Thursday, June 30, 2016

My Inner Cowgirl

I went to the rodeo for the very first time in my life. And yee-haw, it was a rootin tootin good time. The evening began with a poem about the American flag, the national anthem, and then a prayer. At the rodeo. It was so patriotic I cried a little. But we also had fresh kettle corn, fresh lemonade, and were in matching hats, so it could have been that, too.

Our new hats purchased so that we would blend in with the rodeo crowd. Blend in we did.

Laughing and enjoying the show.

Cowboy Calvin, concentrating.

Preston is just going to be so glad that I posted this picture.
His inner cowboy really enjoyed the night.

This won't be the last time we wear our cowboy hats together.

*** This post is for Tuesday, June 28th, 2016***

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Prescott Party

The weather has been perfect. The company has been well behaved. The food has been tasty. And these are the moments when I wish I could freeze time.  Nothing crazy exotic is taking place. I'm just hanging out in a cabin with my handsome husband and cheerful children. We are playing games, watching movies, eating snacks, playing together. Family fun in the Groom Creek forest. 10 points for holidays.

At the park near our caving with Ryan's cousin and her children. Her family has a cabin close by, so we were lucky to get to spend some time with her.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

High Adventure

(Writing Guest: Preston)
High Adventure was this last week, starting on Thursday, and finishing on Saturday night, and holy cow. We did things that I didn't think that I'd ever be able to. Mountain biking, cliff jumping, and great food in the city of Moab. Fantastic leaders, and interesting boys that we spent time with. Calvin and I didn't die, which is a plus. 

*** This post is for June 22nd - 25th, and we're on vacation... give us a break***

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Merry Christmas!

As a a stocking stuffer, my younger kids got gifts cards to a classic fun center (think bowling, arcade games, go-carts, golfing, batting cages, etc.) Well, they finally made use of those Boondocks gift cards, and even better was that our Tuesday night visit is when they offer discounts, so it was even bigger bang for our Christmas Bucks. HO. Ho. Ho.

Norman bowling. Not really. 

Norman helping Simon play an arcade game. Also not really.

Ryan at the batting cages.  
He could have gone pro. Maybe he should have.

Annie and Calvin, riding their motorcycles as if their lives depended on it.

*** This post is for Tuesday, June 21, 2016***

Monday, June 20, 2016

Because crawling is for Babies

In an effort to be awesome and get with the program, Norman Harold Thomas Smith has decided that at the ripe age of 15 months, it would be cool to start walking.  It's maybe the cutest thing I have ver seen in my entire life. Annie (and his mother) have spent quite some time encouraging bipedalism, and we're just so pleased that all of those lessons are finally paying off.

How lucky that my next door neighbor caught this.
Annie and Owen, and her two sons are seen cheering on Norman.
And we all know that cheering works.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Studio 5 with Five

Today officially makes the cut for my top 20 mom moments.  All five of my older children (sorry Norman) came to help/watch me do a cooking demonstration on Studio 5.  And it was wonderful. Each of them helped, behaved, and throughly enjoyed checking out an actual television station. The producer of the show even gave us our very own private tour of the KSL newsroom, which was epic. How wonderful it was to share this passion of mine with my offspring, both in our home and at the station. It was a day to be remembered.

Of course we took a picture in front of the iconic peacock.

I demo'd stuffed pork chops. Not hard to make and basically amazing.

My darling kids with Brooke Walker, the hostess with the mostess from Studio 5.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Looking Up with Becky

My friend, neighbor and fellow church attender has just completed a a book, titled "Look Up, Move Forward." I know Becky and her husband Steve by our church association (Steve's job was to work with Simon on Scouts) and Becky and I are both part of the women's group at church (the Relief Society.)W. e were lucky enough to be given the opportunity to take her seeing eye dog, Cricket, and love on her for the rest of her days. Tonight I got to attend her  book signing and I can't wait to read it.  IF it's anything like Becky or Cricket (kind, gently, loving, friendly cheerful, intelligent, sincere, calm) than I'm sure it will be a page turner and worth every penny. But like LaVar Burton on Reading Rainbow says, you don't have to take my word for it.

