December 30, 2008

Hunting for Geodes

Last Saturday, I decided to take the boys geode hunting. They're WAY into rocks right now and geodes are the ultimate. If you don't know what geodes are, they're the hollow rocks that develop crystals inside. So, we found out that there are a few specific places where you can find geodes. One popular place is the Hauser Geode Beds just outside of Blythe (a 3 hour drive from Temecula - where we're staying for the holidays). We decided to make it an all day adventure. Jill packed us lunches. Dawson & Grandpa came with us and we had a great time.

Here's a picture of the boys hard at work looking for geodes. Apparently the geodes form in volcanic ash. So, we spent a lot of time digging & breathing ash!

The boys had a blast and found some really cool geodes. I'll post some pictures of the geodes they found later as well as some pictures that Grandpa took of the boys on top of a nearby extinct volcano.

P.S. I'd definitely recommend a geode hunt for anyone with boys between the ages of 5 & 11. Fun stuff.

December 15, 2008

Temple Lights

For Family night we went to the Temple to look at the lights. The kids love this tradition and look forward to it every year. I must say that the Mesa Temple is decked out!! They have lights everywhere and on everything. The kids had fun going around to each of the little scenes they had set up with Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus, and the Wisemen. Ashy loved the donkey's and animals around the stable. After we looked at the lights we went into the visitors center and saw all the Nativities from all over the world they had displayed. We then saw the massive statue of Christ and listened to a message they play about him. It was so sweet to watch Ashton's face as we walked into the room with this huge statue of Christ. He got silent and his little eyes were just fixed on Christ. It wasn't that long ago that he left his Heavenly Father and I'm sure it must spark a feeling inside little kids, just by their reaction when they see their older brother.


Kaden was so excited to bring Bananas home from school. In his first grade class the star student of the week gets to bring Bananas (the monkey) home for the weekend. They have to take it with them wherever they go and take pictures of what they did together. Then they make a little poster and put the pictures of their weekend.
It is a little creepy when you think that monkey goes to all the kids homes, so Bananas had a bath as soon as he came to our house.

December 14, 2008

Thanksgiving Week...

Thanksgiving would not be the same without the famous "Turkey Bowl"
The cousins all went in their P.J.'s
Uncle Grant, Aunt Linny, Uncle Sterling, Aunt Jenna, Uncle Jared, Tyler, Grandpa,
Logan, Sawyer, Spencer, and Kaden

The whole clan

Kaden's a happy boy!!!

We celebrated Kaden's 7th Birthday! We all went around the room and said why we love Kaden. The consensus was, we love him because: He is...
Creative, loving, tenderhearted, funny, good artist, makes everyone laugh, sensitive, honest, says sweet prayers and loves his Heavenly Father
When we were all done, Kaden was feeling like quite the KING!!

We celebrated Kaden and Grant's Birthdays!!

The kids, "Big and Little" made ginger bread houses

Spencer and Kaden wanted to go see our old house in Valencia, so we did a little drive by and took a picture
24261 Kotler court
Great Memories in this home...

Tyler had to work with a client in San Diego, so while they were working and surfing, we went to
Sea World!!
The kids love this huge shark mouth

Love the Polar ice cave. This is Ashy's "ROAR"

By the end of the day Ashton was so tired. We got back to the hotel and bathed the kids. Ashton climbed into his bed with pillows and blankets all around him and he was OUT...but oh so cute when asleep. We had a great week and are thankful we could be with our family on this special holiday.

Look At Me!!

On Sunday, Ashton came running into our bathroom saying, " Mom, look at me...I'M SHARP!"

November 19, 2008

Dinner Conversations...

I was sitting with the boys eating dinner (Tyler was out of town) and the conversation between the 3 of them was hilarious.

Spencer: Mom, how much did I weigh when I was born?
Me: You were 5.14oz , Kaden was 6.11oz , and Ashton was 6.9oz
Kaden: I was the fatty in the bunch!
Spencer: Mom, this kid in my class weighed 8lbs. when he was born...that's HUGE!
Me: Spencer, lots of kids are 8lbs and even more when they are born. Just because some babies are born bigger or smaller doesn't mean that they won't grow to be the same size.
Spencer: but mom, he weighs 110lbs now.
Me: Really, mommy doesn't even weigh 100lbs.
Kaden: Are you Serious?

