Saturday, August 28, 2010

Christmas in AUGUST

Christmas in August...Once upon a time, a couple of years ago, a little boy got a remote control airplane for Christmas! He was so excited!!!

Unfortunately, almost before it got off the ground for the first time, it crashed into the pavement, breaking the motor.

Luckily, we were able to locate a new motor...only problem was we didn't have any elves to help us install the motor!

FINALLY, Edd re-located the motor! A huge accomplishment since when we moved and the new motor was packed away by the moves in a totally random box. A couple of Saturdays ago, he and Andrew took the airplane apart and were able to install the new motor!

At last, Andrew was able to fly his airplane!!! Best part is now he can fly it in his own huge backyard!!! Before we moved he and Edd had to go to the school playground to have enough room to fly it around.
Andrew was so excited!!! He said it was his best day ever!!! :) He flew it over and over and over again! Thomas came out to watch too!
They probably would've stayed outside all day long flying the plane, but after about 30 minutes, they were grounded by rain. An afternoon well spent! :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

R U A Louisi-ALIEN?

Well, all good things must come to an end...and such is true with summer. Our last week of summer was spent getting ready for school. The most exciting part was "Meet and Greet!" Aimee and Mattie were the only ones who got to meet their teachers this year...


Mattie is in 2nd grade now and her teacher is Ms Cyprian!

Ms C yprian seems to be a very fun teacher. Mattie was hoping that she would get Ms Cyprian so she was very happy!


Aimee is in 4th grade now and has 2 teachers!

This is Aimee with Mrs Danenhauer, who teaches Aimee in the morning. Mrs D teaches Language Arts, Social Studies, etc.

This is Aimee with her other teacher, Mrs Arroyo who teaches Math and Science, etc in the afternoon. Aimee was excited because one of her buddies from last, Ainsley, is in her class this year! :)


Our first school morning started really early!!! Bethany had to leave for Early Morning Seminary at 5:40am! So here she is a few minutes before she left:

Bethany is a sophomore this year at MANDEVILLE HIGH SCHOOL! Bethany is lucky and doesn't have to wear uniforms to school. :)

Seminary ends at 6:50. Bethany gets a ride to the high school with the kids that go to her high school. I think there are 6 of them that go together to school...5 girls and 1 boy.

High school starts around 7:30 am and gets out at 2:36 pm. Bethany rides the bus home and would get home around 3:12 pm but her bus route just changed. Instead of being one of the first stops, she is one of the last now. She gets home at more like 3:20 pm.

Mattie was next to leave. We went outside around 6:45, just so we wouldn't miss the bus. Mattie's school colors are navy and white. Mattie decided that white was the color for the day! They have to wear khacki on bottom.

One of the nice things about being up so early is we get to see beautiful sunrises! This is what it looked like when Mattie was waiting for her bus to come!

Here is Mattie waiting for her bus to come! We didn't have to wait long. The bus came at about 7:03. The bus usually comes now around 6:53. Mattie's school starts around 7:30 am. She gets back on the bus around 2:10 and doesn't get home until around 3:45 pm!

Poor Thomas wasn't used to getting up this early! So he slept through Mattie leaving. He woke up just in time to say good-bye to Andrew and Aimee!
Here are Andrew and Aimee! All ready to head out the door! Their school colors are Yellow and Black. So they can wear yellow or white polos and khacki on the bottom.
Aimee is starting school over at the junior high this year! They have 4-8 at the junior high. Andrew is starting 6th grade, which is officially Junior High!

We went out to wait for their bus around 7:15. Look how beautiful the sky was by then! :)
To pass the time, Andrew practiced his pogo stick! Aimee decided to borrow my backpack for the day. We ordered her a new one, but it didn't arrive till Aimee was at her first day of school. So she had it for her 2nd day of school. It is a cute backpack with like a Hawaiian print that is pink and navy!

We ended up waiting quite a while for their bus to show up!!!
Bella even came out to wait with the kids! :) She got all cozy with Andrew for a few minutes!!!
Bella curled up next to Andrew's arm! She likes sleeping with Andrew at night sometimes!

After about 20 minutes of waiting, Andrew decided to climb up on his lookout point to check out things...
Finally, Mr Greg ~ the bus driver started around our corner! It was almost 7:50!!! Guess the bus route really changed this year! He used to come around 7:20-7:25. Good thing their school doesn't start until 8:31 am! Andrew and Aimee get out of school at 3:31 pm. They ride the bus home too. Their bus drops them off at around 4:10 pm.
Even though it was only August 9th, as I walked back into the house after Andrew and Aimee got on the bus, I found these two leaves on the grass!!! Wow, guess the trees are getting tired of summer too! Mabye FALL will come early this year?!?

