Thursday, April 30, 2009


Elinor had a softball game tonight. She's probably about a third of the way through the season and hasn't enjoyed it too much. However, tonight SHE HIT THE BALL!!!!!! I think she was completely shocked and it took a couple seconds of everyone screaming "RUN, Elinor, RUN!!!!". She made it to first base and then eventually made it home and scored a run. I almost lost my voice cheering for her. She was so excited (okay, so were we!)
Upon arriving home she said, "Mom, I have to admit it- I love softball."
What a funny girl.

Clark's project of the last week has been building a raft with the hopes of floating down the canal on it. It has attracted quite a bit of neighbor-boy attention because, really, who does that kind of thing nowadays? Well, tonight was the big night- the launching of the USS Clark. The good news is that the raft did indeed float. The bad news is the raft could not float with Clark on it.
Now this raft merits some explanation as it looks a little bit um, unconventional, shall we say?
In this picture you are looking at the bottom side of the raft. He has mega taped empty milk jugs to each of the four corners to increase the raft's buoyancy. A note about the wood used for the raft. These are wooden shelves for a rack of shelves we didn't have room for in our garage. I suppose it is very popular to "BE GREEN" lately and Clark has certainly reused and recycled these boards. They were previously used as for the tree house (aka the tree platform). Enjoy some more moments of the launching, the sinking, and the floating away of the USS Clark.

The launching. The whole family had to come watch. This is excitement! Will it float???

Hooray! It floats!!!! Quick, Clark, get on it!

Uh-oh. Not enough milk jugs.

Try again a little further out.
Don't worry, Clark is an excellent swimmer.

Just let it go, Clark, let it go. Yes, that is Abe in the Canal trying to grab a couple of milk jugs that came off.

Farewell, good raft.

We've been tipped off that when they drain the canal in the fall it is a veritable treasure trove with things people have dropped into the canal. Maybe we'll go treasure hunting and share our findings with you. I bet you can't wait!

By the way, as I look at the picture I am horrified with the safety violations I see. Please do not mention them to me. I feel bad enough already.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Family Pictures

This past Saturday we headed downtown for a family photo shoot. Our good friend, Allison Sherman is a very talented photographer and I think she did a fabulous job. I'll share a few of my favorites.

The Gentlemen.

The Ladies.

Thank you, Allison. You are one talented lady. And thank you, Lindsey and Lauryn (cousins) for handing down the cute green dresses to Bethany and Elinor.

Change is in the [H] air

When I was a freshman in college I had very long hair. I was pretty stressed out by the first year of college and I decided to get my hair chopped off. IT FELT SO GOOD!!!! Ever since then I have found dramatic changing haircuts very theraputic.
I think my girls have beautiful hair. I have loved their long hair and hadn't ever really thought about cutting their hair short (except when they have forced the issue by taking the scissors into their own hands).
BUT--- a few nights ago the girls were in the tub and I went in to wash their hair and there was A LOT of hair. I thought to myself, "ENOUGH ALREADY!" I suggested the idea of haircuts and the girls jumped on the idea.
So the next morning we all headed off to the salon.
This was triple therapy!!! I think they look darling!

The hair cut was especially fun for Bethany because her hair was long enough to donate to Locks of Love. There were no tears, but smiles all around. Change is good.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Moments to remember. . . or try to forget

This is another one of my "tired mommy posts". I hope I am just hormonal, but YIKES--- I am grouchy this week. Sometimes writing a bit helps me organize my grouchy thoughts. So here goes.

Taking the lemonade stand to the next level. My kids have done so many lemonade stands and they have all been relatively successful, but recently they took it to the next level. They made about 10 cups of lemonade and 10 cups of lemon snow cones (they used a little home-snowcone maker). They put them all into a big metal basket from our deep chest freezer. They took a role of duct tape and made a neck strap for the metal basket. The end result closely resembled a vendor selling hot dogs and popcorn and soda at a ball game. ALL 4 of the kids then went door to door in the neighborhood selling their goods. They even took Faith with them. The sad part is I didn't know what they were doing!!!! I looked out the window and I saw them way down the street. I was HORRIFIED!!!!!!!!!!! I knew their hair WAS NOT combed. Their teeth WERE NOT brushed, and did they even have shoes on??? Geez, we already home school and have five children under the age of 10, do we really need to do anything else to make our neighbors look sideways at us? I threw Cannon in the stroller and chased them down. As I was walking I couldn't decide if I should be proud of their entrepreneurial initiative or be super embarrassed. Truthfully, it was a little bit of both.

