Saturday, November 14, 2009


I very often feel like I am not creative or talented enough, but I know with God's help all things are possible. I'm sure most of you have already seen this, but in case you haven't, you really should watch it. I love the message it sends and could watch it over and over again!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Yet another Halloween Post

We had a very eventful Halloween this year. We had a lot of fun with the kids and are happy that they are at the age where they can actually enjoy what's going on. We kicked off the Halloween season by going to a nearby pumpkin patch. They had a petting zoo and hay ride and a few other fun things. Carter was very sad that he had to go to school and miss out.

I decided to do our first Hatch Halloween Party. I sent Party invitations to the boys a week in advance to get them excited and we spent all week making Halloween decorations for them to put up for the party. The day of the party we all dressed up as a family and ate mummy dogs (pictured above) for dinner and carmeled apples for dessert. We also read Halloween books and watched a Halloween movie. It was a lot of fun and I hope to carry on the tradition year after year.

The above picture is part of our decorations for the party.

We also went trick-or-treating at a nearby shopping center, where they did a costume contest. This is Carter and Parker parading their costumes.

This is Tristan accepting the first place prize in the costume contest. He got us a $10 gift certificate to Yogurtland. Whoo hoo!

I told myself I was going to try and be creative this year and make the boys' costumes myself. After many hours of inexperienced sewing and a lot of help from my wonderful husband, Carter and Parker had some pretty good looking Jedi knight costumes!

I didn't have enough time to make Tristan a costume, maybe next year. Plus, I think this costume is so cute I couldn't pass up the opportunity to use it again.

We also did a few other things this Halloween, including a ward trunk-or-treat and trick-or-treating at a Retirement home. Needless to say, after we took our costumes off on Halloween night we were ready for Halloween to be over, but we had a great time and made a lot of fun memories with our kids.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Life is full of firsts, and with children every new experience is fun and exciting. Today Carter had his first day of kindergarten! He was so excited. His teacher sent him some magic confetti in the mail with instructions to put under his pillow the night before his first day to help him sleep soundly (but I think it actually had the opposite affect). When he woke up I was shocked at how quickly he was dressed and ready to get out the door. I think it must have been some kind of record! I thought he looked so handsome for his first day of school, but then I am a little biased.

It wasn't until Carter lined up with all the other kindergartners in his class that I realized Carter is kind of short! All I can hope is that in the end the tall genes that we know are in there somewhere will win out over the short ones. :)

Carter has never been a super chatty kid, and today was no different. When I picked him up and asked him how his day was all I got out of him was one word answers. After a lot of probing I finally learned that he went across the monkey bars all on his own and had a friend push him on the swing.

I can't believe he is in school now. Not having him around all the time will take a lot of getting used to both for me and for Parker, who kept saying, "Mommy, I miss Carter."

We also had another first recently in our family. Tristan had his first birthday last month!

He was so cute trying to get a hold of his cake the whole time we sang "Happy Birthday" to him and we so rudely kept it just out of his reach.

He absolutely LOVED his cake and dove right in the second he could get his hands on it and ate just about every crumb!

This past year has gone by so quick I can hardly believe it. We love that cute boy!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Fun With Photomacrography

The other day I took the kids out in the Verano Garden's to search for bugs and take some fun pictures. They didn't all turn out perfectly but they are still fun to look at. I figured I would post a few here for fun
Note: photomacrography is just a fancy word for macro photography or close-up photography which usually tries to get an object to appear life-size or larger on a 4" x 6" print with no cropping or digital zoom.
All the pictures seen below are straight out of the camera with no digital cropping or enhancement.
Here is a picture of a Ladybug Carter and Parker found, I love these bugs.

Carter picked up an ant and wanted me to take a picture of it crawling around on his arm. The ant was very fast and between the ant moving, carter moving his arm around, and my limited stability, I couldn't zoom in very far to take the picture. Carter really likes to look at it though.

I had to wait a while for this Dragon fly to land but I got a few good closeups

This was a big nasty bug we spotted eating someones food in the garden. This is actually a big melon looking thing and there were seriously 10 or more bugs like this guy along with tons of flies, fruit flies and some other weird bugs going to town on it.

The boys spotted several butterfly's floating around but it was hard to get in close enough to take an actual picture. This one kept flying away but if I waited patiently it kept coming back to land on other flowers around me so I finally got a good picture.

I noticed a swarm of bee's pollenating the flowers so I trudged out in the middle of the flower patch and had a lot of fun trying to get these pictures while trying not to get stung.

After we were finished we sat around on the grass looking at the pictures then I decided to get a picture of Parker's eye. I think it is pretty cool how well you can see the muscles around his Iris. If you look closely you can see me in the reflection holding my camera up to his eye.
(click on the picture for a closer look)

Check out the eyeballs on this bad-boy. It looks like a brown widow to me but I couldn't get a closeup of it's belly to be sure. (click on the picture to get a better close-up)

All these shots were taken with an 18-55 canon lens mounted backwards to the body using a reversing ring on a Canon Rebel XT camera body. It was bright enough outside I didn't really need a flash but it came in handy on a few of the shots when you want a really fast shutter speed. The depth of field is limited because with the lens mounted on backwards I lose all control over the aperture settings but most of them came out ok. It would be a lot of fun to get a dedicated macro lens (hint, hint) but for now this is good enough for me to tinker and play with.