Our second week of school had its ups and downs. It was a little easier to get up but we had a lost homework folder and a missed bus...not in the same day either.

Saturday, Andrew and Aimee were in on my bed and we were talking about how school is going. The kids were so glad that they aren't the new kids anymore! Then we got talking about how someone asked Aimee why she doesn't talk like she moved her from Texas. Which lead to what you are called when you live in Louisiana.

If you are from Utah you are a Utahn, if you are from Texas you are a Texan. If you are from Houston you are a Houstonian. So if you are from Louisiana you are a Louisi....Aimee had a hard time saying Louisianan...sounded more like Louisi-ALIEN! SO we decided that we liked Louisi-ALIEN!!!

We live in Louisiana, but we weren't born here. We love living here, we love the food, we love the people, we love everything, pretty much, about Louisiana, but we definitely are not Louisianan. Guess we are definitely Louisi-ALIEN!! :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cousins + Mountains = GOOD TIMES! :)

6/27 ~ Sunday

We made it!!! At last we were finally freed from the van!!!!!! :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

We were greeted by a bunch of yellow ribbons, signs, and lots of hugs and kisses! :) Tarina and Chris were the first to greet us at Grandma and Grandpa Cutler's house. Grandma, Uncle Frank, Aunt Lily, Aunt Carlynne, and Grandpa were eagerly waiting for us inside! Little Kate was taking a nap when we arrived, but woke up soon after. She wasn't sure she so much attentions and was more than willing to stay in the safety of Grandma's arms!

Did we look that scarry after sitting in the van for 2 days straight???
It didn't take long for Kate to warm up to the kids though! Andrew became Kate's special "eye ya" or something sweet like that! :)
Aunt Carlynne, my little sis, flew out from NYC so she could play with us too!!! We celebrated her birhtday, just a few days late. Her b-day was June 23rd. Carlynne let Mattie pick out which present she'd open next! :) Did someone say presents??? We had a few belated birthday presents for Kate as well!!! She turned 1 back in April. Check out all those Mardi Gras beads!!! Kate was in HEAVEN!!!! She loves necklaces...what girl doesn't??? We also gave her a PINK PRINCESS CELL PHONE...which of course was also a hit! :)
6/28 ~ Monday

Edd and I took our kids up to Ogden to see the Dinosaur Park. Aunt Carlynne came along too! Thomas was so excited to see all the dinosaurs again!!! It was so much fun to watch Thomas and his incredible excitement for all things dino!!! :)
Thomas was SUPER EXCITED to see a volcano!!! Every now and then, you could hear it rumble! :)
Thomas had so much fun running around, checking out all the dinosaurs, digging for bones, and hunting for a special treasure! He crashed on our way back to Grandma's house and slept on the couch for a few hours! :)
Mattie and Kate had fun getting to know each other! Kate had fun doing her tricks for the kids! One of her favorites was to fall onto the floor, which would make the kids laugh! :)
Aimee and Kate became good buddies too! :) It didn't take long for Kate and the kids to be nearly inseperable! :)
Monday night, we went to visit my Aunt Joann. She was excited to see us! It was fun to see Aunt Joann in her new condo and get caught up on things! :)
Next stop, we went around the corner, literally, to visit Uncle Harold and Aunt Patsy! We had a good visit with them as well! It was fun to hear what was happening with their family.
As we were leaving, Uncle Harold gave us the keys to the cabin and told us to watch out for bears and such. Ohhhh, that 's just what Thomas would love to hear!!! Before we left on our trip, Thomas would day-dream of seeing bears in the mountains!!!
After visiting everyone, Chris and Tarina took us to the "park" (the school playgrouond) down the street from their house so we could play for awhile! Just as it was getting dark, there was a motorcycle that revved, but Thomas thought it was a T-REX we had to pack up and head home!!! Which was ok since it was almost 10pm Utah time/11pm Louisiana time! :)

6/29-7/1 ~ Tuesday - Thursday

Tuesday morning we got all packed up again and headed up to Grandpa's cabin! We were all so excited to get there! It was so nice to be back at the cabin again! :)

Edd took the kids fishing while Carlynne and I went back down the canyon to get some worms and a few things that we'd forgotten. While we were gone, Edd and the kids hit the fishing jackpot!!! They were catcing fish almost as fast as they could cast out their line! Even Edd caught a fish!!! :)

Here's a picture of the kids after on of our fishing breaks.... It was refreshing to have a good fishing trip!!! Most the time, in years past, we haven't been blessed with fisherman's luck. This year, the fisherman's luck was shining brightly on us! :)

Tuesday night, as it was getting dark, we heard a knock on the cabin door!!!