Spencer: Mom, am I small because my middle name is Tyler
Kaden: That means I am medium because my middle name is Paul
Kaden: That means Ashton is going to be HUGE, because his middle name is Scott!

Ashton feeling a little left out of the conversation, continues tapping Kaden on the shoulder...

Ashton: Hey, Hey, little buddy listen to me!
Kaden: What?
Ashton: Are you serious...I be 6 lbs!

November 4, 2008


Do the RIGHT thing....GO VOTE!!!

November 2, 2008

Halloween 2008

It's not quite the same trick-or-treating when it is 90 degrees outside. However, the kids didn't seem to mind and it did cool off a little once the sun went down. Ashton was an excited Mickey Mouse he kept talking all day about going to get candy.
Once we actually got started he was fired up, going house to house saying, "I'm Mickey Mouse, Trick-or-Treat..." after about 2 streets he began saying, "Mommy, my bag berry hebby." So we carried the bag. Then he said, " Mommy, my hat hot," so we lost the hat. Then the final one was, "Mommy, my legs hurting." so, Daddy carried him, and all was good.

Kaden was Captain Jack, and Spencer was a baseball player
they had a blast going from house to house and coming home to check out their fortune
Happy Halloween!!!

Ashy in his "sketton" shirt

October 31, 2008

Notes to the boys

Lunch Notes

I usually pack the kids lunches the night before and I always put a little note on their napkin, just to let them know I love them or good luck on a test etc. My mom used to do it when we were growing up and I loved it. Just a little reminder someone is thinking about you :)

I was on a friends blog and she found this site. I thought it would be fun to gave me a few fun new ideas. In the world today our kids need all the love and encouragement we can give while they are young, because the rest of their life the world will be knocking them down!

Here are some cute ideas...

Roses are red, violets are blue,
Don't trade this sandwich, I made it for YOU!

Mom hopes you like this tasty lunch...
I miss you and love you, my honey bunch!

Roses are red, violets are blue,
Know as you're eating, I'm thinking of you!

I have a surprise for you...see you at 3:00!

Lizards are green, bunnies are furry,
I miss you, Davis...
Come home in a hurry! XOXOXO

You are DINO-mite!!! (Draw a dinosaur!)

Tonight you don't have any chores...
Have a great day!

I'm picking you up at (blank) time and
taking you for a special treat! LOVE YOU!

Good luck on your spelling test today!

Draw a picture...they'll be surprised that you know how!

Put a joke in their lunch...

If you really wanted to go all out, you could buy some small, inexpensive toys to surprise them with every once in a while...kind of like a happy meal!

October 26, 2008


We have KEYS!!!

We moved here to Arizona a year and two months ago. Tyler's cousins were so wonderful to let us rent their house for what we thought was going to be a month or two, while we waited for our home to be built...Little did we know it would be a year!

We never unpacked anything because we kept thinking, "next month we will move," and nothing, then, "It will be next month" then the next month, and so on and here we still are a year and two months later. This is the entrance to our house we've been renting and it is literally wall to wall, floor to ceiling boxes everywhere in the house. It's been paper products, plastic utensils, a pot and a pan, a couch, kitchen table, and our beds. I have to admit the clean freak in me has been going a little crazy. I have to keep reminding's temporary!

Well, we just closed on our house and I have keys in hand, so it is official...we are moving! YEAH!

Honestly, I have to say that despite the many trials along the way, we have been deeply blessed. This last year has given me a greater appreciation for the simple things. We really don't need much in life to be happy. We are so grateful for the gospel, our family and friends who have helped us along the way. We love you all!

This is a glimpse of our chaos

October 15, 2008

Fall Break

The kids were out of school for Fall Break, so we went to the Happiest Place on Earth!
I just love to go when it is all decorated for the Holidays. It reminds me of going as a child, that jolly, giddy, happy to be alive feeling!
We got some autographs, pictures, Candy Corns, saw all the pumpkins, and lights down Main Street...LOVE IT!

My mom's sister Jarnie and her husband Kevin came from Utah and stayed for a week along with her son Mike and wife Kara. It was so fun to visit with all our cousins and family.

