Friday, June 29, 2007

FHE at the park

Continuation of Meg's visit . . .

We actually had an evening of not-110-degree-weather and so we all (Amy & Jim's family, ours, and G. Cyndee) ventured out to the nearby park for some good old-fashioned fun: baseball. Most of the kids preferred running around like maniacs or rolling down the hill (Princess Bride style), but we got a few to participate. . .

I can't begin to tell how much fun these cousins
had together that week! The park was especially fun, but maybe that's because Megan and I were in our own little M&M world (that's what mom called us as children) as our high school silliness overcame us. We often get that way when we are together -- silly.

Me trying to "help" Megan do her back bend. Finally we realized (better yet remembered) that I am a weakling and could not possibly catch her if she fell. So she resorted to starting on the ground and did fabulous on her own without my help.

I can do a cartwheel, but I will not even try this!

Megan does lots of yoga and pilates. I have just started yoga so I don't think my body would agree with this position very
well, but maybe some day...

...then again, maybe not.

convinced me to do this. It would not be a good idea to post the picture of me actually hanging upside down because my shirt came untucked and I do not edit photos very well. So, I will spare you all the underclothing peep show. Nate was close by (I think it made him nervous), ready and poised to save the day in case I fell. I didn't, but it was nice to have a knight in shining armour at hand.

Possibly the best picture I have ever seen of Megan!

I love it!

So, here's to you, Megan -- You're a great sister!

Swimming at Grandma Cyndee's

I am now ready to actually document all the happenings when Megan was here (like two weeks ago!). Better late than never though, right???

Megan and her lovely family have been in freezing cold Iowa this year while Tom completed his first year of med school -- yeah for Tom!!!

For summer vacation, they decided to come see family since there may not be
another chance in the next few years as school becomes more intense. So Megan hung out with us for a week before heading to Utah to visit JoDee and we made the most of every moment the point of exhaustion (for us as well as our children).

On the last day of seeing them, we got home and London collapsed on the floor and Savannah on the couch. I quickly tidied up the kitchen (can't stand a messy kitchen) and then took them up for the bath. The girls like to play until the last moment when the water is all drained out. London is laying in the tub in fetal position as if she has already fallen asleep! Didn't I tell you we were all past the point of exhaustion???? I was not kidding!

Aidan, Talin, Savannah, sad Colin, Davyn, and London
Reunited Cousins

One of the first times we saw Megs and family was when we went swimming at Cyndee's pool. The kids were all thrilled to show off their new swimming talents -- thanks a million to Emily!

The saddest yet cutest boy ever!

I love this picture!

The inseparables: Davyn and London.
There is no explaining the obsession D has over his prescious Ya-ya (London). In fact, the other day Amy wasn't permitted to call him D as he was pretending to be London for the day. Sounds familiar -- I never know what to call my girls on any given day...

The other inseparables: Talin and Savannah.
These two played together very well. . . perhaps a little too well. Megs and I had to keep a close watch to make sure they were not trying to kiss! I think Savy's watched one too many Disney princess movies and Talin is definitely a lady's man at the ripe old age of 5. He has a couple girls in Iowa who are his "girlfriends" and I suppose his cousin, Savannah, is now a part of that list.


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Parenting . . . with a little help from the scriptures

"And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just--yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them--therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God."

-Alma 31:5

This scripture talks about when Alma prepared to teach the Zoramites the gospel, but the other day during my scripture study, it hit me that so much more can be taken from this well-known scripture in regards to my life at the moment. So following are a few thoughts I had about parenting upon pondering this scripture.

Preaching of the Word = FHE, attending church (Primary for the kids), our example to our children (they’re always watching), and just everyday conversations where we bring the gospel to our children’s attention and thoughts.

A couple months ago Nate spoke with someone at work who had Elder Bednar at his stake conference. Elder Bednar asked him if he read his scriptures with his family to which he replied that he and his wife did, but they had only toddlers so they didn’t read as a family.

What do you think E. Bednar replied????

He said – you need to start reading with them even at that young age – read the scriptures with your children or you will lose them!

Sword = spanking, physical punishment.

Anything else = any other punishments parents think of and use.

I firmly believe that if we have/continue regular family scripture study, prayer and FHE, then we will be blessed. Our children will know their Savior better and want to be like Him as the spirit resides in our homes.

