Friday, April 30, 2010

High Five

This morning was awesome. Unbelievably fantastic perfect weather at 7:30 am. Shortly after we got the girls off to school, I headed out the door for my run. I had goose bumps from the get go due to the slight chill in the air and the breeze, but they subsided within a minute after I got warmed up. It was just sooooo nice out. Can I bottle this weather and pull it out one July day when it's 110? Hmmm...

I was worried that I might be a little lethargic on the pavement today since I stayed up too late reading Breaking Dawn. But surprisingly, my wheels were greased and my lungs were full. I had a great run.

Just as I finished mile three heading north on Harris approaching my parents' house, I saw Bishop Uncle Jim up the road coming off the canal. He, too, was out for his morning jog and looking so dang good. Seriously - so good. As we passed each other, we exchanged a high five and a big smile and kept running in opposite directions. I couldn't help but think what a miracle has occurred in his life this past year. It was just last July that he was diagnosed with stage four cancer - Mantle Cell Lymphoma. He endured all his chemo so well, and is now cancer free, despite all the odds. My heart and soul was filled with so much gratitude this morning as I ran, just thinking about the grace of our Heavenly Father. I couldn't begin to number the prayers that were (and still are offered) in plea for my Bishop Uncle Jim's full and lasting recovery. They were heard. They were answered. I am grateful.

My Uncle Jim is really an inspiration to me, no doubt about it. I see him out running and read about him on my Aunt Diane's blog hiking in the grand canyon just a week ago. He's living life, living strong. I am sure that Jim's perspective on life has been undeniably altered by his cancer battle. How could it not be? And it's just so awesome to see him not only recovered, but embracing life and a renewed body with full enthusiasm. I pray that my desire to live strong will likewise always endure.

Thanks for the high five, Jim. You made my day.

They're Off to Father & Son's

My two men are off - on their way up north for the Harris Park Ward annual Father & Son's overnight. Easton honestly couldn't be any more excited. This is his second year going and he has been counting down the days. Even still, I'm not sure who is more excited - Ryan or Easton. It makes me happy to the core seeing the love of my life so thrilled to spend his weekend with our little man. They were both all smiles as they pulled out of the driveway embarking on their 2-hour road trip. It's gonna be a cold night!

Since they had the whole suburban to themselves, they threw in anything and everything they wanted, nothing sparing. There was no order to the packing - just throw it in. Man style. We'll figure it when we get there. Of course, I packed too much food for them and too many clothes for Easton, but would you expect anything less from me? I always slightly overpack - not too bad - but I love the comfort of knowing that there's still one extra clean outfit and a dry pair of shoes - just in case. And man, how many times has that last spare set come in handy! With kids, you just never know.

I hope they have a ball. Ryan let Easton plan 100% of the food and snack menu for the trip, so they are eating no holds barred for the next 24 hours. They'll live, right? Ryan gave me the shopping list with a smile, and I did not stray.

Dinner: hot dogs, cucumbers and dill dip, orange Doritos, and Sprite for the little man and Root Beer for the big guy. Nice. (Ryan actually brought a freeze dried dinner for himself so he could use his camp stove and be the real deal. Actually, I honestly thinks he likes those meals. That's what you get for being a scoutmaster I guess).

Dessert: s'mores and double stuff oreos. Oh, and peanut M&M's.

Breakfast: the bishopric is cooking it, but they brought some key lime yogurt (Easy E. favorite) and honey nut cheerios (again, Easton's request) just in case.

Snacks: you don't really want to know. Suffice it to say that no one is going hungry.

Can't wait to see the pics and hear the report. I'm sure it will be awesome, just like last year. Speaking of last year, here are 3 of my favorite pics from last year's Father & Son's campout (May 2009) at the same place:

(check out the dirt of this kid's face)

Monday, April 26, 2010


While I'm pretty sure that I'm not the only mom in the world (or in Mesa or even on my street) that has had to nag and beg and remind and encourage and fuss and threaten their kids to practice their instruments, sometimes I feel like I am at the end of my rope. No more tricks in the hat. No more words to utter. REALLY, how difficult can it be to find 20 stinkin' minutes in a day to practice????

