Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ellie's 2nd Birthday Party

Ellie's first birthday celebration was when we met with Lynlee's birth family .  Her second celebration was with Aunt Amy, Grandma, and Great-Grandma.  Amy came prepared for her picture to be taken often, since she is headed back to Shanghai next Tuesday.  I even managed to get some pictures with genuine smiles (quite a feat!).

but most pictures had cheesy faces...

Grandma brought lots of presents, and Ellie had fun opening them

The big hit was new doll with a binkie, and all of the new clothes.  Now we have no more "naked baby."  We have gumball baby, and ice cream cone baby, and yellow dress baby, and boots baby.

belated birthday presents for Dad also

Ellie was quite adamant about who got to hold which baby, and the babies had to be held by their tummies.

Thank you, Grandma!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Go Utes!

This cute Running Utes outfit was a present from Greg's basketball referee friend Theresa.  Doesn't Lynlee look adorable as a Ute?
kisses are not always appreciated from big sister

New Jon Schmidt Video

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Laundry, Good-byes, and a Strong Girl

Ellie loves to help me fold laundry.  She especially loves to try and put the clothes back in the laundry basket after I have folded them.  This day, she tried to get dressed all by herself.
 After more than 11 years, we finally said good-bye to our 1997 Chrysler LHS.  Even though I have barely driven it in the last year, it was my main car for 10 years, and it is nostalgic to say good-bye to it.  A few weeks ago, Greg was minding his own business while sitting at a light, and another car hit him while trying to avoid being hit by a third car.  Even though the damage is minimal and just some dents & scrapes along the side, the insurance company totaled it out.  They let us buy it back for $365, so we sold it to my brother Jon for that.  Jon, Teri, and Gwen came on Saturday to pick it up.  Hopefully it runs well for a long time for them, but if it breaks in a month or two, I will not feel too bad since the price was low.

Lynlee is getting so strong, and she likes to sit up in the bouncer.  I still feed her in the bouncer sometimes, when Ellie wants to sit in the brown high chair, and not in the pink booster seat.  Go, Lynlee, go!
On Sunday night, we went for a walk, and only made it as far as the Morrow's house.  As soon as we were in the stroller, Ellie said, "Hailey Rocko play" so we headed that way.  While we were visiting, Nick and Hailey got Ellie her first ever chocolate ice cream cone.  She loved it!  Lynlee was tired, but the sweet girl still never really fusses.  She snuggled with me and just rested.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Makeshift Double Stroller

We are starting to make a nightly walk part of our tradition, but tonight Greg had the double stroller with him at Mutual (at least, the stroller was in the back of the car he was driving).  Ellie 'helped' me push Lynlee for almost 2 blocks, until she tripped over her brand-new, still a little big shoes and skinned her knee a smidge.  So I sat her down on Lynlee's tray, and she held on and thought it was so funny.  Lynlee kept on reaching out and touching her shirt and talking to her.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Whale Outfit

What good muscles I have!
We had an impromptu photo session of Lynlee, because she is so dang cute in this outfit.  Dolphins are her animal, and whales are so close, that I had to take pics for her birth mom, both with and without her helmet.  Isn't she gorgeous?

 And here are some more pictures from my phone that I have neglected to post.  I got the girls shirts that said "Dad's #1 Fan" for Father's Day, but hid them so well from Greg that I forgot I had them.  So they wore them on Greg's birthday instead.
 Picking raspberries at Grandma's house -- although Ellie calls them strawberries.  I don't care about that, because she will eat them!

Monday, July 18, 2011


We visited Cabela's with Rod, Jayme, Jasmine, and Byron.  It was fun to walk around with them and see all of the museum-type things that Cabela's has to offer.  

We watched the fish being fed
 and swung Ellie
 and played with a straw while looking adorable
and played horse and had a shooting contest
and danced while holding a gun
and looked at our reflections

and tickled each other
and held hands.

Ellie loves to snuggle, especially when it is time for bed.  She will say, "I snuggle ____" and it is so cute that we always let her.  The past few nights she has actually fallen asleep with Greg.
Lynlee is scooting all over now, in her crib, on the floor, wherever she may be.  She sits really well, and only falls over occasionally now.
 One of Ellie's favorite things to do, especially when she is teasing Greg, is to climb on our bed and sit on the pillows, and pull up the covers.  She will say if she is on Mommy's pillows or Daddy's pillows.  Here she is signing water--or cereal (cannot tell in the picture).  Probably water.
  Another eating breakthrough -- we had quesadillas for lunch, and Ellie ate an entire triangle, and half of these triangles.  She liked to "cut" it with her fork.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Greg's Birthday Party

We celebrated Greg's birthday tonight with a little party.  I made mock-Cafe Rio with the recipes from Favorite Family Recipes and it was the best I have had yet (but I may be a little biased).  The biggest hits were the pork and the homemade tortilla chips.  

