Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Dave!

Today is Dave's birthday, and we had a lovely evening. Of course he had to work, but he got off early and took the boys to their swimming lessons while I got dinner and dessert ready.

Dave is not much of a cake person. Plus he already had a cake at work, so he requested chocolate mousse instead. While looking online for a good raspberry sauce to put on it, I came upon an amazing idea: shell-shaped chocolate bowls. Luckily Spencer has a million shells of all sizes, so I wrapped them in plastic wrap, dipped the backs in melted chocolate and put them in the freezer to harden. I used big shells for the adults (Ellen and Jason came over), medium shells for the big kids and little ones for Brennan and Anna. To my delight they popped right off and held their shape really well. Aren't they dang cute? And much easier than you'd think.
I also made the mousse and raspberry sauce ahead of time. To assemble: I filled the shells with mousse,

Added a dollop of whipped cream, (don't you just love the word dollop? I feel like Martha Stewart when I say it),

And drizzled raspberry sauce on top. The sauce was super easy to make: I defrosted frozen raspberries, pureed them in the blender, removed the seeds with a strainer, and cooked it over the stove with a little bit of sugar. The whole thing was on the rich side, of course, but beautiful, decadent and delicious.

I had already given Dave his birthday present early (the GPS, which came in very handy on our Utah trip), but we still wanted to give him a little something to unwrap. Spencer and Tyler chose it, and they were so excited to give it to him.
An air soft BB gun! I'm not sure if it's more for Dave or the boys, but it'll be something fun they can do together. Don't forget to answer my poll on the right about Dave's age. The ladies at work asked him today, and when he told them they said his patients would never believe it. Happy Birthday Dave! I love you!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Escaping the heat

We live in a hot place. But the nice thing is that we can always escape to the beach, which is significantly cooler. After finishing a very fun project Saturday (Dave & Spencer connected our computer to our HDTV so we can watch Netflix, conference, etc. on it - yay!), we went to our favorite beach, which was more than 30 degrees cooler!
Ellen and Anna came with us (Jason had work to do). Anna didn't want to get too close to the water, but she liked eating the sand and making friends with strangers.

One of the reasons we love this beach is that it is slightly inland and protected by bluffs, so it's sunny and warm while surrounding beaches are foggy and cold. You can kinda see the fog on the other side of the pier. We also found that when we go to the south side of the pier, there are fewer people and even less wind, because the rocks block it. It was a gorgeous day. Dallin got his feet wet, but that was enough for him. Spencer and Tyler spent most of the time boogie boarding - their favorite thing to do. I like the waves here because they aren't too big.
Spencer catching a wave.
There's also lots of rocks to climb on, for those not interested in swimming.

Dallin loves this picture and insisted I put it on the blog.

We're trying to convince Ellen and Jason to stay here for good. Unfortunately there isn't too much urban architecture around here. Bummer.

Spencer has wanted to do this ever since he saw it on Family Fun years ago. It makes me laugh every time I see it.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cub Scout Day Camp

Friday was Spencer's last day of camp.

Thursday night was especially fun for him because he got to go to the overnighter with Dave. After dinner they went back to the church, pitched their tent and went to the campfire activities, including s'mores and a Chumash Indian speaker. Dave had to leave pretty early in the morning to get ready for work, but Spencer stayed for the big breakfast.

Then the boys and I met him for the family BBQ lunch, skits and closing ceremony. We got there a little early and watched them do bottle rockets.

Oh, it was hot! They really lucked out all week with beautiful weather, but Friday was a doozy. I think it was in the mid-90's while we were there, so of course everyone was getting each other wet with water guns and water bottles. They especially focused on Sean's older sister Megan when she got there. She was an obvious target as the only girl around. Plus she's cute.

After lunch we all found some shade and watched songs and skits. First the whole group sang a shark song.

See, here they are being sharks.

Then each group did their skit. Spencer was doing something about how indians tell time. It involved lots of running around and yelling.

We were all melting by this point, so luckily they just lined up all the cub scouts and handed out the certificates instead of calling each boy up one at a time. This went super quick. Then we ate ice cream sundays and left.

