Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jack's Batman Birthday

Jack and Ryan had scout camp at Bear Lake last week which meant Jack wasn't going to be home for his 15th birthday.  The first time to not be with one of my children on their birthday.  I wasn't sure what to do to help him feel like it wasn't just another day at camp but my friend came up with the idea of doing a 'favorites bag' for him.  I got a U of U string backpack and filled it with his favorites . . . Dr. Pepper, salt and vinegar chips, beef jerky, charleston chew, chewy sweetarts, cookies and cream drops, and 5 brand spearmint gum and a birthday card.  His leader surprised him with it on his birthday at camp.  

He planned what he wanted to do for his birthday this year and wanted to take all of his friends to the new Batman show (Dark Knight Rises) and then come back to his house for dinner and night games.  He always comments that he never got as good of birthday parties as his little brothers and sisters parties so I started looking through Pinterest for ideas.  I found an invitation intended for a little boy and started laughing when I said, "look Jack--we can just change the 'Tyler is 5' to 'Jack is 15' on this one."  He started laughing and was all for the little kid, cutesy birthday invite.  We emailed them to his friends, never mentioning the invite was supposed to be a joke.

He got to open his presents the day after his birthday after he got back from camp.  He only wanted a few things this year.  Big things . . .  Skullcandy headphones and Microsoft points for the Xbox.  He was excited about the cash he received in the mail from both sets of grandparents.  I somehow managed to get his scrapbook done in time for his birthday too.  He laughed at how much he has grown and changed over the past few years and at his crazy long shaggy hair.

Here’s the link if you wanna see how cute his book turned out.  I’m slightly biased.

He has a great group of friends who all came out to help him celebrate his big day.

It was strange taking them to the theater to see this movie after the unimaginable tragedy in Aurora Colorado the day before.  It made it all that more real to me.  Jack would've wanted to do the midnight show with his friends on that same early morning, his birthday morning, if he would've been in town.  My heart goes out to all of the victims and their families.

They couldn't stop talking about the movie on the ride home.  Apparently it was the best movie they had ever seen.  Two (or thirteen) thumbs up!

He had more friends join the party after the movie in time for gifts, dinner and night games.  He loved all of the gift cards and used most of the iTunes gift cards within 24 hours.  On Batman soundtracks.

They ended the party with night games and running around the neighborhood playing 'Fugitives'.  The party winded down around 11:30 which officially makes this party the longest birthday party yet.  Almost 8 hours.

The making of a cake got lost in the shuffle of getting home from Park City and heading off to Oregon the next day.  Luckily my niece, Karsyn, is the 'cake boss' of Vancouver and made a perfect Batman cake for Jack to help celebrate his birthday.

In honor of his 15th birthday, 15 things about Jack:

1.    He's a smart kid and school comes easily for him.  I never saw him study last year but he managed to stay on the honor roll all year and pass his World Geography AP test.

2.    He loves music and plays the piano, trumpet and guitar.

3.    He grew about 6 ?  inches last year and is now taller than both of his parents.  5 ft 10.5 inches tall.

4.    He got his first cell phone for Christmas but still prefers to text on his iPod.  His texting preferences have changed from Kyle to a girl.

5.    He is going to be a big high school student in one more month.

6.    He went to EFY last month for the first time and gave a beautiful testimony in church the first Sunday after he got home.  He was sitting next to me and said, "I don't know why but I really feel like I need to go up and bear my testimony today."  I'm so glad he did.  It was a surreal experience to hear my boy give such a beautiful testimony of his Savior, Jesus Christ.  To be uplifted and strengthened by his testimony after all of the years of sharing our testimony with him.  I had a glimpse of what it will look like in a few years at his missionary farewell.

7.    Basketball is his favorite sport.  He made his school's basketball team last year.

8.    He got his braces off this past year and has 'perfect teeth'.  Just ask his orthodontist.

9.    He's now old enough to get his driver's permit. Yikes!

10.   He's finally reached the age where he no longer needs to be reminded to shower, brush his teeth or put on deodorant.

11.   He still needs to be reminded to make his bed and clean his room.

12.   He went on his first helicopter ride last week at Scout Camp around the lake.

13.   Still spends most of his free time on Xbox and playing Minecraft.

14.  He's a goof ball (just ask Aunt Heidi).

15.  He's a great example for his younger brothers and sisters.

Happy Birthday Jack!  We love you!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mini Vacation

I couldn’t resist a quick getaway when our neighbors invited us to join them in Park City this week.  We stayed at The Canyons Resort at the Hyatt.  It was beautiful.  All of it.  The hotel.  The weather.  The mountains.  The friends.  The view.  I was ready to move in for the rest of the summer.

We did lots of swimming.  Mainly in the hot tubs.

Finally got the boat our for the first adventure this summer.  Everyone was all smiles and excited until the boat died minutes after backing it into the water.  Gavin paddled us over to the dock and Stacy got the boat tied up.

After several attempts to get it started, Gavin noticed the kill button was on.  After fixing that minor technicality we were good to go and back on the water.

Griffin was excited to try waterskiing this year after hearing his younger friend say she was going to do it.  He was all smiles and couldn’t wait . . . then he got into the freezing cold water.

And the smiles turned into high pitched screams.

Morgan loves the boat.  And asks over and over for her turn to ride in the tube.  Once she’s in the tube there’s lots of “wahoo!”s and  “this is awesome!”

The Canyons Resort has a free concert every Friday night at the resort.  It was a beautiful night with great music.  The kids had fun dancing, hula hooping, playing in the sand and riding the free standing chair lift.

Morgan was a little freaked out by the see through floor while we were cruising through the sky but loved it when she wasn’t looking down.

