Sunday, August 30, 2009

Let's Play Hookie....

We finally made it to the lake this summer! The kids have been asking repeatedly to go, but timing was never in our favor. First this, then that, and like a flash the summer was gone. So, Thursday we decided to pull Bryson out of school an hour early, and head to the lake for some fun. The kids had no idea, and it was a thrilling surprise!

We stayed until dark. We couldn't get the kids out of the water. That is, the two older kids. April doesn't like water. She was content throwing the football over the side to Lamar and Bryson, safely tucked on "solid" ground.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Washington Court...AKA Cul-de-Sac of Dreams

It's no wonder we are so happily situated in our lives here in Gilbert. We live in a cul-de-sac full of caring, friendly, involved families who enjoy being part of a bigger family.

A neighborhood family.

I used to think that this is how everyone lived, but as each year passes, I realize that we truly have a slice of heaven that is rarely found anymore.

Oh sure, maybe on TV sitcoms in the 50's or 60's. Ordinary homes, neatly kept lawns, kids riding their bikes or playing soccer together without any exclusion. Parents gathered in small groups up and down the street visiting as their children play.

Sound too good to be true? Just come for a visit anytime between September and April and you will experience for yourself what I mean.

It's one thing to see it, and an entirely other thing to live it.

We are so blessed.

Back to School Block Party Bash Blowout!!!

Three of the wonderful families that live by us rented this water slide for our block party, and one of them BBQ'd Hot dogs for everyone. The rest of us brought side dishes and we were off to a great evening!

Here is B-Man going down the slide.

Elizabeth and I went down about a dozen times with every combination of friend you can think of. I think the most we had at once was 4.

Bryson calls this move "the superman"

Posing for the camera is a must amongst our kids.

Lizzie Lou and her best friend Miss Mia

April was scared of the slide, although she went 3 times! But the bubbles were a newly discovered facination thanks to the Diel family!


inevitably, a water fight ensued.

Sarah, the woman in the "pool" poured water all over Lamar as he sat politely tending his youngest daughter in the shade. He chased after her, and she ran for the slide. Without warning, he tackled her into the water! They were laughing so hard, it took them a few minutes to be able to climb out of the kiddie pool.

Once he was wet, although dressed in regular clothes from work, Lamar decided that if he couldn't beat 'em, he'd just join 'em.

A section of the spectators pre-water war!!

I don't think there was a dry person left after the evening was wrapped up. It is so great to live by adults who still know how to have fun!

Making the battle gear:

Water bombs
That's Why,

We Couldn't Be Happier!!
Right, Dear?

Couldn't Be Happier!!

This and That from A to J

So let's face it, we stink at updating our blog. We know, we try, we just don't get it done. So, here is an overview.......
April to July.

30's in full swing!
These are some of the people nearest and dearest to our hearts. Friendships like these have made our lives so enriched. Happy birthday Lamar!

Bowling Beauties!
We took the kids bowling for Lamar's B-day. Hilarious!!!

Fitness NUTS!

Two of my best friends, Alexis and Mary, decided that it would be FUN to do a mini-triathalon. They pushed for me to join, but alas swimming 1/2 mile (57 laps in the pool at our gym), and then riding a bike for 13 miles, followed by a 3 mile run was just not in the cards for me.

I think I could handle the biking and run, but drowning in Tempe Town Lake didn't sound like the way I wanted to depart from my loved ones.
(I'm not a great swimmer.)

So instead, I did some of the training with them, and our whole family went to the race to cheer them on and be supportive. It was a lot of fun!

Here are the heros Mary and Al!


Miss Elizabeth had her first dance recital. The facility where it was being held was locked and there was a huge mixup, so we ended up driving back to our stake center and having it on the stage in the cultural hall. She didn't care, she had so much fun anyway.

Again, what amazing friends, sisters really, I have!
My B-day Breakfast at Joes Farmhouse. So good....Yum!

So, on Mother's Day, Lamar makes me wear this crown. Some of you know of this infamous tradition. This year marked our 6th annual crowning.

(Luckily, I don't have to wear it to church!)

He strictly enforces the laws of the kingdom on this beloved day, and all the subjects, including the king himself, bow down to me several times during the day and tell me of their love and devotion to my honor and pleaure.

