Friday, December 16, 2011


Does anyone ever believe me anymore when I say I'm going to post more often?
If you answered, "Yes." thanks for your faith in me and I'm sorry to have failed you.

This past month has been SO SO busy.
My sister, Katie... or Katelyn.... got married.
She snagged a great guy named Brandon Overstreet and were married on November 18th.
Aren't they cute together?

Doesn't this next picture make you think of the song:
"Fields of Gold" by Sting and The Police
I know these fields aren't barley but it works.

They had their wedding pictures taken at the reserve on Greenfield and Guadalupe and we thought it was a good choice for our family pictures this year too.

We went with my brother, Jason, and his wife, Stacey. They wanted their family pictures done too so we just kept trading memory cards in my camera and did both families at every spot.
Griffin was making the goofiest faces the WHOLE time. I had no idea until pulling them up later.
He had an expression similar to this in almost every. single. one. :

This next one is probably my favorite of the boys.
I had looked up from my camera to get their attention and ask them to smile. I must have tilted my head when showing them the face I wanted because they all ended up like this:

The next photo cracks me up. This was near the end of our "shoot" and the boys were just about done. I was doing some light testing shots and captured their REAL emotions of the moment.
Griffin's yawn.
Kai in his own little world.
And Trey wondering, "Really? We're not done yet?"

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sunrise and Songs

Remember when I planned to post one random picture a week?...
Yeah -- I think that happened once.

Anyways, my new plan is to add a song or two along with the picture!
I am a major music lover. There can never be enough singing and dancing in one day as far as I'm concerned. So I hoping this might motivate me to post more.

This picture is of the sunrise one morning a week ago maybe. I was walking home from boot camp and couldn't stop looking at the clouds. The colors were even better than what the picture shows but by the time I got my camera, the purples and pinks were gone.

Now for the songs.
There are so many.
I write new ones down almost every day.
I love hearing new songs but I also love hearing tunes from years ago that I had forgotten about.
So I may share a mix of both at times.

Angels and Airwaves -- "The Adventure"
The Temper Trap -- "Sweet Disposition"
Blind Pilot -- "We Are The Tide"


A Wizard's Undergarments

The boys have been into Harry Potter lately.
Griffin was given a "real" Harry Potter wand for his birthday and the other boys always want turns with it.
So I found a tutorial online showing how to make your "very own wizard wand at home!"
I still haven't completely finished Kai and Trey's wands (otherwise I would have pictures) but they are impatient and took what I had completed so far. A half finished Harry wand for Kai and a Dumbledore fashioned one for Trey.

On Veteran's Day, school was out, and the boys had their jammies on for most of the day.
Trey even had his pull-up on still at 10am.
I heard the boys playing around.... casting and blocking spells.
Calling out "Expeliarmus!" "Redunto!", as well as "Avada Kadavra!", even though I've told them MANY times that the killing curse is not allowed in the house. ;)

So all of a sudden, Trey stops mid-play, with his "wand at the ready" and says, "Oops....sorry. (big grin) Dumbledore doesn't wear diapers!"

He then ran off as quick as he could to change into underwear.

So cute.

I love my wizard boys!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Halloween 2011

I'm just noticing how much RED was in our costumes this year for Halloween.
Me (yes, I know my eyes are closed) a pirate.
Jeff as one of the best Nacho Libres I've seen,
Griffin as Harry Potter (who,by the way, just recently told me he might be changing his name to Harry in the future),
Trey as a ninja in a power ranger suit (he didn't know the difference, plus it was $6 at Goodwill)
Kai as Superman (in a saggy diaper).

This was the first of three nights dressing up which is why Griffin and Kai let me spray their hair black. They didn't know any better. This first night was our ward's Trunk or Treat. The boys ran around with their friends like crazy and were sweating 30 minutes after we got there.
Black droplets of perspiration streaming down their faces was not in the plans.
Neither was the itching.
Kai was fine, but Griffin was practically clawing his scalp off blaming all his discomfort on the hairspray-dye.
Drama, drama!

The next night was the Gardner Halloween Dinner.
Always a good time.
Julia as a zombie prom queen........Courtney as Medusa.

I caught Danica in a perfect position to "elevate" (get it?)
her cute ghost costume.

The next night was Halloween.
We set up a scary goal we had used for the Trunk or Treat.
This gave trick or treaters the chance of scoring a king size candy bar.

I took the boys around our block to get the actual Trick or Treat experience and discovered that Kai's kindergarten teacher lives on the same street as us! Does that make ME a bad neighbor or would it be HER fault because she's lived here longer?
Doesn't matter.
After that we picked up some of my crazy siblings and found a neighborhood haunted house.

This is Katie with her fiance', Brandon.

My always-willing-to-pose-sister, Shannon.
(I can make fun of her because we share that same trait. Although, one of us (**cough**Shannon) is a tad more willing.)

Allan, the cross-dressing-Geisha, who I'd bet was dressed by the sisters.
What a good sport.
And yes, he wore those shoes the whole time.
They actually forced him to walk more accurately for the character I think.
Smart move Allan. Smart move.

