Saturday, April 30, 2011

Reason #2

Reason #2: COUSINS!!!
This is our traditional "Cousins in a Line" picture. They almost create a perfect stair step. We've taken a few of these over the years, though it is sometimes hard to get our the entire family together. But when we are, we try to make the "Cousins in a Line" picture a priority. It is definitely fun to see how they all change and grow.
Nathan, Danny, Madison, Ryan, Mitchell, Lydia, Wesley, Sydney, Lanie

These are the digital pics I had and I'm sure I have earlier snapshots in my file.

May 2006

December 2006

June 2007

January 2008

July 2008

April 2011

Reason #1

The last weekend in April our family headed to Utah for two important events:

My cousin Megan got married in Salt Lake and...

My niece Lanie had her blessing. Doesn't she look pretty?

In my mind there are several reasons to love Weddings and Blessings. But the biggest reasons to love these occasions are the people that you get to see. The following posts will contain MY top three reasons to LOVE Weddings and Blessings.
Reason #1: Sisters, Parents and Grandparents and Great Grandparents

It has been awhile since all of us ladies were together. I love hanging out with them, swapping parenting ideas, laughing and trying to figure out life.
Natalie, Angie, My Mom, Me

This is a similar picture accept we added in my Mom's mom, Grandma Smith.

I love this picture with my Dad and his Dad...Nathan is sandwiched right in the middle. They are all enjoying the food at the reception, but more importantly, each other.

It is so cool that me and my sisters' kids have Great Grandparents! Here are Natalie's kids with Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Swensen.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


All three Kindergarten Classes presented a very nice music program this Spring. It was all about the different Seasons.

Some of my favorite songs were the ones with the actions.

On one particular song, Ryan got to play the triangle with his "girlfriend." Since then they have broken up, but I think are back together?...or maybe just friends. Ah, young love. ;)

What is your favorite Season?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Evening

After a nice Easter Dinner and Sunday Naps, we told the kids that we were wanting to go on a walk around the neighborhood. When we got to the front yard this is what they found. There are endless bike paths around Boise. Some of the most beautiful are down by the Greenbelt. Since all of the kids had grown out of their bikes (not to mention that all of the bikes were in complete disrepair) Mike and I decided that Easter, and the sales at Target, were a great excuse to get everyone hooked up.

Summer cruising on the Green Belt, here we come!

Lydia was in love with her princess bike. She immediately went upstairs to find some toys to put in the front pouch. She could not stop ringing the bell. At first she thought she had to stop riding to ring it. Once I showed her that she could keep pedaling and just use her thumb to ring the bell, she was on cloud nine.

Ryan made his first attempt at riding without training wheels. Though nervous at first, he was very brave. Way to go! We all rode/walked all the way around our subdivision and stopped at the front to throw rocks in the creek. It was such a pleasant evening.


Easter morning the kids awoke early to find their baskets full and Jellybeans, Robin Eggs and Peanut Butter M&M's in small piles around the house. And so the hunt began.

This Little Miss woke up ready for action in her stylin' PJ's that her brothers threw together for her.

Lydia really cleans up nice, right?! ;) Mike took this picture of her before we left for church. This is only one snapshot of a long string of ten photos. Lydia has been playing a lot with one of my Iphone Apps, Barbie Fashionistas. So, all you have say to her is, "Lydia, be a Fashionista," and she will deliver...striking pose, after pose, after pose.

Enjoying some of the spoils from the Easter Bunny.

It was hard to get super calm and composed shots of the kids this year. They just wanted to be silly.

This was the best shot of the bunch. Pretty good lookin', despite the silliness.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Eve

The Saturday before Easter we spent the afternoon together and then did the yearly tradition of dyeing eggs.

The crew is hard at work.


I've never been able to figure out how to get the kids to finish the Egg Dyeing Process without stained hands. At first I try to get them to use the little wire thing that the kit comes with, but at some point they give up on trying to use it. I can't say that I blame them. Pink hands that last a couple of days can't be that bad, right? Especially when it is only once a year. I say, "Dip right in my friends, the colored vinegar water is fine!"

After the eggs were complete and the Easter Baskets were all set, Mike and I had to run off to the Adult Session of our Stake Conference. Nathan has become a great babysitter. After Conference Mike and I enjoyed a candlelight dinner at an Italian Restaurant right here in Eagle. We love Davinci's. When we came home we sent Nathan up to bed. We later went to check on all of the kids before we went to bed and didn't expect to see them camped out like this. They all wanted to sleep together in the Media Room to celebrate Easter Eve.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Forever Friends

Ryan and our family had two very important people enter our lives 9 months ago. These are Ryan's IBI Therapists. They have helped Ryan and our family in so many ways. I figure that Ryan and I logged over 500 hours of therapy with these two. One of them would show up every morning, 5 days a week. They would teach, talk to, and encourage all of us.

No question that when you spend that much time with someone you become Forever Friends... especially when they have done so much for you. Ryan had his last day of IBI Therapy on April 20th. He has come such a long way. These two women truly made an impact, did something that really mattered and have been a blessing in each of our lives. Thank You!

Friday, April 1, 2011

My Birthday and Lanie

We got to celebrate my 35th birthday in Utah with my sister's family. Angie and I got facials and pedicures and spent some time shopping.

Mike ordered this Nothing Bundt Cake, which was really darling and yummy, too.

We loved spending part of our Spring Break with the Wards and getting to know our new niece/cousin, Lanie. Our whole family was completely enamored with her. She is such a little doll, with a perfect temperament. I couldn't get enough of holding her and neither could Mike or the kids.

One funny thing about Lydia and Lanie: We started to affectionately call Lydia the "Baby Stalker." She could not get enough of seeing and holding her--to an extreme level. Where the other kids would pay Lanie a bit of attention and then be on their way, Lydia had a one track mind the entire time we were there. We would often find Lydia trying to sneak into where Lanie was sleeping, just to get a glimpse of her. One time Angie had fallen asleep feeding Lanie in her room. She awoke to Lydia only inches from her face, "Where is Lanie? I need to see Lanie." There is no question that Lydia has those Mothering Instincts...and doesn't she looked just delighted in this picture?