Monday, July 28, 2008

Our Vacation Part 2

I wasn't really planning on posting part 2 today, but I am in the blogging mood, so I guess I will. As I was looking over the pictures that I took at the reunion I realized that I didn't get nearly as many as I thought I did =(. These will have to do. The reunion was at the 5 Star Ranch in Utah. We stayed in a great big house. It was nice that the kids could just run around and play all day, and we really didn't have to worry about watching them. The first night my cousin Kristin took pictures of my kids. She is just starting a photography business and so I was so excited that she agreed to take my kids pictures at the reunion. I have been waiting all day for her to post some of them on her website, and she just posted some of Levi. Click here to take a peek. I love them and can't wait to see the rest. It's hard to believe that Levi was incredibly grumpy that day, perhaps the grumpiest he has ever been! Thanks Kristin for working your magic and getting such great pictures! After pictures were over Brandon asked if I would go on a canoe ride with him. My cousin, Aspen, volunteered to take pictures. I thought that was so sweet. Little did I know the plan that they had cooked up. We went out in the canoe and I was so scared that we were going to tip, or worse, Brandon was going to tip us. Here is a picture of us having a grand old time. Halfway through the ride, I saw Brandon look back and me and then mouth to AJ and Aspen "I can't do it" I thought he was talking about tipping the canoe, and I immediately said "you better not do it!" So we paddled back to shore and got out of the canoe. Brandon then told me to look in the back of the boat (directly behind where I had been sitting. So I looked....and there was a snake! Here is my reaction that Aspen caught on camera:

It turns out, that Brandon and Levi found the snake earlier and had planted it in the boat. They then came up with the plan to take me out on the lake and tell me right when we were in the middle, so there was no where to escape. I was so grateful that Brandon changed his mind at the last minute. But I have to admit, I am always up for a good prank, so I immediately suggested that AJ play the trick on Cindy. I was so excited to see her reaction! I won't go into detail, because I will let her do that on her blog. I will just say, I felt so bad!
Here are just some random pictures I got of the kids. They had a blast playing with all of their cousins. It reminded me of all the fun I always had as a kid at all of our reunions. I rarely saw them the whole time. They were always off playing, and getting into some kind of trouble.

Here is our attempt at a Barker family picture. This is the best I got. I am hoping that there's a better shot on someone else's camera.
I like this picture. I just wish we were looking at the camera. There were about 15 cameras all taking a picture, so it was hard to know which one to look at! We also got a big group shop with everyone. We just took one with Kristin's camera, so I don't know how that turned out.
Here are my Grandma and Grandpa. This great big fun family all started with them! I love them so much! They are such great grandparents, and it was so fun to see them.

Another fun thing that the kids got to do was ride horses! They have never been before. My Aunt Sandee, has a voice student who lived up the rode from the ranch, and she so graciously agreed to take the kids on a ride. They had so much fun!

Just some more random pictures. Levi loves playing with Michael, and Michael is always so nice to always play with all of the kids. They all love him. =)
My cousin Jamie, brought her son, Drake's baseball toy. It was so cool! Tori especially loved it. On the last night we roasted marshmallows. My uncle Rob made sure that no one made s'mores with a burnt marshmallow. Daniel roasted two marshmallows, and they caught on fire. He didn't think much of it, and was about to make his s'more, when my Uncle came up and said, "No, No. No, you can not use a burnt marshmallow!" He then proceeded to throw them into the fire! haha. Daniel made sure to roast them perfectly from then on.

Those are all the pictures that I got. There were so many more I could have taken! We always have such a fun time at the family reunions. They go by way to fast. We stayed up until two each night playing games and enjoying each other's company. We had a lot of laughs and made a lot of fun memories. I was so sad to leave! Brandon and I almost stayed in Utah one more day, but decided we better get back to the real world. I have such a fun family. We can't wait for the next Park family reunion in 2 years!

Our Vacation Part 1

This past week we were able to travel to Utah for a few days for a family reunion. We decided to head out a few days early and spend some time with Cindy and AJ before the reunion. Before we got to their house we stopped in to visit Brandon's Grandma Bronson. She is now living in a nursing home in Ogden, and it was so wonderful to be able to go and see her. Brandon's grandma is such a sweet lady. We didn't tell her we were coming, and when we walked into her room she started crying, and saying how happy she was to see us. We were so touched. We went out to the front lobby of the nursing home to visit for a while. In the front they have this great big case full of birds. She told us a really sweet story, that I just have to record. She pointed out this little bird that was bright yellow. It was the only yellow one. The rest were white and brown. She said that right before she had moved from her house, she was outside, and she saw a little yellow bird. She said that she never had seen one like that at her house before. It was really sad for her to move after Grandpa Bronson died a few months ago. When she got to the nursing home, she was looking at all of the birds, and noticed the little yellow one. It was the only one, and she said she loves looking at it. I was so touched by her story. I know that it was a tender mercy from Heavenly Father, to give her comfort during this hard time. Brandon said it was a reminder that Grandpa Bronson is watching over her.
After we left the nursing home we drove a little further to visit Brandon's Grandma and Grandpa Simmons. It was so fun to see them. Grandma Simmons made them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and then she gave them little baggies to go out in the front and pick out some rocks that they found that looked like "diamonds" =)
Of course we had to go and see their horses! The kids loved feeding them, and petting them. It was such a hot day that day, and we could only stay outside for a few minutes before heading back into the air conditioned house. We were so glad that we decided to take the extra time to drive out and see Brandon's grandparents. It was so nice to visit with them. We wish that we could see them more often.