Oh, my funny little Elinor. I have never seen a child who can move slower than Elinor. If there is something she doesn't really want to do she never refuses, cries, or complains-- she just goes into SUPER slow motion. At home this can be a little bit irritating, but okay. However, in a softball game when she is playing catcher it is a bit more of a problem. The ball comes to her, passes by her and she super slowly walks to get the ball. Walks back up towards the plate (slowly, of course) and throws the ball back. It really slows the game down. We had a talk today before her second game about moving quickly and we even practiced getting the ball quickly and throwing it back QUICKLY.

Don't make eye contact.
Cannon is getting more teeth. He is sad. He is quite cranky (hmmm, so am I). Before going to bed tonight he was crying in his bed and Clark was also in his bed. I went in to get Cannon (he wasn't going to sleep) and talked with Clark for a few minutes. Clark told me the most important rule about sharing a room with Cannon is "Never make eye contact". He said if Cannon is awake he is just fine unless he makes eye contact or smiles at him. Then he starts crying.

Things you CANNOT do while I teach piano lessons.
Some of you know that I teach a few piano lessons. I quite enjoy it, and the kids enjoy it, but we are still working this new element into our schedule. Last week it was a warm day and the children donned their swimsuits and turned on the hose in the backyard and had a grand time. Yesterday at lunch I told them there were to be no swimsuits or water during piano lessons that day. They obeyed. I was so pleased. Then I found them up on the rafters in the garage. HIGH!!!! DANGEROUS!!!!!! Why are you up there??? GET DOWN!!!

Okay. I am feeling better. I'll go fold my laundry now.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter 2009

Easter Saturday!!! We always do our fun Easter Bunny celebration on the Saturday before Easter. The kids have just accepted our explanation-- Mom and Dad have requested that the Easter Bunny come early. Like Christmas morning we all gather in our room before we go down to see what the Easter Bunny brought.

When I was growing up I don't remember doing outdoor easter egg hunts with real eggs or big candy filled plastic eggs. We always hunted indoors for small foil wrapped chocolate eggs. So, the tradition lives on for our family. The Easter Bunny hides A LOT of these little chocolate eggs. Clark and Bethany are suppose to look high and Faith and Elinor are to look low.

The Easter Bunny brought books this year. Here Abe is reading "The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales". This book CRACKS me up. I particularly enjoy "The Really Ugly Duckling". Now, if any of you get this book upon my recommendation- I didn't say it was totally appropriate---- just really funny.

Here is Easter Sunday after church. We did try to take a picture before church, but there was serious lack of cooperation. That happens sometimes. Bethany got to sit up on the stand for the beginning of Sacrament Meeting and then was recognized as the newest baptized member of the ward. She also bore a very sweet testimony.

ACTION-PACKED!!!!! On Friday Clark tested for the next belt in Tae Kwon Do. His tests include form, kicking, verbal questions, and breaking technique. This is one of two breaking techniques for Sr. Red Belt. He passed his test and now has at least four months until he earns his Red/Black Belt and then another year until he can test for his Black Belt.

Elinor has lost her first tooth. Sadly, it was a somewhat traumatic experience. Her permanent tooth was growing in behind so we needed to hurry things along. She was so excited after Abe had finally "helped" her get it out.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spring Break

Old habits die hard.
We are having spring break this week. I told the kids the only thing they had to do was their jobs and practicing. They've been quite delightful, busying themselves with all sorts of productive activities-- free play, art projects, games with neighborhood kids. But I guess they just couldn't help themselves tonight. I came upstairs at about 9:45 when the children were suppose to be in bed and found them like this. Clark urgently says, "Mom, it's okay! We're just reading and writing".

