Friday, October 31, 2014

Dallas Zoo

A few weeks ago the kids did not have school on a Friday so we loaded up and went to the zoo with some friends. 

 It is true that my kids seem to like the statues of animals as much as the actual animals. 

Yes, I was there too.
It was a beautiful day at the zoo and we loved spending time with friends.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

General Conference

I love Conference weekend!
I feel so refreshed after.
Saturday we enjoyed the morning session followed by a family bike ride and run.
We had a good afternoon session and then met friends at the park for a pizza potluck before priesthood. The men all piled in to Peter's truck including riding in the back to the church a few blocks away. Silly men!
 Sunday was relaxing and wonderful! Lily was so happy to do play doh and Jon did science experiments between sessions. 
Our food traditions were upheld- ruben sandwiches, homemade rolls, conference mix (popcorn mixed with whatever else you want to add in: cereal, m & m's, little crackers, marshmallows and in the spring jelly beans).
Our spirits were fed too. I would like to take this moment to thank Elder Bednar for sharing the story of his two boys and the injury because my 3 older kids have talked about it alot. I thought we had lost their attention by the 8th hour of conference but with the right story they can be held a little longer. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Utah Trip Day 6 - Home Again, Home Again

Tuesday turned into a long day of travelling.
We said our farewells to Grandma and Grandpa Bird.

 We then drove to Grandma Rabner's school to say good bye and by the house to say good by to Grandpa Rabner.
Uncle Tyler drove us to the airport, thank you!
 We did not have too long to wait for our first flight to Las Vegas.
 During the flight, we realized we would end up with a 2 hour lay over- how did we not realize this.
So when that happens and it is close to lunch time you: eat expensive airport food and make faces at the camera.

 Oh and try to keep your kids from pushing the buttons on the slot machines, oh oh oh. 
We left my parents' house at 7:15 am and landed in Dallas at 5:45. It was a long day.
But, the first thing Lily said when we got in the car was "I will watch a movie and we can drive to Grandma's." She was ready to go back. I don't blame her. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Utah Trip Day 5

Monday was a magical day!
The stars aligned and I was reunited with my 5 roommates from BYU.
I did not know these girls but they all knew each other and I really did not know what to expect.
Would they like me? Would we get along? Would they accept me? Would we be close?
The answer to all of those was a resounding YES!!!
The Lord had such a blessing in store for me 17 years ago! 
It is one of those blessings where I truly feel the windows of heaven were opened upon me and I still don't have room enough to receive it! 
You will struggle to find 5 more amazing women! It was so fun to visit for hours. Peter came along too and he pointed out that it was as if we were just picking up where we left off. (We are just each sporting a few kids and more life experiences and more ups and downs.)
There are days that I imagine myself back in one of our apartments laughing and dancing and putting up quotes of the day or Pinkie and the Brain quotes. These women are a huge part of the reason I am the person I am today. I would do anything for any of them! I pray for them and love them!
(Top Row L to R: Wendy - my "room" roommate as we called it; Rachel; Heather
Bottom Row L to R: Paula, Me, Lora Jean)
That night we had a family dinner to celebrate Joey and my niece Kate's birthday. 
It was more cousin craziness and great fun!

 Seriously, could I have caught a more awkward picture of Jon- I love it!

 My family! Oh how I love them! 
I wish I could make a trip to visit each month!
 We are a good looking family! I am blessed by them each day.
I am thankful they all made an effort to see us and hang out with us while we were in town.
Since returning home, Lily has prayed fro Grandma and Grandpa's house and trips there. 
For me, that means it was worth it if she in her 3 year old mind thinks it was great enough to pray for! 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Utah Trip Day 4

Sunday was wonderful!
We had the morning to hang out and visit with Carla and her family (they are staying at my parents' house while they build their new house).
We attended church with Jana and Carla. Their houses are in the same ward for now and it was their Primary program. So many kids but it was fantastic!
 Then we had a delicious dinner with the Rabner's!
I also made my family dress up and head up the canyon for a few pictures. Ben was kind enough to play photographer.  I had hoped for more fall leaves but they just were not really there yet. We did take some by a great barn and a fence and a good climbing tree. I am excited to see how they turned out. 
 We are so lucky that when we make a trip to Utah we get to see both sets of Grandparents.
 Back at the Bird's there was pajamas and some bedtime snuggles.

