Thursday, March 24, 2016

Let the Disney Story Begin

 About 8 months ago, we decided it would be really fun to take the kids to Disneyland again.
We did not mention it to them in case it did not happen. 
Well, we started making plans and saving and it was indeed going to happen. 
We then decided to keep it a secret, which was really hard for me! 
We finally told the kids that we were going to go somewhere for Spring Break but did not tell them exactly where. As Spring Break, drew nearer they became more and  more curious.  We decided to give them some clues and let them figure it out for themselves. 
Monday we showed them a picture of a wii and a fly and they figured out that we would fly to our destination. 
Wednesday we showed them a family tree without any names but with my parents circled and they figured out that we would see my parents. This had them convinced that we were going to Utah.  But, one of the boys realized that grandma and grandpa could fly to wherever we were going.
Friday we showed them some new sand toys we bought for our day at the beach.  They instantly knew we were going to the beach and started saying things like Florida, California, and Bear Lake.  Then we gave them some pin trading lanyards and they knew it was Disneyland.  They were a bit hopeful it was DisneyWorld but we were not ready to tackle that adventure yet. 

 Peter came home from work early to finish packing for the airport and discovered a broken pressurized sprinkler pipe. Not good timing.  But Peter being the incredible handy man that he is, was able to get it fixed! I do love that man!
 We had a slightly delayed departure for the airport which worked for our advantage in the end.  We rode on the same shuttle from the parking lot to the airport with the co-pilot of our plane.  She then was able to get us pre-boarded and as we walked on the plane the flight attendant gave each of my kids a snack and a cardboard airplane they could build and plastic wings! 
Then as we were getting off of that plane she let the kids climb into the cockpit! Super Cool!
Danielle, wherever you are- you are the best!
 By the time we made it to LA, Samantha was exhausted and so were the rest of us. 
The shuttle ride to the rental car was long and the drive to the hotel was long as well but we made it at last.  We were super excited to see Grandma and Grandpa Bird and then went to bed with visions of Disneyland dancing in our head!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

School Happenings

At the beginning of March Lily had Wacky Wednesday in honor of Dr. Seuss! 
She love getting dressed up!

That same week the kids had their open house at school! 
Arabella's class had been learning about all things Texas. He cowgirl is the third on the left with the yellow shirt. She loved making her bluebonnet out of tissue paper.
In 4th grade, the students get to make masks. Jon was really proud of his- it is the one with two long horns. Notice that Samantha wanted in on the picture action. 
And finally, a video of Joseph practicing his viola. We are so proud of the progress he has made this year. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

My Girls

I have said it before that most of my pictures are of Samantha.  Well, it is because we spend the most time together.  She also makes for some photo worthy moments!
 She likes to add her own accessories.
 I taught her the magic of graham crackers and milk! Yum!
 And all kids love to pull things off of the pantry shelves and stack them but it takes a special kind of child to then sit in the pantry and peel onions! 
And then ther eare moments like this in my life! These girls laugh and play together everyday. My heart fill with love, peace, contentment, purpose, and understanding when I look at this picture. Motherhood is not always laughter and smiles but it is my most treasured role.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Taekwondo Testing

It seems that it has been awhile since I posted pictures of Peter or Joseph at taekwondo.
We were able to make it to their testing in February and it was so fun to see how great they are!
 Peter will be testing for his black belt in April and we are so proud of him
He really enjoys the people he takes class with. 

 Joseph will be testing for his 3rd degree black belt in April.
He has made so much progress over the last few years! 
It helps that his strength due to his age and maturity have made him more capable to do certain moves with a steadiness and grace if you will that makes him look amazing! 