Don't answer that. Apparently, it can be next to impossible. So, I finally resorted to bribery. I'm not beneath that.

Barrett is a very talented pianist and has a real gift for sight reading and picking things up quickly, but she's not always (or almost never actually) jazzed about practicing. But I started to notice that we weren't bucking horns quite as much about it, and her teacher was commenting on her improved practicing. I thought it might be time to piggyback on that and kick it up a notch.

So we struck a deal.

Five solid practices a week for four weeks = a day out with mom.

It was a start.

It was measurable.
It was attainable.
It was challenging.
No siblings.
No dad.
Just good old fashioned Girls Day Out with mom.

Really, I knew it would be a win-win situation.

I mean seriously, how can you go wrong with a GDO with your 11-year old daughter?

It took 5 weeks to get there, but she did it. She printed up a practice calendar and taped it to her wall by her door. I had to sign off on the practices. She tried to negotiate at the end of week four when she only had four practices, but a deal's a deal. She finished up her 5th day of the 5th week about an hour before our GDO was ready to start, but she did it. And by the way, her recital piece for her performance coming up in a few weeks is off the chart. She is playing amazing! Funny what a month of great practicing will do.

Saturday was our day. And we had so dang much fun!

We started it off with a fantastic breakfast of whole wheat pancakes and bacon, Barrett's favorite, then headed out to the 11:20 showing of The Last Song. Barrett had actually seen it a couple of weeks ago with her girlfriend, but was dying to see it again (and I was really wanting to go too. I'm sure Ryan would have gone with me if I pushed, but it was a chic flick by all accounts). She read the book in 2 days and, of course, says the book is better, but loved the movie too. Her BFF, Riley, and her mom and Grandma Cindy all wanted to see it too, so they met us at the theatre. Man, I bawled and bawled. What a tear jerker. But such a good show!

Then we hit Rubios, one of our favorites, for a little baja mex lunch. I had my favorite Rubio's pick: 2-taco plate with corn tortillas, one chicken, one steak. Side of beans and chips. So always. Barrett did her usual bean burrito with churro.

Next, we tried a new nail salon (the one by Golden Spoon) and got pedicures. I haven't had my toes professionally done since last summer, so it was a real treat for me (and for Barrett of course). I still need to get a pic of her cute toes. She splurged and had hers painted zebra style. Very fancy nancy.

While we sat in our pedicure chairs having our backs and butts vibrate with the massage chair, I started #4 of the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn. I just wish I had a whole day to sit and read and let everything else go to pot. Since that will never happen, I'll settle for stealing my 30 minutes here and there and hopefully I'll get it done in the next couple of weeks. I loved New Moon and Eclipse too. I'm hooked. Barrett and I already have a date for the Eclipse premiere in June.

We ended our great day back at home, where Barrett offered to give me a manicure to compliment my cute toes. I was feeling young and crazy, so I let her paint them purple and asked for some flower decals too. Seriously, they were super cute and very hip. Unfortunately, I had to take the polish off this morning before work since my Sunday dishwashing and showers took their toll on the semi-professional mani. I think I might become a regular at Salon de Barrett. She does some mighty fine work!

And the best part about the whole fantastic GDO (aside from the obvious spending time with B.)? She texted me Saturday night, thanking me for a fabulous day and letting me know how much she loved me.

And before bed Saturday night, she came to me and said, "Mom, can we make a new deal?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

38 Cool Things

In the spirit of working on my personal history, I'm making some lists. Here's my list for today.