The haunted house was really well done, and made me scream once even though the people putting it on turned it down a few notches when children went through.
The boys loved it and were so proud of themselves for not being scared.
All-in-all... a great Halloween.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Organ Anxiety

It was a Monday.
4 pm.
I hadn't showered yet
But really wanted to.
The boys were arguing.
Like they usually do about this time.
I don't want to be interrupted while cleansing
So I usually turn on a show for them.
Works every time.

I called them over to the table
Where I had put a handful of trailmix down for each.
The Disney Channel was showing IGOR.

The scene was an odd character playing the organ.
Some slow, kinda creepy music.
Kai was sitting at the table with his back to the TV.
Instead of turning around to investigate,
he looked across at Griff and Trey,
who's eyes were glued to the show.
With a nervous, confused voice, Kai asked:

"We're watching Conference again?!"

Monday, October 3, 2011

Good G-WREATH Charlie Brown!

Sorry about the title.
It's the best I could do.

This, my latest craft, was started and finished this weekend while watching General Conference (so good!).

These are always my favorite weekends. Family, food, fun..... and more food..... and a freaky craft.

Now I just need to figure out how to make it glow like this for Halloween night:

I'd get cool mom points for sure!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Grandma Close

Jeff's Grandma Close passed away recently.
She was such a great lady and an amazing example of charity and strength.
Every birthday, without fail, our kids would get a card in the mail with money from her.
Every birthday. ... AND Christmas.
That's probably all they'll remember.

The phone call came on a Sunday evening.
I could tell by Jeff's face what was being said.

My tender-hearted Griffin noticed eyes get watery.
He asked what was wrong.
After I told him, he walked away to the couch then came back a few minutes later, asking if I would write "Grandma Close" on a piece of paper.
(Griff always wants to make sure his word are spelled correctly)
He took the paper and walked outside with one of my sharpie markers.
Jeff noticed him out in the yard by the back fence but couldn't tell exactly what he was doing.

Griff came in a few minutes later and asked if we'd all like to go out and see what he'd made.

It was the sweetest thing!
I know Grandma Close was smiling as she looked down on
the cutest little headstone ever.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Griffin turned 7 on July 20, 2011.

He had planned all along to have a Sunsplash birthday with a few friends/cousins.
But with the knowledge that his vertical stretch wasn't quite up to snuff for some of the slides, Griff decided that Sunsplash will have to wait until his 16th birthday.
Why 16th?
I have no idea.

The morning of Griffin's big day we drove to the dollar store (one of his all-time favorite places). In the parking lot was something they'd been looking for and dreaming of their whole lives!

The actual Bumblebee Transformer Car:

An etched TRANSFORMERS label! The Autobot symbol!!
What more could a boy ask for?
The only thing missing was "Black and Yellow" (by Wiz Khalifa) playing in the background. Griffin is convinced that song is about his beloved car.
"Black stripe, yellow paint....."

With Sunsplash out of the plans, he asked to have the exact same party as Kai's.
Brimhall pool, pizza, cake, gifts.
Easy enough.
I didn't get any pictures at the pool but I took plenty of happy present faces:

The cake was another fun one for me to make:

Griff loved it:

Look at my new nephew, Camden, ...perched on the table...
So cute:

Happy birthday Griffin!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

La Jolla 2011

Still catching up on our California trip... bear with me.

Sea World was kind of a last minute decision for us. We had planned on Legoland and no more. But the whole rest of the group was going so we got pressured into it. :)
The first show we went to was the dolphin show. It was such a hot day and all of us were squinting, trying to see everything that was going on. Towards the end of the show, the whales came out. The dark music began to play and the splashing began. Remember it was hot. So of course we were sitting in the splash zone.....10 rows up. I knew we would get wet.
I did NOT know we would get drenched. DRENCHED I tell ya!! Me, Griffin, and Kai. The 4x2 square footage of area that got hit the hardest was where we were sitting. AND.... the whales splash 3 times in each spot!! The exact same spot. We were soaked after the FIRST splash and I was trying to comfort the boys (who were both stunned and crying) when the second and third waves came.
It was ridiculous.
The very. first. show.
I had brought extra clothes for the "I-can't-stand-to-be-wet" boys but MY clothes were still damp when we got back home at 11pm that night!!
Thank goodness I had put enough hairspray in Kai's hair that morning to be able to remake his "shark hair" for the rest of the day.

The Cirque show was unbelievable!

Sea turtles were a big hit too.

Back at the house, there was lots of swimming:
Some inappropriateness, of course:
Playing Spiderman on Greg's iPad:

One of the days, we drove to Coronado and rented a Surrey. Pedaling it was more work than I thought it would be but the boys loved it and the views were great.
(Your pick on which face I'm saying that to. My crazy big smile in the picture above or EITHER of Griffin's faces -- above or below.)

The beach always made for a fun day too:

Jeff was the only one willing to be buried.

Some of us rallied to make a sandcastle with mote, bridge and seashell decor:
My cheesy way of proving that I took part in the construction:
--What am I?... A wanna-be mermaid?
Sorry, no good explanation for that pose.--

There was seaweed jump-roping that showcased Courtney's Crazy Cross-legged jump:

A good game of catch is always a must:
I don't remember, but let's just say Jeff caught this next one:

I just found out my brother, Jason, and his wife, Stacey, will most likely be getting sealed in the San Diego temple come July.
It is one of my favorite temples for sure: