Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Faith is THREE!

Faith had her 3rd birthday on Sunday. I really can't quite believe Faith is already three. She has been such a joy to our family and it has been wonderful to see the other kids help her celebrate her fun day. You may notice that two of her presents are wrapped in Santa Claus paper. That's all I had left, but nobody cared!

Here's Faith with her present haul. She got a bunch of Ponyville Ponies. Think Polly Pockets meet My Little Ponies.
The celebreation isn't quite over. Bethany and Elinor insisited on have a fancy tea party with Faith's little friends. So this Thursday we will be partying in our fanciest dresses and making lemonade "tea" and sampling cookies! How fun for us!

There was a very sad part of the birthday girl's day. Upon leaving church on Sunday it was very windy and according to Faith, "the wind pushed me down" (lots of crying). She skinned her knees pretty badly and I thought it was about the saddest thing that could happen to a little girl on her birthday. She has been telling anyone who will listen about her owies.

There was no joy in Mudville. . .

"There was no joy in Mudville that day"... but there was joy in Riverton when Elinor had her first softball practice! She got to play catcher for a little while and she has a pink mitt and that is about as good as it gets. She had a practice today also, but it was pretty cold.

Elinor is one of, if not the, youngest player on her team. But she had no interest in tee ball; she wanted coach pitch. I really enjoyed playing softball when I was younger so we'll see if Elinor likes it too. We think she has great hand/eye coordination.

Iceskating with Ammon

Many of you know our good friends, the Taylors. We have been friends since Clark and Ammon were babies in Draper. We've had lots of babies since them and last week Ammon celebrated his 10th birthday. We joined their family for pizza at their house and then iceskating. Rebecca and I stayed at home with the little ones and the kids had a blast. They were all experts after only 1 1/2 hours of iceskating-- remarkable!

Ammon, Clark and Bethany stick pretty close to wall while they hone their skills

Elinor and Claire. These two are just a couple of months apart. They have a good time together!

Bethany and Autumn, the little speed demons. These girls are about five months apart.

The gang. My friend, Rebecca is due with her fifth baby any day now. I can't wait to see Cannon's future wife!!! Hee hee! Rebecca is having a girl and I insist that one of my children marry one of the Taylor children. We've lined things up quite nicely! Faith is the same age as Caleb and that would be a very acceptable match as well!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Jazz Baby!

My name is Jazzy Ann Swanky and I'm with Senator Vito D. Beale.
We played characters in a murder mystery/surprise 40th birthday party for a very good friend of ours.
I mean, you know how shy Abe and I are. It was so hard for us to come out of our shells, but we did our best! We were all stationed around a big room and the guests came to talk with us and try to solve the murder.
The senator's cigar is made from a Lincoln Log and brown construction paper.

This was the cast of the party. All except the gal with the blonde wig in front and the guy in back with the white shirt, are a part of our home school book club. I think we were all very well cast.

Grandma and Grandpa Cannon were SOOO kind to come down and watch the kiddies while Abe and I went to the party. I needed to leave Cannon and of course they managed things beautifully.
Ooh, doesn't Abe look snazzy?

Elinor had a LOT of time with Grandma and Grandpa this weekend because she did her sleep over with her cousin Lizzy at their house on Friday night. She had a very fun time and we are all glad when she was home. It was very brave of grandparents to referee the puppy's first night home. Five children, one puppy- lots of potential conflict.

Read the next post to find our more about the puppy.

Introducing Winston Churchill

I would like to introduce you to "Winston Churchill Fox". He is our new puppy. Okay, here is the story... Well..., the crux of it is that Abe and I are suckers for a cute puppy.
This puppy came from litter of puppies born to a family in our neighborhood. I saw them outside rolling around their front yard and I thought, "oh, how cute- I'll let Faith go see the puppies." Well, this was the last little guy left (I think he was the cutest) and that is pretty much the story. We still had a lot of our doggy equipment left and this little guy was free. It didn't take much convincing. He's been really fun and the kids have been taking good care of him. Here's a funny little story about Abe and Winston. Winston had a little poopy accident in his crate while we were at church so Abe took the kennel outside to clean it out and left it out in the cold with water in it. When it was time to put Winston in his kennel for the night inside the house, Abe was concerned that the kennel walls were too cold for little Winston, so he took the hair dryer down to "warm up his kennel" for him! We're all pretty smitten right now. He reminds me of my puppy I got when I was ten. Very similar coloring. Her name was "Muffin."

Faith loves the puppy... on her terms. He likes to follow us around and she does not like to be chased, or in her words, "The puppy attacks me!"

Clark is already taking Winston on little walks up and down the sidewalk. The puppy is so cute-- he just follows Clark.
Winston is half yellow lab (yes, yellow) and half blue-heeler. So he'll get bigger, but not too big.

