Monday, May 2, 2011

Quick Re-cap of the last 9 months

I will skip the excuses as to why I haven't updated this blog since July 2010. There just isn't a good excuse that is believable. What I will do is quickly update you on what our family has been up to since last July. And I mean quickly . . .

In August Cody started playing tackle football. He ended up being a fairly good running back. We found that playing football really increased his confidence and his social skills - he is really shy. He was #95.

He played all the way to October, and by then the weather was pretty cold so we were glad it came to an end.

In October Sadie turned 13! Yes, we have a teenager! Here are some photos of her little party that she had. We found out that our small house isn't very good for having slumber parties in.

Sadie is just about ready to finish up the 8th grade and has decided that she wants to be an accountant when she grows up. She freaked out after the first trimester this year because one of her teachers gave her an A-, which brought her GPA down to a 3.98. I had to assure her for three days that colleges don't look at 8th grade transcripts before she would settle down

For Halloween the kids decided they weren't too old to dress up so Greg was "Dracula" and Cody was a zombie football player. Here are photos of those two. I guess my stage makeup skills are still in-tact. Jackson was a hunter but we didn't take his photo for some reason.

In December Jackson and Greg turned 9. They both earned their Wolf badges in cub scouts and now they are working on their Bear. The photo is from thier birthday. Jackson also got a "real" tent, and Greg got a mummy sleeping bag - exactly what they asked for.

In January Jackson started playing youth basketball and Brett coached his team. They had a lot of fun and Jackson enjoyed doing something just for him. He is #13.

In February the boys all had their Pinewood Derby for scouts. All of their cars did really well and they liked being able to make their cars with their dad. They were very individualized based on exactly what the boys imagined.

In March Brett and I had the opportunity to go to Orlando with his family (adults only). We rented a house, went to Universal studios, swam with Manatees and went fishing in the intracoastal area by Cocoa Beach. Will post photos of that trip later :)

After getting home from Orlando we took Jackson and Greg out of public school. They both struggle with reading and we didn't want the schools to just push them through to 4th grade unable to read. So I am working part time, and doing homeschool as well. It is one of the hardest things I have ever tried to do and I pray everyday that it will be successful!

Last month we finally took the kids to Disneyland. We were away for over a week and glad to finally get home, but we had a blast!

This is us waiting for our tickets to print out. For some reason the computer didn't want to work for us! Nice sunglasses Sadie :)

Here the kids are hanging out by one of the forts on Tom Sawyer's island.
Here we are waiting in line for the Thunder mountain railroad, one of our favorite rides there!

The kids enjoying the shade under Tarzan's Tree house.

Sadie loves Goofy so we just had to wait in line to get a photo with him.

Our entire family LOVED Pirates of the Caribean and we rode it over and over; during the fireworks was the best time!

So, now we are home. This past week we got two horses, Rose and Cloud (left to right below). Rose is a good kids horse and Brett is getting cloud broke. It is fun to finally have horses.

The other thing keeping Brett busy right now is the building of the "mansion" tree house in our pasture. The kids have been begging for one since we moved here three years ago and we are finally getting it built. Brett finished the floor on Saturday and we hope to get the railing and trap door done this week. It should be fun once it is all done.

So, that is my "quick" update. I am sure there is more that we have done. I will try really hard to be more organized and post things regularly. I know that relatives who live far away like to see what we are up to. Know that we appreciate all of you and hope you're having as much fun as we are!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy 4th!

Well - this won't be a long post, but just to update you all! We have been a busy family this summer. 2 weeks ago we went hiking in Yellowstone, had a wonderful time seeing beauty and pushing our limits (the kid's limits). Have been tending our garden which is huge this year. The kids have been finding that house cleaning every morning with mom isn't that bad, and when you do it everyday it goes pretty fast. I have been busy getting my board exams taken - AND PASSED!! Yeah. So glad that is done with - I am totally done with school, tests, everything! Now I will actually be posting about the family, not just me ;). I just have to wait for my license to arrive from the state so I can start working outside the home. Gotta get those student loans paid off!
Today we are taking it easy and tonight we will go watch the HUGE fireworks display in Idaho Falls. There are a ton of people there, but we figured, the kids aren't going to be around forever, so let's enjoy the time they are! Hope all of you have a great 4th of July! God Bless America, we need it!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Family Update

Just a quick update on what we have been up to. Last week we were kept pretty busy; me looking for a board patient, still no luck and the kid's end of school activities. Sadie had her spring concert for band and had a solo. Here is the clip of it - sorry if the video seems shaky, I started crying a bit when she started her solo - I guess I was just so proud of how well she was doing!

