked some more, looked around then headed for the car. 

Jess and I looked at the boys' coins and oohed and aahed over them. They were really neat and a part of history. As we backed out of the parking lot Oliver exclaimed, "I am so happy now, I'm crying!" His eyes were watery. I think he thought rare coins were so out of his reach and unattainable, that he couldn't believe he had actually bought something that, only moments before, he had only read about. It was a magical. And since then, his coin collection just keeps growing. Ask him about it sometime. It really is something special.