Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Shanna and Haley are Mobile, Really.

A couple of months ago as I was leaving my friend's house, I noticed a little 12" girl bike in her trash.  I asked if I could have it (and a folding chair).  Of course she didn't care and after Lee pumped up the tires and our neighbor Tony gave us a pedal, Haley was ready to go.  Tony coached her for about 10 minutes and she was riding a bike.  And she never had training wheels mind you.  I wasn't surprised as she is a little too good on a scooter.  Well, the sibling rivalry kicked in and now, somewhat surprising to me, Shanna is riding a bike sans training wheels too!  Of course that caused a slight problem: sharing a bike.  Really it was also a bonus too--only ONE girl to watch on a bike, not two.

Today Lee has the day off because there have been 100 fatality free days.  Thanks Army!  This morning I got up a little early and met my friend Heather for my first CrossFit work out.  Yes, my legs are slightly wobbly, but I made it home in one piece (I rode my bike to and from).  One the way home I stopped at the thrift store. My neighbor friend mentioned that she recently got a bike there for $7.  Lucky me, there were TWO 12" girl bikes for $2 each!  I had Lee pick them up and he just bought both of them.  If needs be he can use the other for parts (great idea--I never thought of that!).

Now I have to be on double look-out!
June 28 2011 SHanna and Haley

June 28 2011 Shanna and Haley (2)

A few friends were over this afternoon and had a little dance party.
June 28 2011 Ireland Priddis, Gavin Walgate

June 28 2011 Arizona and Ireland Priddis, Gavin Walgate

I just have to brag about Lee.  While I was gone this morning, he: got the kids breakfast (oatmeal), made sure they were dressed, had them clean the play room, the girls cleaned their room, mopped the floor, played outside with the kids, read his scriptures, and read with the boys.  WOW!  And I got home about 11am.  I don't need to take time management classes, I just need to ask my husband his amazing secrets to productiveness! Then I was nice and let him take the girls, pick up the bikes at the thrift store (that was the fun part) and bring them to get their immunizations.  They were all smiles when they got home as Lee bought them Airheads at the PX.  (I love Airheads!)  He also got the old Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie on VHS.  I think we'll watch that for the upcoming family movie night.

Last night Lee and I watched Little Dorrit.  SO GOOD!  I wish we could have finished it in just one night, but it's really long; it's a TV miniseries on DVD.  But I like really long movies! Lee has a four-day weekend this weekend for the 4th, which is great too.  I am quite spoiled!

Except for the gnats, we are having a lovely summer.  (Though I feel very unproductive!)  Hope you are enjoying your summer too!

Monday, June 27, 2011


We've had a few events go on here the last week. Aside from babysitting, we had a family party one night as a reward and Lee went to Joplin over the weekend.

Since we have a new camera, the "old" digital one is now the kid camera I guess.  We don't mind (and haven't minded for awhile now) if they walk around and take pictures with it. It's always interesting to see what pictures they've snapped.

Here is one of Cal pulling a dance move.  Not sure to whom the credit goes to for the photographer...
June 10 Cal

And I am sure Cal took this one, as this is his new police car that he bought with his birthday money.
June 10 2011 Police Car

And a view of the street. 
June 10 2011 Veiw from front window

Elden lounging in a crate. The luxuries we indulge our children in!
June 21 2011 Elden

About the family party.  Tuesday night Lee went to help some people move into their house.  I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted the kids asleep on time!  (It's been awhile sadly!)  If everyone was asleep by 8pm, or pretended to be asleep, the reward would be a family party the following evening with lots of goodies and a movie.  Well, it worked!  Okay, there was a slight fudge in the criteria.  Clark I guess never fell asleep and he came and told us so about 1 1/2 or 2 hours later.  I thought about not doing the party, but Lee said that he followed the initial criteria and a party we had.

I tried out a new recipe for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Very yummy!  The dough was oh so good too!  Here is the link from Your Cup of Cake: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
June 22 2011

After the movie we went outside for a little bit. The kids caught lightening bugs and we played frisbee.  It was a very fun evening.
June 22 2011 Clark fireflies

June 22 2011 Cal

By the way, Shanna and Haley had their well child check-ups last week.  And conveniently for me they decided to be sick in conjunction with their appointments.  Two for One!  What is funny is that they weigh the same, but here are the stats.  (Sorry, stats get old, but here you go anyway...and I think I remembered them right.)  Shanna Height: 50%, Weight: 50%.  Haley Height: 80%, Weight: 30%.  Haley is an inch taller than Shanna.  I think it's fun that they "have something on each other".  Shanna is older, Haley is taller.  A nice balance.
June 22 2011 Shanna Haley Clark Cal fireflies

Last week I noticed Elden wasn't walking around and such. I found him like this in the play room.  You need lots of rest when you play, play, play!
June 22 2011 Elden sleeping

Our friends have a battery operated motorcycle. Well, it looks like one.  Clark has ridden it a few times and it's so fun.  I would actually love to buy one someday.  That and a Roomba.
June 24 2011 Clark

