Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Go BEN!!!!

When we were in Provo, the boys wanted to go see the baseball field because they are both planning on playing for BYU. :) I don't know why it was open, but we walked right in and were able to head right down on the field. We probably shouldn't have - but it was "soo cool" according to the guys! They peeked in the dugout and the mysterious "other side of the dugout." (There's actually a huge batting cage in there as well as the locker room!)
They even took a few practice swings with a bat left in the dugout and "ran" the bases - just to get a feel for the field. :)

It must have been lucky because Ben crashed 2 home runs in his game today! Way to go Ben!!! BYU - here we come!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

We love skiing!!

I started learning to ski when I was 6 years old. We were living in Germany at the time. My rather vivid memories are of my Mom and Dad dropping me off at all day ski school where no one spoke a word of English. I hated it. I cried. I hated it. I was furious that they abandoned me!! I hated it. (Poor Julie was only a 6 month old and they left her with some random German nanny! Nice guys!!) My Dad now laughs when I remind him of the torture he put me through. He loves to remind me that I learned to ski in the Alps. No 6 year old cares one whit about that. He and my Mom were in similar classes of their own, learning to ski. Now, in hindsight, I'm so glad that I learned when the distance from my rear to the snow was much closer than it is today. Thanks Dad. I forgive you.

Fast forward to the next time I was living in a land of snow. Utah. BYU. Matt had never had much of an opportunity to ski because he was so involved with basketball and basketball coaches that wouldn't allow him to ski. I think the first time we skied together was Matt's second or third time in his life. I was LOVING it. It was the one and only sport that I could whip him in. Needless to say, the competitive Matt didn't love that so much.

We've had lots of practice since then, but still fondly recall the wipeout of '97. It was one of those falls that you see on tv that makes you grab your eyes and peek through your fingers. Thankfully, it wasn't me. Poor Matt. If only I had video. He managed a triple back flip, double cartwheel, back handspring, and finished it off with a wicked roundoff. All the while he left a trail of glasses, gloves, hat, poles, skies, granola bars, prayers, a scarf, chapstick and a few choice words from the top to the bottom of the mountain. I giggle each time I think of it.

Fast forward to two weeks ago. All of the above feelings were replayed when we took Brett and Ben to Alta for a beautiful day of skiing. Someday they'll thank us.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Happy Easter!

You can see who gets all the attention at our home!

the boys

All 10 cousins!

Easter Sunday in Utah

We started early with Easter baskets in the morning before church. The Easter bunny didn't visit until after we got home. Gotta love 11 am church!!Brik is pumped to get his See's chocolate egg! So is his Dad!

You can imagine the flurry of activity to get all these bodies dressed for church in a hour! But look what turned out . . .

Gracie still doesnt' really "get" the crazy pictures. She likes to strut her stuff on her own! :)

Go girl.
Now home from church, the kids were all ready for the easter egg hunt! The little kiddies were out first and the older crew had to wait a few minutes. They smiled nice for this picture but 3 seconds later I took the next picture! :)

After making sure everyone had an equal amount of eggs the kids started cracking them open. One of the coolest things about this group of cousins is the "Candy-Soda Bet" they are all on. They have almost gone an entire year without candy. There are a few days off (like Halloween, Christmas, Easter and birthdays) but other than that, these kids haven't had a bite of candy or a can of soda all year! (Don't worry, cookies, cake, ice cream and popsicles are still legal and consumed in large quantities at our home.) They get rewarded with a wad of cash if they make it and I'm sure they will. It's a fun thing to do, knowing your cousins in Idaho and Utah are doing the same thing! Way to go guys we are proud of you!!

Guess who eats all of the candy at our house now . . .

Coloring Eggs

Jameson, Brett, Jake and Ben
Savy, Gracie and Jameson

McCall, JJ and Savy

The onlooker . . . maybe next year!

The best part about Utah!

The best part about Utah . . . COUSINS!

Our kids are in heaven when they are with their cousins! The kids just wanted to hang out all day, every day!
The bunk room is often the last to fall asleep . . .
Monsters vs. Aliens in 3D!

our BESTEST friends!!

