0

Summer Activities

We have had a really fun summer so far. It has been really BUSY! Up until this year the summers haven’t really felt any different than the rest of the year since our kids aren’t in school or anything yet. Also, the boys weren’t quite big enough to fully enjoy (or, let’s be honest, for ME to fully enjoy) more than a trip to the park or a play date.

This year we have been to the Springville splash pad with our Nevada friends.

2014-05-28 11.32.232014-05-28 11.27.30 2014-05-28 11.27.47

We went to the Tracy Aviary with cousins.

2014-05-30 10.29.252014-05-30 10.17.55

We ran in the irrigation water at Grandma’s.
2014-06-03 16.15.43 2014-06-03 16.20.21 2014-06-03 16.53.48

We have been to the Ogden Dinosaur Park.

2014-06-07 10.42.50 2014-06-07 11.21.05 2014-06-07 11.24.17 2014-06-07 12.20.29

(Had to document this rare photo of Uncle Nate with his tongue IN his mouth)

We enjoyed Lagoon. Twice. (Thanks Great-Grandpa Hitchcock AND rain-out day!)

2014-06-17 01.10.21 2014-06-17 01.10.31 2014-06-17 01.49.14

2014-06-17 12.08.44 2014-06-17 12.33.26 2014-06-17 12.51.12 2014-06-17 13.04.05

2014-06-30 16.25.16

We have been utilizing our Seven Peaks Pass of all Passes at the water park.2014-07-09 10.27.39

We went to the newly refurbished Bean Museum. (Happy Birthday cousin Otto!) Apparently I don’t have any photos of this event. :(

We have been camping. Isaac and Derek went for Father and Sons’ Outing.2014-06-27 20.40.462014-06-27 18.57.55

We went to a parade with Grandma and Grandpa Christensen. (It was hot and sunny…)

2014-07-04 11.04.36

We have been fishing. We camped with Great-Grandpa Merrill at Schofield and he took us fishing on the boat.

2014-07-11 11.17.09

2014-07-11 10.21.482014-07-11 11.36.01

We have been to the aquarium.

2014-07-02 13.42.08

We rode the Dinosaur Train and ate at the “train restaurant” in Heber.2014-06-28 15.02.162014-06-28 15.52.13

We made popsicles and ate them on the front porch.2014-07-16 15.39.38

We have played in the pool in the yard.

2014-07-17 10.35.08

We still have plans to go to the zoo to see the new African Safari exhibit, a rodeo, a REAL game (Pass of all Passes!) and we’d also like to go camping as a family.

I love summer with my cute family!

 

**When did those boys get so big??

0

Basement Remodel: Paint and Carpet

We spent every spare minute in May getting ready for carpet. We painted and painted and painted and put up trim and painted some more. We spent a few late, late nights and recruited some family help. We had to leave a few things undone but we got the important things hung and painted before Blackhurst brought us the carpet.

Game Room (Benjamin Moore Gray Cloud)

2014-06-03 14.28.02

Den (Benjamin Moore Sweatshirt Grey) Furniture on loan from Brad and Teri

2014-06-03 21.33.40
2014-06-03 16.56.56

Boys’ Room (Benjamin Moore Banana Yellow)2014-06-03 21.31.32

And…. we haven’t done a single bit of work since the carpet was installed on June 2nd. I refuse to put furniture in (besides the borrowed stuff) until we finish all of the details. I know we’ll never finish if we really start living down there. But we’re almost there and it’s feeling like a house again! We have doors to paint and hang, window sills and a little more trim to paint/caulk but that’s all! Hopefully in the next month we can find time (and motivation) to get the final pieces put together and call it a wrap.

1

How to Be a Decent Mom: Forget the What

We mommas focus a lot on the “what” part of parenting. That’s where all of the Mommy Wars come from. Anti or pro vaccines? Co-sleeping or crib sleeping? Home, private or charter school? Breast or bottle feeding?

We should focus on the how. How are you a good momma? Like most of you, I’m pretty proud of what I do with my kids most days. We are all pretty committed and even defensive of our rules, expectations and family culture that we have established.  I’m no different. I love that we go to church, read scriptures and pray as a family. I love that my boys can communicate in two languages. I love teaching them their letters. I love going to the library with them. I love being home together.

What it all boils down to though, is that my kids will remember how they felt when I was with them. They will remember if I was loving or critical; patient or in a hurry; interested or distracted; genuine or annoyed. How do I enforce the rules? How do I teach? How do I interact with them moment to moment?

