Monday, June 29, 2009

Liam's graduation

Liam's first day of school, Fall 2008

Liam's last day of school, June 26

Liam had a little graduation from his preschool. No matter that he will go next year to the exact same preschool but it is a moment to document just the same. He was quite excited about it and it was jam packed full of activites and frivolity.

It is really exciting to me to see how far Liam has come in the past year. When he began his speech therapy when he had just turned 2, he was just saying eight words. Yes, eight. By the time his year had ended with his home visits with his therapist when he was almost three, he was saying quite a bit and his therapist didn't think he would qualify for the preschool because he was doing so well. I am glad he did because he was also a bit behind socially as well and it is so fun to see him interact more with kids his own age. He has not only made significant progress with his speech in the last couple months, but even his bus driver has noticed a difference with his interaction with people. I cannot believe he is almost four and although he is a year behind in his vocabulary and comprehension, his favorite thing to call people right now is "poopoo diaper baby"...I don't think we have anything to worry about right?

The theme was the beach...they had a craft table where the kids made a beach scene with stickers, their own sun visor, two sand tables for the kids to play in, and of course a snack table with juice boxes and goldfish crackers.

We were then treated with a selection of 3 songs they had learned throughout the year. That is always my favorite part. Liam wasn't too sure of being in front of the crowd of people, but did some of the actions and sang a few of the words.

After the program was the ceremonial walk and luckily he was the second one called down, he was getting a little antsy by this point. They gave out a certificate, a cute ocean book, and a little sand bucket with shovel. He was super excited and hopefully we will get to use it sometime soon!

Congratulations Liam! I can't wait to see the progress you make this year!

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Wow. I don't remember ever going to Yellowstone although my mom swears I did. It was like 20 years ago though and I bet we just drove through a part of it. So I think I am safe to say that I have never EXPERIENCED the wonders of Yellowstone. It was also my boys' first time there and they absolutely loved it. I mean, it screams "Please come and run around and get dirty and explore and see all sorts of cool animals and better yet, there is no tv to distract you from having good, old fashioned fun." They played hard all day long and slept like logs. Andrew said it was the best vacation he's ever been on.

We arrived on Saturday afternoon, just in time to see a buffalo roaming about 50 feet away from our cabin and just plopped himself down to rest. At that time, we thought buffalo were cool, but by the end of the trip we came to regard them as we do cows in the pasture here in Herriman. They were everywhere. It is still pretty amazing to see them in their natural habitat and not feeling sorry for them as I go by them on the train at the zoo. We also had a little pajama party in our cabin before all the kids went to bed. We put on Madagascar 2 on my sister's portable DVD player but the kids were more interested in jumping from bed to bed.

On Sunday we ventured to West Yellowstone and Old Faithful. Poor Nicholas got food poisoning from his dinner the night before and threw up in the car so Justin took him back to the cabin to sleep it off. The rest of our family ate at a delicious pizza place in West Yellowstone and then headed to the amazing water feature. We had just missed it when we arrived there, so we wandered around the other geysers until the torrential rains started. The weather could not decide what it wanted to do, so we killed time inside at the gift shop until the appointed time (give or take 10 minutes). Luke wanted a front row seat and since we were inside most of the time, there was not much room on the benches, so he weaseled his way into the crowd and got his wish. The eruption was amazing and it sounded like a firework show the way the audience was reacting. We then went to go get some ice cream in the lodge and Justin called saying Nick was feeling better and they were on their way. Yay! So they got there just in time to see it and I got to see it twice. I know, I am lucky.

(If you look closely, you can see a baby between the moose's legs!)

On Monday, we headed to Roosevelt. On the way there, we saw Upper and Lower Falls and hiked on Uncle Tom's trail. Afterward, we checked into our place and we stayed in the cutest little rustic cabins. I felt like I was in Little House on the Prarie. There was one bed, no bathroom, and a stove that Justin had to light a fire in to keep us warm. I absolutely loved it. There was also a stream running right by our cabins so the boys played in that for hours, threw rocks, crossed the river and hiked around, and we had a cute little chipmunk that they would feed nuts to. We originally were going to swim in a warm river near Mammouth this day but the river was too high so we just hung around the city. We saw tons of elk there and lots of cute babies. We also saw a moose and her baby, a couple bear (one ran right in front of our car) and a mom and a baby bear climbing a tree. We went on a hike through some hot pots there and then had some ice cream and played on the lawn outside the general store since it was finally a sunny day. We had an unauthorized hot dog roast and smores that night for dinner in our cabins and just enjoyed each other's company.

(Liam's face when the boat started going fast)

Tuesday was such a fun day. Andrew said it was one of the best days of his life. We went fishing on Yellowstone Lake and the weather cooperated, all the boys caught a fish, and the scenery was some of the most beautiful I have ever seen. I forget how our souls and minds are nourished by the wonders of nature and I was blessed to experience beautiful things day after day. We were able to see a rare view of the Teton's from the lake and we had a super nice guide named Tommy that was so patient with the boys and helped them with their casting and reeling in the fish. We ate at the Roosevelt Lodge for dinner--a fabulous meal at the end of a phenomenal day.

Yea for Yellowstone!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Friday was a fabulous day.

One of my favorite things about Friday is that we didn't have to go to one of Nick's baseball games. Before you think I am terrible, Nick's baseball schedule consumes our lives. He is either at practice or a game 5 days out of the week. So it is also safe to say that Nick was quite happy with the fact that he had a day off.

After school, the boys dispersed to different activities. Nick went to the pool with a friend. Andrew traded Pokemon cards with his buddies down the street, and Luke went to his friend Braxton's house. Justin came home from work early and Liam was napping when I got up from working and so we just hung out and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

We headed to the Bees game later that night and got to Salt Lake a bit earlier than we expected to meet my family. There is a fire station on the corner by the ball park and Liam looked in as we were walking by. We saw all the lockers and one of the engines was parked inside. He told me he wanted to go in. I told him that it is just for the firemen and we continued walking. Just then, the NICEST fireman came out and asked if we wanted to see inside. Um, yeah! We called to the other boys and Justin who had walked on ahead and they came to see what the excitement was. He put them in the firetruck, let the boys try on all the clothes, and answered all of their incessant questions. I didn't get the best pictures to document the event, but the boys loved it.

The Bees game was L.O.N.G. I really don't think I watched any of it. I spent most of my time visiting with my family and eating M&Ms. Luke fell asleep sometime in the 7th inning. I am pretty sure they lost the game but that is okay, there were fireworks after the game to boost everyone's mood.

They were spectacular fireworks. For the past few years during the Fourth or the 24th of July, we have enjoyed the fireworks from afar. I forget how fun it is to hear everyone ooooh and aaaaah and how much more dramatic the effect is when you are right there hearing the fireworks launch and explode, smelling the smoke in the air, and seeing my boys' faces light up at the fireworks that they like. I think we will have to make a point to actually plop a blanket down at the park this year for the Fourth!

Liam just sat in my lap clasping my hand and anytime there was a lull in the action he would tell me to turn them back on. Andrew just laid his head on my shoulder and took it all in.

Oh, how I love being a mom. And it is days like these that make me realize that although I am not perfect, my boys are happy, my boys have wonderful countenances, and my boys have great lives. I am so grateful I have the opportunity to be a mom and that I have been entrusted with these precious lives to mold and nurture. Although my mothering might be more "Ohhhh" (like oh, crash and burn or oh, bless her heart!) rather than "Oooooh", it is those "Oooooh" moments that motivate me and help me through the bad times. And I know that there will be many more good moments to come.