Thanks for looking, I hope you liked them!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Three Reasons Why I Love My Husband

There are so many quirky things I love about Andrew, I thought I would share some of them.

#1. He is really handy.

Our apartments complex is famous for having valuable stuff left near the dumpster by people who are moving out. Although there are great things to be found, I feel we have had our fair share of dumpster treasures and it is someone else's turn to benefit from them (in other words, I am tired of bringing home more junk to fill our already small apartment). The other day Andrew comes walking home with his arms full of wood and a big smile on his face. He was obviously thrilled with the discovery, but I ,on the other hand, was not so thrilled. He reassured me that I would be happy with it when he was done, so I trusted him. That day he went to work and 2 days later I had a handy can rotator!

He got on the computer and designed it and built it in 2 days! I was so impressed! Now I only wish I had a bigger pantry so he could build me more.

#2. He is always thinking!

A couple of weeks ago Andrew decided to try putting our camera lens on backwards to take some pictures, and here is the result:

this one is of a spider that was sitting on our window sill.

And this is the button on my scripture case.

It is so funny to watch him taking pictures of all these obscure things while trying to hold the lens backwards on the camera. The other day I was outside our front door playing with the kids and he comes walking out with his camera and asks if he could take a picture of my cheek. As his camera was millimeters away from my face I thought, "I wonder if anyone is watching us from their window right now?" I can only imagine what they would think if they saw us. Oh well. The cheek pictures actually turned out pretty good, but unfortunately they got erased so I can't post them.

#3. He always makes me smile.

You all know the workout program infomercials where they have the before and after pictures of people that go from "drab" to "fab!"

This is one example, but not a very good one. For the after picture imagine this guy on a beach with a spray on tan.

One night Andrew and I were looking at some of those super cheesy pictures. Andrew thought they were so fake and just a result of the direction of lighting and exposure that he was going to take some before and after pictures just to prove how fake they really were. So he set up the tripod and took some before pictures with his gut hanging out and a melancholy look on his face. Then he went and worked out and took after pictures. The two pictures were only taken 30 minutes apart and I was amazed at the difference! All he needed was a nice tan and a beach background and he would be all set.

Andrew was really embarrassed about me posting these pictures, but I talked him into it anyway. For documentation purposes :)

This is the "before" picture

This is the "after" picture
Big difference, huh? I especially like the farmer's tan!
Andrew is always doing things to prove his theories, but this one was probably my favorite!

Well, those are a few, but not all, of the reasons that I love Andrew!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Carter turns 5!

This is for the friends and family that weren't able to be there to sing Happy Birthday to Carter.

And I apologize in advance if watching this video makes you dizzy, I didn't do a very good job of filming it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Day has Arrived

When moving to California we didn't really like our apartment so we tried every thing we could think of to try get out of it and nothing we tried worked. Little did we know it was actually a blessing in disguise, because if we had moved to a different apartment we wouldn't of been able to have the Smith's as neighbor's. We have been lucky enough to get the greatest neighbors anyone could ask for. The Smith's have become like family to us and we have really come to love them. Our kids have also become great friends with their kids. In fact, Carter whole heartedly believes he is going to marry their daughter someday, and I would have absolutely no objections there! One thing we also really appreciated was their willingness to babysit our boys, even when it was last minute. It's not easy to find a good babysitter when you have three rambunctious boys, so we were very grateful to them for that. They have done so much for us and have made the past three years here great.

But alas, all good things must come to an end. The day I have been hoping would never come is here. The day the Smith's moved away. They have completed their time here and are now moving on to bigger and better things. Carl has graduated with his M.D. and is going off to practice his hard earned skills in New Mexico. I knew I was going to be sad when this day came around but I surprised myself by crying..........a lot.

This is them pulling out of the Verano parking lot for the last time :(

Here are a few pictures at Carl's recent Graduation from Medical School, Congratulations Carl!

I was so bummed to see that Amber was cut out of the picture taken of all of us together, but what do you do.

We will miss you guys a ton! Thanks for being such great neighbors!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

On the Move

Our cute little man is now crawling. I really can't believe how fast time has gone by. Him and his brothers are growing so fast that I feel like if I blink I might miss something.

This is a picture of his first time standing himself up against something. You could tell he was so proud of himself.
Next step: Walking!!!!! What am I going to do with three mobile boys????
Any advice?


When asked in preschool what Carter's favorite thing to do at home was he replied, "play in my school books." He loves them and will work quietly in his books for hours. He impresses me every day with how much he is learning.

This is Parker's favorite book ever! It is one of the very few books that he will not only ask for but actually sit and listen to for any extended period of time. We found it at Costco and it is a called "Disney Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Tales." It's the traditional nursery rhymes and fairy tales but with a Disney twist. I recommend it to anyone and everyone.


On a normal day our boys like to pretend to be monsters, bad guys, transformers or pirates. On the day of the tour of a near by fire station they came home pretending to be firemen saving peoples lives. I was so happy to see them take a break from the fighting and pillaging :)

Thanks for arranging the tour Wendy. The boys loved, loved, loved it!