Thursday, July 31, 2008

1st Soccer Practice

It's official. I am now the proverbial soccer mom. Dallin had his very first soccer practice on Tuesday. And let me just say that watching 4 and 5 year old kids learn to play soccer is some seriously quality entertainment. They should sell tickets to their practices. Dallin was particularly entertaining with his antics of running to kick the ball and completely missing it, which he did not once but several times. It was like watching a really skinny Charlie Brown try to kick a football, only there was no Lucy to pull the ball away. Dallin just missed it all on his own. In fact, one missed kick was so comical that he not only had me laughing, but all of the parents standing along the sidelines were chuckling too. No matter though, he had a wonderful time and he can't wait to go to his next practice. His coaches are a couple, Alex and Kim Morrison, which have a little girl on the team too. We signed him up for soccer through the YMCA, so at the end of practice, Coach Alex let us know that their coaching philosophy was Christian based and that they emphasized learning skills, working as a team, and having fun rather than winning. In Dallin's age group they don't even keep score at the games. They just let the kids play and have fun! He also said that they normally start each game with a prayer, which I thought was really nice. The coach let the kids pick what the name of their team would be and since only one little boy piped up with a name, they are going to be called the Black Stallions. Dallin won't be complaining though because black is his favorite color. I know that it is rather odd, but Dallin is rather odd so it fits. And we can't forget our little Mandy girl now can we? Because she ensures that she is never left out of anything. We bought Dallin's cleats and shin guards on Saturday. Sunday after church Mandy comes walking out of their room wearing the cleats and shin guards which she had put on all by herself. Don't you think that they go well with her Sunday dress? I guess she will be the next soccer star in the family, only she will be a fashionable one.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I know that most people like to talk about little girls being bossy, but Dallin is every bit as bossy as any little girl that I have ever known. He bosses Mandy around all day long. He is constantly telling her what to play and how to play it. The crazy thing is that Mandy just goes along with whatever he says. I will give him this though, he is very creative with what he comes up with for them to play. I counted yesterday and he came up with over 10 different things for them to play. I took pictures of a few of the things, but these pictures don't show all that they did. They played toy store. Dallin took the money out of his piggy bank and gave it to Mandy. He then proceeded to tell her to go get a toy and that she would have to pay him for the toy. She went and got the toy and then he took whatever amount of money from her that he determined that the toy was worth. They continued this way until Mandy ran out of money. Then Dallin decided he wanted to be a teacher and teach Mandy words. He held up the flash card and asked Mandy what it was. If she didn't get it quite right he would make her repeat the word after him. Then he made her repeat each letter of the word after him. After that they played cars. Dallin made Mandy take hers to the other side of the room and he had her make the car come at him so that he could crash her car with his car. Then they played with dominoes and made little buildings and towers with them. The whole time Dallin directed Mandy in how to do it and she followed what he said. Then they went outside to play baseball. Dallin told Mandy where to stand and how to catch the baseball. If she didn't get it right he would be sure to correct her. Dallin also likes to play a form of red light, green light with cars. Somehow though, Mandy's car is almost always at a red light, but his car is almost always at a green light. And let us not forget playing doctor and patient. Dallin ordered Mandy to go to bed and away she went. I could of course keep going, but I think you get the picture. Now I won't say that Mandy didn't protest at doing some of the things that Dallin told her to do, but for the vast majority of things, she did exactly what he said. This is pretty crazy to me considering how independent she is about doing things in general. I guess she just loves that her big brother is playing with her and is willing to do whatever he asks so that he will keep playing with her.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Wii like to play

Dad decided to buy a Nintendo Wii game console because he had played it at the Gavilan's and got hooked. He told us how fun it was and so we were invited to his first Wii party. I grew up playing video games and have always enjoyed them but I thought it was kind of funny that my Dad would buy one. We had a blast playing the games. Dallin of course was itching to play ever since he saw Grandpa playing it and showing us what it was all about. Dallin did alright even if he did swing the controller funny. We played a game of golf and it would register Dallin's swing even though he was swinging it backwards. Katheryn did really well too during our bowling game. Dallin had the best celebrations though. He would throw his hands up in the air and even drop on to the floor sometimes. Mandy was our cheerleader and gave everybody a five when they were done with their turn. Nana had just had her surgery and wasn't up to playing but she said she would beat us next time. One of the most fun aspects of the experience was setting up our Mii characthers and choosing our different facial features. As corny as it may sound, Wii are big fans!
Click to play Wii Party