One of the FIRST things we did when we got to Utah was visit our bestest friends . . . the Ostler's! We sure love you guys!!

Brett and Andrew ( 2 months apart), Justy and Ben ( 3 months apart), Ellie and Gracie ( 3 months apart), now we think they need a 4th so Brik has a buddy!

Brett and Andrew met in swim lessons at 2 years old and had the most amazing connection! We are all sure they were buddies in heaven. In fact, they often referred to each other as, "My brother from another mother!" :) They still consider each other best friends and are hoping to room together at BYU and then head off on missions to the same location so they can be companions together . . .Who knows . . . Justin and Ben were nicknamed "Trouble One and Trouble Two" when they were just a few months old! They are peas in a pod and love all the same things - army, guns, Wii and especially blue ice cream!!

Ellie and Gracie had a fun time getting to know each other all over again. Obviously they took to each other quite well!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Not the way you want to start your day.

Setting: 7:30 am in Matt and Jen's bedroom. Gracie is on the floor watching cartoons. Enter Matt.

Gracie: Dad, where'd you go?
Matt: Out running.
Gracie: Why?
Matt: So I can keep up with you when you are 15.
Gracie: (chuckling) Dad, I'm almost 16!
Matt: (scared speechless, had no response)

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Painted Ladies

We've had a million butterflies pass through our backyard over the last week. It's been just amazing! We counted well over a hundred in a matter of about 3 minutes. We read about them and found out that they are all headed north to Washington. What's so great about Washington? Why not stay here? I like butterflies in our backyard. Gracie, who's been around boys maybe a touch too much, had no qualms about catching one, and then showing it to anyone that would listen, while the wings where frantically fluttering about. Didn't bother her one bit. Nice job Grace. You made your brothers proud.


I love baseball season. I know lots of moms out there just dread this time of year. Not me. I can hardly wait to be out in the sun on beautiful Saturdays and warm evenings during the week. I love sitting on a blanket, on the grass, cheering my guys on. I love watching little guys make great catches and then watching their dads lose all control and yell, "That's my boy!!" I love the chance to learn inner grit when you've struck out three times in a row and then have to walk back to the dugout and hold in the tears, and head right back out on the field. I love the snack shack. Yep, I do. I love how my boys can talk for hours about line ups and discuss who should play where. I love hearing them promise each other that when they are in the "bigs" (aka major league baseball) they will only sign a contract if they can go together. I think that's my favorite.
I don't love the nervous belly I get each time Brett walks out to the pitching mound. I'm a wreck inside for him even though I know he loves it. I don't love that the first two Saturdays were absolutely FREEZING. We called it "Utah cold." Not good. I don't love that my sweet Matty is just exhausted from coaching two baseball teams for the 4th year in a row. Poor guy is just pooped at night! Thank heavens he loves baseball too!Don't you love that these are the only two pictures I got of our first two weeks of baseball. Not one picture of Brett, Ben or Coach Matt. I'll do better. I have LOTS of baseball games to watch . . .

The EBF-25!

Happy Birthday Ben!!Ben had two major requests for his birthday this year. He wanted an EBF-25 and an afternoon at Boomers. Have you ever heard of the EBF-25? It is THE most powerful Nerf gun on the market (according to Ben). The thing requires 6 D batteries so you can imagine just how heavy it is. It fires about 30 bullets, nonstop, and brings the greatest smile to Ben's face. He thrills in hiding behind corners and the opening fire as you come near him. Every single visitor that comes to our door has been showerd with bullets as a welcome. It's lovely.Even Gracie has learned how to handle it now and she's a pretty good shot. Boomers is a go-cart, miniature golf, video game, laser tag type of place. Tuesdays are the day to go! We were the ONLY people there for most of the day and Ben was in heaven.I even got a few rounds of laser tag in. I think it was the first time in my life that I've played laser tag and I loved it. Of course it was just Brett, Ben and me in there, running around like crazy and shooting each other. I think I would have been scared to death if there were other people in there!
Matt and Gracie rode this a hundred times while we played laser tag. Gracie could have gone another hundred!

We finished the day off with Ben's choice for dessert, flan!! (What 7 year old wants flan for his birthday?) We love you, Ben!!!