Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Grandpa Bell's Easter BBQ

Each year some of my family members get together to have a Spring - Easter BBQ. We've had so much fun over the years at this event. This year, my Dad was awesome enough to plan it and did such a great job. For starters, just as we arrived, he gave the grandchildren a huge bag of their favorite cereal to take home and enjoy another day. He knows they aren't so lucky as to get sugar cereal very often so his gift was a huge hit.

He was great to get us going on the activity, take the grandkids on a hike through the woods near the park, and hold an egg toss competition for the kids.

Believe it or not, this egg didn't even break when it hit Niki.

Dad even taught the grandchildren how to properly toss and catch the unboiled eggs. They are so blessed to have such a wonderful caring Grandfather.

What a wonderful afternoon together.

Park Play!

While Halen was playing her soccer game, Harris, Brigden, and Bevan kept themselves happy at the park right next to the field. Bevan went up the stairs and down this slide over and over about 40 times. She loved every slide ride!

Then she found the tire tred bridge and would bounce/run across it with a huge grin and giggle.

It was most fun to watch her get really irritated when other children were putting wood chips on the end of the slide. At first she tried to just yell at them and tell them not to put the wood chips on the slide by saying, "Uh Uh! NO!" When that didn't work, she decided to go down the slide and push the wood chips off with her bum.

The other children weren't very happy, but Bevan was happier. Then, as if sliding down into the pile wasn't enough, she got off the slide, turned around, and started wiping all the wood chips off herself.

One of the funniest parts of the instance was that Bevan was at least half the age of these children and she wasn't even close to afraid of them. We love her determination and independence. She is truly a blessing! We love Bevan!

Harris loves to swing on the monkey bars and is quite good at it.

He's your typical boy, climbing on everything he shouldn't be like the outside of the slide. We absolutely adore Harris' daring adventurous nature. He is a pure blessing. We love Harris!

Brigden went down the slide 3 times before I could finally get a decent picture of him. Each time he went down the slide he would be looking down and giggling and grinning so big. I kept telling him to look at me, but he enjoyed the ride so much he couldn't think of looking at me too! Finally, I gave up and went for the shot before the slide ride! What a grin! Seriously! He's such a joy and a blessing in our lives! We love and adore Brigden!

He was so excited to run like crazy on this wheel, he ran around just like a hamster in a hamster wheel. He ran so fast I couldn't get the camera to focus until he stopped.

Harris was all about getting his picture taken on the wheel as well. Anything for some attention.

What a beautiful day at the park. I just love these Spring days! Soccer, smiles, and such fun! We are truly blessed in so many ways!

It's Soccer Season again!

It has been such a joy to watch Halen grow in her soccer skills and field sense. For being such a peaceful loving daughter, she really has a fighter spirit and works hard out on the field. She's even started getting frustrated if they lose and excited when they win. She is such a blessing in our lives and we love her dearly, almost as much as we love watching her play soccer. The best part is that I don't even have to work so hard out on the field to enjoy the game again. I get to enjoy it right from my comfy lawn chair.

This is Halen's second year playing with her cousin Niki. They play really well together and are great friends! Such fun!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ush EEEth!

All you have to do is say the word "Teeth" and immediately Bevan will be moving a chair from the farthest point of the kitchen to brush her teeth. She can seriously stand at the sink brushing her teeth for 30-40 minutes, if we'd let her. Brigden just happened to need to brush his teeth and as usual, Bevan joined in just as she does when anyone is brushing their teeth.

This blurr effect on Brigden is so awesome because of the focus on Bevan that I love this picture. Her eyes are so piercing, just like Dave's! Amazing eyes!

Brigden and Bevan are most definitely our Cheesier Children! They both share amazing contagious smiles that you just can't help but smile when you're around them.

What a glorious moment to be able to watch them enjoy just being children.

How we love those beauties and look at those teeth!

Goodbye Uncle Collin!

My brother Collin has head off on a career adventure to Switzerland for at least 6 months, possibly a year or more. I'm very excited for him to be doing something so fun and adventurous at this time in his life, but very sad that he is leaving me and my family. My little family adores Collin. He is a buddy to my children and one of my best friends!

