Friday, September 24, 2010

School picture day -- a sneak peek!

So Jonah is always looking for excuses to wear 'church clothes' to school ... so he can "look handsome for Madeline". No joke. I really should find out who this Madeline girl is! But anyway, we decided that picture day was an appropriate day to dress up. For school. Sheesh. We're gonna be in trouble come those teenage years, I have no doubt.

But he is one handsome kid, if I do say so myself! :)

STORY: Somehow, all but one pair of dress pants has managed to disappear from his dresser drawers. Jonah had originally chosen a different shirt & tie that he wanted to wear that day. Well, they didn't match his black dress pants so I convinced him to wear this outfit here. And it took some convincing, I can tell you that. Anyhow, once dressed, I was telling him how cool & handsome he looked. "Like a million bucks!" I must've said more than once. Well after realizing that he had been outwitted into wearing something other than his first choice, he proclaimed, "I look like zero bucks in these clothes!" LOL!! Hilarious child of mine!! So I assured him that no, he looks like no less than a million bucks. And off he went, smiling into the school that morning.


Flor, Rebecca, Kim & me .. at a "Time Out For Women"!
So four of us from the ward traveled to Hartford, CT for a Time Out! For those of you who aren't familiar with this event, you are missing out!! Check their web site ... ... you will not be disappointed. This was a wonderful day-and-a-half of inspirational speakers, amazingly talented musicians/vocalists, and hilarious entertainment. Time well spent!

Alli, Hilary Weeks, & my friend Rebecca! :)
I am a huge fan of Hilary Weeks, so it was awesome to watch her perform in person & to meet her. She has a beautiful singing voice & is a whiz at the piano... often combining the two. She writes her own songs & even puts the most hilarious, family-life oriented lyrics to popular tunes to perform on stage. She's witty, charming, inspiring & insanely talented. Time flies when she's on the stage. She's amazing.

Hilary Weeks at the piano. So great! Here's her web site...

Alli, Jenny Oaks Baker (violinist), & Rebecca.
This little beauty plays the violin like I have never seen. She is a master. I was quite unaware of her talent prior to Time Out For Women. But she has quite the resume & I quickly learned why others rave about her. She was beautiful to watch. Schooled at Julliard in NY and a member of the American Symphony Orchestra for 7 years. She doesn't do that full time anymore, after deciding to devote more time to her 4 children. But she is amazing. And a sweetheart! And she also has a website ...

Another year older, & wiser too!!

Jared's birthday. He asked for one thing. Cheesecake Factory cheesecake! So ... ta da!
One 45-minute drive (each way) to the closest Costco, and DONE.
My Boys! :)

Jonah decorated Jared's piece of cheesecake! Love it. The floral candles are an especially nice touch, don't you think? Those would be left over from my birthday this past summer. LOL.

Crop Circles

Can you see the words "JONAH" and "MERRIK" in the grass? Jared decided before he mowed the grass that he would write the boys' names in the grass w/ the mower. Pictures don't do it justice. The boys came running out half way thru. Jonah said, "Daddy! I see my name in there! What are you doing with those letter?" They were cracking up. It was fun.
The top photo was taken while standing on our hill in front of the house. This second one is from the upstairs bedroom window...

Merrik - Back to School!

All smiles on his 1st day back to preschool!!

I'm so glad that he loves to go. Especially considering that just days before he started back, he told me, in no uncertain terms, that he did not want to go to school. But I made up a little song about preschool that we sing at bed time. So cute. He asks me to sing it every day. (maybe that helped... started singing it a few days before school started)

This is one of his super hero poses. Halfhearted here, though, I would say. :)

An Apple a Day...

Fall must be here. Time to pick apples!!

Nothing like a human ladder! And ... the kid is still in a cast. Gotta give him some advantage, right? (And Jared looks thrilled.)
"Here, Mom! Put it in the bag."

For the life of me, I could not get that kid to stop making goofy faces for the photos! :)

And of course we cannot go to the orchard without time at the playground there.