Cricket just celebrated her 11th birthday (77 years old in dog years.)
Becky and Steve sung by and got Cricket a bone and some baby carrots, and even a card.
Becky still loves this old dog, and we do too!

Steve telling everyone how he believes he is simply the luckiest man on earth, and how great his wife's book.

The cover: my signed copy

Monday, June 13, 2016

Before Braille's Brandon

Ryan didn't die of cancer last year, so he got a hold of his father and brothers and said "Hey, since I didn't die I want to do a man's trip with all of you." Not living close to our immediate family means that all of our sibling time has to be scheduled and arranged, as opposed to a more organic "Hey, let's play basketball tomorrow morning" that some people get to casually set up when living close to their relations.  As luck would have it, three of his brothers and his father were able to set aside time and celebrate with Ryan in Moab. The agenda includes: barbecue, mountain biking, white water rafting, chatting, sleeping, connecting and celebrating.  I'm sure many of my sister in laws will see this and I want to thank you for flying solo for the week. It means a lot to Ryan.  His brother Brandon flew into Utah so that Ryan would have someone to drive down with him, which meant we got to spend Sunday with him. We hit temple square, did a tour of the supernacle, and just enjoyed his company.  What a great time they are going to have (gosh, I hope no one breaks any bones, etc on this trip!)

Preston, Brandon and Simon.

Lovely weather for a temple stroll.

At the top of the new Conference building. It was windy, and crazy large!!!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

18 Years As Wife and Husband!

On this special day, 18 years ago, Ryan Edward and I were married in the Mesa, Arizona temple at 9:45am.  18 Years of memories; love, kids, moves, vacations, kissing, crying, dancing, working, parenting, shopping, cooking, driving, cleaning, mowing, studying, kneeling, praying, doctors, surgeries, car accidents, cookies, sunrises, movies, gifts, holidays, funerals, sickness and health.  What a journey! What a ride! If our marriage were a person, and it broke the law, it could be tried as an adult. How romantic! All my love, Mr. Smith. "Yeah, us! June 12, 1998" - what I had engraved on the inside of Ryan's wedding ring. Yeah, us indeed.

We took off for a night in Park City, in honor of our love anniversary.
But before that 30 mite drive to the East, we attended the SLC temple for the sealing of my handsome cousin and his wife. And following their sealing, their darling little man cub was sealed to them.
Forever families - the entire purpose of temples.

Our weekend was amazing, complete with 5 hours of mountain biking - a total first for me.
I only fell about 6 times and luckily just got scratched up a bit.  We had already checked out of the hotel by the time we returned the bikes, but were headed to a posh restaurant and needed to get cleaned up, so we stopped at the SLC Aquatic center to shower and get fancy. That's when I realized that my dress shoes were still at the hotel. Boo.

At least my running shoes matched my sweater. Delicious fun romantic weekend spent with the man who has my heart, now and always.

The man behind the dream.
I've never wanted anything as much as I wanted to marry this man.
So glad my wish was granted/ my prayer was answered.

Annie Competes!

Annie had her second ever swim meet. She swam the 50 backstroke, the 50 butterfly and the 100 IM. It's so incredible fun to watch her swim, and luckily the meet didn't take 4 hours, just two.

She loves posing with her mother.

Getting some last minute advice before a race. I like the red cap.

***This post is for Friday, June 10th, 2016***

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Waiting on a Jet Plane

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Sears parking lot in SLC has some of the best Mexican food.  After 9 days out of the country, Ryan finally flew home today.  His flight was late, however.  After arriving at the airport (silly of me not to check before leaving my house) we discovered that his flight wasn't due to land for another 1 hour. Calvin and Norman came with me to get Ryan and so rather than having me drop them off home, hang out for 30 minutes and then return to the airport to get Ryan, we headed over for a late lunch at our favorite street taco stand (FYI: it's the one facing East on State Street.) We dined, and then fetched my handsome husband.  That, my friends is turning lemons  into lemonade, or beef into carne asada burritos.  And lest this review seem unwarranted, I need to mention that the burritos are about the size of my head, and cost $3. Literally incredible. Viva los burritos!

