Sunday, January 13, 2013

Happy Belated Birthday!

I'm still in catch up mode. Brynlie turned 4 in November. It was so funny because all last year her favorite number was 3. She wanted 3 cookies, or 3 scoops of ice cream. I always had to sing 3 songs at bedtime and of course we had to stand in check-out isle 3. Her favorite game was to go through the UNO cards and find all the number 3s. Well, now that she has turned 4, the number 3 is long forgotten. I was afraid she'd adopt the number 4 as a favorite, but so far we're safe. Now she gets however many scoops I want to give her and she gets 1 song for bedtime (of course her siblings also get to choose so she really hears 3-4 songs a night).

This was the year that she really understood what birthdays were all about. She was so excited!
It was such a lovely day outside so for lunch we had a picnic at the park. It was fun to get out of the house. In the evening we had a little party. It was low-key, but we still had fun.

Our sweet blue eyed Brynlie

This was her new birthday outfit. She loved the little bow on the shoulder.

Brynlie has a thing for blue kitties. So it's only natural to have a blue kitty cake for her birthday! Kamary did the decorating honors.
The Blue Kitty with her blue kitty cake.
 Blowing out the candles


It was a small party--just me and the kids. But we had fun anyway.

Of course a blue kitty cake HAS to be blue (although it turned out more green after baking). 
Present time!

Everyone gets so excited about presents. Luckily they are good at sharing.

Opening Grandma & Grandpa's gift.

Cute puppets.

I just love this 4 year old!
All about Brynlie:
Of course, as I mentioned in an earlier post, Brynlie is now Moopy, the Blue Kitty.
So I really should say...
 All about Moopy, The Blue Kitty
Favorite Food:
Favorite Song:
I Love To See The Temple
Favorite Story:
Brown Bear, Brown Bear
Favorite Scripture Story:
David and Goliath
Favorite Thing About Primary:
Throwing the Ball
Favorite Color:
Blue, of course!
Favorite TV Show:
Dora the Explorer and Diego
Favorite Movie:
Favorite Disney Princess:
Fun Things to Do:
Play Blue Kitties with Lauren, work, go to preschool, color
Something Special About Me:
Brynlie loves to sing. In fact, many times we find her running around in circles, belting out her favorite tune. While waiting in a long line at the grocery store, Brynlie brought some Christmas cheer by singing Jingle Bells at the top of her lungs. She sure won a lot of smiles.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Change is in the air!

It's been a while, a great while, since I've posted and a lot of things have changed in our family...not just the fact that I'm blogging again. ;)

Long story short...we moved to Utah.

I guess I can elaborate a little more than that! 

We were struggling financially and had tried several ways to save our home, including loan modifications, etc. When those were declined, we tried to short sell. We actually had a buyer and a broker that "had never lost a case". In the contract, the buyer would let us stay in the home and rent from them. That way we could stay where we were and have lower payments. Perfect! As far as we knew, everything was going great with the short sale. Then, in one week, the bank denied the sale, put the house up for auction and sent us an eviction notice. We had 5 days to be out. Looking back, we see that the bank didn't really want to work with us at all. Everything we tried just turned into a brick wall. They didn't sell the house at auction either, but they get more money from the government by foreclosing so they just did that instead of working with us.

Anyway, all of a sudden we had to be out...which left a door wide open. We had been pining to get out of Arizona for a while and really didn't have the money needed to rent a home (with deposits and everything). Most of our family live up in Utah and we've been away from them for a long time. After talking with several people including Jason's boss and our church leaders, we felt that we should head up to Utah. Crazy and insane, but it felt right. And it still does.

So Jason resigned from his job at University of Phoenix and we headed up to Utah. We are staying with family until Jason finds a job up here.  So now we are basically homeless and jobless, but we are VERY grateful to family for taking us in.

We started our new adventure by staying with Jason's parents in Salt Lake City. We got here in the middle of the Fall, with trees bathed in Autumn colors. It's amazing the small things you appreciate when you haven't had them for a while. Fall was very mild this year and stayed quite warm. On Halloween I took my kids trick-or-treating in a short sleeved T-shirt!  Basically it was Arizona weather in Utah. The best of both worlds. :)

So...what's a blog post without pictures? Here are some Fall/Halloween pics from this year...

Enjoying the Fall colors

Decorating Halloween Cookies
Whether coloring, painting or decorating cookies, Lauren is very focused and intense in her artwork.

Pretty Cookies by Kamary

We did Mini-Jack-o-lanterns this year.
The weather was so mild on Halloween that we decided to visit the Wheeler Historical Farm. We had a lot of fun. It was such a beautiful day!

Petting the Pigs

They loved the horses

Hanna has a way with animals. Those that normally shy away from people gravitate toward Hanna.

Lauren wanted to pet the rooster but was kind of scared too.
The goats were entertaining

There is a real Hanna smile. :)

The turkeys were pretty funny.

Brynlie trying to figure out where to go.

Watching the ducks.

The kids went on a mini hay maze. Brynlie got lost and scared. They decided they didn't want to try it again.

