Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Asian Pear

We lucked out when we planted our fruit trees, when the pear tree we planted turned out to be an Asian Pear tree.  Lynnie, Cece, and I like to snack on the fruit while we play outside.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


We loved meeting {R} at the aquarium today.  Cece was so excited to see her, and ran right up for big hugs.  Cece let {R} carry her for a long time, and stuck by her side for the whole visit.  It was so sweet and special to watch.  I love seeing them together!

Monday, August 29, 2016


Cece is (understandably) obsessed with her hair.  I am a little obsessed with it, myself.  I like to tell Cece that she gets that from her birth mom, because {R} went to school for hair and always has the best styles.  Lately, Cece will let me put product in it, but she has to brush it all by herself.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

School Paper

Which is the fib?

1.  I like to cook
2.  I like to help
3. I like to eat frot {fruit}

the fib is "I like to eat fruit" -- Ellie doesn't like any fruits or vegetables outside of raisins and fruit leathers

Saturday, August 27, 2016

RA Swim Party

We went to the first ever RA swim party and had a great time.  Until it was time to go, and Ellie just melted.  Combo of late night + swimming hard + hungry + cold air = too much to handle.  Good thing Daddy was ready with loves and comfort.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Neighborhood Party

Some of the fun ladies on our ward/neighborhood are good at throwing block parties.  We have never been able to attend before, but everything worked out and we were excited to make it this time.  The Costa Vida food truck was there so we could get dinner, and we biked over to the cul-de-sac with our camping chairs for a fun night.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Amy Harmon

I have a love/hate relationship with Amy Harmon's books.  She is a powerful writer and I get completely engaged with her characters.  I love everything she's written (with the exception of the "Purgatory" books -- couldn't finish the first one, and I've tried three different times).  I eagerly pre-order anything new.  Her latest book, The Bird and The Sword, is the best thing I've read all year.

There are two things I hate: sometimes her characters swear too much for my liking, and sometimes she makes me feel too much.  This book (A Different Blue) has an adoption theme, and even though some of the adoption choices are kind of quirky, she captures the emotions.  The first time I read this book, I stayed up til 4 a.m. to finish and then just laid in bed and cried until one of the girls woke up.  After a few years, I was ready to try it again, and downloaded the audio book through my library.  It was better this way, because I have less time to listen than to read, and breaking it up into snippets over a three week time span made it easier to keep my emotions under control.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Adjusting to kindergarten is exhausting...  Lynlee just couldn't keep her eyes open and took a nap at the same time as Cece today.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Clayton is Home

Clayton was only hours off of the plane from the Dominican Republic, and we got to spend a little time with him.  He hadn't even been released from his mission yet.  It was great to see him, happy, healthy, and so grown up.

Monday, August 22, 2016

First Day of Kindergarten

Lynnie insisted on a smiley face on her chalkboard, because she is so happy to start kindergarten!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Bye Bye, Daddy

When anybody leaves, Cece likes to open the door, blow kisses, wave good-bye, and then close the door.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Electric Skillet

Good-bye, electric skillet.  You have served us well for over 20 years.  We have made countless batches of pancakes and kraut noodles, and definitely gotten our money's worth out of this appliance.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Grandma's Luke Doll

Mom's Quilt Guild has an auction every year to raise money for ... something.  I guess I don't know what.  This year she decided to crochet some of the Star Wars amigurumi dolls.  Her stitches are much tighter than mine, and I like the size that her dolls turned out to be.  I told her to start with Luke, because he has the least color changes and "extra" things so I thought he would be the easiest.  I forgot how hard it is to use black yarn.  Unless you are sitting in full sunlight, it is hard to see the stitches.  And I forgot to tell Mom that counts get off all the time, and since you are crocheting in the round you can just fix it in the next round.  She pulled 1/4 - 1/2 of Luke out multiple times (eek!).  So he kind of took forever, but he turned out great.  Mom ended up making Luke, Leia, and the Ewok for the auction.

Thursday, August 18, 2016


This is my first year to really embrace the carpool concept, and it is magical.  There are 4 girls in our ward that are all in the same kindergarten class, so we carpool for pick-up.  Our neighbor transferred to RA this year, so Greg drives the girls in the morning, and our neighbor picks up in the afternoon.  Out of a possible 15 times to go to the school in a week (morning drop-off, kindergarten pick-up, Ellie pick-up), I am only going 3-4 times, and Greg is going 4 times.  Did I mention that carpools are magic?  

