Archive for the 'Pictures' Category


Tuesday

Monday, September 2nd, 2013
Tuesday, June 11th, was our final day in Brigham. We packed up the car and met Shauntae and the boys at the Logan Tabernacle. Our girls had never been in one, so we stopped by and took a look around. Two of their 2nd cousins had also been baptized there.
blake07Us outside the Logan Tabernacle.

After the tour we split ways for lunch.  I had my eye on the Chuck A’ Rama we had passed in town. I love Chuck A’ Rama’s rolls. They are so yummy, so we often make a stop at my favorite buffet when in Utah.

We stopped by to say one last goodbye to Rawlin after lunch. I was sad to say goodbye. It’s hard to believe that two years have passed since he moved up there.

After lunch we visited the little zoo, and I picked on Ethan. Austin really enjoyed seeing me pick on Ethan, since he rarely gets pick on being the oldest. I was also Austin’s defense against Ethan, since he was avoiding me the best he could.

blake08Austin, Eden, Ethan, Matthew, and Lilah.
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Lilah with the ostrich.
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You can see Austin picking on Ethan, and Ethan trying so hard to keep away from me. I’m a mean Great Aunt.

After our time at the zoo we said our goodbyes to Shauntae and the boys, and took the not too long drive to Spring Creek, Nevada to see the Park family.

I hope we get to see them in Vegas sometime soon. It was so wonderful to spend time with family.

Monday

Sunday, September 1st, 2013
Monday we decided to make a short visit my Uncle Bud and Aunt Sheri, my mother’s eldest brother and sister-in-law. So  on our way out of town to Logan, we stopped to visit them and drink some of their delicious homegrown, homemade grapejuice. I’m sure that purple elixir has helped my aunt and uncle live so long. (They’re in their 80’s and still going strong!)

After our visit we went to lunch with the whole Draper family. Nick took his lunch hour to be with us! The boys and girls shared a table, while the adults ate quickly to make sure Nick made it back to work  in time.

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Our eyes were all watering and tearing up as we took pictures, since we were looking the direction of the sun.
The boys were looking a little out of it during lunch, so instead of hiking after lunch, we let them play, while Jon, Shauntae, Rawlin, and I all talked. While I’m sure the hike would have been awesome, I loved just hanging out with Shauntae and Rawlin. We think the kids played Wii games, and Austin introduced them to the world of Mine Craft. I’m sure Nick was only a little surprised to see us at his house when he got home, but if he knows his wife, I’m sure that we were talking and lost track of time was no surprise.
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Us with Rawlin.
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That evening I started to not feel well, so I had a snack, and slept on our way back to Brigham, and slept till 8 once at my cousin’s house. I don’t know what my family did, as I was passed out, but they all seemed to have a good time.

Sunday

Friday, August 9th, 2013
When we left Kaysville, our destination was Logan, Utah, to see Shauntae and her father. I was so excited to see my niece and her family. She use to come down regularly to help Rawlin, and since he moved up there two years ago, we have not seen her. I was excited to see Rawlin too, I just love that family, but the highlight was seeing my favorite niece.
The Drapers were nice enough to feed us lunch before the girls and I went to church with them. At church I actually saw the brother to a mommy blog I follow. I remember the sister blogging about his mission return, and then his wedding.  It was pretty fun to see them in real life, but I did not say anything, because I’m shy like that.
Jon stayed at the house and had a visit with his brother Rawlin while we were at church. Lilah and the two older boys walked home from church, which I loved. I wasn’t sure how my girls were going to relate to these three boys, but Austin, who is 11, had no problem talking to them and playing with them. Ethan, 12, was a little more reserved, as was Matthew,7, but they all got along.
We had a lovely BBQ at their house that evening, and just visited.  I did not get many pictures. 🙁 The kids played on the trampoline, while I discouraged them from getting water on the adult, that were sitting near the trampoline, with the water guns.blake01

Rawlin and I enjoying the outdoors.(I was going to lift pictures off my niece’s blog, because we did not have many, but I can’t due to computer difficulties.)

While visiting Shauntae, we stayed in Brigham City with my cousin Ruth. She was nice enough to let us stay there, and we saw Sherilynn, my cousin once removed,  and her new baby Callen. Sherilynn use to live in Las Vegas, so her two older kids had lots of fun playing with my girls, their “old friends”, while staying at grandma’s. Emrilynn, 4 1/2, would often be upstairs waiting to play when we woke up, and there as soon as we returned in the evenings from Logan.

Family

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013
Way back in June we made a week long trip to visit various family members. We had decided to visit Jon’s brother Rawlin, and my sister Andrea, but we snuck in a couple other family members as well.

Our first stop was in Ceder Hills, Utah to have a BBQ with my Aunt Robin and Uncle Mike, and some cousins.  I think the last time we saw them was three years ago. My cousin Amanda was getting married, and she now has two kids, so I think it was around 3 years ago.

