Thursday, June 30, 2016

IKEA dresser DIY

Kristy is doing a Pinterest conference in October with her Instagram/etsy business Stapley Dolls. She has a great vision on how to set up her booth. Today we painted an IKEA dresser for some of the folks to go in.
I've never stained wood before, but I am now a fan of this clear stain. It protects the wood while preserving its original color. That way the wood grain is the star.
While painting and assembling the kids took naps, at lunch, and basically parked in front of the tv. #momoftheyear. ;)
And there you have it! BEFORE: our old dresser that barely functioned. AFTER: the painted/stained IKEA dresser that not only functions but looks modern and fresh.  It looks even better in person. Now I want to do more DIY projects!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A big first

Cub scouts was at Mesa High Pool today so we were all there so the boys could pass off the water adventure. Elliot went off the high dive for the first time! He wouldn't have done it if it weren't for a scouts and all the other boys doing it. He even wine two more times! I think it would be fun for him to join swim team, or diving. Maybe next summer!

Monday, June 27, 2016

A bucket

A bucket! Cheap entertainment. I love have children don't need a ton of toys or video games and movies all the time. A little imagination goes a long way, and my children have a big imagination! These pictures were from last week, and I don't normally have all my furniture on the rug - it was a "mop the floor" day. :) Elliot and Avery have a science camp today and tomorrow with cousins and friends. A lot it is science crafts using things around the house. They love it!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Allen baby blessing

My nephew Allen Opie got blessed today. I'm glad Ruth and Ammon were able to edit and do it here in Arizona where everyone could participate. They live in Iowa now.

This morning I gave a talk in church. Three months ago I was asked to go to the temple often and learn sbout covenants and give a talk in sacrament meeting. Since then I've gone to the temple twice a week. It's been a wonderful experience. What a blessing to have a temple so close. It's a five minute drive away. With 150 temples in the world today and more on the way more people are blessed to have a temple close by. I love it!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Mesa Temple

This morning our whole family had the opportunity to help at the temple. We picked up trash. It was great seeing the kids be so willing to serve. It's wonderful living so close to the temple.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Another pool day!

Another day, another pool! It's always more fun swimming with cousins though and today there were plenty!
This was the highlight of everyone's day. This pool is Sara's parents and we love going every summer. It's perfect for kids. What have you been doing this summer? I feel a need to switch things up. Maybe use our pogo pass more.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tumbling week 3

Avery and Zara have been doing tumbling class for three weeks now. They both are doing so well too! Check out Avery's flexibility in that first picture! I think Zara is one of the oldest in her class and you can tell because she follows directions well and doesn't need a parent to help like some of the other kids in her class. It's just so good to see them learning and having fun. I think I'll sign them up for the July session.

Flagstaff photos

Here are some more photos from our Flagstaff family photo shoot a couple months ago.  We really have a plethora of good family photos to choose from.  Last time I shared family photos of us in front of our dorms.  These first three are from NAU north campus as well.  The last one is in the woods of a nearby park. 
One thing I love about this last picture is being in nature.  I'm partial to AZ forest.  Growing up our family vacation was going to Camp Geronimo and playing in the forest and creek catching minnows, finding grasshoppers and horny toads in the meadows.  I love the smell of the pine and the fresh air.  All the stars visible at night.  It's such a part of my youth and me today.  It was funny going to Sherwood Forest in England with the kids a couple years ago and not seeing or smelling our pine I'm so used to.  A very different forest.  Still beautiful, just different.  I hope my kids learn to love nature. Especially here in Arizona. :)

Monday, June 20, 2016

FHE activity

Tonight we went to Rhodes pool for a Family Home Evening activity. Rhodes has a really cool flow rider that simulates waves so you can try to surf. None of us did it but it was really cool to watch other people. The kid area is really fun too, which is where Zara was swimming while I took these pictures. Zara is quite the fish!
Avery made an attempt to go off the diving board for the first time. I know it was hard for her and she only jumped off the side as you see in the picture above. She was scared it was too deep. So proud of her trying to overcome her fears! 
 It was so fun watching the beautiful sunset while swimming together as a family.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all the dad's out there! We celebrated by making Andrew breakfast. I sleep in so it wasn't breakfast in bed....but it was still breakfast! Above is a picture of Andrew sharing is photo book with Zara. It was from Pinhole Press and I'm really happy with how it turned out. It was a Father's Day gift using pixies from our recent family photo shoot. I usually talk about making photo books but never get around to it so this was a good motivator.