Popcorn Popping

Whenever Nathan or I put a bag of popcorn in the microwave the kids always come running as soon as they hear the familiar pop pop pop sound coming from the kitchen. Popcorn is one of our family's favorite snacks. We don't just pop it when we are going to watch a movie or something. We have popcorn whenever the mood hits. Morning, afternoon, or evening. Dallin and Mandy have been known to eat a whole bag of popcorn all by themselves. Don't ask me why they love it so, but they do. Is it any wonder that Mandy loves to sing Popcorn Popping on the apricot tree? What is really cute is that Mandy will pretend to offer the popcorn to Layton and then with a very serious look on her face will look at him and say, "No you are not bigger enough to eat popcorn." Then she'll give him a kiss and tell him that he can have some when he is "bigger enough."

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I do it!

What joys there are in having an opinionated two year old. Mandy is so independent. She wants to do everything for herself. Most of the time I am ok with that, but sometimes when we are in a hurry it can be pretty frustrating. Anytime I try to help her so that I can move things along, she just repeats over and over, "No, I do it". And when she really wants to be emphatic about it she pushes me away and says, "I can do it BY MYSELF."

It gets especially frustrating when she is trying to put on clothes and then finds that she CAN'T do it herself. Then she has a complete meltdown. I am not sure what is worse, fighting with her to get her to let me help her or letting her have a meltdown because she can't do it herself. Don't you just love the terrible twos!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Touching the grass

I laid Layton out on a towel in the grass to see how he liked it. Surprisingly he seem to enjoy feeling the grass and at one point he even tried to eat it. It is always so funny to me how my children respond so differently to the same situation. Dallin for instance hated the grass. He didn't like to touch it, he wouldn't crawl on it at all, and until recently absolutely had to have shoes on before he would walk on the grass. Mandy on the other hand, it didn't seem to affect her at all. She would crawl on it and it has never bothered her in the least bit to run around outside in the grass without shoes on. In fact, sometimes it is worse when she does have shoes on because she can't stand to have any little bit of dirt or grass or rock of any kind in her shoes. She doesn't mind getting her feet dirty, she just doesn't want it inside her shoes. We'll have to see how Layton handles things as he grows, but so far he seems to like the feel of grass. Children truly are born as unique individuals. They are born with their own likes, dislikes, mannerisms, attitudes, feelings, thoughts, expressions, and perspective. I guess as parents, we just need to help them take their individuality and focus it on doing good and choosing right.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Not Lightning McQueen???

Go me! I have just won one of life's little battles. I actually convinced Dallin to buy school shoes and a backpack that have absolutely nothing to do with Cars! It took a little convincing, but I got him to branch out and get a Batman backpack. And this is even better, I talked him into getting shoes that don't have any character on them at all! I'm a miracle worker! I know it probably seems silly to get so excited about this, but honestly I am so tired of seeing Cars everywhere in the house! It will be nice to have a bit of change.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


