Monday, January 28, 2013

Kate turns 7!

Can you believe "whoooooo" is 7?!  It really is just CRAZY to me.   

 There are not a lot of girls Kate's age that she knows.  She is in spectrum class so there are only a total of 4 1st grade girls in the entire class.  Kate's party was just a small group, but they had a good time. We partied at Blast Off and the girls ran wild.  Just like 7 year olds should do.

This girl loves a new pair of boots!

It was a little difficult to decide what to get Kate this year.  She has inherited all the girls hand me down toys, she has just about everything in the world.  And she thinks she is 14 not 7, so she told me all she wanted for her b-day was clothes.  But we surprised her with a Squinkie Mansion and I think the look on her face in the above picture says we did a good job.  I guess she does enjoy being a little girl after all. :)

 Happy Birthday Kate-Kate! Our little "pink caboose" is a spunky little fire cracker.  She is ALWAYS on the go and it's always at 100 miles per hour.  She's got sass enough to spare and a hot little temper and a serious case of curiosity that sometimes leads to trouble. She is fiercely loyal to her opinions and there is not a thing anyone can do to change that.  She loves to color, read, do math, wrestle, wrestle some more, and play barbies.  She becomes extremely shy around people she doesn't know and either won't say a word at all, or runs her mouth non-stop.  You never know what this kid is going to say. She always keeps us laughing.

We are constantly getting told we look a lot a like and when I look back at my kid pictures I definitely can see some similarities.  I think it is such a compliment to be told I look like beautiful Kate. Kate keeps us on our toes and is the perfect little ending to family.  We love her very much!

Halle turns 12!

 The cell phone rule at our house is that you get one when you turn 12.  Halle has not so patiently waited for her 12th birthday for a LOOOOONNNG time.  She was SO excited to finally get a phone.  And I have to be honest, I was too.  It has eased a lot of her anxiety to know she can call me and vice versa when needed.

 Halle is certainly growing up.  She didn't really want a party this year.  Not even a cake.  She just wanted to go ice skating with her friends.  So that is what we did.

 There were a couple of falls, but really, they all skated great and for most of them it was their first time.

 Afterwards, we went to Kiwi Loco for frozen yogurt and opened a few presents.  It was very low key and easy peasy for me!

Happy Birthday to our sweet Halle! Halle is our most affectionate child.  You can always count on a hug and squeeze from her. The closer she can be to you, the better.  She loves to laugh, and can find the funny in just about anything.  She is a sensitive soul and wears her emotions on her sleeve.  Her spit fire temper still shows itself once in a while, but she does a good job at keeping herself in check.  She is doing a good job at being able to help babysit for me once in a while.  Being alone is not her favorite thing, so I know she does it to help me and I love her for that. She is becoming a wonderful artist and loves to doodle and draw. She has been working so hard on her grades this year and got her first straight A report card.  We are SO proud of her and all the hard work she puts into everything in her life.  We love you Halle, our family would not be complete without you!

Happy Halloween!

This year Kate  chose to be a flamenco dancer, Carter was a BYU football player (along with his buddy Harrison), Halle was an 80's girl (but she kept saying she was a hippy), and Alyssa decided she was too old to trick-or-treat, but wore her swim gear to the Halloween Party.  Halle got to go off by herself with friends this year, Alyssa had friends over for movies and treats, and I took the little kids around the neighborhood, and they made a haul in the candy department.

Alyssa Turns 14!

 The big event for Alyssa was her 14th birthday!  She was upgraded from a regular cell phone to a smart phone, and boy was she excited!

 Man, she just looks SO grown up in this picture.  Such a teenager!  How did this happen???

 We also gave her her very own riding helmet.  She was having to borrow one at the barn and really hated using somebody else's helmet.  Who knew a funny looking helmet could make a girl happy? :)

 She chose to make carmel apples with her friends for her party.

 Obligatory friend shot. What a good bunch of girls these are.

 And then they went off the the haunted forest.

They had so much fun, they had to go twice.

Happy Birthday to my dear Alyssa!  She is such a great kid.  Always dependable, responsible, perfectionate, and very very smart.  Never needs encouraging to get homework finished, in fact we sometimes have to do the opposite and tell her to chill a little.  She's a pretty no-nonsense kid, but still knows how to find some fun in life. She really has her head on straight and knows exactly what she wants, and what she expects from life.  I think that is such a strong attribute of her personality.  We love you Alyssa, and are so glad you are part of our family!

Toe Shoes

A big event for Halle happened in October.  She finally got fitted for toe shoes.  We went to this little shop that had boxes and boxes and boxes of shoes.  She tried on A LOT of shoes, different brands, different shapes, different hardness, etc.  Until the right shoe was found.  I seriously felt like I was in Harry Potter and the wand shop.  You don't choose the shoe, the shoe chooses you. :)

Provo Canyon

 We stayed in Utah for the weekend after the BYU game.  We took a drive through Provo Canyon while listening to Conference on Saturday.  The colors were absolutely gorgeous.  Cameras never seem to quite capture the brilliance of Fall, but let me tell you, I felt like I was driving through a painting.  We had to stop and get a few family shots.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


The first weekend of October we decided to get a group of friends together and tailgate for a BYU football game.  The Treasures, Traynors, Englemans, and Smiths all joined us for a little parking lot party.  We grilled some chicken and ate treats while we waited for the game to start.  We had beautiful weather, a little chilly, but beautiful still the same.