38 pretty cool things I've far...through Age 38 (in no particular order):

  1. Visited Mt. Rushmore

  2. Enjoyed a Yankees game on their home turf in the Bronx

  3. Played on State Championship Volleyball team: 1988 Mountain View Toros

  4. Climbed ancient pyramids in Chitzen Itza, Mexico

  5. Snorkeled with giant sea turtles off coast of Lainai, Hawaii

  6. Drove all the way down the Florida Keys

  7. Stood on the Four Corners

  8. Ran half marathon (Time: 1:57:30, November 2009)

  9. Had dinner at Sammy Hagar's Cabo Wabo in Cabo San Lucas

  10. Ate lunch with Ryan in Central Park

  11. Married the love of my life

  12. Parasailed off beach in Cancun

  13. Passed all parts of the CPA exam on 1st try (1994)

  14. Walked through Arlington National Cemetery

  15. Gave birth to 4 amazing children, two 100% natural, two via C-Section

  16. Sewed lots of homemade baby quilts for friends and family

  17. Flown on private jet (lots of awesome!)

  18. Stood under 100 foot waterfall in Kauai, Hawaii

  19. Jet skiied to land's end in Cabo

  20. Taken picture in front of the White House

  21. Finished P90X (90 day insane workout program)

  22. Graduated Summa Cum Laude from ASU (1994)

  23. Played in an all-through-the-night softball tournament (Heat Stroker) in Mesquite, Nevada (summer 1997)

  24. Watched Def Leppard concert from the 9th row (Aug 2009)

  25. Produced several movies on my iMac

  26. Attended BYU Women's Conference and been in presence of the prophet, Thomas S. Monson

  27. Cruised in airboat over marshes filled with alligators (Florida 5/03)

  28. Did the Tarzan rope swing in Kauai

  29. Skiied Park City, Deer Valley, Vail, Winter Park, Snow Bird, Alta, Sundance, Sunrise, Sno Bowl (I might be missing a few others...)

  30. Toured the Statue of Liberty

  31. Cried at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C.

  32. Toured the Great Redwood Forest

  33. Visited the Grand Canyon (and I'm finally hiking it this September!)

  34. Officiated high school volleyball all through college (and did the state final match my 3rd year)

  35. Got baptized on Valentine's Day 1980 by Grandpa Harry and confirmed by Grandpa Reid

  36. Started working at Dairy Queen at age 13 (worked until 1st semester of college)

  37. Kayaked the Wailua River in Kauai, and in ocean in San Carlos & Rocky Point, MX

  38. Honeymooned in Maui

  39. Ran 10ks through the years in Turkey Trots (Mesa), Bolder Boulder (Colorado) and did Pat's Run this year

Monday, April 19, 2010


This last week I had the opportunity to spend a little time with all my grandparents. As has been our April tradition for the past few years, I spent a few hours with my Grandpa Reid earlier in the week preparing his tax return. He only lives a couple of streets away, so I get to see him often. He and Easton are great pals and so comfortable together despite their vast age difference (Grandpa is 87 and Easton is 4). Easton knows his way all around the house, knows where the snacks are, where the toys live. When we got there, Easton gave Grandpa a quick hug then made a bee-line for the basement where he hung out most of the morning. While I was there, Grandpa shared a few stories with me about his younger days and his investment club and his old friendships. He got a little emotional when he talked about my sweet Grandma Sue, his wife, who passed on nearly three years ago. We talked about Krissie and life and family. It was a good day.

(My cousin, Heather, & I with Grandpa Reid when we were just little girls)

Then last night, I took Barrett & Rowan with me to visit my Grandpa Harry & Grandma Rita for a while. We needed to stop in and say hi and let them know we loved them. We told them about the goings on of our lives – ball games, kids, races, business, life. It had been a month since my last visit. Too long for sure. My grandpa shared a sweet story about his mother who has long since left this life. He’s seen his mother in dreams on many occasions and has shared some special things about her and her life. Every time that I bring Rowan over to visit, he shares the same story with us about how his mother appeared to him in a dream when I was pregnant with Rowan, and reassured my grandpa that everything was going to be all right (Rowan had been diagnosed with Gastroschesis at 17 weeks gestation). My Great Grandma told my Grandpa Harry that she had picked Rowan especially for our family, and that Rowan would not only be a blessing to Ryan and I, but also a blessing to our whole family. I smile every time I hear that story. I know she was right. It will be some reunion one day when we all meet together again in the next life.

