Tuesday, June 30, 2009
It's a fundraising event for a friend of mine and her husband, who's gone through a lot the past few weeks. To learn more about Crystal and Jared, click here.
So, if you're in the Denver area and are looking for a way to pay for self-torture, here's your chance! All the info is on that link.
I guess I better start training....How exactly do I go about that? start with one block? and then work up to one mile?? and then just hope i don't die the day of??!?! oh, i'm sounding really pathetic...perhaps i should just man the registration table instead....
Hope to see some of you there!!!
Friday, June 26, 2009
We came home one day to find this snake in our backyard. I've actually gotten used to seeing little snakes in our yard. We usually see 6-7 each summer, and the girls love them. I've really come to realize that they are way more harmless than the squirrels that try to live in our attic and the rabbits that eat our vegetation. So, as long as they don't get much bigger than this one, I'm actually fine with them. Did you hear that, Dad? your little girl's growin' up :) (i still don't do spiders, though)
Grace has become quite the "helper" in the kitchen. She loves to cook! This is new for her, and I love it! Although I still find myself hesitating to include her, whether it be to save time, to minimize the mess, or just cause i sometimes like to be alone in the kitchen. But I'm getting better, and as you might assume, so is she! Here she is helping me make bread.
Marky, Grace, Brooke and Abs
One of the things i love most about living here in Colorado is the weather. Granted, it is insanely unpredictable, but I can't complain when we have park days in February and rainstorms in June--i love it! We've had so much rain this month, we've barely turned our sprinklers on--and our grass looks awesome!! And who doesn't love a warm afternoon rain?
And we had an awesome hail storm a few weeks back. The girls just stood there for the whole 8 minutes, watching it bounce off our deck. As cool as it was, I was glad to not be out in it.
How cute is Eliza? Honestly? I love this hat that my friend, Jenny C., gave her. I think it was supposed to fit her as a 3 month old! She's thrown us all for a loop with her dimensions!
Monday, June 22, 2009
So, are you ready for it? Are you ready for me to toot my own horn a bit? (it is my blog, afterall...) Are you just dying to know what in the world i'm rambling on and on about?
that's what i was hoping.
here it is:
I decided a few months ago that i wanted to make my family a little (oh, how that word makes me laugh now!) game. I wanted it to be something where we'd learn a bit about our parents, and their parents, and we'd laugh a bit and be done.
But, of course, the ideas kept coming (a HUGE thanks to so many awesome friends who gave me awesome input!) and the game kept getting bigger and better.
It started with an interview of my parents. I did this when they were out here in April. And it was the most fun and informative talk i've ever had with them. (something i highly recommend to any of you with parents of your own)
And then all the info that i gathered there turned into questions. But some of them would be SOOOO much better if i had to watch my brother Kevin attempt to act them out, or my sister Julia attempt to draw, or my sister melanie attempt to sing, or my brother nathan attempt to dance, etc... So, next thing i know the game has 6 categories:
So, i spent the next infinity composing questions, cutting matching card stock, gathering more info, cutting papers, pasting, laminating (of course i had to buy a laminator, right? truth be told,
it was cheaper than Kinkos would have been, and now i own one and am finding things to laminate left and right...like the chore charts we made for family night a couple weeks ago!), more cutting, making my sister cut all the corners of all 136 cards so they wouldn't be pokey, and.... well, you get the point. Here are a few cards from each category, just to give you a (very small) sampling of the questions/ideas my little brain came up with (and stole from the slew of board games i've played with my family my entire life!)
I knew i'd need an old board game to use, but i figured it didn't matter which one, since i thought i'd cover the whole thing up with contact paper and just paste squares on, Monopoly-style. Boy, was i wrong...wrong, wrong, wrong. I had know idea what i was getting myself into when I picked up an old CandyLand game at a garage sale.
I started with this:
And then decided that i'd KEEP the candyland trail, and use the original CandyLand cards as part of the game (you pick a CandyLand card, and then that tell you which category you get to draw from...and then, if your team gets it right, you advance to that color--easy 'nuf)
And then I had a vision of how i wanted the board to look. What i didn't have, was a clue as to how long it was take to get there. I gathered and copied a bagillion old and new family photos (thanks, again, Ju and Mel!!!) until i had this:
After hours and hours of cutting, cropping, pasting, swearing, re-cutting, etc, I finally had the board: And it was ready to be modge-podged (which, incidentally, is one of my all-time favorite activities in the world)
After covering the box (and reinforcing its sides--which had been very "loved" by its previous owners) i looked at the photos I hadn't used and luckily (?) there were plenty left over. So, i was able to use just about all of them to collage the front and back of the box
And that, my friends, is how i made my very first game: Pete and Kate Land.
