Saturday, June 30, 2012

Super Effective Saturday

When we moved into our house, our garage became a sort of catchall for everything that we couldn't really decide exactly where to put. Beside the normal garage stuff--lawn mower, bikes, tools--there was a ton of random stuff: exersaucer, high chair, extra garbage can, and a slew of camping gear. Eventually, we shifted the piles enough to fit the Tahoe into the garage, but it wasn't exactly functional. We set a goal this week to "reclaim our garage" and today finally completed our goal.

The boys were kept occupied by a picnic breakfast (I'm pretty sure that Buzz-Woody table is the best $1 we ever spent) followed by roaming around the front yard, giving each other rides in Asher's stroller, asking Ryan and I approximately 1.36 million questions, and playing with Asher's bike. Asher was kind enough to give Reed a ride:

 And Reed returned the favor by letting Asher hop on back:
And, amazingly enough, when I told the boys to look at me so I could take a picture, they both smiled and even said, "Cheese!" at the same time. Nothing short of miraculous.

Other items checked off our list on Super Effective Saturday:
Wash Ryan's car
Move bed from spare room to garage so Meg can have a little crafting/sewing space
Clean grill
Clean out pool/spray all the dead worms off the sidewalk (There were  a lot. It was gross.)
Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Target, Dollar Store
Go to Lin's for Donuts (yes!)
Go to Krumpet's for 75% Americana Decor (yes!)
Go for a brief garage sale-ing jaunt
Prepare Primary lesson
Stop at Maverik for much-deserved Icees

Phew. Super Effective Saturday: Success.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Father's Day and the Best Cinnamon Rolls Ever

For Father's Day, I got the random desire to bake cinnamon rolls. I've never made cinnamon rolls by myself. Ever. I didn't even have a recipe for cinnamon rolls. But, after a little Pinterest-ing, I came up with this recipe, which claimed to be the "best cinnamon rolls ever." And, not to toot my own horn or anything, but they seriously were the best cinnamon rolls ever. I'm a lover of frosting and this frosting was literally the best frosting I've ever had. Ever. I might have eaten a few spoonfuls of it while I was making it. Anyway, they were fantastic, and  I'm the proud baker of my first batch of cinnamon rolls. (If you want a non-breadmaker version of the recipe and beautiful pictures of cinnamon rolls, go here.) I should have taken a picture to document this milestone, but I didn't--so you'll just have to believe me.

Ryan had already purchased his own Father's Day gifts and had already been using them--if you're curious, he got an iRig (links your iPhone to your guitar) and drum rings (I'm not sure what they're really called)--not things I would be comfortable purchasing, so I let him go for it. He had to have something to open, though, and luckily Reed had built him a special box at a Home Depot workshop and had filled out this survey:
My dad has "the color like mommy's" colored eyes, and "black" colored hair
My dad is " old I am" years old.
My dad loves to "build, go to the community center with me."
My dad doesn't like to "run. Why doesn't he like to run? And fly."
The best thing about my dad is "he can go to the community center with me, and he can go places with me."
I know my dad loves me because "because he just really loves me because he can go somewhere with me."
(I got the free printable here, in case you're curious.)

Reed drew the picture of Ryan in the top left, then started cracking up and said, "I made his arms come out of his head!"

I made Ryan a super cheesy present, but I think he liked it. I got a container from the dollar store, filled it with blue crinkley Easter basket paper, then added approximately 3 pounds of Sweedish fish, and topped that with a fishing pole of plastic fish from the dollar store. I made a card that said, "What a catch!" And I didn't take a picture of that, either. That night we ate ourselves sick on Sweedish fish!

We went to my parents' house for a combined Father's Day and birthday dinner--my dad's birthday happened to fall on Father's Day. I'm grateful for the fathers in my life and am so grateful for all they do for me and the boys!