And that, my friends = good behavior

(for the most part - I mean they can't be perfect, can they?)

I then remembered an article I read in the Ensign when Savannah was a toddler and London a new baby and I was overwhelmed with juggling the two on very little sleep. (I swear London did not sleep at all in her first six months of life!) It seemed that Savy took a bad behavior turn and soon afterwards I read this article about a mom who was frustrated about the bad behavior of her toddler. In a dream, she sat on a park bench with her deceased Grandmother and asked advice. The Grandmother simply said "play with her." Taking the advice to heart, the mother decided to spend more one-on-one time and it immediately changed her daughter’s behavior.

That article helped me realize that even just 10-15 minutes of sitting on the floor playing with Savy helped her behavior improve so that I could tend to the baby. Sometimes I forget that lesson and get busy cleaning, cooking, studying, painting, etc. And then I realize that I need to go back to the advice in that article and it always helps – my girls LOVE it when I play Barbie’s or eat their pretend food and it’s also FUN for me.

And let me assure you that there is nothing better in this world than little arms wrapping around your neck, a kiss and a little voice proclaiming, "mom, you're my best buddy!"

So, between the word and one-on-one time,

I am ready to go forward and be a better mom today.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


don't you just love it?

Despite the 110 degree weather,
we are enjoying all the FRUIT that comes with summer.






We are fruit lovers in this house.

p.s. we have become addicted to
watermelon-berry smoothies
from a cute blogger named NieNie.

very refreshing and very . . . summer.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Oh, the funny things they say...and think...

The other day I attempted to put lime green bows in London's hair, but she exclaimed,

"Mom, green ISN'T my best color!"

Oh, so sorry, heaven forbid you wear green then, London

(you're only 3 for crying out loud!).

Today Amy took Aidan and Savannah to their FIRST Primary Activity : a birthday party for none other than President Hinckley (or Hinckey as Savy used to call him). Amy said they had fun, but before leaving, Savy turned to her and asked why President Hinckley never came out. What an observant girl - she was the only child confused about this because Amy said nobody else seemed to noticed that the guest of honor was noticeably missing...

I had the joy of staying with the little ones. As I was at the table reading, London and Davyn colored together on the same page of the same coloring book, just absolutely fawning over each other.

"I luv u Ya-Ya"

"I love you too, D. You are such a cute baby. You are my baby. Mom, D is my baby."

It was cute, but rather cheesy -- all that love going on!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Play dough fun!

Always looking for something new to do, Savannah and London decided the other day that play dough was the new thing. They go in spurts. Next week it will be fruit-loop necklaces while last week it was watercolors (until I nixed it due to dripping pages leaking all over my counters). A healthy dose of plain old drawing and coloring always sneaks in there too.

Amy would be appalled at the mixed colors (she has a strict no mixing rule at her house). I finally gave up on trying to make them segregate colors - now I figure it's their play so they can mix colors if they so choose (but it can get pretty nasty). They made lovely and tasty-looking food for all to eat before they moved on to making snails and snakes and bird nests complete with eggs.

Savannah and her "fork chops"
(don't know where she got that from)

Monday, June 18, 2007

it's good to be the king read the card Nate received for Father's Day.

I thought I would document the first Father's Day card that I did not have to write for my children. Savannah managed quite well on her own. She did, however, get frustrated at her second "d" coming out as an "a." Not liking the "fix" she attempted (adding a line to the a), she merely added another perfect "d" to the end.

She always labels the people she draws --
"d" for dad
"s" for Savannah
"L" for London

Can you do a cartwheel?

I CAN!!!!

...and apparently Megan can too!


Sunday, June 17, 2007

To The Best Daddy in the World!

Savannah and her dad

London and her dad

Daddy and his girlies!

Nate and Savy fishing

happy father's day, honey!

You know you are a good dad if. . .

you can make up a new story about the fairy princess sisters every single dang night

you can whip up a mean bean burrito when mom's incapable of cooking

you can wrestle with your girls after a long day at work

you can have the patience to fish with a toddler

your children sometimes choose to dress up as you rather than in their princess dresses

I could go on and on . . .
they adore you just as much as you adore them!

Friday, June 15, 2007

I'm back! Update...birthdays!

I may have to update on all recent events in a couple entries because there is so much to tell and so many stinkin cute pictures to post!!! (I love Amy's new b-day present because she takes as many pictures of my kids as her own and they turn out great).

