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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Dance Recital

The kids had a mini dance recital last week. They (Joseph especially) was wanting to quit taking lessons because he said he was getting bored with it. After the recital they had such a good experience performing that they all decided that they wanted to continue. Each class had a different spin on one of the Nutcracker dances. Maria was a chinese doll and the boys were Russians. They were all SO cute!! Maria was pretty shy and after walking out and seeing all of the people just stood there after doing 3 moves. The boys were darling!! I wish our video camera battery hadn't gone out that morning. They were so good and I was so proud of all 3 of them!!  
P.S.  By the way, the boys' dance teacher is Gev Manoukin who was on "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 4.  He missed a ton of lessons because he was trying out for the show and then the boys quit.  It was awesome seeing him on TV, though.  We were definitely rooting for him.







Super Fun Family Vacation

So we're back! We had an awesome time in California. It was so great to see the excitement in the kids faces as they saw and experienced things for the first time. Here are a few pictures....





Wednesday, November 28, 2007

3 more days!!

We are going on our first ever McKinley family vacation on Sunday!! Woohoo! We are all SO excited. We're going to be going to Disneyland, and the kids keep asking me how many more days until we go. I've been busy trying to get things ready as well as do my regular routine and get some Christmas shopping done before we go. Hopefully we'll be all ready to go by then.

We had a great Thanksgiving and enjoyed spending time together as a family without worrying about the kids going to school or Todd going to work. Todd and Augie are finishing the storage room and building shelves so it can finally be organized. I'm SO excited about it. It seems like the disorganization from that room affects the rest of the house so once that's finished I won't have anymore excuses.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Build A Bear Day

Today was the day that we finally got to take Emily to Build A Bear. We've been keeping a chart for her and if she kept her pants dry for 2 weeks straight then we told we would take her to Build A Bear. She's been eyeing Maria's "Princess" for awhile now, so we thought that would be a good incentive, and it really was! We picked up Todd from work and drove to The Gateway. Emily chose a bear just like Maria's and named her "Honey". Todd and I got to put a recorded message from both of us inside the bear so when Emily squeezes her hand she'll hear us tell her that we love her. They really go all out there and treat the kids very well. It was a fun experience. It's the first time I've ever been there and actually seen how they build the bear, since Gwen was the one that took Maria for her birthday.

Then we went to lunch at Appleby's. On the way home we stopped by Gwen's to use her bathroom (Emily didn't want to have an accident on the way home - what a big girl!) We checked out her tile and grout since we're going to paint it for her. I found this amazing product called Aqua Mix grout colorant that worked wonders on my bathroom tile. It was looking totally dirty and no matter what I cleaned it with it was still discolored and gross (and it's not even a year old - AND I sealed it after it we put it in). I did a search online and found this product and decided to give it a try. It colors and seals your grout for up to 15 years. I did it last month and it still looks so amazing. It looks like it's brand new and doesn't discolor every time it gets wet. I am LOVING it!!

I'm also really excited about my Young Women's calling. It is SO much more work than Primary ever was, but it's amazing what the program is like now. They didn't have this when I was in "mutual". I guess they totally redid the program in 1985 (just after I graduated) and then made another change in 1991 (or was that 2001?). I love the personal progress program that they do now and I've decided that I'm going to start doing it and setting goals.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Not crazy about the pictures.......

Okay, so I love my boys and think they are both SO darling, but I got their school pictures back the other day and I had to laugh. Joseph is hilarious and is doing one of the worst fake smiles I think I've ever seen. Andrew's aren't as bad, but he looks like he just ran a marathan and is all hot and sweaty. Needless to say I won't be ordering any of these pictures to hang on my wall. Unfortunately they will be in the boys' year book at the end of the year for all to see.

My new calling

Today was my last day in Primary as 1st counselor and my first day in Young Women's as 1st counselor. It was a pretty emotional day. I got emotional thinking that I won't be serving in the primary with all of the cute kids (and my own great kids), and the other women that I've grown to love so much. Then, when I went into Relief Society for opening exercises with the young women (which they do once a month) I felt like a fish out of water because I haven't been in there for so long. When the girls stood up and said the Young Women values I got emotional because it's so beautiful and powerful. I've only heard it a few times before and every time I do it makes me want to cry. I'm really excited to be in the Young Women's organization because the other leaders are so great and I'm looking forward to getting to know them better, and the young women are so darling, and it will be fun getting to know them on a more personal level. I have 4 meetings this week though. A planning meeting with the girls today, a stake leadership meeting on Tuesday, an activity on Wednesday, and then a presidency meeting on Thursday. Whew! I think I'm in for a wild ride, and a LOT of work!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Almost there.....

I spent several hours last night trying to get things organized and put away and shampooing the carpets.
The cabinets aren't quite ready yet. Still waiting for Troy to fix the lights and the outlet before we can put everything where it belongs.

New curtains on the windows.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Somebody needs more sleep!

I'm sitting here and it's only 8:50 and I am SO ready for bed. With Todd working late trying to get all of his taxes done for the deadline we get to bed so late at night and the kids seem to get up earlier every morning. I've decided that I'm one of those people that need at least 9 hours of sleep or I don't function as well. So much for 9 hrs. a night......

