Thursday, March 19, 2015

Marching on

I've recently joined instagram (@gaylenewils) and so half of these pictures are repeats for those of you who follow me there. But I want to keep them on my blog anyway, and also share them with some of my family and friends who aren't in instagram.

March is half over, so here's what's been up the last few weeks:
 My parents sent me this fabulous card for my birthday. I don't know what it says, but I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to boil the card and it will magically turn into birthday noodles. It totally worked, too! ;)
 Since we've had a spring like winter, I was afraid March would be horribly cold and snowy. Fortunately (unfortunately for the water supply) it's been a mile March, too. We got a crazy blizzard that lasted a few hours, then promptly melted.
 Josh was so excited that it finally snowed, and then sad it melted before he had a chance to play in it.
 Ashley got an art kit for her birthday, and this was the first thing she drew/painted. Pretty good for her first time!
 Ethan has been working on his own language for a while. It's pretty complicated and I'm afraid we'll never understand each other again.
 Sweet feet. I love that she loves learning the piano on her own. It's nice hearing someone besides me play!
 Parent Conference at the middle school is always a piece of cake with this guy. Every teacher says, "He's a practically perfect student. I've got nothing else to say about him." I kind of wonder sometimes if teachers like having parents of practically perfect students come just to have a break from talking to other students' parents about their kids' problems, or if they wish I'd stay home and not waste their precious minutes because they have nothing to say to me? I'm always done in about 20 minutes.
 Ethan and I went to the temple, and we got there right in time. If we'd been there even two minutes later we would have had a several-hour wait because an entire school seminary showed up all at once. It was a stunningly beautiful day, and even better because of going to the temple!
 Hanging out at Ashley's soccer games.
She was sad indoor soccer ended. I was too, it was so low key and they didn't have a ton of practices during the busy school week, just a twenty minute practice before each game on the weekends. We'll definitely sign her up again next winter! (we'll see about spring/fall teams -- we've been there/done that and I don't really enjoy the unpredictable-ness of weather and crazy schedules)
 I found the room I want to copy at Ikea. I love everything about it! I'm a very tan/black/white kind of person.
 We also kicked back and relaxed at Ikea's beach scene. Totally as good as the real thing, right?
Oh and Josh bought this dog at Ikea with his early birthday money, and is madly in love with it.
 On the way home from Ikea, we stopped to take a picture in front of the Mystery Machine. Josh had noticed it on the way there, so he shouted at me to stop on the way home.
 Chris went to his annual conference in Miami and we were all bummed we couldn't go visit Florida with him. So he brought us home something just as great as going there (the same way Ikea was just like visiting the beach...)
 We've been passing around colds for a few weeks at our house, and when Josh had it, he snuggled with his dog and told me that it's been proven that dogs can make sick people feel better. I guess it worked.
 Ashley and Ethan made an epic hopscotch across the entire driveway (our driveway is pretty big). Occasionally we'd catch kids on their way to or from school stop and jump around for a minute.
 I'm starting over with one candle. I don't want to burn the house down.
 Ethan loves getting his braces tightened and being in pain for a while. Totally. As much as going to Ikea is like going to a beach.
 As I said, Josh is madly in love. I'm pretty sure the dog loves him just as much.
 So you know those snowy trees I showed earlier in this super long post? This is what the trees look like now. I LOVE SPRING! See how excited I am?
 So Josh often wears mismatching socks, but these ones made me smile. It's like a statement. I'm not sure what it's saying, but it makes me ponder the meaning of life for sure.
 Aaaand, the same day as the non-matching socks, Josh decided to start tucking things in again. This time even his jacket made the tucked-in cut. He went through a tucking-in phase back in The Swamp, and he had a friend tell him he'll never get a girlfriend if he keeps tucking in his shirts like that. Josh didn't seem to care much. Obviously he still doesn't care about girlfriends.
 The other night we babysat Chris's brother's kids, and Chris even got to change a poopy diaper. I walked in just as he was trying to wipe it and he looked up and said, "How did we ever do this every day?"
 While we babysat, I noticed Josh had a "keep out" sign on his door. It totally worked. Nobody wanted to be that bored. Especially the little guys who can't read.
Ashley's class picked her drawing to represent their class on the art wall at school. I was amazed as I watched her finish it at home, her attention to detail is something she did NOT get from me.
Her teacher also said some pretty amazing things about her at parent conference, but I think those are things she should write in her own journal for herself. :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

good old ben

Last week Josh had his school Wax Museum, and he chose to be Ben Franklin.
 He had to read a few books about Ben (they were short), and then we had to come up with a costume and poster. He wrote a speech and delivered it when people pushed his button.
Here Ben is, chatting away with Teddy Roosevelt and Sacajawea. He has friends in high places.
If you zoom in you can enjoy all the wonderful facts we learned about Ben. He feels like family. And I guess he is a great great great cousin, like twice removed, or something like that on Chris's side. When people asked for Josh's fun fact he told them Ben is his cousin.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Vday in The Reef

I forgot to post about our trip over valentines day. Several years ago we went to the cabin for valentines day and got snowed in. This time Capitol Reef was chilly but beautiful. Unfortunately, once again, they are all cell pics. But still great memories :)

 I saw this crazy rainbow in the sky on our drive (and I'm lucky I didn't drop my phone out the window!). You could only see it with sun glasses on, but I saw them several times over the weekend and I couldn't figure out what it was until my geologist brother-in-law told me it is ice crystals in the cloud that reflect the light and make the rain bow (or something like that). Very cool!
We saw a whole bunch of deer walking past the cabin. I've never seen so many, and I'm not sure how many there were but it seemed like they kept coming and coming and coming, walking by in a single file line. So beautiful.
The skies were incredible (I've discovered I have a recent fascination with skies. I can't stop taking pictures of them.) the entire weekend.  
 Josh helped Ethan fix his house. Josh is wearing a Safety Belt made out of stools. Safety first!
 We went on a hike at Cottonwood Wash. It was really bouldery toward the end, but it was a great hike because there were lots of unique parts to it. First we hiked through flat sand, then it became bumpy rocks, then huge boulders inside a Narrow.
 Some parts were kind of scary, like this pretty steep drop off we had to walk over.
 Climbing over giant boulders. The only scary part was hoping the boulders would move (or have more drop from above onto your head.)
This is where most of us stopped. Chris and his dad and Ethan decided to go on a bit further, but the rest of us were done climbing over scary boulders.
So much texture in the desert. I love it!