After leaving Brandon's grandparent's house we headed to Salt Lake City to see Cindy and AJ! What a fun visit we had! That night after dinner Cindy and AJ took us to the high school where High School Musical was filmed. The girls were so excited. (OK I admit, I was pretty excited too) Here are some pictures we took while we were there.

Here are Tori and Alexis peeking in to see if they could see anything. (They really thought that they were in there right then!)

AJ's parents were out of town, so they let us stay in their house. It was such a cute house. It really felt like a bed and breakfast. Brandon became convinced that he wanted to buy it. They live in a really old house, that they have really done a lot of improvements on. It still has a lot of old time charm, and we really enjoyed staying there. Kristalyn, David, Mason and Carter all arrived the next day. We all had so much fun hanging out, and playing games. It was such a fun start to our trip. I will post pictures from the reunion soon.

Monday, July 21, 2008

If only all of our wishes could be this simple....

I bought a huge box of Fruit by the Foots at Costco today. Tori was very excited to have one when we got home:

Tori: " I really want a purple and red one" (you can't tell what color it is going to be by the wrapper)

She then went and got one and unwrapped it

Tori: "A purple and red one! It's like a wish come true!"

This was too cute not to post. =)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lost No More!

My camera has finally been found. You will never guess where it was. Are you ready for this....Brandon's car! He just called me and told me that he found it under his seat. He actually thought that I planted it there for him to find to prove that he had it! haha! I am sure some of you remember a previous post concerning the matter. But I won't go into that. I am just glad it is found, and just in time for our family reunion next week. Woohoo!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I mentioned in my post from earlier that we went to the sprinkler park today. It is always a big ordeal going anywhere with kids, and especially when you are going to go swimming (or running through the sprinklers). There are so many things to remember to bring. Towels, swim diapers, swim toys, lunch, ect. As we were waiting for my sister to come over so we could drive there I decided to put sunscreen on the kids so I wouldn't have to do it when we got there. I called the kids over one by one., and generously put it on each of them. It was very hot there, so I was really glad that I had smothered my kids in SPF 50 sunscreen and would not have to worry about them getting sunburned. When we got home we went about the day. My girls kept their swimming suits on, and as I looked at Alexis I noticed that her back looked really red. She had gotten burnt on the fourth if July, so I thought that it was left over from that. Upon further investigation, I realized it was a brand new sunburn, and a bad one. But how could this be I thought. I put tons and tons of sunscreen on them before we left. My mind then began re-playing putting it on each of the kids. I remember calling Alexis over, but not actually putting it on her! She has this new thing latley whenever I ask her to do anything she always says right away, "one minute mom". This must have been the case when I called her over, and then I must have gotten distracted and totally forgotten. I didn't put any sunscreen on her on this hot hot day! I quickly got the aloe vera and began smearing it all over her back, all the while saying, "I am the worst mom ever! I can't believe I did that". Later on I was getting after her for something she had done, which I can't remember at the moment. She interrupted me and said, "Mom...remember the sunburn?" Talk about bringing up the guilt again! I quickly said, "oh honey I am so sorry, go have some marshmallows. I have a feeling she will be using this against me for a while.

Baby Kittens

Three weeks ago our cat, (Sarah),had kittens. We knew that there was a chance that she would end up pregnant since we had a boy and a girl cat. We did end up getting the boy (Ash) neutered. But obviously not soon enough. It actually has been a pretty fun experience for our family. I knew the day was going to come soon, and I didn't know what to expect, so when all of a sudden she was obviously not pregnant anymore a little bit of panic set in. We noticed that Sarah kept jumping up into our hall closet. Brandon started digging around and sure enough, there were 4 baby kittens back there! They were sooo tiny. I took tons of pictures, but they are on my missing camera. Since then they have grown so big, and we finally are able to hold them more. Last night I took a bunch of pictures of them. This little blonde one is our favorite: I can't believe how small they are. If only they would stay this small!

This afternoon I walked into the girl's room and found this:

The kids decided to make a house for the baby kittens. I lifted up one of the blankets and saw this.
They set up their pony castle and put their umbrellas around it, and then covered it with blankets. We will have the kittens for another 5 weeks, and then they will be going to new homes. (Although Brandon and the kids are trying very hard to talk me into keep the little blond one, because "Levi needs his own kitten") Why do they have to be so dang cute!
On a side note, today we went to the coolest park. We call it the sprinkler park. IT is off of Belleview and Windemere. The kids had so much fun, and are already talking about going back. I got out the camera at the beginning to take some pictures. All of the kids were running around so much that this is the only good shot I got.
It's been fun to try out a bunch of new fun places to bring the kids. Levi crashed when we got home. I found him sleeping like this in the doorway of the girls room. He set up this little bed all by himself.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


A few friends of mine from church and I decided to plan weekly themes with our kids and give each other different ideas for little lessons and activities to do to go along with that theme. The first theme that we picked was "Bugs" It has been fun to learn about different bugs and do different activities and crafts about different kids of bugs. Today we decided to all get together and do some fun ladybug activities. I was watching Mason so it was fun to have him join us! The first thing the kids did was paint rocks to look like ladybugs. They painted them red and then dipped q-tips in black paint to make the spots.

Then they painted sugar cookies to look like ladybugs. They frosted them with red frosting and then added chocolate chips for the spots. Here is Levi frosting him. He had a bit of a meltdown at the beginning, because he thought the frosting looked pink, and he doesn't like pink things. (Brandon has him trained well). He finally came to terms with it, and then enjoyed making his cookie, and more importantly eating it!
Here are some pictures of the other little girls that were there. They all had so much fun playing together.

There were 14 kids total, and it got a little crazy, but the kids all had a blast. It's always fun to get out and do fun things with other mom's. It helps me keep my sanity!