So I need to recap: Cyndee's birthday swim party, my Nate's birthday dinner, and all the fun I have had the past week playing with my mom, Amy and Megan.


Saturday, June 9
Cyndee's birthday:

Mom and her favorite grandchildren (just kidding!). London and Davyn do like snuggling her though.
Collin, London, Laraine, Savannah, Talin and Aidan

We spend my mom's birthday at Aunt Laraine's house in Sun City. Nothing like a swim party in the hot Arizona sun. Like Amy wrote in her blog, it was fun to see how Laraine loves the children. She was the one out there throwing them onto the "boat" (see pic below) or filling up their water balloons and planning the attack on the birthday girl (see below also). She was such a fun aunt growing up and has not changed at all. London absolutely LOVES her and always ends up sitting on her lap.

This was the excitement of the day for the kids -- the "boat." They all went crazy jumping onto it from the side and jumping off it to swim to the side.
Colin got a little over excited after lunch and, forgetting he no longer had his floaties on, jumped in and missed the boat. I think that seeing mine and Amy's kids swimming without floaties maybe made him think it was easy and he didn't need his. Sinking fast, his mom (Megan) thought even faster and without hesitation took off running and heroically jumped into the pool to save her baby. What a mom! Never mind that Mary was less than 2 feet away from him in the pool. I admire Meg's quick thinking. I did feel a little bad that I was not so quick in noticing what was happening since I was standing next to Megan and still in my swim suit whereas Megs had already changed into her clothes and so went into the pool fully dressed. Colin is a crazy boy and always doing something that results in bodily injury -- definitely an adventure being around that boy!

Savannah jumping onto the boat. The kids seriously could have stayed there all day playing! Even London would get up there and then slide off and swim to the side. I was really quite proud of how much she has improved in the few times we've been swimming since her last swim lesson in the middle of May. I love it that my girls know how to get themselves to the side, but I still watch closely, just in case.

The grandkids loved Aunt Laraine's water balloons, but loved the attack on Grandma even more. As you can tell, a certain someone is more inclined to be the cheerleader in the background rather than take part in the violence. London, on the other hand, gets right out there with the boys, aiming away at her beloved Grandma Cyndee.

Talin is Megan's oldest son who just turned five in April. The cutest and sweetest little boy alive, I just love hearing stories about him from Megs. He definitely has a sweet spirit and is always teaching her something -- like telling her that the song on the radio is saying bad things and she should change it or last week in church he sat next to his new primary teacher (he was visiting for the first time) and waving his scriptures in her face, exclaimed: "I have my scriptures ready for primary!" Our family affectionately calls him "prophet-boy."

Sunday, June 10

Nate's Birthday
29 years old!

Next year we will have to have a big BASH, but this year was nice and relaxed. Well, it kind of has to be when it falls on a Sunday. We did go to a D-backs game this week together which was fun. But for his big day, we just went to church and then relaxed -- actually that is probably what Nate prefers since he has been so busy at work and hardly ever gets downtime lately.

We had a lot of family over for dinner: Pat & Norma (Nate's parents), Jill & Marc (Nate's sister) and their 3 boys, Amy and Jim and their 2 boys, Megan and her 2 boys, and Cyndee. Full house. Everyone contributed to a lovely meal of apple-glazed pork loin, mashed potatoes, salad and rolls with cherry limeades or shirley temples to drink.

Megan, Amy and my mom got creative with the rolls and put a pecan inside one of them. The lucky winner who got that roll had the honor of being Nate's personal slave for the day. Unfortunately Jill got the nut and older sisters are never too keen on being personal slaves to little brothers so Nate got a raw deal, but other than that I think he had a great day with all our loved ones.

I made him his FAVORITE cake -- German Chocolate -- from scratch and it turned out great although a bit lopsided (if anyone likes to cook, check out America's Test Kitchen, they always have good recipes and tips - thanks Amy for the introduction!).

Blowing out the candles

Do not Notice:
I wish I was better at the computer so I could crop myself out of this picture, but it's not about me, it's about Nate and this was the best picture of him blowing out the candles of the cake.

Do Notice:
So, please just ignore me and look at the birthday boy and the darling kids surrounding him -- Ryan, Dallin, Davyn, London, and Savy. Also, notice the look of admiration and worship on Davyn's little face. Amy's boys LOVE Uncle Nate. Just the other day, Aidan was out in my backyard picking weeds because "it will make Uncle Nate happy when he gets home from work."

