Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fun Filled Weekend

Last Friday evening after Nate got home from work, I headed down to the Cashman Center for the first part of Time Out for Women. I had been telling Nate, this is not a girls' weekend, it's a work conference! I told him I would come back a better wife and mother. After Friday evening's presentation we headed to Caesar's Palace to have dessert at Max Brenner. I had some waffle fries that were so delicious I would have paid $6 for them. Oh wait, I think I did. 

Becca, Scovia, and I spent the night at the Flamingo. We got to the hotel after midnight, and of course there was a huge line to check in even at that time of night. This city seriously never sleeps. Here is our cool/weird hotel room.

In the morning we had the buffet at the hotel (I think of you often dear omelet). Saturday was awesome with inspiring, funny, touching, and memorable speakers and performers. I got choked up over and over but did a pretty good job of not being a total water works. Here are the girls I sat with sporting our Time Out for Women bags. I actually only know two of these ladies, but it's amazing how much fun any group of women can have together.

We love Mariama! Here's a little about her: Raised in war-torn Sierra Leone, Mariama Kallon saw many things as a young girl that might fill a person with fear and hatred. Soon after witnessing the violent murders of parents and siblings and spending her youth fleeing from rebels, she was introduced to the gospel of Jesus Christ and found hope in God and peace in a knowledge of eternal families

Pure luck! I was sitting right in front of some awesome women from my ward.

Well, the fun didn't stop after that. I made a pit stop at home for a couple hours and then went to dinner and shopping with these lovely ladies. Gosh, I have got to grow up. These photos were my idea. We ate at a gourmet burger place called Bachi Burger and shopped at some outlets. I laughed and laughed that night.

Just a reminder, I am 30 years old.

I was a little stressed (but not much) that night because I was giving a talk in church the next day. A 15-20 minute one about "being an example of righteousness." Luckily, I had pretty much finished it up before the fun filled weekend because I knew I would be exhausted Saturday night. Feels so nice to have that over with, but I really did appreciate the opportunity to study and read and learn a lot that week as I prepared.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

This Child

Oh how I love this child. Her personality isn't something I can describe with words. She definitely has the whole family wrapped around her little pudgy finger. Jansen and Natalie are very good to her and love to be with her. She also turned 2 about a week ago! 

I started a playgroup with 2 other moms and their girls. We take turns having the kids come play at our houses and the other moms can have a break during that time. This is Emmy with her friend Grace. Emmy loves her little friends. When I tell her they are coming over she always tells me she will share her toys.

She is in that stage where she always wants to bring things with her in the car or into bed. Hmmmm, this is the 3rd picture in a row with that sippy cup. She does love it.

When we go pick Natalie up from school Emmy always runs and greets her with a big hug. She can finally say "Natalie" really well.

She loves to ride bikes and scooters. When we tell her we are going to go outside she usually throws both arms in the air, does a little dance, and say, "Ride bikes!"

She loves to color. She LOVES to watch Dora and Diego. She will sit without moving a muscle through whole episodes of those 2 shows, and that is priceless! (Jansen is offering up a prayer apparently in the background of this picture.)

There wasn't a lot of fanfare on her birthday, but she loved ending the day with presents, chocolate cake and  ice cream.

Emmy can scream with the best of them when she gets really upset, but she really doesn't throw a lot of tantrums yet. We've had some bumps in the road with her night time sleeping lately...she is getting in the habit of waking and then repeating over and over, "I...want...mommy." It's heartbreaking, and I have been going to her, but the last couple nights she has slept through the night. Yay!

She gets the words umbrella and rainbows mixed up, and I think it's so cute. When she wants me to sit by her she says, "Sit by us." She can say the names of all colors but doesn't know which ones are which. She loves to play in the sand box and build with Duplo blocks. 

We just love her to pieces and are cherishing this fun stage she is in.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Here and There

Here are some bits and pieces from life lately.
Both Emmy and Natalie have been coloring a lot. It's a great activity to keep Emmy occupied for a little bit, and we usually do it at the kitchen counter where Emmy is strapped in and can't wreak havoc on the house with a marker or crayon.

She is licking up the last of her ranch after "drinking" what she could from the cup. How about eating some of that food on your plate Emmy?

I caught this sweet picture of her feeding one of her babies. And so prepared for anything motherhood might throw at her with that backpack and all...