Park City is one of my favorite places to visit in the summer.  And it’s only 20 minutes away.  What a great few days to get away and enjoy our mountains.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Super Mario

Griffin’s been looking forward to his birthday for months and months.  He was excited to have a “Mario” party and knew exactly what he wanted to do . . . a Late Over.  His older siblings have ‘late overs’ all of the time and watch movies with lots of candy and friends.  He wanted to be part of that fun and wanted to watch a Super Mario movie with all of his friends and his favorite candies . . . cow tales, sour straws and Skor bars.

The invitation.  My photoshop skills are laughable but he loved it and that’s all that counts!

The party guests.  The cute thing about this picture is that most of the kids had a melted chocolate mustache on their face after they posed for the picture in the summer heat.  Bought the Mario hat on ebay and used a candy mold to make the dark mint chocolate mustaches.

The night before the party, Hadley (my party planner) showed Griffin all of these fun Mario games that he could do at his party.  I explained to her that I had already asked him if he wanted to do games when I started planning the party and he had only wanted to do the late over.  Of course, the night before the party he was all excited about the games.  Hadley offered to put together a “Pin the mustache on Mario” game.  She drew Mario and cut out mustaches for the kids to put on the face.   

More mustache fun

After opening gifts, eating cupcakes and ice cream cones it was time for the main event.  Super Mario movie.  The kids all got their box of popcorn, capri-sun and favorite candy and got comfy with their pajamas, pillows and blankies to watch the show.  There’s a reason Super Mario movies don’t make it to the big theaters.  It was terrible but none of the kids seemed to notice.

Party gift bags for the guests.  Each bag had a white chocolate wii remote, chocolate coins and a different Super Mario action figure.  

It was simple but fun.  The kids were all excited to stay up extra late and didn’t understand why it was still light outside when they were going home.  The beauty of summer nights.

Today was his real birthday but after yesterday and waking up with a birthday party hangover and all of the gifts, wrapping paper, boxes and popcorn strewn throughout the house, it was pretty low key.  We woke up and got ready for church.  He opened his Birthday scrapbook-- a digital photo scrapbook from his 5th year.  The gift he asked for several months ago, saying how all he wanted for his birthday was a scrapbook like the one Mia got for her birthday.  The gift I spent hours and hours making.  The gift he didn’t really care to look at after he opened it this morning.  Then we went to church.  Came home and played with all of his new toys.  Skyped with Nan and Papa.  And opened his new scooter, Mario towel and shirt.

In honor of his 6th Birthday, 6 things we love about Griffin:

1.  He discovered online games this past year and loves to play Animal Jam, Club Penguin, Monkey Quest, and Moshi Monsters while talking on the phone with his friends who are playing them at the same time.

2.  He had a great year of school and is ready for First Grade.  His reading skills have taken off this summer and he reading everything he sees.

3.  He hasn’t tried to ride his bike since last year when we took off the training wheels.  He’s happy to ride his scooter everywhere he goes.

4.  He does a great job at making his bed every morning so he can play with friends or on the computer.

5.  His favorite shoes to wear are his red Mickey Mouse crocs that he got 3 years ago.  He claims they just keep growing with his feet.  The shoes are size 10.  His feet are size 13.

6.  He has the highest pitched voice in the house and the cutest giggle ever.

Happy 6th Birthday Griffin!  We love you!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

4th of July

I miss my blog.  I’ve been so busy this year trying to make digital scrapbooks for all of the birthdays that I’ve had no extra time to blog or play around with photography.  But doing the scrapbooks has made me realize how much I need this blog.  Everyday and holiday blend into one and the blog helps me remember all of the details.  Hopefully I’ll have some time to go back and get caught up but for now . . . 

We had a great 4th of July celebration.  I’ve said this before, but the 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays.  I love the red, white and blue theme, the yummy food, family and friends, BBQ, and the day always ends with a good firework show.  

Jack was gone for most of the day with his friend’s family, boating.  I waited all day for him to get home so I could do the traditional picture in front of the flag.  He got home hours later than he thought he would and made it home just in time for the fireworks.  

Morgan’s best Iwo Jima shot.

I decided it was time to finally try some of my Pinterest recipes that I pinned for the holiday.  The trifle was yummy.  I let the kids dip the strawberries in the white chocolate and sprinkles.  They didn’t turn out quite the same as the picture on Pinterest but the kids had fun and that’s all that counts.  When no one else is eating them.

Gavin’s mom makes a flag cake for the 4th of July every year but wasn’t in town this year.  Gavin was up for the challenge and called his mom for the recipe and this was the result.

Gavin and his first flag cake

The evening was spent with cousins at Trevor and Annie’s house.  They have a great backyard where the kids can run all around, swing, play basketball.  And be together.
Zachary, Griffin and Nixon

The boys were having a good talk about who was the oldest which changed to who is the tallest.  Griffin is the youngest but the tallest.  It was determined by a back-to-back.

Mia is such a ham.  She’s sees the camera and quickly goes from pose to pose as I take her picture.  She is definitely her daddy’s daughter because she doesn’t get it from me.

Cousins.  These girls are all within 2 years of each other.

Seven of the nine Seal girl cousins (Lily and Shae live out of town).

4th of July face painting

Water balloon toss.  Gavin and Hadley took 2nd in the toss off.

Then it was time for the fireworks.  Everyone loved the show.  Don’t be fooled by the covered ears and fear stricken face on Hadley.  Uncle Scott always delivers on the 4th and last night was no exception.  It felt like we were at a big show with all of the great fireworks he brought.

And some more poses from Mia with her glow necklace.  Happy 4th of July!