Saturday, April 15, 2017

july: The Rest

Okkkkay, let's start off the final July post with something that I actually think happened in June, haha! Clyde had a free admission ticket to the art museum, so he and Grandpa packed up and headed over there for a fun afternoon, and my dad helpfully took all these pictures to show me:

And of course I had to pull up pictures of the one and only other time Clyde has been to the art museum - as a baby when we went to fulfill some homework assignment for Chuck. They've changed the magnets a bit, and Clyde's grown just a tad ;).

Girls night in July was pretty awesome, although we sincerely missed Kara. Nycole had to leave early but wore her amazing black shirt (that she found in McCall on our retreat) so obviously all was forgiven. We were at Emily's house and peer pressure was the name of the game, leading to a glimpse into Em's amazing hobby and also some Just Dance fun, which was possibly the best thing ever:

I legit may not have any friends after I post this, but it's worth it. Emily totally tricked us into doing the 'tetris'-type song and then recorded it. Quick reminder that at this point Paulina and Nicole had both had babies in the last three months, and Melinda was like three weeks out from her due date - and yet they all gamely hopped around like champs! 

The parks and rec department puts on a triathlon every summer, and this year Clyde signed up for it! Chuck was the designated cheerleader and support team, and Clyde did awesome! The swim and bike portion went great and Chuck even ran the last little bit with him. 

Clyde's good friend Andrew did the triathlon as well and Shelly helpfully got these cute pictures of them at the finish! 
And here's Clyde later that day in his official shirt, posing with other hardcore examples of extreme physical strength ;).

Speaking of extreme physical strength, my days of not getting completely squished when we do our family stacking might be coming to an end. They're all SO big and heavy!!

I think these were all pictures I sent to Chuck while he was at scout camp so he wouldn't worry about me going without cuddles in his absence. 

Family bike ride to the library!
Lined the kiddos up to make birthday videos for Grandpa/Uncle Lee/cousin Bri and took some pictures too. Cute little rascals!

We met my dad at Julia Davis one afternoon for some adventures, starting with lunch which Clyde brought to the picnic table from Grandpa's car, at great risk of bodily harm: 
Luckily his evasive maneuvers worked and we ate!

Grandpa had some fun glasses which made for awesome pictures haha:
And then it was off to the paddleboats! I started with Will and Carma, but I swapped out Carma for Clyde about halfway through. It was really fun and relaxing to paddle through the water and enjoy the beautiful day.
Carma enjoyed watching the ducks? geese? from a distance and stealing various brother's hats...

OH, and as we were leaving the park, I ran into the one and only Marcie! Super cute friend from junior high and high school who I hadn't seen since her baby shower back in... 2011? We both had baby boys that winter, Jaxson and Jack :). So fun to catch up real quick and it prompted me unearthing the picture on the left - 9th grade? 10th?

We had cute Mayan over one day and she and Carma had loads of fun AND HAD COORDINATING OUTFITS so that was amazing.

So far in my life the only book signings I've been to were when I happened to be in Utah for other things and was able to coordinate. So you can imagine my excitement when I saw that one of my favorite authors would be signing books in Boise!! YAyyyy! 

I recruited Paulina and Melinda (and Carma, who wore Pioneer clothing and scored us a discount haha) and as always it was so fun and so nerve-racking to interact with a talented author that I admire so much! I honestly love both of her books (Edenbrooke is my favorite but Blackmoore is also wayyy good) and could tell you loads about them, but I suddenly stressed that she would ask me about my favorite part or character and I would freeze and not even be able to answer haha. Luckily that didn't happen and she was incredibly gracious as she signed our books and agreed to a picture and it was all awesome! 

And while all of that fangirl-ing was taking place, the boys got to cowboy up and go the rodeo with Grandpa! 
Between the smuggled in fruit snacks and the wild antics down on the floor (hello, glow stick covered trick horse riding?!?), an excellent time was had by all.

Emily and Andrew and I f.i.n.a.l.l.y. got together, after promising to for a year and a half... and now it's been nine months and we've been meaning to get together again in the meantime haha... We went to the brand new Cafe Zupas in Nampa and had such a good dinner catching up and hanging out. Love these two!
Aaaand here are some random July memories - Carma being unable to pass by a mirror without admiring herself, boys + friends lined up watching PBS, Jack's unique accessorizing, beloved juice boxes at lunch in the park, driving around with two sleeping kids, more of Jack in goggles because I legit can't get enough, and sneakily taking pictures to prove that Chuck is the cutest daddy to a little girl ever!! 

Friday, April 14, 2017

#janory2k16: Mallory came to visit!

Our darling niece Mallory came to town for a week near the end of July and here are some pictures we took while she was here:

Let's try again?:
Closer! 2013 at cousin Rachel's wedding.

One more attempt... Yesssss, here we are! Eating delicious buttery garlic chicken salad that Mallory made:

Girlfriend is a spectacular cook, which should come as no surprise because Melissa is likewise fantastic and has taught her kiddos well. 

Mallory was the lone holdout in her family to come party with us - we've hosted George multiple times, Courtney two summers ago, and Lily the month before. We were SO happy that schedules aligned and we could lure her up to Nampa - although after making her go to Zumba and boot camp with me on Monday and Wednesday, she may never come back ;).
But we want her back! Who else would make delicious spaghetti and meatballs for these two??

We had a nice balance of activities and just hanging out - one afternoon we got ambitious and loaded up to bike to the library - exhausted pictures are on the way home in the 90s heat, blech.
It was really a working vacation for Mallory - she brought along the research material for her Dramatic Interpretation for Speech and Debate and spent time during the week writing and editing. Have I mentioned Mallory's extreme talent in forensics/speech and debate? (terms vary state to state...). Girlfriend is amazing. She's already gone to nationals once and (spoiler alert) qualified again this year with her DI! (again, dramatic interpretation, not Deseret Industries. If there were a way to qualify for nationals based on thrift store shopping, I would be there). Not only is Mallory an incredible... performer? is that the right word?... she's also super active on the speech and debate team at her high school and is the Interp Captain - meaning she generously spends tons of time helping other students with their interpretations, mentoring and supporting them. She's a rockstar!

