Monday, July 5, 2021

June 2021 - Softball Champions

Alexa and Tyler started their first season of softball and baseball so it has been fun to spend summer evenings at the ball field.  Alexa's team won the Lehi City tournament so they will go to State in July.  We've also played baseball together as a family at the neighborhood park a few times.  It doesn't get better than a 3 year old on 2nd base while a 5 year old is up to bat, with a baby in the outfield eating loose baseballs.

Video of Alexa hitting a triple at State!

It's fun to get Nathan and Harlem together and see them grow since they're only 2 weeks apart. Cute baby cousins.

We had the neighbors over for a backyard campout.  We enjoyed s'mores and camped together outside.

We sadly lost our goldfish, Sunny, at the end of June.  Tad didn't want him "to go back to the ocean" aka flush him down the toilet (I think this came from Finding Nemo?) so he dug a 2-inch hole in our front yard and said a few words about how he hopes he likes heaven.  I think Tad thought other fish would eat him if he went back to the ocean, but I'm not sure.  Either way, there were some big tears shed during his service.  Sunny was a gift from Santa when Tad was 2 years old, so he's had a good, long life. He came with a friend who died within a week of Christmas because little Tad fed both of them shredded cheese.   

We had a fun Father's Day and sure love this Dad of ours.

We've had record high temperatures in June.  It was a mere 102 degrees so I took the kids on a hike to Bridal Veil and man it was hot.

We were so happy to have Jonny & Michelle come to visit!  We toured BYU, ate Creamery chocolate milk, went to Splash Summit (previously known as 7 Peaks), swam in our pool, and watched Cruella.  It was wonderful to have them here, we loved it!!

We took a family bike ride to the local gas station to get treats  This was Liam....

And just for fun, a video of him talking on a banana phone and running on the treadmill with Tad

Alexa had a Harry Potter birthday party.  We made owls to deliver the invitations.  At the party we made wands out of toothpicks, hot glue, and spray paint; made spell books; ate Harry Potter snacks; watched Goblet of Fire; and had a sleepover.  The girls loved making wands and drinking polyjuice potion (sprite, lime sherbet, and dry ice).  Alexa and I made the cake and chocolate frogs together, and then Liam ate a nice chunk out of the cake before the party...

We try to do one-on-one dates with our kids on Thursday and for Liam's turn he asked to ride on the train.  We rode Trax from Lehi to Draper and back and it was so fun!  Tyler and I went to a fun center in Draper and shot each other in water bumper cars.

Kyle and I went to the Lehi Roundup Rodeo with some friends and neighbors, which has become an annual tradition.  We tried out the current fad of turning yourself into a cartoon, and Kyle and I also drew caricatures of each other for a date night.

And we were excited to have Marmie here to visit in June!

Baby can now climb the stairs.  He still refuses to feed himself food but loves to eat EVERYTHING as long as someone else is feeding him.  He got 4 more teeth this month so he's now up to 8 (4 on top, 4 on bottom).

Funny story: Tad calls bratwursts "starbursts" and gets mad if you correct him

Sunday, July 4, 2021

May 2021 - Hawaii

We celebrated 10 years at Thrive last year (they give a trip as your 10-year gift!), our anniversary, and Kyle and Alexa's birthdays by taking the family to Hawaii.  It was sooo much fun.  

The flight there was a little crazy.  It was supposed to leave SLC at 9am so we woke up at 6:30am to get to the airport. When we woke up we saw a text sent at 6am saying our flight had been moved up an hour, to 8am.  Needless to say, we ran out of the house in a panic.  Kyle took the kids to security and I ran to check our bags at 7:20am, but the agent said she couldn't check them because it was less than 45 minutes before the flight.  They bumped us to a different flight through Denver that left an hour later, but they couldn't seat us all together so we were split into pairs all over the plane on our 7 hour flight from Denver to Honolulu.  Alexa took care of Tad, Tyler and I got baby for the first half, and then I traded Kyle for Liam and he took baby the last half of the flight.  We were in the middle seats of a 4-wide row with a tired wiggly baby and people asleep on both aisles, but we survived...

We accidentally left all of the tablets charging at home.  It was nice that we didn't have screens while we were in Hawaii for the kids to be distracted by / focusing on, and thankfully the flights all had movies and personal TVs.  

