More birthday fun!

We've had a grand total of maybe 10 sunny days all spring, and one of them happened to be on Nathan's birthday. Open presents outside on the picnic blanket? Don't mind if we do.

With no prompting from me, my kids have made it a tradition to buy each other presents at the dollar store. Nathan's been coveting this Madagascar coloring book, and Nicole thoughtfully got it for him. Awwww.


And we wrapped up the Annie just for good measure.

Ain't she cute?

Nathan is Six

Can you guess the theme of Nathan's birthday party this year? Some of you already saw his cake, since I had to call for help to make it come together the night before the party. The boy's got robots on the brain, and since he loves to build it was a perfect fit for his party. Here's the excited birthday boy on the day of the party:

Here's before the boys got to our house. We went with red and black with silver details. Those streamers were so easy and fun -- I stole the idea from Jordan Ferney at oh happy day.

Welcome to the Robot Workshop! Our building lab was stocked with nuts and bolts, pipe cleaners, duct tape, pom poms, and everything we saved from our recycling bin for a couple of weeks.

I LOVE projects like this one. All the boys came up with projects that were different and unique, and they built happily for a good 45 minutes while listening to some great tunes. Thanks to Vernon for having just the right building tricks to make these boys' robot dreams come to life!

Here's Nathan with his creation:

Love my boys.....

I found this old picture of Jaren. He cracks me up. I have more silly pictures of him than I will ever have of the serious kind. :) Lately, he has been up to some building.

Jaren learned from his big brother that when building with blocks, dominoes, jenga pieces, or anything is cool to build temples. (I don't know where Ryan got it. I always built "Towers" when I was little, so I think it is pretty cool that they build temples instead. ) Anyway, here are a few of Jaren's recent temples.

This one with the curved entrance looks like the Bountiful, Utah temple. Timothy and I were married there. :) Here is a comparison:

Quick trip to Salt Lake

This past weekend my sister, Nancy, and I made a quick trip to Salt Lake to visit our parents. We rented a car and headed south. The trip down was fun, we spent the time talking and laughing. We got there in time for some yummy chicken pot pie for dinner, followed by some divine keylime pie. After dinner we headed to Temple Square for a piano concert by the American Piano Duo. We got there a little early so we had time to snap some pictures of the beautiful flowers around Temple Square. Here we are! Unfortunately, Dad had just had knee surgery and wasn't able to come with us. :(The concert was held in the assembly hall, somehow I've never been in that building, and it was beautiful. I love the architechture and woodwork. The concert was AMAZING! These guys really know how to put on a show. Their fingers were moving so fast and the music they chose really showcased their talent. I loved it!I took some pictures of the temple and thought they turned out pretty good.After the concert we stayed up late talking and enjoying the company. The next morning started bright and early. We were at the library for their semi-annual sale before 7:00. It was overwhelming and crowded. I felt like I was in the way. But, we ended up with some good books for cheap. We got 2 boxes for $33.50. Then we stopped by the apartment to check on Dad and went back out to shop until we dropped. Mom's dear friend, Sis. Rose, came with us and she was just a delight. First we hit the thrift stores and actually found some great finds. We ate lunch at a little British cafe and it was yummy. Sis. Rose is from England and she treated us to fish and chips. I even bought some of the batter it was so good.The afternoon was spent at Hobby Lobby, Shopko and Jo-Ann's. I found some fabric to make the baby's blessing dress and some blankets. By that time we were all ready to go home and relax. We had dinner at mom and dad's and talked for awhile and then made the trek back to Rexburg. It was fun but too fast. I wish we could've spent a few more days there. It was great to leave the kids and have some mommy time but it was also great to be home again and savor their big hugs and squeezes. Joe is an awesome husband and didn't complain once about my trip! Now I have some projects to get started on! Here's our rental car, it was fun to drive!

Joe at work

The other day while Joe was at work these military aircrafts came into the airport and was like a kid in a candy store!

Happy Birthday Eliza!

Yesterday Eliza Jane turned 9! Wow! Eliza is such a fun girl. Whether she's running around like an animal on her hands and feet or getting her hair fixed or drawing a picture she is enjoying life. She loves playing the piano and reading, but also loves bouncing off the walls with her siblings. Eliza is a great helper and can't wait for the baby to be born so she can be mommy's helper. We sure love having Eliza in our family and are so proud of all the things she does and is. Happy Birthday to my little Lizard, love you!!Her first present was a blindfold. She had to follow our commands to find her present.She really wanted this gigantic bear at Valentine's but I told her no. After Valentine's I went back and got it on clearance and then have been hiding it ever since, which was no small feat!Eliza isn't the only one who loves it!Molly patiently watching someone besides herself open presents!Thanks Grandma and Grandpa Mauery!All her loot!Eliza wanted a cake to look like Clover, I had all these great ideas rolling around in my head but when I actually made it, it didn't turn out exactly like I had pictures. Eliza helped make it and she was happy with the end results, that's all that matters, right?!All lit up!Make a wish!Dig in!Mmm!When I checked the kids last night this is how Eliza was sleeping!

