Sunday, February 19, 2017

Mark 4th Grade Basketball

Mark took a big step forward in basketball this year. Now he is playing on a team with a real referee, and worst of all, they play for fun rather than a snack at the end of the game. Still, Mark likes basketball, and we have seen him really excel. 
Dad is definitely the loudest coach in the league.
Dad is Mark's coach again this year, and he has challenged Mark to run the team as the point guard. It took half a season for the other players to learn that they don't stand around waiting to get a pass in, but when they finally got down court, Mark was great at getting the ball to them. Now, Mark's team scores many baskets before the other team even turns around because everyone hustles down and waits for Mark to get the ball to them. 
Mark's ability to control the ball and look up for a lane or a pass makes him a standout in the league.
Several times Mark has been given difficult defensive assignments. One game we even had a kid score 8 points in the first 3 minutes of the game. After we switched Mark over to guard him, he went scoreless for the last three and a half quarters. 
Seth and Dax like to try and steal the ball from Mark during halftime or warm ups.
Our boys think buzzer beaters are the greatest thing in the world. Mark got two buzzer beaters this year. He ended up lobbing a shot from the opposite foul line, but, like Dax's shot, it caromed off the back iron, much to our disappointment. Then, the last game of the season, Mark took the ball down the court and laid it in right as time expired. He was pretty excited, as you will see in the video below (and you can tell by the cheer that Dax was even more excited!). 
Mark is quicker on the dribble than many kids are at running!
Mark is really a very good basketball player, easily the best on his team. He sees the floor well, and passes, rebounds, and scores more than any player on the floor. He's had a lot of fun this year... and he hasn't even missed the snacks that much!
Here's Mark's team (we are missing Christian).

Monday, February 13, 2017

Searching for Bald Eagles


We have a yearly tradition of heading to Sanpete County to look for Bald Eagles. Some years we have seen close to 20, other years just a few, but it is always a fun adventure.

This year we only saw 5 bald eagles, but we saw a lot of other fun creatures. Before we hit Sanpete County, we saw this herd of elk hanging out in the canyon. Then we spotted this beautiful hawk--we have the hardest time identifying hawks, but since we got such a great look we can definitely say this is a Rough-Legged Hawk. We spotted deer in lots of spots, and finally we found some bald eagles.

The elk were right off the side of the road.
I think this Rough Legged Hawk has the most beautiful coloring.  
We saw lots of deer, but this one hopped right next to us on the road.
These are the first two bald eagles that we spotted. 
Then we saw this guy in the field. Mom thought it was a rabbit at first.  
He did not like his picture being taken. He moved all over the place whenever I tried to snap a pic.
We always make the quick drive over to the Manti Temple when we are in the area and remember how Mom and Dad were sealed together there years and years ago! And finally we ended the day with the best pizza on earth: Roy's Pizza. We love that everyone is happy when we eat there, even Mark who won't eat pizza. Thank goodness for the pasta.
It will be 15 years later this year. That's crazy!
Finally, on our way home, we spotted the turkeys in the canyon that we always like to see by Randy's cousin's house. I think we counted about 30 of them waddling around.
We love watching the turkeys.
And we love that our camera can take such great pics of them from across the road.
You can see that there was quite a huge bunch of them!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Piano Festival

These two are amazing piano players!
Our boys had the chance to participate in a piano festival. There were different festivals that they could choose to do, and in February they chose a solo festival. They were required to memorize two songs. Then they performed for 3 judges and were scored on how well they played their music. They also had to perform with a small group of 4-6 students, so there were other people watching.

This was Dax's first time participating in a festival. He was really nervous, and worst of all, he had to go first! I was so proud of him. He remembered his songs, which was good, since he was so worried that he was going to forget them. And he played them very well. He also took a big bow at the end which he does not like to do. Dax has really developed into a great little piano player this last year. I am so proud of him.

Mark has competed in lots of festivals, so he is getting used to the pressure. He still gets plenty nervous, but he also did amazing today. He is getting so proficient at the piano and can sit down and play some of the Hymns without practicing. I am so glad Mark still loves playing the piano.

They both received superior ratings, which is the highest mark you can receive. We are so proud of both of them! I am not allowed to take any photos or videos during the performances, but we took a few afterward to remember their great performance day. The judges told the boys how sharp they looked in their suits. They also commented on how well prepared they were, and they could tell they worked hard and practiced. It was so nice of them to take time to compliment the boys!

Dax looks so handsome in his suit!
Why does Mark look like he is about to go on a mission? Stop getting so old!!
Seth really looks up to his big brothers and can't wait to play the piano.

