Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Post for some friends


I have a couple of friends who are in need some help. My friends,Steven and Jocelyn Jones, are looking to adopt. Please check out their website http://www.stevenandjocelyn.blogspot.com/. If anyone out there knows someone who is considering putting their baby up for adoption, please let them know about Steven and Jocelyn. They are a wonderful couple! Thank you!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas pics

Well, another Christmas has come and gone. And we had a very enjoyable one. We had Brian's mom here until Christmas day around 2pm. We were very happy to have her. We had fun and were sad to send her away. Hopefully it won't be another year before we see her again!


We had Christmas Eve dinner at a friends house. She was married to an Italian guy and learned to do the 7 fishes for Christmas dinners. Yummy. I'm not normally a fish/seafood kind of person but it was quite yummy. Not what I'm traditionally use to, but I'll take it. Brian was in heaven! He LOVES seafood. There was crab, scallops (is that right?), lobster, flounder, shrimp, salmon, and I forget which other one. Anyway...she went all out.

Here are some shots from our Christmas celebrations!

With our friends Davis and Liana on Christmas Eve.


New pajamas on Christmas Eve are a tradition at our house! Don't they look nice? :)


Christmas morning....prolonging the torture for the kids...we have to take some pictures!


More torture....


Jessica loves the Jonas Brothers! She was very excited about this gift!

Ally loves to play with the Fisher Price Little People (And so does Mommy, that's why Ally gets them!) This is one of 3 sets that she got!
The long-awaited XBOX 360 finds it's way to Brian's hands!
Grandma Shumway worked hard on making little outfits for the girls' American Girl dolls! They look beautiful..Thanks, Grandma! (Courtney got blue, Jessica got pink)
The biggest surprise (from Grandma Page)!!!! They had NO idea they were getting this! It's already been tons of fun for everyone!

Christmas morning, after presents, we made breakfast burritos. Something that we have decided is a fun tradition for us. We've done it a few years in a row now. For dinner we went to another friends house with some other families from our ward. Ham, sweet potatoes, rolls, veggies, cranberry salad...the more traditional meal....but oh, so yummy. They make this to-die-for ham sauce. It's just a sweet mustard sauce, but that's why I say yes when they invite us for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners. :)


We read Luke 2 before opening presents in the morning. It is another wonderful tradition that we started to make sure we keep the true meaning of the holiday in mind. I know I speak for all of my family members when I say we are truly grateful for this time of year to celebrate the birth and life of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.


We look forward to celebrating the passing of this year and the dawning of a New Year. Wish you all the best in this coming year! 2009!!! wow!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmastime is here...happiness and cheer...

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks...

Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays...

We wish you a Merry Christmas....

We love this time of year. And it comes early for our kids this year. Grandma Page came to visit! She flew in on Thursday but leaves on Christmas day, in the afternoon. We have been shopping, and baking, and eating, and watching movies and wrapping, and listening to never-ending Christmas music on the radio (2 stations to choose from this year!) and...well, you get the idea.



There are lots of presents under the tree and Ally decided to help herself to one a little bit early. She loved the book and games and bag that was all part of the same present, but she seemed most excited about the candy that was included. (Thanks, Tony and Becky!) :)


We took the kids on a surprise drive this evening. We would NOT tell them where we were going. This is one of Courtney's Christmas presents from Grandma Page....








When Courtney was 5, we went to the mall with some friends. Her friend, Sally, ended up getting her ears pierced. Courtney was so distraught because "Now Sally was the prettiest!" Those were her 5 year old words! Anyway, to calm her down, I promised her that she could get her ears pierced when she was 10. Well, when I said that, I thought that she might forget by this time. Boy was I wrong. So as she is getting closer to turning 10, she talks about it more and more. When Grandma Page was asking about Christmas ideas for the girls, we had a hard time coming up with something super great for Courtney. At some point, I briefly thought about the ear-piercing thing...but didn't want to go back on my word about her having to be 10. But it would be a fantastic surprise. So after some serious thought, Brian and I decided that it would be fine. We also thought it would be fun for Cherie too. So that's what we did....

