Saturday, December 31, 2011


 We went sledding with our aunts and cousins. Aunt Whitney had invited us to go and we called everyone to make it happen. Aunt Mandy, Aunt Bree with Dani and Aunt Roni with Shelbi, Scott, and Chloe came. Whitney brought a couple kids in her neighborhood too.
 We showed up with a little disk sled and a cardboard sign. There was a guy that felt bad for us using cardboard so he let us use one of his big tubes.
 The kids did great trading off and we discovered that the sign was a great sled for an adult with a child to go down on. Roni came a little late and so Whitney decided to get a couple sleds to add to the pot. She got a toboggan style and another disk.
Bree and I didn't go down the hill. I was recovering from being sick so much in December and Bree is expecting their second baby. I enjoyed the fact that my kids could go down by themselves and haul their own sled back up the hill.

Friday, December 30, 2011

More Christmas 2011

We had a great Christmas morning. We first wrote our present we would give to Jesus. He has a little red stocking that hangs with the rest of ours and we think of one or more things we can do for him during the year. The girls want to try to be more reverent and Derrick wanted to try to listen more. Kevin and I want to try to go to the temple more often and a few other things.
The kids enjoyed the main gift we gave them so much that it was difficult to get them to open the rest of the gifts under the tree. KayDee was thrilled with her pink legos, Derrick loved the legos he got and Samantha adored her Madam Alexander doll. I love that they love their gifts!
We drove up to Kevin's parents and went to church with them and spent the day. The kids love the time they get to spend with grandma and grandpa.

Christmas 2011

 This year the Town Christmas program was a play. It was “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” and the kids put in a lot of hours to make it as good as it was Christmas Eve.
 Samantha had two lines as one of the extra girls and Derrick was a wise man. KayDee was an angel. They all sang the songs. It was fun and definitely a bit of a change.
 Santa Claus came later and we were quite worried about how long it would take him to call the kids names. There were a lot of visitors this year and Santa attends to them too.
 We were happy to have him call their names about half way through and the kids were delighted with a scrap booking kit,
 a Captain America shield
and paints and poster paper.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

KayDee: "Mom, your birthday is this close to Christmas?"
Me: "Yep, 6 days"
KayDee: "WOW!" Eyes sparkling, cheesey grin, super pleased squeal, happy dance etc...
I wish I was this pleased about my birthday being close to Christmas. That made my day.
My kids did 32 things for me around the house for my birthday. Kevin took me out to a movie and dinner the next day and the kids baby sat themselves. They are getting so old and I appreciate that they do their best to get along while were gone. I had a great birthday!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Samantha in The Lion King

 Samantha tried out for the play The Lion King and got the part of Zazu in the first cast. This is a rare occurrence for this performing group since they don't give main parts to new kids. She was very excited and she memorized all her lines and the songs. She went to practices once a week for an hour and a half for the months of Oct, Nov and the beginning of Dec.
 The second night she played a lioness and did a great job dancing with the other lionesses.
We are so proud of her since she did such a great job and followed through with all of the practices and remembered her lines. She wants to do another play and I told her she could after she had some other experiences (like basketball).

Thursday, December 8, 2011


 Kevin and I were able to go to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas this December with Kevin's parents and his brother Travis with his wife BreeAnna. I had never been and so it was really fun to see how a professional rodeo goes. We stopped and looked at all the vendors before we went in and notice how I am the same size as the tire? I could have climbed in the rim! We had a good laugh.
We got our photo taken at one booth and won some other random prizes. The rodeo itself was really great. I really enjoyed the team roping and the steer wrestling. Thanks to Kevin's brother DJ and wife Whitney for babysitting. We had a great time!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Derrick's 8th Birthday

Look at all those boys! Derrick had so much fun with all his cousins on his birthday. I made a cake for him and we transported it up to my sister Diane's house to have during the Christmas service project we did this year. Derrick's birthday ended up on Thanksgiving day this year and so we celebrated it the day before to allow more focus on Derrick.

Man O War Ship. Derrick was happy to help buy this ship. It was a little out of our price range. We were lucky and found it on ksl classifieds for a lot less.

Derrick was baptized the next week into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have talked to him about his choice and he said he wanted to be baptized. He has a great testimony of Jesus Christ as our Savior. He loves going to church and reading his scriptures. He has his own hymn book which he bought with his own money last year and loves to use it. He is good at reading the scriptures and really knows the stories. We love to hear him sing with the primary since he has such a strong voice. He really tries to follow the rules and make good choices. He knows when he feels the spirit and says thoughtful prayers.
Our little boy is growing up and doing so wonderful. We are so happy he is part of our family. He is so much fun and loves to be a part of what we do. He is thoughtful and sensitive to others. He loves camping and riding bikes. He is very coordinated and has a great inventive mind. He plays the piano and is now getting into sports. He is very excited to play baseball this spring.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ice Skating

 My parents took us ice skating at the 7 peaks arena. They had little walkers to help the kids learn how and all three were able to skate without them by the end. Derrick's a little disappointed since there is no picture of him without the walker. He did skate the majority of the time without one.
 Samantha was the first one brave enough to skate by herself. She enjoyed the rest of the time by learning how to go faster and watching other skaters do some tricks. She was the last one off the rink.
 Kevin and I were finally able to hold hands when no child needed our help. We like to skate together.
KayDee was so funny to watch. She would push her walker and then skate fast to catch it in front of her. We convinced her to give her walker to another little kid and she didn't want to leave the rink since she loved skating by herself so much. She did have a couple of hard falls since she virtually had no fear and she ended up with a terrible blister on her ankle but these will not deter her from skating again.
All of us had a great time!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Flag Football

 Derrick played his first game of flag football and absolutely LOVED it! He loves playing with all those boys and having fun learning how to play the game.
1st game
1st game

Team Pictures
Cold day at Derrick's game
 This was the coldest game. I donated my coat so Derrick could be warm enough. The wind was brutal so I bundled up in the blanket with the girls and kept warm. Derrick had fun after he was warm! They happened to have team pictures on the coldest day, so both teams were in the picture. Kevin's parents came to one game and that made Derrick VERY happy.

