Thursday, July 21, 2016


We had some fun "firsts" this summer. Like:

First time at Vince's Spaghetti in Ontario. It's kind of a staple of the area. Drab as it may be, it is definitely a place to go. I don't think it has changed in 40 years. I grew up going, as did Wes; so it is only fitting we take our kids too.

Jovie gave her first talk in primary. It turned out so cute and lemme tell ya, that girl is NOT shy. She LOVED it! Wes helps since I have to teach 3rd hour and sometimes can't get there right on time. He whispered to her and for this particular talk they had Peyton help by putting on clothes that had symbolism to her talk subject; the 4th article of faith. (Gloves for baptism by immersion, laying on of hands with the hat, etc). She was chosen randomly to give another talk just 2 weeks later and the leaders were going to give her a break, but she was bouncing with excitement so they just had to let her do it. During that talk she sang "I Love to See The Temple" and spoke of her eternal family and made most of the primary leaders cry. I love her sweet spirit, and really believe the innocence of children and the faith they have is to be emulated. I am grateful to teach my children through the spirit.

Jovie had another not-so-fun first. Her first fat lip. 

We tried out some fun new hairstyles for the first time.

And Griffin went to the beach for the first time (and has since gone 4 or 5 more times too). His whole life is basically a first. That's one of my favorite things about having a new baby is experiencing everything again for the first time with them!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Date Night

A few weeks ago Wes and I took the girls our separately for individual date nights. Wes always takes Peyton out, and I usually have Jovie girl. So we decided to switch it up.

Wes took Jovie to Chick-Fila's daddy daughter date night for a double date with some friends. They got all dressed up and headed out and had a fabulous time.

Since Wes has sworn off Shakey's Pizza for forever, and Peyton not only loves it but had a certificate for a free pizza and tokens, I decided that it would be a great night for the two of us (well, 3 of us---Griffin tagged along). I was right too, she told me "It was 100 million times the best night of my life!" They hooked is up with a cup full of tokens so Peyton had the time of her life playing games. Then at the end of the night they let her pick any prize she wanted, even though we were far from enough tickets. On our way home we stopped at Rite Aid for ice cream. Someone let us cut to the front of the line and Peyton asked me, "Why is everyone so nice to me tonight?" It made me so happy for her to have that moment and see the world could be good. It also made me happy to have such a great night with her, since she loves going out with Wes so much. It is so important for kids to have fun with mom too... I usually have to be the business one.

So overall, I would say we ALL had a fabulous night!

Friday, July 15, 2016


Some of our best friends just recently moved to Washington. We were so sad knowing they were leaving and wanted to soak up as much time together as possible. Well, they invited our girls over for a late night (which is kind of like a sleep over, without the sleeping over part). Last minute their mom called and said she couldn't do it until like really late (9ish) because she had to pick her son up from scout camp that night. I knew my girls would have been devastated to have to cancel, so rather I decided to host it at our house. Win-win for everyone. And since I was having 2 little girls over I decided we could add 2 more for fun. We are pretty lucky to have quite a few friends that have kids that match both my girls ages so they love hanging with their individual sister-friends together. We picked up popcorn, soda, ice cream, candy and a movie for a fun pajama late night party.

Every girl came over beaming and as excited as if I had said we were going to Disneyland--- maybe even more so. They loved snacking and chatting. Well, Peyton didn't appreciate everyone chatting so much as she takes laying and watching movies VERY seriously. But, it was so fun, and I got major cool mom points for doing it.

Fishing For a Night Out

On one of the first nights of summer as I was putting Griff to bed Wes decided to take the girls out for a fun night of fishing at the lake across the street.

Sadly they didn't catch anything but June-Bugs, but they did all have a great night out. What was one of their favorite parts of the night you ask? Oh, playing with the hand dryers in the bathroom. Bunch of weirdos. How lucky are these kids to have such an amazingly fun daddy?!

 Catching June bugs, something they look forward to every year.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Feed the Birds

I love this video of miss Jovie feeding birds. She is truly the most brave child when it comes to animals. I love it. Actually she is just pretty fun, and brave with most things. She will try anything and has a lot of spunk to her. This kid is the best comic relief!

Welcome Summer

With the end of the school year came the end of seminary as well as the beginning of paradise... aka summer! Pool days, beach trips, family time, long days, and all things awesome!

