Wednesday, September 6, 2017

signs of school...

we're back into school full swing and i'm loving the routine it's giving us! i love the feeling of fall sneaking in and having lots of little signs around the house that school is back in session!

my girls love those miss nelson books. it's almost weird. but they really love them. maybe it's the accent i do for viola swamp... ha ha ha!

when i used to teach kindergarten (which feels like a lifetime ago!), i would have parents tell me that their child had no interest in learning the letters or sight words. i gave them the suggestion of cutting out those letters or sight words, taping them above their child's bed, and at night, giving them a flashlight (letting them hold the flashlight is a big deal!) to shine on each word or letter, and practicing the words that way. we've done this for brooklyn this year with her sight words and she loves it! james does it with her either before they read stories or after. then kendall always takes a whack at it and it's pretty funny what she comes up with!

homework, school projects, and lunchboxes litter my kitchen table daily. 

my little three year old started play school today with a few friends in the neighborhood. she's been excited about this all summer long! when today finally came she could hardly contain herself! she wanted everything like her big sister had on her first day, except she asked for pizza for breakfast. she wanted her toenails painted blue, her favorite color, and she wanted to pose for pictures with the board with her backpack on. 

it was so cute to see these little people all gather together. they know each other from nursery and yes, kendall is the only girl! i think she'll be just fine.

i had a summer saying up on my letter board all summer and i was really sad to change it. i couldn't think of anything for awhile, and then decided on something i've told brooklyn every time i've dropped her off to school since preschool, "be happy, be kind!" i also have this saying hanging above our mud room door. i think it's so important that my girls learn to be happy around people and especially to be kind! my great-grandma dayton used to always say, "happy girls are the popular girls!" and isn't that true?!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

our labor day weekend!

summer came to an end in a great way this weekend! with dutch oven potatoes and chicken, loads of fruit, corn on the cob, and peach crisp to top it off (my favorite recipe here), i'd say we did alright in the food department. ok, more than alright! that was our one and only time to eat my dad's dutch oven cooking this summer. once is not enough!

friday night we checked off another bucket list item when james camped out in my in laws backyard with the older girls. adalyn and i opted for a bed inside. the girls loved it and even slept until almost eight the next morning. the giggled and grinned once they were awake when they realized they were in the tent!

saturday afternoon brought the long awaited peaches 'n cream stand brooklyn has been begging to do all summer. she actually begged to do a lemonade stand but those were out in abundance! so we waited and held off, then after making peach jam and giving a bunch of our peaches away and realizing we still had tons, i decided peaches 'n cream was the way to go!

she was so excited when saturday finally came! she stayed out there selling for four hours and didn't want to stop but i made her. i was exhausted! we had great support from our ward families (both past and present) and family and brooklyn was thrilled with her payout! this girl likes to work hard and i hope it stays that way!

that night, james watched the byu game with his family and i pooped out at halftime to take the girls home to bed. i had a sad little husband the next morning but he's already looking forward to the next game.

(this was taken right before the first byu game of the season)

sunday after church we drove up to my parents' where we had our dutch oven feast! the kids loved playing together, and making messes. i always love getting to spend time with my siblings and their spouses and my parents. that night we planned to do an outdoor movie in the yard so that we could check it off our summer bucket list. it was great in the beginning. my mom popped popcorn and had goodie bags for all the kids, but then... spiders attacked. i'm not even kidding! big ones. so halfway through the movie we all ran for the house. it was quite an experience but made such good memories!

(the only dang picture i took in coalville)

we all went to bed late and my dad took adalyn the next morning so that we could sleep in! my mom spoiled us with a sourdough pancake breakfast + plus leftover potaotes from dinner! it was seriously so good! whit came over with her kids and did my hair, bless her! the kids all played the day away, inside and outside, doing horse races, hide and seek, doing grandma's hair, and then taking long naps. i made a salsa i've been wanting to try for a long time and it didn't disappoint. the recipe for that is here. we ate that, and leftover dutch oven + peach crisp with ice cream and then headed back down the mountain to bountiful.

the girls were asleep so james and i stopped to grab dinner and then woke them up at pace's to check off another bucket list item. we all shared a yummy shake and then went over to my in laws so james could help his dad with a few small projects. the girls got to have treats and sparkly blue nails from nana. 

we bathed them up and did our bedtime routine and said goodbye to summer. james has convinced me that we can continue to check off our last couple of things even though i'm always set on summer being over after labor day. so hopefully we'll do that this weekend and extend our summer activities out juuuuuust a little longer...