Both my Grandpa Harry and my Grandma Rita are getting pretty up there in years (94 and 92 years old, respectively) and have feeble bodies, but their minds still seem sharp and they can hear all that we say with relative ease. They are always glad that we stopped by and always leave us with a kiss.

This morning I got up early to kick off my week with a run. The sun was already coming up from the horizon and the weather was just perfect. A little breeze, birds chirping, trees whishing. Picturesque actually. It was the first time in a long time that I’ve run without an iPod. So I listened to everything, soaking it all in. I only saw a handful of cars out while I ran through the neighborhood streets. The peace was overwhelming. I listened to my feet hit the pavement over and over and heard myself breathing more evenly than I expected. My mind, free of the music that usually fills it when I run, raced with thoughts all over the map, but I kept coming back to my grandparents.

As I pondered my recent visits, I couldn’t help but think that I might not have too much more time with my grandparents before they move on. Not that any of them are really ill or threatening to go anytime soon, but they’re all getting older. I wondered last night as I got ready for bed how much longer my grandpa Harry, in particular, would be with us. And I had that same thought over and over as I ran today. He hadn’t been feeling very well yesterday evening, so my dad and Bishop Uncle Jim gave him a blessing. He seemed pretty good when we got there not too long afterwards. Then I thought about all the giant pictures of my G&G that I have stored in my food storage room - pictures that we used to decorate for his 90th birthday shindig. I thought about his life. I wondered if he had taken the opportunity to write about growing up in the early 1900’s with all his siblings. About meeting my grandma and falling in love. About his career as a high school teacher and baseball coach. About life on the farm. About raising kids. About owing a DQ. About being a temple sealer. About his mission in Chile. About his testimony. Does he have a journal? Is his life history documented? Are the stories of his youth kept somewhere where we can read them after he’s gone?

(Grandpa Harry's school teaching days at Mesa High)

In the natural evolution of thought, my thoughts then shifted to the carefully organized piles of scrapbook pages presently spread across my living room floor. Chronologically ordered pages, categorized by child or placed in the “family album” section, ready to be inserted into books. I started the organization project yesterday morning. I was a little over-ambitious, I suppose, in thinking that I’d get them all placed before church. Still, I made good progress and plan to finish it up by tomorrow. But those pages represent countless hours enjoyed in the preserving of my family history - pictures of my kids, my family, my loves. Documentation of our travels, sports, triumphs, memories, and everyday life. But most important to me is the journaling on all those pages. There are letters I’ve written to each of my children, thoughts I’ve shared about my hopes and dreams for them. I’ve kept track of birthdays and holidays, beach vacations galore. I’ve captured the non-events of daily living and the little thoughts that triggered memories from my youth. It’s all part of my history. My family history.

But…the point that really hit home in the midst of all this reverie and reflection was that I had scrapbooked very little about ME. I haven’t missed a school year or a birthday for any of my kids, but there are only three or four pages about me in all the volumes of albums in our house. If I left this earth tomorrow, would my history be written? Would my kids know all they should or all they may want to know someday about my childhood, my school years, my career, my testimony, my love of motherhood, my passion for their daddy, my life? Would they remember that story I’ve told them at bedtime about how their daddy and I met and how long it took him to kiss me for the very first time? I am grateful that I have kept a journal on and off for years, and have quite a bit written down about my life since marrying Ryan. But there is so much more I need to document. So much more to my personal history.