We also went on a wagon ride.

Everyone had a chance to milk a cow. It was a really fun experience.
Cute Brynlie

Jason & I tried it too
After the farm we went home to get ready for trick-or-treating

Alyssa was Frankie

Kamary loved her art teacher from AZ so she decided to dress up like Mrs. Miller for Halloween. :)

Here's a shot of everyone on the porch (except Kamary who didn't trick-or-treat this year).

All ready to go.

Hanna was Wonder Woman this year. She's giving her Power Girl pose. ;)

Kohler wanted to be a ninja this year. He and his cousins all had the same idea.

Brynlie has taken on a new identity in the past several months. She is Moopy the Blue Kitty. So naturally she dressed up as a blue kitty for Halloween (and every day since).

Lauren was our pretty witch princess this year.
We enjoyed spending the Halloween season with our family.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Kamary!


In our church, girls turning 12 graduate from Primary and go to a program called Young Women that is geared toward teens. Kamary has always been mature for her age and has been tired of Primary for quite a while. I think she wanted to go into Young Women when she was 9 or something. So it has been an excruciating 3 years waiting to be old enough to graduate!!

Her birthday was on a Sunday and so she spent it in Young Women. Several girls had July birthdays so we ended up having cake to celebrate. Church is always better with cake! :)

Instead of having a birthday party this year, Kamary wanted a day out with her friend. So they went to Subway for lunch and then saw The Avengers movie. After that they wanted to go to Hobby Lobby. I tell you, my daughter can definitely out-shop me!!

Kamary and her friend Kayli at Hobby Lobby.

Here is Kamary with some of her presents. She loves black and white and the zebra print looked black in the store but when we got home it turned out to be brown. Kamary said she liked it anyway.

Yes, there is a blue bowl in the picture. The blue bowl has been part of Kamary's history for almost an entire year. This past year, she has had some digestive issues with nausea and feeling sick (no, she does not have an eating disorder--everyone asks me that). So it started with feeling nauseous and having the blue bowl nearby in case she threw up (which has only happened once the entire year). Her blue bowl has taken over the role of being a security blanket. In the past few months her sickness has come and gone, but even on days when she feels great, she still wants her bowl nearby--just in case. She does leave it behind when she goes out, but when she's at home, the blue bowl is her dearest friend. :)  Dad likes to tease her and hide it, knock it out of her hand or throw it in the swimming pool. That's what dads are for.

 Opening presents

 Everyone loves opening present time. The kids get so excited to see what their sibling gets (aka--what they get to play with when their sibling is not looking)

 Kamary and her stash which includes a lot of Monster High stuff.

For Kamary's birthday cake she decided she wanted a tie dye cake. She wanted to decorate it herself.

Making tie dye frosting.

Kamary hard at work, being her extremely creative self.

Looking good. She had to fix the part I tried.

The end product.

Lauren posing with the tie dye cake.

Kamary and her cake.
Dad actually baked the cake and it was a complete hit! He added pudding here, something else there...but everyone actually ate the entire cake instead of licking off the frosting! I think Dad just nominated himself to be the official Birthday Cake Baker!

Blowing out the candles. I wanted to put on 12 candles (instead of a 1 and a 2) to see if she could blow them all out at the same time. She got pretty close.

She really had 3 days of celebrations. The outing with her friend, her actual birthday and then the following day Aunt Char, Uncle Von and her cousins came to celebrate. She chose homemade chili and cornbread for her birthday dinner. She decided that having 3 birthday celebrations were a little too much. Sometimes good things come better in small packages.

Kamary feels very mature, responsible and grown up now that she's 12, and in many ways she is.

All about Kamary

Favorite Color:
Black and White

Favorite Food:
Anything in the crock-pot
(especially Italian Chicken Pasta)

Favorite Book:
Green Angel by Alice Hoffman

Favorite Movie:
The Avengers

Favorite TV Show:

Favorite Scripture Story:
Captain Moroni and how he fortified the cities

Favorite Song:
Wasted Tears by Hailey Reinhart

Favorite Artist:
Heart or Taylor Swift

Favorite Movie Star:
Willie Garson (Mozzie on White Collar)

Reading, Writing, Drawing, Fashion Design, Recycling, Creating miniature accessories for dolls, Monster High, E-mailing and Fashion Design games on the internet 

Favorite School Subject:

Favorite thing about Young Women:
Not being in Primary

Something special about Kamary:
Kamary is a strong willed person, which is actually a good trait. She makes good choices and can do anything she puts her mind to. Once she decides to do something, she really does it!
Examples: Homework was always a fight until one day when she decided to get good grades. She's done her homework every night without me even asking. Another time, we talked about daily scripture study. She wasn't so sure about that until one day when she decided to just do it. And she hasn't missed a day in over a year.
She's a great babysitter, keeps track of her school work, does her chores and makes good choices about the books she reads, movies she watches and music she listens to. She is a great big sister, an example to her friends and a great missionary. There have been several times when she has had to stand up for her beliefs at school. She's a strong girl and we're so happy she's in our family.