Friday, September 1, 2017

back to school feast 2017

our back to school feast came with much anticipation this year! i love love love that my girls remember and look forward to the traditions i have started for our family. this year, however, felt very rushed and not exactly like i had hoped. but that's ok! my girls didn't know, and we did it! that's all that matters right?!

school started on a wednesday this year, and since brooklyn has soccer on tuesday evenings, we decided to do it monday for family home evening. brooklyn got to choose the menu again: mashed potatoes & gravy, chicken, green beans, rolls, and root beer to drink. for dessert, the girls ate little debbie's and james and i had some delicious apple cinnamon cookies. 

i decorated the table with all of our "summer memories" (these horrible phone pics make it very hard to see). things like: movie tickets, the girls' birthday invites, art they did at the gym daycare, the 4th of july neighborhood breakfast flyer, birthday buttons from the disney store, etc. the girls loved it and we all loved reminiscing about our summer.

our theme for the school year comes from a quote by elder joseph b. wirthlin:

we don't have to be perfect today. we don't have to be better than anyone else. all we have to do is the very best we can.

unfortunately, james and i only got video of the fashion show. kendall got very into this year and wanted to model brooklyn's clothes down the runway. brooklyn loved showing her dad some of her new school clothes. and adalyn loved the music and dancing with her sisters!

the back to school jammies they got this year say smart, brave, and strong. i thought they were great for the occasion! 

here they are, putting their hands in the middle to do a little cheer! they were saying things like, "sisters forever!" and "yay!" and "goooo sisters!" it was the cutest to witness!

after all the chaos, it was time for father's blessings. this year, brooklyn cried through hers. it was so sweet! she has definitely grown a very tender heart and quite a testimony over the last year.

kendall smiled ear to ear during hers. she loved having a turn!

james gave adalyn a 5.5 second blessing before she tried to dive off the chair. she might be more excited next year.

i have been so sad to let go of summer and lose my oldest to all day school. i'm so grateful for her excitement or i don't think i'd be surviving. this was such a fun night together as a family and i already have plans up my sleeve for next year! 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

summer wrap up...

gosh, this summer, more than any other, flew by so darn fast! i really am not ready to let it go. i loved our weekly visits to seven peaks, the movies, and music at the park. i think it's good that fun seasons like that come to an end, and i think my girls are ready for what's next. but i just want time to slow down and keep my girls little!!!

so here's only just a snap shot of some things we did this summer!

splash pad with all the holmes cousins!

i went to a fun/super hard high fitness workout event at station park and the reward at the end was this delicious popsicle!

we loved swimming in nana and papa's (my inlaws) pool!

roses from our yard were very common on our table through july!

running through sprinklers, going to the park, and walks down to the tabernacle were weekly events! 

pizza at the pool...and goggles!

events up near family meant more cousin time!

we planted a garden this summer! here we are planting pumpkins for fhe one night.

seven peaks every tuesday ALL summer!

movies at the megaplex every wednesday!

dinner to go and music in the park most friday nights!

our first ever garden: peas, onions, carrots, potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, squash, and pumpkins

brooklyn and kendall were invited to a tea party one afternoon and they loved it! complete with princess dresses and "pink tea" they still talk about this!

i made peach jam from the peaches in our backyard, and also made strawberry coconut jam! it was seriously summer in a jar! can't wait to eat it through the winter!

morning walks before church.

we got to go to the zoo with the gasu family and my girls loved it, especially brooklyn!

frequent stops at the bench on 9th!

walks around the temple.

my dad signed up my whole family to cook and work the lion's club booth at the fair rodeo one night. we had the best time being together. lots of laughs and good memories made!

the day before school started, we hit up the pirate ship pool one more time and got our first and only snow cones of the summer!

our last music in the park!

kendall got to have a cute little friend over for a play date and she begged to do a tea party. the dress ups were all them!

we finally did tinfoil dinners! my favorite! we topped it off with peach crisp and ice cream.

we only have 3 things on our bucket list that haven't been checked off! we're hoping to do at least two of them this coming weekend to wrap up this summer nicely.