Thursday, June 28, 2012


We had such a great time at Baker Reservoir last year that we decided to go again this year. We hadn't planned to go for Father's Day, but we happened to go Father's Day weekend--so I'm counting it. Anyway, once we got there, we got right to business and set up the tent. As soon as Asher saw the tent, he started yelling, "Door! Door!" And didn't stop yelling door until we got the tent up enough that he could go inside.

Reed and Asher--for whatever reason--think it's great fun to run circles around the inside of an empty tent. They do it every time we set our tent up. They were happily occupied for quite a while. And once they got tired of running, they were only too happy to collapse onto a pile of sleeping bags.

Then they spent some time making faces at us through the door.

Once we were set up, we had a fantastic dinner of fried chicken, courtesy of Albertson's. There's just something about fried chicken when you're camping--it's even more amazing than usual. Finally, it was time for one of favorite parts of camping: hiking and exploring.

Oh, and throwing handfuls of dirt.

We made our way--slowly--to the reservoir. Asher was so mad because he could see the water and thought we were walking away from it, rather than to it.

Once we got to the water, he was happy. He would grab a rock, throw it in, turn around and yell, "Rock!" the grab another rock, throw it in, turn around and yell, "Rock!" then grab a rock....over and over and over. He practically created a man-made island with all the rocks he threw in.

Ryan threw slightly larger rocks. The boys (and I) were quite impressed by the splashes he made. I was even more impressed when he skipped a rock 10 times. My highest skip, ever: 3.

Eventually, we pried the boys away from the river, went on a cool drive, then went back to our campsite for treats. We put the boys down to bed--it took them a little longer than usual to fall asleep, but nothing too crazy--and all went well until about 3:30 a.m. Sometime in the middle of the night, the wind started blowing. Really hard and fast. Our tent was shaking and the trees were making crazy noises. At 3:30 a.m., Asher woke up crying...and never went back to sleep. We tried everything. But each time he calmed down, the wind would get crazy again, he would yell, "Uh-oh!" and then he'd start crying again. Amazingly, Reed slept through the wind and Asher screaming. Around 5:00 a.m., he started yelling, "Bee bot! Car! Go!" (Translated: I want to get in my spot in the car and go home.) Finally, at 5:30ish, Ryan and I had enough. We put the boys in the car, threw everything in the back of the car (yes, unrolled, unfolded, and uncleaned), and drove home. The minute Asher was in the car, he stopped crying. He fell asleep about 5 minutes into our drive home. We stopped at Lin's for donuts (FYI, Lin's has the best donuts in St. George), then stumbled into our house around 7:00 a.m. with two boys who were wide awake. Somehow, we made it through the day with the two grumpiest boys I've ever seen. And we might even go camping again.

Monday, June 25, 2012


Fact: Every time I hear the word "fact," I think of this video:

Fact: Coming January 2013

Fact: I googled "bun in the oven" and this picture came up. It kind of makes me want to throw up.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Monthly Asher: 20

Lately Asher is all about hugs--but only from Reed. If Ryan or I ask for a hug, he'll grin, run toward us, then when he's about a foot away he turns around and runs away while laughing hysterically. But he'll follow Reed around the house saying, "Buh-bie (brother) hug!" and if he is ever upset and Reed asks if he wants a hug, Asher runs right over and gives Reed a hug.

 Asher calls swimming diapers his "beesh" because they have fish on them. If he sees one, he yells, "Beesh!!!!!" over and over again because he wants to wear it--because wearing it means swimming.

Asher has started to call himself "Bee." I'm not really sure why. He also calls all flying insects--and even some of the creeping variety--bees. Anyway, he says "Bee bot" when he wants to show you where his spot is, or bee bubble to tell you he wants to get in the water, or bee ball to refer to his ball blankie. He has also started saying things like, "Buh-buh bee bot car." (Translation: Reed's car seat--or literally, brother's spot in the car.) Or he'll tell me "Mommy bee bot," which means that I need to sit next to Asher's spot.

 Pole dance.

