School's Out Scream and Shout

It has already started. This morning the smell of sunscreen was in the air and the endless chatter of Disney channel shows echoed through the house. Bikes were being washed, tires were being inflated, and the day was being planned.  All of this was done by 8:20 and they still had 4 more hours of school to attend before calling it quits for 2 months.  It's a bitter sweet day for me.  No more sack lunches to prepare, no more planners to sign, class websites can be un-bookmarked off of our computer, no more alarm clocks, no more book reports or Chinese flashcards and no more harassing about daily homework.  At the end of all that comes questioning that chores are done, endless bickering, constant messes, constant choas, incessant pleas to go to the pool, "I'm hungry", "none of my friends are home" and let's not forget those dreaded words "I'm bored" (like nails on a chalk board I tell ya).  But despite all this, my goal is to enjoy it.  I watched several kids from our neighborhood graduate this week. These are kids that when we moved into this neighborhood were the same age as my Asher right now. Now they are graduating and preparing to leave home for college and missions.  That time went so fast, and my kids will grow and be leaving just as fast.  So this summer I want to hug them a little tighter and enjoy their noise a little more because it will all end a little (a lot) too soon. And this post is for me to read when the days are a little too long and little too tiring. I love my kids!!


buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks.

Asher had his first season of baseball and absolutely loved it.  He rocked it too.  The first half of the season was machine pitch and he had several double hitters and of course became the rockstar of his team. second half of the season was kid pitch and that became a little more difficult, but he didn't give up even though he didn't hit one ball :( It is so hard to know if the ball is in the strike zone or not! But because it's kid pitch he was able to make it to base many times he just had to suffer being hit with the ball.  His team, the Giants, were 3rd in their league and will get a trophy so Asher is all smiles about that. Who doesn't want a trophy?
(2nd base)

But something other than the trophy gave him an even bigger smile......His coach asked him if he could put his name in to play on the AllStars team!! We aren't sure what that means or entails, but Asher thinks that it's pretty exciting.

(coach asking him to play allstars)

The coach told us that Asher was his favorite player on the team "the kid has heart".  ahhh just what a mom wants to hear.  We love our boy.

You see that he is number 1?? it's not because he was the best player, it's because he was the absolute smallest on the team :) the smallest jersey is number 1, he was also the youngest. Go ASHER!

Someone had a birthday........

.....Shout Hooray!  Little Miss Ainsley turned 4 on Sunday.  Can I just say that I love that this little girl came to our family.  She is so full of energy, which on somedays is a little exhausting and frustrating, but I wouldn't want her any other way. She is so kind to everyone and loves to do nice things for people, she says she "loves to make people's hearts feel happy".

Ainsley loves her friends!  She asks everyday to have a friend over.  Some of her friends right now are Sicily, Kai, Isabella, Rachel, Annie, Kika, and Aubrey. Her friends also include some of my friends and their teenage daughters.  She adores Miss Barbie and Miss Alyson and it is common to find her giving them hugs and asking if she can come play at their house.  Miss Barbie's daughter Elsa is also one of Ainsley's favorite buddies.  

  I love her smile and she is generous in sharing it.  She is so sweet to her Brother and Sister, just yesterday at Asher's baseball she yelled out to 2nd base from the bleachers and said "just do your best Asher".  It was so cute to hear her little voice call out and for him to glance over at her and give her a tender smile.  Eden and Ainsley are perfect sister together, they do nails and play, Ainsley is always telling Eden she is pretty and Eden is always asking for hugs and kisses.  

When we asked Ainsley what she wanted for her birthday she would always respond "everything! everything that's good and girlie". I loved it! And little Ainsley, WE LOVE YOU! Happy Birthday!!


Easter 2013

I am so glad that the weather decided to warm up a little for Easter.  It made the celebration so much more enjoyable.  Our holiday turned out to be a great day  weekend.  It all began on Saturday with a birthday party for my sweet mom and an Easter egg hunt for the kids.  We had a brunch of french toast with fruit and hot chocolate (mom's request).  Unfortunately, the exterior of our house was under construction which made the egg hunt a little messy, but the scaffolding made for some great hiding spots.  My mom did something different and there was an egg with a number inside of it and a sticker on the outside letting the kids know that if they already had an egg with the sticker they couldn't have another.  When they opened the egg the kids discovered which place in line would be theirs.  After all the eggs were found the kids lined up accordingly and were able to choose a prize from my mom's treasure stash.  Eden chose a magnet wand that extends so she can get the screws that fall behind the dryer-random.  Ainsley chose a littlest pet shop toy and Asher chose a softball.  Oh!! Ainsley found the golden egg (with a little help from my sister) which contained 5$.  She was a little confused why there wasn't candy in the egg, she probably would have preferred the chocolate.

