Grandma and Grandpa O'Barr

I just took Grandma and Grandpa O’Barr to the airport. Aubrey took it the hardest and cried most of the way home, she was truly sad that they were gone. I have a theory on Grandparents, I believe that they are a privilege, a treat, and because they have raised their children they have a greater vision then those of raising our children, and have much to offer their grandchildren. I try really hard not to have Grandma or Grandpa’s on either side babysit much because I don’t want them to have to discipline, they should just be able to enjoy the relationship on both sides. Anyway, the kids love their grandparents, and I hope that just because they only physically see them once a year, with my parents a little more often since they live closer, but that they are able to develop a sweet bond with them. I see how quickly they re bond with them though, and I feel a sense of relief when they climb on their laps and tell them about their lives.
We took Grandma and Grandpa to Lake Tahoe. Coming from Alaska the sun was a little intense, we tried to time it for evening, so that the sun would be setting, that is the best time to be on the beach anyway, but we finished with our errands a little early and hit the beach about 4ish. The sun was still intense, but the kids had a great time and I hope Grandma and Grandpa enjoyed themselves.
I wish that I had gotten more pictures, but we did get a few cute ones up at Tahoe.
Thanks Mom and Dad O’Barr for all you do, for the example that you are to my children, for your kindness and love. We love having you here, and you are welcome anytime.

Frogs, Lizards and Free Fun!

I’m on the look out for inexpensive fun. We have a State Park here in Dayton, and they occasionally have events for families. This summer they are having a Nature Buddies series for the kids. The cost into the park-$4, but cost me next to nothing in gas because it’s so close to our home. We arrived early and the park ranger, who was really good with kids, found us a frog to play with. Emma was the only one who actually caught the frog, and it pooped on her and then jumped into her hair. She was enjoying the frog until it got in her hair, and then she started screaming. Look closely at the picture and you can see the frog actually jumping at her.

The ranger took us for a hike, we collected rocks to paint, and cat tails to make the cutest floating ducks.
There were a couple of real nature enthusiast boys there. They were excellent lizard catchers, and had about 7 lizards in a matter of 5 minutes. The one boy walked around with the lizard in his hair. Aubrey enjoyed the lizard, she loved that if you put the lizard on its back and rub it’s tummy it will go to sleep in your hand. I’m not sure if that is why it really mellows, and acts asleep or not, but that is how it appeared to be.

Well, my Dad says that I go on too long, so I wont tell you about the other things we did there, but we enjoyed ourselves.

So many things…

have happened in the past week or so since I have posted. It’s been a busy time with school ending and summer break beginning. I’ve been working on a schedule to keep everything and everyone happy and somewhat organized. Aubrey and Alyssa are so happy to have Emma and Tanner home during the day.
Lately we have had many trials regarding the Sabbath Day. We haven’t really had to set down any rules yet—with the kids being young they don’t really do anything we don’t do, and it’s been fairly easy. Emma has been doing a dance class to help her with her floor routines in gymnastics. She was very excited when her coach told them that they were going to be in a large dance competition on the 31st of May. We committed to the competition and paid for Emma’s costume, and Emma attended many extra practices and was looking forward to competing at the Lawlor Event Center in Reno. Emma’s coach contacted me on the Tuesday before the competition to tell me that she had gotten the schedule and that Emma was to compete on Sunday and not Saturday. I’d already talked with the coach in the beginning to let her know that Sundays were not an option at all for us for competitions, so she wanted to know what we were going to do. There was a part of me that thought well, this can’t be helped, kind of like the occasional days that Danny has to work on Sunday, or if we are traveling and we purchase gas on Sundays and that maybe I could make an exception. I decided to tell Emma and see how she reacted to the news. The first thing out of Emma’s mouth was we need to tell her that we can’t, and then as she thought about it, she started to cry and apologized to Danny and I for spending the money on the dress for the competition, but that she would not compete on Sunday. So I informed her coach who was remarkably understanding, and quickly re-worked the dance for the other girls and the show went on. I don’t think it was hard for Emma until she went to class that week and had to tell the girls. Most are older then her and many of the comments were “can’t you just miss church once” . Watching her talk to the girls, my heart ached for her, but she stood her ground, and in the end I was wiping tears from my eyes, as my daughter taught me a lesson. We kept the dress for “fun play”.