We have baby chicks at home and Tad wanted to bring them on the flight.  I told him no.  His response, "Why not?! The workers said you could put animals under your seat on the plane"

Video of the kids' reaction to take-off:


We found a great Airbnb on the west side of the island, in Waianae at Pokai Bay.  The next day was Kyle's birthday and we started the morning with the shark cage.  It was incredible!  They take the boat to a fishing area and say that because the fisherman go there to clean up scraps the sharks hear motors and come right over.  They didn't throw out any chum but there were 15+ Galapagos sharks right next to us the whole time, swimming back and forth.  They were absolutely beautiful. 

GoPro videos:

After shark diving we drove all around the island. We tried to do Kualoa Ranch where Jurassic Park was filmed but it was sold out through July with no walk ins, so we hit up a beach nearby instead. And Liam got a fresh Hawaii banana.


We spent the day at the Polynesian Cultural Center with the Pardons. We did crafts and games, rode in canoes, learned to hula, saw a guy climb a coconut tree and then split the coconut open, did a luau, and had the most delicious pineapple smoothies.

Activities on the island of New Zealand:

Learning to hula:


We hiked to Waimea Falls where you can swim in a big pool underneath.  Then we got Matsumoto's shaved ice and played at Turtle Bay.


We snorkeled with tropical fish at Hanauma Bay and then played at Levi and Brittany's fancy hotel pool.


Sunday was Alexa's birthday!  We celebrated by learning about pineapple (and eating lots of it) at the Dole Plantation.


For her birthday Alexa wanted to swim with dolphins, so that was scheduled for Monday.  I stayed with the littles and Kyle took Alexa, Tyler, and Tad to play with the dolphins.


Ironically, the very next day after we paid a lot of money to swim with dolphins there was a huge pod of them (30+) in the cove about 100 yards from our AirBnb.   We saw them and ran to grab our host's kayak.  Alexa and I jumped in the one-person kayak together and tied a boogie board to it so Tyler could hold on.  And then we paddled out into the ocean and were mesmerized by the dolphins swimming, splashing, jumping, and talking right next to us for about 2 hours. We also had 2 giant sea turtles come up and swim about 10 feet from us.  We only flipped the kayak in the middle of the ocean twice :). 

I went to Hawaii with my parents in high school and my dad and I went snorkeling every morning to try and find sea turtles. At the cove in front of our Airbnb in this quiet little non-touristy section of Oahu we saw sea turtles 4 times! They came right up to the shore and we would grab our goggles and swim right next to them.  One time I was further out so I swam right next to a turtle with it kind of pinned between me and the shore and we just swam side by side for 100 yards or so.  It was all of 2 feet from me the entire time.  It was absolutely amazing. 

As I sat on that kayak in the middle of the ocean with the kids, surrounded by dolphins and turtles and beauty, I was thinking about how surreal it all was. What an incredible experience. It was so different and amazing to see these incredible animals in their natural habitat and just be there to soak it in.  To see the dolphins jump and splash just for fun with their families, not because they were trained to do so.  And to see the sharks peacefully and gracefully swim past us, only a few feet away.   Man, Hawaii is stunning.

Beach videos:

Then we came home and Tad got a haircut at a hair salon, which he said is his ultimate dream. Kyle always cuts the boys' hair, but Tad has been talking for several months about how his dream job is to own a hair salon and that I can come there every morning and he'll brush my hair for me :).  So I thought it would be fun to take him to an actual hair salon.  Kind of.  We went to Great Clips, does that count?  He looooved it and thought it was so cool.  He also graduation from preschool and keeps asking if kindergarten starts tomorrow.

Alexa and Tyler had their first violin recital since before COVID.

Recital Videos:

For her birthday Alexa wanted to get her ears pierced, so we went to Claire's and it was strangely exactly the same as when I was her age.  Claire's looks the same as it did 25 years ago. 

Video of piercing:

I worked from home for a few days and the kids brought me flowers and pictures for my desk everyday.  Liam would often check on me and run in to give me a hug and then run back out.  He would also stand at the door with a pile of books to read during my next break, and I got to pick Tad up from preschool which was nice.

Baby is really scooting around.  He's starting to pull up on things and his top 2 teeth are coming in.

We ended the month with Memorial Day weekend at the Ludlow Snowbird time share.  It was weird to hike and play in snow on May 31.

Funny story:
We were playing a word game and the word was koala.  Alexa's hint was "cute animal who eats apocalypse leaves."