Plus, I've had a very stressful day. We went to RC Willey so I could win the $2,500 shopping spree. I dragged Gwen along so she could have a chance to win as well. Unfortunately I kept doubting that I'd win so I obviously didn't (although Andrew was SURE I was going to win - he was devastated when my name wasn't called). I need to watch "The Secret" again and brush up on my "law of attraction" positive thinking. After the drawing we looked around the store for awhile while Gwen looked at some recliners. Emily can sure be a handful when she doesn't have a nap. Oh my goodness!! Everything looked like so much fun that she couldn't sit still and stop touching everything. And, it seems like the minute we step foot into a store the boys like to start a wrestling match. Hello?!? Can you just chill until we get home, and then you can go crazy! I just always have false expectations that they're all going to behave like adults when we go out. Go figure!! They really are good kids though. Much better than most kids I've seen. Andrew was so sweet. As we were leaving the store he said, "Mom, I wish you had won the money, then we could buy a bigger house". I had to explain that we need A LOT more than just $2,500, but it was nice of him.

After that Gwen took us to Chuck-A-Rama for lunch (which is the kids' favorite) and Emily had a tantrum right there by the lasagna because she decided that she didn't want it after all, after I had already put it on her plate. It's too bad that someone doesn't invent a napping machine that you can put your kids into and haul them around with you when you can't be home for nap time. She takes after her mother who gets very cranky on little sleep!

We got home and I then had to figure out the seating chart for the Primary Program for what seemed like the 10th time. There were some complaints about where I had people last week, and then my friend pointed out that you can't see the kids in back of the piano seats and I had some of the smallest kids back there. Duh! I spent hours on that thing. You'd think I'd have thought of that, especially after doing a primary program for the last 5 years now. I should be able to do it all in my sleep. I'm just glad that she pointed it out before our practice tomorrow. She was nice enough to go down to the church and help me figure it all out. I don't know what I'd do without her!! I made the mistake of taking the kids with me (not that I had a choice) and they kept running around the chapel having the time of their lives. Is it bedtime yet? Hopefully this is my last primary program. I think 5 years in a row is plenty to be in charge of, don't you? But I know when I'm released I'll miss being in there with my cute kids.

I keep trying to think of how nice and relaxing last weekend was.......Todd and I celebrated our 10th anniversay last weekend. He made all of the arrangments for us to stay in a B & B in the avenues called the Ellerbeck Mansion.
It was a really neat place. An old home built in the 1890's with a lot of charm. After we dropped the kids off at April's house for the night (aaaaahhhhh - peace and quiet at last!) we went to dinner and then back to the hotel.
This is our room upstairs where all the magic happened Couples(called Autumn leaves).....


That morning after breakfast we went down to the Gateway and walked through a few stores and decided to go into the Apple store to drool over the Mac. I am dying for one of those!!! They are amazing and can do so many things! Then we went to see "The Bourne Ultimatum" because Harry Potter wasn't playing there anymore. I know, I know - sacrifice brings blessings, right? I did like the show, but it was sure violent. I would have preferred Harry Potter but Todd was happy, so that was good. He deserves it!! Then we went to lunch and then back to pick up the kids. I really do miss them when we're not together, but it's SO nice to have a break once in a while. Especially since I'm basically a single mom 6 months out of the year during the busy seasons for tax time. Only one more month until Todd gets to start coming home at normal hours again (for at least a few months anyway).

Friday, August 31, 2007

Well, the kids had their first dance classes this week and they LOVED them!! Maria liked her creative movement class but didn't really share much about it when we got home becaues she was mad that we didn't walk home like I thought we were going to. Never tell a child that they're going to do something and then not do it. Big mistake!! I didn't realize that the hill down to the class was so steep and didn't have sidewalks, and it was blazing hot outside. Not wanting to walk up the hill with all four kids, I walked over to school and got the boys during her class time and we walked home (the non-steep way) and then picked her up in the car when her class was over. She was not a happy camper (and she can sure scream and slam doors when she's mad - I think she probably gets that from her daddy hehe;) ) Anyway, back to the fun dancing week, the girls and I sat in on the boys' breaking/hip-hop class today. It was so much fun watching them learn new things and copy what the teacher was doing. They were adorable. I would have loved to watch Maria's class too, but maybe I can do it another day. When we got home I downloaded the Usher song (U-turn) that the teacher was dancing to and let the boys practice. They had a lot of fun and are looking forward to next week.

The boys started school on Wednesday and Maria starts pre-school on Tursday of next week. The boys love their teachers and have had a great week. Other than that nothing exciting has been going on here other than Todd is in the middle of another busy season at work. Let the countdown begin......

Thursday, August 16, 2007

My kids are growing up on me! :(

Joseph keeps wanting to mow the lawn just like his big brother, so today I finally decided that he could. Andrew gave him some pointers and helped him along the way, and he did such a great job!! It's been so nice the last 2 summers not worrying about having to mow the lawn (not that I did it anyway - thanks to Todd).



The older three kids are loving their swimming lessons and have really improved in the last week. It's so fun to see them get more confident in the water.

Here are some more fun pictures that I took this week.....


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Dance, Dance, Dance

Because we are such "So You Think You Can Dance" fans and the kids watch it over and over and try to mimic all of the moves, I decided to sign them up for dance classes. Maria will take creative movement and Andrew and Joseph are taking a breaking/hip-hop class starting in a few weeks. They are so excited! So next time you see them, ask them to show you some of their "sweet moves".

Fun Weekend








We just had a really fun weekend spending time with my sister Heather and her family, who live in North Carolina. We hadn't seen her 2 older boys since my mom's funeral 3 years ago. They've grown so much and are all so darling. My kids loved it and are sad that they won't be seeing their cousins again for a long time.
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