We didn’t have much time, but it was nice to see those who came, and the kids. Everyone is getting so big, and I did not do a good job getting pictures.

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Eden, Lilah, and Elana flying a kit. (Elana is my cousin Mike’s oldest daughter.)
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Carston, who belongs to my cousin Kristen. 3 years old. He was a baby at Amanda’s wedding.
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Amanda, me, Kristen. (Uncle Mike in the background, my dad’s half brother.)

We left the BBQ around 9:00 and showed up at Jon’s cousin’s house at 10:30 pm. DeEtte and Mark were nice enough to house us.  The two oldest girls were still awake, and waiting up to meet their second cousins. Ava is Lilah’s age, and Brynn is Eden’s age. We saw them briefly two summers ago on our way to Yellowstone, so it was nice to spend two nights, and one day with them.

The first night we stayed there I was awoken by a little girl. The room was still dark, and I thought perhaps it was Eden. The little girl asked a couple questions, and I realized it was not my daughter. It was a little scary, but she was nice enough and didn’t turn into a poltergeist. It had been Cailyn, confused by the adult in her bed, even though she had slept downstairs and knew someone would be sleeping in her bed.

In the morning we enjoyed some yard sales and goodies. The two older daughters had dance  classes, so once home and feed, we went to the one and only water play at a park in Kaysville. It was a little cold for my girls, while it was hot for our Utah family.

Later that evening we enjoyed dinner with more cousins, and Jon’s aunt and uncle.

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Draya with chocolate on her face. Jon took a picture just like this two years ago.
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Brynn and Eden. Second Cousins.
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Draya, Lilah, Ava, then two random boys.
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Cousins: Rayanne, DeEtte, Kyson, and Jonathan.
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Uncle Kyle, Rayanne, DeEtte, Kyson, Jonathan, Aunt Annette (Sandra’s sister.)
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Cailyn, my shadow.
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The girls loved playing together.

DeEtte’s youngest two girls really took to me, and Cailyn became my own special friend. She followed me around and ate dinner with me, and Draya followed her. Eden was so preoccupied with the fun slide upstairs, the swing in the basement, and the hammock out front, that we rarely saw her. It was Sunday morning before she realized I had gained a new shadow. She said she was not jealous, but that morning I had three little girls that would not leave my side.

DeEtte and Mark headed off to church, while we finished getting ready and packed up.
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Second Cousins: Brynn (7), Eden (7), Lilah (9), Cailyn (5), Ava (9), Draya (3)- The Jensen’s were ready for church, while our children were waiting to get dressed, and mostly played.
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The Jensen Family. Mark is even taller than pictured. We joked he was too tall to fit in the picture, and he bent down just a little.
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We took time to get some nice pictures with their flowers once we were dressed also.
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It was so nice to see Jon’s cousins and I’m happy we decided to include them on our visit, and that they made the time to see us.

Halloween 2012

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Just for the sake of posting something on my blog, I thought I’d put pictures up from Halloween. We did some fun things, but here’s just a few of the girls in their costumes with the pumpkins they carved.

Eden chose to be Dorothy. She used her toy Toto, affectionately re-named Toto after he was Toto for Eden 5 years ago, when she was also Dorothy. (He was called puppy before that, and Lilah “sold” him to Eden.)
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Lilah decided to be a Nazgul, or Ring Wraith from The Lord of the Rings. No one knew what she was, and many didn’t even know once we told them, but she loved it.

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That pumpkin was in big trouble.

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Eden offered to take a picture of me with my pumpkin.

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I love Halloween!

I hope everyone was safe and enjoyed the holiday.

You’ve had a birthday shout hooray!

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Jon had his birthday at the beginning of May.

For Jon’s birthday he went to work, which he normally does, and was able to enjoy some celebration with his co-workers. He then came home to some excited girls who had him search for his present before he worked out. Lilah made a little “scavenger” hunt. I wasn’t feeling my best so instead of riddles, they went more like, “Go to the microwave. Go to the dishwasher.” etc. Jon followed directions and they lead him back to the couch, where his gift was. The girls colored the box like it was a present, in effort to reuse and recycle, and because I wasn’t feeling well. I was actually able to surprise him for his gift this year. He had told me a long time ago what he wanted, and apparently had forgotten. (It was a CD, Thick as a Brick II, and a Lone Wolf book to add to his collection.)

Jon told me he wanted home-made pizza for dinner, so the girls and I prepared our pizzas and shared in making Jon’s. (He was working out.) We then enjoyed some yummy pecan pie. His boss had made it for him last year on his birthday, and I asked for the recipe because it was delicious. Jon’s boss made him a chocolate coffee cake this year, because she thought I might be making him pecan pie. She was correct in her guess. Eden loved the pecan pie and declared that she wanted it for her birthday.

