The Favorite Picture! Being seated at dinner. The Place Setting The dinner table The Resturant We got a few more Prom pictures back that my girlfriend took who owns "A Natural Image" They turned out soooo cool! We luv you Jacque! The others are some pics that Ben's sister took of the Italian Resturant that I set up in our backyard that night. Fun, fun times! The kids are still talking about it!
How Many kids can fit in the spa? We hosted our annual Mutual Night Swim party last week for all the teenagers in our Ward. As always, it was a lot of fun, very loud, kind of crazy and really, really wet! No one left without getting in the pool on their own or being tossed in! Ouch! As always, it is a blast having the kids over! Luv you all!
The Marina Caleb's photo Daddy and his girl! Docking the boat Cam Knee boarding One of the many silly pictures I plan to use of Garrett on his Wedding Reception Video! My kids For the past 15 years or so we have gone to the coast for Memorial Weekend. As we prepared to leave on Friday for the beach, I called our rental company to find out how much money I needed to bring with me and found out that our reservation had been made for the following weekend and pretty much there was nothing we could do about it. :( So we set about scrambling to salvage our long weekend. After many calls and potential plans we ended up at Shaver Lake staying in a cabin that belongs to Gary's Resource Teacher's Family.
Changing plans at the last minute was a bit challenging but we were all determined to "make the most of it". The boys got the boat ready and we changed a few things in our suitcases, took out our boogie boards and headed up the mountain on a new adventure. After some touchy moments (the car had a hard time getting the boat up the mountain during the 2 miles that we ascended 2000 ft or so very quickly) we finally got to the cabin around 9:30 that night. All I can say is "Wow!" we felt like we were in Heaven! The Cabin was beautiful! As big as my house something like 3400 sq. feet with 5 bedrooms and bathrooms. The views were amazing and it was decorated beautifully with a big family kitchen. We love to cook together when we stay at the coast so we were looking forward to hanging out in the great kitchen.
We stayed up that night until way past 1:00 am. We sat in the hot tub, star gazed (what a beautiful sky), played games and talked. Saturday was full of lake fun. It was a little cold. The boys brought their wetsuits which they used. (Check out Garrett posing as Aquaman. What a crack up!) It was a little crowded and somewhat small so we beached the boat, set up a camp on shore and explored, relaxed and played in the water. We were able to dock the boat at the Marina for the weekend so it was fun not having to take it back and forth each day.
We hiked on Sunday, read, watched a few movies (made a few movies. Lol) and cooked a lot! Monday was back to the Lake but to our surprise it wasn't so crowded so the boys got to do more of the water sports that they love. We still set up camp on the beach and I played in the sand with the little ones.
Coming down the hill late Monday night we all agreed that this was one of our "Great Vacations!"
Every morning our family tries to read the Book of Mormon together after garrett gets home from seminary. Many times the little kids are still asleep so we try to have a scripture night on Sunday that includes them. Caleb always remembers when it is Sunday and that he needs to read the scriptures to us. So while we all prepare dinner before the boys are leaving for a fireside, our spiritual buckets are filled. (Note the sarcasm in my writing) LoL! In this video I have captured the "essence" of Caleb as he takes his turn reading and teaching us. Of course it turns into a comedy show and not at all spiritual but I can't pretend that this isn't exactly how my crazy family is. Gotta love it! I know I do!
OK so I mentioned that I was leaving my blog to facebook for awhile but it looks like I have been gone for almost 3 months. The great thing about blogging for me is that I can print everything off and put it in a notebook that acts as a family journal so bare with me as I "catch up" mainly for journaling purposes:) I guess I should start backwards. Hope this works. haha
I don't think I put these in order but you get the idea:)
Garrett asked Emily Hammond at our Easter Party to go to Prom with him. Four couples went as a group. The boys and moms planned out the party together. It was sooooo much fun for all the kids and the parents:).