We're not completely sold on the idea of being a mother. Fighter pilot and princess are also options.

We hung out at a friend's house one Friday night and rocked out while doing Just Dance. 

I must get a photo of Chico on the blog. This little guy sits in a corner of our neighbor's yard, a bit of a cast off, and the kids love to go see him. 

Before going to the "real" park one afternoon, we slid around at a skate park. Ruined our pants but oh well!

This is the scene when Nate gets home from work. Hugs come first, but it doesn't take long for things to turn into loving "attacks."

Soccer started last night.

Jansen was upset that his team lost. I am helping coach this year. It's a juggling act if I have the girls, but if Nate has them, I have a blast being on the field with the little kids.

Emmy's true loves right now. Baby Jaguar and Strawberry Shortcake. There is a doll somewhere under all that scented hair.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Jansen's Birthday Party

Jansen has been very excited to turn 7. He waited patiently while Natalie celebrated her birthday and had her party...and his turn finally came. My kids are pretty indecisive and unrealistic when it comes to choosing party themes, so I basically suggested/persuaded Jansen to have a "science" party. 

He chose an Oreo Brownie Trifle for his party dessert. The leftovers are sitting in the fridge tempting me each time I open the door. Problem is, it's even better a day or two later.

We started the party by making bracelets with beads that turn color in the sun. As they put the beads on, I told them a change would take place when we went outside in the sun. They made guesses about what would happen to the clear beads.

Here is the crew. It makes me a little sad to think that in maybe a year or so Jansen probably won't want girls at his party. For now, they are some of his favorite friends. 

We did a few activities here at the table like make instant snow, grow "marbles" in water, and experiment with waterproof sand. Those little condiment cups were AWESOME. I used probably 80 of them for different things during the party. 

Great friends sporting their safety glasses.

Dr. Nye wowed the kids with "elephant toothpaste." 

And with slime...

We even set a dollar bill on fire, but it didn't burn! :) I only trusted my husband enough to use a one dollar bill on this one. We talked for a little while beforehand about NEVER using matches or lighters by yourself at home. Just had to include that bit for any of the parents of children who came to the party who may read this. 

This one is called "magic milk paint."

We sat down for a little while and built structures using toothpicks and marshmallows.

Somebody was having just as much fun as the kids.

We headed outside after that for the Mentos geyser!

It was awesome.

We finished up with trifle and opening presents. This picture reminds me that I need to ask Jansen what he wished for. Or does that make it not come true?

Emmy slept through all the partying, but I took her for a few rides on the party decorations to make up for it.

I have a love/hate relationship with parties. They are a lot of work, but this one was really fun and definitely worth it. If anyone wants info or details about the experiments just let me know in the comments and I'll get the links, etc to you.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Labor Day

It escapes me what we did most of Labor Day. I do know Jansen was born on Labor Day 7 years ago. And I do know that we went up to Mt. Charleston in the afternoon. A few friends joined us and we had a picnic dinner. This is a picture of us driving towards cooler weather.

It was fairly crowded, but we didn't have a problem finding a parking spot or a place to sit and eat. At home we had to dig through our clothes and find some pants and long sleeves to wear. It certainly wasn't cold up there though. It felt awesome. Jansen and his buddy Weston spent most of their time wearing Proton Packs and fighting off ghosts.

We had a great time talking with friends and enjoying the cool air. I'm glad we got it into gear and planned this last minute outing.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I Can Still Smell Her

With all the kids' birthdays so close together, my mom decided to come down for a visit to celebrate. It worked out really nice because Nate was gone part of the weekend hiking Mt. Whitney. Hooray for not being alone with the kids all day on a Saturday! We just loved having her here...I mean, she's the type of grandma that will wear a Strawberry Shortcake accessory in her hair. And it was probably her idea.

The kids were introduced to the game Barrel of Monkeys. Gosh, Natalie has a long way to go in terms of being a good sport. Full on fits on the floor if things didn't go her way.

We ran errands together and went to the park. I'm thinking of putting this one in Emmy's modeling portfolio. I mean, the girl is looking good in that playground tunnel.

Jansen asked me to take a picture of him to show why he was "born for the monkey bars." 

The guest bedroom still smells like my mom (in a good way), so I miss her every time I go in there. Thankfully, I know she'll be back before too long!