How do kids not throw up on these?

Jonah's First day of School!

"First" grade - I cannot believe it! My little boy...

And so he heads out ~ cast & all!

Friday, September 3, 2010

And ... more family time!

Reunited!! It was a long, wonderful summer! And it's nice to be home, too.
(M must've eaten sour grapes or something. I don't know what's going on w/ the look on his face. And Jonah must just be super excited to be there.) :)
These pix were actually taken at my in-laws' place.

Merrik, Melody, Jonah & Will!

Returning from CA, Jared's brother was visiting from Utah. So the boys got lots more cousin time! We were still in CA on their first pass thru our neck of the woods. So they were kind enough to stop at my in-laws' place again before they flew back to Utah so we could all visit. THANKS guys!!

I love summer for the opportunity it gives you to reconnect with loved ones, near & far!!

The Cowden Men! Jared, John, Paul, Paul & Bill. (in order: Jared's bro, his uncle, his bro & his dad)

The Utah Cowdens, along w/ Uncle Paul & Aunt Maureen (in mid).

Can't have too much swing time! ... or too much food! :)

I love how family can get together after a year's passed (or more!) & visit as if no time has gone by at all. I love our family!

Bye-bye California! :(

WOW, there sure are a lot of buttons and stuff. And the pilots of JetBlue were kind enough to let M & J check out the cockpit. Good flyin' boys!

Silliness in Sacramento!

Alli & Christy - 25 years of friendship!
And just as goofy as we were way back when!

Our last day in CA, we flew home on a red-eye. Christy lives near the airport, so in the morning, Mom drove us down to Sac to meet Christy. We were able to spend the day w/ her & her children, & then later that evening she took us to the airport. THANK YOU Christy!!! Love ya!

Merrik & Everett got along just fine. "Blast 'em!"

And they have lots of cool toys. And dogs... even better.

Jonah & Aya Rose. Of course Jonah always hangs w/ the pretty girls! And the marriage arrangement has been set.

It was so nice to be able to have time for the kids to run around & get their energy out ... and then only have to drive 15 minutes to the airport. It made for a nice farewell. (if there had to be one)

The 3 Amigos!

Resting up for more fun!

Ft. Bragg coast.

Grandma & Grandpa's door will never be the same.

This was immediately following a triple-timeout where they each sat on a step - separated. They're bonded in their mischievousness!! :)

On our neighbor's swing.
Our last day there, we were invited to the neighbor's for root beer floats. SO nice, and so yummy. Contrary to the looks of this photo, they really did enjoy themselves there. Just remember that by this time, the 3 lil' cousins had spent 6 weeks together. :)

W.I.L.L.I.T.S. highlights!

Along the Willits Frontier Days faux storefront, we found a place fitting for these two rascals.

Cool gate at the entry to the rodeo/fair grounds.

Mom, the 3 boys & I went to a park in town. While there my mom took each of the boys - in turn - on their own adventure with her to a cool local store, where they were each allowed to pick a toy. And in the meantime, I kept the others busy at the park!
M choose a cool knight w/ horse (both in "battle" garb), J chose some spy gear (of course) and AJ choose a nanobug robot thing. All really cool things.
And THANK YOU Mom - that was really sweet of you to take them!

"Come on Jonah, let's go! Weeeeeee!" (cool slides)

Good Times - 50's Style!

A little snuggle during dinner... and some laughs, too...

Mom & Dad enjoying the atmosphere.

Downtown Ukiah - Mom & Dad treated us to this super fun restaurant, Be-Bops, obviously with a 50's theme. This was after bowling, so these pix are out of order, but it was a fun family day!
Whenever we bowl, M has the best poses!

The Gang's all here!
The bowling alley had this cool/cute dinosaur thing that Jonah could just set the ball on & then it would roll down the dino's back & down the lane. This was to help w/ his foot situation but of course, all the boys wanted to use it!

For the record, I WON!! I do believe this is a first, so I had to mention it. Usually the kids beat me. Seriously.