Another test of the Sabbath Day quickly happened, this time to Tanner. Tanner’s soccer season has come to an end, and they have had a good run, I don’t think they lost a single game. Tanner’s coach let the parents know that the end of the season bbq would be held the Sunday following the last game. I once again wavered in my thinking and thought well, it’s not ideal, but it’s after church. I started to think about “is a family bbq ok on Sunday and if so why not a bbq with friends?” I came to the conclusion that part of the problem is that there would be clapping and cheering and partying celebrating soccer and not family, and knew that it was something we would not be doing. Reverence would not be a part of a soccer bbq, although I’m not sure my kids are not always reverent on the Sabbath. Anyway, on Friday night, I just casually mentioned to Tanner that his soccer party was to be on Sunday, he said nothing, which is very like Tanner, and he went to bed to contemplate. I didn’t say anything to him on Saturday, but after the game the coach said to the kids if you aren’t going to be at the party tomorrow come and see me so you can get your trophy and pictures. I watched from a distance to see what he would do. Tanner marched up to his coach and told him he wouldn’t be at the party because it was on a Sunday. His coach came over and talked with me and I confirmed what Tanner had said, he was quite surprised because we support everything. He took Tanner to his truck and got him his trophy and picture, shook Tanner’s hand and told him he was proud of him and that he had a great season. Tanner quietly got in the van while I gushed over the trophy hoping to break the silence. Tanner told me he was sad, but that he knew he had done the right thing. My heart ached for him, I knew it wasn’t an easy thing that he had done. Tanner’s coach is wonderful, hopefully he’ll not hold the future bbq’s on Sunday. I’m very proud of those two kids.

Alyssa now has enough hair for pigtails and is growing up quickly. As for her vocabulary, she can very clearly say Mommy, Daddy, Tanner, Emma, Aubrey, brownie, strawberry, Jazzy (dog’s name), and well, many more words. She is a bit of a climber, and is getting good at getting into trouble. She has a thing for markers and skin, and is developing a little bit of an attitude, but we still love her to pieces, it’s just the time to be consistent and not a lazy parent… sigh.

We had a movie night to celebrate the last day of school. This time we invited some friends to come and celebrate with us. We watched a Harry Potter movie with them, but it doesn’t get dark until almost 9pm so we ate dinner, and shot a bb gun in the back yard, and just had an over all fun time. It got pretty cold that night, so we didn’t make it through the whole movie, we’ll have to do it again as it warms up a little bit. The temperature here can swing drastically it can be almost 100 in the day, but still hit the low 50’s at night. I like it because it brings a pleasant relief to the hot days, but if it’s only in the 80’s during the day it can drop to the low 40’s and that is just too cold to enjoy a movie.
Lets see what else need catching up on… Oh Tanner and Danny went to a Father’s and Son’s camp out that the ward put on. They go every year and have a good time. As for us girls we got a pizza from Costco and met some friends at a park, and then we went up to Claires—a real girlie store that I detest so we never go there—but for Emma we did this once. Then we wandered over to the book store and to Old Navy. Emma had invited a friend to join us and they were so funny at Old Navy, they were trying on jackets and pretending to be models. She’d never do that with just me, it was fun to watch her “play” with her friend. After that we dropped Emma’s friend off at home and watched the BBC version of Narnia…hmmm, not the best made movie in the world.
The boys had a good time. Danny didn’t set up a tent this year, Tanner has been into survival mode since he finished reading Hatchet, so they built a lean-to, and slept in that. I’m not sure how much a lean-to it really was, considering Danny couldn’t cut down trees at the campground, but they did the best they could with what they had. I guess the next day they played in the river and the lake, and headed home. Tanner fell in the river fully clothed so he came home in his swim suit… go figure.

