Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I enjoy a good laugh!

Last July we had family pictures done.
As I was perusing them I found this one.
I think it's my favorite.
Mostly because of the memories involved.
I especially love Lani's face here, shocked yet again at her wonderful and funny daughter-in-laws!

I miss laughing with all you girls.
But I laughed with you tonight as I saw this!
Thanks for the laugh.


I often get asked if these two are twins?
I can't think of two kids who are more different than these.
They are different in every way.
Different eyes.
Different sizes.
Different ages.
Different attitudes.
Different deameanors.
Different interests.

But they do share the same last name.
And the same adoring parents.


Remember this girl?

We're working on a few things.
Taking away the sippy cup with milk - except for nap time and bed time.
One day down and already improvements.
The whining has decreased a little bit.
Just a little bit.
But every bit helps my sanity.
Or what's left of it.
And meal times have been so much better because she EATS!
Give me a week or two.
Then on to potty training!?!?

Oh, and she is starting to like her daddy more - but still claims to like mom most.
How is that possible?
I'm the only one who disciplines her - others are wrapped around her little fingers.


I just can't get over those freckles!
They are just so endearing to me.
As is this boy.
Connor is a sweet boy.
He tears up easily when others feelings are hurt.
He is thoughtful.
After I had to buy lacrosse equipment he felt badly that it cost so much.
So he brought me his money he has been saving to help off set the cost.
Sniff ...
One day a silly old girl will come and steal him from me.
Probably because of all his charm.
But I think the brown eyes might have something to do with it.
And of course,
the freckles!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pinewood Derby 2011

Connor was so excited to participate.
He loved making his car - from the cutting, sanding, painting, even putting the wheels on.
We were so proud of him.
More importantly he was proud of himself and his car.
He didn't win a single race.
But his cute face wore a smile all night long.
Then I was REALLY proud of him.

I LOVE this boy!

Beautiful SPRING!

We live in a beautiful place.
Just look ...

Does it get any better than this?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

BYU across the nation ...

Sorry for the poor quality phone picture - but hey, it's game day, we are excited!!
Everyone has on their BYU shirts.
BYU Mint Brownies just waiting to be consumed.
Now, on to victory!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A reminder to myself ...

I love this little girl.
But she has been hard to deal with lately.
Continuous whining.
Throwing fits.
Temper tantrums.
Complete and utter meltdowns.
Screaming fits of rage.
Ultimate stubbornness!
I don't even know where to start.

 Terrible two's?
I don't think so.
I think she is just so spoiled and stubborn.
Emotional basket case.
 How dare I let her sippy cup be empty.
Or her purse zipper get stuck.
It's the end of the world to be told NO.
Even in the most gentle terms.
 I think she wants to ensure her station at the end of the family.
She wants to make sure that she can and will always be the baby.
She wants to break me down and bend my will to hers.
I've been on the brink of just that so very many times.
But it turns out, I'm a pretty stubborn old girl myself.
And that may just be the only thing that will save her from herself.
But then I pull out the camera ...
And her entire demeanor changes.
She's an entirely different animal.
I think I'll attach it to me permanently.
Because I like this little girl so much better.

Can a two year old be bi-polar?

Air and Space Museum - DC

We headed back into DC and took the kids to the Air and Space Museum in the city.
We really enjoyed this one, with so many hands on exhibits for the kids to play with and learn, it was an instant winner and their favorite museum so far.
The super mega sized McDonald's located inside might have swayed them a bit.

 McCall even got in on the activities once she stopped her incessant whining and crying.
The girl may end up driving me crazy at a quicker pace than I was already headed.

 Tate read just about every thing he could at the museum and patiently waited in line to participate in anything he was allowed to.
He loves learning.
I love that he loves learning.

 The space exhibit was ultra cool for these kids.
 But the infrared images are what stole their attention for the longest.
The stood in front of this laughing and gawking in amazement.
It was fun.
Gage was so enthralled but found himself at the back of the pack.
So he just climbed into someone body's stroller to get a better look.
He was mortified when he found out by a rather brusque father "asking" him to GET OUT!
First time I've seen that kids speechless!
It was a great time had by all.
We will definitely be returning back to this one.
The boys were sad to leave.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The downside to moving ...

The downside to moving is leaving so much behind.
Like little bits of your heart ...
Pieces of your past...
Wonderful people.
I miss you.

But what I could really use most is this ...

  A sister.
Or two.

A GREAT friend.

So what do you say girls?
Want to come visit me?
I promise to be fun.

