Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mark's Birthday

We had a little get together for Mark's birthday. He wanted an ice cream cake so I got one from Coldstone. They have the best ice cream cakes! It was so yummy and we had so much fun celebrating. The kids really enjoyed the cake. It was covered in chocolate ganache so you can imagine the mess it made. Madison got it all over herself and the floor. I had no idea but Dylan had quietly crawled under the table and was eating all the chocolate that Madison dropped on the floor. He really enjoyed his first taste of chocolate and I don't think he'll have a problem eating cake on his birthday.

Madison's First Day of School

Madison started school this week and she is in Miss Connie's class. She got into the Pre-K program at Glen Carbon and we couldn't be happier! She misses the kindergarten deadline by eight days and was so ready for something a little more challenging. She goes Monday through Thursday all day. She loves school and has only complained about nap time. When she comes home from school she always has so much to say. She told me that she is friends with the French girl at school and is learning French words (maybe a little too much Fancy Nancy). I asked her what words she new and she said Hola. I told her that was Spanish and then she remembered that her friend was teaching her Spanish. On another day Mark picked her up from school and she told him she got sent to the principals office. She told him some girls in her class said she had a baby cup at lunch time so she hit them. Then she quickly told him she was just kidding. Now as soon as they told me I knew there was probably a little truth to the story. We found out the girls told her she had a baby cup during lunch so she flicked applesauce on their arm. This girl had a plan she told us the worst scenario so when she told the truth it wouldn't be nearly as bad as it could have been. Madison is definitely going to keep us on our toes. But at least we don't have to worry about her being picked on at school. I think she'll be able to hold her own.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Gavin's first day of school

Summer is over and school is in session. There has been a lot of excitement this week (mostly for me) as we have been getting ready for school to start. Gavin started second grade and has his first male teacher Mr. Schneider. He was really excited about having a boy teacher. He was a little nervous this morning when I took him but once he saw some familiar faces he seemed to relax. When Gavin got home from school he talked on and on about what a fun day he had and how much he liked his teacher. It made me so happy because Gavin is a boy of few words and I feel like I have to drag information out of him. But today he had lots to say about his first day. I can't wait to hear about tomorrow.

Pioneer Day

Our ward had a Pioneer Day activity. The kids dressed up for a parade and they had fun games and yummy food. They played stick pull, had three legged races, wheelbarrow races, and rolled a wagon wheel. It was great to see all the primary kids having so much fun without any material things. It was a great way to celebrate the early saints and their sacrifices.

Salt Fork Lake

We rented a pontoon boat and went to Salt Fork Lake. We had so much fun and this is possibly one of our favorite trips. We had a tube to pull behind the boat and we all took our turn. Gavin did really well and started to get pretty fancy as the day went on. Madison was a little scared at first but that didn't last long. Mark was a pro and I was a rookie. I didn't know I was supposed to get out of the middle of the tube. I couldn't see anything because the water was splashing in my face. After they stopped I asked them what I was doing wrong and they told me to get on my knees once I did that it was smooth sailing. Dylan and Camryn were so good considering they had to wear life jackets that were almost bigger than they were. They were really content and enjoyed playing in the water when we stopped. We played at the beach and Katie put on a good shark attack show. I think everyone on the sand was about to pack up and take off. My dad was a good captain and let the kids help him drive the boat. Everyone had such a good time and we are already making plans to do it again!

Blackhand Gorge

We went hiking at Blackhand Gorge in Ohio. It was a beautiful paved trail which was nice because we could take the stroller. There were a few hikes off the paved trail so I took Gavin, Madison, and Hobbs, on one of them. They were sure they heard indians and we hurried to find them but we couldn't find any. The hikers in front of us saw a snake slither past them but we didn't have such luck and I was very grateful for that. There was a little lake and the kids wanted to just get their feet wet. It didn't take them long to dive in. Gavin took his shirt off and swam in his shorts and Madison kept asking me if she could do the same. I should have been more prepared and taken swimsuits because they were dripping wet the rest of the hike.


One of our many favorite places to visit in Amish country is Hershbergers Farm. The farm has many animals and the most delicious baked goodies and produce. The kids love petting all the animals and Mark and I love the cinnamon rolls and fry pies. We never leave Ohio without stopping at least once and we've been known to go a few times during our stay. During our most recent trip they had a Family Fun Night and all the pony and buggy rides were free. Gavin and Madison rode the ponies over and over again. They had lots of food and free kettle corn. I saw people loading grocery bags with the kettle corn. It's that good! Dylan and Camryn loved petting the little puppies.

Everyone waiting for their buggy ride to begin.

Gavin had to find the biggest pony to ride. He is getting so tall I think his feet would drag on the smaller ones.

Madison was in heaven! She loves horses so for her to get to go as much as she wanted was a special treat.

Gavin holding the cutest puppy there.

A picture of some of the produce. Most of it is twice the size that we see at our grocery stores.

Mark petting one of the many work horses.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Screamin for ice cream

What's summer without ice cream and we have had our fair share this summer. We went to Ohio's ice cream capital on one of our visits and it sure didn't disappoint. I had the buckeye ice cream which was so good and possibly my favorite. You can't go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate. Gavin and Madison tend to choose the ice cream with the brightest colors. Gavin had superman and Madison had bubble gum. They just don't know what they're missing!

Just Swinging

Dylan and Camryn have loved swinging on the swings this summer. We have visited many parks and swinging always puts a smile on their faces! These two are getting so big and crawling all over the place. I can tell these two are going to be hard to keep up with. What one doesn't think to get into the other one does. They definitely keep us on our toes. But their smiles melt my heart and I can't imagine my life any other way!

Sting Rays

We went to the sting ray exhibit at the St. Louis Zoo. The kids loved petting the sting rays. They were nice and slimy and splashed water all over us. Madison was a little nervous at first but towards the end we couldn't get her to get her hands out of the water.

Gavin and Hobbs reaching for the sting ray.

Gavin, Madison, and Hobbs waiting for another one to swim by.

Gavin's Birthday

Gavin Turned 7 years old this year! Boy how time flies! We went to Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs in 3D with several of his friends. They had so much fun watching the movie in 3D. Later we had a party with family. He wanted cupcakes instead of cake so I made him a soccer ball cake out of cupcakes. He got a razor scooter that sparks, rollerblades, a cd player, and a new mitt. We had such a fun celebration! Gavin is such a great kid! He is such a good example to his brother and sisters. He makes good decisions and is nice to everyone. Some of his favorite things are soccer, swimming, riding his bike and scooter, listening to music, reading, and making Dylan and Camryn laugh which he is really good at! We love you Gavin!

Gavin is always playing tricks and telling jokes so we got trick candles for his cake. He tried and tried to blow them all out with no success!

The soccer ball cake I tried to make out of cupcakes.

Gavin trying out his new rollerblades.

Ethan, Lawson, and Austin wearing their 3D glasses and watching the movie.

Gavin and Evan watching the movie. What cute boys!