She tried to be brave...she did really well. But when it was over, she hugged me really tight while she cried for 30 seconds. :( Poor thing. But she said it was definitely worth it. Anyway, it was really a sweet and exciting night for everyone.

Jessica got to come home and unwrap a present too....not to be left out of the early present opening experience. She opened hers from Tony and Becky. (new family members) And was thrilled with writing tools, and journal. And a bag with her initial on it.

We look forward to being able to spend time with Grandma Page, but we are sad we can't be with all of our other Grandparents and family members this time! We did discover the wonder that is the webcam and we look forward to being able to visit that way!

Have a great week, everyone!












Sunday, December 14, 2008

Connecticut trip

About a month ago, Brian started thinking it was time to start sending feelers out for jobs. He's not done until September but he thought he'd see what was available. He got a hold of a The Hospital of Central Connecticut and after a few emails and phone calls back and forth, they offered to bring us to the area for an interview. We don't know much about Connecticut, but figured it usually is pretty during fall and spring months. Cold during the winter...etc. That's about it. But since we haven't really ruled out going anywhere if the job is right, we jumped at this chance. They wanted to bring me up as well. And when I mentioned that we had kids they offered to have us bring them too, they would even spring for an adjoining hotel room. (They were paying for all travel expenses. One of the perks to interview most places). Anyway, so we drove up on Monday this past week.

It didn't go as smoothly as we had hoped. We borrowed a GPS from some friends, thinking "this will be a breeze, how hard could it be?" Well.....a trip that should have taken 4 1/2 hours or so ended up taking 7 1/2!!!! I won't go into too many details...but GPS, turns out, not so easy to use the first time! We shouldn't have put all our faith in that thing! On the way home, we used Google Maps, printed out on paper. GPS helped more once we reached our destination, and driving around town. Long trips....don't recommend using just GPS.

Anyway, we stayed at The Farmington Inn, in none other than Farmington, CT. :) The kids did get their own room, that was adjoining to ours. They loved it! They each had a 4 post, queen size bed. Well, except Ally who was in a port-a-crib. But she thought that was just as fantastic! I was glad she felt that way, it made it so she slept all night! YEAH! Anyway, the kids loved the sheets and the beds, and that they had a tv in their room. (Which went off fairly early, before they fell asleep.)



The hospital also told us to go to the restaurant next to the hotel for dinner. So we did. It was called Piccolo Arancia, or something like that. It was probably the nicest restaurant the kids have gone to in years....at least since we moved here! It was just a nice Italian place...Brian and I have been to fancier. But it was pretty nice. The kids stuck to their tradition of chicken fingers and pizza...good pizza, mind you...and they were complimented on their polite behavior by the waitress. We had a nice time...




Brian had 2 interviews scheduled for Tuesday morning. And long story short...he liked both of them, for different reasons. One hospital told him he was #3 on their list, out of the top 5 of their favorites. They are only hiring 2 though. The doctor told us that they hoped to make a decision before Christmas. So we'll see if he even gets an offer....stay tuned.

We originally planned to stay two nights, and have him interview at two other hospitals the next day. But we couldn't guarantee that one of those hospitals would pay for the second night in the hotel. At a corporate rate of $150/night/room, we weren't in a position to pay for the second night ourselves. After some real serious deliberation and discussion with a recruiter that helped organize all this, I decided to cancel the second night. We drove home on tuesday after Brian's second interview... (and after backtracking 30 miles to the hotel to pick up an ipod and headphones that I had forgotten to pack when we checked out)

So we'll see what happens....but we are beginning to look for jobs which is exciting..!!! yeah!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Meeting new family...the Vollmers!

Hi...long time no see! So I've been told I need to post something new. So I guess it's time to catch up on what's been going on.

