Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Sibling Love

A few weeks ago, I had Esther and Adah wear matching dresses. It was their first time and it was absolutely adorable. I couldn't help but pull out the camera and take some cute pictures. For the most part, they cooperated.

Too much love... Mom? Help?

Then the boys wanted in on the action.

My absolute favorite shot from the session! These crazy amazing kids!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween from Texas!

It wasn't 90 degrees today like it was last year so trunk or treating was much more pleasant. And it had rained yesterday and it was still cloudy so it was a bit spooky looking outside. Still a bit more humid than I like but I can't complain too much.

This year we went with the Studio C theme. It's a big hit in our family and the kids were very excited about it. We even entered their Studio C Halloween costume contest. I didn't want to make my Instagram account public so I opened a temporary Twitter account and posted a collage of our costumes with hashtag #StudioCHalloween. I can't believe how many people dressed up as Studio C characters this year! It was fun looking at everyone's ideas online.

Anyway, rather than trying to rush getting photos at the trunk or treat, I talked the family into dressing up this afternoon and we did a little photo shoot outside. There were some really fun ones. I'll post them here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


I knew this day would come. I just didn't expect it so soon. See, Daron's family was really into water sports. They had a small boat that they would take out frequently for waterskiing and spending time together as a family. Daron loved it!

The boat was still around when we were dating and first married and we went out many times. For as much as I'm not a big fan of the water myself, I do have some great memories of our time spent with that boat. Mostly watching my fiance and then new husband showing off his water skiing skills. 

I have tried to prepare myself for the day Daron would suggest we buy a boat. And it came this summer. A member of our ward asked Daron if we wanted to buy his boat. It's a 1991 Ski Centurion Falcon with an inboard motor. Daron has ridden in it once before for a Scouting thing. It's in pretty good shape and was really a good deal. I think I prefer this over a brand new shiny thing. That would make me feel really awkward.

So after much consideration, we are now owners of a boat. And they threw in all the skis, jackets, and water toys they had! We did have some issues getting started as the poor thing had been left alone for awhile. All their kids are grown and the previous owners hadn't used it much in the last few years. So there were several things that needed fixing. There was some oil leaking, the strap that holds the front of the boat on the trailer snapped, one of the tow ropes broke, the trailer tires all needed replacing, the battery died when we first tried to get it out on the water, etc.

Seeing as the weather has been still warm into October, we took the boat out twice. Once just to cruise around Grapevine Lake and get a feel for it. And once with some friends to give the kids their first tube rides and allow the other grownups a chance to waterski.

The first time we took it out, Daron allowed the three older kids to steer it. They had a blast! Nathan was definitely the most careful of them. While Esther had her turn, she burst out into singing the Star Wars theme. I got to thinking that the boat was a Ski Centurion Falcon, Esther was singing Star Wars, the boat was old but strong, and it was giving us a few problems... thus the name of Millenium Falcon was born!

Funny thing is that the second time we took it out, the engine was annoyed at the water in it from reversing so it took a few minutes for it to get going. It totally reminded me of the time when Han Solo kept trying to get the Millenium Falcon into hyperdrive and it kept failing.

Without further ado, here is the boat!

We finally got it into a storage place near one of the lakes not far from us. Just in time, too, as we got a police citation on our door saying that boats aren't allowed to be parked on the road. 

From our first trip out:

Happy Daron.


Happy kids.

Esther driving.

Jacob's turn.

Nathan being careful.

Second time out on Columbus Day. Nathan on the tube. I forgot to take a video of Esther on my phone.

Jacob on the tube with our friend, Joe.

Adah was not so happy about the whole thing. The infant life vest we had was a bit uncomfortable for her. It allowed her to sit up on her own, though. The poor kid. She'll enjoy it more as she gets older.

Then my amazing brother-in-law, Damon, sent us a new infant life vest. I think he thought Adah wasn't properly attired but in truth, this life vest is much more comfortable for her. This picture is really fuzzy but you can see she likes it better!

All in all, I'm glad we made the purchase. Though I am not a fan of the water in general and my anxiety about the whole boating thing is still quite prominent. I love that Daron loves it and I love that the kids love it. I don't know that I will ever love it - too much to worry about. But perhaps as the kids get older and we all get more experienced at it, I can calm down and enjoy it more. For now, I will just take it one boating trip at a time and enjoy the time spent with friends and mostly family!

Sunday, October 25, 2015


As usual, the kids and I got to church as Sacrament meeting began. Both doors to the chapel were open as we came through the outside doors. The older kids were all several steps ahead of Adah and myself, with Jacob being right in front. 

Without waiting for anyone, he walked right in and, according to witnesses, jogged to our usual pew and sat right down. The rest of us entered the chapel as he was making himself quietly comfortable in his seat. 

Of course, as I walked down the aisle, I got smiles and flashes of giggles from friends who had seen Jacob arrive well ahead of us. I caught Daron's eye as he sat on the stand and we both shrugged. What a kid!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Crazy Four

The more kids means more smiles, more joy, and more laughter. But it also means more work getting them all to sit still and smile for the camera - at the same time!