(The tongue comes out whenever she gets nervous, I guess all the kids cheering for her freaked her out a little)

Easter morning was great the kids found their basket and searched for candy hidden around the house.  The Easter bunny had way more hiding places in this house than he did in our old house, which made for candy being found days later, in fact Ainsley just found some m&m's yesterday, 2 weeks after Easter!  I loved when I found the candy.

 (Easter outfits)

Bunny mouths

After church we headed to Cache's parents for a Easter dinner and another egg hunt.  Dinner was delicious! Ham, Au Gratin potatoes (has anyone had the Reser Au Gratin's from Costco-oh my delicious! and all you have to do is heat them), homemade rolls, Miriam's delicious cucumber and tomato creamy vinegar bowl.  It was all so good. The Merrill's egg tradition is each grandkid has a special egg color and they can only hunt for their special eggs.  They have three properties in a row, so it makes for a large territory to find your eggs.  I remember one year my nephew Perrin found an egg from the previous Easter, hahah and he was lucky because it had quarters in it.  Cute Grandma and Grandpa also changed up the egg hunt and put questions about the saviors crucifixion in random eggs and the kids would have to take the questions to grandpa and give a correct answer to the question and they would receive money for answering correctly.  The kids liked it.  

I am grateful for the Easter season and the time it gives me to stop and think about the special gift that was given to me. I am very grateful for the Savior and His atonement and I know my understanding isn't fully what it could be, but I know that everyday I am able to use it and with time my understanding will grow and develop. 


Mission pics

I love when I have a chance to practice my photography.  It isn't something that I feel I can do full time, or even part time, right now, but I love that I get asked every now and then to do a shoot.

Here are a few snapshots of one of my dear friend's son who is preparing to leave for Argentina soon.


Eden's 11th

I can't let February pass me by without blogging about Eden's birthday. I can't believe she is 11!  She has gone from this.....

To this.....
She is kind, beautiful, friendly, spiritual, helpful, thoughtful, sweet, sensitive, and sometimes a little moody.  We are so glad she is in our family.  

For her birthday she really wanted a shellac light and some Sorel boots.  Lucky for her she got both! and a few other small items. 

We told her that because the items were a little more money than what we usually spend on birthdays she would not be able to have a birthday party with her friends this year. 
But...............We felt bad and arranged to have some friends over a few days later for a SIMPLE surprise get together.  
(I just went to find the pictures I took of the party, and can you believe I didn't take one Picture??)
Eden had been out with her grandma shopping for a present and when she came home, thinking that she had to babysit, her friends were waiting to surprise her.  Although, she didn't act as surprised as I thought she would. I expected screaming and yelling from excitement and all we got were a few smiles and a look of confusion. "so what? I don't have to babysit?" was all said.
They had pizza and cake and played a few rounds of bingo with some super lame prizes, but they loved it.  After the raging bingo game they watched Nacho Libre.  In the end I think it turned out to be a great birthday for my sweet Neenie!

Birthday festivities:
Breakfast: crepes
Lunch: Kneaders with Mom, Dad and Ainsley
after school she rushed off to gymnastics stayed there for 2 hours instead of 3. 
came home to her dinner of choice: Chicken Alfredo (which was cold because we had to eat before she got home from gymnastics because Cache had YM and Asher also had gymnastics)
dessert: cupcakes and a birthday song sung to her by me and Ainsley since we were the only ones home. (good thing we had that party because her birthday evening was a little sad)



I miss my blog.  I really do. It is such a great way to document our family.  I refer back to it so often.  I hate making goals, I fail way too often.  But I want to do better. Do I dare make a goal to do better on my blog? My stomach twirls just thinking of saying it out loud (or publicly documenting it). But here goes nothing......my goal is to blog more than I did last year. oh wait......I only blogged 8 posts last year? Well this goal shouldn't be too hard then :)

I had to make cookies for our Great To Be Eight program in primary tomorrow and Ainsley wanted so desperately to help.  I am horrible and I cringe a little when my kids want to help in the kitchen (or in the laundry room, or with crafting, or with washing the car) I wish with my whole heart that I savored those moments with my kids to teach them these necessary skills, but it just takes sooo much longer and creates such a huge mess. I was ready to tell her to go watch a show when I realized how much TV (is it considered TV if it's on the iPad?) Ainsley had been consuming this last week (massive amounts) I relented and accepted her help.  It went okay, it was a mess and it took so much longer than it should have, but now, at 11:00 at night, and looking back at the experience, it was fun!  She rolled the dough in the powder sugar for me (we made these delicious and easy cookies) and even though she was doing less rolling and more squishing I pushed aside my annoyance and let her go at it.  She did about 6 cookies and then was distracted by the batter bowl.  I let eat to her eat up while I quickly finished the rest of the cookies.  

"no more pictures, until I put more lipstick on"

note to self: Make a goal of letting your kids help in the kitchen more.Time flies way to fast and I will miss it someday, I know I will!