29 June 2011

Birthday Parties: Gabriel & Benjamin

We had two fantastic birthday parties for Gabriel & Benjamin. First, we celebrate with family, including Nicole's birthday. Cupcakes were courteous of Nicole's mom, Christine.

The following week was the kids party. Benjamin controlled the invite list on this one. There was swimming, bounce house, piñata, cake, and presents. Our kids really love presents. I swear, Benjamin wouldn't quit talking about what he was going to get. Though, not nearly as focused Collette was just a month ago. You can see how excited Benjamin was to get an iron man costume and Gabriel was happy to play with Finn McMissile.

We like to play it dangerous and allow the kids sometime in the hot tub. We use it as a "pool" and the kids enjoy taking a "swim." Look closely - that little one who thinks he knows how to fly in the water is Gabriel.

Slugging the piñata was great fun.

What superhero / star wars theme party would be complete without a superhero cake. Spiderman is cool. Cake decorated by Laura and me.

Gabriel and Benjamin shared the cake and each took turns making their wishes.

26 June 2011

Sabbath conversation

On the way to church, Laura turned on the radio to listen to primary songs. The boys wanted the music off, because they preferred to watch a movie. The following comments were made:

Benjamin: Turn off the music!
Abigail: No, leave it on. I like it.
Gabriel: <scream>
Collette: I want the music on.
Benjamin: I hate this music!
Laura: Aw, Heavenly Father would be sad to hear that.
Collette: Yeah, and he would kill you.
<Laura and Joel laugh>
Laura : No, he wouldn't kill you.
Joel: Heavenly Father won't kill you.
Collette: Well, he wouldn't kill you, but the police officer would say "hey! You don't love Jesus?!" But Heavenly Father could kill you. But he won't.

Perhaps Monday we could talk about steadying the ark as examples where the disobedient do die. Or, maybe not.

20 June 2011

First Summer Camping Trip

We were so excited this year to go on a camping trip that we only waited till one day after school. We went up to Mt Madonna County Park. Which, when I mapped it, showed it was in Watsonville. When I saw that, I read "hot, dusty, and dry" So, we packed accordingly. It couldn't have been more the opposite! It was like camping in the thick of the Santa Cruz mountains. It was wet, cold, and COLD! Like campfire going 18 hours out of the day cold. Like couldn't sleep very well at night cold. Like adults creeping into the cars at times to get warm cold. Despite the cold, we had a really good time. We had amazingly good food- pancake and bacon breakfasts, pizza pockets made with basil pesto and garlic in them, lots of hot chocolate, and even warm chocolate chip cookies all cooked over campfire! And of course, we have pictures to prove it. 'Cause what would camping be if we didn't have proof that we were cold and dirty? If only you could smell us through pictures. It took a good two days to get the campfire smell out of our hair and clothes. I'm pretty sure it's still there...

As soon as we drove up Joel saw some deer and took the kids to see them. Do you see the deer running off behind the trees?

It wasn't long after that that they started a variety show of their own. Each kid would get up and do something funny and all the other kids would crack up.

The kids were excited to see A LOT of these guys around (for those of you not in the area it's a banana slug)

The kids were so good at keeping themselves busy. At one point, they started a train and ran around the camp singing songs like: Twinkle, twinkle and Mary had a little lamb. You know, all the pop hits.

We went on lots of cool hikes like these:

We "discovered" some ancient ruins (I know, poor quality shot..)

And we had a lot of happy kids!

We want to go again! Soon!!

16 June 2011

Last day of school, first summer swim

The kids' last day of school. It was busy. Why not make it busier?

Who says 8pm is too late for a swim? Not Mom!

05 June 2011

Trip to Lloyd's donuts

Saturday morning the family took a short trip to the donut store.

We got the big one for fun. It is a big donut.

By the way, I don't understand why people choose to get cake donuts. Raised all the way!

End of year patches: Brownies

Abigail has completed her first year of Brownies. She'll be doing a day camp later this summer. But, in the meantime, she had some patches to celebrate. Emily, her leader, is a super crafty and works really hard for the kids to have a great experience. Below you'll see Emily awarding Abigail with a slew of patches and, eventually, prizes for cookies sales.

We worked hard to make the girls scouts a good experience. I worked some of the cookie stands with the kids. I'm a pretty aggressive salesperson, getting some people that initially walk by to return a buy a box or two.

Laura hosted a cooking night where the girls made pizzas and other food. The picture below showcases Emily's craft, getting the kids to do pages for a scrap book, with photos from Laura's cooking night. I love the picture with Abigail's missing teeth enjoying the pizza.

Unfortunately, Abigail was a bit disappointed that she didn't get quite as many prizes as the other girls for cookie sales. We tried to explain that we (combined with Collette) outsold all the other girls in the troop. We just divide the spoils between two scouts, so it doesn't seem like we sold a lot.

Regardless, Abigail loves scouting and is proud of her accomplishments. And we are too!