Saturday, December 27, 2008

Jack turns 6!

This was the first year Jack got to have a "friend birthday party". They went to an indoor bounce house gym here in Twin Falls called "Hop2It" So of course we had to make "hopping" frog cupcakes to take to school.
These guys had so much fun running from one thing to the next. It was fun to sit back a watch, and be glad the chaos and maheim was going on here and not at my house! It wore them out quicker than I thought though.
I love this "David and Goliath" match up. Sam could hold his own though.

It's great to be 6!!!!
So, here I am once again, catching up. The end of November thru Christmas were crazy busy! I have been enjoying the simple things yesterday and today; Such as mopping my floor and cleaning my fridge! And I am thoroughly enjoying it!!!! Think back, if you will, to Thanksgiving. We spent Thanksgiving weekend at my sister Sara's in Murray, Utah. Since Sara is a super duper party planner, our weekend was jam pack with fun things to do! First off we ran a 6k "turkey trot" in SLC. We started up by the Capital Bldg, and ran a beautiful course along a creek. The fall colors were still hanging on many of the bushes and trees, and we ended up in a beautiful park (immigration park???? I'm not sure if the name is right). It was a great run (forgetting by the end that the first half was all up hill).
After the race all the cousins were dying to see where HSM was filmed. So we went to the infamous East High in SL after the race. You would have thought everyone of those girls expected Troy or Gabrielle to poke their head out the door at any moment! Here is a picture out front that matched their excitement. Talk about cheap way to win brownie points with the kids!

After we took picture we went around back, and peaked thru the windows of the lunch room. Sooooo exciting! Here is Emily's best Shrapey pose!

Later that day, while the turkey was cooking, Sara set up horse rides on my Grandpa Kern's horses with my uncle Paul. The kids not getting a horse ride rode around in the tractor trailer while everyone got a turn. Again, lots of fun!

After a wonderful dinner, Sara brought out these great "animal tails" that clip around the waste, and everyone had fun playing tag while we cleaned up. I do have some really great video/pics of the late night Wii fit, Rockband marathon, but will file those under blackmail for now. Over all a very fun time. We also had family pictures taken this weekend which you can see on our side bar.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

This one's for you, Jay and Sara!!!

Our Bishop and his wife are die-hard BYU fans. So much so that they have a bronze Cougar in their front yard. So, I dared myself a couple of months ago to put a red Utah shirt on it the weekend of the BYU/Utah game in support of my sister Sara and her husband Jay who is an assistant coach for the Utes. So Friday night rolled around and I had the shirt, but we were incharge of a ward dinner that night and didn't get home until late. So I almost said "forget it" and went to bed. But Blake wouldn't let me chicken out. So this is the end result. What a rebel!!

