Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Swim Lessons 2014

This year ALL three boys had swim lessons. Mark & Dax did really well and are getting very close to being independent swimmers. Seth was in a parent and me class. He did one week with mom and one week with dad. Seth did well, too. He wasn't a huge fan of putting his face in the water, but he liked playing games and jumping into the pool. Here are some fun pictures from swimming this year!

1st day of swim class!

Mark working on his back float. 

Dax loves to jump in!

Mark started to learn the backstroke this year.

Here's Mark swimming back to the wall.

Dax also worked on the backstroke. 

Seth is so serious!

But he loves jumping in to dad!

On the last day of swim lessons, the kids can go down the slide.
Seth liked going with Dad.

Mark went by himself!

Dax went on this slide for awhile.

Dax wanted to go down the big slide with dad, too.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mark's Baptism

On July 5, 2014, the day after Mark turned 8, he was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We were so proud of his decision to be baptized.

Mark was so excited to be baptized. I didn't know how excited until Randy told me about Mark getting ready at the church. They had to be early so they could change, and fill out some paperwork. Randy said that Mark never stopped talking. He was constantly moving and talking. I'm sure he was nervous and excited all at once.

The baptism and confirmation were so perfect. Everything went well and the spirit was so strong. I didn't cry until the confirmation...I thought that was pretty good. We had tons of family there and it is a day that I hope everyone in my family remembers.

After the baptism, we went to the park and had a bbq with the family. It was a little crazy getting it started, but it was fun to spend the day with our family.

Mark and dad heading off to the church.
I am grateful that Randy was able to baptize and confirm Mark.

The family

Randy bbq'd on the 4th and the 5th of July. Poor guy!
I'll be nicer to him next year.

Hanging out with grandma.

Mark and Daniel were talking on the swings. They think they are so grown-up!
Mark had been learning "When I Am Baptized" this month. It was the perfect song as he was preparing to be baptized.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mark's 8th Birthday

The 8 year old!
I feel old. Mark turned 8 last week. I was so excited for his 8th birthday and his baptism, as was Mark. But then it came and I felt really old. I still remember the day Mark was born--the horrible labor, the painful delivery (should have been a c-section like the other boys), missing the fireworks on the 4th, but the incomparable happiness of having our first baby boy and of being a mom! And now he is a big 8 year old.

Mark is definitely the boss of the family. It is a good and a bad thing. Good: he helps me keep tabs on the other two boys. Bad: he is constantly bossing his brothers around. I am so grateful for Mark and his willingness to help. He will do ANYTHING I ask him to do and with a good attitude.

Mark is an amazing athlete. Don't tell him. He really excels in baseball, basketball, and soccer. If he is playing outside, it is sports. He spends hours outside hitting balls over our fence, tossing the ball up and catching it, shooting baskets, and lately he and Dax have been playing tennis on our driveway. His true love is baseball. He would pick to play baseball over anything. Mark gets his sports skills from his dad.

Mark is also a great pianist. I am so proud of the progress he is making. He can already play simple hymns and primary songs. He loves to play and never complains about practicing. Mark is also a great student. His teachers at school and at church love him. He is well behaved and answers all the questions. Mark loves to learn and I hope that he always has that passion. He is interested in almost everything and has a great memory of facts and information. Mark gets the intelligence from me!

Mark will still snuggle up next to me, or give me a hug on a whim. I love my oldest boy and hope that we will always be close!

Mark wanted a sports birthday party which ended up being the simplest birthday party ever. We played a few games for each sport, and luckily Randy mostly ran the games. I took pictures and made lunch. We ate ballpark food: hotdogs, root beer, and strawberries (these are Mark's favorites!). It turned out to be a great birthday party with friends.

The cupcakes I made for the party!

Dax competed very well with these big kids. He took 2nd place in Speed.

We timed the boys running the won!

Seth gave up half way around.

We threw footballs into bins.

We played soccer games!

Mark got lots of fun presents!

Speed was the most popular game, so we played it again at the end!
Here are the super stars: back row--Tyler, Mark, Brigham, William
front row: Troy, Dax, Seth, Cael

On the fourth of July, we had our standard BBQ/birthday party for Mark. Some family members come and we enjoy each other's company. Mark wanted all four sports on his birthday cake. I spent a lot of time worrying about what to do, but I eventually came up with a plan involving Mark's favorite sports teams. I was pleased with the way it turned out. After the BBQ we went to watch the Pleasant Grove Fireworks. It was a happy birthday!

My fancy cake! I shouldn't brag, but it's pretty awesome, right?

I also made these beautiful 4th of July strawberries for Dax.

We like to decorate doors for birthdays!

So happy!

Blowing out the candles...I like how Dax and Josh are helping in the background.

Lots of presents.

