Sunday, April 10, 2011

Alyssa becomes perfect!

Alyssa got baptized a couple of months ago. I love to see my children grow in their testimonies of the gospel. We've had a lot of great spiritual discussions with Alyssa. She was a little nervous that Dad would drop her, so we had some practice sessions just in case. Of course everything went great-- he didn't drop her and she didn't drown. She just came up out of the water, perfect. :)

 Here is Dad & Alyssa, all dressed and ready to go.

 When this picture was taken, Alyssa was one of the most perfect people on earth! Not a single blemish!
Some kids after they are baptized try super hard to stay perfect and then are devastated when they make a mistake. Not Alyssa, later on during the day she happily informed me that she hadn't had to repent very much that day (just a little)! :) Way to go, Alyssa!

 Here is everyone at the baptism. It was a great service and I really felt the spirit. Alyssa is a special daughter and she has a special spirit about her. She was so happy to get baptized she wanted to go and do it again!

Here we are with Alyssa. Grandma & Grandpa Wheeler gave her the beautiful white dress. Grandma & Grandpa Smith gave her a new set of scriptures with her name on it! She treasures both!

 Here we are...the whole clan. I can't believe how fast time flies. It's pretty cliche, but I really feel like my kids are growing up right before my eyes. The years just fly by so fast and before I know it, they will be gone. :(

Here's Alyssa with both sets of Grandparents. They sure love her and we do too!

Happy Birthday Hanna!

Well, it's official...I'm the parent of a teenager. Hanna turned 13 a couple of months ago. It's actually a strange feeling because I remember turning 13 and telling myself, "Yeah, I'm finally a teenager!"

She's definitely excited about being a teenager and has this strange notion that she can do whatever she wants. Little does she know...;)

We had a birthday party for Hanna this year. She wanted to have a movie night. I was kind of stressing about it because I wanted it to be fun and appropriate without being childish. I think it turned out great.

Here's Hanna getting the snack table ready. She chose all the snacks herself. She had popcorn (of course), wedding punch, hot lime cheetos, potato chips with onion dip, snack size candy bars and chips and salsa. It was a hit! The girls plowed through them pretty quickly.

 When the kids arrived we played a celebrity game where I placed stars on their back with movie character's names (like Harry Potter) and they had to guess who they were.

Watching the movie-- Galaxy Quest

 Party Favors. Inside was microwave popcorn and a box of movie theater candy.

 After the movie we had Hanna open her presents. It was really late at night and it took a LONG time because Hanna was so tired, but her friends knew her well and gave her some great stuff. She really liked it.

Having cake and ice cream at 10:00 pm. You can only get away with that as a teenager right? ;)

The Girls (from L to R): Hannah, Hope, McKenna, Marie, Sierra, Kassandra & Hanna. I'm really glad that Hanna goes to school with such a great group of girls.

 While waiting for parents to arrive, they played Apples to Apples, one of Hanna's favorite games.

I felt like the party went really well (I worried for nothing) and Hanna had a great time. Even Kamary gave her stamp of approval saying that it was a cool party.

Grandma & Grandpa Wheeler were able to come down and be with us for Hanna's actual birthday! She was happy that they could celebrate this milestone with her-- after all, you don't become a teenager every day!

Look at all those candles! She chose to have cheesecake because she's too old for cutsie cakes.

She didn't quite get them in all one breath-- she must be getting old!

Here she is opening presents. She got an MP3 player, some CDs, bath & body stuff, a Build-a-Bear and some puzzles. She also found roses and balloons in her room when she got home from school.

 Hanna keeps asking us why we're not as excited as she is at becoming a teenager. Well, we have our reasons...but Hanna is a great kid and makes a lot of great choices. We're really happy that she is in our family...teenager or not. :)

Fun Facts

Favorite Color
It was red for years and years. Now it depends on the day. Right now she likes purple and black.

Favorite Food
Right now she's on a jalepeno and Hot Lime Cheeto kick, she also likes KFC

Favorite Movie
Her all time favorite is the Incredible Hulk, although she likes a lot of different movies

Favorite Book
She just finished Peter Pan and the Shadowthieves and is reading Guardians of Gahoole. She's likes books full of adventure.

