Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bell Girls Retreat

This past weekend was a Bell (mom's maiden name is "bell") family girls retreat. We stayed in an amazing 2 bedroom condo right on Main Street in Park City. We had glorious plans to do all sorts of girly activities, but we mostly just ate and hung out! It was great!

Here is the view from my bedroom window. I'm not sure why, but this tree has hundreds of pairs of shoes and ski boots in it.

Here are the Oram chicks: Sharon, Maile, Nalani, and Kami

And here are the 3 Bell sisters: Pat, Barb, Sharon

Surprisingly, I didn't take that many pictures. We just hung out for a few days and enjoyed the freedom! On Sunday evening, my dad cooked dinner for all of us. Check out these little parmesan cheese bowls he made! He put our Caesar Salad in the bowls. Fancy!

On Monday, all of us girls went and got a pedicure! It was fun because there is a place on 104th south that can accommodate 7 pedicures at the same time. It was wonderful!!! That night, we went to Wheeler Farm and brought our dinner...Cafe Rio! As always, this place rocks!

That night Sam set up the tent in the boys' room for them to sleep in. Guess how long that lasted? Well, after 2 hours Parker finally gave up and slept in his bed. Carson, however, slept the whole night in his tent. So, Parker is like me (I never made it the whole night through when I tried to sleep on the tramp with friends) and Carson is like his dad, Sam always endures to the end!

On Tuesday, my mom watched my boys while we went and saw the movie "Hairspray". It was very good! After the movie we went down to Nalani's house in Orem and had cake in honor of Maile's birthday, which is this Sunday. The boys, Quinn and Carson, were in heaven because Nalani let them play in her hot tub!

Here is Maile blowing out her candles. I have a lot to say about this picture: check out all those fresh raspberries on Maile's cake! YUMMA. But, check out the items behind Maile, on the armoir...champagne?? Below that, a silver plate with a picture of the temple on it, and below that--a book called "The Mormon Story". Hmmm, Nalani, you may want to explain yourself here!! :)

We did fireworks on Tuesday night in honor of the Pioneers...? Well anyways, it was fun and Nalani and Maile did a great job lighting the fireworks!

Here is something funny Carson said to Sam the other day:
Sam: Hey Carson, if Squidword (from Spongebob) is an octopus, why do they call him "squidword"?
Carson: Because! They couldn't call him "Ocward" (awkward) could they?!?
Holy cow, that kid is so much like SAM!!!

On another note, I just finished the 7th Harry Potter book today. It was great!! I won't spoil anything for you, but just read it so I can talk to somebody about it!

Carson started 1st Grade yesterday. I'm a terrible mom because I didn't take a picture of him at his desk on his first day. You can imagine it though... He was pretty excited and so was I. I didn't cry, I was really excited for him. However, Parker is driving me MAD. All day long he keeps saying "where is Carson??" If anybody wants to play with a cute 3 year old, call me and I'll send Parker right over!!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Swim Lessons, The End

Well we wrapped up another session of swim lessons for the boys. Carson starts school next week so I didn't re-enlist them. We'll start up again next summer. I was so happy because right as the lessons started, Sam showed up!! He went to work really early, then came back for the lessons at 9am, then went back to work. He hasn't seen the kids in their lessons yet so I think he was pretty impressed by all they've learned.

Carson did so well in Level 2. He can do the front crawl for short distances, back float, jump off the diving board and swim to the edge, and all sorts of stuff I probably couldn't do!!

I love this picture of his face after he jumped off the diving board. I think it's a mixture of "Oh yeah, I'm the man" and "I can't believe I actually did that!"

Parker did pretty good in his "tots 1" class. He never got really comfortable with putting his whole face in the water, but by the last class he jumped off the side of the pool, into his teachers arms, without having to hold her hand first! That was a big moment for Parker (and me!).
These pictures make me laugh. His teacer basically lowered Parker in the water so he'd get his face wet. Parker would always sputter but then he'd give her a high-five so all is well!