We also gifted Andrew some framed pictures to put in his office since we never updated the ones from a few years ago. Tonight we got to see my sister Ruth, and her family who just flew in from Iowa last night!  It was our first time seeing baby Allen. We will be spending a lot of time with family while they're around the next couple weeks, especially with Chris and Kristy coming this weekend!

I am so grateful for Andrew in my life. He really is a good father to our four children. He's the fun one. :) I hope he had a good Father's Day. I also made his dinner request which was mashed potatoes, roasted broccoli, carrots, baked homemade chicken fingers, and homemade honey wheat rolls. A great Sunday dinner!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Last day of band

Three weeks have come and gone and Elliot had his informal band recital today. The clarinets, saxophones, and flutes played and I was surprised with how well they played and the many songs they learned. Being an orchestra junky, I don't really know that much about band. It's been fun learning with Elliot. I learned that the clarinet has the most notes out of all the band instruments. I learned that the flute is hard to learn at first but gets easier but the clarinet is easy to learn at first but gets harder.
^^ Aunt Nora taught the kids how to do Jacobs Ladder. ^^
After band we went to park and ended up in the sprinklers. That's what happens when it's 100+ outside!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

School lunch

Today we had free lunch at school for the first time. There are certain schools that serve free breakfast and lunch for kids under 18 during the summer months. Julie had the girls over for a tea party this morning while Elliot was at band, so we met there after. I was surprised at the amount of choices, and of course, it took me back to my school lunch days. That really seems soooo long ago.
I'm glad the schools do this because I'm sure we'll be going back again. It's nice not having to prepare another meal.  I asked the kids what their favorite thing they had and they said chocolate milk, juice, and pizza. If that doesn't sound like school lunch I don't know what does! :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A rare cool summer night

Andrew had a church responsibility tonight and the kids wanted to go outside so we ended up going on a ride around the neighborhood. The weather was surprisingly pleasant. Zara and Rupert love the bike trailer, and Avery grabbed on to the back since she's still new to rollerblading, so I kept a slow speed while Elliot followed along on a scooter.
I hope the weather stays cool so we can do it again soon. My niece who just turned one over the weekend just got a sidewalk burn. The pavement was hot enough to burn the palm of her hand and give her second degree burn! She's seems to be taking it like a champ, but that's the crazy hot weather we live in most of the summer! Today we went to Skyline pool for the first time and Monday it was Stapley. So far no regrets getting the summer swim pass, I just need to find friends that have it too! The kids would have so much more fun!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Memory Lane: NAU dormitories

Here are some more family photos!  With us celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary/10 year birth of our family we really wanted to have the pictures somewhere special and meaningful.  NAU north campus in Flagstaff was the perfect location.  We have a lot of memories there from when Andrew and I met, dated, and made a lot of really good friends.  Flagstaff is also the place Andrew learned about and joined the LDS church.  Here are some pictures of our dormitories.
 ^^ Andrew's room is one the window's on the top left.^^
Taylor Hall was Andrew's dorm at NAU.  He had several roommate and room changes but this is where he made home during those months far from family.  When Andrew applied for the exchange program from Hull University in England he was able to choose 5 schools he could put in priority that he would be interested in studying at for a year.  NAU was his fourth preference, and even though there were openings at his other top choices they sent him to NAU.  It was meant to be. :)
^^ North Morton was my second dorm on campus. ^^
We met the Saturday after the first day of school on campus in the Student Union.  That's a story on it's own. :)  At the time I was new to college and living in a freshmen co-ed dorm in south campus.  It was a rough experience and after a couple months I moved to North Morton dorm in north campus, right across from Taylor Hall.  I was the exception living there because North Morton doesn't typically house Freshmen.  North Campus is the oldest part of the school and has so much character and history, as you can see!
Sarah Waggoner did a great job capturing my family in all our craziness!  It's funny how the silly pictures like these last two end up being favorites, instead of the ones where everyone is looking at the camera and smiling. :)  The silly ones really show everyone's personalities.