The funny part was that our Bishop didn't even suspect us. They thought it was another couple in the ward that had actually traveled to Utah to watch the game. So they put a big sign in their yard that said "We love the Cougars". I had to confess on Sunday though. Go Utes!!! Congratulations on the Big win. Just glad I could do my part in insuring the victory.
So, it's been alittle while since my last post. And even my last post was left with no explanation. If you are curious, The last post was of a very quick, and very last minute trip we took to go on a hike with my dad and sister Sara to Dananda Falls in the farthest Southwestern corner of Yellowstone Park. And it was worth every bit of effort to do so. One of those rare opportunities you just have to drop everything and do. Thank you to everyone who made it possible (Mainly cousin babysitters!). Anyway, as for the lack of blogging, it is mostly do to the fact that I went back to work in September. I am working in the Cancer Infusion Center at MSTI here in Twin Falls, and am loving every minute of it. I am just "flex", so after a very busy Fall getting oriented to the unit, I will now only be working 8 to 12 hours a week. It has been a crazy couple of months, but thanks to Blake's support, and N.C.'s willingness to watch the kids when I needed her, we made it through the orientation stage that is so time consuming. Anyway, now that we are back on a somewhat managable schedule I will try and keep up. As for the pictures...Emily celebrated her 9th birthday in October. She had a small birthday party with family, and then took friends to the HSM3 movie later in the month when it came out. She was very specific about what she wanted this year. She wanted a pink vest and an Easy Bake Oven. I think it is so interesting that with all her eating issues she had the first few years of her life she enjoys cooking and trying new food so much! Go figure! There was literally a time when I would be in tears trying to get that girl to eat ANYTHING, and thinking: " I am going to have to go to school with this child and feed her lunch everyday!!!! Thank goodness that is not the case. She is actually quite the chef!
We also had the big "apple pressing" party at our house in October. Blake's sister Becky and her family came to help in the fun. We estimated pressing about 500lbs of apples and got 47 gallons of juice! It was quite the production. But boy does it taste good!!!!Especially around February!
I got to go with Jack on his first Kindergarten field trip to the pumpkin patch (which was actually in the back parking lot of the Kimberly Nursery, but whatever). It was fun to see him interact with his friends at school.
Then there was Halloween. I ended up going out of town at the last minute for my Grandfather's funeral in Colorado. I got to send them to school in the morning, but Blake was brave enough and nice enough to take them to the ward party that night by himself. What a great dad! I thought Sam made the cutest clown, Emily had a ball as a BSU cheerleader (sorry Sara, it was a steal at DI), and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle was right up Jacks alley!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Catching Up: September

Backward pictures again!!! I can tell I haven't updated for a while, I almost forgot how! Anyway, I will get on with it. Sam turned 4 this month. He didn't ask for much, but he knew he wanted a pinata', Elmo cupcakes, and a Little Einstein's spaceship for sure.
This face says it all about how he felt the day of his party. Like I said, he didn't have crazy expectation, just excited to be 4! I love this kid!
I can't believe my baby is so old. But not too old for Elmo! These are the cupcakes he took to pre-school. I thought they turned out quite cute.
The Cake was not quite the success that the cupcakes were, but he didn't care. He thought it was great!

We also started school the Tuesday after Labor Day. Emily is in 3rd grade and loving it. Jack is so excited to be in kindergarten, and loves going to school everyday, instead of just MWF. Sam gets to join everyone else in the world of school, going to Pre-school with Ms. Kim. He is loving it, and does "homework" like the rest of the kids, after school.

Catching Up: August

I did these pictures out of order. But I thought I would attempt to catch up on all the happenings since I have been away from the blog thing for a while. This first picture is of Jack. We were having a hard time getting him to even "try" taking his training wheels off. So, I decided a bribe was in order. I have learned that just the right bribe can work wonders. I just didn't know how well. The new "Star Wars: Clone Wars" movie was coming out in 10 days, So I told Jack if he learned to ride his bike without training wheels we would go see the movie. I thought 10 days was a big enough window to accomplish this task. Well, talk about just needing the right motivation. The kid learned to ride his bike without training wheels in 1 DAY!!! What can I say, the kid LOVES Star Wars!!! He spent the next 9 days asking if the movie was in theaters yet, and perfecting his new talent. He is now showing me all the tricks he knows. Things like "mom look no fingers". "Mom, watch me do this jump!" I wonder sometimes why I was pushing him to learn this dangerous skill in the first place, but it is also fun to see him so proud if his accomplishment.

I ran another 1/2 marathon with my sisters, Sara and Emily in Logan, Utah. It was a beautiful run through a canyon. It was downhill for the first 6 miles or so. I thought this might work in my favor, but I would be wrong! As soon as a hit the flat part of the race I began to feel all the muscles you use to run down hill, and it hit me hard! I didn't do as good as I wanted to, but it was still a beautiful race, and fun to do with my sisters. I just need to train harder for St. George!!!
Blake was so thoughtful and asked what I wanted to do for our 12th anniversary this year. He may have regretted that when I told him that I really wanted to go to the Idaho Shakespeare Festival in Boise. But he got tickets anyway, and we went and saw "MacBeth" in a really cool outdoor amphitheater along the Boise River. I made a picnic and we sat on the grass and ate it during the play. I thought it was really well done, but we were both wishing we had at least read the "cliff notes" before we came. The second half of the play was much better, partly because we finally knew what was going on in the story (sort of) and we rented the lawn chairs they had. It sounds so romantic to sit on the grass and watch a play, but not very comfy the second hour! We got to spend the night in Boise, and it was a quick, but fun getaway. I think next year we will need to go to a car show, or 4 wheeling in the mountains for Blake.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Manwaring Family Reunion

