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.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Summer Randomness

Here are some random pictures and things that happened this summer. :)

 This was Jason's Father's Day dinner--Yummy Kabobs!

For Jason's birthday Hanna drew him a picture of Hawkgirl.

Here he is opening presents. For his birthday and Father's Day he got a new camera. But I couldn't figure out how to work it and so not many birthday pictures turned out.

Here is Hawkgirl.

Lauren loves to take the camera for a spin. Here's a cute self-shot.

This was the summer of lost teeth! We called this two toothed Sunday because Kohler lost 2 teeth in one day.

Here is just one of our bountiful garden harvests. We came home with this much every week! It was a fruitful Summer. We grew onions, watermelon, cantaloupe, pumpkin, zucchini, crook neck squash, butternut squash, okra, cucumber, tomatoes, carrots and corn. Hanna and I did the garden together as part of her Personal Progress. It was a fun project to do together.

Brynlie eating a home-grown carrot.

Here is Kohler's smile with another tooth missing. In all, he lost 4 teeth this Summer.

Surprisingly, Lauren also lost a tooth this Summer. We didn't even know that her tooth was loose. But I guess they were wrestling around and pop--out comes her tooth. That's usually how my kids lose their teeth.

On the 4th of July we had a morning breakfast and water fight (no pictures, sorry) and then we came home and had a grand BBQ. This was our flag fruit pizza. Yummy!

Little Smokie loves sleeping in our bed. We walked in to find her snuggled under the covers.

Silly puppy. Now the big doggie is jealous and wants to sleep on our bed as well. Too bad, she's just too big.

At first I thought someone had drawn a mustache on Brynlie but this is a true chocolate mustache!

Hanna was busy this Summer drawing and painting pictures. This was her best work.

A close up shot. She's very proud of this one.

For the 24th of July, the Stake did a big pioneer celebration. They asked Hanna to paint a life-size buffalo for one of their games. It's not really full size because buffaloes are HUGE, but it was still really big. Everyone loved it and Hanna felt really good helping out. 

This was the room all set up. The "Pioneer Children" would come in and hunt for food. They shot the cardboard animals with Nerf guns. It was the most popular and favorite game.

Here I am with Brynlie enjoying our breakfast at the Stake Pioneer Pancake Breakfast.

There was a spot to make Indian headbands. The kids had a great time.

Another lost tooth. This time, Kohler was playing with Alyssa. He got socked in the mouth and his tooth popped out!

So now we have a vampire, snaggly toothed boy! He looks like a Jack-o-lantern! :)

 Going back a little...this is the yummy Black Forest Cherry Cake that Jason made for my birthday! It was perfect!

As a birthday present, my sister-in-law colored and cut my hair. She is so sweet. 

I didn't think I was going to get anything for my birthday, but Jason surprised me with a date night to Native New Yorker and an Ice Cream Machine. It was a great surprise.

 Here is Lauren at her preschool graduation. It was a lot of fun and now she's ready to go to Kindergarten! She couldn't be more excited!

Summer flew by, but we had fun keeping cool in the sun! (I rhymed...ha ha)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Utah Trip!

We went to Utah to visit family at the end of May. It was a great trip--not only were we happy to be with family but we also enjoyed mild weather and beautiful mountain scenery. 

We were in Utah during Memorial Day. On the Saturday before memorial day, my grandpa would go to his ancestors' graves and place flowers on them. After his death, my parents continued the tradition. They are on a mission in Canada right now so since we were in Utah, I decided to do it. I couldn't make it to all my family members' graves but I was able to decorate Grandpa's.

Grandma & Grandpa Wheeler's grave.  I have to say...I now know why Grandpa would go on Saturday. The cemetary was so crowded. We had to wait in a line to get in. It was heartening to see everyone honor their loved ones who had passed. 

Brynlie at the gravesite.

The kids in front of the grave. I think it was a good experience for them. They had a lot of questions...most of them morbid (about what their bodies looked like now, etc). ;)  That's kids for ya.

 Kamary and I. I loved the scenery with the mountains in the background.

Lauren smelling the flowers.

 Alyssa reading the monument. This monument is how we found Grandma & Grandpa's grave.

After decorating the grave, we went back to the Smith's house and had a great BBQ with Grandpa Smith's famous bleu cheese/jalepeno burgers.  We enjoyed visiting with everyone.

During dinner Hanna started having seizures so the next day we took it easy. Grandma & Grandpa took us to Dr. Suess's The Lorax and then we took a drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Here we are on a path by the river. I have really missed being close to the canyons. It was so nice to be in nature and enjoy the weather and fresh air (dust free).

 Hanna, Kamary & Alyssa playing by the river.

I used to have a lady take pictures of the kids for me. She moved and so I was just messing around to see if I could get some cute pictures of the kids that would be "wall worthy". Here is Brynlie.

 Jason rock climbing.


Kamary was due to get yearly pictures taken so I took a lot of her.