Garrett wanted Prom to be an all day event, not to cost a lot and be really fun so here is what we came up with. The boys came over to our house Friday night before the Prom to get our backyard ready for several events. They also found a man in our ward who had a handicap bus for his father in law and asked to use it to get to Prom so they decorated that too. The next morning, Gary took all the kids to the Lake near our home at 7:30 am. They skied, wake boarded, tubed and knee boarded then had boxed picnic lunches on the way home. All the kids went home around 1:00 for a nap and to get ready.
The boys picked up their dates around 5:30 and came back to our house for a few pictures. Then off to my friend and photographer, Jacque to do pictures out in the country (I will post those later) then back to our house where Gary and I, along with some other parents had transformed our backyard into an outdoor Italian Restaurant. The boys had downloaded Italian music the night before and set up a sound area and brought in the seating and hung white lights. The rest of the decorations were left as a surprise for all the kids. We decorated with pool candles, candles lining the edge of the pool, lanterns, and lots of turquoise, brown, green, silver and gold accents. The moms all made food and the boys wanted it served buffet style. Cam and Griffin were the Maderdee and the Waiter. I made place cards, restaurant signs, seating cards and even had bracelets at the girls place that matched all their dresses. The cool thing was that the colors we chose to decorate with ended up being the exact colors of the girl's dresses. (not planned:)) It was soooo beautiful.
After dinner, the party bus came to pick up the kids to take them to the dance in Visalia. Brother Day Chauffeured them. While they were gone, we quickly cleaned up, put my little ones to bed and began reorganizing for the "After Party":) The kids came back and changed out of their formal clothes then enjoyed a bon fire, more candles, dessert, the spa and of course more music. Oh and water guns.
Everyone is still talking about Prom 09 and we all decided that Garrett's goals of having an all day party, keeping it inexpensive and having lots and lots of fun was met! Next year......Senior Prom????? oh no! What will we do to top this? It was such a special day! We love all you fantastic teenagers!
We had our 12th Annual Mother's Day Tea at Montessori last week. Here are a few pics of Gillian singing to me and the other Mommies. Can't find the pics of Caleb's class but will post those as soon as I do!
We always celebrate the Easter Bunny on Saturday before Easter Sunday so the Watsons came over and we hid eggs, ate a lot, played some games........ oh and Garrett asked Emily to Prom that day also. In addition to hunting for Easter eggs, we gave everyone a special egg with instructions on where to find their gift from Peter Rabbit. We invited Emily over and of course gave her a special egg too. She had to go to the front door to find her "Peter Rabbit Gift" When she opened the door she actually found Garrett waiting with a box of "peeps" a chocolate Peter Rabbit, roses from our garden and a sign that said, "I know I'm no Peter Rabbit.......... but would you be my chick for the day and go with me to Prom anyways?" Super cute!
Emily and Garrett after the "Prom" Proposal:) Sweet Baby Girl!
Like we usually do, we let the kids play while the adults visited after the Easter Egg Party was over. Well, this is what we found later. My big boys had taken all the furniture out of the library, set up a projector and were watching a movie on the screen so this meant that not only the adults weren't watching the little kids but the teenagers weren't seeing that the little kids were eating every piece of candy in their baskets and then some right under their noses. :) haha. Nice huh? Needless to say, several little guys had tummy aches that night.
Caleb showing us his "fat" tummy. He was saying, "ohhhhh....my fat tummy hurts!!!!!!!" and of course, we were all laughing.
Griffin waiting for the 200 Yard Dash to Start Griffin Showing off his Track Medals
Griffin has enjoyed participating in Track so much this year. A few weeks ago he participated in his school's Track Meet and then last week he competed in a big Track Meet with kids from cities all around us. He was so excited to win 1st place in the Shotput and 2nd place in the 400 meter. This meant that he was invited to go to Fresno next week to compete with all the 1st and 2nd place winners from even a larger area. Go Griffin!
Miss Gillian's Ever Growing Word and Sentence List
I want out
I want that on.
I want that.
No, no, no, no
Rrarlee (Carlee the dog)
That was Then......
This is Now......
