Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"Mom, Boy's Like This."

Seriously, this whole boys thing started when Madison was, like, 3 years old. A little boy in her preschool wanted to be her boyfriend. I couldn't believe it when I had to tell my little girl that she couldn't have a boyfriend until she was 16. She came home one day and said that he had hugged her and said he loved her. I thought, "Oh, Boy! She's only 3!!!" I'm glad that she isn't too embarrassed to tell me these things, but come on, she's not even a pre-teen yet!

Then, last week, we were driving in the car and she kept asking me to look at her in the back seat. I was a little preoccupied driving on the freeway and when I finally did, I nearly peed my pants! I was trying not to laugh, but it was hilarious. She tilted her head and then proceeded to bat her eyelashes and say, "Mom, boy's like this." I think she must have gotten it from Hannah Montana or something like that, but I couldn't stop laughing all day.

Build-A-Bear Workshop, School Shopping, & Gateway Mall Fountains

While my niece, Malia, was visiting us from Oregon we went to the Gateway Mall in SLC and did a little bit of school shopping. I can't believe how big Malia is now. I remember when I learned to change a diaper when she was born. Now she's 10 years old. It makes me feel a little old. Okay, a lot old.

I tried really hard to discourage Madison from wearing this flower headband, which is actually Emma's. Malia laughed at her that morning and then told her it was cute, so she insisted on wearing it just like that.

Plus, Madison is starting kindergarten this fall, so it was her very first time school shopping. So, we went to a few places and passed by this Build-A-Bear Workshop. I knew Malia loved it and Madison and I had never been to one, so we decided to do it.

They both ended up getting a dog. Malia's is a girl named Lydia, because when she first got here Madison kept calling her that, for some reason, until she learned her name. Silly girl. Malia thought it was funny. Madison's dog was a boy that she named "Big Daddy" because our big dog named Big Daddy just died of cancer a few weeks ago and she wanted something to snuggle at night. I find her talking to it all the time and taking it with us to the store. We had the opportunity to teach her about heaven and she was happy to learn that Big Daddy is waiting in heaven for us to live with him again.

By the end of the day, it was really hot again, so we went to the Gateway Fountains again to cool off. Emma was exhausted and decided to sit this one out and just watch Malia and Madison get soaked.

Nice "spirit fingers" Malia!

Madison's First Sleepover Party

When Malia came to stay with us, we got to test out the trundle bed I made for Madison's room. We got it all set up and the girl's ready for bed and I realized it was Madison's very first sleepover. So...I had to take a couple pictures. It was around 10:30pm when we got them into bed, but of course, they didn't go to sleep just yet.

They stayed up playing barbie's together and giggling and who know's what else, because I was tired and went to bed myself. They sure had fun, though. They were playing barbie's again first thing in the morning. Thanks Malia, for making Madison's first sleepover party so much fun!

Church History Museum & Gateway Mall Fountains

My niese, Malia, came to visit us for a few days from Oregon. We had so much fun with her. We packed in as much fun as we could possibly fit into each day. We still had swimming lessons in the morning, so we started out with that and then came home and got ready for that days activities.

We went to SLC to the LDS Church History Museum with some of our friends from church. I would have taken more pictures, but my camera battery went dead.

Here's Madison posing next to an artist's rendition of the liahona. She insisted that I take her picture in front of this one.

There were a lot of pioneer stuff for the kids to look at and learn about how they came across the plains in wagons and how they came across the ocean by ship. There was a replica of a ship's sleeping quarter's that the kids could climb into. Wish I had a picture of that.

After the museum, we went down the street to Gateway Mall and cooled off in their outdoor water feature. The girls had so much fun running back and forth into the jet spray and out of the water bursts. It was a good way to finish off the day. Or so we thought...when we got to the wouldn't start. So we had to call Nick to come and jump start the car. Since we were all in SLC, what else was there to do? IKEA!!! We went there and by the time we had finished and driven back towards home, the freeway was closed and...suprise, suprise...I'm terrible at driving around detours in SLC. It took me six different tries and an extra hour to get home. I was so mad...until I realized that Nick had the same problems and got home even later than me!!! We both had to laugh.

So, during all of those stupid wrong turns and wrong exits onto wrong freeways, I turned around to see this and had to take several pictures. It was hilarious. They were so worn out that they just collapsed in the back seat! Now that's what I call a successfully fun day!

Thanksgiving Point Children's Garden

As part of our summer traveling playgroup, we went with some friends to the Thanksgiving Point Children's Gardens in Lehi. I've never been to this part of Thanksgiving Point before, but it was really fun for the kids. We invited our friends Dinah and Lydia to come with us. We used to live by each other in Cove before we both moved. Madison and Lydia have known each other since they were born and have been best friends ever since. They have so much fun together when we actually get them together. Lydia and I have been friends for about 5 years and it is always nice to get together again.

