Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Summer Trip to Utah

Phoenix is not the place you want to be for the Fourth of July.  Firework shows, parades, and BBQ's just aren't that much fun with sweat running down your face.  In fact, in the 5 years we've been in Arizona, we've only spent one Fourth here.  Adam and I have both concluded that cooler climates and family sound much better.  This year we headed up north and it did not disappoint.  Although the parade still came with sweat running down the face:/  Good thing Mariah "caught" an entire bag of otter-pops from one of the floats.  And boy was she proud of herself for it!

The kids thought the Kaysville parade was "the BEST idea ever" as Austin would say.  That's all because they throw out a ton of candy.  From an adults view, it is a lot of ads for local dentists and not a lot of floats :)
We were laughing when Mariah and Hayden discovered that not only did they both own the same blue dress but that they both packed it as well. For once she didn't have to be the only one who didn't get to match in the picture.  A few days later Zach and my nephew Jaron came out wearing the same soccer shirt.  My sister and I must have similar taste in clothes, meaning we both are cheap and don't like to spend more than $5 :)

The holiday consisted of lots of family (including Adam's brother, parents, and my aunt and uncle), 50 foot slip 'n slide, Shaving Cream Twister and food-- my favorite being the Brazilian pudding Stacey brought back the ingredients for.
Lots of clean up with this one!
Lucky for us, Adam can work from a computer a couple days a week so we were able to stay for much longer than just July 4th.  We packed in lots of visits with people we love.  I didn't take pictures of all of the friends and family we saw but I've been blessed with wonderful people in my life!  I did make sure to get a picture of Great Grandpa Sumsion with Benson Richard since it's his name sake.  The first picture didn't go so well.  We've entered the stranger danger stage.  It's an exhausting stage for mom.

And a picture with Nana and Pappy who were in Utah the same week.  Once again, Benson not having it, but this time his whine almost looks like it could be a half smile.

The teenagers however, he seems to like.  Thank heavens that I get relief with babysitters and he never even whimpers as I walk out the door.
My mom specifically requested a picture of all the kids and grand kids.  It makes my heart smile when I think of the fun I have playing with my siblings when we're together.  Gives me hope that one day my children will stop fighting and have fun together too!  And have fun we did!  Swimming, rec center (I'm glad there are worse things a boy can be in this life than a scaredy cat by the way--think water slides!), mini golf, movies, Slurpees, sleep overs (thanks Kelsy), baby blessing for Vailea, dinners, birthday celebrations, parks, board games, shopping, Bean Museum, and BYU creamery.
All because two people fell in love :)

Cherry Hill mini golf with only 3 adults and 9 LITTLE kids!  It was a slow moving round!
Benson kept blocking the holes and grabbing peoples balls.  Luckily no one was competitive enough to care...but I did win for the record :)
My birthday dinner with G and G Sumsion up the canyon--33 and looking fine!
Finding Dory who's in Morro Bay California!
Pleased as punch to have his OWN slurpee on 7-11
BYU Bean Museum
Vailea with her handsome daddy who is such an example of a great priesthood holder
This princess at 6 weeks is still smaller than any of my babies even started at!
Lavendar Farm in Mona, Utah.  So pretty!
Such a spooky face Zach!
Loving on the massage chair!

Alas, all good things have to come to and end and goodbye's are harder on this one than anyone.  She loves her family so much.  Grateful for Facetime and cell phones to keep us feeling closer than we are and the time between visits pass quickly.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Kindergartner No More

Is it just me or did kindergarten go by really quickly?  School is out and summer is in full swing (including a forecast of 115 this week).  Here is Mariah on her first and last day of school.  The change is subtle but there's no questioning that she grew and matured over the past year.
For her last week, we decided to brave the school cafeteria with my 3 little boys and Chick-Fil-A for lunch.  I figure, I only get a couple years where she wants me to come to lunch with her, so I might as well take advantage, even if it's really complicated and even if Clayton is a class clown in the making and really loud in that cafeteria.