We got Mark his own set of scriptures.
He has loved having them for church and family scripture study.

All Mark wanted to do was have a baseball game for his birthday...
We do it every year, he told me. I think we did it one other year.
Anyway, he got his wish and had tons of fun!

We are a happy family on the 4th of July!
Happy Birthday Mark!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Blanding Trip: Day 4

On the last day of our trip, we went to TWO dinosaur museums. One in Blanding before we left and one in Price on the way back toward Lehi.

The Blanding Dinosaur Museum was surprisingly amazing for being in a small town. There were so many neat fossils, but we had the most fun exploring their movie section. They had a huge room dedicated to movies that were focused on dinosaurs, as well as some old movie props used in these dino movies. Randy was in heaven. We had so much fun at this museum.

I love how Seth snuggled up next to Mark in this picture.

I was fascinated by all of their skin imprints.
You don't see those too often.

This is the model they used in the original King Kong. Old!!

We spent a lot of time in this room looking at movie posters and old props.

Seth wants to be in every picture possible.

We started home after our visit to the Dinosaur Museum in Blanding. The boys fell asleep, except for Mark who rarely sleeps in the car, so it was a quite drive to Price. We grabbed some lunch and then headed to the Prehistoric Museum (CEU). This was a fun museum because it was half dinosaur and half Anasazi Indian and ice age stuff. Our favorite part was the kid's play area and the live animals. They had a soft-shelled turtle and a small alligator on display because they have been around since the time of the dinosaurs. After a few hours here, we were ready to head home. It had been a great trip, but going home is always the best!

We loved the alligator!

The boys had so much fun climbing up and down on this Kiva.

We love dinosaurs.

Dax was excited for the Mammoth.

I like Mark holding his pockets in this picture. He loved the saber tooth cat.

Seth has to say "cheese" about 10 times an adventure!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Blanding Trip: Day 3

This was the busiest day of our trip. We woke up nice and early with the kids and headed down to look at a natural bridge and some ruins that were just a mile or two outside of Blanding. The natural bridge was hard to see because it was directly across from us, but we were excited to see our first natural bridge. The ruins were small and across the canyon, but we enjoy seeing everything possible. Our favorite part of this trip was all the wildlife we saw: bunnies, squirrels, chipmunks, and deer. (External links go to our adventure blog.)

The natural bridge is behind us--you can see the hole in the top.

The ruins near Blanding

Two deer that we saw.

After this we headed down to Bluff and visited Fort Bluff which we loved. We had so much fun walking through the old fort, trying on pioneer clothes, and riding wooden horses. Randy and I still talk about the amazing story of the pioneers coming down through Hole in the Rock. It truly is unbelievable that none of the party died. The people working at Fort Bluff were so kind and helpful, and we spent a few hours here.

This is one of the original wagons that came down
hole in the is so cool that it lasted so long.

Wouldn't we make the cutest pioneer family?

Little cowboys

Seth spent a long time watching the tractor clean the
weeds out of the Bluff post office parking lot.

Then we drove over to Valley of the Gods which is a 17 mile drive through some rock formations, including lady in the bathtub that Randy was very excited to see. :) Then we went to see Mexican Hat, another rock formation, and we stopped to eat lunch. Next we headed over to Goosenecks--Seth slept through this one, and Dax was mostly asleep. After looking at the Goosenecks, we drove the Moki Dugway which was one of our favorite highlights of the trip. This road is cut into the cliff, so it is windy and steep, but there are great views and it is very adventurous, exactly what we like.

We stopped to climb a large rock.

Randy is very proud of this picture.

The famous Lady in the Bathtub.

Mexican Hat

Goosenecks State Park

Moki cool!

Muley Point

After climbing up the Moki Dugway, we went out to Muley Point which is another overlook. Then we headed to Natural Bridges National Monument. Neither of us had been there before and we just loved the scenery. Natural Bridges look like arches, but they are different because they are formed by running water. There are three bridges. We hiked to two of them, and the overlook for the third. We also stayed late at Natural Bridges and went to their astronomy program. Unfortunately there was a full moon so we couldn't see a lot of deep sky stuff. But we still had fun looking at the planets and we saw moons around Saturn, which the boys had never seen before.  So it was pretty late when we headed back toward Blanding, so the boys all fell asleep in the car.

That's Sipapu Natural Bridge.

These are the Horse Collar Ruins in Natural Bridges National Monument.

The boys found this "natural bridge" and thought it was amazing!

It was super hot, so we stopped for water often.

This is Kachina Bridge and it is still growing!

This is Owachoma Bridge...the largest one in the park.

We hiked this one in the evening so it was cooler. 

With a moon like that, you aren't going to see a lot of stars!

That telescope could put the rings on Saturn and surround it with moons.

Stargazing wears these guys out.

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