Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Way Things Work

by Ella

The stars are like our blessings. God put them out to remind us of our many blessings. I thought when I was little that God lived in the moon.

Our Heavenly Father might have created the night sky to remind us that there are challenges in life. And to me, the moon represents God, with the stars representing us and our blessings. Stars also remind me of people who have died and people who are going to come.

I think that God made our earth with meaning. Every part of nature, God made to represent something.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dress Up Time

Who needs princess costumes, when you've got clean underwear?

P.S. Louisa thinks this is how babies smile. Or at least that is what she said when I showed her the pictures!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I've Been Working On...

...the recently redesigned "Bobcat Tale", Beacon Height's PTA newsletter.

It feels so good to be finished with the first issue!

Now how should I celebrate? I have a quick break before Issue #2 comes out in 2 weeks.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Back to School!

First day jitters hit momma hard, but not her big second grader! A secret: I cried a few small tears. Yep. (Then I quickly got over it and went out for a pedicure while Louisa was at a cousin playdate).

Ella loves her teacher, and says she feels a real "connection" to Mrs. Johnson. Her favorite part of the day was "when we were actually learning something, which only happened once."

By the way, according to Ella, this was "the fastest summer ever."

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Our good friend Dan Liljenquist left yesterday for a 10 day Humanitarian CHOICE expedition near Guatemala City.

Today, he was one of few survivors in a plane crash. The plane held 14 passengers. 10 died, including Dan's 4 other co-workers. Dan has leg injuries, and will be heading into surgery this afternoon.

Please join us in praying (immediately) and fasting (tomorrow, Monday, August 24th) for Dan's wellbeing: specifically that his surgery will be successful, that he will heal, and that he can be transported as soon as possible to be near family.

We pray also for those who have just experienced the great loss of their dear loved ones.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

12 Years Today!

We've reached "the perfect dozen"... a dozen years of marriage to my sweet Steve. It has been a wild ride, with lots of ups and downs (but definitely more ups!). Here is to a great day today and that great wedding day twelve years ago...and to many, many more happy years together.

Poorly scanned photo
of our wedding day:
August 23rd, 1996.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Inseparable Unity

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Oh, What a Happy Day!

August 3, 2008Ella chose the title of this post,
and determined the editing of the photo.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

We're Craving a Little Bit More of This...

You would think that 10 days in heaven would be enough... yet, we're still hungry for the Tetons.

Yellowstone Day-Trip

We spent one day of our vacation (August 3rd, 2008) with the Knights touring Yellowstone National Park, and viewed Old Faithful, the hot pots, the mud pots and the lower falls at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.
Ella and Holden enjoyed riding their make-shift teeter totter.
The kids built a "fort" in the woods at Old Faithful.
It soon transformed from the makings of a cabin into a boxing ring.
Boys will be boys!At the spectacular Falls.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Equation Equaling Complaints

Smooth Water +
Parents Who Love to Waterski +

Cute Kids Who Don't Waterski (yet) +

Same Gals Who Don't Enjoy
Swimming in Glacial Ice Water +

Or Getting their Hair Windblown

= Equals
One Day of Highly Unsuccessful (but enjoyable...especially for Ella) Fishing

Ella said she would not step foot on the boat again unless it was to do
something other than watch us waterski.
She thought it would be fun to fish, and we thought so too!

(Our bait of live nightcrawlers was eaten multiple times,
but each time the fish got away...
they were too smart for our novice skills.)

East Canyon, Saturday 08.16.08

We enjoyed a fun afternoon and evening of boating with friends on Saturday!

Louisa and Ellie had a great time playing fishy-in-the-water and fishy-out -of-the-water. * Ella did not need to get in the water to enjoy herself, she had so much fun jumping in the air when the boat went over big bumps. * Steve was our driver extraordinaire. * W&A were professional flaggers. * Emi and Louisa had a ball on the tube! * Spencer and James were naturals on the waterskis. * Baby Benjamin and his mom are all-around easy-going champs. * All the kids enjoyed tricks on the tricky self-deflating tube. * Wesley put the best water of the night to good use.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Greatest Joy

My greatest joys this summer have centered around the sweet sounds of love and laughter between two sisters.

I love that Ella and Louisa play so sweetly together. Although they are so very individual in their likes and dislikes, as well as their personalities, they laugh and create together - while enjoying almost every minute.

I am so grateful these girls have each other. I am so grateful for the opportunities we have to learn together as a family.

Allison of English Photography captured images that echo my sentiments in a recent portrait session. She is a master artist. You may view her work online at English Photo or see more from our session at her blog.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Outstanding in the Field

An idyllic camp.

Our friends, the Knights: Owen, Annette, Penelope and Holden.

The fields behind our tent cabin were a favorite place to romp. Ella and Louisa especially enjoyed spending time with the Knight boys playing "kings and queens", arranging rocks, playing house, and gathering dead branches for night-time fires.

At camp, we entertained deer at our doorstep, as well as a red fox who visited almost daily (often with his latest catch -- a squirrel -- dangling from his mouth).

One night, Emi awoke to "nature's call". In the dark, and without glasses or contact lenses, she approached the edge of our cement pad to use the "facilities". It was then that she heard a large animal just inches away in the bushes. In a panic she screamed "Animal!". However, the yell was more loud and low than her typical tone. Luckily, the noise from Emi was just enough to scare our night-time guest (one we think was a deer) away from camp.

And for the rest of the trip, whenever we viewed wildlife, each person in the family echoed the refrain: "Animal!"

Swan Lake Hike

An integral part of the annual tradition.

As you may well notice, we're getting dirtier!
Which makes the scenery all-the-more spectacular.

And last, but not least,
photos taken by Louisa.

Our Little Monkey

Louisa playing in (and on) the tent cabin.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

First Swim Meet

Swimming Breathstroke

Ella's first-ever swim meet was held this morning in Draper. We attended as a family to cheer for her as she competed in the 25 meter freestyle, backstroke and breathstroke events. Ella's best event was the breathstroke, even though she was found to be assessing the competition (daughter of a friend I grew up with) mid-swim.

It has been fun for us to find routine this summer in morning practices at Steiner, where Ella participated in the Swim-to-Win program.

After Swimming Backstroke

Ella with her friend Leah.
These two were the only girls on the "8 & Under" team.

Ella says, "Swimming in a meet made me feel like swimming is my sport. It made me like swimming even more! I hope that next summer I can swim on a team again."

Friday, August 15, 2008

Favorite Expressions

My favorite Louisa sayings:

* Last-Morrow - for yesterday
* Hold-Cupper - for cup holder
* Anybody or Anywhere - for nobody or nowhere

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Knights

We enjoyed the first few days of vacation with our neighbors and school buddies, the Knights. They were tremendous campers, and amazingly fit all their gear (including two bikes, a scooter, and a stroller, plus food and clothing) into Andy's "free-gas" company car: a sedan.

Knights, we are so glad you came! Let's hope it becomes a tradition.

P.S. We're always looking for the willing and adventurous to join us: mark your calendars for Colter Bay during the first week of August, 2009.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Family Fun

We were delighted with a quick visit from Nanna and Bumpa D. while at Colter Bay. We enjoyed lots of good food together, time on the boat, storytime, s'mores, souvenier gift purchases, another night at Leek's Pizzeria (that makes 3 times!) and lots of relaxation. Plus, they came at the tail-end of our trip and kindly enough, helped us pack up the whole tent-cabin.

We laughed when Nanna went to the communal bathroom, was recognized by 4 people, and then was unable to use the toilet...she feared others were listening.