The two of them sparring each other was really entertaining to watch. 
Next month will be exciting- be on the watch for those pictures. 
In the meantime, enjoy this video of Joseph doing his board breaks!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Stake Relief Society Women's Conference

The same weekend as Joseph's UIL competition was the weekend of my Stake RS Conference. 
It was such an amazing process to select a theme, class topics, teachers, and those to help with decorations and food. I love being a part of something where the Lord's hand is felt in all that is decided upon. 
The theme we chose was "Distinct and Different in Happy Ways."  It is taken from a quote from Pres. Spencer W. Kimball in the talk "A Plea to My Sisters" given by President Russell M. Nelson at the October 2015 General Conference. It is such a beautiful message to the sisters of the church that we felt it simply needed to be the focus. 
 The decorations were done by a sister in my ward,  Whitney Hill, and her mom, Randy Niebaur, in another ward in the stake.  They did such a beautiful job. 
Each table in the cultural hall had a different flower centerpiece and a variety of the words used by Pres. Nelson to describe the women of the church cut in wood by a laser cutter. 
 Then this wall and one in the other lobby were brought into the cultural hall during the luncheon to create the big wall below. 
 The luncheon was delicious and there was plenty of food. 
Even better were the responses we got from the sisters in attendance that this was uplifting to them and they learned many things they would be able to take into their lives and homes. I loved the classes I was able to attend. President and  Sister Ames the mission presidents did an outstanding job on talking about how to prepare a missionary and to help them be ready to endure a mission. My dear friend Amanda Miller let me rope her into teaching a class on making paracord bracelets as a service project. I am so blessed to have amazing people in my life. The 3 women pictured with me above are 3 of the most amazing women that I can not believe I did not know a year ago. Suzanne Watson is on the left and is the president. She is kind, loving, happy, full of knowledge and a love of the scriptures. Lori Spear is the the right of me and she is the 1st counselor. I love her laugh and outlook on life. She knows how to get things done and is a busy lady but always has time to serve. Chris Boyce is the last one on the right and she is our secretary. She keeps us organized and ready for the next event. I know she is a woman I will cherish. She shares the most amazing gospel insights. I hope to have the spiritual vision she has someday. 
We were so relieved to have this over but overjoyed by how it turned out. We are already making notes for how we can make next year even better. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

UIL -Joseph

The schools around her compete in what is called UIL -University Interscholastic League. There are different areas: arts, academics, music, theatre, and athletics. 
Joseph was asked to be a part of his school's number sense (complicated math that you do in your head) and calculator (again complicated math that you do on calculators ensuring you enter all of hte processes correctly) teams. 
We agreed that is would be a good experience for him. 
He attended practices for a few weeks in preparation for the competition. 
Not knowing what to expect, we were just happy he was joining his peers in an activity. 
 Parents could not watch the competitions but were invited to the awards ceremony. 
 Joseph did not place in number sense and so when the calculator names were starting to be called and he was not called for 4th, 5th or 6th I thought oh well it was a good experience.  And then....
he took 1st PLACE!!! He is a smarty and math makes sense to him just like his dad!
We are so proud of Joseph and his hard work in school and the way he is excelling. I think next year we will encourage him to try a few more areas.

As a side note, Joseph was just accepted into the LEAP program at school; it is like gifted and talented. We had been asked if we did not want him in it since he was already taking most of the classes except English with all of the LEAP kids.  He had been tested before but due to his anxieties, which he has learned to control, he never tested well in elementary school so we did not worry about it. Well, they tested him again and he did great. We always knew he was a smarty pants and it did not really matter what the rest of the world thought! He had to spend part of Spring Break working on his first assigned reading The Slave Dancer. Joseph go show the world what you are made of- we love you!

Finishing up February

It is time to finish up February. I have realized that this is often the month that does not get as many pictures taken. It is as if the months of winter have caught up to us and we are struggling to find things to take pictures of. 
 We did venture to a international women's water polo tournament. These are the teams that we should see this summer in the Olympics! The US team was amazing and dominated the water!
 There was a day off from school and I made the kids pull weeds in the yard with me for a good portion of the day. These 3 big kids tackled almost the whole garden even after spending about 2 hours in the front yard. I have good kids!
 It is embarrassing but true that this is the only picture I have from the cub scout blue and bold banquet. It was an awesome Star Wars themed event and the kids loved it. Jon had a really good time and he did enjoy the lightsaber cupcakes I made. 
And finally, Lily has become quite proficient at climbing this tree that is outside her preschool. She is so proud of herself.