SURPRISE!!!! It was Kate, Chris and Tarina!!! :) They had decided to take a couple of days off and come join us at the cabin!! :)
Although Aimee had had numerous nibbles on her line, she was getting very frustrated with the fact that all her nibbles were just that...nibbles. All her hungry fish were just a little too quick and got away. Edd tried to help Aimee, but it was not meant to be. :(
What was that????

What is that scarry thing over by the trees??? Could it be...SASQUATCH or a LOUP GAROU???? Thomas was always wondering what would be around the next tree or corner....we found something....LOOK....
Did the LOUP GAROU follow us all the way from Louisiana??? Thomas decided that it was more fun to do monster impersinations than to fish! :)
The girls hanging out together. Kate thought it would be more fun to play in the water in the water than to fish!
Uncle Chris saved the day many times!!! He helped retrieve the hooks that had been swallowed and were stuck really far down. Once the fish was hook-free, we'd let them go!
We all love going up to the Smith and Moorehouse Reserviour! It is so beautiful!!! The kids all have their favorite fishing spots now! It is also fun to just sit on the rocks and watch and listen to nature! :) So peaceful!!! :) We were able to even see Mother Nature send a few rain clouds our way! Beautiful!!! :)
After a hard day fishing, there isn't anything better than some yummy food to fill our tummies!!! :) Bethany was getting a gumbo lesson from Edd. The official roux stirrers!
We had fun watching all the wildlife! Here's the Steller's Jay that was taking peanuts we'd put out on the fence! Edd and I also a young moose just on the other side of the fence we were driving past! :)
The kids had a grand time playing with Kate~she had a blast too! :)
The cabin trip wouldn't be complete without "THE RIVER CHALLENGE!" Andrew had a personal challenge to get this stick to stand up in the river. He finally got it to stay put! Andrew and Aimee challenged each other to walk across the the river to the other side. Thomas wanted to do it too, but I wouldn't let him. The river was too deep and swift! Thomas did walk in the calmer waters and even took an unexpected dip! :)
I love being up at the cabin!! It is so beautiful and peaceful! :) I took this our last afternoon at the cabin as the sun was starting to go down a bit.
Andrew and Thomas loved helping with the gate! Here we are on gate either love it or not.

After dinner, we played outside for awhile! The weather PERFECT! All we wanted to do was play outside! :) A little while later, we headed over to the park to play. While the kids played, Edd and I went up the walking trail and took some sunset pictures.

I grew up in the shadows of this magnificent mountain...Mt Olympus. I just love this mountain!
Here is one of my sunset pictures. The sun is setting next to Antelope Island. Edd had fun getting his sunset pictures! Too bad there weren't many fact we hardly saw any clouds the whole time we were in the valley.
Meanwhile, the kids were having a blast down on the playground! Here's Kate trying to grab Aimee's tongue! Kate is a silly girl!! :)
After the park, we went to "cool off" with a treat!

Here's the whole gang! Tarina, Chris,
Kate, Mattie, Carlynne, Andrew, Edd, Aimee, Thomas and Bethany!

7/2 ~ Friday

We drove down to Provo to visit with Edd's side of the family for a few day
s! We stopped at John and Melissa's new house for a little while. Then we were treated to a to
ur of BYU! (Sorry you Ute fans out there!) We split up between 2 carts. This is the one with most of the kids! We all had a fun tour!

I had to stop the tour for a quick picture of Thomas by this statue...I couldn't resist!!! It's a little boy showing a frog to his big sister...just like Thomas!

After our tour, we stopped at the Cougar Eat to get some ice cream!

Well, you can't eat at the Cougar Eat without running into someone you know...

This is Jessica Sandlin Matheson, a Prince family friend, who just happened to see us! So she ate her lunch with us. Then came along to see Uncle John's office and lab.

Here is Uncle John showing off his lab to all the kids! John was just hired as a professor at BYU. After John's tour, we went to the bookstore for a few minutes. Then back to John and Melissa's house for dinner and a fun night at the park!