I’m glad that I decided to start blogging last year as it has given me incentive to be diligent about writing. I’ve seized the opportunity to write about my life a little more regularly and share some thoughts that might have otherwise gone undocumented. I can’t wait to publish my first blog book and go back and read my posts. I’m sure they’re all over the map, but that’s OK. It’s my blog. It’s my life. And it’s not going to go unwritten.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Great Race

We came. We saw. We ran.
Ryan and I both did Pat's Run this morning at ASU and had a terrific time. I was so excited when Ryan said he'd join me (even though he hasn't run since Thanksgiving). Since it was a walk or run thing, he figured he could just walk when he wanted and run when he wanted. But he's a stud and he ran the whole time. I wore my bright green shirt so that he could find me amidst the 20,000 + runners, and I am so glad I did. It was crazy! Runners and walkers for miles. Seriously - miles! Everything about the race was top notch. It was totally organized, well staffed, and such a great experience all the way around.

In typical Kelli style, I got a little emotional just before the start when the soloist sang the National Anthem. It gets me every time. The place was silent as he belted out our nation's tribute with perfect pitch, followed by the customary eruption of applause at the end. I loved it. And I only teared up one other time. After the race, Ryan and I toured around the booths and stopped to read the Pat Tillman tributes in the Pat Tillman Foundation booth. The pictures spoke a thousand words themselves, but after I read about his life again, I was once again slightly emotional thinking about the sacrifice that he and so many, many thousands of other Americans make for us every day to help protect our freedoms and keep us safe. Freedoms I think we sometimes take for granted. I was thrilled to be a part of such a great event in honor of a great hero.

(By the way, the actual race itself was great too.) A few more hills than I'm used to running, but that just added to the fun. I finished strong. Time: 34:46 (which put me in the top 5% of all women and also in my age class Women 30-39). My goal was to run sub-35 minutes. I barely made it.

My awesome husband before the race.

Post-race inside ASU Stadium. We finished on the 42 yard line with the whole ASU football team on the sides cheering us on. So cool.

Ryan post race

I couldn't believe how many bananas & oranges & drinks they had lined up, ready for the finishing racers. This was just one section of the many tables set up.

It was a good Saturday morning for sure!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pat's Run

7:00 am.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
ASU Sun Devil Stadium
I'm excited. It's been a couple of months since my last race. The last time I ran for time (and charitable cause) was late January when my SIL, Shari, and I did London's Run together. Although I've been thinking about Pat's Run off and on for a while, I didn't think I would be able to swing it with everything we have going on this Saturday. But, miraculously, the girls' 8:00 am softball game got rescheduled to Saturday night at 6:00, we got Afton's guitar competition time scheduled at 11:00, and I can be a little late to Scrapfest if I must.

So I'm gonna run. Me and 14,000 of my closest friends and Valley of the Sun neighbors. Parking might be a nightmare, but I think I'll park off site and walk. A little warm-up will do me good. Hopefully I can get Ryan to come along with me and take some pics and be my cheerleader. I'd really like it if he was running right along beside me, but I doubt that will happen. He hasn't run since the Turkey Trot last fall. Maybe next time :)

It's a short race. Only 4.2 miles (in honor of Pat's #42 uniform he wore while he played football at ASU. He went pro and played for the Arizona Cardinals as #40). The race ends, very appropriately, inside ASU Sun Devil Stadium on the 42 yard line.


I've never done this race before, but there's always so much hype about it that I'm intrigued. I've read the post-race articles in the past, checked out all the websites. It's huge in our state. Here is a blurb from the Pat's Run website:

"In the aftermath of the attacks on September 11, 2001, Pat proudly put his NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals on hold to serve his country. This decision was just one of many he made over the course of his lifetime to help others and serve a cause greater than self-interest.

The Tillman family and friends created the Pat Tillman Foundation in 2004, following Pat’s death while serving with the 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan.

The Pat Tillman Foundation was established to carry forward Pat’s legacy of leadership and civic action by supporting future generations of leaders who embody the American tradition of citizen service."

I'm excited to run. Excited to support a former Sun Devil and War Hero memory, contribute to a good cause and to be part of the excitement. Anyone else out there in blog land going to be there?

