Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Fall Olympics

The seasons are changing out here. The colors have been amazing. We have a ton of trees in our back the spring we enjoy watching the leaves start to grow, in the summer we enjoy the super shady back yard. Now in the fall, we get to make HUGE leaf piles grab the ladder and start jumping. I am using the term "we" loosely...I cannot take any credit for raking thus far in the season. I mean seriously, pictures just don't take themselves now do they? Oh wait, I think that they can...moving on.

Welcome to the Apple Valley Leaf Jumping Event
Andrew scores a perfect 10 for this fearless jump
Ryan executes a perfect belly flop. Nicely done Ry!
Emily's perfect arm extension shows that she is experienced in this event.

Erik's cross training has paid off. This freestyle jump is going down in the history books.

I think we would represent the USA really well in the Fall Olympics.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I was driving Emily somewhere the other day...probably a friend's house...and we started talking about plans this weekend. She was invited to her friend Gabby's birthday party Friday night. She said, "I am just so glad it is not a costume party. That would just be to much for me to handle right now. Grabbing my costume and everything." That quote probably doesn't really mean much to to you guys..but that is exactly what I say. When I am so overwhelmed with life and Emily decides that it is the perfect time for a play date or something..I answer, "Emily that is just to much for me to handle right now." I wonder if I got that saying from my mom. Makes you think.
I am also adding this picture because it shows her taking care of her brother and I think it is a cute big sister moment (and I cannot get enough of Andrew in a tux).

Monday, October 20, 2008


We made it through MEA week. On Thursday we had an official friend day...we had people over from outside the neighborhood. That was fun. It was a beautiful day so for the most part they played outside.
Adriana, Emily and Alexis enjoyed picking raspberries and playing on the path
In the afternoon, Emily and Maria climbed trees

This picture might need some explaining. Hidden in the mess of the basement..if you look carefully you will find three video game obsessed boys. It think the character in the game was outside. Does that count for going outside? Me thinks not. Oh well.

Friday. I am going to have to name it "Parenting Outside the Box." I will let you in on a little secret. Sometimes these three do not get along. They yell, scream, hit and just plain cannot figure out how to get along. I can yell back at them to get along..doesn't work very well. I can calmly tell them to get along..doesn't work all the time. I can separate for a while, but then they have to cross paths at some point.

So, Friday morning was one of those times. Whatever the reason, it was just not very peaceful at the Apple Valley household. I decided that we needed to "practice being a family" all morning. I stopped WW3 and told them we were going to play games with each other until I see people having fun and getting along.
We actually started with the game Sorry. I think that is a fun game. It was probably not the smartest game to start our little experiment. Some hurt feelings..but we ended that one better than we started. We then moved to Zingo, and ended with Twister. By the end, we were all having fun and had a great afternoon. I am going to have to try this "games 'til we have evidence of peace" again.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


In our quest to fill time, build memories, maybe learn something along the way (and let's be honest avoid housework) we found ourselves at the Science Museum in St. Paul. We grabbed Grandpa again and piled into the car. It is a great hands-on museum. This is a place that I went a bunch when I was growing up. There is tons to do and learn. When asked what their favorite part was:
Ryan said the Cryogenic demonstration..loads of fun with liquid Nitrogen.
Emily said the light area..a place where there was tons of lights and prisms and experiments along those lines
Andrew said the cookies...yes grandpa brought his backpack of water and cookies.
This is also a fun ball experiment that was entertaining It is always fun to see yourself on TV doing the news

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


We had another outing again Tuesday. After getting through conferences..which each went really well..we jumped in the car to meet the Franks at the Children's Museum. These are people that Emily met in Kindergarten and we have become fun friends. (Their daughter is also named Emily) The Franks have a little boy named Connor, who is about 1.5 years old. Tami paid Ry to watch him while they played in the huge ant hill. That way the moms could sit and chat and not have to rescue any children..the plan worked perfectly. In fact Ry had so much fun watching Connor that he said next time he would do it for free. (That is a big deal coming from Mr. Money) I have to add that as we were getting into the elevator to go to the museum...guess who is already in the elevator? The Davis Family...the ones we ran into the day before at the MOA. Too funny. I guess we all are trying to keep our kids busy and having fun!

