Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sqeaky Clean!!! :)

The day after school started, Edd and I were working around the house and yard doing Saturday stuff. At some point, I went inside and found my kids were...


I don't think I've seen so many bubble in my life!!! They were all having so much fun! So I got some pictures and then had them hop out of the tub. They'd been in for quite a while!

What a great way to unwind after the first day of school! :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

We survived our first week of school!

Our summer was short lived...2 months after we got out for summer, it was time to start again. Of course none of us were quite ready, but at least Aimee & Mattie were excited about it!

The day after we got back from our Utah vacation, July 28th, it was time to register the kids for school. A few days later, it was time to meet the teachers!

Tues ~ August a 4th, Bethany went to her orientation, with Sue, a foreign exchange student from Spain, who lives across the street with her aunt. Bethany is officially a "SKIPPER" at Mandeville High School now! When Bethany got home from orientation, she was afraid that she was going to get lost trying to get to class the first day!

Wed ~ August 5th, the kids and I went to meet Andrew's teachers. He's got 2 this year, his homeroom teacher is Mrs Peschlow and his math & science teacher is Mrs Rutledge. Andrew was glad that his rooms were down the first hallway! Andrew is an "EAGLE" at Madisonville Jr High now!

Thursday ~ August 6th, Aimee and Mattie and I went to check out Madisonville Elementary. Bethany was watching the boys for me! YEAH! :) Their mascot is the MINNOW!

Mattie's teacher is Mrs Hanagriff! She is a very nice teacher!

Madisonville Elementary is made up of about 6 different building areas! Mattie's building is in one corner and Aimee's is across the a brand new portable room. As we walked over to Aimee's room, we ended up joining 3 other kids and they all ended up sitting at the same table with Aimee! Aimee's teacher is Mrs Dronet. She is super nice!

August 7th ~ The 1st Day of School!

After being able to sleep in all summer long, our first day of school started super early! This is Bethany's freshman year of high school and first year of seminary!!!

She was out the door on her way by 5:45. Aimee, Mattie & Andrew were up at 6!

Edd was able to say good-bye to Bethany when she left for seminary, then he was on his way to work. He usually leaves around 6am each day.

Edd had just gotten back the night before from a business trip to Mexico City. So he missed some of the back to school jitters, but we filled him in as well as we could!

A few minutes after 6, Andrew, Aimee, & Mattie all emerged from their rooms all dressed in their school uniforms. Andrew was not happy at all. He is very particular about the clothes he likes to wear and uniforms are not included!!! But he did smile for me! :)

Aimee and Mattie were both nervous and excited for their first day!

Aimee requested eggs and bacon for breakfast so we had a yummy breakfast!

We had just a few minutes to get some pictures...

When it was time to go out to meet the bus, Thomas came along. He couldn't understand why he couldn't go on the bus. He kept insisting that he was big enough!!!

The nice thing about our new neighborhood is that the bus comes right to our driveway! Aimee & Mattie leave first. Their bus comes at 7am! Mattie was so excited to go, that I barely got a picture before she was all the way on the bus!

After the girls left, Andrew & Thomas goofed off on the driveway until Andrew's bus came. We were supposed to be out waiting at 7:15, but Andrew's bus didn't show up until almost 7:40! Once the first day wrinkles were smoothed out, his bus comes at 7:25.

After the kids leave, Thomas and I usually take Missy for a walk around the neighborhood, if we don't have to rush off to do something. Sometimes we see the Bishop's wife walking. They live in the neighborhood across Brewster Road from ours. Her neighborhood only has 3 houses. Ours has a big loop that is about a mile long so she comes over her to walk.

When all the kids got home, Bethany informed us of what she learned at school! "If you live in a neighborhood that is close by you are close neighbors!" So the Bishop's family are almost next door neighbors! The have a daughter, Amber, who is a year older than Bethany.

Bethany and Amber do a lot together! We take turns driving each week to Seminary, they ride the bus home from school together, and spend almost every afternoon together! Sometimes, Amber will come over and Bethany will run around the neighborhood together. When they get done, the hop into toe pool to cool off.

I'm glad that Bethany has found someone to hang out with. B also does stuff with Sue, the foreign exchange student from Spain who lives across the street from us. Last night, it's August 20th now, Bethany & Amber invited Sue to go to YW with them! They played water softball and Sue had a really good time!