Ashton's favorite ride was the train because he got to see Dinosaurs
and other animals. We also took him on The Matterhorn for the first time...he just barely made 35 in. He was a little hesitant at first as we were waiting in line and he kept hearing the abominable snowman ROAR! I kept telling him it was a fast choo choo train, and he got all excited...until we got on the ride. He was grabbing on to the handles for dear life and dead silent. When we came out of the last turn into daylight, my mom looked back and said, "Jill, he is WHITE." He told me, "Mommy that so fun." When we got off we called daddy and told him he was such a big boy and went on the fast train. Ashton told Tyler, "Mommy hold me really tight and I saw a white monkey."(abominable snowman...Monkey, it's all the same?)

Spencer was so excited to finally be tall enough to go on California Screamin, you have to be 48in. and with the help of a little toilet paper in his shoes...he made it! He wanted Grandpa to go with him and he LOVED it!!

Kaden was so excited too because he go to go on Indiana Jones for the first time!
He actaully was tall enough 46in. and He loved it!
This trip was a monumentous occasion at Disneyland! We have not been there in over a year and it was a nice little reasurrance that, YES, my children really are growing! There is hope for them afterall.

September 29, 2008

A Thought For The Day

"So many of us make a great fuss of matters of small consequence. We are so easily offended. Happy is the man who can brush aside the offending remarks of another and go on his way."
-Gordon B. Hinckley

I love this man! He left us with countless words of wisdom. Love life and live it to the fullest, don't stress over things that eternally don't matter...

September 17, 2008

Tyler's Birthday weekend!

Spencer riding the waves with a little push from Grandpa

The kids had a blast at the beach. It was the perfect day, perfect fun!

These two were such a crack up. Lexie and Ashton were having their own little conversation back and forth,back and forth... so cute.

The kids loved going out and watching the seals wash up on the beach
I love my little boys!

Daddy and Ashton. I love Ashy's little arm over Tyler's shoulder


The kids just got drenched on the rapids ride and were loving every minute

Waiting for Shamu to start

Sawyer, Spencer, Lexie, Ashton, Kaden, Logan
Cousins Day!!

Happy 31st Birthday

September 7, 2008

Who loves you?

Every night we have our little routine of bathing the kids, brushing teeth, reading scriptures and saying prayers. After we are done, Tyler usually takes Spencer and Kaden into their room, tucks them in and spends a little daddy time with them, just talking about their day. I take Ashton and we read books and sing songs in his room as we rock in the rocking chair. When I am done singing "I Am A Child of God" he knows it's bed time. I say to him, "Do you know Mommy loves you?" He replies, "Yesss". We go back and forth with a list of people that love him. " Daddy loves you, Spencer and Kaden love you, Grandma and Grandpa love you, Heavenly Father loves you, Jesus loves you," "Yesss." He just laughs and thinks it is so funny. Well the other night I said, "Ashton, who loves you?" He looked up and said, "my horsee loves me, Shamoon loves me, and Jesus loves me." I said, "What about Mommy and Daddy?" He said, "No, Horsee, Shamoon, and Jesus love me." Thanks, I'm glad to see I am having such an impact. I guess I should be glad that at least he knows Jesus loves him.

September 3, 2008

Daddy's day

Ashton has been on a Daddy kick lately, which means for once mommy is jungle gym free (at least when daddy is around) and two, it makes Tyler feel "So Loved". Yesterday we were out looking at houses and Tyler met us from work for a few minutes and then he was off to the church for meetings. As we pulled into the driveway Ashton said, "where daddy's car mom" to which I replied, "daddy had to go to the church for a meeting". He so sweetly said,"Mommy, I put on my church shoes and go to church and see Daddy." He made daddy's day.

August 23, 2008

Lindsay & Grant's Wedding

Lindsay and Grant were Married August 15, 2008, so we were off to California...YEAH!
I love these blue eyed boys

Logan, Lexie, Kaden, Ashton, Spencer, Sawyer
They all looked so cute all dressed up. They had a blast playing with each other

I just loved these pics
How sweet was this moment. Great Grandpa Shumway was reading to AshtonWe had a great weekend. It was so refreshing to see family and friends that we miss so much. We love you all