Happy Calvin. It was a little windy.

See, he's home. Sleeping off the trip.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Because Ryan is Gone

Because Ryan is gone to Scotland, our lovely time there and all the sights and fabulous people there have been on me mind.  Ryan has been able to meet with some colleagues and even caught church. He said howdy to some friends that we made there and in general, has had a great visit.  SO today Norman donned his Scottish soccer (football) outfit and played the part of goalie, as he's too young to follow the game rule of no hands.

He's looking so serious.

Waiting to catch the ball.

***This post is for Sunday, May 5th, 2016***

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Promotion

A new favorite Dr. Seuss sums up my thoughts for this special day: Simon leaving elementary school forever and moving on to Jr. High.

How did it get so late so soon? 
Its night before its afternoon. 
December is here before its June. 
My goodness how the time has flown. 
How did it get so late so soon? 

Dr. Seuss

Presidential Simon.

Simon's Fan Club, Preston's school finished yesterday, Now he's a senior!!!

Simon and his teacher.

Simon being introduced.

Simon and his certificate! Love the three piece suit.

Celebrating with a scoop. mmmm.

*** This post is for Friday, June 4th, 2016***

Friday, June 3, 2016

Shoe Kickin

It has been my pleasure to run the shoe kick at our annual elementary field day with a  dear neighbor and friend.  It's a pretty straightforward formula. Stay behind the line. Kick you shoe as far as you can when we say (1,2,3, kick,) and then go stand  by your shoe.  Each grade rotates through the various stations. I am often impressed with how far these kids can kick their shoes, which is why I was baffled with a surprising detour on the field this year.  Another station had been planted not 50 feet a head of the shoe kick. Luckily, no one was hit in the head by a flying shoe. Unluckily, if someone had been hit by a flying shoe, it would guarantee next year we would return to wide open shoe kicking spaces.

My friend and I at our shoe kick station.
Through out the year, we get together and run show kicking drills, just to stay sharp and ensure we're ready for the big day. And ready we were.

Simon in the second from the right.  The sign proves that we were all at the shoe kick station.

I was impressed with how far Owen was able to kick his shoe, even whilst still wearing the boot from his broken leg. He's healing super well and shall be boot and cast-less in just one more week!

***This post is for June 1st, 2016***
Ryan took off for Finland/Scotland on Memorial Day (May 30th) and won't be back for a few more days. That's his story.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Missing Soul Mates

In an effort to keep on top of Norman's clothes, I decided it was time to get rid of some of the smaller things that he can't wear (boo to him getting bigger!) and bring in some of the newer items that have been waiting for him to grow (three cheers for him getting bigger!) As I sorted, I thought I should tackle his socks. I seriously can't wrap my mind around the fact that this little boy has twenty five (25!) socks that are missing their soul mates.  Where, oh where have they gone?! It truly is a romantic tragedy.

As sad as a missing soul mate is, I think I'll hold on to these socks and maybe start a new baby trend: one sock on because little clothing items are darling, and one sock off because little toes are simply adorable... or maybe I'll just go purchase a few more pairs of socks.

Sunshine Day!

Paint is one of the easiest ways to change/ improve your home, and so I decided that my front door needed a makeover. We had this lovely shade of blue, but painted it to yellow. It's a zippy, deep, Hollandish yellow that warms my soul.

There it is, in all it's glory.

I always love Home Depot. These two kids were sure fun to shop with.

My door reminds me of the song "Sunshine Day" performed by the kids on the Brady Bunch tv show.
Good times, great song.

Memorial Day

On all Major holidays our church puts up flags in the entire neighborhood. When it's your turn, you wake early, set up about 35 flags. And then after dinner, you go collect all of the flags that were put up. We were lucky enough to get assigned the Memorial Day holiday, and I was lucky enough to have my entire family in the car to help set them up.

In front of my grandmother's headstone, Mary Jane Stander. 
Trying to get everyone to look at the camera.

Almost succeeding.

Calvin carefully wrapping the flag around the pole after taking it down.

*** This post is for Monday, May 30th, 2016***