***I would also be open to a brother, father, in-laws, nephews, nieces ...
Blog stalkers ... do you exist?
Any old familiar face :)
Love to you all.


Meet my mom.
AKA Gage's "Fancy Grandma"

We were at the elementary school tonight for a performance by Connor's class.
It was so much fun.
The music was fabulous.
The kids did  a great job.

But in our section of the bleachers, it was Gage who stole the show.
Not surprising to us.
He found us seats by our new neighbors who have kids his age.
He settled right in.

Until the music started.
Then it was all dancing.
Slick moves were shown off.
More people were watching Gage than the six 3rd grade classes.
Several admiring fans asked Gage, "where did you learn all those cool dance moves?"
His answer ....
"My FANCY Grandma, Grandma Gulbranson!"


This boy is nothing if not LOYAL!
He declared his undying love for this little beauty ... 2 years ago!

And he's not about to change his mind.
Time and distance will not deter him.
Other little vixens will not sway him.
He is going to marry Marin if it's the last thing he does.
He has decided on the location, even found a dress for her this past week.
They are going to have two kids.

Today his love was put to the test.
We hosted a play day at our house and there were some cute little girls there.
Gage found his new little friend Eva and grabbed her by the hand.
Asked her on a date to the hammock in the backyard.
And swung there for quite some time, chatting and laughing.
I just had to know what was being said.

They were playing pretend.
They were on a date.
Eva was pretending to be Marin, at Gage's request.
My heart melted.
I love loyalty.
I love Gage.
The two go together.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Helping Japan

I've thought a lot over the past several days of how I can help those in Japan the best.
Obviously I can't send food and water and leave my family to head over there.
But I can donate funds to an organization that I have often donated to.
100% of donations go directly to fund relief efforts in Japan.

Any donation helps.
Through our gifts others can be helped.
I would urge each of you to donate in some way to relief efforts.
And of course keep the people and government of Japan in your prayers.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Looking forward to ...

There are a few things we are looking forward to on hot summer nights here.
Oh the things we are going to learn.
Fireflies in the summer.

The sound of bull frogs at night.
There are also some things we are not looking forward to:
1. The heat
2. The humidity
3. Poison Ivy
4. Ticks

But you take the good with the bad. 

Senate and Capitol Tour

We took a day off of school to take the kids in to DC to get a tour of the Senate office and the Capitol.
I thought it was a good reason to miss.
They were so excited to finally see where Dad works.
But they were more excited to have the chance to ride the underground train from the Senate Offices to the Capitol.
Does it get any better than that?
McCall paid no attention to the tour, just the camera.

We joined the Elders on a tour - so fun to see Elder Davie from South Jordan!
The boys enjoyed seeing the cornerstone of the building laid by
George Washington himself.
McCall didn't care at all about the cornerstone, but she saw a photo op.
Gage got tired of the tour and joined the posing.

Connor and Tate in the old Supreme Court Chamber.
They loved all the facts and history.
Mostly because it passes off Cub Scout requirements!

McCall outside the Old Supreme Court Chamber.

We were able to find both statues donated by Utah - good old Brigham Young
 and Farnsworth (inventor of the television).

We had to get some pictures with Elder Davie to send home to his mother!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

This one's for the boys!

We made it to the NRA (National Rifle Association) Museum.
The boys were super excited.
What is more exciting to boys than guns?
Gage was a little unimpressed at first.
He took the first half an hour to find everyone in the museum to tell them that his Grandpa had way more guns than this museum. And his Grandpa had shot every animal in the world, except maybe an elephant.
He's not shy, and he's very proud of his Grandpa!
McCall wasn't all that interested in this particular museum.
But she was happy with her sippy cup, blankie and princess book!

The boys were literally so enthralled that they had hands and noses pressed up against the glass!
Next time I will be bringing Windex and paper towel.
Not sure the Gatling Gun exhibit will ever be the same.

This was one of my favorites - the vampire gun, complete with wooden stake.

Didn't every child want one of these as a kid?
The "Original Red Rider"

The boys with John Wayne.
They posed for the picture, then asked me,
"Who is John Wayne Mom?"
I was shocked and dismayed!

I thought this might be a craft my Dad could get into.
Art by shooting at things.

After seeing her brothers getting their picture with the cowboy - McCall had to as well.
I'm hoping this post will encourage my father and brothers to come visit.
This really was a very cool museum with guns from 1600 clear to present day.
So interesting!
And the life size statue of Charlton Heston isn't bad to look at either.