Monday, October 31, 2011


 This year I helped KayDee's class with their Halloween party. I had to come up with something for the kids to do for their rotation. I decided to do something that made them move so I stuffed some pumpkin leaf bags and we played games with those and I also used our pool floaters to run a relay race like trick or treating. Some groups had fun and others said they were tired. KayDee's group had so much fun they were disappointed since they didn't get enough time to throw the BIG pumpkin around.
 Derrick dressed up as a Ninja and always covered his face when I took pictures.
Samantha was a mid-evil girl and KayDee was tinkerbell with green fangs! We trick or treated in our neighborhood and were saved from walking home when Kevin picked us up on his way home from work and dropped us off at the party at the park.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Off-Roading with the Erickson's

 We were so excited to have my brother Jeff come down to go off-roading with us. Spencer was planning to come too but couldn't since his weekend was too busy. We wanted to go on the Red Mountain Trail since we had attempted it before but never finished. We drove up the first mile and were strongly disappointed by a fence with a locked gate. The attempts to keep the "wilderness" was not going over well with us.
 We had to turn around. The dog was wandering as we were deciding what to do and we called for her and she never came. We said multiple prayers and left her in the Lord's hands even if there were tears still on our cheeks. We saw two cars parked at the beginning of the trail so we put our name and phone number on a paper on the windshield and hoped they'd call us if she was with them.
 Next we needed a place to camp. QUICK!!! It was getting dark. We drove a few miles down the road and found another FENCE! So we decided to go by Sand Cove near our house since we knew there were no fences. We cooked in the dark, set up camp in the dark and hoped we could do some off-roading in the morning.
 Camp was cleaned up and we decided to take Jeff and his three kids (Ryan, Becca and Sam) on the Bowl Hike since it was just right there. The kids did great and were glad for some adventure but I think the men were ready to have some 4x4 adventure.
 We went back to our house, made lunch and set off to the road behind the Reservoir. Here we had some really nice rocks to climb! We got some good video too if I can figure out how to put it on here. The kids cheered and had to examine the rocks after each obstacle.
Jeff and his kids left late afternoon with some adventure. We were so happy they came. I don't think my kids will stop repeating all the funny jokes told at the campfire. I was pleased to have Ryan run up to me at the next gathering to make sure he gave me a hug. I would love to spend more time like this with our families.
I know you are all wondering about the dog. Well we got home and we had 3 messages on our machine telling us that she was found by a group of scouts, she spent the night with them and they had a great time. We had to pick her up at the scout leader's brother's house. There was a prayer of gratitude said as we drove to get her.

2011 Family Picture

Valley of Fire

  We kept passing the signs that said Valley of Fire along the freeway and kept saying we wanted to go see what it was. We had never met anyone who had been to the Valley of Fire and only had the information that was on the web. Fall break came and it was settled, we packed and left for 2 nights at the Valley of Fire. 

First we had to find a camping spot. We drove around looking for a large tent pad and couldn't find one big enough for our tent. We found 3 walk in camp sites that were bigger and the one in the very back convinced us that we should camp there.
We noticed that many of the park visitors did not have children so being in the back corner would allow our children room to make noise and the amazing rocks to climb on made our kids extremely happy. We enjoyed our camp site for the rest of the day and slept under a FULL moon. The tent did not have the rain fly on so we could see the stars and the moon was so bright it was actually hard to sleep but we didn't see a need to complain since it was sooo BEAUTIFUL!

The next day we went to the visitor center so we would know what our options would be for the day. The chipmunks were entertaining and the kids were already convinced that the rocks were good enough to climb on.
 We hiked White Dome where we ran into a large bus of Italians toward the end of the loop.

This is where we started and took the most pictures since we were so fresh.
The rocks were all different colors and sizes and we were able to crawl through many of them. My favorite picture is the one that looks like waves.
Then we went to Rainbow Vista where we saw 7 big horn sheep (Kevin's favorite).
Mouse Tank was fun since we continued to run into a Swiss couple (David and Andrea) on vacation. We stopped and talked to them and thoroughly enjoyed David's description of people from different countries (one including how loud Italians are and another of how American women smell of coconut sunscreen).
We learned that Mouse Tank is named after an Indian who was a nuisance to the settlers and they nicknamed him mouse since he would steal and bother them and hide in these rocks.
We decided to go to the Lost City Museum in Overton for the afternoon since it was getting HOT.
When we got back to camp we saw that David and Andrea were in the same campground and we invited them for dinner. We made Navajo tacos and enjoyed playing games, Uno and Pass the Pig, and the kids tried to tell some jokes.
1930s Valley of Fire visitor housing
Our last morning we saw the Atlatl Rock and Petroglyphs. The visitor housing was interesting too.
Then we saw the Petrified Logs. It is random to have 3 logs in the middle of sage brush and rocks...
We also saw the Elephant Rock and we ran into David and Andrea again. We parted there as we drove home and they went to Zion.