Monday, September 27, 2010

Family Pictures

I don't have time to blog, but we got these pictures taken a few weeks ago and I have been dying to post them. These are a few of my favorite group shots, when I have more time I will change the individual pictures on the blog to my favorites of them.

This is probably the most realistic picture to portray our lives.
P.S. Thanks to whoever it was who helped me out today, it meant a lot.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Honey Bee Dance Clinic

Saturday the girls went to a dance clinic over at the high school. It was really fun, they got to go and spend the day learning some dances and had lunch and got a T-shirt. Then they had a little performance for the parents before we picked them up.
I am not going to lie, it was pretty hilarious watching them dance, but they had a good time and that's what's important!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Grandpa Fessler

My Grandpa Fessler passed away on Monday morning and his funeral was yesterday. This was a very bitter/sweet moment in my life. Almost 3 years ago he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given 3-6 months to live. Those 3 years were very hard in many ways watching him suffering, but I realized yesterday how important it was for him to have them. My grandpa has always held his emotions instead of expressing them, in these last 3 years he has softened and been able to express his love to his children and grandchildren in a way that probably never would have happened had he gone quickly. He also had time to get things in order for my grandma and the rest of the family. It was very hard watching this strong man, who I looked up to all my life, become so weak physically.
Growing up I loved my grandpa very much. I love the smell of cut wood because he was a wood shop teacher and I remember going and visiting him in his classroom. I have many treasured things that he made for the grandchildren in his shop each year for Christmas. He was a golf pro and when I was probably about 12 he took me to the golf course and we would drive a cart around and sell drinks to the golfers. He also taught me to play golf although I wish I would have taken more of an interest in it. He loved to play games and was the luckiest person I know! We would play rummy and aggravation. Because I am a very open and emotional person, I thought I didn't have a great relationship with him because he is a man of very few words, I started thinking about our time we spent together and realized how much I now treasure those times.
This is my grandma. I love her so much. Growing up I spent a lot of time at my grandparents house while my parents were working and I have always looked up to my grandma and tried pattern my life after her example. I spent the last 16 hours or so of my grandpa's life with her and the rest of the family that was there, and it was a very special time that I will always remember. My grandma was so strong. She lied by my grandpa's side as his body shut down, comforting him and telling him how much she loves him. After he passed she pinched his nose commented on how handsome he still was. She was sad to lose him and didn't want them to take his body away, but she was once again an example to me, she knows that he is in a better place and is no longer suffering.
(This is a picture of me and my cousin Kim)
At the funeral it was interesting to hear from his children about their experiences with him. Each was very different. I laughed and I cried as they shared their stories. My grandpa touched so many people during his life. His life sketch was amazing hearing about different times in his life. Missionary work was an overwhelmingly big part of his life and he has been and influence in over 100 people joining the church. Even until the very end of his life he was teaching the gospel and his influence was so strong several of the young men in the ward that he taught came to visit him often including the day before he died. My Aunt Vicki composed a life history of my grandpa and gave everyone a copy of it at the funeral. I am very excited to dive into this history and learn even more about my grandpa.
It was great to see and spend time with my dad's side of the family. I am the oldest grandchild and have not lived close to any of them for over 10 years although I lived close to most of them growing up and they are a huge part of my life. I am a little sad that I haven't made more of an effort to spend time with my grandparents in these last few years. We did get to visit them when we were down in Utah from time to time, but it was a little difficult because I have so many small children and the noise and crying etc. that comes along with that were hard for my grandpa. I am grateful to know that I will see my grandpa again, and that we will be a family forever. He was a great man and great example of a faithful follower of Christ and the greatest gift I think I can give my grandpa is to do my best to be the same.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Picture Day!

DRUM ROLL PLEASE: I am blogging about something the day it happened!

TODAY is picture day at school, and while I am not ordering any pictures (because they are too expensive and we are having family pictures done next week) I still wanted my kids to look nice for their school pictures of course. I was planning on having to drive them to school, but they were super speedy and we were done in plenty of time to catch the bus...only I forgot to make their sandwich (had already packed the rest) and had to send their lunch with a neighbor, lucky for me I have awesome friends!
I kind of cheated and did a messy side bun for Hailey so I wouldn't have to curl her hair! BUT it will show off her newly pierced ears. Yesterday she came home and picked out her clothes for the pictures, she is really coming into her own style this year.
Ally lost two teeth this weekend just in time for picture day, adding to the one she lost a couple of weeks ago makes for the PERFECT first grade toothless smile and I love it! This little girl is so full of personality I can't get enough of her.
It was so cute I told her to take her backpack off for the picture and Dawson rushed over to hold her backpack for her. These two are so cute together! Ally says Dawson always lets her be in front of him in line, they walk home from the bus together and he always makes sure Ally is taken care of. If they really grow up and get married someday like they say they will, I think Ally will be a lucky girl.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Back To School!