The rest of the kids have made a few friend and are adjusting finally to school! The all have a long bus ride home from school. Bethany gets home first at about 3:17, then Aimee & Mattie at around 3:35. Andrew gets home a little after 4pm. Sometimes, Mattie says that she falls asleep on her ride home! I think their bus ride is the longest, about an hour long. Edd went to Open House for Mattie Tues night and reported that they had over 400 card in the car line that day...they've got a lot of kids! They are encouraging folks to let the kids take the bus!!!

Thomas and I are adjusting too. Thomas misses the kids and wants me to play with him all day long! I miss the kids too! Well, we've almost got two weeks of school under our is starting to feel normal again, can't wait for FRIDAY!!! :)
For those who want to see my post about our vacation, it is under the post about Thomas or can be found on the right hand side. :)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Life according to my 3 year old~at least for tonight!

So I'm sitting at the computer trying to work on my vacation blog entry when Thomas comes up to me...each kid had come at least once with one reason or another why they couldn't go to bed!

Thomas said, "Give me some scgoose bumps!" So we went over to the couch and snuggled up. While I gave him some goose bumps this is how our conversation went...

THOMAS: I need something to chew with Andrew. (That's what it sounded like to me.)

ME: Like what? Some gum?

THOMAS: No! Like a GUN! So I can shoot bullets at him!!!

ME: Ohhh!

Andrew has been shooting everyone with his nerf guns all summer long!

THOMAS: What's in grass?

ME: Grass, dirt, bugs...

THOMAS interrupts: NO!! FROGS!!! Bugs wive up in the sky! They fly up and dey wive dere. As Thomas moves his hand up into the air and waves his fingers!

THOMAS again: Bugs are too big to wive in the grass!

Lately we've found some HUGE grasshoppers that are as big as the palm of my hand!!!

This is a grasshopper that Thomas found for me in our backyard before we left for Utah! And I thought the bugs in TEXAS were BIG!!! WOW!!!


THOMAS: The river is getting wittle! The water will go away!

He and Andrew made a river out under the tree...they connected one big hole in the dirt with another hole, thus a wittle river! :) It's rained here nearly every day since we've been home so there is plenty of mud and water around!


THOMAS: We saw a wizard. And den we chased it. And den it knocked the house. And den a toad was under der!!!

Some time, today maybe, I guess Thomas (and Andrew ?) saw a lizard and chased it. I guess the lizard bumped the bird house we have outside under the big oak where the kids like to play. Under the birdhouse there must have been a toad hiding!

I know I'm forgetting a few of the details here and there but this is the jist of it! :)

Some other funny things Thomas has said this weekend:

"He's still real!!!" ~ The frog/toad is still alive!!! :)

"It's raining the wrong way!" ~ It was raining out our front door, but not out our back door. So Thomas opened the backdoor and went out to play! :)

So I wonder what else goes on in Thomas' little head all day long??? Pretty entertaining, that's for sure!!! :)

This is how I left him, except he was still awake. I used the old trick, "Gotta go Potty" to get away. If I hadn't, I'd probably be still giving him scgoose bumps!!!

Oh, when he came downstairs and asked me to give him "scgoose bumps," he reported to me:

"Aimee calls them 'scratch bumps'!"

Probably because instead of just doing goose bumps the whole time you have to stop and scratch too! Hmmm, maybe that's where Thomas gets the "SC" for his "scgoose bumps"???

Well, it's getting late and the vacation entry will have to wait! Maybe I'll get it done tomorrow!

Do you believe in Sasquatch?

Our family vacation adventure started out Tuesday, July 21st, around 3:30! We were all packed up and heading back to Houston! Poor Bethany had only been home for less that a whole week before she had to pack again!!! She wasn't very excited. Aimee said, "Bethany WAS excited to live out of a suitcase again!"

About half way through Louisiana, it started to rain! Aimee and I had talked about this earlier! We decided that the rain was Louisiana crying because we were leaving, since it always seems to rain when we leave Louisiana! A couple hours away from Houston, Edd needed a quick reminder why we were driving to Houston to fly to SLC...$$$$!! Tickets from New Orleans were almost twice as expensive!!!

Once in Houston, we spent the night at Dan & Melissa's house. By the time we arrived, George, Ben & Henry were asleep. Dan was in Brazil on business. So we shared some ice cream with Melissa, then it was off to bed. In the morning, the boys were excited to see all the kids! :) We ate some yummy cereal from the mini boxes, then out the door at 7:15am and off to the airport!

Here are the kids waiting to board the plane.

Bethany made some last minute adjustments to her suitcase!

While waiting at the gate, we joined up with the Knights!!!