One of the biggest stories in our lives is that Brian has been reunited with his birth father, after about 25 years. Without going into detail, they were unable to get together most of Brian's life. After Brian and I got married, we would periodically try to find Roy, his birth father, but didn't really know where to find him or what would happen if we did. Sometime after Greg passed away, Brian thought it was time to try to find Roy again. So we started with the internet...wow what an amazing thing!!!

So, we looked up his name in the white pages, found a guy with the same name in Ohio, where we knew he was from. We actually called the number...that led to getting phone numbers for 2 sons he had from another marriage. Brian left a message with one of them. Before we heard back from them though, I thought I'd try finding him on facebook.com. We didn't know much about him, and didn't know if he was a facebook kind of guy, but there was a Roy from OH listed. I sent a message to this Roy, to find out if he was the one we were looking for. A day or two later, I received a message from Tony, Roy's stepson, saying, that it was indeed the Roy we were looking for, but Roy didn't really use the facebook site. Tony put us in touch with his mom and Roy!!! This all happened inside of a week!

After a day or two of emailing back and forth with Roy and Jackie, I emailed them our phone numbers for them to get a hold of us at their convenience. The end of that week, while at the pool with my kids, I got a message on my phone from Roy for the first time. Brian was able to talk to him for the first time 2 days later. (He had been working 12 hour shifts and couldn't connect with Roy sooner.) Anyway, they had been actually living in GA for the last 3 years or so, but were moving back up to OH soon. After a few weeks of phone calls and emails, we made a plan to meet!

They happened to be going to be in Harrisburg, PA for a family wedding the weekend of Labor Day. Brian was off, so we drove over to Harrisburg (just under 2 hours away), and met them in their hotel. WOW!!! I was overcome with emotion, partly because, as a parent, I couldn't imagine being separated from my child for so long! And feeling happy for Brian because that part of his background was no longer going to be such a mystery!!

Turns out we met not only Roy and his wife, Jackie, but Jackie's son, Tony and his wife and 4 kids; one of Brian's aunts; and one of Brian's half-brothers, named Aaron and his wife and daughter. He has 2 half brothers, but one of them didn't make it. We met 5 of the 6 cousins that my kids now have on that side. We went swimming in the hotel pool with Tony's family, while visiting with Roy, Jackie and Jane. Then we met up with Aaron and his family to have lunch and then go back to the pool and swim some more. The wedding they were going to wasn't until 4pm or so, so we stayed until about 2:30 or so visiting. It was surprisingly comfortable, everyone made us feel so welcome and part of the family from the get-go. The only regret is that we didn't get together sooner in our lives. The kids are very excited to have more family in their lives. Not that we don't like the ones that we already have, but more is even better!!!! We hope to develop good relationships with them!

Here are some pictures!
Brian and Roy for the first time in 25 years!














This is the kids at lunch making Ohio State and Arizona State signs. Turns out the brothers are all OH ST fans.....something ASU fans don't like. :) But good to know that the brothers are HUGE football fans! Brian alwasy wanted a sibling and would even tell his mom that he'd take a sister! Turns out he has 3 "brothers"! And the have similar interests! What a great thing for Brian! (One of the little girls was actually in the wedding so she was busy getting ready for that and didn't get to go to lunch with us.)



















This is the girls with Grandpa Vollmer. Can't say much about this except...wow!














Apparently Grandpa is a BIG hit with grandkids, and he loves them to pieces! Enough to let a turtle sit on his head for a picture! Kobe is behind Roy, Haley in the back, and Keegan next to Roy and Courtney. The kids seemed to hit it off!














Our family and Roy!














This is Jackie, or Grandma J, as she is called by the grandkids!


















So that's been a big event in our life! We are trying to figure out a time during the holidays that we can all get together...we hope it works out! But they are going to be part of our lives from here on out and we are thrilled!!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Going underground...