Asher has been trying to jump--so far unsuccessfully. I don't think he realizes that he's not actually jumping, though, and it's really cute to watch him squat and try to get his chubby little body off the ground.

Asher's vocabulary has been expanding like crazy lately. But there are some words he knows that he doesn't even try to say because he has one word that he uses for a whole group of words. For example, the word "bubble" means water, bubbles, swimming pool, water guns, and the splash pad. The word "quack quack" refers to anything that has wings/can fly. "Cocos" are all dogs and dog-sized animals. "Cars" are anything with wheels.

 Reed trying to remove Asher's shirt.

Asher has learned how to climb into his seat in the Tahoe (from the ground) without any assistance. He gets super annoyed if you try to lift him into his chair to speed the process up, and yells for basically the entire car ride unless you let him climb in himself.

Reading books has been among Asher's top five favorite favorite things to do lately. All our board books are on a bookshelf in his room, and he loves to choose a book, bring it to Ryan or I, listen to it, then take it back and choose a new one. His favorite book is "Moo La La" (Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton). He can even finish sentences in the book if I pause and let him try.

 He thinks he's hilarious. I tend to agree.

Asher loves bikes. After Reed graduated to a big boy bike, Asher got to take over the big wheel. He thinks he's super cool walking along on his bike--his legs are too short for him to pedal, but he'll get there eventually.

The other day, Asher brought me a toy and said, "Batteries" (okay, more like bad-dies). I was confused until I realized the toy wouldn't make it's customary sound and really did need batteries. I hadn't realized that he even knew the word batteries or what it meant.

 Reed feeding Asher ice cream--and stealing a few bites.

Asher and Reed both love to play hide and seek. Asher doesn't really like the hiding aspect, but he loves to look for whoever is hiding and thinks it's hilarious when he finds them.

Speaking of finding things, Asher is basically the world's best finder of lost items. At least five times there has been something (like a Curious George movie, Curious George himself, and a book, to name a few) that has been missing. I've looked everywhere and can't find it. Then I'll ask Asher where it is, he'll announce "ite dere" (right there), march away, and come back holding the lost object. It's amazing.

Asher loves Grandma's Elmo ("Melmo") costume.

Asher can open the doors in our house and is pretty much obsessed with opening and closing them. He doesn't not like having doors open and if he notices an open door, he yells, "Door!" and runs to close it. When I'm in the bathroom getting ready for the day, he yells, "See ya!" then closes the door on me. And when he goes to his room to get a new book (as mentioned before) he opens the door, goes in, closes the door, grabs a book, opens the door, and closes it again.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Reed vs. The Mop

Reed hasn't sustained many injuries in his three years, but the few he has suffered from have been honestly kind of weird--like the time he fell at the splash pad and had to have his lip stitched up or the time he fell off the ladder to his bunk bed and sprained his ankle two days before Easter (thankfully, that didn't put much of a damper on our egg hunting adventures). This time, the source of his pain was the most random of all. Meet Reed's feared enemy, the mop:

While this mop may appear innocent, kindly take note of the torture chamber located just inside the green handle.

Reed enjoys a good mopping session, so I generally let him end his "quiet time" early to help me mop. Today, he was really excited because he could mostly pull that green handle by himself to squeeze the water out of the mop head. In the past, he hasn't come close. Today, he needed minimal help.

There we were, mopping the bathroom. Reed wanted to squeeze out the water, so we put the mop over the sink, squeezed with all our might--and then blood started oozing everywhere and Reed started screaming. I'm not entirely sure what happened, but somehow his finger made its way into the mop's slot and was pinched between the metal of the mop and the metal of the bar that pushes the green handle.

I grabbed the nearest thing--toilet paper--and applied pressure. Ten minutes later I had rounded up some gauze quite awkwardly. Try using one hand to apply pressure to a bleeding wound, one leg to prop an inconsolably screaming three year old onto your lap, and one hand to root around into the disorganized "first aid basket" to find gauze. Anyway, I realized his finger was STILL gushing. And looked quite gross. I made a tearful call to Ryan, then sucked it up and called the doctor's office. No answer at the nurses' station. We made our way to the couch, flipped on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and tried to keep it together.