The first day of school turned out to be rainy and cold, so last minute we switched our first day of school outfits to include long pants and rain jackets!
Here is Hailey all ready to head off to her first day of 3rd grade. This is strange for me because it doesn't seem like she should be old enough to be in 3rd grade! This year her teacher looped up to 3rd grade from 2nd grade so she will have Mrs. Julian again and we are both very excited about that.
Here is Allyson all ready for her first day of 1st grade. For her this means being at school all day long and eating lunch at school everyday. She will be in Mrs. Martineau's class. Ally is getting so big and she loves school, mostly because it means she gets to spend all day with her friends!
And so they were sent out in the rain to catch the school bus. I am glad they are such good little friends.
Later that day Natalie had her first day of Preschool. The rain had stopped by the afternoon.
Natalie is such a cutie pie! (I am not at all biased) She loves to pick out her outfits and bows and is all girl. When she was ready she looked in the mirror and said, "I look fabulous!" She is a crack up.
Here is Natalie in her classroom showing off her name tag. She has new preschool teachers this year, Miss Wendy and Miss Barbara. Ally had Miss Barbara 2 years ago, so that is kind of fun. I am sure she will do good, Natalie seems the least interested in academics, but loves to go to school and I am hoping this year she will be more excited about learning letters and sounds and numbers.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Last Summer Road Trip

Two weekends before school started we headed up to our cabin once again for a fun filled weekend with some of our very best friends!
Some boys never grow up, Steve and Jaren twisted Allan on the tire swing to see how fast they could get him spinning.
The best thing about this trip was that we had no plans, we just went up to relax and enjoy time with our friends.
I love Brayden's tongue in this picture, he is such a crazy boy!
This is little baby Austin, he is so sweet and tiny still, it doesn't seem like very long ago Brayden was this small, it goes by too fast.
Silly Lilly fell asleep out on the front porch.
Steve and Allan went with some of the bigger kids exploring down the creek. They found this big toad.
They also found this interesting wood fort thing.
Some of the girls went inside, but Sydney wasn't about to go in there, I don't blame her though, it wasn't the sturdiest of forts.
Here is a silly picture of the girls with Steve.
One of the best things about hanging out with the Laytons and Pettingills is that everyone has a friend. Here are Hadley, Lilly, and Stacey eating cookies.
Ally, Sydney, and Ila out exploring and finding treasures.
Even Brayden has a little buddy. Brayden and Austin are going to have lots of fun together soon enough!
Hailey and Maddie, the biggest of the bunch!
And the four year olds, Natalie, Spencer, and Jayce, hanging out on the tire swings. I am so grateful to have such wonderful friends. We have so much fun with these guys I can't imagine life without them!
On our way home from the cabin, Allan and I took a little detour over to Mesa Falls.
Allan was a trooper to carry Natalie and Lilly up the stairs.
We also went on a little hike down Bear Gulch.
It is so funny attempting to get a picture of all 5 kids! Right as we were headed back up from the bottom of the hike it started to pour! The kids did so good though and we were very proud of them.
On the way home after the rain there was a double rainbow. It was a full arch and amazing, although this was the best I could do to capture it with my cheapo camera. I think I have seen more rainbows this year than the rest of my life combined, I love summer and am sad to see it come to an end, but we have had such a great one this year and I am excited to get back into a routine and have the kids back in school...well mostly, it's going to be a very busy year and I hope I can stay on top of everything!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

a little of this and a little of that (a.k.a. pictures from Jean's camera!)

Just Hanging Out
A few times in the summer we go over to the Staker's house and play on the waterslide and have dinner and roast marshmallows. It is so much fun and I love having so much family so close.
More Staker Family Reunion
These are the pictures I took on my MIL's camera from our Staker Family Reunion
We started the reunion off by going to our ward luau, it was so much fun!
The girls took some pictures with some of the dancers.
Hailey and Ally wanted to take pictures with some of the little girls too.
Then we roasted marshmallows and camped out in the backyard.
And here we are at Ross Park the next day.
Every year we head up to the cabin for our Parker Family Reunion. This year was lots of fun, although our numbers were few (for Parkers)
This is the kids playing "Fox and Geese" a tag game.
Poor Lilly looks so beat up, the week before we went she tripped and hit her cheek on the couch and then while we were at the cabin she fell off the slide and got this huge goose egg on her forehead.
Here we are gathering around the fire roasting hot dogs and s'mores while the kids play.
We drove up to Sawtelle and hiked around a bit.
Here is Amber with Ally (above) and Hailey (below)
All of the kids overlooking Henry's Lake.
Allan, Dave, Kylee and I hiked out a little farther. It was really beautiful up there.
Back at the cabin there is a little creek that the kids like to play in and catch frogs.
Me and the kids waiting for dinner. Poor Brayden gets strangled more than he would like.
Talk about kissing cousins, Ally and Asa had a little "wedding" in the garage.