Mark & Michelle came prepared with some games to play after dinner, and they were so fun.  We first put everyone's name in a cup, and each picked one.  You then were that person for the duration of the game.  The object of the game is to get 4 people of the same gender sitting in a special row of seats.  Every seat was full, except for one.  As you went around the room, you would call out a name, and that person had to move to the empty seat.  The girls won the first round, and then we played again.  It was trickier the second time, trying to remember who everyone was, and not who had been who the first time around!

For the second game, we all wrote the names of 10 famous people on a slip of paper and put it in a bowl.  We did boys vs. girls again.  We took turns going back and forth, trying to get our teammates to guess the name we picked out.  For the first round, anything went.  The second round, you could only use 1 word clues.  The third round (and my favorite for sheer silliness) was charades.

Thanks to Merrill & Jo Squire, Mark & Michelle Reich, Kelly & Leesa Kinghorn, Paul & Staci, Tammy & Jonette, and Cliff Conklin for helping us celebrate in style!

Greg is an amazing husband and father, and I feel so blessed to be married to him.  He is compassionate, considerate, and fun-loving.  Since he has become Bishop, all of his fabulous qualities have become even more wonderful.  He is slow to react, and a good listener, and genuinely cares about those around him.  Sometimes I wonder how he handles all of the pressures in his life with so much good grace--he is responsible for many family's incomes through his business, and is Bishop, let alone being a key factor in his immediate family's happiness!  

I love you, Greg!  Happy 39 years of life.
Leesa, Michelle, Tammy, Cliff, and Paul

Mark, Merrill, Greg, and Kelly

Friday, July 15, 2011

If You Chance To Meet a Frown

My memory card got full and cut off the last word of our song, but check out Ellie's killer frowny face!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Today we celebrated 17 years of marriage.

And I feel really old.

Hailey watched the girls and we went to dinner at The Harvest, and then did some shopping at Deseret Book. A great evening!

Self Portrait

Ellie likes to play with my phone, and she knows how to turn it on and find Angry Birds to play it.  Today she figured out how to turn on the camera and take pictures.  This was her best one.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Dinner with Tayler

We had the wonderful opportunity to have dinner with Tayler and her friend Roxy tonight.  When she pulled up, she noticed she had a flat tire.  Luckily, Greg is an expert flat-tire-changer.  It was kind of raining a little off and on, so we pulled our cars out of the garage and Tayler's car in so that Greg could work in dryness.  Ellie loved showing off for Tayler and Roxy, and sitting on the rocks.

When the tire was done, we came in for dinner, and then we played.  Tayler and Roxy spent a long time swinging Ellie in this blanket.  Lynlee was sitting on the couch by Greg, and at one point started kind of fussing and reaching out her hands.  So we gave Lynlee a try in the swing and she loved it.  She giggled and laughed!  Then it was Ellie's turn again, and Lynlee definitely let us know that she needed another turn as well.  So precious!
Then it was bathtime!  Ellie wanted Tayler to give her a bath, and they played in there for a long time.  It was sweet as Greg and I were doing the dishes and cleaning up dinner to hear the laughter coming down the hallway.
After her bath, Ellie asked Tayler to give her milk, and then Tayler got to see firsthand Ellie's expert stalling techniques before bed.  She snuggled Tayler, and sang songs, and told us stories, and gave kisses.  Eventually, she was so tired that it had to be bedtime, so we said goodbye to Tayler and Roxy.

We love Tayler!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Emily is 1!

Sunday morning, Ellie woke up screaming, which is generally not a good sign.  A crazy bird was outside her window, tapping to get in, and it woke her up about 90 minutes before she normally would have gotten up.  I pulled up the blinds so we could look at it, and (shockingly) it flew away.  Ellie spent a couple of minutes saying, "bird, where are you?"
Lynlee has started rolling over and then falling asleep on her tummy.  She seems to do really well, until she wakes up, and then she wants to be on her back again.  She is getting a lot stronger, though, and is seeming to like her tummy a little more than she used to.
Emily turned 1, and we had the privilege of hosting her birthday party at our house.  After a yummy dinner (where Greg bbq'd in the pouring rain), Kaysen wanted to get in the hot tub.  Of course, Ellie and Andrew wanted to join him!

 Emily and Lynlee played really well together.

Tanya, Jonette, Adrian, and Tamara
adventurous Kaysen took a plunge in the freezing cold fountain
yummm, that frosting is delicious!

watching Barney with "Kasey"


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