Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Cinderella Evie

About a month ago I saw our newly married friend Paige "like" an event that her employer, Legacy Photography, was advertising - The Cinderella Sessions. They were partnering with a local wedding venue for a Cinderella tea party and photo session opportunity. I jumped on board right away since I had planned to take Evie to see the new Cinderella movie that weekend, and knew that she would be over the moon excited about the whole thing. She was. And by the way, the new movie is great. Not as wonderful as my favorite, Ever After, but very good nonetheless.

We had been visiting the ranch the day I took Evie to the movie. Since Shari was out there as well we combined resources in order to get back into town. I took Evie to the movie in our van and Shari took Terry, our three boys plus her girls home. It's nice living a half mile from them. Talk about a full van!

 Anyway, for the Cinderella tea two days later, I arranged to go with Shari and Grace and meet up with some friends once there. 

Since her birthday was only 16 days from that date, I got her an early birthday present to go along with the day's festivities. 
She dressed in this outfit for church that morning thinking it was Cinderella-y enough for the tea party. I could not wait for her to open her new dress, which she had tried on at Target and was hoping for. I bought it secretly as a surprise.

She was so happy. Therefore, I was so happy. It was seriously so fun planning and attending this event with her, like a golden memory that still makes me smile.

We got there later than I planned, just in time to see Evie's friends getting their picture taken at the Cinderella carriage. So we jumped in line and met up with them later. The wait wasn't as bad as it had been earlier in the afternoon, but we still waited 30-45 minutes. It was amusing watching all the really little girls having meltdown dramas because of the wait. True princesses! At least the weather was beautiful. It was 80 degrees on March 15th!

Here we are almost to the carriage. There was the Legacy photographer up front snapping all the girl's pictures. I love their photos. Some day we will bite the bullet and get some proper family photos taken by them. Soon I will get Evie's carriage photo and share it here as well. 

As soon as we had their pictures completed we headed in to the reception tent for the Tea portion of the afternoon. Unfortunately they were all out of all the food! Evie and I grabbed some tea/pink lemonade but once Evie saw her friends on the dance floor, all disappointment about missing cupcakes vanished from her mind. I drank her tea, chatted with my friends and took a ton of photos, grinning like an idiot the entire time. It was just too great for me to watch her elation. It was amazing. Evie danced a lot with Abigail and Aly there in the back.

"Let it go! Let it go!" She can't hold it back anymore. Evie's dance moves that is. 

Girls in action. 

There was a Prince Charming there as well. I think earlier in the afternoon you could have your photo taken with him. By this point he was on the dance floor, asking little girls if they would like to dance. A couple of Evie's friends went first before she summoned the courage to go with him herself. She did pretty well too! 

There's me in the background of one of Legacy's photos (oh, and of course a friend's daughter dancing with the Prince)! Ha!

The girls were tearing around the place like a tornado. They ran up the hill and I only just caught them sitting together so I could take a photo before they ran off to the Fairy Godmother's. 

While the girls got in the (gratefully much shorter) line, someone offered to take a picture of Shari and I. 

Once they went inside the Fairy Godmother's house, they were sprinkled with sparkly fairy dust (glitter) and they posed with a much younger version of the fairy. It was quite cute.

Alas, just like Cinderella, all the time we had available was gone too quickly and we had to leave. She ran up to this last photo op and said good bye to her friends. 

And I took the two cousin's photo. 

On our way back down the hill, Evie spotted the wishing well and of course had to see it. I was hoping Evie's blue dress would be unique but boy was I wrong. Look at all that blue! 
Stepmother Baroness Rodmilla DeGent,"But Henry loves blue!
Marguerite, "And fifty other girls will be wearing the exact same color!"
Turns out my sister was exactly right when she quoted those lines from Ever After to me... Sigh. I love that movie.

I arrived just in time to hear Evie's wish, "I wish there was no more sickness in the world." 

One more parting shot. It was truly a magical afternoon. We loved every moment. 

Here is a video someone made of the event.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

the littles and car tracks

Once we got our dungeon finished, we thought the unpainted drywall of the furnace room was a good place to the put the boys' wall tracks (since they do not remove cleanly as they are supposed to). Someone put that step ladder there for the littles to be able to reach the top track. I was not aware of it until I went in there one day during school to get something. The littles were busy having fun rolling their cars along.

But then Ezra decided he needed a little space...

Up the ladder he went! I was kind of surprised but he did and does just fine. I don't know why I should have been surprised. He climbs all over the furniture and up onto the table all the time and he's just fine.

Look at that face. He's definitely not a baby anymore! 

school update

Earlier this month Noah reminded that I had been neglecting doing something with Evie that I had done with him - a reading binder with narration/summarizations. But really, I had wanted to do this with her so we got right down to it. She made her own binder cover that I thought was rather cute...

It's us! Can you guess who is who? The way she distinguishes between us cracks me up.
Evie is the one reading of course. I'm wearing purple pants. Samuel is the one with the hair and the big mouth. Hehehe :D. Noah is next with the combover. And check out little Ez. She captured his personality pretty well - the little grump. When he yells, it's more like a screech and he sounds like a Nazgul. Or a velociraptor. And finally, Terry is the last and smallest person with that hair that sticks up in the back. Haha.

She made a ton of spelling mistakes (which have been corrected) but here is her first summary (aka narration). I was rather impressed.

I also got a kick out of this story she made up for her grammar lesson. Every since the first day of March she's been counting down to her birthday - March 31st so she's had a lot of days to count. 

Noah has been sort of between grades for a couple years. We are going to catch up to finish 4th grade this year no matter what, darn it! He's already half way through his 4th grade math and now we have to work on finishing grammar. We only just finished the 3rd grade book so we will have to go into the summer a bit. Oh well.

