Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tyce is Nice

Bryce relayed this sweet story to me.

On Friday while I was at Mary's salon appointment Bryce and the three boys went to Food 4 Less. They picked up manly food staples such as chips, salsa, and nacho cheese in a can. As they put their stuff on the belt they saw a lady ready to bag her groceries--the most groceries they'd ever seen anyone get at one time. The woman looked like she'd had a rough day. And with a daunting task in front of her (you bag your own stuff at this store) it wasn't likely to improve.

Tyce looked at his dad and smiled. Then without saying a word, he went over to her lane. He scooped up her items and loaded them into sacks. Then he put the bags into her cart.

Bryce said that the woman looked shocked that someone would help her like that, and he could tell that she was really touched. She thanked Tyce and was really grateful. She offered him money for his service; he declined but she insisted. So he took the $3 . . . but when she wasn't looking he slipped it back into one of the grocery bags.

Harrison said to Bryce, "That was so nice of Tyce. If he was at my school he would definitely earn a 'Be Kind' bracelet."

For being a good example to his brothers and letting his light shine for others, I am really proud of this kid. We love you, Tyce!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Let the candy-gathering begin! Trunk-or-Treating at the church on Friday, and then Halloween night on Monday.

He "vants" to suck your blood.

But he'll give you a hug if you ask nicely.

He also "vants" to suck your blood.

And he has the hillbilly vampire teeth to do it!

Tyce's cool "costume" was courtesy of Aunt Betsie and Uncle Andy.

Flip the shirt up, and . . . Holy zombie apocalypse! Run!

Get ready to bow to this beautiful Egyptian queen.

Cross her once and she'll send you to the Underworld.

Some of the girls: Taya, Reahna, Sara, Mary, Bella, and Bella's cousins Haley and Chloe.

This was mostly an excuse to show you our kids' cute costumes. I can't say that Trunk-or-Treating was a red-letter event but we did talk to some nice people and see some cute (and some terrifying) kids.

Later that night Tyce had a get-together with Spencer, Zack, David, and girls from Green Valley, Jasmine and Amber. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Trip to Venice! Buon Viaggio!

At the library Harrison checked out "Olivia goes to Venice" by Ian Falconer. Do you know Olivia? She's a very energetic, precocious, strong-willed little pig. On her latest adventure she traveled to that many-canal'd city. It was a cute story and both boys loved it.

The next day Harrison said, "Guess what, Mom. Dad told me you've been to Venus!"

No my child, it only seems that way.

I've not traveled outside Earth's orbit, but I have been to Italy.

The kids have a 4-day weekend in honor of Nevada Day, and Bryce grandly offered to take us to the City of Lights, the City of Water--to Venice.

But instead of Venice, Italy (which would be too crowded this time of year with Carnivale anyway)--we went to the Venetian in Las Vegas. As The King would say after a pizza Margherita, Viva il Venezia!

Two things the boys wanted to do were ride in a gondola and eat gelato. Everyone was cool with that.

The kids were fascinated by watching the gondoliers.

It was nice to have Miss Bella along for Mary. Living in a world of brothers, she likes to bring a substitute sister along whenever she can!

 The gondolier told the kids to keep their hands in the boat. He jokingly said he'd count their fingers at the end to make sure they hadn't lost any. I sat by Cam, who was very serious and solemn about the threat of losing a digit.

Our gondolier had an Italian accent and he was a lot of fun! He belted out "Santa Lucia" pretty convincingly.

Tyce and the girls had their own gondola with a female gondolier.

At the end of the ride she held her hand out to Tyce first and he stood up. She said, "You failed! Ladies first!" and the other gondoliers teased, "Oh man, you got owned."

The shops were decorated so gorgeously for fall.

The picture doesn't do it justice but these vines were breathtaking.

We traveled by foot to the Piazza San Marco. It looked quite authentic except it was way too clean, way too small, and way too restauranty. But the most telling thing of all--no pigeons. (And thank goodness for that.)

We got there just in time to watch an opera buffa, which I loved. I am serious...I want to be a street performer. Hello, look at those costumes! And look at that teeny stage! Who wouldn't want to hang out with jugglers and stilt-walkers while singing your heart out?

The kids got gelato during the show: their choices were, starting with Cam: spumoni, blood orange (my fave), spumoni again, cherry (super delish), and mint chocolate chip.

Mary and Bella paid a buck and posed with the living statue! During this photo Cameron yelled, "I'm going to steal your $20!" to see if he could spur the statue into motion. (Scaring the statue: FAIL. Humiliating the parent: WIN.)

When I'm a street performer, this will be my business casual.

Pumpkin carvers attracted huge crowds. Their work was amazing.