Reed's screaming woke Asher up, who started yelling, "Buh-buh! (Brother!) Hug! Buh-buh! Hug!" I talked Reed into letting me go for a few seconds, grabbed Asher, and called the doctor's office again. Come right away. Shoes located and put on, Curious George retrieved from Reed's bed, boys buckled into the car, call to Ryan, and out the door.

Ryan met us at the doctor's office, then took Smash for a trip to Target while I stayed with Reed. When we got into a room, Reed had to endure a numbing shot. Poor boy broke my heart with his screams. He was so good and held his hand so still, but screamed louder and more heart-wrenchingly than ever in his life. When that was finally over, we had to wait about half an hour for the numbing to take effect and for the doctor to see a few other patients (with scheduled appointments). Thank goodness for the collection of Dr. Seuss books in the office. The doctor came back and it was time for fun.

I don't do well with blood. Or gore. And Reed's finger provided plenty of both. Though I avoided looking at Reed's finger, I soon broke out in a cold sweat and was extremely dizzy. I hopped onto the examination table next to Reed (I had been standing next to him before) so I wouldn't pass out. Thankfully, after numerous silent prayers I was able to hold it together and not pass out so I could stay next to poor Reed. The stitching seemed to take forever and by the end, there was blood everywhere. Reed didn't cry at the beginning, but by the end he was whimpering and telling me he just wanted to lay down and "mug" (mug=cuddle. Long story) with me. Finally, the doctor was done. And Reed had quite the bandage to show off to the ladies:

Reed and I made  a quick pit stop at Target to pick up gauze and Cars bandaids. We were lucky enough to run into Grandma and Kayla, who did a fantastic job of perking Reed up a bit. And now we have to stay away from the pool for a week (a week!) until we can go back to get the stitches out. Poor Reed.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hoover Darn

Ryan and I both worked at Sizzler as servers for a few years while we were in college. Honestly, though it had some good points, it was my least favorite job that I've ever had. But it did provide us with fantastically awkward stories, such as this one and the following: One night, Ryan had a family at one of his tables--mom, dad, 12-ish year old daughter, and maybe a son. As he was refilling their water, he heard the girl tell her parents, "Ashley's parents are so strict. They make her say 'bumstronaut' instead of 'astronaut.'" Luckily, he made it back to the server station before he started laughing. I think of that randomly all the time--and when we went to Hoover Dam a few weeks ago, it only seemed appropriate to call it "Hoover Darn."

We were on our way home from Big Bear when we kind of out of the blue decided to stop at Hoover Dam on our way home. We drive to and from California at least once a year, but have never stopped before. Because our drive from Big Bear was two hours shorter than our normal California drive, we decided it was time to make the trip.

I'm really glad we decided to stop. The boys really needed a break from the car--they were super, super antsy--and Hoover Dam was amazing.

Pictures don't adequately portray how massive Hoover Dam is. Ryan was looking over a railing and Asher wanted up, of course, so Ryan lifted him--and almost immediately set him down. It was a little terrifying to think of squirmy Asher that close to the railing. Really, though, it is practically incomprehensible how gigantic the dam is. I couldn't stop looking.

A recently completed bridge is right next to Hoover Dam, and it is also ridiculously massive. I'm quite afraid of heights, and just looking at the bridge made me nervous.

Reed loved Hoover Dam. He took a tour brochure when we got there and used it as his "map" to navigate the tour for us. Very thoughtful. He was really interested by all the underground machinery--he loves seeing how things work. He's been asking to go back to Hoover Dam ever since.

Asher also loved Hoover Dam. He hasn't been in his stroller forever (kind of weird, now that I think about it), but he thought his stroller was awesome. He kept calling it his "car" and was pretty impressed with himself for having his own spot.