There is another reason I love this picture. Clark shares a room with Cannon, but Cannon always goes to bed well before Clark does. Clark will often sit out in the hall reading books for a little while after the girls go to bed. So tonight the girls just joined him.
We use to live in a very large house. We definitely enjoyed some aspects of it, but I LOVE the house we live in now. It is cozy, but very comfortable. The three girls share a room and the boys share a room. I love that these four children were squished as close as they could be in the hallway reading and writing together and we had to pry them apart to go to bed.
We have WONDERFUL children in our neighborhood and I really enjoy having lots of them over to play when the weather is nice. Our house isn't huge, but we have a very good size backyard, a trampoline, and a puppy. That's a good combination.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Great Jordan River Exploration

My Dad (Grandpa Cannon to my kids) has a boat. Okay, it is actually more of a glorified inflatable raft, but it has proved quite seaworthy. He took Abe and Clark on a four mile explorative excursion on the Jordan River.
I LOVE this picture of Clark because he is so happy out in nature. It soothes his soul. Thank you, Dad for sharing this with Clark.

Abe had some doubt as to how navigable the Jordan River would be, but they only had to get out one time to walk around a small beaver den. Abe came home like a kid glowing about how much fun he had.

In this picture Grandpa and Clark are looking at where beavers have chewed branches. My dad majored in zoology at BYU so you can imagine how well he and Clark get along. I guess this sort of thing skips a generation.

Abe and Clark by the "SeaHawk II". I understand that my Dad bought this "boat" at Costco sort of on a whim, but I think he has had more fun with it than any retired person I know.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Faith's princess party

This was one very happy little girl! At Bethany and Elinor's urging, Faith had a princess tea party birthday party. I know a three-year-old doesn't NEED a big party, but we all had fun. I guess Clark wasn't having the time of his life, but he did say afterwards that if he was a little girl this is the kind of party he would want. That must mean it was good!

We drew pretty pictures while we waited for each little princess to arrive.

We played "Princess Says" (like Simon Says).
And we played "Princess, princess, queen" (like duck duck goose)

We played "Ring around the princess" and "princess hide and seek"
You will note that even I am wearing my fanciest dress.

And we had a fancy tea party. We had a couple of Bethany and Elinor's friends come over to help serve the little princesses.
It was great fun, but with three daughter's birthdays all within a month of each other I am pretty birthdayed out by the end of March.

Conference Tents

Well, it was a good idea. I don't know how effective it actually was. We had conference tents so the kids could play quietly in them while they listened to General Conference. It was suppose to be like in the Book of Mormon when the Nephites put the doors of their tents towards King Benjamin preaching. Maybe it sparked too much imagination because they kids dressed up and built a fire in front of tent. It was fun anyway.

ROCK BAND late at night! I don't think kids should be allowed to have this much fun! Jesse (Abe's next younger brother) and Amy's kids and our kids rocked out together. They were pretty good.

But Jesse was QUITE good!

Elinor's first piano recital

Elinor just turned six and had her first piano recital on Saturday just before the Priesthood session. SHE DID GREAT!!! She played with gusto! All her good practice paid off. She played a little duet with her teacher and "Camptown Races"

Clark also played a couple of songs, "Cowboy Blues" and "Clouds at Sunset". His songs were very challenging for him to learn and he did fantastic. As a mom I particularly enjoyed watching them hug and congratulate each other after performing their songs.

One more picture of Els just because we love her.

It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This

This is Bethany and her cousin, Julia, at General Conference today. They were baptized together on Friday. Julia and her family came down from Portland. The baptism was beautiful and these are two of the sweetest little girls ever. They love each other and they had a wonderful weekend together.

Bethany got to go to General Conference with both sets of her grandparents! How lucky is that? I think she will always remember this special experience. We could not be happier for her.

This weekend was such a joy for Bethany and for Abe and I. Bethany and Julia sang "When I am Baptized" and it was beautiful.

Our growing brood. Family life with lots of little ones is very busy and challenging at times, but IT IS SO WORTH IT!!!!!! It doesn't get any better than this!