Ugh, how creepy and talented is that?

The moving sidewalks through Madame Tussaud's wax museum--the girls just wanted to ride.

Poor Bella, she almost lost her head. Mwahahaha.

Bella took this gem of a picture.

Later we ate at the Grand Lux Cafe. The kids got to play with Wikki Stix, the greatest waiting-for-dinner activity ever created.

So it was a nice quick trip. We would have loved to have stayed, but as I learned in my own travels to Lo Stivale ("the boot") so many years can leave Venice but a little piece of Venice will always stay with you!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkin Guts, Pumpkin Brains

Oh, the squishy joy of digging in there. Thank goodness for Monday night Family Home Evenings or I don't know when we'd ever fit in the fun. (Not sarcasm.)

This is the first year that the boys could do a lot of the work themselves.

Bella came over. As you can see, these girls are two peas in a pod.

"The brains! Must eat more braaaaaains!"

Tyce was intent. And if I'm honest, intent mostly on avoiding getting his picture taken.

The kids' spooky faces as they pose by their frightening creations!

It would be miracle if the jack-o-lantern's lasted a week until Halloween night, but we'll enjoy them as long as we can. We sure do love these fun-loving kids!

Monday, October 24, 2011

That Awkward Moment

Bryce drives Mary to school. One morning as she exited the car Bryce called out, "Have a great day, beautiful!" She gave him a friendly wave. Later that night she sat at the kitchen table coloring. Bryce said, "I love you, Mary."

She put down her crayon and said, eyebrow raised, "Dad, I wish you would stop saying these things at such inconvenient times."

"You mean like this morning, when I called out to you in front of your friends?"

"No, I mean like now when I'm sitting here just minding my own business."

Friday, October 21, 2011

Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Suddenly scenes from my life--snippets, really--are flashing across the screen of my mind. That friend who needed my shoulder to cry on. That book I read. That class I attended. That phone call I made. That family with the problems. Such random things, and yet they fit together now in a most unsettling epiphany. Maybe the people and things in my life have given me what I need to get through this.

Ohhhhhhh my word.

Sometimes when you get news--it's all you can do keep going.

God give us the strength to travel the rocky path ahead.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Twins' 7th Birthday!

I told the boys I'd let them have a friend party this year. However, I have yet to plan the thing, and their birthday was September 3rd. Lame, I know. I thought I'd write about their big day after we'd had the big party, but since that hasn't happened yet . . . well, I just need to get on it.

So their birthday was on a Saturday and Cameron and Harrison were so excited to go on a treasure hunt for their first present. We drove to Donna's house, where a surprise awaited them!

Ringing the doorbell. The suspense!

Just inside the door--brand new bikes!

They were definitely due for  updated vehicles.

They were pretty anxious to get on and ride!

Tyce rode with the boys all the way back to our house!

We followed along in the car for a bit. Amazing how some people can ride and pose at the same time.

Going down Burkholder on a gorgeous day. . . you can even see the Strip from here. Thank you so much, Donna, for harboring the bikes until the big reveal!

Later they opened their other gifts.

New shirts from Grandpa Al (who spent the weekend with us), and Grandma Judy.

Their "birthday cake"--during our family party the missionaries showed up and got a cool treat. Perfect timing for them!

While the men watched the BYU game I took Cameron and Harrison swimming and diving at the indoor pool. That night they were scheduled to go to Chuck E. Cheese's with their friend Johnathan (who shares the exact same birthday) but their family had an emergency room visit and couldn't make it. So we had a movie night and called it good. Maybe it was all the excitement but the boys were exhausted by 7 pm.

We love Cameron and Harrison and are so grateful for them. What would life be without these twin boys? Less interesting, less joyful, and less fun, that's for sure. Their different personalities and their super-tight bond make me wish I were a twin myself. I love being a mom to two terrific boys! I hope this will be a great year for them both. We love our Cammer Jammer and Scary Harry!

Birthday lunch at school with Harrison, Emily, and Cameron, super-cute 1st graders.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Doggie Swim Day

The outdoor pools close after Labor Day but in one last hoorah to summer, Black Mountain hosts a swimming day for dogs!

Katie was not a fan of swimming.

She preferred to take shelter under tables and between my legs.

But she was fine away from the pool. Mary and Katie won 2nd place in a dog-and-owner look alike contest!

They liked playing with their new squeaky toy. All the other dogs liked it, too.

The lighting was lovely on this one.

Katie even got samples of dog treats.


Many dogs actually had fun racing and chasing in the water! They were fun to watch.

Two beautiful girls, wouldn't you say?

My camera battery died before Bella and her adorable dog got there, but here's a picture of cute Cosmo. He and Katie are best friends and loved being together at the pool!