Now, you might be asking "when is Emily going to get a chance to play this wonderful game with her family???" (or you might not, but it's a good lead-in to my next paragraph)
The answer is: two weekends ago. in Moab, UT. aaaaaaaaaaand.....it. was. awesome. (The whole Moab trip will get a post of its own, since it was the bestest vacation EVER with my family who i LOVE!) My wonderful family just kept saying, as we played it, after we played it, before we played it the second time, how awesome the game was, and how much they appreciated the time i'd put into it, etc. And that was awesome. (and the cards that you see above are the exact ones we got through in Moab...not even a drop in the card-bucket.....)
But the best part? the absolute BEST PART? was actually playing the game. it is, if I do say so myself, the greatest game ever. How often can you laugh till you pee, and then have to hold back your tears all in the same game? How often do you learn so much about your parents, your siblings AND yourself in one game? How often is it that the answer key lies in the memories of two people in the room? How often is it that my siblings don't get all worked up about winning the game? How often do you sit down with your family to play a game, and never finish it because you get wrapped up in stories of courtship, and hardship and friendship???
That is what made it all worth it.
I feel a cheesy, over-used mastercard commercial imitation coming on. I'm trying to fight it....but it's winning...
Board Game? $.25
Paper/Laminator/copies? $More than i care to admit
Gas to get to Moab? $50
Playing this game with my family? priceless
Friday, June 19, 2009
So, this spring, rather than busting out three new dresses for my three little ladies, i thought i'd get smart, and put into practice the never-failing re-use/reduce/recycle mantra. Soooooooooooo, I just made ONE dress, for Grace, and let the other two dresses play their roles as hand-me-downs. Is that brilliant, or what!?!?! (okay, maybe any one of you could have come up with that, but my mom was really impressed by this idea, and just kept telling me how brilliant i am, and how creative i am, and how time-saving, money-saving, awesome i am--aaaaaand that's why i love her:) )
We drove to Denver's LDS Temple on our way home from church a few weeks ago, and I attempted to get some cute pics of all three girls in their dresses. Well, that didn't happen, but i did get these:
So, although this isn't nearly as cool as my friend who's started making her own maternity clothes out of old shirts/skirts, and using the scraps to make skirts for her daughter, I was pretty stoked that I had enough fabric left over from 2 years ago to make three matching dresses! And why do i want to make matching dresses for my girls, you might ask? Why not make three different or coordinating dresses?
the answer is: i have no idea.
How nasty is this? I am not a dog-person, but I am a Reid-person, so it saddened me to witness this disgusting display of "but i didn't want to be rude and i didn't want the girls to think that I thought the dog was scary so i tried not to make a big deal of it" !!! I vowed right there and then that i wouldn't kiss him until he'd had at least 100 showers. But, like i said, i'm a Reid-person, so that only lasted so long :)
There was quite a bit of rain throughout the weekend. Normally i might have thought to complain about the inclement weather, but with a house like that--who needs to go outside? They had a pool table, a Foosball table, a home theater system, games, puzzles, a massive rocking-horse, a huge kitchen, and everything else you could possibly need in a vacation place!!
The girls had so much fun going on little "nature walks" with Reid. They found all sorts of "treasures," and wildflowers. Reid is always concerned that our girls don't get enough of "rugged" nature exposure here in suburbia. I think he might be right. Whenever Abby sees a body of water--be it a stream, a lake, a pond--she always yells "Look Mom, it's Pocahontas!" That's gotta be a bad sign...for oh-so-many reasons....
(Kristina--your parents were at church up there, too--did your mom tell you? fun to see her, as always!)
Here's our (blurry) family picture by their "Welcome bear" --needless to say i'm still figuring out how to use my camera
We (the girls AND their parents!) got such a kick out of these pig statues! Every time we passed by this farm we had to slow down so the girls could look and ask why they had surgical masks on. We're still not sure why. maybe they're being clever? or maybe their pigs really do have H1N1 flu virus? Either way, it gave the girls something fun to look at and talk about :)
Grace received some be-lated and be-loved gifts from Grandma--and has really enjoyed them all!!
It was wonderful having them here. I feel so lucky to have such wonderful in-laws!! I can't even begin to count the number of times people have asked my why Reid is such a good husband and father. And I always give these two people, Marie and Mike, the credit. They raised such an awesome son--both by example and by what they taught--and I somehow am the lucky lady who gets to benefit daily from all their hard work. And I feel really lucky to like them as much as i do. Not many people enjoy their in-laws as much as I do mine!
Thanks for the WONDERFUL visit, Grandma and Grandpa!!! Come back soon!!