Our awkward seminary class. Really they aren't awkward but boy oh boy this photo sure is. 
And the welcome of fun in the sun.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Makings of a BFF

This is the girl side of the 'Rio Trio' (our little friend group's "cool" name). It just so happened that we all got pregnant together. So us BFFs our currently making the next generation of BFFs. Lucky kids.

Before and After 
Taryn had Emmitt January 8, Jill had Sadie April 1, and Griffin was born April 21.

Friday, June 17, 2016

First and Last

And then we were officially done with kindergarten. She changed a lot both physically, mentally, and in a whole lotta other ways too.

 And my friend sent this to me of our girls from the first day and last week.
 I was able to help in her class for the last hour or so of school and happened just to show up at recess so I went out and started a fun game of Simon Says with the kids. It was a hit! After playing for a while I let Peyton be Simon and it was so fun to watch her interact with all her friends.
And of course with her teacher Ms. Woken. Peyton wrote her a thank you card at the end of the year and started it with, "I love you" and I think the perfectly sums up her feelings for this sweet teacher.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Start Spreading the News....

"Start spreading the news, we're leaving today, we want to be a part of it, first grade! First grade!" Or rather fwirst grade, fwirst grade... being that Peyton still struggles just a bit with that "R" sound, but boy is she cute! It's official I now have a first grader, which is really quite sad to me. It means we now have all day school, and are officially in grade school. In all honesty we all ended up loving kindergarten. Sure the schedule and having to be somewhere everyday is not my favorite. But I truly can't say enough about how much Peyton loved being in school. She loved the kids in her class, genuinely adored her teacher and learned so much. I don't know how they do it but those teachers are awesome, she came home with so many new tricks and knowledge. Every night when I asked her what her favorite part of the day was, almost without doubt she would respond with "school". If I asked what part, she would say "All of it!" It was a great first year and experience, and the fact she loved it so much made me feel good about her being there. Still sad about how she is growing out of the cute little toddler stage, but it's fun to see her succeed and thrive in a real life environment.
She had her end of kindergarten performance and awards assembly the last week of school which she practiced for every day. I got teary eyed watching that sweet girl of mine sing about moving past kindergarten and I still feel a little emotional thinking of it. She also got to have a special speaking part (was 1/4 in her class that got to do that) and I found it funny her part was "R is for remembering everything we learned," because remember how I said she struggled with her r sound. But she practiced and practiced and got pretty darn good at saying it perfectly. And then the actual assembly came and she delivered her part but the microphone wasn't really working so we couldn't hear her at all. But she stood and said it proudly and with confidence and my heart was bursting for her.

She received 2 academic awards for being in the top of her class for reading and hitting all the core standards for kindergarten. And later that day she got a special bag and book for reading the most books at home with us. We read over 400 books together this year. Nana and Boppie came to watch her sing and brought her this cute balloon and she was ecstatic over it!
 Peyton and her BFF Gracie
 And this is a fun group of kids she also goes to church with. And of course the little siblings who are always around with them too and have their own little group going.
Yes, I'm a little depressed over the fact she is growing up, but really she is finding success and pride within herself and isn't that really the whole purpose of being here on this earth and it is actually fun to watch her grow up. I love this sweet girl of mine and am grateful she is healthy, happy, smart, kind, and beautiful inside and out.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Memorial Day '16: The Long Search for a Donut

We had to change our plans last minute (due to illness and precaution for baby boy), and because (like rookie parents) we had already told the kids of our fun plans with cousins, I felt a lot of pressure to make our new plans equal to if not more fun than what we had planned. I think it was a pretty fun day... and I think the kids would agree.

We started the day with Bravo Burger bacon breakfast burritos, which are one of our favorites and some errands. Weirdly enough I love errands, truly I do.
 After that we headed to the Tyler mall for glo-mini golf. It was perfect for my kids ages. It wasn't really mini golf in the traditional sense, but they loved it and it was quite a novelty place to go. I wouldn't go for just adults though.
 Jovie even got a whole in one!!!
 After mini golfing we headed home and had popcorn and watched The Jungle Book and relaxed for a while. And ended the day with a 45 min drive around town looking for a donut shop that was open. 4th one is a charm!