Show & Tell

In Eliza's class whenever it's someone's birthday they get to take something for show and tell everyday for the week. Eliza really, really wanted to take her bunny, Clover to show her class. It was fun for all the kids. Quite a few kids commented that her bunny should be Bunnicula because of her pink eyes!Each kid got a turn to pet Clover. She was a little trooper and just laid there letting everyone put her soft fur. "Can I pet the rabbits George." To go along with her show and tell we gave Bunny Tails as her birthday treat.

Easter Saturday and Sunday

Our family has some Easter traditions that are set in stone: egg coloring, egg hunt in the backyard (or house, if it's raining -- and we live in Oregon, so....), and of course church on Sunday. To help us be a little more spiritually focused this Easter season, we stole an idea from the April Friend magazine and read scriptures each night of the week before Easter Sunday that correlated with events in the Savior's life from that week. Then we raided our Gospel Art Picture kit for pictures and posted them on the wall to remind us of the things we'd learned during scripture study.

It was a simple exercise, and we did miss a night or two and have to catch up later, but I thought it was powerful for me in focusing my thoughts on the Savior during a week of fun and spring color. It reminded me of the scripture in 2 Nephi that says we talk of Christ, we teach of Christ, and we rejoice in Christ so that our children know Him better. Loved it!

Our Easter Saturday was mellow, sunny, and fun! One of our traditions is to do our egg hunt and egg dying on Saturday to keep Sunday open for family dinner and worship. So we grabbed our rare sunny afternoon and headed outside for egg hunting! Hooray for muck boots!

We had planned to do our annual Easter dinner of fish and cornbread (modern honeycomb) to commemorate the meal Jesus ate to prove He was alive again and not just a spirit as His disciples thought at first. But we moved it to Saturday night so we could spend Sunday evening with friends. So Sunday's main event was Easter dinner with good friends (no pics, sorry) and church with pretty dresses!

Going to church on Easter Sunday always reminds me of walking into a flower garden -- all the girls and ladies pull out color that's been socked away all winter. Love it!

Hope your Easter was a happy one!

Lots of posts!!

I just posted 4 Easter posts so if you're intersted, just keep reading!! Enjoy!

The Egg Hunt!

We went out to Jacob and Lisa's for Easter dinner and the big Egg Hunt. Dinner was delicious, the company was great and the kids had a fun time. I'm so glad we live near Joe's family, I love them so much and it makes it easier being far away from my family. We had the best time! Here are the older kids and Penny ready to search for eggs.Joseph helping Molly find some eggs.Penny wasn't really sure what was going on but she did get excited everytime she found an egg.Molly posing with her basket.Happy Penny on a mission!Found another one!She was just having so much fun!Emma, Jake, Jane, and Joe.After Matthew found his 10 eggs he watched the other kids with this worried look on his face. Adorable!Andrew and Eliza.Dallin.Happy Matthew with his loot.Andrew and Dallin searching.Eliza with Aunt Lisa.Penny made a new friend with her cousin Jacquie, they were almost inseperable.Andrew and his eggs.Eliza in the tree.

Happy Easter!!

Easter Morning

Let the fun begin!

Coloring Easter Eggs

Usually I dread the annual Easter Egg Dye but this year was different. We had the eggs boiled and the dye ready so right when the kids got home from school on Friday we could get started. Everyone had a good time and we got some pretty eggs.The one egg that we put the plastic ring on exploded during the boiling process.I love Eliza's face in this one!Penny was so amazed that the egg turned from white to color magically. She pulled her egg out and was so excited. She kept saying, "I did it!!"The best part of coloring eggs is eating them afterwards. Mmm, love me some deviled eggs!

You can tell where we live....

We finally had a day where the sun was shining a bit. We live in the rainiest, cloudiest place. I just about go bonkers every year before the sun comes out for a few months. I took the kids outside in the sun to get a picture and this is what I got:

No EYES! It wasn't even full sunlight. The sky was completely overcast with thin clouds. You would think they were at the beach in full sun.

Tyler WOULD NOT open his eyes. "Gee Mom, what is that bright ball?"

We put Tyler in the shade and finally saw a tiny bit of his eyes.

Oh, there they are! It took a while. I guess we can't move back to Sunny South Carolina. Their eyes just wouldn't take it. We are now a bunch of Seattle wimps.