On Thursdays during the summer, our library has a story time. They read books to the kids, even acting some of them out, sing songs and do crafts. This year they have been focusing on stories from all over the world. So far we have heard stories from Africa, Asia, North America, and Australia. Mandy's favorite part of the story time is of course the songs. She loves to sing and do all of the motions. Dallin's favorite part is probably the craft. He loves making things and two weeks ago they made "talking sticks" like the aborigines use to send messages. He thought that they were so cool. He walked around the house with them afterwards banging them together to send messages. I got a little tired of it, but he enjoyed it. I am really glad that they enjoy books and I hope that we can teach them to love reading when they get older.
Now I need to take a moment and brag about my little smart boy Dallin. At this past week's story time they focused on stories from North America, specifically stories about the old west. At the beginning, the librarian briefly told everyone that at the end of story time that we would be doing Navajo sand art and she held up an example of the craft, which was a little square piece of sandpaper with a lizard, sun, and fish drawn on it. Then she put her sample away and read stories and did songs with the kids for about 30 minutes or so. At which time, she told all the kids to go to the tables at the side of the room and they could make their sand art. She didn't tell them what to draw on it and she didn't even hold her sample up again. But what do you think Dallin drew? He drew a lizard, the sun, and a fish. I was really surprised that after seeing the example art for only about 30 seconds and then sitting through 30 minutes of stories and songs that he remembered what he saw and replicated it. His drawing of the lizard was especially good and even went diagonally across the paper just like the librarian had drawn it. That may not be impressive to most people, but that was pretty impressive to me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Getting ready for Kindergarten

Dallin is SOOOOOOO excited about starting kindergarten this year at his "big school" also known as Coppergate Elementary. Yesterday he went to the school and met with one of the kindergarten teachers, Ms. Vaughn. Ms. Vaughn did a little screening with him to see how much he knew about his letters, sounds, numbers, colors, shapes, etc. She said that he did an excellent job and would do great in kindergarten. She was especially impressed with his penmanship when he wrote his name for her. Dallin's first day of school will be August 19th. Now all we need to do is go out and buy all of his school supplies. Luckily he got tons of clothes for his birthday, so we will only have to buy him some new shoes to start school. He can hardly wait!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Healthy Baby

Layton had his 4 months check up today. He weighed 13 pounds and 6 ounces and was 25 inches long. That put him at the 20th percentile for weight and the 50th percentile for height. The doctor said that he looked very healthy and that it was actually refreshing to see a baby that was a little on the thinner side considering the number of children he sees that are overweight and obese. Just to give some comparison stats, Dallin at the same age weighed 13 lbs 13 oz and was 25 1/2 inches tall. Given that, I think that Layton will probably be very similar in build to Dallin and his daddy. Layton also received 4 shots today, so I have a feeling we are going to have a pretty grumpy baby on our hands for the next day or two.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Day at the Beach

What a beautiful day for visiting the beach! On Saturday we headed out to Jax Beach for first time this summer. We couldn't believe it when we realized that we hadn't been to the beach yet this summer. I guess we have just been so busy with church, visiting family, and stuff with the kids that we had neglected the beach! We couldn't have picked a better day to go. The waves were nice and gentle, just right for Dallin and Mandy to play in. We even put Layton's little feet and the water and he liked it too. However, most of the time Layton hung out in the beach tent because we didn't want him to get too much sun. He actually really liked it in there. He lay in there for most of the time just kicking and being happy. Eventually he got tired and went to sleep. I think all the sun and fun made him extremely tired because after he fell asleep I was able to pick him up, take him to the car, put him in the car seat, buckle him up, and he never woke up. In fact he slept the whole way home too. Dallin and Mandy loved the water. Dallin's favorite thing to do was to try to jump the waves. They enjoyed it so much that we definitely want to make sure that we don't neglect the beach anymore this year.
Click to play A Day at the Beach

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pioneer Day

Yesterday, we had a pioneer day celebration at the bishop's house. We started out the evening with a mini-trek that started in Nauvoo. Nathan and his dad were the presenters at this site and they shared some history and a couple of stories about what happened in Nauvoo. Next we walked to the "poor camp" which represented the sad conditions that the saints lived in after fleeing Nauvoo. We then walked to an Indian camp, complete with a real tee-pee and we learned about the different groups of Indians that the saints dealt with on the trek west. After that we stopped at several more sites and learned of the conditions along the trail and we even got to cross a "river". Upon arriving in the "Salt Lake Valley", we learned to make butter, bought little items at the general store, and saw how corn husk dolls are made. Then we had a huge feast and the kids got to play in the big blow up jumpy houses, which honestly was the highlight of the evening for Dallin and Mandy. The ward put a lot of effort and planning into the event and it was really good. However I must say, it was extraordinarily hot. Why hasn't anyone ever thought about changing pioneer day to October or November or some other much more pleasant month? I know that July is when the saints first arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, but I am sure there must have been some significant events that happened in other months that we could celebrate. Because lets face it, in Florida , you really shouldn't do anything outside during the summer time unless it involves water. It is just way to HOT!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sleep, sleep, a love watch I'll keep....

