Summer Bucket List: Hogle Zoo


So we learned right out of the gate that it now makes more sense for our family to buy a season pass to Hogle Zoo. Yes, we’re THAT big now.

So much has changed since our last visit. And it all looks fabulous! The train and playground were taken out while they work on a new area called African Safari. But we did get to see the brand new Rocky Shores area. And it looks like they’re getting ready to put in a splash pad! Hogle Zoo is going to be amazing when it’s all finished.

These are life-size animals made from Legos! They’re located next to the exhibits of the real animals. It was a very cool and unexpected surprise. I had no idea this was going on at the zoo this year.


Rocky Shores was awesome! They have an area where you can go to see underneath the water. The kids loved watching the otters.


This guy was so nice to my kids! He had a smallish group of people come in and listen to the story he told, but then my kids wanted to stay and ask questions about every.single.thing. in that little hut. LOL! It was fun though and I think they guy enjoyed having kids that were actually interested in his area. He showed my kids how to use a singing bowl and how to use chopsticks.


Gavin’s first time on the Carousal. He rode a seal, I think? I couldn’t get him to look at me!


Some of our favorite memories of this trip:

– Lucy walking the entire zoo without any assistance –

– the frisky peacock –

– Lego animals –

– getting rocks chucked at us by a disgruntled elephant –

– seeing a tortoise actually move fast –


Father’s Day


We had such a nice day! Very lazy and very relaxing.

– working together out in the garden –

– dancing in the kitchen –

– water fight –

– steak, asparagus, Lion House rolls –

– Jim Gaffigan –

Happy Father’s Day, Lars! xoxo

Ryan Shupe

Going to see Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband at the Sandy Amphitheater is an annual thing for the three of us girls: my mom, my sister, and me. This year was kind of different as my mom went out-of-state to see her sister. So we were left with an extra ticket. Rachel and I decided to keep it a girls thing and invite Bethany to come along – which I’m pretty sure made her entire year. She was so excited when we told her she was going.

After dinner at Chili’s and some frozen yogurt, we arrived exactly one hour early for the concert. You’d think after years of doing this, we’d remember what time the concert starts. Nope.

So my mom’s theory is that there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Well there are bad seats. And they’re  right in front of the bass speaker. Yay us. The bass was pretty  much all we could hear the whole time. Never again, Rachel. Never. Again.


This concert is usually so much fun with lots of energy and audience participation. But this year, it lacked some energy. Still fun, but a little bit different from past years. It seemed off somehow.


I think they’re singing My Dandelion in this photo.

My favorite song this year: Banjo Boy.

2012-2013 School Year: Completed

It’s been such a busy year for us! The huge task of getting us all out here meant we weren’t super consistent with the school stuff while we were still in Upton. In fact, I had packed away all the school supplies early on because we thought we’d be moving a whole lot sooner. And then we decided to put them in public school so it made for a new and exciting transition. Lots of changes. But the kids thrived.

The report cards at the end of the year showed Bethany and Max above grade level on all counts. Liv was above grade level in math, but a little bit below in reading and comprehension – not a surprise. We’re going to continue to work with her over the summer, but she does learn a bit differently than the others. Plus I think she’s one of the youngest in her grade. We started her education at home without any concern about the public school cut off date for Kindergarten. So I think she was actually supposed to be finishing up Kindergarten this year, not first grade. Oh well. It’s done. And she’s doing really well so I’m not going to worry about it too much.

All three of them were sad the school year was coming to an end. I think they’ve made lots of friends and I know Bethany especially will miss the routine and the course work. She loved learning Russian and she embraced the challenge of filling in the gaps in her learning. She would bring home the math and science textbooks and study on her own. Funny girl! But I’m so proud of her.

As a surprise for the first day of summer vacation, Lucy and I conspired to start a water balloon war with them. As soon as they got on the bus for the last day of school, we started filling up water balloons and setting things up.

We set this up on the front porch:


150 water balloons, 3 squirt guns, 3 buckets

And I put this on the front door:


I stole this idea from someone on Pinterest.

And then we prepared for battle:


We failed at putting our serious game faces on. But how cute do we look?! We’re totally cute. AND! I made a layout about our cuteness.


Now all we had to do was wait for the unsuspecting kids to get home. Mwhahaha! Some of us were more patient than others. Lucy totally managed to empty our squirt gun three times before the war even started. We watched from behind the fence as they got home, walked up to the door, and read the sign. Bethany understood first and started to get her stuff together. There was much squealing and shouting. So fun!

So here’s the aftermath:


Lots of fun and hopefully something they’ll remember! And we were able to cross our very first item off our summer bucket list: Have a Water Balloon Fight.

My Favorite Sister

My sis came to visit last weekend! I can’t even tell you how happy that made me. At first, I wanted her to wait until Lars came back from North Carolina because I’m not really the “fun” one and I was worried her kids would be disappointed that he wasn’t there. But she came anyway and it turned out to be the best thing for me. I mean, I really really really needed a weekend of just fun.

And when I hang out with Rachel, I don’t need to worry about entertaining her or making sure everything in the house is picked up and perfect. You wouldn’t think that having four extra people in the house would be relaxing, but it really was!

So here’s our weekend in pictures:



tour of the house and yard

hang out



sourdough pancakes

conquering the dirt hill


Just Dance

I almost die while making popcorn

Rachel posts embarrassing photo of me on Facebook

Wreck it Ralph






Subway sandwiches


we take about 5000 awful pictures of ourselves in order to get The Perfect One

Candy Crush and then MORE Candy Crush

discovered: A Beautiful Mess app

Chicken Alfredo (Rachel’s FAVE!)


singing Everclear’s “Santa Monica” at the top of our lungs




watching my kids leave for school on the bus

Australian Rails (I won!)

Kaiden builds a fort out of garbage

softball game gets rained out

I don’t want Rachel to go home

But she does anyway 😦

So I leave whiney, depressing messages for her to get later.



Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone! Lars is in North Carolina for a three-week training. Ugh. But we still had a fantastic day. I didn’t know that the schools help the kids with Mother’s Day gifts so it was such a sweet surprise when they brought me all their little presents! I tried to get a photo of all of us together, but I don’t know how to work the timer on the camera. Plus, Gavin and Lucy are not always accommodating. Photo Booth to the rescue!


Love these crazies!

Lucy’s Third



the green-striped swimsuit

Minnie Mouse

Wonder Pets




She refuses to potty train – she tells me, “I shine.” (I’m fine.)

I do not see her liking Gavin at any time in the near future.


“tutu ON” = I would like to play dress-up, please.

“Bubba crying” = Gavin is bothering me. Could you please come get him?

“Beh, you funny” = Bethany, you are the most hilarious person ever.

“What-um?” = What?! I’m not doing anything suspicious!

“I cute!” = I realize that I’m a lot of work, but you love me anyway.