Cute smile.

This is Kamary's true laugh. So cute.

Walking on the bridge.

The next day, Hanna really wanted go to the Salt Lake City Temple. So Jason called and he and Hanna were able to perform baptisms for some family members that have passed away. It was a great experience for her.  We went to Temple Square and hung out taking pictures and enjoying the day while waiting for them to finish in the temple.

 More pictures of Kamary. She looked so pretty.

I like this one, even though her hair is blowing across her face.

She's really turning into a beautiful young woman.

Of course others wanted their pictures taken as well. Here's Kohler in true form.

Here's sweet Lauren.

I got one of the kids in front of the temple.

Lauren is being a warrior for righteousness.

We played around with forced perspective. We had a lot of fun. We had to move once in a while so others could take wedding pictures.

 After Jason and Hanna were done, we went and toured the Conference Center together. Here we are on the roof.

Here we are in the conference center. While we were here, an organist was practicing Toccatta & Fugue by Bach. It's a piece I learned this year during Halloween. I had to stay and listen to it on the big organ. You could feel the vibrations. It was so cool!

This is a pretty typical shot of us trying to get a family picture. :)

The next day we headed up to Layton to visit Jason's sister, Lynette. It was a great day. Her daughter, Rachel was graduating from Layton High School and we were able to attend. It was a lot of fun and pretty surreal seeing that I was doing the same thing 20 years ago. That time flew. In the evening we had a celebration with all types of salads to eat. It was great!

 We were able to go with Lynette and her family up the canyon to roast hot dogs and marshmallows. We love being up the canyon!

Brynlie on a rock.

Lauren by the river.

Kamary and her cousin, Marianne.

Hanna was mad that day so she refused to smile.

This is the look she gave me when I tried to make her smile for the camera.


Playing in the river. The scenery was so beautiful. I used to think that Utah was brown and ugly. I guess 9 years in Arizona makes me appreciate Utah's beauty.

Kohler and his cousin Curtis. They were inseperable while we were there. Both boys live in a family full of girls. I'm sure they are so excited to have "boy time" when they're together.

Jason by the fire.

Cathryn, Bill and Hanna hanging out.

Roasting hot dogs.

Brynlie eating yummy food.

Lauren and Brynlie climbing trees.

Kohler and Curtis

Cathryn loves the smell of campfire so she's waving her pillow in the smoke so it can smell like campfire.

We were being silly. Marianne's marshmallows kept catching on fire so we made a torch and did a pose for this year's Young Women theme...Arise and Shine Forth!

Kohler loves to collect things, especially rocks! Everyday in Kindergarten he would come home with a rock he had found in the playground. He filled this marshmallow bag full of rocks. Sadly I only let him bring one home.

Kohler showing me his favorite rock.

The main reason for going up to Utah was to see his brother, Wyatt, and his family get sealed in the temple.  It was a wonderful experience. That morning, before the ceremony, Jason and I got in a fight. I didn't want to go to a sealing with bad feelings toward my husband. How counterproductive is that? Anyway, we made up and it ended up being a very spiritual experience for me. The sealer said some words and I felt like they were directed toward me. It really was what I needed to hear.

Wyatt and Janet were so happy. They both were beaming. And when they brought in the really did feel like heaven.

 Wyatt and his family coming out of the temple. They were so happy.

Jason and I. We just celebrated 15 years of marriage.

After the ceremony we all got together for dinner (of course...what family celebration would it be without food?)

 Here is Wyatt's son, Colin, watching Hanna draw. He is a very sweet boy.

Lauren and her cousin, Madison. They were so cute together.

Kohler and Curtis. This is the formal picture.

Kohler and Curtis...silly picture (or should I say, real life picture?)

Lynette and Lizzie.

Lizzie's full name is Elizabeth Jane from Pride and Prejudice. I just LOVE that name. Usually in our house we call her by her full name, Elizabeth Jane, just because we love it so much!

Cathryn is a fashionista! I loved her outfit.

Cathryn watching Hanna draw. Cathryn and Rachel were so kind to Hanna. I really appreciated them accepting her for who she was (quirks and all).

Alyssa chillin'. She has it kind of rough. Everyone has a cousin their age except for Alyssa. She's too young to play with the teenagers and too old to play with the toddlers. Sadly, I think she kind of felt left out at times. :(

Cathryn and Lizzie.

So cute.

Here are the teenager (or pre-teen) cousins hanging out and being silly. Kaylee, Valerie, Kamary and Marianne.

Lauren and Madison are playing like sleeping (or dead) princesses. I think one is dead and one is sleeping. :)  They were in their own little make-believe world!

Our celebrations turned into a water fight.

With Jason in the middle of it all--of course!

Here is a picture that Hanna drew while on our trip.

We were so grateful to be able to go up to Utah. It was a busy but rejuvinating trip. It was great to see family and I felt like I gained better perspective on what is MOST important...FAMILY!!