Again, HILARIOUS! It is all in good fun.

I SO love my sweetheart!!!!!

All you Thatcher viewers may recognize Bryson's Let's Play Music Teacher, Miss Crista. She is Amazing!

This is at Bryson's recital where he performed a song that he wrote himself,
entitled "My First Composition".

Hail Thatcher High, We Sing Our Praise To Thee...

This is my AMAZING bro Clinton. I love that guy!

My Grandmother and Mom.


Bryson wanted to try swim team this summer. This is at his first race, hard to see, but he is on the block ready to dive in.


Because we're,

goin' to the chapel and we're,

gonna get married!

Lamar's brother Shawn got married to Nicole in the SLT in June. It was beautiful! They are so perfect together!! Silly, Happy, Lovie, and best of all, BEST friends.

Just as it should be.

Lucheon at the in-laws. It was fabulous food, great friends and family.

Playing in Grandma and Grandpa Echols' pond/waterfall.
This is where the majority of their week long vacation was spent.

I was able to meet up with my sweet friend Cyndi from AZ,
who had moved to Utah the year before.

We took the kids to the Dinosaur Museum at Thanksgiving Point. Our kids love it there.

My two girls, with Cyndi's daughter Hayden.

In June, we also attended the baptism of our niece Shayci.......
AND, a baby blessing for our new nephew Teancum.

The Echols' get a little rowdy sometimes.
If ever you wonder where Lamar gets it.....

SUPER FUN family!

And LASTLY for the month of June:
Our annimated, amazing, Awesome, APRIL turns 2!


Much more low key,
(My favorite!)

The 24th of July Extraviganza!

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Long Awaited Disneyland Post

We went with Shannon and Ryan to Disneyland in February. It was so much fun!! We decided to leave April with my Aunt Charlene because she was only a year and a half, and would not have been much fun. We missed her so much, but it was so great to have our little "foursome" again. We enjoyed having the one on one with each of the kids.

Elizabeth didn't enjoy Splash Mountain as much as we had hoped.

However, Buzz Lightyear was a Huge hit for the whole family.

Finding Nemo...Claustrophobia or fun?.....

Just after getting off of Finding Nemo, with the Matterhorn for a perfect back drop!

My daughter had one singular goal at Disneyland...ARIEL!!...everything else was just filler until we did. Luckily we saw Ariel on the first day, so the next two days were relaxed and carefree for our little mermaid stocker.

These were the Orange Stingers at California Adventure. Working right to left is: Bryson, Abby, me, Elizabeth, and Braden. This was definately a unanimous crowd pleaser among the cousins.

Two of the most obsessed Disneyland fans I have ever met. These are the brains, (and schemes) behind every Disneyland vacation we have ever had (which would be semi-annual if they had their wish, and financing to back it up).

I love this photo of Ryan and Abby. Notice Ryan's shirt that he was modeling ever so suavely for us. It is his "Trophy Husband" t-shirt that Shannon gave him. Absolutely befitting, I have no doubt.
Here is the gang in Flick's Land. Everything was a pose!

Bryson and Lizzie wanted Mickey Ears for their keep sakes. I love it!!! What Disney-loving child doesn't need these?

Silly side-theatre at dinner.

Listening to "rock" bands playing in the backgound can inspire strange poses for photos! This was Lamar and I's Corn Dog night. You can't go to Dineyland and not eat a corn dog from the Corn Dog Cart!!

Lamar HATES the Tea Cups! Anything that spins. Normally I am right there with him, but these don't spin very fast and besides, it is part of the Disneyland experience!

I love the Chinese Lanterns at night over the Tea Cups.

I got a little bored waiting in line for Peter Pan on the last day. I guess maybe I should re-think letting Lamar choose the pics to post.

Our 6 year old photographer is a rising young artist in his own right, I am sure. I am just glad that Lamar made it in the shot (barely!)

Watching Billy Hill and the Hillbillies is a tradition for us. They are so funny!
Our third and final night. We closed the park down at midnight. The kids are such troopers to be able to keep up with Lamar! We had to keep a plentiful supply of M & M's and granola bars in our backpack to keep our energy up, but what a blast it was!