On the last day of lessons the kids get their certificates and a sucker. Life is good!

Today I took the kids to get their haircut because they were looking pretty scrappy! This is such a strange smile for Parker, but at least the boys aren't fighting in this picture. :)

Carson starts 1st grade on 7/25, I can't believe it! I think Parker is going to be a little lost without his big brother to play with.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Best Girls Camp EVER

Our Stake Girls camp was this week. Every night there needs to be Priesthood representation so I happily volunteered my husband for Thursday night. Wasn't that thoughtfl of me? I had an ulterior motive. After Sam accepted, I asked if I could come with him! As Sam was the best girls camp EVER! Of course, he has never been to girls camp before but that didn't stop me from totally agreeing with him!

Thursday night is a program put on by the Stake leaders. We also had Sister Broadbent from the General YW board there to speak to us as well. The evening started with the silly songs the Young Women sing to get out all their giggle/wiggles. I was glad I had a camera because I looked busy getting pictures rather than having to join in on the songs!

Here is the 2nd counselor in my bishopric, Paul Kocherhans. He would not be too thrilled with this picture! I was laughing because he was sort of mocking the songs and I happened to be sitting right behind him when he turned his head...*click*... I had the camera ready!

Sam wasn't dancing either...

Here are some of the leaders from my ward. I shared a tent with the ladies on the back row with the exception of the lady in glasses on the left. It was such a blast!!! My ward rocks, seriously!! The lady on the right with the purple tiara is Kimmy Buckley. She was the camp director and she also helped deliver Parker 3 years ago! She wasn't in our ward at that time, such a small world.

I even got to be part of the night routine with the girls. Every night the leaders would use these star wands and tap on the tents. As the girls opened their tent, the leaders gave them some sort of "tuck in" gift. This night I got to pass out the gifts (pillowcases)and read the tag attached. It was really fun.

After "tucking" the girls in, they promptly got back out of their tents so they could teach us how to play "quarters". What the heck, it's the last night of camp, no rules! It was very fun and we were pretty competitive!!

After quarters, we decided to go to bed. Sam slept in the van and I was in the leaders tent. At around 2:30am we just started settling down and were all almost asleep when Sam grabbed the tent, shook it like crazy and totally yelled and screamed! With all the bear sightings in Utah's campgrounds lately it proved to be a very good trick because we all screamed!
After a very short night of sleep, Sam and I packed up and headed home. Here he is with his sweet setup:

I hope to go again next year, it was seriously a blast! Especially with the YW leadership in our ward!

On an unrelated story...
Carson tried opening a sharpie marker today and it exploded all over his face. He tried washing it off but it didn't work out so well for him.

Guess what else Carson did? Last night he threw up in his mouth, swallowed it, and then it rushed out his nose! So disgusting! Gotta love my boys, Carson just sort of shrugged it off and went back to bed. :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

If You Are Related, I Apologize

I'm a little nervous posting this picture because if you are related, you'll think I'm a jerk. However, that's a risk I'm willing to take!

We had a rock chip fixed on our Bonneville windshield in May. Yesterday I got a postcard in the mail thanking me for my business. This is what the front of the postcard looked like! I seriously could not stop laughing at Rawlee's picture! What are you first thoughts when you see it?

This picture should explain the agony I'm about to go through for the next few days....I do NOT enjoy potty training at all!!!

Saturday, July 07, 2007


This time we went to Heber with our good friends, the Hansen family. The Hansen family is a huge part of our lives because they set Sam and I up! They are the kind of people who you can have a great conversation with, even if you haven't seen them for a long time. I love friends like that! This was their family campout and we were so honored that they invited us!

The first thing Sam did was put lighter fluid on some charcoals that were already lit. Can you see his hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows? I'll give you a hint: burnt hair is STINKY!!