So, I know it's been a while since I've posted anything. School started and we've been busy with things. I want to update and I will. We've had a lot of interesting things happen. However, we think we have a virus on our laptop that we can't get rid of with the 3 antivirus programs that we have. SO.....sometime this week I will be taking the computer to the shop to hopefully get fixed. We will be without for about a week, maybe a little less. It's the cheapest route. Anyway, I will still check my email from the library when I can, but hopefully we'll be back on board soon and I can update you on what's been happening in our lives.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

In Memory of Greg


We had a sad occurance recently that actually was not too unexpected, but sad, nontheless. Brian's dad (really step-dad who raised him from a very early age), passed away on Monday, July 28, 2008, in the wee hours of morning.

He had been quite ill for some time and his health had become extremely poor in the last months. Brian's stepbrother called on Sunday night, the 18th, and said that things weren't good. We managed to get a plane ticket for Brian for 2 days later. He flew out to California where he spent the next 6 days spending time with his dad, stepbrother, 2 uncles and a cousin...all boys. (Brian hasn't been around that much testosterone in quite some time!) Anyway, things were taken care of and the family was able to spend some time together.

Just less than a week after Brian returned home from CA, he got the call. In some ways we are relieved that he's not suffering from his horrible bout with cancer, but it is sad to have lost him. He will be missed!

Here are a few pictures that I could find of him. I may try to scan some more in later on. The first one is Brian, Greg, and Darien (Brian's step-brother)

Greg came from California, despite not feeling well, to attend Brian's medical school graduation in 2005. It was very sweet of him to do that, it meant a lot to all of us.

This is lunch after graduation with Brian's mom and family friend Ed.

I have only known Greg for about 14 years, and we, unfortunately, didn't get to spend a whole lot of time together, since he lived in various places, as did we. But we made some great memories when we were able to get together. The kids loved going to California to see Grandpa. We were able to visit him there about 3 times. One time we got to go to the Aquarium of the Pacific, which was grand fun. He also was able to travel to Arizona a number of times. One time we went some place like West World, (I think that's what it's called) with Grandpa and Uncle Darien. We went on a small train ride, rode ponies, and ate some BBQ, while meeting Darien's new wife Nana.

One big thing I'm grateful to Greg for: when Brian wanted to join the church, even though his parents didn't, they were completely supportive. His dad told him that if he was going to do it, he needed to do it all the way. They took him to his church meetings and scouts and even spoke at his missionary farewell. I'm grateful that Greg made sure that he did the thing that changed his life and mine! Greg, you will be missed! We love you!

Ally is a climber

Here is a video that was actually short enough to post here. Ally learned to climb up the ladder to the bunkbed a few months ago and we thought it was cool. Now she climbs all the way onto the top bed. We don't really like that since she gets very excited when she's up there, and could just topple over. But it is fun to see her do new things!

video

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Spotlight on Jessica--3rd time's the charm

Okay, I tried to publish this post a couple other times in June. I finally finished it, but when I went to publish it, I couldn't put it as the most recent unless I started a new one from this date...if that makes sense. Anyway, here is Jessica's spotlight blog.

The above picture was taken in front of the Palmyra Temple on a recent family trip(minus Brian, sadly) to see the Hill Cumorah Pageant and some of the sites. (more about that later)

Jessica has become an AWESOME reader. Sadly, I have to admit that I did not read as much with her as I did with Courtney. (The first kid always gets the most one on one attention, right?...please say "right"...) Anyway, Jessica does not seem to have suffered very much for it. She has grown by leaps and bounds in her reading skills this year. She doesn't mind reading now, although she would much rather play. When we read scriptures, she sounds out words that I don't think I knew when I was her age. She continues to amaze us! She reads to Ally a lot and Ally loves it!




She is very active right now. She has a hula hoop that she uses for jumping with, like a jumprope. She's getting pretty good at it.