Die Hard Cowboy Fans!
4 Boys and a Little Lady
In the Middle
Our girl surrounded by our boys!
The Boys Won!
My boys and the Jamaican Sea
Me, Gary and our sweet Baby Girl
My 4 Sons
A favorite Pic from last Christmas. Us and the babies.
Garrett and Emily Prom 2009
All About Garrett
Garrett is our rock. As the oldest of our children Garrett has always been super responsible. He is almost to good to be true sometimes. Talk about helpful, caring, involved and loved by so many! Although I spent all last year planning and enjoying many "last" experiences with all our children living in our home (before Garrett's departure to college), nothing could have prepared me or the rest of the family for just how much this young man would be missed! There are so many qualities in Garrett that I admire. He is passionate about everything he does, he is kind hearted, he loves people of all ages (and they love him), he is a great listener, a super problem solver, he likes to have fun and loves to get the job done! lol. I love watching him make his way in college, growing and becoming an even stronger and more spiritual person. Garrett has always known what he wants in life and is always willing to seek after the "good things". I love this boy with all my heart and am so grateful for the wonderful blessing of being his mother!
Cameron doing what he loves!
All About Cameron
Cameron is our steady one. At 15 1/2 and now the oldest one in our home, I have come to appreciate his sure and constant pace in our lives. Cam is easy to please, happy, silly, very loving and just fun to be around. He has many interests that range from water sports, to snow sports, to playing on the basketball team to playing instruments. Cameron does love to horse around and seems to get all the kids wrestling at one time or another during the day which makes things crazy but thats our Cam! I have come to count on him and appreciate his willingness to help out with just about anything I need. I have watched Cameron with awe over the years as he has quietly and respectfully stood up for all that he knows is good and right! He is such a great example to me and others in our family. I feel so blessed to have him in my life and am so thankful I have Cameron to love so very much!!!!!.
Riding the Board
All About Griffin
Griffin is a joy! I have always said that Griffin is a combination of both Garrett and Cameron which makes him almost perfect!!!! :) Griffin is quiet, helpful, respectful and kind. He can be crazy and is quite fun to be around. He still loves to hug me every morning and every night and for that I will always be thankful. Griffin is easy to be around and has so many friends that love him. Griffin loves sports of all kinds, especially golfing. If he had it his way, he would be at the golf range daily. He plays several instruments but his heart is with the drums. He is rough and tumble but also soft and gentle. Like I said, almost perfect! What a blessing he has been in our home. I love our "Fiffin" with all my heart!!!!
Diving Right In!
All About Caleb
Caleb.....Caleb.....Caleb......I have so much to say about Caleb but "Larger than Life" always comes to mind as I contemplate all that I know of "Cakers". From the moment he was born, he has had so much energy, so much passion, so much fire! He loves sports and wants to keep up with his big brothers all the time which sometimes gets him hurt. :) He can drum and play the piano (the guitar is next) but his greatest enjoyment in life comes from dancing, music, drawing and photography. His dream is to be a professional dancer and photographer. He even has his own blog. He is so much fun! Everyday is a new adventure with our fun loving Caleb and I enjoy seeing what each new day brings with him. I love you Caleb to "infinity and beyond!"
Little Miss GG
Our Little Girl
All About Gillian
Little Miss Gillian is my love and the love of all the men in her life:) but she has secretly taken me prisoner of her heart and it is there that I hope I will always stay. Gillian has changed so much over the last year. I once saw her as easy and go with the flow little girl but now I realize that she has always had quite the mind of her own as she does just about what she wants to do each and every day. :) She is strong and feisty and always knows what she wants! She is her own authority and dares anyone to challenge her on that. While this makes it difficult to get her to always do what we want, I see this as a great strength as she gets older and needs to be unwavering and unyielding. She is a true "diamond in the rough"! When Heavenly Father sent her to us, he promised me that she would be a "joy in my life" and when I look at my little girl, I know I have been blessed and I feel such gratitude and love for this daughter of mine. I love you beyond measure Gilly!