This was Kate's very first BYU game. Usually Jarom takes each kid individually for their first time, but since we own 3 season tickets, Jarom and Carter and the Smith boys sat in our usual seats, and the girls sat in different seats.  I tried my best to make it a great time for Kate, but I think sitting by her animated dad will still be a better experience.  But we still managed to have some fun singing, dancing, cheering, and eating Cougar Tails. :)

Uncle Brandon scored some field passes and took Carter and Jarom down on the field to meet the players and cheerleaders.  I'm not sure, but I think the big boys might have been more excited than Carter, but still he felt like a VIP.  Thanks Uncle Brandon!

Jarom turns 37!

 September brought Jarom's birthday.  He turned 37!  Can we really be this old?  I don't know where the years have gone.  We were little 13 year olds when we met.  CRAZY!!! But what a beautiful family we have created over the years.
I love this handsome man more and more every single year.  It really is true.  And I am so blessed to have him in my life.

Bear Lake with Cromwells

 For the last few years, the Cromwells have invited us to join them for a weekend of fun at their cabin in Bear Lake.  It is always a good time and this year was no exception. Well....except maybe we could have done without the throwing up and diarrhea (yah, we had a little tummy bacteria going through a few of us) and maybe the Jamisons could have joined us like usual, but we really did have a fantastic time. And you really should click on this picture and check out the colors of the hill behind the kids on the tube.  The leaves were absolutely GORGEOUS! And with the blue blue lake in the foreground, it was breath taking.  Pictures just don't do it justice.

 There is always plenty of time in the water on the lake.  Everyone got in except me.  Yah....who invited the party pooper?  But seriously, I really don't love playing in the water and I honestly have a fabulous time sitting on the boat watching everyone else.  It's the best of both worlds for me.  Kids get to play and get wet, I get to be there and stay dry.  :)

 Carter was introduced to fishing. The kid was in heaven.  He sat out on the dock casting his reel for hours! Jarom and Adam took the boys to a local fishing pond and Carter FINALLY caught his very first fish.  He was so excited!

The kids got a long great and were tuckered out at the end of each day.  I think they would live at the Cromwell's cabin if they could.  Thanks for the fun Jennie and Adam!

Beautiful Weather and Girls

Enjoying those last few nice weather days of Summer.  September in Idaho Falls is gorgeous!

September School Days

 1st Grade (all day school) for my baby Kate!

Carter is a handsome 3rd grader. He and Kate are in the same classroom this year with Mrs Ball.

 Halle's ruler of the school as a big ol' 6th grader!

  And Miss 8th Grade Class Pres. herself. Alyssa is also ruler of the newly changed from Jr High to middle school.

I seriously have some cute kids.  They are growing up so very very fast, it really freaks me out.  But so far, I've got some great kids!


 We live about 3 hours from Lagoon, and we have never taken our kids.  So we decided it was high time to do so, plus it was a good way to get their minds off missing friends.  We had a blast. We went when all the UT schools were back in session, so the park was pretty empty.  We were just walking on rides, over and over and over again. and dad got sick.  We're too old to do that kind of thing anymore.  But the kids had a GREAT time!

Sad Day

August ended with a few, okay a lot, of tears from my kiddos. Our neighbors, the Fruths, decided to take a change of employment and move far far away to Tennessee. Oh man did I have sad kids!  The Fruths moved into the neighborhood just couple of years ago, but they quickly became an everyday part of our lives. Our kids lined up just perfect, girl, girl, boy, girl (and then their family continues on after that), and these kids just immediately became the best of friends. It was a sad sad day when we had to say goodbye and watch them drive away.

Savannah and Halle understood each other's humor and spent hours laughing with each other.

Logan and Carter could play legos and computer games for hours on end.

Kate and Madison (who we call Beebs) were the best baby, barbie, house playing friends ever.

And Alyssa and Sierra really were two peas in a pod.  Both the most responsible, intelligent, animal loving, fun girls ever.  What a great pairing they were.

The whole crew that was in and out of the front door, back door, garage door, everyday, all day long. Trying to make some silly faces to keep the tears at bay.

Seriously, I'm writing this post almost 5 months since this day, and I'm still tearing up.  I really miss seeing these blond little kids running through my house. 

Smith Family Reunion

 We also had our very first official Smith Family Reunion.  We decided to hold it at my parent's house.  They built a nice big home so that we could all fit under the same roof, and we've never really taken advantage of that. 

 We had GPS treasure hunt where we found treasure to spend later.

 Plenty of good times.  The one thing I don't have a picture of is our picnic at the park.  Dad took us all on the bus, and Uncle Quin and Aunt Natalie helped us make our very own individual sodas.  Oh boy is dry ice fun.
We built and launched bottle rockets.  Then the adults had a good time putting the leftover dry ice to good use. Nothing like a few dry ice bombs to get a few laughs.

 It was fun to be able to all sleep at the same house.

 Aunt Deidra did a fantastic job with the concessions stand for our movie party.  We used the loot we found on the treasure hunt to purchase our movie treats. The kids LOVED this.

CRAZY Smith kids! It was a fun and successful reunion. Next time we hope Aunt Mimi and Uncle Bryon can make it.