Cody had the chance to do an Idaho History Project for school this year. Every 4th grader in Idaho has Idaho History as their social studies for the entire year. Here is a photo of him sitting next to his project in his classroom. He skinned a beaver, just like one of the mountain man trapper's from early Idaho. For his display he made a poster of photos that were taken while he was skinning the beaver. Grandma and Grandpa Hawkins, while they were here,
helped him put it together. I thought it turned out great, and he got an A on the project so he was pretty proud. The furs that he displayed are ones that Brett has trapped and had tanned.
Last weekend we were able to make our annual CJ Strike Crappie fishing trip. We camped in the pouring rain and hurricane force winds - in a tent! That part wasn't very fun, but the fishing was still pretty good. Here is a photo of one of the big "small mouth" bass that Sadie caught. It was cold, thus the hat on her head.

That sums up the update! We are busy as usual, with more stuff to get done than we have time for. I am sure most of you can relate! Have a great Memorial Day!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Graduation and Relaxation

Me - Giving a little speach.

See how happy my family looks now? Yeah - Mommy is done!

Brett, Me and my Mom and Dad Graduation day - I thought it would never come.

Strong enough to get through this program? Then strong enough to do ANYTHING! Yes, I wore jeans and running shoes :)

So - It has finally happened . . . I have graduated! Some of you might not realize that I took my first pre-requisite classes for this program before my twins were even thought of - Now, 9 years later, I have a bachelors degree in Dental Hygiene. It has been a long time coming and I am so excited to be done. I am proud to say that of my immediate family I am the first of my 6 siblings to have my bachelors degrees (Sarah will be getting hers in a couple weeks and Kelly is working towards hers as well - keep at it!).
On Friday May 7th the Dental Hygiene department had a private graduation ceremony and because I was our class president for the two years of the program, I was privileged to say a few words, thus the silly photo of me at the podium. I didn't have 2 caps on, one is the shadow. I was very blessed to have my parent's come all the way from Oregon to be a part of this occasion. We were really excited that they came and that we were able to have such a great visit with them. We love you guys! On the 8th the actual university graduation ceremony took place. Now, I have attended these before and I know how boring they are, but I figured that I am only going to do this once so I might as well do it right. I wore jeans and my running shoes and I was so glad that I did. We stood around for over an hour and then had to walk to our seats, then when it was finally my turn - walk all the way across the stage. Wow - then it was done! Yeah! I think my kids and Brett are the most excited about this being over. They are really glad to have me home. Thanks to those of you who supported me along this journey, whether by notes of encouragement or especially by being my patients - I am truly grateful.

The Monday after graduation Brett and I took off for 4 days alone (my parents stayed and watched the kids) - in Yellowstone National Park. We stayed in West Yellowstone and explored the park during the day. We were so thrilled to see more wildlife than we ever have before. Here are some photos of our relaxing trip.

The first photo above is a group of otters that entertained us on our first day. The first Grizzly photo is of a 4 year old female. We watched her tear into a beaver hut to no avail. The second grizzly is a sow with her twin cubs from this year. They were all over her, but it seemed like she just wanted to introduce them to the public (the photographers were going crazy as is visible in that shot in the slideshow below). The black bear was a sow with her yearling twin cubs, which means that they were born last year. I have only ever seen one bear in Yellowstone before this trip, and that one had just ran across the road and disappeared. Brett had never seen one in there ever before, so needless to say, this trip was amazing. I think we will make this an annual event, and may even take the kids next time.
Overall we saw 7 grizzly bears, 3 black bears, 10 bighorn sheep, 5 otters, 1 coyote, 6 deer and countless buffalo, elk, antelope, ground squirrels and birds (too many raven to count). It was fun and relaxing and we are so grateful to have had the chance to do it.
Here is a slide show with some more cool pics. Enjoy!