All tuckered out. He's had a busy couple of days. He was one of ten puppies.

Happy Birthday to Bethany!!!!!

Bethany is eight years old! EIGHT!!! How did this happen? We are so happy for her and her upcoming baptism. When our children turn eight, Abe and I take them on an "Eight Date". We go downtown to eat at the Garden Restaurant (at the top of Joseph Smith Building) and then we go around Temple Square and tour the Visitor Centers. Bethany had her Eight Date on Friday night. She was so excited and we enjoyed having some time just with her (and Cannon).

Poor Abe was close to tears all night. He thought it was really exciting and fun when Clark turned 8, but when it is his beautiful, little daughter growing up too quickly it isn't fun and games anymore! Bethany was quite the little lady for the evening and refused her coloring kid's meal place mat and crayons because after all- she is 8 now!

Bethany did order a tasty meal of chicken tenders, but I don't think she actually ate any of her meal. She discovered what Abe and I already knew-- the rolls at the Garden Restaurant are really yummy! So that is what she ate on her eight date. They aren't the Lion House Rolls- they are hard on the outside and soft inside, just in case you wondered.

Bethany received her scriptures for her birthday today. She especially wanted blue scriptures- her favorite color.

She also has been wanting to get an American Girl doll, because we have read a lot of the books. We found these dolls at Target that are just as beautiful, but NOT just as expensive and Bethany decided that would be a better way to go. So she got the doll that came with a little violin!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I like to go walgging. I used to call it jogging, but Abe informed me that it was really more like fast walking, so he called it walgging. OUCH! I still think it is jogging- just slow jogging. It is true that I do not go fast-- but I do keep going! I am trying to get back into the habit of daily exercise. A nursing baby really throws me off for a while, but enough excuses.
I've been exercising in the morning, but I went in the evening tonight and it felt so good. As many of you know, I just don't do mornings very gracefully. A lot of people say they aren't morning people, but really--- I HAVE A PROBLEM!!!! Why do we homeschool? Because I can't get up in the morning. Just kidding- sort of.
Bethany and Elinor had their Liberty Girls club today and Clark went to play at his friends' house so I just had Faith and Cannon for a little while this afternoon. How fun for me! We went to run an errand to get our vacuum cord fixed (you can only go so long with a non functioning vacuum- and I went well past that time). Faith talked INCESSANTLY! I guess with three older, out-spoken siblings she doesn't have a chance to get her piece in as often as she would like. Well, she did today! I still have trouble understanding some of what she says and she won't stop saying it until I repeat back to her what she is saying. So I had to turn my rear-view mirror to be able to read her lips as well as hear her.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Berlin Candy Bomber

Saturday morning I was reading the newspaper and saw a little announcement that the Berlin Candy Bomber would be at the Hill Aerospace Museum.
I lived in Berlin from 1983-1986 and remember hearing the story of the Candy Bomber. In case you aren't familiar with the story--
At the end of WWII the Soviet Union attempted a blockade of Berlin (located in Eastern Germany). They blocked railroads and roads leading into Berlin. The Allies airlifted food and supplies, dropping them to the beleaguered Berliners from airplanes.
One pilot became known as the Candy Bomber because he dropped candy in little parachutes to the children. He was quite beloved by the German people and his efforts went a long way in healing the relationship between The Allies and the Germans.
That is the story as I understand it. So I was very excited to have a chance to see him and for my kids to see him.
Abe went to a home school conference on Saturday so the kids and I decided to make a little day trip up to the museum. It was great. He talked to the children for about 1/2 an hour and then went up on a mezzanine level and "bombed" the children with parachuting candy. He gave an adult directed speech later on (which we didn't go to) but there were lots of veterans there who perhaps were fellow airmen with this great man. It was a great generation and I want my kids to have as much contact with them as possible before it is too late. The really bizarre thing is that that very morning (well before looking in the paper) I was snuggling in bed with the kids and telling them about East and West Germany and Berlin and the wall and the Soviet Union. I had gone to see the movie Valkyrie with my good friend, Rebecca, the night before and the kids wanted to know what the movie was about. I thought it was so interesting.

This was our first time time going to the Hill Aerospace Museum and I
CANNOT believe we haven't gone before! It was GREAT! I guess it's because Clark was always so interested in animals that we have hit all the zoo type places in all the surrounding states, but we haven't gone to a really fabulous (FREE) museum only 45 minutes from our house. They had a wonderful "Ace Learning Center" with lots of hands on activities for the kids. There were plenty of awesome airplanes from all different eras. I was especially impressed with the friendly volunteers at the museum. I highly recommend this museum if you live close around, but I also think it is a worthwhile stop it you're visiting Utah.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Elinor turns six!