It has been a long time since I have brought the kiddos to the Children's Museum. We all love it though. In fact we have been members for years. I have pictures of Emily and Andrew in the tiny baby area and Ryan bopping around as a toddler. My kids have really grown up there, but it never gets old. On this particular outing I accidentally left the camera in the car..bummer. I could have taken pictures of the kids crawling through the huge ant hill or doing different experiments or exploring different worlds. As soon as our main computer is up and running I am going to have to find some pictures to add to this post. That would be a fun trip down memory lane. Any way we had fun...and we stayed busy : )

No school for a week

When I was growing up school would always start in September and all the school kids would look forward to MEA. That is a statewide falls on a Thursday and Friday in October. My kids really lucked out because their school district gives them the entire week off. In years past we have taken trips to Michigan to visit family, or a fun visit to Nauvoo, Il or a trip to Duluth MN. This year we have stayed home. We are taking different day trips each day.

Here's MONDAY:
I seem to be the only one in the family that understands and lives by the theory that if you don't have to get up in the morning then don't. I slept in until about 9:30. I did hear things...I heard Ry say that he would make pancakes for everyone. I had no problem rolling over and sleeping. Glad that they were fed. Oh the joys of older kids..and Krusteaz pancake mix.

This was his first time making pancakes. Andrew said they were really good. (Ryan is not responsible for all the mess..I am one that is OK with going to bed with dirty dishes in the sink around the sink. Where ever)

Grandpa was nice enough to invite us out to MOA. We had a yummy lunch at the food court and then we hit some rides. I have to say he did a great job packing for the outing. He brought a backpack filled with cookies and water. I, on the other hand, did not bring anything. Nicely done Dad! We lucked out because the place was basically empty...except we did run into our fun friends the Davis' from church. They had the same great idea. Each kiddo got to have 12 points. They each choose their favorite two rides. Ryan and Emily both decided on the Spat-o-sphere. Andrew chose the WonderPets ride. He got to ride it twice because it was less points. It is like the Splat-o-sphere but less scary. (Andrew did the Splat-o-Sphere once..liked it, but is not interested in doing it again until he is bigger)We then all went on an oldie but goodie..the log ride. It is nice because it is a fun ride and really you don't get too wet. There are some good hills. Good timesSuprise...we had some extra points so they all got a fun bonus ride on the Backyardagins swing ride. They had a blast. Thanks Grandpa for a great idea and a super fun day.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Kid

Three, um I mean four, of Andrew's most common quotes:
1. When asked anything at all he always answers "Isn't it obvious?" We can ask what is his favorite cartoon or what does he want to eat. The answer is always "isn't it obvious?"
2. Randomly throughout the day, in the middle of church, while we are driving down the street he will ask, "So, what do you want to do?"
3. "I'm hungry." This kid is in the 25% for weight, and yet he eats ALL the time. He is often known to eat a bunch and then say he's hungry. I then point out he just ate. He will always say "I'm thirsty I mean..Isn't it obvious?"
4. "Mommy, I love you" (at least 20 times a day, not that I am complaining)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The blog is a year old today

You'll notice I skipped right over Erik's birthday and even my own birthday...but I cannot skip over my blog's start date. I have been keeping this blog for one whole year now. I am so glad that I have. This year we have had birthday parties, a baptism, been in a wedding, taken trips, spent tons of time with family and friends, we have gotten through scary medical issues, started school, gotten new jobs, had a baby (ok I didn't have the baby but Fiona was born) and even cleaned the house once or twice. I am so happy that you guys have been able to be part of it all. My next step is putting this puppy into a book know for bedtime reading. This is good stuff. : )

So today is going to be a random thought day.
My first random thought is Fiona is a beautiful child.
Every year we get this witch scene out. I made the witch with my students at Sunset Elementary in Provo. This year she is on one of the shelves in the basement.
Mario Dance Dance was made for rainy days like today. Emily spent this afternoon perfecting her dance skills.

Friday, October 3, 2008


It's Halloween. Actually if you looked at the Target for example (not that I ever go there) you would know that Halloween has been here for a while (and Christmas is on its way). I absolutely love decorating for Halloween. I really love the fall colors. I love the costumes and good times had by all. I love the yummy treats like pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies and let's not beat around the bush...candy always equals a good time. Each year I wait until after my birthday to pull out all the decorations. This year, on Sept. 13th to be exact I was awaken by a girl asking.."Can we decorate for Halloween now?" Before I even opened my eyes, I agreed. Down came the orange totes and we placed hints of Halloween throughout the house. It was fun to watch Emily get excited about the upcoming holiday. As she pulled each item out she would get excited about it and put it in the "perfect" spot. Her enthusiasm is contagious. I cannot wait to see what the kiddos decide to be for Halloween.
This is a quilt that my mom and I made years ago. Emily decided the witch and the quilt would look good near the stairs.