The campground is owned by the church and it's pretty fancy! We slept in these bunk houses (well, "slept" is being generous, it was more like cat naps!). Our campsite had a pantry with a full size refrigerator and electricity! Score for us.

Carson's allergies were attacking his face at mach speed. I felt so bad! It didn't slow him down.
Hey Shandy, these are the PJ's you gave Carson for his birthday. They were big on him then...apparently he has had a growth spirt!

Here is a classic Parker pose. I can't remember whose hat this belonged to, but Sam put it on Parker and he wore it proudly! Isn't he adorable?

So, then..............Parker happened upon a melted chocolate bar and of course, the older kids urged him on to eat it and the messier the better!

What happens when you feed baby Addison pure apple juice? Cha Cha Cha blowout!! :)

After we cleaned up camp we went to a little lake at the campground and took the boys on a paddleboat. It was so much fun!

Parker was so nervous to get on the boat, but once on he LOVED it!

Carson BEGGED to try pedaling the boat. So Sam took a backseat and chilled out while I ended up doing most of the work while Carson pedaled for 2 seconds and then lost his focus!

And then my favorite part about playing hard is the ride home and how quickly Parker falls asleep! This was about 30 seconds after we hit the road!

Very fun 24 hours! My only regret is that it couldn't last longer because hanging out with the Hansen family is non-stop fun and laughter!
Well, now I have to go rotate the laundry...again...that's the not-so-fun part of camping!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Happy 4th of July to everybody!

Parker started his swimming lessons yesterday and, well, he takes after me a little bit. He didn't sit on the stairs and cry, but every time his teacher asked him to do something like blow bubbles, he would say to her in a really startled tone: I can't do THAT! So he's definitely the most timid in his class, but I'm just a prayin' that he will at least blow bubbles before the 6 lessons are over!

Does everyone know what "monkey, airplane, soldier" means in the swim world? I never did until I watched Parker's teacher explain it to him yesterday. It's like a whole new world is opening up to me!

Here is one of his more adventurous moments. He finally let her help him with a back float because he realized he could see the seagulls better if he was laying on his back!

Mostly Parker just wanted to sit on the stairs. At least he is getting comfortable with the water...

Here we have Carson and his "PWT" version of a water slide.
Yes, that is our old tile countertop.
Yes, this side of our house is pretty trashed.
Yes, I'm pretty proud of his invention. I had no idea he was doing this.

We did fireworks on the 3rd of July because then we wouldn't have to do them late on the 4th when everybody had to get up early for work the next day. I think my whole neighborhood had the same idea because there were fireworks everywhere! Here is Carson with one of his favorite items, the smoke bombs. Parker and Grandma thought they were pretty smelly.

The fireworks were a success overall! Sam only had one blow up in his hand once and Carson only got a burning ember on his arm once. You know what they say..."there's a first time for everything" and I'm pretty sure this won't be the last time these things happen!

Bright and early this morning we had about 7 guys from my ward come over and remove the swamp cooler off my house and put it on my neighbor's house. My neighbor's swamp cooler had bit the dust so it was great timing! After the swamp cooler was off, Sam installed an attic fan in the hole the cooler had left. Once again, I absolutely love getting projects done around the house! Now we just need to sheet rock over the hole in my hallway where the swamp cooler blew the air into the house. Baby steps....

How many men does it take to remove a swamp cooler? :)

The attic fan: OoOoOoOhhhh, AhHhHhHh, that's purdy!

This afternoon we went swimming in our friends' grandparents pool. Parker was perfectly happy sitting on the blowup mattress and we couldn't hardly drag Carson out of the pool, even after almost 4 hours of swimming!

Once home, Parker was so tired. He went right down for a nap, but for some reason he had to sleep with his shoes. Sometimes I just don't ask questions...

Tonight we had a grubbin' BBQ at my parent's house but I didn't take any pictures. That's probably okay because then you would have seen my kids dip their chips in ketchup! Ewwwwww!
How was the 4th of July for everyone else??