As part of the tour, you get to go several stories underground, walk through tunnels (straight-up cave-like tunnels, and view several gigantic tubes and various hydroelectric machines. I really enjoyed the tour, as did Ryan.

Oh, and the best part? We wore Asher out enough that he fell asleep within two minutes of getting in the car to drive home and slept for the next hour and a half. Road trip success.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Grad & Grad

Two of my sisters graduated recently. The second graduate (her pictures uploaded first, and I'm not in the mood to change the order) was Kayla, better known as The Beak. Yes, I coined that nickname. Anyway, Kayla graduated from my alma matter, Snow Canyon High School (Go Warriors!) with honors. And because this is my blog and I  can use it to brag as much as I want, let me take a minute to tell you just how awesome The Beak is. In just her senior year, she was Seminary Council President, FCCLA President, a Student Ambassador at her school, the Service Chair on the St. George Youth City Council, a member of National Honor Society, a straight-A student in high school and in the two college courses she took, the school and regional Sterling Scholar in FACS, a gold medal winner at regional STAR competition and a silver medal winner at the state STAR competition,  the Second Attendant in the Miss St. George pageant, and a recipient of a scholarship to BYU. I might even be missing a few things. And I thought I was cool and accomplished in high school. 

Anyway, Beak, we're super proud of you and I'm seriously tearing up right now just thinking about you moving in August.

This is a picture of Beak and I at my high school graduation, seven years ago (dang, I'm getting old):
My computer refuses to rotate it, so kindly tilt your head to the left for optimal viewing. And those are her legs, not my arms.

And here we are, at her graduation:
We're still dorks, yes.

Walking through the SC is the moment of graduation--something you dream about for four years. Here is Kayla's iconic moment as a Warrior:
The Trinity, as Ryan affectionately calls them. They might as well all be my little sisters.

Something cute: my dad seriously cries every time anyone mentions Kayla going to college in the fall. Favorite child?

And finally, you will know how good a sister I am when you view this photo:
That face is in reaction to a crock pot, mind you--but it is the cutest crock pot I've ever seen. It has a black damask pattern. On a crock pot. And it is the same price as the plain crock pot. (Found it at Target!)

And now on to the other grad. My oldest sister, Mandi, just mostly graduated from SUU with a Master's Degree in Education (she has one class to finish this summer). Her bragging rights:she worked full-time as a teacher and finished her Master's Degree in two years. Way to go, Mando.

The statue behind Mandi tells the founding of SUU, which is really an amazing story. Read it here.

The sisters at graduation. Yes, I wore the same outfit at both graduations. No, I didn't realize that until after I looked at pictures. Oops.

Newly hooded. Just call her master.

Way to go, girls. I'm proud of you both!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Big Bear

The baby of the family finally graduated from high school. As this was a momentous occassion in her life (and in my parents'!) the entire family gathered to St. George for the graduation, then drove to Big Bear, CA for a little family reunion. We packed many, many activities into our long weekend. And here, in no particular order, are my top-ten most memorable:
Almost everyone at the Zoo. (Lynnie and Nick, you're super evasive when it comes to group pictures.)

(And don't worry, I only included approximately 100,000 pictures in this post--and those are only about 1/5 (if that!) of what I took!)
Out on a shopping trip.

1. Freezing, freezing cold. I'm not sure why, but not one of us thought to check the weather forecast before we went to Big Bear. I packed shorts, t-shirts, and sandals for the boys, Ryan, and I. So we were a little bit surprised when we woke up our second morning in Big Bear to snow. I'm not joking. Snow. In May. We were planning to do a lot of lake activities--let's just say our plans changed. Our first stop: a shop in town to buy sweaters.

That's the real temperature. 30*. So much for a sunny lake trip.

2. Despite the weather, we decided to try the park. When the wind picked up and we nearly froze, we decided to take a walk on this cool pier thing that was set out a few feet into the lake, a few feet above the water. I'm not really sure why we thought that would be warmer. The pier was really cool (literally and figuratively) until it started swaying crazily in the wind! Freaky! We all ended up jogging/running/speed walking back to the car on the return trip.
As you can see, Asher was really happy to have his picture taken. Notice the storm brewing behind them?