Brooke, Cheney, Raegan & Amy were on our same flight up to Utah! :)

Thomas and Mattie waiting for take off! :) We sat in the very last row of the airplane and ended up sitting across the isle from the Knight girls! We had a good flight! Mattie and Thomas loved looking out the window at the clouds, but that only lasted for a few minutes. They entertained themselves pretty well the rest of the trip. Of course the juice and pretzels were a hit, especially when we got extra pretzels! :) Thomas and the Knights had fun goofing off together while we were waiting to get off the plane!

Finally, after some lunch, we were headed to the dinosaur park in Ogden! Thomas was so excited! We quickly walked through the bone museum, then headed outside where the lifesize dinos were! Thomas thought they were AWESOME!!! The first dinos we saw were the T-rex and the "fairasalaphus" (Parasaurlophus) carcus.

While we were at the dino dig area, Thomas heard a dinosaur growl~it was so fun to see his expression!

What was that???

A dinosaur???

That was the end of the dino we went on the dino hunt! The kids thought this dino was pretty scarry looking!

Thomas didn't say a whole lot as he looked at all the dinosaurs but you could tell so excited to see them! I don't know if he was scared of them, he did take my hand a few times though! After some kid told Thomas that the dinosaurs weren't real,

Thomas really liked the fighting dinosaurs!
After seeing all the dinosaurs, we stopped to play at the playground for a little while.
Thomas decided that T-Rex was his favorite and couldn't wait to find him again! Back on the hunt for T-Rex! Thomas was so excited to see T-Rex and "Fairasalaphus"again! Wow!!! Those dinos were really cool!

Our next stop: Grandma & Grandpa's house!
Grandma had a big welcome sign on the door waiting for us!
The kids had fun playing in the yard. Thomas had the most fun, I think with Grandpa's water hose! :) He got a little surprise when the water splashed him on the head though!! He quickly recovered and then he was after me!!!
Later on, we went over to meet the newest Cutler girl cousin ~ little Kate Mackenzie! What a cutie she is!!! Thomas loved feeling her head and the girls could hardly wait for their next turn to hold Kate! :)

Kate and her mom & dad (Tarina & Chris) took us on a tour of their new house, which they are remodeling! It's a cute house with a great backyard!
While we were there, Tarina told us how their to do list included removing the dead animal from their roof. Bethany's curiostiy got the best of her! She climbed up to inspect the "dead animal"with a stick!
Bethany knocked it down and to our surpise, it was just a sunbaked teddy bear!!!

After dinner, Edd, Bethany and I snuck away to catch some pictures of the sunset! It was fun to be back in the valley and watch all the lights start to twinkle as it got dark ~ one of my favorite things to before I moved away! We drove up into "The Cove" on Mt Olympus! The cool mountain air was so refreshing, but the view was AWESOME!

Our Cabin Adventures:

We got to "Gradpa's Cabin" Thursday around lunchtime. As soon as they could, the kids went down to the river and started throwing rocks in. Andrew even got a few rocks to skip across!
When I was a kid, I loved throwing rocks into the river too! I tried skipping them across, but couldn't get them to go very far.

Andrew of course wanted to go fishing ASAP, but after throwing rocks into the river water, there would be no river fishing.
So after dinner, we headed up to the Smith and Morehouse reservior to fish. Andrew has his own special technique for catching fish...

CRUISE CONTROL!!! After setting the fishing poles in the rocks, Andrew and Mattie started walking toward me. I told them they needed to go back and take care of their poles. Andrew insisted that he knew what he was doing and that he always catches a fish using this method! I was a little skeptical. Andrew & Mattie turned around and walked back to their poles. Sure enough, by the time they got back (no more than 2 minutes later) they had caught a fish!!!
The next night, Andrew and Aimee were lucky enough to catch the same fish at the same time!!! "How did that happen???" Here's Bethany's report:
Andrew had set his pole up in the rocks, cruise control style of course, and then did the same for Aimee just a few feet away. They weren't paying attention to their lines, but Bethany was! She saw Andrew's bobber go down, then Aimee's bobber went down, then Andrew's again, then Aimee's again!!! By this time, Bethany alerted Aimee and Andrew to the situation. The quickly pulled their lines in. To everyone's surprise, they had both hooked the same fish!!!
Here is their fish with the worm still wiggling inside!