On the last day of school they had a kindergarten graduation program for the families to attend.  Mariah is the very first kid on the left because she had the very first part in the program and said her line with confidence!  That alone is a huge improvement since last year.
Afterwards, they could be checked out early and go home.  Mariah, however was not ready to begin her vacation.  She chose to stay in school!!!  Only 2 other kids wanted to stay and a few others who's parents didn't come so they couldn't be checked out.  Crazy girl!  She really did love school and sometimes would even comment on Saturday that she wished she could go to school.  She's way to social to spent too much time at home.  It's going to be an exhausting summer!

We absolutely loved Mrs. Arnold.  She was so great with Mariah and I think all of us will dearly miss her.  Just keeping my fingers crossed we are as lucky with the 1st grade teacher.

We had a fun summer kick off on Memorial Day with some neighbor friends.  Everyone brought any water toy they had and everyone had a blast.  The day included popsicles, snow cones, watermelon, smores, corn on the cob, and hot dogs.  Perfection!  The major hit was the giant slip 'n slide.  I can't get enough of my little seal in this picture!
They started getting braver and more creative as the afternoon went on.  Too many giggles to count.
Our swim suits and snow cone machine will get a lot of use this summer.  I'm sure you wont find me with my hair out of a bun for several months and my kids will smell like a mixture of chlorine and sunscreen.  Dreamy isn't it?  Especially when you see how good the sun is at wearing the little ones out by nap time :)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Clayton's Pirate Party

When Zach and Mariah asked what we were doing for Clayton's 3rd birthday, I said we would probably just go to Peter Piper Pizza as a family or something.  NO PARTY!!!  How could I!!!

Well... he's only 3 and his only friends are the kids of my friends or the siblings of Zach and Mariah's friends.  Why does he need a party? Regardless, somehow they talked me into just inviting a couple of little kids and their families over for a BBQ and cake.  Then I remembered this treasure chest cake my sister made years ago and how cute it was so I decided to give it a try.  But Clayton LOVES Jake and the Neverland Pirates so maybe with a treasure cake I could do some fun invites that my sister used as well.  A cake and invites.  Easy peasy.  Fast forward a few days to when I became bored and consulted Pinterest.  Game over!  Somehow this small BBQ morphed into a full-on party with games, decor, and all out themed food.  Pinterest just makes everything seem so doable even if you aren't very talented.  Plus, the kids love making the stuff with me and we even killed two birds with one stone by doing a pirate themed joy school the same week.  That's my justification for all the work this party ended up becoming for my son who really just wanted to eat cake.  But seriously, how did I expect his thoughts to not be consumed by cake when he had to stare at that loot for 24 hours!

The invites rolled inside root beer bottles
We already owned these Jake figurines so I incorporated them into food to decorate the buffet table.  Skully's Pirate Booty, Mr Smee's Cannonballs (meat balls), Tick-Tock's Swamp Water etc.
Adam made a major contribution by building the watermelon ship with Jello jiggler shark-infested waters.  Big hit with our guests I tell ya.

As were Jake's Pirate Ship hot dogs
The kids got to walk the plank as they had a sword fight, dig for treasure in the sand box, play in our water table (which just happens to be a pirate ship), and do Captain Hook's ring toss.
 All in all it was a success and a lot of fun.  Part of me wants to convince the kids to do birthday parties every other year and the other part of me had too much fun planning and crafting to care.
Opening up the pirate ship Zach made him and wrapped all by himself
For Clayton's birthday we bought a balance bike.  If you haven't heard of them, it's a bike with no pedals.  They are the newest craze and everyone swears they make learning how to ride a bike so much easier.  Supposedly, kids skip the training wheel step all together.  Since we haven't had much success with the older two and training wheels we figured this would be worth a shot.
In order to "open" his bike that wasn't wrapped, we sent him on a pirate treasure hunt (once again plagiarized from my sister).
Here are a few of my favorite clues:
  • Ye aargh getting closer to becoming true pirates. Aargh! Don’t walk the plank to meet yer doom, the next clue is in the living room!
  • Yo-ho-ho! Now ye are looking much like Captain Hook. The next clue is hidden where you might want to cook.
  • Don’t give up yet! Ye gotta stay on yer toes. You’re final clue will be where you’d dry yer wet clothes.
  • Heave Ho! Where might ye go if you were to leave in da car? Aye, aye aren’t ye excited me sure you may be for de treasure is surely not far. (this is where he found his bike sitting in the garage)
Lastly, I "interviewed" Clayton today.  I always want to remember his cute little voice and when he counts, well it's just the best.
Happy 3rd Birthday little buddy.  Goodbye terrible two's and hello to the even more terrible three's. :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Father and Sons/Mother's Day