We then enjoyed a nice evening at home as a family.

For my birthday, at the end of the month, I was able to enjoy a quiet morning at home. Jon took the girls to Science Saturday and I started getting ready to see Mary Poppins at The Smith Center. I decided I wanted curly hair, which takes forever, but allowed me to be extra cute on my birthday. Since the show was Mary Poppins, I took Lilah with me as sort of an early birthday gift. We barely got there in time, and the show started. About 5 minutes in the set to the house malfunctioned, and it was nearly a full hour later when they began again. Lilah was really good and we took a couple pictures while we waited. I called Jon to let him know that we’d be home an hour late and he suggested we go out to eat, because he didn’t want to cook and thought making me cook on my birthday was not very nice. I chose Olive Garden and we enjoyed a nice meal together as a family. Jon almost thought to order dessert, but I reminded him that he and Eden had made me a cake while Lilah and I were at the play.

We went home and enjoyed cake and went to bed as one very stuffed family.

Becoming one year older isn’t so bad when you get to enjoy it in such wonderful ways.

Little Helpers

Monday, June 4th, 2012

While growing up my parents would always ask for us kids to do things for them or around the house. It was fine that we had to make dinner once a week, wash dishes, and iron my dad’s work clothes. I was fine with that. Well, maybe I didn’t enjoy ironing so much. What I disliked was picking up my father’s newspapers that he had just piled onto the floor after reading, or fetching him or my mom water when their legs worked just fine. The running joke was they had kids to do things for them.

Yeah, having kids can be helpful and I’m trying to not make them into my slaves, something we called ourselves a time or two growing up. It is hard though. They’re so able bodied, while I’m so old.

I’m still not great at always incorporating the girls into my chores or things I do around the house. They really can’t reach the sink to do dishes, and we have to help them put dishes away that go up high. I don’t always like company as I cook, most often I like to just cook by myself. So I don’t encourage them to be in the kitchen with me, but there are times they insist. Like when I was making jam at the very end of April.

I bought a ton of strawberries, and planned on freezing some and making jam with most of them. One morning I made one batch of freezer jam, but I was in a rush. I made them hang back and watch, but promised they could help when I did the regular jam.

The morning of jam making came, and the girls were very excited. I pulled their hair back, and I put them to work cutting and mashing berries, while I prepped my jars and lids. It was actually very helpful to have them helping, and helped the process go smoothly.
They also had tons of fun, so it was a win win situation. I even offered to contract them out to my friend Sam, but she was already over half way done with her jam making when I offered.

The girls really loved helping, and I liked seeing them help. There were times when one or the other was a little stubborn, but once I got them to try it, things went well. Read: Eden was not wanting to do something, so I made her try it, and she really liked it in the end.

Lilah’s hair is so crazy because I had to pull her long bangs back, so she wouldn’t be tempted to touch her hair.

Later that week Eden and I baked some muffins together. I try to include both of them in the kitchen, but often it becomes an argument in who’s turn it is, or it’s unfair that they get to put this and that in, or they’re stirring for too long. So sometimes I make something with just one of them. The other often pouts, but once we reach the agreement that they can help make something later in the week, they stop bothering us, for the most part. Read: Lilah has a really hard time not being the one helping in the kitchen, and hovers around talking and trying to help.

Eden’s Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins. The recipe came from the Highlights magazine. (We changed it to whole wheat and substituted raisins for chocolate chips.)

Lilah chose some cookies for her recipe that we made together. They turned out pretty good, and none of the cookies I ate had any of her hair in them.

Lilah really has taken to doing extra things around the house, and it’s really nice, because usually she’s also very willing to help. Like, their laundry just got put into the wash and I didn’t have to help at all. I was able to sit here and type this up.

Now if only I had a drink of water.

The Park Girls come to visit.

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

Back in April Andrea came down with Zarina and Poppy for a week. My Aunt Rosena was also in town for one of her semi-annual visits.  We visited the Park girls a few times while they were here and I finally remembered to take pictures on the final day of my Aunts visit.

On this particular day Andrea was running errands and we were watching Zarina and Poppy. Poppy did not like waking up from her nap and her mom being gone, but once outside with the silly girls she was a little happier.

 

Lilah and Eden were trying to cheer Poppy up with some bubbles we brought.

 

Poppy did not enjoy touching the grass.

 

Zarina blowing some bubbles. (She turns five in October!)

 

We brought a blanket out for Poppy, she enjoyed that a lot more, despite the look on her face.

 

Here is Poppy with her Great Aunt Rosena and her Grandma Maggie.

 

We got the girls to come pose with Grandma and Aunt Rosena too. (They look a little grumpy here.)

But here Poppy is covering my mom’s face.

