Thursday, May 29, 2008

Maren in May

Maren is blossoming this spring!
Here is what she's been doing this month:

First of all, she is into everything. She loves crawling into things. Just look at the pictures.

And she finds her way out!

We found her covered in green gunk a few days ago.

It didn't take long to figure out what it was. Chomp, chomp!

She loves tagging along with big brother and sister. She loves being outside, too.

She is so close to walking. It's just a confidence issue now. She doesn't feel comfortable going more than a few steps. It sure is exciting to witness this milestone.

She is starting to use some hand gestures, like this one. How can you not pick her up?

Now that her hair is growing a teeny bit, you can see the curl coming in!

We love our Maren!

(In this video, I am listening to Taylor...I promise! :D)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Camping Trip in April

We decided to take a family camping trip last month. We went to Bass Lake. It was beautiful weather. Being that my husband is the scout master, we had access to the "scout canoe" and took that with us. We spent the first afternoon at the lake, attempting to fish. That was a disaster. Then we left the lake to find our campsite, roast our "dogs" and "mallows", and set up tents.

We found a free, secluded camping site. We set up two tents. Taylor and McKay insisted on being in there own tent, and Maren, Spencer and I were in the other. The two older kids and Dad slept great. Maren and Mom didn't have such luck, being in a new environment and sleeping in the same sleeping bag.

Taylor and McKay were very nervous about the fire. I wasn't expecting that. They didn't want to be anywhere near it, even though it got a bit chilly at night. So they actually asked to go to bed! OK, twist my arm. Fine, you can go to bed.

In the morning we ate oatmeal and packed up to go back to the lake. We tried to start our van, but we had left the sliding doors open too long the night before while unloading, and the battery had died! Luckily there was another group of campers that came and jumped our car. The Lord was looking out for us, because we were far from other camping grounds.

Here's some pictures:

It was neat to see the holes in the rocks that Native Americans had carved out to prepare their meals in. (I'm not sure what they are called)
As I mentioned earlier, what were we thinking when we decided to take three small children fishing on a canoe??!! It was impossible. We had three poles: one for dad, one for Taylor, one for me. I'm sure one was intended for me, but I had to constantly watch Maren because she was trying to get out of the canoe to touch the water. I was so paranoid, I could do nothing but keep my eyes on my squirmy baby. The fishing lasted maybe 20 minutes before we quit. Someday...but now is NOT our time to become fishermen.

Funny story: when we realized it was time to give up fishing, we told McKay that it was now time to "reel it in". He just sat there doing nothing, so we said it again, "OK, you can reel it in now McKay, come on!" He paused for a moment and then threw his fishing pole in the lake! I guess we need to explain what "reeling it in" means next time.
Maren had a blast crawling around in the dirt and probably eating a few things that escaped my notice. Taylor and McKay are devouring the pink marshmallows.
The kids loved the canoe ride. They weren't sure at first, but gradually realized that it wasn't going to tip.
Maren chasing the ducks on the beach.

Sun-kissed Taylor did THIS when we got home Saturday afternoon.

Friday, May 23, 2008


"Redirecting" is a technique used by parents to prevent or avoid a dangerous or negative situation for a child. For example, if Maren was playing with some electrical cords, I could redirect her attention to a book or a toy to avoid a conflict with her. She remains happy.

Taylor has picked up on this technique and uses it daily with McKay.

For example, today while I was still in bed (my children are morning people, and I'm not yet), I heard Taylor yelling, "McKay, DON'T SHOOT ME! DON'T SHOOT ME!" ......."Mom, Mckay's shooting at me, tell him to stop!..........
[I choose not to get involved this time].....

She says, "Mckay! HELP! There are mean ALLIGATORS coming to eat me! Shoot them! Shoot them!"

(McKay shoots at them)

"McKay! There's more, there's MORE!"

McKay says, "No, there's not. I got them all."

[Taylor has to redirect again now, because that didn't work well enough]

"McKay, do you want me to dress in my Mermaid costume?" (No response from McKay)

"McKay, let's go into the toy room and play with the trains."

She's a natural. She always finds some way to get him to stop pestering her or to get him to do what she wants.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"I'm not scared!"

This is another one of our favorite videos. I think you'll enjoy it as much as I do.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Gifts on Mother's Day

Spencer and I have reached a point in our marriage when I just either tell Spencer what I want for a gift IN GREAT DETAIL, or I'll just go get my gift myself. It's easier this way. I'm not very good with surprises.

So for mother's day this year I treated myself to a mother's day gift that I wanted. You see, I needed a new handbag, but there was no way that my husband could have picked that out for me. Potential disaster.

So Happy Mother's Day to me! Thanks honey! P.S. This is not the actual purse I's just picture 0f a random purse.

PPS (Actually, Spencer is getting better with the gifts and has totally impressed me lately, but someday I'll blog about his rough beginnings when he was clueless as of what to get me)

Which Disney Character are YOU?

Free-spirited and wise. You have a strong passionate spirit that touches and changes all who know you. The wisdom and common sense that you have is really what guides you through life. Even so, you also have a very playful side that loves adventure and excitement.

Ok, I don't really think this fits me, but hey, why don't you give it a try?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

White Water Rafting

Are you looking for some adventure? Look no further!

Come on the American River. Spencer has a raft and all the equipment. He is more than happy to take anyone and everyone. This is what he loves to do. So humor my husband and just do it!!

See you there.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


These are sunbeams.

And this is a sunbeam.

Jesus wants me for the Sunbeams. That's right. I get to teach these precious little ones. I am very excited. I am in my element. As an ECE major, this is what I like to do. (I still have my Activity Day calling as well)

Taylor gave a talk in Primary on Sunday. She did great! The topic was "families in the scriptures".
We all have a family. Here is a picture of my family.
Nephi has a family too. He has a mother and a father. He also has brothers and sisters. Nephi strengthened his family by being obedient to his parents.
When his father asked him to go and get the brass plates, Nephi knew it would be very hard, but he said, "I will go and do the things which the Lord commands".
I can be like Nephi and strengthen my family by being obedient to my parents. And I can be obedient to Heavenly Father.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


The kids are always finding snails in the front and back yards. I let Taylor and McKay hold them for a while and then we say good bye to the snails and put them back.

I know, maybe you think I should kill them. But, you see, I have a memory about snail murder that sticks out in my mind. As a young child, a few of my cousins and I found a whole bunch of snails and loved them all. Then my Aunt Karen came out and poured salt all over them. I tried to save them from there torturous, bubbling death by bathing them in water, but they all died.

I forgive you, Aunt.

This week Taylor, McKay, and I did something creative with our captured snails.

I actually got the idea from a family friend. They have a tradition on Memorial Day to paint snails, place them on the ground, draw a circle around them, and the winning snail will leave the circle first.

Weird. Interesting. Fun. Memorable.

We lost track of one of our blueish-purple creatures, and we found it in Maren's fingers. She was poking the snail to death. So I guess I do need to take some responsibility for being a snail killer.