She just got her hair cut a few weeks ago. She likes to get it short when summer comes. I don't blame her, I like short hair in the summer better too. We all have such thick long hair that becomes a pain to deal with in the summer. It either gets put up in pony tails or cut. Here are some pictures...before and after. I wasn't happy with the way the Supercuts lady did her bangs and she pinned them back after cutting them, so the after picture is not right after. We waited until it looked a bit better. It doesn't look like a major haircut from the pictures but it was significant.


She is our little missionary. Since kindergarten she has talked about different things she can do to tell her friends about the church. She wanted to have one friend over for Family Home Evening. (I'm embarrassed to say we never got to that.) During the school year, she decided to start a "Missionary club" in her class and she said lots of kids were in it, but she hadn't really done much in it. Now, when she has friends over or goes to their house, she has a little "Mormon museum". One day she set all kinds of things in front of and on her dresser. When the two kids that I babysit came over 2 weeks ago, she invited them to come in to the "Mormon museum". The display consisted of her scriptures, the Primary songbook, many different pass-along cards, a picture of a temple, and a few other things I can't remember right now. The kids (ages 9 and 5) were so sweet to sit and listen, even Courtney played along. I don't know if anything will happen with these two kids and their mom as far as the church goes, but we are planting a seed. No....Jessica is planting seeds! All over the place! We are so proud of her and hope be as good as she is with our missionary work!
This sunflower picture was taken in Rochester, NY, when we stayed with cousin Rebecca for the pageant. We love sunflowers in our family.


I really had hoped another daughter, who shall remain nameless, would fall asleep during the Pageant that started at 9:15 pm. Jessica made it through all but the last 10 minutes or so.
We visited the Joseph Smith homes in Palmyra, this is the log home, a replica, and the room, where Moroni visited Joseph Smith that night.
We took a walk through the Sacred Grove in Palmyra...such a beautiful, peaceful place.

This summer Jessica is just trying to keep busy with swimming, playdates, trips to the library and the zoo, the AMC $1 movies, a book club with some friends, and playing with her sisters. She can't wait for the mail to come in late August to find out who her teacher for 2nd grade will be! She's excited to be a 2nd grader! WOW!

That's Jessica!

Baby Squirrels

So today we had an interesting experience. There were some men that came by the complex to trim some of the trees around the buildings. They really cut off a lot of branches and most of them from the tree right by our apartment that provided some shade. I was a bit upset about it, their explanation being something about growing into other tree branches, or on the roof, or something...whatever.



Anyway, there had been a very large squirrel nest in that tree right above the sidewalk that goes in front of our apartment. It has been there almost since we moved in 3 years ago, if not longer...can't remember. Anyway, sadly, the horrible tree cutters cut that brance with the nest on it. Turns out there were really young baby squirrels in it. Tiger had gotten out and Brian saw him discover something...the babies. Brian was able to get Tiger away before he did anything to them. There were 4 hairless babies that he could find. He called me (I was out), and asked me what to do...(like I'm an expert in squirrels..heehee) He decided to put them in a small box with some leaves and a small towel.



(That's the only closeup I got of the babies) When I got home we called Animal Control/Rescue and they told us to put something warm in it and open the box up. The lady then told us that the mom would come and get the babies and take them away. If the mom didn't come by 6 pm we were to call Animal Rescue back and they would come and pick the babies up.

So we left the babies out by the tree for about 2 1/2 hours before Brian noticed a squirrel in the tree near where the nest had been. Then our whole family watched as the mom squirrel, who looked a bit frantic at first, finally realized where her babies were. She made her way to the box and started to take each baby, one by one, in her mouth, to another nest in a not-too-far-away tree. She would position the baby in a certain way so as not to hurt it, scurry off to the new home, and come back and retrieve another baby. I actually managed to load a video about it...(I don't know why this video works and others didn't before.) I apologize for the blurriness of it, but I think you can see it well enough.

video

It was a pretty cool thing to witness, and we were glad to be a part of it, in helping a little squirrel family reunite. As a mother, I can relate to the need to have all babies home and safe. How traumatic it must have been for both mother and babies to be separated in such a horrible manner. I'm so glad Tiger found them and Brian got to them. They were actually quite difficult to spot in the vines and ivy and such on the ground. Anyway, that's our feel-good story of the day....I've got a lot catch up on in other aspects of our lives, but that will have to wait...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Stop the presses!! Courtney turns 9!