Cal is doing great on his bike!
June 24 2011 Cal

I took a few pictures of the guys from the St. Robert Ward before they headed out to Joplin to help with the clean-up. My church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is organizing groups of men to come out every weekend (Saturday and Sunday) to help with the clean-up efforts in Joplin, Missouri. 
June 24 2011 St. Robert Ward Joplin Clean-up (2)

June 24 2011 St. Robert Ward Joplin Clean-up

June 24 2011 St. Robert Ward Joplin Clean-up (3)

Lee and his friend Sam, heading out!
June 24 2011 St. Robert Ward Joplin Clean-up (4)

Lee took the "kid" camera to Joplin.  He had a great time and enjoyed lots of hard work.  They arrived Friday night and set up camp.  Saturday and Sunday he and several others helped with work orders that had been submitted.  Lee told me that the destruction was a mile wide, and six miles long! It was disheartening for him to look out in certain areas and see only the destruction from the tornado path.

Lee told me that the actual Home Depot building was ruined...this is a tent.

The volunteers from our church wore shirts that read "Mormon Helping Hands".
June 26 2011 St. Robert Ward (2)

June 26 2011 (2)

June 26 2011 (3)

Lee told me that with this house you can see that the wind slid the house off of the foundation.
June 26 2011 (4)

While Lee was in Joplin we kept busy going to a park, a birthday party, grocery shopping, the dentist, Walmart, sprinkler park, the library and of course church.  Colten saved me at church and helped with Elden.  Thanks Colten!  Colten just received his mission call and he is also going to the California, Los Angeles Mission, Spanish speaking (same one I went to--I spoke English though)!  I am so excited for him.  I love that two young men from our congregation will be in the California, Los Angeles Mission.   Now we just need a young woman from our ward to go to the Los Angeles Temple Visitors' Center!

There are more pictures of Joplin, but I think Lee might update his blog and do a post about it on there.

Monday, June 20, 2011


We've been pretty busy this week. Lee with business stuff and me with babysitting. I also participated in our Ward's visiting teaching conference on Saturday. My president did a really good job organizing the whole thing. She is amazing!

Lee is still busy with his business plans and really, he always will be.  I guess we are looking forward to the business being up and running, but we need to enjoy the whole journey, right? Lee purchased a couple of things recently for the business, which is exciting. Lately we've been looking into advertising, getting a phone number, getting in the phone book, checking out options for business signs, and looking into rental houses. Plus lots of other little details....like where to buy prescription pads, alcohol wipes and other eye paraphernalia; what kind of supplies are still at the current office; and calling around asking what other doctors charge for eye exams and contact lens exams. It has been interesting starting this business.  I definitely look at businesses, small ones particularly, in a different way.  I have a great respect for small businesses that have taken their ideas and hard work and have made a successful business for themselves and for their employees.

The other day I also picked up Lee's Virginia license. We had his Nevada license framed to match his diploma from SCO.  His Virginia license is bigger than the Nevada one, but the local frame shop, Micheal's Frames and Things, did a great job re-cutting the matting and reformatting it all.

Here is our slit lamp...nice, huh!

We fed the missionaries Tuesday evening.  Elder Moxon is leaving our area. He has been here for 7 1/2 months. He has a special assignment to go to Joplin as a service missionary.  I am not sure when he is going to go there, but how neat! We always have great Elders in this ward.  And sorry Elder, my kids kept wanting to jump on you and hug you!
June 14 2011 Ruth, lee, Clark Shanna Haley Elden, Elder Moxon

One night we had cinnamon rolls for a bedtime snack.
June 15 2011 Elden

June 15 2011 Elden (2)

June 15 2011 Cal

June 15 2011 Clark

June 15 2011 Shanna Haley

The kids started an art project one morning.
June 17 2011 Cal and Clark

June 17 2011 Cal Clark Shanna Haley

Those are a few of our happenings.  Another busy week is ahead!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Military Museum

Yesterday we went to the Military Museum.  (Sorry, not sure of the official name.)  We visited two of the sections.  It's a fun place to visit and also somewhat sad.  BUT it is also inspiring how many great men and women have fought and continue to fight for our freedom.  We are ever grateful.

June 11 2011 Army museum Fort Leonard Wood Shanna Elden

Like the boots?  I need to hide the winter clothing.....
June 11 2011 Army museum Fort Leonard Wood Shanna Clark Haley Cal

Like the shirt Kent?  My brother-in-law won a trip to Nicaragua and Lee and I would LOVE to tag along with him, but as far as I can tell, we'll be spending our money on eye drops and frames in the near future.  Kent, just promise us that you'll visit Ometepe, Granada--and the islands around Granada, tour some volcanoes, eat some bright purple ice cream, ride the moto taxi's and bring us back a few bags of Cacao and Zuko. Just send us a bill. Here are the prior posts of my travel log about Nicaragua, and Lee's post on Nicaragua.  Ahh...Nicaragua.  I want to go there again!
June 11 2011 Army museum Fort Leonard Wood Cal

June 11 2011 Army museum Fort Leonard Wood Clark

We would have taken more pictures but the battery was exhausted. We will be going again, so I can take oodles of pictures on the next trip. I am so grateful to live in the USA!