We've spent many a nights just hanging out barely saying a word, but just understanding one another just the same. It could be that he and I were created from not only the same parents, but seemingly the same mold as well. We're very much alike, with some differences, but most similarities.

I appreciate him and his efforts to maintain a relationship with me and my ridiculously busy life. He's always willing to be charitable, kind, and loving. I just hope he marries some adorable girl someday that likes me because chances are if she doesn't, Collin and I will be very sad not to be so closely aquainted.

As he was traveling and adjusting to Switzerland and the new job I was very nervous for him, like his own mother. I realized during these moments that I am not even close to ready to have my children leave me for any amount of time. I really worried about him and was finally comforted when we were able to skype-video chat for a few moments. Silly, but it really helped me to see him all in one piece and know that he was safe and sound. I love that he's taking a leap during his few "free" years, but selfishly wish he weren't going to be gone for so long.

I love my Collin!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring Break 2011

Isn't that a beautiful view? Well, it sure is for December of January maybe, but spring break, NO WAY! Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for the moisture, but seriously for me to finally have precious one-on-one school-free and job-free time with my children and watch it get ruined by snow,...frustrating!!!

It's not that we didn't enjoy being together indoors, but you can only watch so many movies and play so many video or card games with super active impatient stir-crazy boys! Halen, Bevan, and I were completely content to just hang, but those boys had to get out!!! Finally on Friday we decided to go sledding and pulled out all of our winter wear.

Yeah, it was snowing the entire time we were sledding, but we didn't care, we were out of the house. The snow was perfect for sledding after making a trip or two down to pack down a sled path. It was also perfect for eating, as Brigden usually enjoys doing.

I was surprised to find we were the only ones out and about in the snow, but maybe that's because everyone else was content to sit still in their homes, unlike Brigden and Harris.

Bevan, on the other hand, was excited to get out side just as much as the boys, but after 2 trips down the hill in the snow, she quickly changed her mind. She wanted in the car. She stripped her snow pants off faster than I could help her or take her picture.

This girl is determined and independent. They are wonderful attributes when steered in the right direction. She is very attached to the pink knit hat she's wearing. It's way too small for her head, but she pulls it on tight whenever she finds it and wears it all around the house all day long. It's quite the sight. She LOVES it!

She was very excited to spend her time inside the car playing with the windshield wipers and car accessories since we rarely let her have free reign in the car.

Oh, the joys of being warm and snow-pant free on a Wintry Spring Break day!

Regardless of the snow, it was just wonderful to spend time with my children and just be a Mom! It was so hard for me to really appreciate or understand what a blessing it is to be a stay-at-home Mother until it became unavailable to me. I love my children so much and I am able to appreciate them so much more now that they've been taken away from my close grip and watch. It's been such a journey for me to learn to pick and choose my battles with my limited time and very great list of chores and needs required of me. Amazingly, while I'd rather be a stay at home Mom, I still feel extremely grateful for all the lessons I've learned and am learning. I'm so grateful for my amazing children who have stepped up to the plate and really taken on more responsibility than I dreamed they could at their ages. I love my coworkers and employers and am very grateful for the opportunity to provide for my family with my dear sweet supportive husband. We are very very very blessed and happy, regardless of unwanted snow!

Halen's 3rd Grade Program

Halen was able to perform along with her 3rd grade elementary class in a program named The Wonders of the Earth. She was very nervous because this was her first time to perform in front of such a large audience including the entire studentbody and family members. The students were asked to wear Hawaiian attire. Halen and her best friend Avery were very excited to wear matching Hawaiian outfits.
Even though she wouldn't dare show it during her performance, she was excited to be able to play a wood block instrument as they sang, "Tiny Little Creatures in the Big Rain forest." Her favorite song to sing was "North Pole South Pole." Even though Halen was very nervous to perform , she still managed to show after the performance how much fun it was for her and her friends, including Avery and Megan.

The program was held during the evening so we were all able to attend. It was a very entertaining family event.