We do have one less thing to do every day though - Latin. We finally finished the introduction course we began nearly two years ago. We will wait until next year to start more though :)

Samuel and Harper

Samuel attends a Communication Preschool twice a week for his speech delay. His teacher, Kim, is just awesome (she's amazing with kids) and he truly loves going - "Yay! School!" His speech is coming along slowly but surely. We can understand most of what he says now and are working on correctly pronouncing words. He puts "wuh" in the place of a lot of consonants. 

Samuel has one special friend at preschool - a little boy named Harper. They play nice and fight  together all at the same time so it must be a match made in heaven. When I picked him up on March 5th I had to grab my phone and quick take a photo of the two them hand in hand. So cute!

LOTR indoctrination

If you live under a rock and don't know me well at all (jk, jk), it will be news to you that I adore The Lord of the Rings. Love love love it. I devoured them for the first time in college. They were what I talked to Terry about the first time we hung out. I've listened to them countless times since Terry bought me the cd's and I later downloaded them into itunes (okay, perhaps it's not countless, but it's more than ten). Enough said? I seriously love them. 

I decided it's about time I started indoctrinating my children in the wise path of LOTR. Therefore, every lunch time we listen to the books while we eat. Here they are listening to the propaganda. 

I've only recently instated this brainwashing discipline. Sometime during this last winter we watched The Hobbit movies (except the final one) with the older kids. They liked them. So naturally that led to watching The Lord of the Rings movie series. They liked those as well. Score! So as much I would have liked to force them to read the books before they were allowed to watch the movie, we've done it the opposite way. But I'm hoping this will help my kids to understand it more, and to connect with the characters and plot in a deeper way. Yet another reason to love homeschooling.

This is all thanks to Terry and I's Christmas gift to ourselves - a new wireless speaker. We've never had a half descent one so this was a huge step up for us. It sounds great and I can turn it up loud. :)

I've recently sat down and started actually reading a physical copy of Fellowship and I just love it. I haven't done it forever and it's so much more profound than when I listen. I'm a good reader and a better visual learner. And I'm getting so much more out of it than whenever the last time I read it. I can appreciate the beauty of his language so much more now. Tolkien was a genius!
Can I get this as a wallpaper please?

dare 2 share 2015

Terry has been taking youth groups to Dare 2 Share in Lincoln, NE since 2008. So this year's trip was his 7th (!!!), but his first in Denver. I think this was my 4th trip. Before I attended for myself, I was doubtful of the whole thing, but now I know from first hand experience that Dare 2 Share is a great thing. They present the gospel very clearly, teach about what is included in salvation and then train how to share the gospel with others. Students text their friends, have spiritual conversations in the community and then take it home with them to share with the people in their lives. A lot of adults can't even do that and actually, it would be great if more big people did have the opportunity for a training of this sort. It's great. 

This year our shirts were amazing. Our friend Faith, an artist and graphic designer, created our shirts. I love them!

We left Rapid on Friday, February 27th by like 9am. We made pretty decent time and were able to drop off our luggage at the hotel (yippee for not having to sleep on the concrete floor of a church's basement!!!) before we went to Chic-fil-a for dinner. Yummy!
Rob, Jake and my silly husband

We got to the church a bit early and stood in the freezing cold for about 10 minutes before we were allowed to come in and snag some pretty good seats. We ended up sitting right next to the Gburg group. It was fun to catch up with them and also pretty crazy that Terry's first Dare 2 Share was with them and that it's been nearly three years since we moved back. Kind of bittersweet.
our group

That night's skit was a super good one - one that all of us could relate to. A girl was stuck in her room listening to the lies of who she didn't know to be her enemy. It wasn't until she cried out to Jesus that she was saved from the lies and the accuser. What a picture! And how very often do I find myself in that that room listening to lies. It was a powerful play and the girls and I had some great discussion back at the hotel that night.

The next morning we were all short on sleep but excited to be back at the church. I don't know what was wrong with me here. Just struck gold with that face... Yikes!

Rob photobombed us. 

And then Dylan/aka Harry Potter did too. And my husband is crazy.

My first Dare 2 Share was back in 2010 and I had a fabulous time. That was due primarily to Starfield's presence, one of my favorite bands.  I was so excited becase they were coming again this year. I got Jazmine all into them. :) 

We always give Greg and Zane one of our t-shirts and this year Jazmin did the honors. Greg really liked the shirt. He said that he gets a lot of them and sometimes he can just tell when one is going to become a workout shirt. Ours was not one of those :) 

We did our outreach/gospel sharing experience over lunch at the mall. Terry shared with a brother and sister in line at Qdoba and I shared a bit with a homeless woman who had her pet mouse and hamster in the bag with her. Ha!  

Gotta keep an eye on those high school boys... 

The conference ended earlier than usual (5pm vs. 10pm) which was good in my opinion. We van-pooled with the South Canyon youth group whose pastor, Josh, Terry is friends with. Here's our whole big group with the Jesus actor who jumped in at the last minute.

And this is just our group. Looks like 20 students and 3 adult leaders. I think there were a few missing due to them running around after signatures.

It was a really good group. We had no problems. 


After the conference ended we went to a local pizza parlor to eat and share our experiences at the mall. These guys are all into playing Crossy Road and have gotten Terry, and thereby Noah into it. Such a dumb game. Soapbox ended. 

I laughed and laughed when I first saw Terry making this face at Caleb. My husband is crazy. 

After pizza we went back to the hotel for one more night of "rest" before we headed home the following morning.  

When we reached Syndey, NE, all the weird students ran across the road to eat lunch at McDonald's (gag). Thereby Terry, Jazmin and I and a few cool South Canyon people we able to eat in peace at quiet at our favorite NE restaurant: Runza! We laughed and laughed about this quote. Good times. Good times.