Favorite Activity
Art and Painting. She's always looking at pictures and things that she can paint. She has to earn money for her church's Girls Camp this year and has decided to paint pictures and have a fundraiser art show. It should be great!

Favorite Sport

Favorite Song
Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson. She also likes movie sountracks.

Favorite School Subject
Art & Reading

Other activities
Going to the Zoo, Watching movies, Playing the flute. She loves to try new things. She's always looking for an adventure.

What she wants to be when she grows up
A Zookeeper or an Explorer that travels the world observing and painting animals.

Something Special about Hanna
Hanna has read the entire Book of Mormon by herself, just finished the Doctrine and Covenants and is half way through the Pearl of Great Price. She just reads a little each night and pretty soon she's read the entire thing. She's a great example. Also, as she tries to deal with her seizures she has increased her testimony in prayer, faith and patience. We sure love Hanna for all the wonderful things she brings to our family.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Adventures of Kohler the Shark Boy

Kohler came running up and enthusiastically showed us his first loose teeth! Woo Hoo. When we looked in his mouth, we got a surprise.

 He had 2 rows of teeth! His bottom teeth were very impatient and decided to come in behind. The crazy thing is that he had seen the dentist 3 times in the past 3 weeks for check-ups and to fill cavities. They never said a word. I've brushed his teeth so many times and never even noticed. What a crazy surprise! So we've been calling him Shark Boy ever since.

I'm guessing this one will need braces.

Spring Break

 We headed up north to the cold Utah weather for spring break. It had been at least 8 months since we visited family in Utah so we were very excited. It was also exciting to pull out our long sleeved shirts and pants. We're not quite ready for the Arizona summer heat and the kids were very excited to see snow.

I'm thankful for Netflix for helping to entertain the kids while I finished packing.

On our way to Grandma & Grandpa's we stopped at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. We saw a miniature replica of the Salt Lake Temple. Jason and Kamary were in heaven! They both love miniatures.  The kids loved the fountains.

 Here is proof-- Hanna and Kamary do love each other (at least sometimes).

 Brynlie loved the water and the fountain.

 It was fun to see the spring flowers just starting to peek up out of the ground.

 It was such a beautiful day and the kids really loved Temple Square. In fact Kohler announced to everyone that he loved Sundays and Temple Square. He wants to live there.

 Smelling the spring flowers.

 Hanna thought this flower smelled like Root Beer. Weird.

 After Temple Square we headed to the Museum of Church History where they had a great hands on exhibit for the kids.

 Brynlie is planting a garden.

 Kohler and Lauren are preparing a huge feast to feed the missionaries.

 Hanna loved looking at the artifacts from previous prophets. The museum had things like a lock of Brigham Young's hair, eyeglasses and special mementos.

 She really loved the replica of the angel Moroni found on top of the LDS Temples.

 Brynlie got to dress up and dance a Mexican dance.

 I've been doing a fitness challenge the past several weeks and the last week of the challenge landed during Spring Break. My final challenge was to walk a 10K. My parents were very supportive. My dad mapped it out and they both walked it with me. It ended up being 10.5K and it was a beautiful morning. I loved walking along the mountains. Thanks Mom & Dad.

After playing hard, Brynlie fell asleep. 

This is my "after" picture having finished the challenge. Overall I lost 15 lbs and these clothes I'm wearing were too tight to wear before. Even though I have more to lose, it feels good and motivates me that it can be done.

During our stay, we went to the Hill Air Force Base Museum. Here Brynlie is trying out an ejection seat from a plane.

Pilot in training.

Here is true science at work.

Alyssa looks great in her pilot hat.

 Alyssa & Lauren are trying their hand at flying a plane. It's a flight simulator so if they look out the window, they really feel like they're flying.

 Here are the kids in front of a replica of the Wright Brothers' first plane. Everyone was getting pretty grumpy so here is our grumpy picture.

And then this is supposed to be our happy picture.

I thought it was a lot of fun looking at all the planes and helicopters, although Kamary felt it was wrong for us to enjoy the museum because all of the planes were used in war. Kamary is our little tree hugger.

Here's Hanna in front of some missiles. I got this shot because now she's a teenager and emotionally like a missile (she could blow at anytime). Really, Hanna is a good teenager and pretty cooperative. She has her moments, but don't we all?

It was a great Spring Break. We all had a great time visiting family and just being together without the stresses of life.