Our Elinor is six years old! The lucky little girl got to
celebrate her birthday at Disneyland. We had a little
party for her the night before her actual birthday
because we wanted to get an early start the next day
and wouldn't get back until quite late. The party
consisted of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for
dinner (we were tired of eating out) and cake and
icecream. And of course her presents we brought with us.
Elinor is such a joy to have in our family. She is hilarious,
animated (you've got to hear her retell a story or quote
someone), very peaceful, obedient, forgiving, SMART,
and a great friend to everyone around her. I feel very
blessed to be her mom.


Here is the day at Disneyland. The lines for the rides
weren't too long, but the crowds walking around just
about drove me crazy. It was Elinor's birthday so she got
in for FREE-- yea!!! something free!
She got to wear a special pin and lot of people wished
her a happy birthday. I reminded her that she should
say thank you when someone wishes her a happy
birthday. I guess so many people wished her a happy birth-
day, that by the end of the day she wanted to take the pin off
because she was "tired of saying thank-you". Hmm, rough life!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A break from the pictures

I'm going to take a little break from posting pictures from the trip and write about my favorite moment of the trip. We were driving back from a little beach excursion when Abe started talking about how much he loves going to the beach-- everything about it-- swimming in salty water, sand on his skin, the sun. I told him that I love the sound and looks and the air of the beach, but I don't actually enjoy swimming in saltwater or getting sand all over me. This led us to a discussion of our alter-lives--- that is, our fantasy lives if we weren't happily married with five children!
Abe-- beach bum, surfer dude. He would live on the beach, with a beach house nearby where he would go around half dressed all the time.
Betsy- I would enjoy being a biker babe. No, not a bicycle, but a Harley! I would travel across the country in a huge motorcycle gang, driving really fast on the open road.
Clark-- living in a Brazilian jungle hut all by himself with no people around. He would just study animals day and night.
Bethany-- Design really cool/ weird hairstyles and dresses.
Elinor-- (her's cracked me up, but maybe it was just her delivery) She said she would fly around in an airplane and where ever she went she would turn into that kind of person that lived there. I particularly liked her description of how she would physically change when she went to China.

Please share with me YOUR alter-life. You know, the thing you will never actually do, but you think would be really fun.

Wild Animal Park

Wild Animal Park was my favorite day. Clark
says it ties with San Diego Zoo for the best day.
The surroundings were gorgeous and it was a
really nice, relaxing day. I don't have any desire
to go on a real African safari, this was close
enough for me. We saw lots of animals roaming relatively
freely and we rode a train/tram around them.
Our family really enjoys going to zoos, so this was
right up our alley.

Fun at SeaWorld

Next stop was SeaWorld. There are things
you can seeat SeaWorld that you can't see
anywhere else. Trained dolphins and Killer
Whales are pretty impressive. The kids
loved touching the sting rays, but somehow
I held them somewhat responsible for Steve
Irwin's death. Nobody voted SeaWorld their
favorite thing we did, but it came in second
for Bethany.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Lego land pictures

If you like looking at pictures of other people's vacations-- then ENJOY!
If you don't--- I understand!

Where to begin?

Well, we certainly had fun. Is it possible we had too much fun? Maybe. Last Sunday morning we woke the kids up and told them to eat breakfast, get dressed and get in the car. I had secretly packed their bags on Saturday. In this picture the kids have no idea where we are going. When we got as far south as Thanksgiving Point Abe and I started prodding them along to guess where we were going. It took them a while to figure it out. they knew we were going on a trip for some length because we had a bag full of snacks and all our bags packed. Bethany hoped we were going to Portland. Elinor thought maybe Idaho. They were so excited we were going to California!

First stop was Legoland. The park was quite empty and hardly any lines. Very nice.
The drive to California was fairly unevently- just the way we like it. We listened to all the Spiderwick Chronicle books. The only bummer was the traffic between Las Vegas and San Diego. Apparently a lot of people head to Vegas for the weekend. The trip there was about 3 hours longer than the way home.

I LOVE this picture of Faith holding up her Lego car driver's license. These little cars had a gas pedal and were completely steered without any kind of track by 3-5 year olds. Faith turns 3 next month- if you can believe that! We weren't quite sure she would be able to do it. When she finally did get her car going and steering our whole family let out HUGE cheers for her. It was one of my favorite moments of the whole trip! As you can see from her expression, she was QUITE pleased with herself!!

All right, all right, all right. I admit it-- I LOVE amusement park rides. I'm glad my kids are daredevils on rides because I don't want to go alone! I love Elinor in this picture! She's crazy, man! Clark and Elinor were usually ride buddies. They were pretty tight on this trip.