Having fun on the crazy-awesome swaying bridge. Take note that Kenny, my dad, and Kody are in swimming suits. They were planning on jumping in the lake. Then they had a change of heart. HA.

Asher + aunties at the park.

3. Reed was beyond pumped to see his cousins. We haven't seen Hailey and Kody since the RFR in October and we hadn't even seen Cole and Mailya since our jaunt to Colorado in April. Reed was finally old enough to play with the bigger kids and he had so, so much fun with them. He and Kody immediately found maps when we were out shopping and spent the rest of the weekend navigating our every mood. One night, he and Kody took a bath together and just cracked up together. They started talking about "Daddy-o toots!" (Asher's favorite phrase of the moment), then went on tangent after tangent, saying things like, "Daddy-o airplane!" "Mommy elbow car!" and all kinds of crazy stuff. They were dying laughing. I think Reed drove Hailey a little bit crazy because every second he wasn't playing with Kody, he was following her around. He wanted to hold her hand everywhere we went and was constantly asking her to play with him. She was a great sport, though, and even introduced him to his new favorite toy: Zoobles.

Tiny navigators.

Awesome chairs in front of the sweet shoppe. There happened to be five sweet shops. I think we visited four of them.

4. Speaking of cold...we stayed in Ryan's Aunt and Uncle's cabin. Ryan and I stayed there for our honeymoon six years ago. Note: this is us on our honeymoon in Big Bear six years ago:
Aren't we cute? And young?

Anyway, Ryan drove up with my dad and sister so he could hit a few hours of work to start the day. I drove up in a caravan with everyone else. When we got to the cabin, we turned the hot water heater on. There was quite a pungent gas smell. And the water was only lukewarm. For one person's (mine!) shower. Then it was cold. The next day, we decided to turn the hot water heater off, since the gas smell was still really strong. A few people braved ice-cold showers. The next evening, we heated water on the stove so we could bathe our dirty kids. And Ryan decided to look at the hot water heater. He figured out the issue (when his aunt told us to turn the handle ALL the way to the left, she wasn't joking. Anything before that=no hot water)...and we finally had hot showers. Too bad that Lynnie's family left the next morning after never having a warm shower, and everyone but Ryan, the boys and I left the following day. Oh, well. At least we know for next time.

5. Kayla (otherwise known as Hambly #5) was our constant car buddy--which we loved. One night, we decided to take a drive around the lake when everyone else headed back to the cabin. We found the most random park in America, I think. It was part September 11 memorial, part wax museum, part tiny, tiny playground, and part senior citizen exercise center. I'm not joking.

The shoes pictured in this sign just killed me. I'm glad they acurately depicted the orthopedic shoes the exercising seniors would likely be wearing. Take note of the workout, too.

Driving the fire truck. Why do they refuse to ever look at me and smile at the same time?

6. Apparently Big Bear has two weekends during the year when the thing to do is have a garage sale: Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. I have never seen so many garage sales in one place--there were over thirty. The city even puts out a map of the garage sales in their weekly newspaper. It's serious business. Basically everywhere we went we saw at least five signs for garage sales. We did stop at on church's rummage sale, but had to limit oursevles at that because we had zero extra room in the car.

Asher giving Reed a ride at the rummage sale.

Mando and Ashie hanging out at the zoo.

7. I hadn't realized that one family could have so many people with different internal body temperatures. My goodness. Mandi, Kenny, and Grace slept downstairs (the coldest area) and were sweating. My dad slept downstairs and was fine. My mom and Kayla slept downstairs the first night and refused to do so after because they were so cold--they opted to sleep on the couch instead! Upstairs, Lynnie was an ice cube, I was fine, and Ryan was sweaty. And when we were all upstairs--well, half of us sat by the open patio door while the others huddled around the fire. It was a little bit hilarious.

