Monday, September 29, 2008

Family Portraits!

A few weeks ago we had family portraits taken. We love them! Here are some of my favorites:

And more funny Ryan sayings!

Yesterday morning, Ryan came and sat on our bed with us after he woke up. He said, "Hey, I have a pretend daughter. Would you like to see her?" And I said, "Yes, I would!" And he said, "Ok, she is at my pretend Grandma's house. And she won't tickle us."

A couple of weeks ago, I was out with the boys and my friend Liz really early in the morning. Ryan was looking out the car window and said. "Hey, Liz, the moon is out. And the sun isn't out yet. Jesus made the sun and the moon. And he died for us." (Makes me feel like he actually does listen during family home evening and when I try to talk to him about Jesus during the sacrament).

Last night, I was telling Ryan that he was going to play with Sarah and Sharesa at their house today. He said, "Are you going to play, too?" I said, "No, sweetie, I have to go to school tomorrow." Then he said, "Oh. I will give you hugs and kisses when you go, and you will feel better."

Oh, and I discovered yesterday that Calvin loves it when we sing hymns in church. He starts craning his head all around to find out what in the world is going on, then he starts flapping his arms at an incredible rate, and then he gets a big, goobery smile.

I love my boys!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ryan in the morning...

Ryan is pretty funny in the morning. This is what he said the moment he got out of bed this morning:

(Ryan) "Where are my fruitsnacks?"
(Me) "We don't have any fruitsnacks, Ryan."

At which point he comes into our room to ask Michael.

(Ryan) "Daddy, can I have some of your fruitsnacks?"
(Michael) "I don't have any fruitsnacks, Ryan."
(Ryan) "Yes you do, they are blue, and they are in your office."

Apparently fruitsnacks are the desire of his subconscious.

Then after that exchange, he said:

"The sun is out, Mommy. Yes, it is, a little bit. He is changing his clothes. He's putting on his orange clothes."

I really like my boy.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Calvin vs. the Popsicle

Calvin loves popsicles. Michael found this out a couple of weeks ago when he gave Calvin a little taste and then realized he had created a monster. He just gets so excited and just tries so hard to get more. It is pretty funny, so we decided to share the love. So here is a (long) clip of Calvin enjoying one.

And here are some recent pictures, too.

Michael showing the boys how to write some code:

Katie wearing the moose hat:

Ryan and Tyler being goofy:

Our son, the dinosaur. Note the coordinating shirt:

Monday, September 15, 2008

A good day for Ryan quotes

Some days I just have a good laugh at my son. Here is a nice little sampler, all from today:

"The Lamanites were bad. And they were fighting. And the kings were fighting. And they were bad. And they were naughty. And the Lamanites were naughty. And they said, "I WANT SOME MILK!" And then they were good...and then they were naughty again."

"When I was big, I grewed up at Nephi's house. And Tucker and Lucy were there. But Grandma and Grandpa weren't there. They were in China, and it was too far away."

"The Lamanites were bad and then Tucker and Lucy were here. And then the belt was funny. And the cages were funny--the ones that were at the fair. And the cow was a funny one."

(While staring intently out the window) "Batman is coming! Yeah, he IS!"

Apparently Tucker and Lucy (my parents' dogs) and the Lamanites are at the forefront of his awareness. Oh, and last night he woke up in the middle of the night screaming and screaming for me, so I went in to see what was wrong and he was practically inconsolable because he was convinced that I stole his brush. He wouldn't stop screaming until I found him a hairbrush to snuggle.

Overall, I think I have it pretty good as a mom. For every frustrating thing he does, I probably get at least 2 or 3 good laughs over the funny things he does. I should keep that in mind the next time he finds a huge package of toilet paper under his bed and decides to decimate it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

fine, FINE! Here's your stinking post! :)

Ok, sorry, I have been missing in action for a few weeks. Let's just say by the time the kids are in bed, the homework is done and the dishes are done (if I even get to those at all), I just don't have the energy to go get the camera and download the pictures.

But here I am! I did it!

It has been a fun few weeks. Kelly, Ken, the kids and Danica all came in to town for my Grandpa Balcom's 80th birthday party. Oh yeah, and grandpa and Vicki came too. It was really nice to be all together as a family. We made a little memory book for Grandpa and had a nice dinner and listened to him play the harmonica. Since his stroke in April he really isn't all there, but it was fun to see him in his element, playing the harmonica and having such a good time.

Danica was in town for a few days after Grandpa and Vicki left and we did a lot of really fun stuff. Not only did we get our usual canasta fix, but we also played some mean "beach" volleyball (it was actually back yard volleyball, but Luke insisted it was beach volleyball), went mining for fossils in Delta, Utah, did a little shopping, made some great meals, had our first family portraits taken since 1999, and had a big dinner for our cousins and aunts and uncles that were in town.

After Danica left, Kelly and Ken stayed in town for another week. Kelly and I got all crafty and made a tutu for Evelyn, and cute burp clothes and flower head bands for future baby gifts. We all went classic skating and Ryan did awesome! He could do it all by himself after just a little practice. He was almost run over a number of times on the rink since he was much more interested in the disco balls and flashing lights than the traffic flow. But we all had a great time. Kelly treated mom and me to a spa day at Sundance---oh. it was absolutely fantastic. Big shout out to Michael for watching the boys all day. It was pretty much heaven. We did pedicures and massages and I felt like I could just melt into a puddle of joy. We had lunch and had some great time to catch up and talk. It was fabulous. THANK YOU KELLY!!!!

