Monday, April 29, 2013

Denver Zoo

Today was such a gorgeous day that several of Luke's friends and we decided to go to check out the zoo. It was a fun morning. Luke loved seeing the animals! His favorite animal keeps changing, but he is talking quite a bit about,  "The tiger that had a BIG y-a-a-a-w-n! Remember that, Mama?" We haven't been to a zoo in over a year and I'm convinced that this is a great age. Luke was so excited when he would see the animals and loved exploring the zoo. We'll definitely be returning as the weather continues to warm up!

Max and Luke

Kyson, just a chillin'.

Kayden and Rachel

I think Emma felt a little ripped off that she was strapped in the entire time, but she was pretty good to roll with it. You can almost tell that it is her next to Luke, almost. :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Music Group

We started a music group in January with about 5-6 kids and rotate going to each home. It is 30 minutes once a week and the mom of each kid stays during the music time. We used themes like "Things That Go" and would sing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," "Wheels on the Bus," "Choo! Choo! Choo! What's Coming Down the Track?". Other themes included animals, numbers, ocean/water, body, seasons, pirates, and so on. Lots of props and homemade "instruments" help keep the kids involved and interested. I feel that everyone is very creative and it is fun to watch the kids get into it. I'm not sure Luke ever sings that much at Music Group, but when we are home he loves to sing the songs. This last rotation we introduced one instrument per week. This week was the flute. I asked a lady from our church if she would come teach the boys about the flute and play for us. She was awesome with the kids and the moms learned new things as well!

A very melodious recorder and flute duet.

I thought recorders would be a great substitute for the flute with the kids. The kids appeared to love it! 

Missing half of the usual crew this week, but we still had plenty of energy!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Hammond's Candies

Grandma and Grandpa Nielson stopped by for a quick visit on their way to see the crew in Kansas. We met up with Mike, Melissa, Cade and Haley at Hammond's Candies. We did the short and sweet (excuse the pun) tour and made sure we tasted some of those goodies we saw being made!

Camera phones are convenient, but not the best of quality.

Mesmerized cousins.

"Like a kid in a candy shop..."

Yep, I'm scheduling that dentist appointment tomorrow.

Emma even got into the spirit. She missed the sweets this go around, but enjoyed some delicious bread, yum! :)

Flaming Gorge

Bryan decided that he loved our road trip to St. George so much that he hopped in the car 3 days later for another 14 hours (round trip) to Flaming Gorge. He was meeting up with two of my brothers, Dave and Tom and a cousin, Kyle for their fishing trip they received at Christmas.

Their cozy cabins.

They never grow up, truly.

Bryan contemplating a new profession.

Dave and his fish that freaks me out to look at the eyes. 

Kyle's aggressive stance as he reels in his lunker.

There's the "beaut"!

Thomas, as Luke refers to him.

Bryan's fish that he caught on the river.

On Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

I think they were hoping for a few more big fish to be caught, but Bryan said he still had a great time. 
As the saying goes, "A bad day fishing still beats a great day working."

Emma @ 9 months

Height:    26 3/4 inches (17th %tile)
Weight:       16 lbs 15oz (30th %tile)
Head:        44.8 cm (74th %tile)

*Emma is still our petite lil' thing!

*Enjoys being around Luke and torturing him by snagging one of his toys when he isn't looking.

*La-La-Loves her binki.

*She is a cuddler, darn it. :)

*Likes going on bike rides in the trailer with Luke. She makes herself comfortable by resting her head on his shoulder. Luke doesn't even mind, but if she touches his leg or finger, that is apparently crossing the line in Luke's book.

*She is a very social baby and will smile at anyone. She is easy going and will go with the flow 99% of the time. A friend takes her for me at church while I play the piano in primary (singing time for the kids at church) for 2 hours and Emma loves socializing with the ladies. I'm not sure how long this arrangement will last, but it is working for everyone right now!

*She is very good at getting where she wants to be. Her favorite spot just happens to be the dishwasher...

...and the stairs, which led to the following. :)


We love you, Emma!

The BIG 3-0!

I became a whopping 30-year-old this year! I always thought I would feel and act more mature when I turned 30, but nope! Here is to a great new decade of life.

I lucked out and seemed to celebrate my birthday several times! We were in St. George on the actual day and started the morning off with breakfast at Kneaders with the fam and Pedicures with the girls.

We went swimming in the afternoon and then to In-N-Out for dinner and played games that night. Cutlers provided my yummy birthday cake. Too bad that we were too full from dinner to eat it!

The next weekend when everyone was back in town, Elizabeth had arranged a surprise birthday get together for me at Melting Pot! It was a fun night spent with these great ladies. These gals and their families have truly become like family to me. I feel so blessed.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

St. George

We escaped the cold weather for a week and ventured out on a 10-hour drive to St. George, Utah. Great friends and great weather made for a fantastic week away! We packed in a lot of fun and activities from biking to hiking to swimming, we were having a blast! Huge thanks to the McNeils for providing the lodging for the week!

Splash Pad

Amigos chillin' in the back on the way home from the Splash Pad. 

Indoor/Outdoor Pool 

I wanted to snag a family pic in St. George and this is the only one we captured...not quite worthy of enlarging and going on the wall. :)

I love this swim vest/floatie that Luke is wearing, and so does he. It is called a "Puddle Jumper." It is awesome!

Emma catching some Zzz's poolside. Don't worry, her head wasn't completely covered, she could breathe. She is a snuggler and loves her blankies.

Bryce, Ivy and Briggs

Kelly and Paxton

Red Cliffs Hike

Baby Chase 

This was a great hike. The only downside was that there were a ton of people! It made me nervous with Luke and those pools, but we managed to keep him out of them. I wouldn't mind returning when it isn't so crowded.

Sand Hollow Reservoir 

Can you tell that this kid loves water?

Finishing up lunch before exploring the sand and water.

Luke building and destroying sand castles with Dad.

Luke making rivers in the sand with Mom.

She wasn't too thrilled about the sand at first, but after 10-15 minutes she decided that it might be okay after all. 
The sand was very soft and fine. I'm still finding it in the car!

Beach Babe

It was a great family vacation and the perfect break from a cold and snowy Spring that we are experiencing in Colorado. The day after we were home, Luke and I were shoveling the driveway from a recent snow storm when he exclaimed, "I want to go back to the beach!" Me too!