Here are the big kids playing! :) Dallan, Joe and his wife Brittany came to play with us! When we got back to John & Melissa's, Bethany and Dallan played some music together!

7/3 ~ Saturday
Melissa's dad treated the kids to a raft ride down part of the Provo River! Most of the kids thought it was really cool. Thomas was a little scared at the beginning, but by the time we finished he was having fun! We spent the day playing at Vivian Park, while the big kids went rafting on the river!
Here is Bro Snow giving the safety speech to the kids before their raft rides.
On our way back down Provo Canyon, we stopped for a minute to look at Bridal Veil Falls. Thomas was excited to see a real live waterfall! He loves waterfalls, almost as much as hippos!

Saturday night, Melissa and I went with her family to Stadium of Fire! It was a lot of fun! This was my first time to ever get to go! (Thanks Melissa! :) ) It was fun to see Carrie Underwood perform and the fireworks were awesome!

7/4 ~ Sunday

We tried to go to church with Frank and Lily, but ended up at the wrong church building. We ended up attending the Spanish branch. Bethany was excited because she understood a few things....all those hours in Spanish at school paid off! :)

We did get to spend some time with Frank and Lily after they got home from church. Lily cooked us a scrumptious lunch. We went out and played in their backyard for a little while, then went in and played some more!

After playing with Frank and Lily, we went back to Grandma's house for Sunday dinner! Most of us were still stuffed from Lily's lunch, but dinner was good too!

7/5 ~ Monday

We decided that it would be really fun for all of us to hike up to Timpanogos Cave! After a yummy lunch at Chick-fil-a, along the way, we were all ready for the big climb! Grandma and Grandpa stayed at the base of the mountain just in case someone needed to come back down. The rest of us climbed up the mountain! Unfortunately, all the tickets to go on the cave tour were ALL SOLD OUT. :( But we had fun looking at the beautiful scenery at the top of the trail! :)

7/6 ~ Tuesday

The brave folk left at the crack of dawn, which comes super early up in Salt Lake, so they could venture back down to Mt Timpanogos! This time they were all going to hike up, AGAIN, so they can see Timpanogos cave! They all had a grand time! :)

Thomas and I stayed behind at the house with Grandma and Grandpa! Thomas was sad that he didn't get to go to the cave, but on the other hand was super glad because the cave was going to be DARK and SCARY! :) So we had fun playing around the house. We also walked over to the school and played on the playground for awhile.

Later that night, we all went to watch the AAA baseball team, the BEE'S play! It was a perfect night to be out watching baseball! :) The kids had a blast running around on the hill outside of the ball field.

Mattie, Thomas and Andrew even had a couple moments of fame!!! They were able to get on the BIG SCREEN!!! Here they are with a bunch of other boys . Too bad the big screen view didn't show up very well.

7/7 ~ Wednesday

Edd, Bethany and Aimee dropped Mattie, Thomas, Andrew and me off at the Hogle Zoo. They drove up to Park City to visit with Edd's old boss, Susan and her husband. Susan and her husband go back and forth to Houston...where we met them!

Andrew, Thomas, Mattie and I had fun checking out all the animals! We got to the zoo just in time to see the elephant show! Seeing the wolf was at the top of Thomas' list! So we went on a wolf hunt while we waited for Kate, Tarina, Grandma and Grandpa to join us.

We finally made it to the wolf habitat, but the wolves were hiding. So we went to visit the creatures next door...the building with all the little critters like snakes, frogs, birds, etc. Thomas was keeping a close eye on the wolf habitat through the door because all of the sudden, in his excited voice, he was telling me they were there!!! So we rushed out to see the wolves! About this time Kate and her gang had arrived so we joined up with them. Thomas couldn't wait to take Kate to see the wolves!!! He was just as excited to see them the second time around! :)

Here's a cool elephant! He likes to squirt water at you through his trunk! Better watch out!!! :)

Wednesday night, 0ur last night in town was spent enjoying the beautiful weather with some Cutler cousins!!!
My cousins, Cathy and Heather camewith their kids! It was so fun to see them!!! All the kids had a blast playing together! :)

After a whirlwind of fun, we were finally ready to get back home. We sure loved playing with all our cousins and seeing the mountains again! We sure had some good times!!! :)

After the park, it was time to pack!

The plan was to head out EARLY in the morning...hoping to make good time on the LONG drive back home.
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