This is a picture of the fish that Mattie & I caught the traditional way while all the commotion was going on with Andrew & Aimee's fish!
It wouldn't be a family vacation without a family challenge! Our first afternoon at the cabin Edd issued his challenge: Lay down in the river and get completely wet!
Andrew was the first to try it and went all the way under. He was followed by Mattie who got mostly under. Thomas jumped in right after and only got half way wet! Aimee and Bethany hesitated for quite a while.
Finally, Aimee dipped in. She only got her front 1/2 wet because the water was so cold!!! Bethany stalled and stalled. She ended up sitting in the water for awhile, then dunked herself.
Friday Andrew issued the sibling challenge: cross the river to the other bank! Andrew went first and almost fell in! When he reached the swift moving water, he wasn't prepared for how fast it was moving! He caught his balance at the last second and made it across without getting wet. Mattie went next, she wasn't as lucky. The swift current knocked her down. Luckily, Bethany came to the rescue with a BIG STICK! B helped Aimee and Mattie across to the other bank. Meanwhile, Thomas is standing on the bank begging me saying that he can do it and that he is BIG!!! Thomas was so heartbroken that I wouldn't let him try.
Andrew and Abinidi (Lily's son) built this "bridge" for Thomas so he could cross the river. It only went half way, but that was good enough for Thomas!
Saturday morning while we were fishing at the reservior we saw a bunch of kids swimming in the water. Andrew and Abinidi couldn't resist!
Andrew and Abinidi had their own water challenge: jump into the reservior and swim back to shore! The were both surpised at how cold the water was, but they both made it back to shore!
Playing with cousins! After 14 long years, Bethany finally has some Cutler cousins to play with! The girls loved hanging out with Kate and Tarina!
The kids liked hanging out with Abinidi too! Andrew met Abinidi last summer at Frank & Lily's wedding. The rest of the kids met him when he arrived at the cabin! In this picture they are helping Abinidi collect spiders!
Andrew and Abinidi really hit it off and hung out together most of the time. They even camped out together in one of the tents. Chris, Tarina and Kate slept next door to them in the big tent with the rest of our girls. The first night out in the tents, there was some sort of disturbance near the big tent. Was it the boys or was it Sasquatch???
Our first night at the cabin, we'd been watching "Happy Feet." All of the sudden, Aimee got freaked out and started crying! She said she'd seen something dark and furry walk past the window of the cabin. She said that the head didn't have any ears that stuck out, like a bear. WEIRD!!! Was it Sasquatch???
When we first arrived at the cabin, Edd asked the kids to be aware of their surroundings and see if they could find different kinds of wildlife! We even had points for different things like:
birds 1pt
rodents 3pts
fish 10pts
deer/snake 20pts
bat/owl 25pts
beavers 40 pts
moose 50 pts
If you saw a bear or a mountain lion you were the big winner!!! Should we include Sasquatch???
If you shared your find with others you received a bonus of 3 pts/animal.
One of our most memorable nature moments was when we were all out in the Aspen trees playing. Some of us were in the hammock swinging and singing, others just goofing off. Off in the distance I saw a deer. To our amazement, the deer kept coming closer and closet to us!!! To my amazement, the kids all quieted down and just started to watch the deer!Pretty soon it was about 30 feet away from us before it ran off!
Playing by the brook!
Friday afternoon, while we waited for everyone to arrive at the cabin, Andrew and Thomas had tinfoil boat races in the brook, a.k.a. Thomas' little river. The kids loved playing over in the Aspen trees when they weren't down at the river. They loved climbing the trees and swinging in the hammock! Thomas loved running bare foot through the water in the brook and playing on the little bridge! :)
The weather!
It was so nice to be in the mountains and enjoy the cool air! Oh, it was almost like Heaven! :) It was so fun to feel the breeze and watch it make the aspen leaves shimmer! We were even treated with a few summer shower and some hail! It's so fun to hear the rain on the metal roof of the cabin! :)
Fishing with the uncles!
The kids love having Frank & Chris to fish with! Andrew and Bethany got a special fishing treat...a fly fishing demo! Frank and Chris showed them how to cast while they were at the cabin, then Chris, Bethany, & Andrew went to the river. Unfortunately, the fish weren't biting!

Hanging out with Grandma & Grandpa Cutler!
The kids enjoyed hearing Grandpa's stories while he pushed them in the hammock. They also had fun hanging out with him at the reservior when they weren't fishing!
Grandma was able to spend some one on one time with Thomas! She read him his favorite dinosaur stories. The best part was being able to hold him while he slept! :)
Dinner at the Diner!
Saturday night, we all drove down the canyon into Oakley where Grandma treated us all to a yummy dinner at the diner!!! :) Thank You!!! :)
Family Time!
The best part of the whole trip was being able to spend time with the family! It was so fun to watch the kids play! It was so nice to just relax and not have anywhere to be! We had a great vacation!!! :)