I just had to throw this picture in because it was so dang cute! This is Grandpa Pat (Nate's dad) and Luke (Jill's youngest). I love Luke's onsie with the tie on it almost as much as his crazy hair. This picture makes me think of how much all the grandchildren ADORE Pat. He always takes the time to play with them and pretend or sing songs or tell stories with them. Whenever we go to his house, we usually end up with a little talent show where all the kids show off for Grandma and Grandpa.

So that's the recap on the birthdays from last weekend! I'll be working on all the fun we had swimming, playing at the park and going to the museum with Megan for my next entry. Stay tuned for more. . .

p.s. I am having real issues with fonts in this entry and no matter what I do, the computer is doing it's own thing, so sorry but I can't change fonts or sizes or italics on this entry no matter what and I'm tired of trying to fix it.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Happy Birthday!


Okay, he is a little bit older than this today, but I love old pictures and was he not the CUTEST little boy ever??? Still is and I am lucky to have him! I have been a slacker with writing this week, but I had to do a quick tribute to my love. So, happy birthday and we love you and appreciate all you do for our family!


Your girlies!
Savannah, London, and Mandi

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom!

I couldn't let today pass without a little birthday note to my mom. She is the greatest and I did not have much time to do anything for this entry, but everyone who knows her knows that she is the best. She is always there for me when I need her and all her grandchildren ADORE her. Need I say more?

Today we went to a barbecue and swam at her sister, Laraine's, house and then "the girls" (mom, Amy, Megan, and I) went to Charlestons for dinner. Lovely to be without our six children. Good food and good company made for a good time despite a bad waiter who never refilled drinks or came by to take Megan's order for more croissants (to die for croissants). Eventually, Meg got her croissants and we were all happy.
I am hoping Amy took some good pictures of the swim fun with her new camera that I can post later this week.

Monday, June 4, 2007


The other day (or week) during London's nap time, Savannah and I did our homework.

I am working on finishing my BYU education which was cut short by a few major fun and exciting things that I definitely do not regret: study abroad in London, mission to Chile, marriage to Nathan, two lovely daughters. . . need I go on?

Savannah is practicing her name. Her name is so long that I feel bad she has to remember so many letters. She can do it if I write it out for her to copy (like above), but by the end of the summer we hope to be writing it all alone from memory.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Zoo Trip with Daddy

Better late than never.

Saturday (almost a week ago) was our sixth anniversary and we decided to spend the day as a family at the zoo. We took off for an early start and had a blast! I take the girls to the zoo a couple times every winter, but having daddy there was a treat! It is so fun to just be alone with your own little family.
Here are a few pictures we took to remember the day:

London trying to not get eaten by a large snake.

The ride
Savannah and Nate checking out the animals. I do not know who was more excited about all the animals - Nate or the girls. We actually saw the cheetahs running around (anyone who knows the Phx Zoo knows that this is rare) and so we had to return after lunch and stake out the cheetahs. Nate spotted them bedded down under a tree about 20 yards from us. It kind of freaked me out when he brought it to my attention how close we were to them and yet could barely see them. I am scared to ever go to Africa now - -who knows what may be lurking right next to you!! Oh well, I guess I still want to go someday. We have some good friends who are going in August and I cannot wait to hear all about it and see the pics.

It got a little hot just as we were finishing up and so we got some Popsicles to cool us down a little. They did the trick.
Can you see the excitement on those faces? They recognized the shell from The Little Mermaid and begged for a picture.
The girls.The ones I love the most.
Ready for anything.Savannah's been into Lion King lately and so she had to have a picture with Timon's family.London has an uncanny love for anything monkey.
Can you tell? Maybe I'll post about that another day.
"Mom, is that where someone was buried?"
Savannah was paying attention last month when we went to Cherry and visited the cemetery. I just thought it was funny that she would remember and then make that connection.

Did we see any animals? I am not really one to take pics of animals, but Nate did and I was glad because I LOVE the monkey and the scarlet macaw pictures he took.

Antelope and Elephant. The beginning of the zoo and the end. The elephants rarely do anything exciting, but we saw him sucking up the water and spraying himself - the girls were enthralled. Too bad our camera did not catch him in the act.