Piano Festival and Recital

Last Saturday Dallin and Eliza participated in the Festivals at BYU-I and both did really well. This was Dallin's 3rd time playing and he receieved a 99/100. Eliza was brave and this was her first Festival, she received a 98/100. They both worked really hard and it paid off. Good job you two!!Last night Dallin, Eliza, and Andrew had their piano recital. They all played really well, even though they were nervous! Andrew just started taking lessons in January and he's already come a long way. He was really nervous but once he sat down at the piano I couldn't even tell. I'm so glad the kids enjoy playing the piano and they're sticking to it. I guess I'm just a proud mama!!

Things are a bit hairy around here....

Dear Grandma S. ,
These pictures are way overdue. So, instead of emailing one, we decided to post all of them here for you. Here they are!

We Love You!
~Holly and Ariana

It is that time of year again to give the "big cuts" to the girls. Holly has never given her hair to Locks of Love. She will usually get a few trims and then take 5-6" off before school starts.

But now that her hair is so much thicker, it finally made it to the 10" requirement for sending in to Locks of Love. Check out the before and after:

Holly Before:

(some lucky child will get Holly's pretty platinum hi-lites! :)

Ariana Before:

(wet hair! :)

(Ariana has been doing this now for 7 years. So, she is a pro and gave 14" again. Way to go, Ana!)

Ariana's BIG CUT!

Holly's Big Cut!
(This is the only picture I got of Holly's ponytail. She is covering half of it. Aaargh. But you get the idea, right? Holly gave a full 10" of hair. )

The finished product. Ahhhh, so light and fluffy!

Wow, we forgot how much curl Holly has!

(This is curled, but is sure is easy to do now.)

Adorable Ariana

Happy Holly

It was a fun experience for both these beautiful gals. I am glad they like to do good things for others. And it is kind of fun to be pampered in the process.

P.S. Since the girls were getting so much attention with the cutting of their hair, the boys decided that they needed a little attention of their own. What better way than to grow a little hair themselves?

Jaren is planning on a full handlebar. But he's gonna need a little wax to get the full effect. Anyone know where I can find some mustache product that doesn't build up?

Ryan was goin' for a simple chevron, but his hair is so wily that it quickly got out of hand. He trimmed it back to this handsome horseshoe and he is in the process of redesigning his look. We think that a freestyle-English type 'stache will be in the works next. Stay tuned....

Pinewood Derby

Dallin has been in scouts for 3 years and this year was his first pinewood derby. They've done the rocket and the raingutter ragata but never the derby. There were no rules, no weight limits, and no winners or losers. Even so, Dallin had a good time.
Dallin stuck a Lego man on the front of his car.In this video you can see that Dallin's car wasn't the fastest but he still had a great time. After the fact we weighed it and realized it was only 3 oz. Next time, maybe...

Our little baby!

Today has been a long anticipated day. The day of our big ultrasound. I love finding out whether it's a boy or a girl and I love seeing it moving, kicking, waving, and just being. It definitely is an amazing thing to see your baby before actually meeting it. The doctor's office had gotten a new ultrasound machine since our last baby and it was neat to be able to see things so clearly. We've never had a 3-D picture and it melts my heart to see this: So perfect and tiny. The kids were very excited to find out if it was a boy or a girl. The boys all wanted a boy and the girls all wanted a girl (well, except for Penny, she still thinks we're having a monkey). I knew the losing team would be sad so we tried to make it fun when we told them. On our way home we stopped by Wal-mart and picked up a gender appropriate outfit and that's how we showed them.I could tell admidst the girls whoops and hollers that the boys were a bit disappointed but after a few minutes they were just as excited, although they did tell me that we'd just have to have a boy next time! I feel so blessed to have the family I have. I admit sometimes I wonder what I'm doing and if I'm crazy but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Spring Break in SE Idaho

The kids had Spring Break this last week and it sure didn't feel like Spring. I think it snowed or tried to snow everyday. It was new, fresh, white snow and it was beautiful. I am not a big fan of snow and am thankful it melted everyday, but it sure was pretty! It didn't stop the kids from wanting to play in it and this is how we spent one of our evenings. The flakes were huge, the biggest I've ever seen! Penny was showing us how cold it was. Brrr!

Molly and Penny making footprints in the snow.
Eliza was having so much fun she even lost her shoe at one point!
Daddy and a very frozen Matthew!
Ready to begin their snowball fight.
I enjoyed watching them from the front porch!
All the little footprints!
Penny was frozen but didn't want to go inside. Daddy's kisses make it all better.Now that the kids are back in school the weather is improving!!


Every year we cover our kitchen window with paper snowflakes. It's one of my favorite traditions. I love seeing the different creations everyone comes up with. This year they stayed up until the snow was almost melted and Joe suggested that maybe it was time to take them down. It always makes me sad to take them down, I never tire of looking at them!