"So Frequently we mistakenly believe that our children need more things, when in reality their silent pleadings are simply for more of our time."
***President Thomas S. Monson (Ensign May 1994)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Girls' New Hair-dos

This is the only recent "before" picture I could find of McKaylie with her hair down.  It's cute, but I really like it when it's short.  Plus, when it's longer, she always has it pulled back in a ponytail.
This isn't the best "after" picture, but you get the idea.  It's cute, right?!

I couldn't find a "before" picture of me with my hair down, but it was past my shoulders.  I like this much better!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Color Me Mine

 The kids have been doing the summer reading program at the library.  One of their first prizes was a free bookworm to paint at Color Me Mine.  It's a pottery store where you can go and pick out one of their many many pieces, paint it however you'd like and then they glaze and fire it for you. 

Getting to Work


Here's what they looked like when they were done painting and when we left them.
The finished products
It was a lot of fun and we're all hoping to go back again really soon.  They have a really awesome - huge - piggy bank I want!  :)  I'm so happy the library gave these away!

Sky and Stormy

New additions
We're starting a new adventure at our house . . . as parakeet owners.
 The kids have been working for several weeks to get their new pets.  They've also been researching parakeets like crazy online.  They probably know more about parakeets now than I'd ever want to learn.  When the day finally came to go get the birds they were beyond excited . . . so excited that they were hard to be around . . .

They picked out 2 little girl birdies.  The one that's grey and white is Noah's and it's name is Stormy.  McKaylie's is blue and white and it's name is Sky.  Their personalities seem to fit their names, too.  Sky is quite calm and relaxed, while Stormy tends to be more jittery and not want to stand still.
Stormy and Sky
They seem very sweet and so far don't make a whole lot of noise.  Every one tells me that won't last, but we're hoping that it does.  I'm sure there's some birds out there somewhere that aren't super noisy, right?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Walk on the Beach at Sunset

These little guys are all over the beach in the evenings. 
 We decided to go for a walk on the beach tonight.  I'm so glad we did.  It was the perfect night for it . . . a nice cool breeze, gorgeous sunset and crabs running around like crazy.
Ready for a fight
 These guys are pretty big, but most were tiny little things running around.  At times it looked the the sand was moving because the little ones are spotted and look just like the sand.  The kids love it.
Gorgeous sunset tonight

Watching the waves roll in
 Chad and I couldn't help but feel a little sad that this might be our last summer here in Virginia.  It's never been our favorite place to live, but there are things about it that we love and the beach is one of them . . . walks on the beach, watching/listening to the waves, the breeze off the water, enjoying the kids while they play and the amazing sunsets.  If we do leave the East Coast, we will so miss the beach!

McKaylie and Noah catch crabs.

They caught a lot of them, let them go and then caught a lot more.


Here's my little buddy.  Even though he's 8 months old now, it still seems surreal that I'm a grandma.   I mean we see him quite a bit.   He's totally captured my heart, everybody's really, and he gives me sloppy, wet baby kisses, that I love . . . but when I think that I'm his grandmother, that just seems so so  strange. I don't know at what point that it starts to feel "normal".  I'm guessing not for a long time.  I guess in meantime, I'll just keep loving this little guy and appreciate the blessing that he is to our family.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Beauty Around Us

I was taking Noah to an appointment (McKaylie was with us) last week and we spotted this butterfly just outside the door.  It didn't fly away even when Noah reached out to touch it.  It was really very beautiful and we stopped to admire it and take some pictures :)  45 minutes later when we were done with the appointment, all the kids wanted to do was go see if the butterfly was still there.  Sadly it was already gone, but McKaylie and Noah talked about it on the way back to the car and on the way home.  It made me think ~ there are so many "things" in the world today to grab our children's attention, many of which I wish I could hide them from.  But the things that seem to have the most positive, lasting effects on them are the simple honest beauties around us . . . like a butterfly on the wall that isn't in a hurry to fly away . . .

I feel very fortunate to have children that want, even crave, simple, honest, and virtuous influences in their lives and that they can see and appreciate the truly beautiful things around them.

Monday, July 8, 2013

4th of July Fun

Flynn and Opa
 We had a great time on the 4th.  It was all family time,  laid back and easy going.  Love those kind of days!  We spent most of our time at Myshel's house . . . swam for about 5 hours, ate yummy hamburgers and hotdogs . . . chilled with some popsicles and roasted a few mellows and made s'mores.

McKaylie using her noodle

Just hanging . . .

 Later that night we headed back over the bridge to Virginia Beach and went to the Dam Neck Navy Base to watch fireworks.  It was nice and relaxing with a cool breeze coming off the water and really no crowds to speak of.

Sitting at the beach waiting for the fireworks to start
Saw a whole lot of these little guys . . .

 Noah was especially excited to see that the sand crabs had come out and spent most of his night chasing them around.  He actually got brave enough to catch one.  They were fun to watch, but when it started getting dark, the bigger ones came out and ventured pretty close to us . . . I was a little worried they'd come pinch at my toes. :)  Just a great day, appreciating the freedoms and rights we have here in the country and feeling very blessed!

McKaylie and Noah . . . Crab Hunters!

McKaylie at Girls Camp

Off to Girls Camp!
 Mckaylie went to her second year at  Girls Camp.  She had a great time.  We have a great group of girls here in the ward with a wonderful Young Women's President!  Love, love, love that she gets these great experiences!
Haley and McKaylie
 McKaylie took her best friend from school (who isn't a memeber of the church . . . yet) She had a great time and even bore her testimony at the closing Fireside.  Awesome!!
Group picture  2013 Girls Camp ~ Pocahontas State Park
A little pranking going on . . .

On the hike . . . sure love this girl!

Some more pranking . . . that would be the Bishop's bike Saran-wrapped to the tree!
A few of the Girls (and Sis. Duse {that's the girls' nickname for her} in the front) waiting for us to come pick them up!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Looking Back a Little

This is our most recent family photo.  It was taken the beginning of December last year, which doesn't seem that long ago. But, it reminds me that things are constantly changing.  Flynn is 8 months old now and just a bundle of energy--how did that time go so fast.  Vance has graduated from high school and McKaylie will be starting her last year or middle school and Noah will be starting his last year of elementary school.  Life is constantly changing--that's not always bad--but sometimes I look bad and think, Did I miss this? How did that happen? Was I not paying attention?  I guess we get too busy living our life and forget to notice some of the "little things".

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