It's funny that they aren't around each other very much anymore, but since they are the same age, they are still exactly alike. They even have the same silly poses they do for pictures.

There is a water feature surrounding a Noah's Ark that the kids played in together. They had so much fun and we even got to sit a little bit and talk. We brought snacks that Emma was feeding to the ants when she wasn't swimming or eating all the cookies.

Emma loves to pose for pictures. She has the cutest smile. I'm not sure what she was saying in this picture, but she was trying to tell me to look at something.

Here is one of the "signature poses" that the girls have in almost all of their pictures. Lydia is doing the hands-by-the-face pose.

Here is another "signature pose." Madison is doing the hands-on-the-hips pose.

I'm not really sure what this sculpture was suppose to be. Noah or his wife or something. I was trying to figure that out all day. I kept trying to get the girls to stop with all the silly poses and this is the result.

They also had these fountains that would squirt water out randomly and the girls had a ball trying to sit on them and run over them without getting squirted.

We took a break from swimming and wandered down the path into the gardens. They had a maze to run through, a little light house that the kids could climb up into the tower and all sorts of fun stations for them to play at along the trail. They even had some caves with bear statues to climb on and slides connecting them. All along the path was gorgeous.

Here's Emma playing in the dirt. She loves to find dirt to play in. She even stops to play with the dirt in the cracks of the sidewalk if she can't find any.

Here are the girls playing next to the little lighthouse that I couldn't get a picture of them playing in because they were more interested in, what else, the dirt!

This is one of my favorite pictures of the day, sans the kiddos, because I've been playing around with our new camera and love these nature shots. I'm working on some to hang up in my new house.

Here's Dinah and I relaxing while the kids played along the path. It's been a long time since we got together, but it was really nice to see her again.

Here's Emma playing in the dirt, again! Notice that in all of these shots that she doesn't actually get dirty. Smart kid, huh?

Mt. Timpanogas

We moved back to Utah this past winter and we have had the best summer ever! We've done more this summer than every other summer combined since we've been married. It helps that we only live 30 miles away from SLC where there are a billion more things to do than any other place we've lived.

For Nick's birthday this year, we hiked to the very top of Mt. Timpanogas, and I got a half dozen blisters because I wore stupid hiking shoes instead of my running shoes. 11 miles later and I was ready to kill that stupid mountain. We left the girls at Grandma and Grandpa Skabelund's house for the weekend so we could hike it easier. Good thing we did, because I would not have like carrying them up on my back. That hike is pretty difficult.

This was just one of the really old, beautiful trees that we saw along the trail. I was determined to be in at least one of the days pictures, so I forced Nick to stop and take this picture.

This is where we stopped and ate our lunch. I was actually shivering by the time we got going again. It was a strange weather day. When we started out around 1pm it was pretty warm, but after about an hour it started to cloud over and rain. It stopped and we continued on in the sweltering heat. I was sweating to death, I swear. Then, we got up to the glacier crossings and I was cold and hot all at the same time. I kept taking my jacket on and off.

We had a new camera so I took a ton of photos just messing around. They turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself. There were tons of beautiful waterfalls and flowers. My favorite picture was just after it stopped raining and I came across these leaves that were picture perfect.

There were so many gorgeous colors all along the trail. I just had to capture some of them.

It doesn't matter where we go, Nick is always looking for fossils. We stopped a million times so he could find some. I kept yelling back at him, "are you coming?"

About 3/4 of the way to the top, if you turn around you can see all the way back to Duck Lake and Heber Valley. It was so pretty that day.

Yes, another picture of Nick looking for fossils. We even took a half hour break so he could look more closely while he climbed half-way up the opposite mountain.

This is what I did to pass the time while Nick looked for fossils. My feet hurt and I couldn't figure out why the snow was pink up near the top of the glacier.

When we got to the top, we could look up and see some crazy college kids sliding all the way down from the top of this glacier on blow-up mattresses, intertubes and plastic bags. I thought they were insane because it was so steep, but they seemed to enjoy themselves.

This is us at the top right before we started the 5.5 miles back down. This is right before my blister really started to kill me. The picture below is how I felt about halfway down. My feet hurt and I wanted to cry, but I can always laugh at myself, so I took a stupid picture.

All in all, we hiked just over 11 miles, over snow, cement (the first mile of the trail is paved...dumb if you ask me), boulders, mud, glacier, stream and dirt. It was really fun to spend the day with just Nick. We actually got to have an adult conversation without having Madison or Emma interrupt us. We got down to the car at about 9pm and got home around 11:30pm. We were exhausted and a little sunburned.