Kayla sharing the couch (AKA her bed) with the boys.

8. Ryan and I took the boys to church Sunday morning. Asher fell asleep in the car on the way to church. At 10 a.m. That has not happened in at least 10 months. Anyway, the chapel in Big Bear was beautiful--think exposed huge and beautiful beams, cool rockwork, and exposed wood walls. The speakers were amazing, too. And it warmed my heart that Reed was sad when we left after Sacrament Meeting, because he "just loves his class at church." Awwwwww.

How grumpy do they look? Luckily, though, they were pretty good the entire weekend (minus Reed waking up basically every day around 5 a.m. or so) and were pretty cute holding hands in the car.

9. Thankfully, every day gradually got a little warmer. On Saturday, while everyone was still in Big Bear, we went to the zoo. It is a small zoo, but really cool, actually. All the animals in the zoo had been rescued in some way or another--the bald eagles couldn't fly, one bear was a tripod, several had been marked to be put down, etc. Ryan, Kenny, and Grace even got to see a cougar fight. My favorite zoo animals were the bald eagles and the bears. The bears put on a little show for us. Apparently the mama bear was a three-strike bear from Yellowstone. On her third strike, she brought her cubs with her (smart mama!), so she was relocated to the zoo rather than being put down. The cubs got into a "fight" over a few coconuts, which was pretty exciting. And if you've never seen a bear trying to break open a coconut, imagine a bear trying to shoot a basketball into a hoop, ten times in a row. Seriously, the bear had ridiculous form. Anyway, the zoo was fantastic-o.

Bald eagles are just cool. And tough.

Reed and Daddy taking a ride on a bear.

Grandpa giving Smash a lift.

I just found this pose funny. And I'm a little impressed the bear is balancing on the log in the water.

Sibling rivalry.

More fighting amongst the siblings. They were super loud.

10. On Monday morning, my mom, Kayla, Mandi, and my little family decided to take a lake tour on the boat Miss Liberty (by then, everyone else had left). The tour pointed out all the most famous houses on the lake (notably, Britney Spears, the guy who plays Al on the TV show Home Improvement, and the guy who did the voices of Bugs Bunny and a few others). The boys were entranced by the paddle on the back of the boat--we spent a lot of the ride hanging out near the back so they could watch it. And Asher got a little obsessive about having a spot of his own, yelling, "Bee Bot!" every 5-10 seconds intermittently. (Bee bot=Asher's spot. He calls himself "Bee." No one knows why.)

Taking the boat tour. Don't worry, Reed still had his map...five days later.

Being cheesy in Bee's Bot.

Yep, we rode on that boat.

10. When it did finally warm up enough to venture to the lake, Lynnie, Nick and my dad had already left--but the rest of us were able to enjoy a little beach time. Reed, Hailey, and Kody built their own lake complete with an island and castle in the middle. Asher spent his time pulling various people along the little strip of beach, searching for the ducks he'd seen when we first arrived at the lake--mostly to no avail. My mom told him the ducks had gone to bed, but he didn't believe her. He said, "Quack quack, night-night, uh-uh!"
Ryan "helping" Asher touch the water.

Reed with his two au pairs, Kayla and Hailey.

Toss! He still needs some work on his rock skipping technique.

11. I lied about the "top ten" thing. Monday afternoon and night, Ryan, the boys, and I were the only part of our group still in Big Bear. We took the boys on a long walk around the lake, then ate at Maggio's. which served literally the best pizza I've ever eaten in my life. It was seriously amazing. I wish it weren't six hours away so we could go there again. We bought a half-gallon of ice cream, took the boys home to bed, then watched a movie and ate ice cream to our hearts' content. The next morning, we packed up and left, making a pit stop at Hoover Dam on the way home--but that's for another post.

Another zoo picture for good measure--my sisters and I with the boys. Surprising that four sisters could look so different, right?