Sunday, July 31, 2016

Camping at See Canyon

I've been talking to my dad for weeks about taking the kids camping and this past weekend we finally were able to do it! Just in time too, since we're in California this week with my in-laws, and then school starts.
So glad we squeezed a camping trip in this summer because we had such a great time. The kids were in heaven with all the rocks, sticks, and bugs to play with. We were also right next to a creek which was cool and refreshing.
It's been a year since I camped and I forgot how dirty everything gets, and no plumbing!! But it was worth it for a day or two. :) My favorite part was the beauty of our AZ forests and the smell and pine and fresh air. Especially right after a rain! 
Andrew joined us Friday afternoon since he had work. We went a s little hiked with us Saturday morning to see the source of the creek. Such a beautiful hike, and very doable for kids (only a mile or two long).  See Canyon has definitely become a new favorite campsite of ours!

Saturday, July 23, 2016


It's been a busy Saturday and I didn't spend as much time with the kids.  I had a rehearsal and performance for one of Rob Gardener's choir and orchestra music and narration program in honor of Pioneer Day tomorrow.  We also perform tomorrow night.  I miss orchestra so this has been a good experience, even though it's not to the performance level I have done in the past.

I thought it would be fun to share some recent favorites of mine!  I discovered podcasts in the fall and started listening to them while running.  Now I also listen to them while running errands, folding laundry, etc..

My top 3 Podcasts:

1. Happier with Gretchen Rubin: She shares this podcast with her sister Elizabeth Craft and they are quite funny to listen to.  Gretchen is an author that delights in habit making.
2. The Lively Show: by Jess Lively.  Lots of interviews about growing a business and life with intention.  She's also been touring Europe lately and sharing those adventures.
3. Stuff You Missed in History: Hosted by Tracy and Holly these women are hilarious!  This is a place where you go to learn all sorts of random facts about people, places, events, etc... from all over the world throughout all of history.

My top 3 Blogs:

1. Style by Emily Henderson:  Emily is so talented in design and styling, has a great sense of humor, and is a mother of two living in CA.  Some of my favorite recent posts of hers are 84 Amazing Sofas Under $1000, Budget Friendly Ready-made Curtain Roundup, and The Best Wallpaper Roundup (Ever).  Such a good resource plus she has some dreamy design videos.
2. Love Taza:  I've been following Naomi and her adventures with her family since right after her first baby was born when they were living in Washington DC.  Now they have two more kids and live in NY.  They travel all over, but mostly I like her posts because they make me smile.
3. Little Green Notebook: Jenny Komenda is a designer that lives here in Arizona!  She doesn't post as often but she has a mature taste in design that I want more of in my life!  She also is the queen of DIY and makes it look so easy.  There are many projects she's posted that I want to tackle in my own home.

Ok those are a few of my current favorites.  Thanks for indulging me!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Ups and downs

I've been pretty busy the last couple days that I didn't make time to post here. I could have made time but i was doing things that were more important or things that I just wanted to do more, like watching Netflix and listening to podcasts. Life. I find the longer you put something off the harder it is to do it.

This is me not putting blogging off. A part of me wanted to wait another day and post a super exciting post but it's been pretty normal summer life over here. Ups and downs like usual. The ups today were taking the girls to the IDEA Musem and potting some pretty flowers and having an  extra productive day! :) The downs were Elliot throwing up and asking for a blessing, and the kids fighting about dumb things and me getting frustrated about dumb things.:) Well, tomorrow is another day! 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Grandma and grandpa's

If anything, I've learned the last several weeks of blogging almost daily is how unglamorous my life is.;) I also use my phone camera for everything. I used to be good about bringing out my DSLR camera out more often but my standards have slipped. :) Priorities! Well, today I'm sharing a normal afternoon at my parents. We watched Into the Woods. We listen to the soundtrack in the car all the time and the kids love it. Rupert has been more interested in Legos recently. It was a good afternoon.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

time flies

The days are long but the years are short. This about sums up our life this summer. There are so many things I wanted to do with the kids and we only have two weeks left to get it all done! In two weeks Andrew's family fly out to LA where we will spend some time with them. Then they come back to AZ and before we know it, school starts! Here's to a fun-packed two weeks!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Elliot's party