For kindergarten, I drive on Mondays and Fridays through the end of September (then just Mondays until my Friday turn comes back in January).  I drive on Wednesday mornings when Greg has an early meeting, and then I pick-up Ellie on Thursdays and we head straight to violin lessons.

That was a lot of back story to get to this picture.  It was our first Thursday pick-up, and the weather was gorgeous so we got out to play in the grass pit.  Our friend's mom needed to promote the FEC (our school's PTA) at a table in front of the school, so S played with us while we waited for school to get out.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Farm

We needed a distraction from missing Ellie, so we went to the farm today.  We love the wagon rides!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Back to School Haircuts

School starts tomorrow for Ellie, so it was time for haircuts.

Sunday, August 14, 2016


When I first moved west, I was surprised that the sticks of butter had a totally different shape than I was used to.  Instead of being long and skinny, they were shorter and blockier.  I was brought back to my childhood in the Midwest when Costco started selling the other shape.

Saturday, August 13, 2016


I'm a sucker and buy almost anything with a zebra, dolphin, or turtle on it.  When I saw this zebra-costume-thingie on, I had to get it.  Cece loved wearing it.

Friday, August 12, 2016


Love this picture by Lynnie Lu of me, her, and puppy.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Big Girls

Cece loves to do anything and everything her big sisters do.  This is true at violin lessons, too.  Cece will hop right in whenever she gets the opportunity.  Grandma was teaching some concept and Cece ran right over and sat in between Ellie and Lynnie.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


I miss my friend Elizabeth, who moved very far away.  All the way to Kaysville...  We managed to have one glorious play date this summer, and got to meet her delicious new baby.  Cece especially was enamored.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


The backyard transformation is almost complete.  We installed the rubber tire mulch today and it was fun to test it out.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Pure Sweetness

I have made photo books for each girl telling their birth story, and they are my favorites out of all of the photo books and scrap books I have made.  The girls love to look at them.  This picture is full of pure sweetness.  Cece was signing {R} as she was looking at the pictures.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Birthday That Keeps on Going

Ellie's craft for this morning was painting the owl bank her friend Rachel gave her.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Another Birthday Present

Aunt Jonette sent this awesome scratch-away art book, and Ellie loved working with it.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Aunt Tammy

Aunt Tammy is seriously the best!  She is so cool that Cece has already given her a name sign.  Kind of.  Tammy was the first person that I used the "aunt" sign for, and Cece now thinks that "aunt" = "tammy."  When I tried to sign "aunt a-m-y" to Cece, she shook her head and signed "no" -- telling us that Aunt Amy was not Tammy.  Tammy took the girls for a quick ride in the side-by-side, and they had a blast.  After they got back, Ellie and Lynnie ganged up on Greg and I and got us to agree to let them spend the night with Tammy as Ellie's birthday present.  Well, really, they got Greg to agree and then I acquiesced.  Ellie included Lynnie, which was really sweet of her.  They did better than I expected them to, as far as their moods went, and they kept Tammy up as late as I thought they would.  Lynnie is a mover when she sleeps, always scooting around, trying to find someone to snuggle with.  And then she kicks you.  Tammy and Ellie didn't get much sleep, but Lynnie said it was the best night ever!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Eliana is 7

Happy 7th birthday, Ellie!  Happy, happy day.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Swim Lessons

This picture shows the contrast between the girls at swim lessons perfectly.  Ellie is swimming on her own and loving it, and Lynlee is being brave and hating it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Sting Ray

We love swimming lessons, but it takes over our entire week.  Even though we are only gone for two hours, the whole day revolves around swimming.  Timing breakfast and potty breaks, getting to lessons, keeping Cece happy while waiting her turn, getting home, eating lunch, getting Cece down for a nap, washing all of the towels -- whew!  I'm exhausted remembering...

The exciting thing about our 2nd session is that Jan Lamb moved Ellie up to Sting Rays.  She got to start 30 minutes ahead of Lynlee and her class was an hour.  Ellie did great following directions and really trying out her strokes.

Ellie is on the left in her new striped/black swimsuit.

Monday, August 1, 2016


We have been going to gymnastics for over a year now, and Ellie is thriving.  She practices her cartwheels and handstands often, seemingly constantly.  Lulu ... tolerates gymnastics.  She still has bad weeks where she freaks out and doesn't want to go to class, but mostly she will go with a respectful attitude.  I snapped this picture because they were next to each other on the floor, and it is not often that their classes are this close to each other.