Cal turns 6!

Cal recently turned 6 on Thursday and it seems he had a great day.  While discussing presents with Clark and what he was going to give him (I was suggesting an old toy) my next idea was for Clark to empty the dishwasher for Cal.  Clark and Cal and I take turns unloading the dishwasher and Cal's turn fell on Wednesday.  Tuesday night I reminded Clark about the surprise and Clark made a card that night to put in the dishwasher.  The next morning Clark got up early (even before I was awake), went downstairs and unloaded the dishwasher.  When he came to tell me that he had done it, he sounded very excited.  He thoroughly enjoyed telling Cal: "Go unload the dishwasher." 

I had to snap some pictures of the early birthday present.  Cal looks like he just woke up!
June 8 2011 Cal prebirthday

Clark's card to Cal
June 8 2011 Cal prebday present from Clark--opening the dishwasher

June 8 2011 Clark and Cal

That night I met up with some friends to say goodbye to our mutual friend Christine.  I am going to miss you Christine!  I was glad to get some pictures of a few of my favorite people here before I move!
June 8 2011 Christine Phillips goodbye, Alyssa Tribe, Christina Phillips, Emi Stapler, Ruth

Another shot...what beautiful friends!
June 8 2011 Christine Phillips going away party, El Jimador, St. Robert MO, Alyssa Tribe, Kori Lopez, Christine Phillips, Kristi Sexton, Ruth

Cal's cake all complete.  We actually finished the cake before midnight! But then I stayed up insanely late watching a movie.... So, Cal wanted a building with Lego guys coming out of the windows.  This is what we came up with....not the most creative thing ever.  It's hard to go with an "idea". 
June 8 2011 Cal's bday cake, a lego building

And sorry, no Lego guys coming out of the windows, but Cal LOVED the cake!
June 8 2011 Cal's bday (2)

Happy Birthday Cal! 
June 9 2011 Cal's bday

We did do a couple of fun things for his birthday.  For lunch the kids met dad at a park and later we went swimming.  Before swimming I took all of them in the library only to find out I had forgotten to bring back a DVD.  Thus, I couldn't check anything out or use the computer to try and get some coupons.  Oh well.

Party time!
June 9 2011 Cal's bday Lee clark

June 9 2011 Cal's bday (3)

June 9 2011 Cal's bday Clark

Happy, happy birthday Cal!  We love having you in our family and you are a wonderful boy!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

St. Louis

The first Saturday in June we had a St. Louis day.  First Lee and I enjoyed going to the temple-we swapped kids.  I think that will be one of the last times we go to the St. Louis Temple in the near future.  Next month we will be in Nauvoo and the month after that we will be the in the Washington, D.C. temple district.

Anyway....so next we went to the St. Louis Zoo.  We haven't been yet this year and Cal wanted to go for his birthday.  We were a few days early, but we are all about combining trips.  We had a fun time there.  Thanks Megan for telling us about the turtle park.  That is where we park our van and it's great!
June 4 2011 Turtle Park, St. Louis, MO Haley and Cal

We saw the insect "display" for the first time.
June 4 2011 St. Louis Zoo Haley Clark Cal Shanna Elden

June 4 2011 St. Louis Zoo Haley

June 4 2011 St. Louis Zoo Lee

We saw the penguins too for the first time at this zoo.
June 4 2011 St. Louis Zoo Cal

It was EXTREMELY smelly at the penguin area.  Haley wanted a tissue to cover her nose.  Next best thing: a wet wipe.
June 4 2011 St. Louis Zoo Haley (2)

A must stop for Cal: prairie dogs.
June 4 2011 St. Louis Zoo

June 4 2011 St. Louis Zoo Elden

June 4 2011 St. Louis Zoo Cal Haley Shanna

Our next destination: the St. Louis Arch.  We planned on going earlier this year when tourists are few, but with traveling and whatnot, it never happened.  Lee took Clark and Cal with him on the ride that goes in the Arch.  It sounded pretty fun!  Someday we will all go...
June 4 2011 St. Louis Arch Lee Clark Cal Shanna

Right before you get on your "pod" there is a type of entertainment/museum-ish area.
June 4 2011 St. Louis Arch Clark Cal

While the guys were taking in amazing views, the girls (and Elden) and I went to Levee's Mercantile in the Arch Museum and bought some candy.  Salt water taffy $0.07 each.  Hard candy sticks $0.50 each.  For a tourist attraction I LOVED the prices on the sweets! And you should ALL be impressed that I actually bought something at a tourist-y place!  I know you are Lois!
June 4 2011 St. Louis Arch (9)

St. Louis is such a fun city and it would have been fun to explore it more...maybe someday when we aren't lugging around a double stroller, an umbrella stroller, and have a tight budget.  As of late the temple trips alone have been what we've needed.