It was fun to see Andrea and her girls. Family visits are always fun especially since Andrea and Brien will be moving farther away, and visits will become less frequent.

The Smith Center

Friday, April 20th, 2012

The Smith Center is a new performing Arts building built near Downtown Las Vegas. When we heard about it, we were excited for it to be built since it supported the arts. I was excited because it would be bringing Broadway plays at a more affordable price. I forget when they announced that Wicked would be coming in August 2012, but I was super excited when I found out.

I kept in the back of my mind the knowledge that Wicked would be showing there the Fall of 2012. So last year when I heard a news story that you could buy season tickets for the Broadway series for Spring 2012, and being a season ticket holder would give you precedence in buying tickets for the Fall and Spring 2012-2013 season, when Wicked would be showing, I convinced Jon to buy 2012 season tickets for the Broadway series. (We did not know for sure if we’d be able to get Wicked tickets, it was more a hope.) It was a half season, so it was a nice chunk of change, but doable. Jon being the wonderful husband he is, and a supporter of the arts, agreed. We saw our first play, The Color Purple, on April 7th.

It was a wonderful production, with superb acting and singing. Our seats are the second cheapest in the house, and we were second from the last row on the ground floor, but there is not a bad seat on that floor. It would nice to be closer so I could see more of the facial expressions and details of the costumes, but I’m very pleased with where we’re at and thankful for a husband willing to support the arts and my hobby of musical theater. (It helps that he enjoys it also.)

I am looking forward to seeing all the wonderful shows for the two seasons. We renewed our season tickets after we saw the show and I am so excited that Wicked is a part of the next season! I actually will be seeing it twice, because I’m going a second time with my sisters, minus Carolyn who will be seeing “The Boss” in Chicago. (We’re still seeing if we can change the night to include her.)

Me with the Smith Center Tower behind me. The architecture is really cool. It has a retro 1930’s feeel to it, and is beautiful inside.

Jon and I after seeing The Color Purple. (We did not purposely wear purple. It just happened.)

The next play is Mary Poppins. It’s showing on my 29th birthday and I’ll be taking Lilah with me to see it. 🙂

Ice Skating

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

There is an ice skating rink in town that does a Homeschool Friday for the first Friday of each month. It costs $5 per child to skate, they get a free hot chocolate, and parents get to skate free. I honestly avoided going for the first few times I had heard about it. I had only skated once in my life, on a a date, when I was in high school, over ten years ago.

It’s a funny story.

I had just gotten home from work and there was a knock on my door. Blake, a young man from my new ward, was at the door. My family had just moved in January and I think this was in May or late April 2001, my final year in high school. (I had flirted with him a little on a General Conference trip with our ward that April.) I open the door and he asks, “You wanna get in that there van with me?” (The way he asked was just hilarious.) Apparently, a few of the guys in my ward had decided to plan a group date that Friday while at school, and he had been calling me that afternoon, but I was not home, so they took a chance and appeared on my doorstep. I was still in a skirt from work, so I asked if I could change first, left a note for my parents that I would be out on a date and with whom, and got in the van. We ate Sonic for dinner and went ice skating. I ended up holding his hand the entire time to keep my balance, and the other two couples speculated about it. It was the only date we went on because summer quickly approached, I went to the singles ward, and when he called me that Fall to go out again, I was already engaged to be Mrs. Jonathan Blake.
Moral of the story: Ice skating is an awesome date to go on if the other person has never been. You might get to hold their hand the entire time.

So back to avoiding ice skating. Since I had only been once in my life, I wasn’t really wanting to take the girls. I’m not an athletic person and I have terrible balance. For the March skating day I decided to take the girls since our park group would be there, and I really did not want to skate. Once there I found out the other parents were going skating, and I was really nervous. Tears welled up in my eyes and my friend Laura noticed. She gave me comfort that I could take it easy and use a trainer, which I did. Eden was kinda my cover, since I tagged along with her at first. Eventually I decided it would be not fun skating hunched over, so I made Eden go out on her own a little. It was hard for her at first, but once Eden got the hang of it, she was very pleased with herself. Lilah used the trainer for part of the time, but started using the wall and going out on her own pretty early. At one point her friend Shelby took her hand and they skated together.
Laura also helped me, and held my hand for a few times around the rink to give me confidence.

So ice skating was a big hit in March, but I forgot to take my camera.

So for the skate day in April, we went once more and I brought my camera along. We all did much better, though none of our friends were there this time. Eden even tried skating by herself while holding onto the wall and with my help. Towards the end I took a terrible fall, straight to my knees, and took Eden down with me. I had a huge bruise on my left knee, and even though it’s mostly yellow now and not noticeable, my knee hurts if I put too much weight on it when kneeling or sit Indian style.

I remembered the camera the second time around and took some pictures of my cute ice skaters.