A Quick Memory of Seth

Seth came home from preschool with a tag on his shirt that said, "I am Special." He told me that they had a few extra minutes so his teacher wrote that for everyone before they went home. Then Seth said, "I have one for you, Mom." He pulled out a sticker that says, "Mom, you are special." I made a big deal about how much I loved it. Then I asked him why Miss Tina had written one for all the moms too, and Seth told me that he had asked her to make one for me, but no one else had made one for their mom. I was truly touched that Seth was so thoughtful and wanted to make me feel special. He is such a good boy, except for when we are trying to take a picture with our tags. It took 6 tries.
Seth takes the first two pictures to get his ugly faces out.
Now the lighting is right, but the face is still wrong.
He's becoming a little nicer with each face.
He actually thinks this is his best look.
He had a smile right until I clicked the camera.
Finally! We got the smile right, but his hand was in motion.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Leonardo's New Exhibit--Aliens & Androids

Seth and I had the chance to visit a new exhibit at the Leonardo. We had so much fun wandering around and exploring the displays about space and robots. Seth was the only child there because it was a media preview and so most people were from the newspaper or news sites. We felt a little out of place, but Seth and I showed up in a few of the pictures in the newspaper. The Salt Lake Tribune did an article and included the following two pictures of us in the exhibit.
This is us experiencing the Mars Rover.
Seth loved being near R2D2 and closing the circuits on the robot.
I took this picture of him peeking through one of the Mars Rover tires!
Seeing Ironman was pretty cool, but we preferred the Star Wars robots!
After exploring the new exhibit, Seth wanted to visit every exhibit. So we built some Legos, played with the green screen, but we spent most of our time in the other new exhibit called Flight. This exhibit is about airplanes and he loved being in the cockpit! I think he would have stayed forever, but I knew that our parking meter was running out, so I hurried him along. Seth really hopes we can go back with the rest of the family, and so do I.

We built this really cool space ship.
Seth loved sitting in the pilot's chair.
He especially loved pretending to fly the plane.
It was fun to see how excited he was about everything.
Sometimes I get really sad when I think about Seth going to school. Who will be my little adventure buddy? At least I still have a year and a half before I have to worry about, and for right now, I am trying to enjoy all this special time that I have with him. And on a side note, people always say that the oldest kid gets more time with their parents...No way! This youngest child is getting way more one on one time with me than Mark ever got because once Mark was three, we had another baby around. Anyway, youngest children have all the luck!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Winter Hiking--Our New Favorite Adventure

I love hiking with these boys!
We decided to try a new type of adventure this year for our Utah's Adventure Family site. We put on our winter boots and hit the trails. We have never been on a winter hike before, and after hiking throughout the month of January, we feel like we have been missing out on some serious fun. We have fallen in love with winter hiking.

The trails are empty and therefore we have some great family time in the nice, clear mountain air. The boys are literally rolling in the snow the entire time, and eating a few pounds as well. We have been having a ton of fun.

The other perk of hiking this winter is that Mom got a new camera as a late Christmas present. Mom and Dad have debated upgrading their camera for a long time, and they finally decided now was the time. These hikes have been a great chance for Mom to figure out how to use it. She is still working on all the features, but everyone is pleased with all the new pictures. They are so much clearer! So now we have a billion great pictures to share.

Dax is a great winter hiker.
There are lots of snowballs thrown on our hikes, too!
Mark wanted to see if we could capture the snow falling and we could!
I can't believe how much they love rolling in the snow. Brrr!
Just taking a quick breather on our hike.
We wore them out on this hike.
Dad makes Mom be in the pictures sometimes, but he doesn't want to learn how to use the new camera.
Bridal Veil Falls was beautiful in the winter. I still can't believe we had never been.
We hiked the Swinging Bridge trail in AF canyon.
Mark is always willing to pose in pictures. 
Awwww!! 
Yep, this is what Dax looks like at the end of our hikes. 
Mark told me he loves the new camera. He mostly loves that I let him even touch it!
We can't convince Seth that walking on the trail is easier than tromping through the deep snow. 
Seth always throws snowballs at Mom first! Poor Mom!
We saw these elk on our trip through Provo Canyon.
Dad loves to teach the boys new tricks!
We hiked Little Cottonwood Trail and Dad had to take these two back early.
We wore them out with two winter hikes in one day.
Mark is getting so big! I can't believe it some days.
Mark and I walked a little further, and then headed back after the other boys.
Mark took this picture of Mom. The winter snow is so beautiful!
Mom was super excited to see some moose, but she couldn't get a good angle for a picture.
She decided to climb up the hill. It wasn't her best idea!
She did get some great pictures of the moose, though!
I am so glad that the boys are enjoying the winter hiking because Dad and Mom love it!

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