There is something so precious to me about a baby sleeping. There he lay in all of his sweet innocence. Quietly dreaming of the bounteous goodness of the heavenly home that he has so lately left and of the home that he has come to, where he is loved without measure. Perhaps some of the beauty of it is that lingering feeling that he has so recently been in the presence of our Heavenly Father. His spirit is perfect in every way with none of the pollution of this world marring it yet. The only feeling that is ever expressed to him is that of love and adoration. His uniqueness and brilliance is already evident in his divine face. It is as though you can feel that he was sent here to do great and wonderful things and will be a credit to his heavenly parents. How grateful we are to be allowed to be his earthly parents. How grateful we are for all three of the sweet spirits that our Father entrusted with us.

Friday, July 18, 2008

At the pool

We have had such a good time this summer going to Sister Robert's pool. For those who don't know her, Sister Roberts is a very sweet lady that is in our ward. She is very much like another grandma to my kids. Nana and Chloe meet us over there almost every Friday to swim for a while. I have been trying to get Dallin to be a little less afraid of the water. But as you can see in these pictures, he never lets himself get more than arms length away from the edge of the pool. Last week when I was trying to talk him into coming out into the water with me and let me show him how to swim he quipped back to me "I can't do something that I can't do." And while the transparently obvious statement is funny in and of itself, the attitude in which he said it was even funnier. He said the words with utter disbelief that I didn't already know that he couldn't do it and each word was emphasized with the down beat of his hand. I am quite the hand talker myself, so it was really funny to see Dallin doing things the way I would have done it. Oh and by the way, just in case you were wondering, the lovely, very fashionable bright orange protective eye wear that Mandy is sporting, is called "gobbles". Apparently this is the new hip toddler slang for "goggles".

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Daddy Kisses

Layton is such a kissable baby and he loves to have Daddy give him lots of kisses.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Singing in the Car

We have spent a lot of time in the car in recent weeks and to pass the time Dallin and Mandy like to sing songs. One of Mandy's favorites is the primary song Smiles. The words are, "If you chance to meet a frown do not let it stay, quickly turn it upside down and smile that frown away. No one likes a frowning face, change it for a smile, make the world a better place by smiling all the while." It is hilarious to me to watch them try to do the frown part of the song. Dallin can never quite make it to the end of the first line before he is grinning and Mandy barely makes it past the first couple of words before she is laughing. I don't know why, but she thinks that making a frowning face is the funniest thing.
Some of the other songs that they like to sing are The Itsy Bitsy Spider, The Wheels on the Bus, Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, Book of Mormon Stories, Popcorn, The Wise Man and The Foolish Man, Bingo, and many others.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My E-mail buddy

Emily has recently become my little e-mail buddy. She is such a sweetheart. She has always been so sweet about sending us letters and homemade cards in the mail. I am really happy that now she has discovered e-mail. I'll have to say that I absolutely love getting e-mails from her. They are always so precious. Emily is also our champion baby holder. Layton loves her. But then, Dallin and Mandy really love her too. In fact, we all love her! I'll have to say that my brother David has turned out some really good kids. I suspect that most of the credit though should go to his wife Sherri :) Emily is just as sweet and kind and loving as you could ever ask for in a child. Sarah is full of life and energy and is not afraid to tell you exactly how it is. And Melanie, I am just so proud of Melanie. She is precisely what every young woman should be like. She is responsible, dresses modestly, works hard, and is kind to everyone. And Andrew, well Andrew is just Andrew. He makes us laugh and keeps us entertained and we love him. My brother David and sister Sherri have set a really high standard with their children. I hope that my children turn out as well as theirs.