Our most recent adventure has been the Manwaring family reunion. The one bonus was that everyone else traveled here, instead of us traveling somewhere. Our family was in charge of the first day, Monday. We kicked everything off with a real crowd pictures!!!!! I was very upfront with the photographer as to the size of group he would be dealing with, and he was still surprised with our crazy group! He had suggested that we all where a "neutral" color and suggested white shirts for everyone. If a photographer EVER suggests white for a picture with kids, outdoors, again, I will flat out refuse! I was a basket case the entire time trying to keep them clean, and grass-stain free. This is a picture of the kids after an hour and 1/2 of pictures. They faired pretty well. It was the photographer and me who were a frazzled mess! I get to go look at the proof tomorrow. This will be our first "non-Sears" family picture so I hope we got some good ones. After pictures we took everyone to the Twin Falls temple open house. It was a wonderful experience. And I say that with complete awe. Not because of the beauty, or feeling of the temple (there was that too, don't get me wrong). But even after we had subjected all 20 of those kids to hours of pictures, they were so well behaved at the temple, I can only site divine intervention. They showed a wonderful video before, and it was so sweet to watch my children so attentive and reverent. This is something they have been hearing about and looking forward to for so long! A very touching experience.

Day 2 was at Grandpa's in Buhl. We all met for a wonderful breakfast and swimming at Branbury hotsprings. I even did my first flip off a diving board!!!! I am still shocked myself. My neighbor told me about a great slip and slip they had made out of Ag-bags (the big white bags they put silage (sp?) in. So we tried it. Add a little Baby wash, and it was quite the ride!! The kids had fun on that for hours!!! It was a fun day for sure.

The last day we went to City of the Rocks, south of Burley. It was fun to climb on all the rocks. I packed my big first aid kit, and only needed it for one tiny little owie on Jack. I was amazed we didn't have more injuries. We did however have a few casualties in the way of seat bottoms. All the uncles told the kids to slide down on their bum, so as to be safe, and we lost atleast 3 pairs of shorts, maybe more in the prosess. ( Emily was one of them, but I didn't even notice until they went thru the wash.)

Here are all 20 of the Manwaring grandchildren. What a sight!

More of Smiley Creek

After the work was done we went on a 4 wheeler ride up Smiley creek road to an abandoned town. There wasn't much left of the town, but it was the most beautiful ride! It may have finally convinced Blake that Idaho is more than just sage brush. I thought this was a cute picture of Sam and Blake at the end of the trail. Sam is still such a narcoleptic when it comes to 4 wheeling. He only lasts so long, and he is out like a light! Bumps, and jolts and all.

After the ride we took the crew into Stanley for the fireworks. On the way there we stopped off at Redfish lake. IT WAS A MESS! Let me back up. The night before, we had barely set up camp, had dinner, and cleaned up, when a huge thunder and lightening storm rolled down the mountain (literally, I have never seen, or heard anything like it). We thought our campsite, surrounded by trees, was so wonderful until the wind and lightening came and we realized that most of them were dead, and it wouldn't take much for that wind to take them down!!! So we loaded up the kids in the trucks, doused (sp?) the fire we had just gotten roaring for marshmallows, and drove to a clearing. It lasted about 15 minutes, and then we were fine. But it was very clear when we got to Redfish Lake, that they had recieved the brunt of the storm. There were trees on top of trailers, debris everywhere.
This is a picture of Blake's "bedhead" on the way to the fireworks.

