Thursday, June 30, 2011

Things Are Getting Exciting

The pinata is stuffed...bounce house is on order, torches are in place, lights are hung, and the bubble machine is fully functioning....

Sometimes the party prep can be a party in itself. Amelia's late night with a friend turned into an impromptu bubble dance party. (Sorry, camera battery died, so these are phone pictures.)

Our annual Summer Solstice Party is only 2 days away and some of the little people around here can hardly wait.

Summer Happenings

Is it possible that summer is even busier than the school year? It sure has been feeling that way - probably because I feel like I am never home. But here's a few things that have been keeping us busy.
Here is the stump from the tree that was removed over 3 years ago:
And now it's gone:
Shawn has been putting the finishing touches on our newly organized spaces. I love the picture walls. The exercise room:

In the kitchen:
Shawn spent 3 days in the heat of St. George with the young men and young women of our ward, at youth conference. (Technically, this photo is in Zion, but you get the idea.)
We've been hanging out in the hammock.
We've roasted marshmallows and made s'mores.

We've played in the sprinklers. (I guess the umbrellas were their ingenious idea for keeping the fully clothed, blanket carrying Peter, dry. Or they were pretending it was raining - because we certainly didn't have enough of that this spring.)

We've spent some time jumping on the bed, despite being told, "No more monkeys jumping on the bed!"
This is my favorite.

And of course, lots and lots and lots of time at the pool with swim team, swim lessons, diving lessons, swim meets and time trials.

Not to mention bike riding, popsicle and shaved ice eating, and lots of time playing outside and with friends, and not nearly enough time spent cleaning up the house and doing laundry. It's definitely feeling like summer around here!

The Birthday Girl

My little Duffy turned 5! She has been so excited for this birthday because she can't wait to go to kindergarten in the fall.

The birthday girl in the birthday hat.
Opening a present in the morning, with help , of course.
Okay, Okay, opening 2 presents in the morning - with help and onlookers.
Peter taking a turn with the birthday hat, although he couldn't quite get it to stay on right.
I always wished I had a sister. These are lucky girls.
Once we were all done with the morning swimming routine, Duffy chose to go to the zoo for her birthday.
Of course, there are dinosaurs at the zoo right now, which the older kids loved, but Duffy and Peter weren't so thrilled with them, as seen below:
Yep, he really didn't like them. He spent a good part of our trip to the zoo clinging to me like a monkey and burying his head into my shoulder. (It's OK, I didn't mind too much.)
And Duff sat herself in the basket at the back of the stroller and plugged her ears. (Apparently, the dinosaurs were not the best part of her birthday.)
I asked a zoo person if any of the animals had a hard time dealing with the roaring of the dinosaurs (because some are really loud), and she told me that yes, there had been a bit of an adjustment period for some of the animals and that they had to wait awhile before being able to have the roars going all the time.
Like I said, the bigger kids loved the dinosaurs - especially the ones that sprayed water, since it was a nice hot day. We were glad it wasn't poisonous, like in Jurassic Park.
Most of the crew - Peter was still clinging to me like a monkey at this point and wouldn't get down long enough to have his picture taken.
Peter is fascinated by the monkeys. It was hard to get him to move on to the other animals.

A little ride on some horses.

The birthday girl got a chance to ride all by herself.
The birthday got even better when the Marsh cousins joined us. There are some things we always have to do at the zoo, and one of them is to see how much the kids weigh collectively. (Once again, Peter was pretty unhappy to be back in the stroller, but we had to get the photo, you know?)
Everyone loved the lemurs, because there were 2 new babies that were so active and jumping and chasing all around. Peter and this guy had a nice conversation.
More monkey watching by our monkeys.

Normally, the kids have to choose whether to ride on the train or the carousel, but since it was her birthday, Duffy got to do both. (Hey, you only turn 5 once.)
And somehow, Amelia convinced me that she should ride too. Maybe to keep Duffy company or something?
The T-Rex. (Every time I see a T-Rex, I think of the line in Toy Story 2, when Rex says, "Somebody cover my eyes!" because his little, stubby arms are too short. I guess that makes this guy seem a little less ferocious.)
Duff took full cover in the stroller basket for this one.

She wouldn't even get out long enough for a picture.
Do you know how hard it can be to get 9 kids to all look at the camera at the same time? I gave up after 3 tries, but I'm pretty sure Michelle took several more. (This dinosaur didn't move or make noise, but it still took some convincing to get Peter and Duff on it.)
And just because we are gluttons for punishment, we tried for another group photo on our way out. Once again, I gave up after 3. (It wasn't very nice how we were asking them to look directly into the sun, I have to admit.)
After the zoo, it was back home to finish opening presents (apparently, while eating watermelon.)
She was pretty happy with her haul, I think.
Jonas was bored by the whole affair.
She is a dress girl, and we were running out of dresses that still fit her, so she was thrilled to get 2 new ones.
A little cheesin' for the camera.

No 5 year old birthday is complete without a princess outfit.
Sadly, the cake boss and assistant (that would be me) didn't pull through on this one. (A day spent at the pool and at the zoo left no time for baking.) So, instead we went to Top It for frozen yogurt. We ran into the Boydens there, who also made a big deal of it being her birthday, so it worked out nicely.)

The next day, I took her on a special date to Barnes and Noble for her free birthday cupcake.
And just to show you how excited she is to be 5, this is her at the doctor's office waiting for her kindergarten shots. Have you ever seen a child so enthusiastic about getting shots? Really, truly, she kept asking, "when do I get my shots?"She was announcing to her siblings in the morning that she was going to the doctor for her kindergarten shots. And when it was time, she didn't whimper, whine or complain for even one second. The nurse was really surprised, as was I. Usually at the very mention of shots at my house there is a whole lot of worrying, whining, complaining and tears about the subject. She just may have earned herself some ice-cream. It was the most pleasant trip to the doctor I think I've ever had.

Happy Birthday Duff!