I figured the boys would just want to just go home and veg in front of a movie by this point, but they really wanted to take Spencer to the Children's Museum. So we did. Have I mentioned how much I love the air conditioner in our new car? It makes me not mind driving around in the summer.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Catch-up blog

School is out, and I'm exhausted. As you may have noticed, I haven't blogged in awhile. But Dave and Spencer are at the cub scout overnighter and the other boys are in bed, so I have a moment to catch up. Here's Tyler with his wonderful teacher Mrs. Young. We love Mrs. Young! How can you not love somehow who absolutely adores your children? One of these days I'll add the picture of Spencer and Mrs. Yarbarough. It's on Dave's cell phone, so who knows when I'll figure that one out. I was hoping for a nice quiet summer of sitting with my feet up while the boys played outside in the hose. No such luck. If they start to spend any amount of time together at home, they all start fighting and we have to go somewhere for a change of scenery. We've had a couple of super hot days, but mostly it's been incredibly pleasant, like 80 and breezy. Thank goodness!
Spencer's class went on a field trip to the pioneer museum, and he's been begging me to go back ever since. He loves everything there, from the fossils to the pictures of the hotel that burned down.
I must admit I was not too excited to go - it just didn't sound very interesting to me. But there was more there than I expected, and it was all set up very cute. Most importantly, the kids loved it. Oh, and it was free.
Here's the old one-room school house they had shipped in on a tractor trailer from a tiny town near here. It was so hot in there I thought I was going to die (this was one of our 96 degree days). But somehow the boys didn't seem to notice and didn't want to leave. I practically had to drag them out.
And of course they had to climb on all the rusty old farm equipment. Good thing every one's Tetanus is up to date.
See how much fun they were having? Sometimes I am amazed by how easily amused they are. And of course all the old volunteers there just loved them.
This week my sisters and I went over to my friend Michelle's house to help clean as the movers were finishing up. They are moving to Logan, Utah, because her husband got a job transfer there. Good-bye Hunsakers! We miss you already. There goes half our primary/youth at church.

Spencer has been in cub scout day camp all week, and although I was looking forward to fun day trips with the other boys (somehow 3 is so much easier than 4), Dallin has done nothing but bug everyone, calling his brothers mean names and hitting them for no reason. He's been driving me crazy! And it forces me to cancel plans, because I can't reward rotten behavior. But Kristen and Dave both pointed out that it's probably because he's bored, so today I agreed to take them to the children's museum. He only had to go to time-out once this morning, and he did a decent job with his chores, so I figured he could go after all. I ended up getting a family summer pass, and I'm so glad I did. I've never been that impressed with our little children's museum, especially compared to others I've been to. But the boys were so happy there, and they all played together incredibly well the whole time - that makes it worth it to me.

They spent the most amount of time putting on costumes and performing plays for me. This worked out well because I could just sit there in the comfy seats and watch.

They also liked doing puppet shows. The restaurant and grocery store were also huge hits.

Yes, all my boys are in serious need of haircuts. Here's Brennan after his nap today. The other stinky thing about my life right now (besides Dallin) is that Brennan is growing out of his naps. He either refuses to go to sleep, or else he falls asleep in the car and consequently stays up until after 10:00 at night. We've been known to go to bed when he's still awake. This could explain some of my overwhelming fatigue - no break from kids. I need to figure something out.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Saying Good-bye

Saturday was our last day at Aspen Grove. After breakfast we went back to our cabins to pack up.
Every time we hiked to and from our cabin, Brennan had to throw a rock or stick into the water.

The boys had fun walking up the cabin roof.

Then we all gatherered for hugs and good-byes. Here's my Grandpa with his 4 children - Marilyn, Judy (my mom), Michael and Ron.

Every family got a picture with grandpa.

We stood around visiting for a long time, no one wanting to leave. Then grandpa gave a closing prayer and we all sang Love One Another. This was our 3rd family reunion at Aspen Grove, and it has been so important for us to get together with everyone. I don't know when the next reunion will be, but I hope we can keep it going. We also need to have a reunion with my dad's family. I haven't even met all my cousins on that side, which is even bigger.
We stayed with Grandmother Renee in St. George Saturday night. She's my dad's step-mother, and the boys always enjoy staying with her because she's such an amazing hostess. She taught kindergarten for many years, and she has fun toys, stories, candy jars, hot tub and books for them to take home. Her daughter lives behind her, and they share an amazing backyard - pond, sport court, pool, trampoline, sand box and lots of riding toys and playgrounds. Then we drove the rest of the way home on Sunday. I think it's taken me a full week to recover from our trip.