It took them forever!!!! to start the fireworks, so the kids had lots of fun running around, having races, chasing, etc. It was fun to watch the pure joy they got from this simple pleasure. It is nice to know, despite the crazy world we live in, that they can still find such happiness in just being kids!

Lani bet me I couldn't get the kids to sit still long enough to get this snapshot. I barely got it, and then they were off again!!!!

Jack found a frog while we were there. He wanted to take him home to Vern (the turtle) for a friend. But we thought Vern might eat him, so he decided to let him go instead. The kids had fun "admiring" him, and he even survived to be set free and hop another day.

Smiley Creek for the 4th

So the next weekend (4th of July weekend) we went with out friends, the Staples to "Smiley Creek" up in the sawtooth mountains. Blake was really excited about the chance to use the 4 wheeler for actual "work". He had to use the winch and everything! As seen here by his expression. He was in his element!

Some wood cutter must have gotten bored with the task of cutting wood and took a break to make this work of art for us to enjoy.

I was so proud of the kids! It was hot, and they hauled logs to the trailer like troopers. (another reason Blake is smiling in the above picture. It always makes him happy when his family is working) They came up with this homemade teeter-totter all on their own. Proving to me they really can entertain themselves if pushed to do it!

Even little Paylee was a hard worker!!(this has to be the happiest kid I have ever met!)
After all their hard work we told the kids they could go swimming in the creek. The only downfall, was that every time you got your feet wet, you got an brain freeze because the water was sooooo cold. Needless to say, it did not take long to "cool off".

Plant/Kern Family Reunion

I know it has been awhile since I have actually updated the blog, so I will attempt to catch up. The end of June was the first "Plant Family Reunion". My mom and her sister's have talked about doing this for a while now, and it finally came about this year at mom and dad's cabin in Island Park. It was also a "Kern Family Reunion" because every one of my siblings and their families were there. That is getting harder and harder to do with everyone getting spread out, families getting bigger, and kids getting older. It was neat to see all the cousins together, playing and creating memories.

We took the 4 wheelers up with us and were able to go on a short family ride along the base of Sawtelle. The meadows were covered in white daisy's. I had Emily lie down in them and attempted a picture. But the picture doesn't really give you an accurate idea of the thousands of flowers surrounding her. Oh well.
Mom decided, since all the grandkids were there, and who knows when that will happen again, that she would host her annual "Grandma Party". She had put alot of thought and effort into it, and everyone had a wonderful time. I am so grateful this tradition has carried on. The theme of the party was "Rock Scientists". They had to start the party off by dancing to some "Rock Music". I believe it was Neil Diamond on the record player(memories). It was cute to watch the kids get so into it.

Then, each grandchild got their own pair of "scientist" glasses (again, so cute!) and a bag of goodies. (rock candy, a "geode" to break open, a magnifying glass, etc.

Sam was all business about making sure he got the best rocks to put in his bag.

I could not resist taking this picture. The bedhead says it all. They played hard, and slept hard!

Monday, July 7, 2008

This is my first attempt ever at a link post. But my friend Nicke emailed me this and I have yet to stop laughing! Emily I am requesting video of Ben watching this! Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Here is the most wonderful dad! Sam took this picture at Jack's game last night. Pretty good huh!? He was at Jack's game at 7pm even though he didn't get home until 6:40pm. He is so busy these day's, but still makes his family his priority! We are truely lucky to have him as dad!
The Sunbeams made "special" Father's Day ties in class the week before Father's Day. Sam was beyond excited to give it too him. Blake wore it to church on Sunday and everything. It was really cute to see the other dad's who were brave enough to wear theirs too. Even our bishop got one. Of course, I didn't get a picture when Blake actually wore it on Sunday, so Sam modeled it for me here. It is missing at least half of it's "embelishments" but you get the idea.