We all know how we should treat our children. I think we all would like to show them kindness and consideration and love all of the time. I just think we forget when we get caught up in what we need to get done. Sometimes we even forget when we have something really “fun” or “educational” or “special” planned for the kids. We are so focused on the activity (and, let’s be honest, on how awesome of a momma we are for planning said activity) that we tend to be less than patient/kind/loving as we should be.

There’s a chance that I’m alone in this but I have a feeling there are a few more moms out there who can relate to what I’m saying. My goal this summer is to be more patient and genuinely loving with my kids. I hope the feeling in my home can be one of love and joy and fun and safety.

0

Basement Remodel: Update

We hired Ryan from RC Drywall to come and hang the drywall the last week of April. They were great to work with and I’m happy with how it looks. I really wanted smooth walls and ceilings like we have everywhere else in the house but we saved some money (and time) by having them do a light “hand texture” on the wall and a “stamp texture” on the ceiling.

They finished on a Saturday which meant we couldn’t spend the whole day painting the office like we had hoped. Instead, Derek and Curtis installed our three new window wells and *mostly* filled the huge holes. We still have some finish work to do on them but at least there are no giant pits of despair in our yard for small animals and children to fall into.

The next Monday we primed the office, Tuesday we painted, Wednesday we did trim and Thursday we did finish work. The carpet installers came Friday morning to put a remnant in the office that we had been using in the den.  Friday afternoon I rented a carpet cleaner from Home Depot, used and returned it just in time to run off to my choir concert that night. Busy week.

2014-05-09 12.36.53

We used Benjamin Moore Aura paint. So. Amazing. We did one coat on each wall and we were done! It was worth paying the extra money for the high end paint. We tried to save money by using a mid to low grade paint upstairs but we ended up having to paint everything 2-3 times. So annoying. The girl at the hardware store told me after using Aura I wouldn’t be able to go back to anything else. I think she’s right. I’m hooked.

The office colors are Benjamin Moore: Old Navy, Wedding Veil and Annapolis Gray.

We got Derek’s desk and computers moved back in on Saturday and I bought these awesome chairs on KSL.

2014-05-14 22.15.20

Oh and I LOVE having my hubby working from home again. I feel much lighter and happier again. The last two months have helped me to appreciate how truly spoiled blessed I am. You wouldn’t think a 15 minute commute would make such a big difference but it does. We have so much more TIME together when he’s here. When he’s home, we get a whole extra hour at lunch with him, plus all of the water breaks he takes during the day. When he was driving to work, sometimes I only saw him a total of an hour a day. He’s not allowed to get a “real” job ever again.

0

A Nerdy Thirty Birthday

2014-05-10 14.54.51

If you know Derek, you know how appropriate a nerdy thirty party was. It was even his idea…. kind of. :) He wasn’t a big fan of the bow tie but he was a good sport.

Here’s the Invite I sent out: DerekBdayInvite (2)

2014-05-10 14.20.03We had Derek’s favorite snacks: Doritos, popcorn, Red Vines and on the other table we had nachos and soft pretzels with soda.

My three smallest nerds:

ImageImageImage2014-05-10 13.31.38These two… We sure are going to miss having these cousins around.Image

2014-05-10 16.20.07Aunt Linda was the favorite! I’m not sure how many books she read but the kids just kept them coming!Image

I think he had a good time and felt loved. Thanks for coming everyone!

0

Basement Remodel: Fireplace

I spent all week trying to figure out what to do with those *awful* green bricks.

Image

I found a tutorial on pinterest about how to stain brick using concrete stain, but the problem was that green paint (or whatever it is) wouldn’t let the brick absorb the stain. I tried concrete paint thinner. That did nothing. I talked to the guy at Standard Masonry Supply and he recommended trying hydrochloric acid (with all kinds of warnings about how the fumes would melt my face and ruin my lungs). It did nothing.

My dad suggested that we try his sandblaster. He hauled over his huge air compressor and all of the sand blasting equipment only to have it flip our breaker. He got to work on the fireplace anyway using the smaller air compressor we had here. One hour later he had only gotten about 10 bricks done. The next day during nap time I gave it a go. I didn’t make much more progress than him: about 10 bricks in an hour.

Image

Meanwhile, Dad had tested out the big compressor and it was working again so we gave it a second try. It was SO MUCH FASTER. In another hour I was halfway done. Saturday morning I put in another couple of hours and was finished by lunchtime.

Image

The brick color is a little dull but I think after a good cleaning and a coat of sealer, it will look really nice. (Much better than GREEN!)

Image

Derek, his brother and dad finished framing over the rest of the brick Saturday afternoon. Hooray! Almost ready for drywall! A few more finishing details and some new wiring to finish up this week. We’re getting close!

Image