Saturday was Courtney's birthday! YEAH! We started the day with presents...early...before breakfast. She just couldn't wait. Breakfast (Waffles with strawberries and whipped cream) followed. Then it was off to a friend's house where they were having their second meeting of a summer book club. The book that was discussed was "Prince Caspian" of "The Chronicles of Narnia" series.

After the book club, we just went home where Courtney could play with her presents. She loves books, so she got a bunch of those. She also got a Webkinz collie dog. And Jessica gave her some knock-off Crocs, aka Gators. (For those who don't know about such things, they are really ugly plastic sandals that are all the rage now.) Thanks, also to Grandma Page for helping her buy ANOTHER Webkinz (the Clydesdale horse). Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa Shumway for the great books! And thanks, Ed for the Hopscotch game and Star game. We will have fun with both!

Her "big" gift this year was an iPod Shuffle. Something she was NOT expecting. We didn't really expect to get her an iPod of any kind just yet, but we figured she was responsible enough to take care of it and she loves music. So we splurged. (Thanks, Pres. Bush for the stimulus! Although I think I'm supposed to be opposed to it, the money sure comes in handy when your husband's a resident!) Anyway, Courtney LOVED(S) the iPod. We had thought about a bike, but now it's a good things we didn't do that since...(well, refer to previous post).

Later in the day, I took Courtney and Jessica to see the new American Girl movie. As I was standing near a guy and his 3 girls, waiting for snacks, I heard him express his annoyance at the fact that the first 3 American Girl movies had been on TV and completely free. But then he shelled out $40+ for snacks too, so he must have not been too annoyed....he was there! He bought into it. Well, anyway, the girls both loved it.

For dinner we had baked potatoes and I made an ice cream sandwich/oreo/fudge cake. She had that last year and it was yummy. So she asked for it again. I'm not a cake decorator so it looks pretty boring...but it's yummy!!!

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Courtney! We can't believe she's 9! Double digits next year. She's brought our family so much joy and we are so proud of the good girl that she is!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Learned a lesson

Well, I am fuming today. At myself mostly, but also at the intolerant attitude of the people that own my apartment complex. Brian moved here before I came out with the kids and found this great complex...beautiful area, convenient to many things, great school district, "nice" management, etc. The downfalls were a few, but we overlooked the fact that we didn't have a washer and dryer and rent was twice what we paid in Phoenix. We thought we were getting a decent deal for the area. It was a tradeoff. That was 3 years ago. When I moved out, I just signed the lease without looking at it really...something I know I should have done, and regret now.

Yesterday, I got a knock on my door, while my kids + 2 friends were out playing, riding bikes and scooters, and hula hooping, etc. It was my apartment manager saying that bikes and scooters and large items were not allowed to be outside on the property. I said "even if the kids are riding them and playing?" "Not on the property", was her reply. "What? They can't ride their bikes out here?" "Not on the property", she said again. "It's in your lease."

Apparently, in the contract it does say that there are not supposed to be any large items, like baby carriages or bicycles or other things out on the property and also it says that there is to be no playing in the "common areas" which include sidewalks, any passageways. She said it poses a tripping hazard and they are always showing apartments and don't want to risk anyone tripping. B-O-L-O-N-E-Y!!!! They don't want to attract families and they don't want it to look like there are families around. We don't leave our stuff out when we aren't using them. My kids get out of the way when someone starts coming. And we have lived here for 3 years and have spent LOTS of time playing outside.

It makes me so mad. I used try to recommend this place to people. In fact late last week, someone was just asking me if I enjoyed living here. I told her that we pretty much liked it. The problems I had with it stemmed from having a large family in a small place...no laundry in the unit, one bathroom, no playground. But those were things we were dealing with just fine. Now to find out that we can't PLAY outside? They might as well put a sign up that says "NO KIDS ALLOWED".

