30 May 2011

Kid's N Kites festival, plus biking to school

Laura went on a trip to Boulder recently. I was able to stay at home with the kids. It was nice. I was a little bummed that I missed bike to work day. Though, instead of biking to work, I made sure that I took all the girls to school on their bikes. That was fun. The boys were good sports to be in the bike trailer. One morning, I took the boys for donuts. Our local donut shop makes these huge donuts. For comparison, those are regular size twists next to the donut.

Fremont had a kite day down at the park. There was a talent show, free kites, and the parks department brought mounted animals - all things the kids loved to see.

It was tough to get the kites in the air with little wind, but, along with some others, we had some success. Ben was the first one to get the kite up successfully. Though, once it fell, he became disenchanted with it. He got into a little grumpy mood. I was able to capture Abigail & Collette flying their kites, though.

Ben's mood improved somewhat by letting him check out the vintage police car.

Gabriel saying cheese in front of a raccoon. Unfortunately, I'm still trying to figure out my new camera. Focus isn't great on some of these photos. They loved to be able to 'pet' these creatures.

Abigail was being a great helper, when I was trying take care of grumpy Ben, she was willing to push the stroller. Abigail is really great at stepping up and being helpful when we need her most.

Collette's Birthday

We celebrated Collette's birthday on three different occasions.

We had the family birthday party, held jointly with Izzy, her cousin. It was great fun with a bounce house, food, cupcakes, and, of course, family. Collette, most excited for her birthday, because she gets presents!

Here's a favorite - a barbie doll.

Then, we went out to dinner on the day of her birthday - Red Robin - her pick. We also brought along a friend from school, Isabel, because she wouldn't be able to make her party. Mom & Dad got her gifts - a bunch of my little pet shops along with yet another doll.

Then, on Saturday, we had Collette's party with her friends. We decided to go have the party a a gymnastics play place. It was great, because both Laura and I have been under the weather. And being able to not plan the party was a great blessing.

Collette swinging on the ring.

Collette loves presents. That's all she would talk about in relation to her birthday. Everyone got her just what she wanted: cuddly stuffed animals, my little pet shops, and dolls. She was so excited. I think she may have gotten a duplicate of the pet shops - she gave the funniest little 'fake' smile. I didn't get it on camera, but she was trying to be so gracious. It was funny.

Collettes thinks carefully before she decides what wish to make.

Lastly, I was able to get a picture of the boys, with Ryan making a funny face.

08 May 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Laura requested a few things this mother's day. First, she didn't want to make any food or clean up. Also, she didn't want any last minute shopping/errands to prepare for the day. I didn't know how to accomplish the former without doing the later, as she tells me this at 6pm on Saturday.

So, I took the kids shopping, and we all picked out presents. The kids got Laura jewelry, which she dutifully wore to church today.

Laura got breakfast in bed. She didn't make lunch or dinner. She decided to make her own treat though, brownies (with chocolate sauce and ice cream), which we were able to share with my mom on a quick evening trip to their house.

I love my wife she's an amazing woman to put up with me. And she's an amazing mother too.

07 May 2011

Snow in Lake Tahoe

Just a couple more pictures from our fun in Tahoe. Laure tosses a snowball at me.

flying snowball

And the cool snow woman Collette and I made. She put in the cantaloup in for the mouth and nose.

04 May 2011

Spring Break in Lake Tahoe

Over spring break, we rented a cabin large enough to fit the entire Spiker family - Laura's grandmother, parents, and her sister Mindy plus family - a total of 14 people. We had a great time in the mountains, which were covered in snow. Mostly it was great for the cousins to get together and spend time with each other. Unfortunately, this is a rarity, but it was good for everyone to reconnect. They loved being in the same room, all-together. Below they're getting ready for bed, reading books together.

Jacque (Gma to the kids) had all sorts of crafty activities for the kids. Among other things they finger painted, made jewelry, decorated cupcakes (for a birthday party), played games, and drew on the windows. Collette, with hair fixed up by Mindy, wears her necklace made during one of Gma's activities.

Hannah munching on a cupcake during the birthday party - a fun event to celebrate everyone's birthday this year.

Abigail and Paige were difficult to separate.

Jumping off the pier at Emerald Bay - just over a half mile and 300ft down from the road. You can vist Vikingsholm, which is pretty cool.

Like most of our other kids, Benjamin enjoys the snow, until he gets wet or cold. I've included a happy moment.

Finally, Gabriel was fun around the cabin, putting on my sunglasses and boots around the house.