A couple weeks ago these three got to go on the annual Father and Sons Camp Out.  They didn't leave until 2:00 and I can't count how many times I was asked the question "how many more minutes?" as they waited for the upcoming excitement.  However, when it came time to go, my sweet Zach burst into tears as he said goodbye to his mamma.  Warmed my heart I tell ya.

Once they pulled out of the drive way, he was all better and excited for the fun.  Zach even got to roast his own hot dogs and marshmallows without help.  I'm sure those were charred little things.
The highlight for Clayton was a toss up between the fish hatchery and the outhouse.  A "toilet that has no flush" is a big deal for a little boy who just started using the bathroom.  "Mom!, it was a BIG hole with LOTS OF POOP!"  Of course, Adam being the rock-star dad that he is, added to the fun by letting Clay shine a flash light into the hole to really see what's going on.  Exciting stuff I tell ya!
Looking at hundreds of fish
They loved camping with all of their friends but next year we may need to make sure we are prepared to keep these Valley of the Sun boys a little bit warmer.  I heard a lot about how cold it was and it didn't give Adam the best nights sleep.
Mariah and I had fun at a Cinderella Party with all the girls while the dads were away.  We even put Benson down to sleep at our friends house so we got to stay up late just the 2 of us.  Such a fun weekend for everyone.

Our next fun weekend (for me) came on Mother's Day.  I told Adam I wasn't coming out of my room until 10:00 am.  I was really excited to sleep in.  He convinced me to wake up at 9:00 and by 8:00 the noisy kids convinced me it was time for my first ever breakfast in bed.  Hey, these days 8:00 still feels pretty awesome so I'll take it!
I got to wake up to this girl taking my order.  She makes a good little waitress.
Crepes as good as Village Inn.  Actually better.  Village Inn doesn't come with a fun Sophia the First place mat :)
My favorite part of the day was opening my presents from Mariah and Zach.  They both made gifts at school with these "All About Mom" questions.  They know me pretty well.  Except for the fact that I actually don't like milk.  Haven't had a glass of that since I moved out of my parents house and my mom wasn't there to make me...That being said, I'm glad they've never noticed so I have some leverage to get them to drink it now and again :)   It made there day to give me gifts and was so hard to keep the presents a secret.

Adam got me what I really wanted, a snow cone machine with Bahama Bucks syrup.  A REAL snow cone machine.  That makes snow, not shaved ice.  It's delicious and we are sure to enjoy it all summer long.
Here we are with my clan all ready for church.  They are my world and they try so hard to be good little kids.  I'm pretty lucky to have them.
I'm also lucky to have a mom and mother in law that are incredible examples in every way and have taught me how to fulfill my calling.  Most importantly, they both step in to help me raise these kids in love and righteousness.  The work of a mother is never done and I am blessed for the on going support I get from them.
 As we were going to bed Adam said "I can't wait for Father's Day".  I had to laugh.  He did a great job of making it a great day.  I think he's ready for our regular routine again.  I on the other hand woke up wishing that the previous day could have been Groundhog Day the movie because when I realized we were low on sippy cups and I went for a search, here is what I found...Back to the grind of keeping up with the havoc the little angels I call my greatest blessings bring :)