Monday, April 12, 2010


Yesterday afternoon I spent a couple of hours in the kitchen making carrot cake, cutting fruit, and whipping up some to die for Triple Chocolate Chip cookies (recipe from Shari's Enlightened Homemaker Cookbook) to take to my parent's house for Sunday dinner with the family. (I was on dessert duty if you couldn't tell). I so enjoyed spending time baking and being in the kitchen. As a part time working mama in the middle of ball season with four evening games a week and jam packed weekends and church commitments, it seems like quality time in the kitchen has been hard to come by the past few weeks. We've been eating on the fly or cramming our dinners into short 20-minute windows between music lessons, games and homework. Or eating late after the games, which isn't a great option for us.

For some reason, the minute we get to the ball field, the kids' insatiable appetites kick into overdrive and they want to consume anything and everything in site. I bring the requisite snack bag with apples, granola bars, pretzels and bottled water (and occassionally a few tootsie pops for good measure), but they just eat and snack and beg and pilfer the whole time, regardless of whether we've eaten dinner before the game, we're eating it there, or holding out till afterwards. Crazy!
My theory is that they snack out of boredom. Or habit. Or both.

So as I reflected on all of this yesterday in my red kitchen I started to think a little bit more about my eating habits lately. Am I eating the way I should? Am I taking the easy route a little too often and choosing the fast route instead of the healthy route? Am I snacking out of boredom. Or habit. Or both?

Sadly, I think I already knew the answers. Sometimes we get caught up in the day to day and forget to focus on the big picture: living strong in the midst of living. it bad that I had pizza for lunch at Liberty Market on Saturday with my mom and girls and pizza again for dinner at CPK on my Saturday night date with Ryan? My thighs say yes. My taste buds say no. I want to be able to eat out on the weekends and enjoy the good life, no doubt about it. But if I'm gonna splurge a little on the weekend date or enjoy the Triple Chocolate Chip cookie delight at Sunday night dinner, I need to make sure that I've been on track during the week.

So today I am re-dedicating myself to eat a little better and snack a little smarter. I'm kicking up the work outs a notch too. I've gotten comfortable with the 3-day a week thing the past two months, but for me, to stay fit, I've gotta push 4 days and eat smart.
This morning was a good start to what should be a great week. I kicked off the day with my Interval X Plus workout (my very fav P90X Plus workout) and sweated like nobody's business. It hurt so good. (Tomorrow it may hurt so bad). Breakfast was a healthy fruit shake with spinach and flax and I am feelin' good!

In the business world, we just started what is commonly referred to as "Q2". We're 12 days in. Time for me to make my mediocre Q1 pale in comparison to Q2. 'Cause I know what's coming in Q3. Summer time...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Growing Up happens so fast. I still have vivid memories of being pregnant with this girl. I remember when she was the only grandbaby on the Brown side (she's the oldest), and she'd provide all the entertainment at our family get-togethers. We'd put jewelry or other objects on the floor at one end of the room and watch her crawl. We'd tickle her and watch her belly laugh so hard that we were all in tears. We played with her chunky rolls on her legs and kissed her adorable cheeks.

Now, she's getting so grown up. She'll be going into Young Women's this year at church. Wearing makeup soon. She's already got the cell phone. She's quick to join the adult conversations and always there when I need her. I love this girl beyond words. Way beyond! To infinity and beyond...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter Sunday BBQ

Easter Sunday was wonderful! We spent most of the day watching the last two sessions of yet another fabulous general conference. I loved the talks. The recurring them that I picked up seemed to be on parenting today's youth and showing love and diligence in the home. So many good reminders. So much source for inspiration. And of course, because it was Easter Sunday, many of the talks were directly on the live and divinity of our Savior. After attending the Easter pageant at the temple last Friday night then listening to a weekend of conference talks, my spirituality hinged up a couple of notches for sure. What a great weekend!