I started my last semester of MBA school on September 2nd. It was so much fun to see all my friends again that had been gone for the summer. I was--suprisingly--really outrageously happy to be back in class with my friends. It made me kind of sad to be graduating early. I will really miss it! My classes this semester look like they are going to be really fun. I'll even get to do some international traveling for a field study class I am in. We'll get to go to Europe to do research on integrating solar energy products into buildings. Sweet!

So, as Michael already mentioned, we went to Yellowstone with Ken and Kelly and their kids for a few days. We had a great time doing hikes, seeing some awesome scenery, and getting up close and personal with some wildlife. A little TOO upclose and personal in some cases (see Michael's post) with the bears, but the Elk, Bison, Bald Eagles and--yes--ground squirrels stayed a comfortable distance away. But it was really cool to get to see them all up close.

The kids were all pretty good, except during nap time when it was getting pretty tough to get all 4 kids to nap at generally the same time. But during the hikes they did well. It was chilly but beautiful. We had a lot of fun, so thanks for thinking of it, Ken and Kelly!

So now our vacation is over and I am back in school. AnnaMarie and Tyler are in Provo for the whole month of September, and AnnaMarie is pretty much a saint. She is watching Ryan and Calvin while I am in class (if you haven't heard about the nanny fiasco, then we probably haven't talked since the beginning of August. Let's just say we're back to the drawing board as soon as AnnaMarie leaves, so if anyone knows of a trustworthy nanny looking for a job, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!!). AnnaMarie is my hero. She got Ryan to eat carrots, which is a first, and the kids always come home happy. They live close to campus so I can run over there and see my boys in between classes, which is so nice, and when I have a break we go for walks and make homemade soft pretzels. I love it. I'm so glad you guys are here! What do I have to pay you to stay?????

So, that's what has been going on lately around here. I have lots of pictures of the fore-mentioned events but they are scattered on various memory cards, so for now I only have a few of our Yellowstone experience, so here they are:

Ryan jumping off a stump:

Ryan and Michael on a trail:

Remember how I called Calvin the spit bubble king of the world? This is proof:

Our family on a log:


Happy Caroline and a happy Calvin:

That's quite a load. And I am stoically taking the picture...

Happy trails:

Ryan, trying very hard to be just like Luke:

The whole group:

Awww, hugs:


He's a nut :-)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Yellowstone part 1

I'll let Caroline tell the full out narrative about our trip. She's much better at figuring out what's interesting and what's not. So, if you want to hear about the whole trip (or anything else!) post a comment or send Caroline an email and tell her to get back on top of blogging and posting pictures.

What I WILL tell you about though is about how Ken and I got chased by two grizzlies.

Grizzly Bear

Ken is my brother in law. We'd decided to go fishing at Grebe lake in Yellowstone. It's a 3.3 mile hike from the parking lot to the lake. We hadn't caught any fish, and were having a nice hike back from the lake, making good time.

We were only about a 1/2 mile from the parking lot when coming around the corner 50 yards ahead I saw two bears.

"Ken, bears" I whispered urgently.
"Crap. What do we do?" He said back, just as urgently.

They either hadn't seen us yet or hadn't cared yet, and were just slowly walking down the trail right at us.

We decided on the 'back away slowly' tactic that we'd read on many of Yellowstone's park signs. Backing away involved stepping off the trail -- we didn't want to just back all the way back to the lake. As soon as we started stepping off the trail the bears noticed us and started running at us.

Next to the trail was a thin line of small trees and brush, maybe 4 or 5 feet wide. On the other side of the trees was an open field of short grass. With the bears running at us we both jumped through the trees and on to the grass.

In the few seconds that had passed, the bears had covered the 50 yards and were on the trail where we had been. We were now thirty or so feet into the field and they were crashing through the trees. We both hit the ground to play dead.

With what I can only describe as a happy gallop, the bears ran straight at us until they were about 20 feet from Ken (I was about 10 feet behind Ken) and then abruptly turned to the side, circled back to where they'd broken through the trees and went crashing away through the brush on the other side of the trail.

Ken and I stayed on the ground for 5 or 10 minutes breathing heavily and laughing quietly. Oh, and hoping that there wasn't a mother bear coming along.

When we finally did get up, I got two big sticks and banged them together the rest of the way to the car while Ken carried my fishing pole.

The two bears were grizzly bears, probably about 200 lbs each. My guess is that they were a year or so old. They still had some cub features, but were too big to be cubs. when we talked to the rangers later, they said they were likely too old for their mother to be with them.

So, that's the bear story.

Video of the day : Ryan counts in Spanish

Ryan and Kelly work on their accents and their foreign language counting.

I realize that these aren't that exciting, but I'm working on ripping and backing up all our home videos, so it's what I'm watching these days. I'm sure you'll get more :-)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Video of the day

I've been playing with google video. If it works alright I might upload some clips of our family. Here's the first try.