They seem to be more concerned with renting out apartments to new people than keeping the current tenants happy so they will stay. It seems like it would be good business to not alienate their tenants...word of mouth and everything... but what do I know?

And what about tolerance???? I say "Let them PLAY!" We aren't hurting anyone. We are basically pleasant people. Everyone seems to love seeing my kids.

By the way, I asked a few people yesterday afternoon if it bothered them that we played outside and had bikes and scooters and stuff. AND 3 out of 3 people said things like "No, on the contrary, I love it!" "It's a bright spot in my day!"

Anyone got any tips on how to handle this? We are in this for another year. Not sure we can break our lease and get a new place, without tons of penalties, but it's a principal that's important to me!

Sorry for the ranting and raving....I'll stop now....

Friday, June 27, 2008

Spotlight on Jessica


Here are some interesting photos and tidbits about how Jessica is doing. The above picture was taken in front of the Palmyra Temple on a recent family trip to see the Hill Cumorah Pageant and some of the sites. (more about that later)

Jessica has become an AWESOME reader. Sadly, I have to admit that I did not read as much with her as I did with Courtney. (The first kid always gets the most one on one attention, right?...please say "right"...) Anyway, Jessica does not seem to have suffered very much for it. She has grown by leaps and bounds in her reading skills this year. She doesn't mind reading now, although she would much rather play. When we read scriptures, she sounds out words that I don't think I knew when I was her age. She continues to amaze us! She reads to Ally a lot and Ally loves it!




She is very active right now. She has a hula hoop that she uses for jumping with, like a jumprope. She's getting pretty good at it.

She just got her hair cut a few weeks ago. She likes to get it short when summer comes. I don't blame her, I like short hair in the summer better too. We all have such thick long hair that becomes a pain to deal with in the summer. It either gets put up in pony tails or cut. Here are some pictures...before and after. I wasn't happy with the way the Supercuts lady did her bangs and she pinned them back after cutting them, so the after picture is not right after. We waited until it looked a bit better. It doesn't look like a major haircut from the pictures but it was significant.


She is our little missionary. Since kindergarten she has talked about different things she can do to tell her friends about the church. She wanted to have one friend over for Family Home Evening. (I'm embarrassed to say we never got to that.) During the school year, she decided to start a "Missionary club" in her class and she said lots of kids were in it, but she hadn't really done much in it. Now, when she has friends over or goes to their house, she has a little "Mormon museum". One day she set all kinds of things in front of and on her dresser. When the two kids that I babysit came over 2 weeks ago, she invited them to come in to the "Mormon museum". The display consisted of her scriptures, the Primary songbook, many different pass-along cards, a picture of a temple, and a few other things I can't remember right now. The kids (ages 9 and 5) were so sweet to sit and listen, even Courtney played along. I don't know if anything will happen with these two kids and their mom as far as the church goes, but we are planting a seed. No....Jessica is planting seeds! All over the place! We are so proud of her and hope be as good as she is with our missionary work!
This sunflower picture was taken in Rochester, NY, when we stayed with Julie's cousin Rebecca Matheson for the pageant. We love sunflowers in our family.


I really had hoped another daughter would fall asleep during the Pageant that started at 9:15 pm. Jessica made it through all but the last 10 minutes or so.
We visited the Joseph Smith homes in Palmyra, this is the log home, a replica, and the room, where Moroni visited Joseph Smith that night.
We took a walk through the Sacred Grove in Palmyra...such a beautiful, peaceful place.

This summer Jessica is just trying to keep busy with swimming, playdates, trips to the library and the zoo, the AMC $1 movies, a book club with some friends, and playing with her sisters. She can't wait for the mail to come in late August to find out who her teacher for 2nd grade will be! She's excited to be a 2nd grader! WOW!

That's Jessica!