And some plain old falling asleep in the magic recliner that puts most anyone to sleep. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Utah Trip Day3

I believe I mentioned that the reason for heading to Utah was to learn to can grape juice. 
Well, Saturday we canned/bottled.
After getting the kids fed and started we began to wash and sort produce.
My mom was nice enough to let me go for a run with my sister Jana- what a treat. It was sprinkling when we left and started to rain a little harder and a little harder until it was a downpour and my dad had to come and rescue us. We were soaked clear through but it was refreshing. 
Back to bottling. 
We got some grapes going in the juicer and then set to work on the salsa which we decided to do since my parents still had so much produce. 
My eyes watered from the onions and my throat burned from the peppers even though I did not cut either one they were just that strong. 
We made a good team. 
It took most of the day but in the end we bottled about 24 quarts of grape juice and 30 half pint jars of salsa.  It felt so good! I learned so much and I look forward to trying to do it myself.
We cleaned up and my mom and I snuck away for a few minutes to do some shopping. 
The men took the kids to a movie (Planes: Fire and Rescue) while we ladies had dinner at Kneaders and then went to the Women's Broadcast which is where I finally took a picture that day. 
My most amazing, talented, loving, smart, gifted, spiritual MOM!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Utah Day 2 Part 3

 Friday night when we returned there was a full scale sleep over going on.
17 of the 20 grandkids were partying it up!
In the end, Joseph lucked out with the couch in the main room with the girls and the other boys opted for the front room.
 One might think that when kids do not fall asleep until well after 11 and closer to 12 that they would sleep in some but not these crazy boys.  They came in to tell me they were up at 6 am. I tried to keep them calm and quiet by reading to them but the others were up and at it before too long. 
Lily did not want to sleep inside, she wanted to sleep outside. Peter being the outdoor loving man that he is was more than happy to oblige his daughter's wish. 
It had been sprinkling/raining (remember the canyon) so the trampoline was wet. No, she still wanted to sleep outside so we found a tarp.  They kept it folded in half and laid on the bottom part and pulled the top half over them. Peter says she slept soundly all night. Just as my mom and I finished with the little kids I heard huge thunder and lightning, I raced to the window but there was no movement.  They made it all night long and slept later than almost any of the kids in the house. 
Everyone was happy!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Utah Trip Day 2 Part 2

For our evening fun, we headed up Hobble Creek Canyon with the Rabner's!
We ate delicious food and were surrounded by beautiful mountains and cool weather- we could not have asked for more.
I did not take too many pictures but if I did they would have consisted of our kids climbing up this steep hill near our site over and over.
They even convinced Grandma to go up.  We had Basil and Dill with us (Ben's and Grandma's dogs) who were great with the kids. 
 Just as it was getting too dark to be out much longer it started to sprinkle and then rain a bit harder.
 The kids and I dashed to the car to stay dry while the others packed up.
 We loved the time we had with this Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Ben that night too!
 I had to add these two pictures from that day- beautiful Maple Mountain with the leaves changing colors and then these two cuties - 6 weeks apart!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Utah Trip Day 2 Part 1

I look back and I am amazed at all that we did on Friday!
The kids did not waste time with sleeping in but were up and at 'em first thing in the morning.
There was birthday toy playing.
 Mickey Mouse Waffle Making

 Samantha Snuggling
 Picking tomatoes, onions, peppers and grapes from the graden.
 Flower ring making with Grandma's beautiful flowers.
 Daddy making Samantha giggle and then...
enter another child who startles her and this is what you get!
 Warm enough weather to play in the water! 

 The pictures above pretty much explain themselves right?! Fun at Grandma's!
 Candy and toys with cousins!
We also had sandwiches from Zubs for lunch! Yummy!
My mom and I went to the store to get the rest of the ingredients for canning salsa and bought jars for canning salsa and juice. We also had to stock up on chocolate milk, a staple in Grandma's fridge.
Stay tuned for the rest of the Friday fun- the canyon with the Rabner's.