The ward provided marshmallow guns and I guess they all went out into the field and blew marshmallows at each other. Danny informed me that the boys were then picking the marshmallows up and eating them… ewww. They found a snake at the camp and played with it until it bit someone, I guess these are some good reasons why Moms aren’t there, I’m not sure that I would have wanted to play with a snake.

The poor snake!

Marshmallow wars!

Tanner and some of his friends!

Well, I think this brings me up to today. It’s Father’s Day, and I am so thankful for my sweet husband, he’s such a wonderful father. The kids made Danny breakfast in bed with a little help. We made scrambled eggs with spicy sausage, blueberry waffles, with whole blueberries on top. We all ate in bed with him. We bought him some Almond Rocha, his favorite candy and I gave up the Sunday paper to him…that’s big because I don’t share my Sunday paper very nicely.
Tanner was asked to speak in Sacrament meeting today, he couldn’t have been cuter. He spoke about his Dad and how he throws snowballs with him when hiking and builds Legos to the ceiling with him. I had Tanner write it himself, I thought it would be more meaningful that way. It was a nice talk, and I’m proud of his courage to get up in front of all those people and give a talk.
I need to put a little plug in there for my father. He has taught me so many things, and I love him so much. Thanks Dad for all the sacrifices that you made for our family. Thanks for taking me shooting, fishing, and for all those car fixing projects (those I didn’t enjoy as much). Thanks for making me tough, and for all the vacations that I’m sure you were less than excited to go on, but did anyway. I loved the Grand Canyon, and I loved the hike to the Emerald Lakes in Zion’s. Thanks for teaching me how to work, even when I don’t feel like it. I know you came home from work, often tired, and in pain, but you always had the time for me, and I know that you loved me.
I think this brings me current, I’ll try harder to post more this week that is if anyone is actually reading this.

misc. stuff

Today was the last day of school for the kids. I must say I am relieved, I’m very happy to have my kids home. I’m looking forward to an active summer. Both kids had a good year at school, Tanner skipped first grade but came out with straight A’s every quarter and tested higher then most 4th graders. The Gifted and Talented teacher stopped and talked to me the other day to tell me that Tanner’s reading score was what a 6th grader needs to test at in order to advance, so I would say the move to the second grade was a good move for him. Emma had a great year also, and you can see a review of her Gifted and Talented project if you go over to her blog.
As celebration for a good year we are watching Harry Potter outside tonight and bbq’ing hot dogs, fruit salad, salsa w chips and cookies for dessert.
On Thursday night Emma goes to Gymnastics from 4 till 7. I go in by myself and take care of grocery shopping and other errands that need to be run. Danny had all the kids and was making dinner. When I got home it was rather quiet, so I asked where Aubrey was. He said out back so I went looking for her and couldn’t find her anywhere. I was calling for her, and was starting to panic when Emma saw her over on the big swing. She had fallen asleep outside on the swing. It was early and before dinner, but we decided to put her down for the night and carried her inside. I thought it was pretty cute that she could fall asleep outside, although a little worrisome, I’d hate for her to hide in a clothing rack in the store or something and fall asleep and I can’t find her. We’ve had a few late nights though and I think she was just overly tired.
The kids had fun day at school on Wednesday, I ran the cake walk. We had a 45 minute window to fill so after they got their cup cake then they could take it over to the table and decorate it. Followed by burning it off by hula hooping. It went well, and I was happy to help out. I feel like I’ve been less then helpful lately with Alyssa and Aubrey, I’m not always able to go into the school without finding someone to take my little ones, and then their is guilt for leaving them behind. Danny brought Aubrey and Alyssa down to fun day and let them get in the bounce house and run around and do the other stations that were set up.
It’s been a busy week and I’m glad it is over. I’ve secured me a spot in Provo for the kids sport camps in July, I’m going to hang out in Utah for the two weeks in between the camps. I think we’ll just enjoy ourselves at the pool, movies and parks, I don’t think we’ll have a hard time coming up with something to do. I’d like to go to Seven Peaks water park once while we are there, if any family will be in Utah at that time let me know and we can meet up.
Well that is probably more then enough from me. Just one picture of Aubrey sleeping on the swing.