Sunday late afternoon, we all (the Goodman and Teeples and Brown clans) went over to my parents' house to enjoy some family time together and a little Easter Sunday BBQ. Potluck style. The Easter Bunny doesn't come to our house on Easter Sunday. It's just too hard for me to try and let the kids make any connection between a candy-delivering bunny and the real meaning of the glorious day: the resurrection of our Savior. So we try to posture the whole Easter Bunny thing as a fun springtime tradition, which happens on Saturday. I'm not totally convinced that the separation is completely clear to the littlest ones, but after three or four explanations about the subject over the past few weeks and constant reinforcement about the real meaning of the day, I hope they get it.
Easton and many of the kids blew bubbles that they found in their brown paper Easter sacks (thanks, J.R. & Corinne for arranging the little egg hunt and treats! Big hit!)

Barrett & Grandma Cheri after dinner enjoying our most amazing weather!

Ryan with all his brothers and dad - what great men!

Ella taking her turn at the sunshine pinata (again, courtesy of the Berrey's).

The craze and mad candy dash after Barrett busted it open at the end.

My cousin, Ashley's, daughter: Lauren Aurora. She's almost three and such a beauty!

Cousin, Lily, and Rowan

I love these girls!

The boys weren't quite as thrilled getting their picture taken...

Gavin, Easton & Grady playing out back

This is the Afton smile that I love...the one that makes me smile wide in return!

Afty & Avery

Thanks, Dad, for grilling up some mean burgers and dogs for us! They were tasty as always.
My wonderful aunts, Krissie and Pauly! Happy Easter!

Our New Tradition in the Making

The last couple of general conference weekends, the kids and I have met up with my SIL's and our cousins at Gene Autry for dinner and playtime while the dads are at the priesthood session on Saturday night. Grandma Cheri joined us too. It's our new tradition in the making I think. It's been a very long standing tradition that the men in our family all go to the priesthood session of conference together, then follow up the session with dinner out somewhere (usually Vitos). It's great for the kids to get some wiggles out after 4 hours of Saturday conference inside!

I've often said that all a boy really needs to be happy in this life is a little dirt and water. It's amazing how occupied and happy they can be with earth and water. Easton is no exception. He must have emptied and filled his water bottle with sand a hundred times, never tiring. Too funny.

Rowan, Trey & Lainey: Best Cousin Buddies

Rowan finally started using the camera she got for Christmas and is having so much fun being a little photographer. She's snapping away like her mama...

These girls crack me up. I have so many crazy pictures of them together! Afton with her best cousin bud, Avery.

They thought this picture was so funny. I turned the camera (Afton's new camera with which all these pictures were taken) upside down while our monkeys played on the bars.

My cute nephew, Grady, was just happy to play with the ice in his mama's Sonic cup most of the time. See - all you need is water and earth...

My niece, Jolie, enjoying her time on the swings

Monday, April 5, 2010

Today's Top 10

Things I might do if I found $500 in the pocket of my jeans and had a totally free long weekend…

1) Grab Ryan, Barrett & Afton and spend a long weekend in California enjoying the screams and thrills of the coasters at Six Flags Magic Mountain. (I’d take all the kids, but you have to 54”tall to do all the death defying rides that make you giddy.)

2) Take a couple of full-day Photoshop classes.

3) Shop for a projector that I can hook up to my computer so we can watch “dive in movies” outside by the pool this summer.

4) Have a professional photographer take family pictures and have the best one enlarged and mounted in a beautiful chunky wood frame.

5) Take GDO (Girls Day Out) to a new level with Barrett: pedicures, lunch, movies, and doing the “shop till we drop” bit in style!

6) Decorate Easton’s bedroom.

7) Fly to Vegas with Ryan and see a concert.

8) Publish my scrapbook layouts into bound books.

9) Bargain shop for a new couch for our upstairs family room.

10) Head to Rocky Point and spend a few days at Las Palomas.