Today was not a great day for a party. It's the middle of July and it's hot!! Elliot really wanted to play basketball at his birthday party so we really only had two options: book a church building and hope the kids don't play on the stage the whole time, or go to a park and risk heat exhaust. We went with option 2 and brought lots of water.:)
We picked a park with a shaded playground area and it worked out! My nephew Dean won the limbo game and even Rupert had a good time with the basketball. Mostly the kids played on the playground.
Later I took Avery on a date. McDonald's smoothies are actually pretty good! Andrew and I like to take turns taking the kids out on dates each month.
For our date tonight Andrew and I went to Joyride Tacos for the first time. My salad was amazing! There was arugula, red cabbage, avocado, cucumber, cherry tomatoe, sunflower seeds, quinoa, bulgar, and a light dressing. This photo doesn't do it justice! Andrew's burrito was also very filling and appetizing. Next time we'll get tacos though since they're kinda the restaurant's specialty (hence the name).:)

Friday, July 15, 2016

Trevor and Spotsy

These toads are getting a lot of attention! I don't think Elliot and Avery appreciate that the frogs are nocturnal. They just want to hold them and play with them, and we took them swimming and wore them out! I was surprised that all 20 crickets I bought yesterday are gone! We are all learning together so it's been fun. I did warn the kids hat if it costs too much to feed the roads we might have to let the go. Either that or we need to go on regular bug hunts. :)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Elliot's 9th birthday!!

Today was a special day! It's the beginning of Elliot's last year as a single digit! He was so excited to get the Swiss Army knife he picked out. He keeps asking when we can go camping.
We also found these two Arizona Toads at the park and decided to keep them. Elliot instantly named his Trevor (from Harry Potter), and Avery's is Spotsy. :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Elliot and Dillon

^^^ Elliot's pointer, not the bird! :) ^^^
These pictures of Elliot and Dillon are from eating with family it Rosa's two weeks ago. They had so much fun together the week Chris and Kristy were on town. It's hard not having their closest cousins nearby.

Tomorrow Elliot turns 9!!! My first baby. This is his last year with his age a single digit, and he's about the halfway point to his mission age. It's gone by fast but I'm afraid that the next 9 years will go by faster. Honestly, there are times being a mother of four is really stressful, but I really love my kids and really love being a mom and want the best for my kids. So proud of Elliot and hope he has a wonderful birthday tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Bubble Avery

When we go swimming Avery likes to do this thing where she blows air in her swimsuit and makes her look like she has a big belly. She cracks me up!! She's always been petite so it's hard to imagine her with a big belly. :)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Seymore pool

This afternoon we went swimming at Nora's community pool....and didn't leave until 3 1/2 hours later! Andrew ended up coming after work with pizza, and then Garrett came as we were about to leave. The kids just kept making new friends and playing. When we finally did leave Nora and Garrett were so kind to invite us over for FHE and ice cream. We really are spoiled to have so much amazing family close by!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Stapley Dolls

My sister in law, Kristy, has a plush doll Instagram and Etsy shop called Stapley Dolls. I even made a couple dolls for it when it was a young business, and my sister Nora still makes dolls for it including this batman.

When Ammon and Ruth were in town I watched their kids so they could go to the temple. I took the opportunity to throw Rupert's old lederhosen on baby Allen for some pictures. I took a picture of Rupert at this age for Stapley Dolls with a "Where the Wild Things Are" doll and we all loved it! Allen was so cute to photograph because he fell asleep during the shoot and kept snuggling batman. :)

Kristy and Nora have worked hard and grown this business and I am so proud of them! They even do custom dolls which is a constant artistic challenge. They're doing a booth at a Pinterest conference this October which they're really looking forward to.  I get to store and even keep some furniture for that event, which is a bonus. :)

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Rupert the great

The many faces of Rupert. There were more but I thought I'd spare you. :) Rupert is at the stage when his vocabulary grows each week. He like to point at things and call it "one". That comes from when I would point to a cereal box in the morning and ask "do you want this one or this one?". I love seeing things through his fresh eyes, like when he gets really excited to see a bird outside, or a motorcycle. So many things are new and exciting to him. Some of his favorite things to play with recently have been sunglasses, my camera keychain that makes a sound, markers (he draws on everything!), small books, trains, and balls. Loving this stage of his right now.

Friday, July 8, 2016

PHX Mercury

Using our pogo pass we went to a Phoenix Mercury women's basketball game tonight with friends from church.  We also took the opportunity to take the light rail for the first time. 
Our team lost and everyone went to bed super late but it was such a fun experience. Definitely outside the norm, and just what we needed! Andrew was disappointed in the skill level of the players but overall we had so much fun!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Play dates

We had a lot of cousins over this morning. Pete's boys and jojo. So it was nice when Donna LeBaron came over for some girl time. We bakes cookies, had a tea party, painted nails, played games. And we weren't too sad to see donna go home because all my kids went to the LeBaron's tonight while Andrew and I went to the temple. We love having so many great friends close by!