Mal's visit coincided with Chuck being at scout camp, so she helped wrangle the kids off and on. One day I dropped the other three off at my mama's while I headed for the temple and then a dinner with friends, leaving Mallory and Clyde at home together. They formed a cute 'oldest children' society and made themselves chocolate chip pancakes!!
 ... which needed documentation because they turned out so well! Mal is gluten-free and pancakes of that variety tend to turn out flat, but due to a serendipitous measuring mix-up, they fluffed up admirably and were happily consumed by both chefs :).

Our big adventure came on Friday when we ditched all the other kids with Grandma Pam and headed over to Boise State for a campus tour - on bike! Mallory was heading into her senior year of high school and wanted to compare and contrast BSU with some Utah schools and we had a GREAT time:

We cruised around campus a bit and then headed over the bridge into Julia Davis park before heading into downtown Boise and then looping back around.

We caught a glimpse of the giraffes at the zoo and had to snap a quick selfie since Mallory's childhood (and current??) favorite animal was a giraffe!
We took a couple biking breaks to wander in and out of classrooms and buildings, including quite a few that have sprung up since I graduated - the new rec center?? So fancy and cool! 

Even though Mallory isn't going to end up as a Bronco, it was still such a fun morning together! From my Instagram caption: "We loved the BSU-issued bikes🚲 (although we both kept reaching for the non-existent handbrakes 😳) and hopefully I only partially bored her to tears by complementing the official tour with my own commentary of campus (i.e. where my classes were, where Uncle Chuck lived, what things looked like back in my day πŸ‘΅πŸ»πŸ˜œπŸ˜‚)#janory2k16"

Carma was her typical hot/cold self, but she did love having Mallory around! 
as did the boys! Especially during swimming lessons when the boys that were done could sneak over to the park with mallory instead of having to wait with Mom. I even let her drive the minivan one day -- she did awesome once she figured out that pesky parking brake ;). 

Allll too soon our week was over and I had to give her back to her family - the only thing that made it bearable was meeting Melissa in Burley and bringing Courtney home with me for our week adventure! 

 Ohhh I love Mallory. She's our oldest niece and (along with Courtney) made me an instant aunt when Chuck and I got married, which was definitely a perk to the union ;). I'm so glad this visit worked out! Come back cute girl! #janory2k17?!?

Saturday, April 8, 2017

july: church stuff

July was pretty church-y in general, so that's probably a good thing, right? ;) 

I jumped right into my new gospel doctrine calling and my kids jumped right into snuggling with me on various occasions whenever I busted out my lesson to study... possibly I should have chosen somewhere besides my comfy bed to work... hmmm...

 Ward Temple Night with Chuck. I beat him there (he was just getting off work) so I sat outside and enjoyed the flowers and crazy blue sky and beautiful spires!

 Sabbath day activities: puzzles, looking cute, Sorry, Boggle, more cute smiles, Clyde crunching corn flakes for chicken dinner....
 Okay, this made me laugh. The boys were doing some project and first set up shop in the playroom chair, only to move to the living room chair a few minutes later... but still in the same formation? Minus the Thor mask; it must have served its purpose and been let go.

 Ward 4th of July breakfast! This was the morning after we got back from our Utah trip, so Chuck was at work and the rest of us were an odd mixture of tired and ambitious - so we rode bikes to the breakfast and then lazed away the rest of the day. The primary/Activity Day girls did a cute program about the history of American flags and we got to see the Duffys, so it was a great morning!

Couple other temple dates throughout the month with Kautri and Maren! 

Ohhh man. My absolute favorite Sister Murphy scared us all very thoroughly in July. Her sweet daughters (who are also my favorites!) Penny and Kiska came to town to stay with her because they're amazing. I got to visit Dee a couple times which helped reassure me that she was in excellent hands and all would be well. Kiska and I looked pretty sharp in our matching yellow protective gear, if I do say so myself ;). My kids all painted 'get well' pictures too - we all love Sister Murphy SO much.
Clyde and Will suited up in cute matching shirts to go to Cub Scout Day Camp in mid-July.  Clyde's favorite was archery and Will's favorite was leather-making and my favorite was these cute brother pictures.  

Chuck suited up to go to Boy Scout camp at the end of July! It was a bit of a last minute recruitment, but blessedly he could get the time off and head up there (and blessedly it was the same week that our niece Mallory came to town to hang out with me and the kids ... more on that in a future post....). I think this was Chuck's 6th consecutive year going to Boy Scout camp (insert high five emoji hahaha).

And here are the cute boys he got to keep an eye on during the week: five boys from our ward and three boys from... Europe? the Alps? who were adopted by our troop for camp. 

I enjoyed the random pictures Chuck texted me throughout the week or that I pulled off his phone later, including these pictures of deer running through the shooting range which seems alarming! 

More pictures from camp, including Brother Murphy, who spent most of the summer there teaching the cooking merit badge. His intention was to ignore Chuck's attempts to take his picture until Chuck pulled Brother Murphy's own trick on him to get him to smile... a trick that is probably not appropriate to share in a 'church stuff' post hahahahaha.

Chuck sent us letters in the mail and we were able to text and talk on the phone so we did pretty well during the week without him buuuuut we were still thrilled to have him home, so we put lots of enthusiasm (aka paint) into our "Daddy's home YAY!!!" sign:
Aaaaand that was July's church stuff, good times!