Sunday, August 5, 2012

summer swim team

My boys love it when I sign them up for swim team - honest they do - they just forget that every morning as it's time to go.  This summer has been hit and miss with practice though - since we seem to think that summer is for vacations :)  Even with the not so consistant workouts - both boys have improved tons this year.  In fact - Miles dropped 15 seconds in his 50 free - he went from 53 point something seconds sometime in late June to 38 point something seconds in the middle of July.  Here is his "famous" race.  Hopefully you can tell which one is him - he is in the middle of the pool, but I tried to center in on him.

Ethan is still my backstroker - but the video I took of that was not good - so here is a video of his 50 free as well - he also dropped time - 5 seconds.  I need to get their official times and update the blog with them.  Ethan is the one in lane 1 (closest to the camera)

Both of the boys were the youngest in their age groups this summer - so it will be fun to see how they do next summer (unless Miles earns his lifesaving merit badge before then - I told both boys that they had to do swim team until they got that merit badge, just didn't think they would be old enough for scouting for a long time - it is crazy how quick they are growing up)!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Horny Toad Heaven

My parent's neighbors are AWESOME!!!  They invited us all up to their cabin on Cedar Mountain a couple weeks ago.  It was kind of last minute so the only ones who could go besides my parents were Britt and her kids, Caleb, Courtnie and us.  We drove over on Thursday afternoon just in time for dinner - spaghetti (my favorite).  After dinner (between a few rain showers) Brother Miles taught the kids how to shoot a bow and arrow.  Miles had done it before and picked it back up pretty quick.
Abby even got to try!
And Ethan!
Grandpa even tried to help Paige (their arrow made it about 2 feet).
Then Britt decided to give it a try . . .
and got a bull's eye her first shot - she ended up getting in the circle every time and finished with 45 points (4 arrows).  So my competitive streak decided to give it a try myself - I did get a bulls eye - but only 40 points and was beat by my little sister - we both beat Courtnie though :)
We put the kids down for bed (some took longer than usual), and the adults played games all night.  OK - it wasn't all night, but for someone used to being in bed before 11 - it felt REALLY late.  The next morning we had a yummy breakfast and the kids took off exploring.  Piper has the cheesiest grin right now and is fun to take pictures of so she might monopolize the rest of the pictures this post.  Here she is with her cousin Shawni.
Another Piper/Shawni picture!
All the cousins that came (Devin and Victor - we need you next time, boys were seriously outnumbered).
Now - back to the title of the post - the cabin property was home to a crazy amount of horny toads (or as Abby called them "torny hoads").  When I was a kid - we loved to go up the mountain with Opa and Dad when they went after wood to catch horny toads.  Well - my kids have the same fascination with horny toads (oh and did you know that horny toads are not frogs, nor toads - they are lizards) and spent hours looking for them.  Piper was fearless - honestly the picture looks like she is grossed out by the toad, but it is really her trying to smile.
Paige however was not quite so sure of the little creature.
Piper again - I just love this smile.  She actually named her "pet" - Strawberry Cupcake (yes, we just rented a Strawberry Shortcake movie from the library, but she likes cupcakes better that shortcake evidently).
Brother Miles had also prepared a treasure hunt for the kids and the big kids loved learning how to use a compass.
Here are a bunch of the "treasure hunters".  Some are looking harder than others - or maybe Ethan is just being silly.
Ethan's looking paid off though - here he is digging the treasure chest out.
Most of the kids crowded around the treasure chest to get their prizes.
Not Abby - I had to make her go and get a "treasure" - she was a bit distracted searching for a friend for her horny toad.
Here are some of the group with their horny toads before we made them let them go. 
And yes, there were tears as we left the horny toads behind - lots and lots of tears.  Abby still talks about the fun trip and asks when we can go look for more horny toads (luckily the lizards in the backyard are a bit of a consolation - however they are lots faster then the horny toads).  Thanks so much Miles family for the fun memories!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

the fourth

My one big goal this summer was to blog about all of our fun adventures - I haven't done so well.  I am going to play catch-up on some of our adventures though.  We went up to Cedar for the 4th of July again - they don't have a parade down here - so it was a no brainer for the kids - we go where the candy (and cousins) are!  Abby and Katie are best friends during this parade (I will post more about the 24th parade later - they were not friends that day).
This is one of my all time favorite pictures of the twins.  Piper and her "cheesy" grin and Paige with candy in her mouth.  (I am pretty sure that Paige had candy in her mouth the entire parade)

 Ethan was a big help with the girls - he "helped" them get their candy.  That means he gave all the candy he collected to the little ones.
 This picture was taken during the parade - the girls had so much fun eating their candy that they missed quite a few floats throwing more.
Here are some cousin shots - all the Duncan grandkids were there except for Victor - but he joined us in Escalante for the 24th parade.  I was almost to comment on how well they all match, but then noticed Miles's hat - it seems he must always wear something green and yellow.  And yes - if you look close enough you can see that Paige's mouth is still full of candy.  Oh and you might also notice that Miles is soaked - another tradition - get as many kids as you can to spray you with their water guns from the floats.
It was a fun day - we celebrated Britt's birthday with family lunch and family dinner with water games in between.  I thought the fireworks were great too - however the rest of my family is looking forward to the day when my kids will sit quietly through the display.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

one hour later...

I have tons on my to-do list for summer.  Most of it are things I should have done a while ago, but haven't had the time to do.  The first on the list was to teach Abby how to ride her bike - her training wheels fell off a few months ago and she has been begging me since to help her ride without them.  So - the first day of summer we were at the church parking lot at 7 am ready to try.  I didn't take a camera with me because I knew from experience with the boys that it takes days (or weeks) for kids to really be able to ride their bike.   Well - Abby was maybe a bit older than her brothers (or maybe more cordinated :)???) - because an hour later she was flying around the parking lot all by herself.  She could even start and stop all by herself.  We took a camera with us this morning and went back to stage some pictures - she is pretty proud of herself!  Yay - one thing checked off the to-do list (actually two - Piper is finally potty-trained too)!
Paige and Piper love to ride bikes too!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


We were up in Salt Lake for another check-up for Paige last weekend - we got GREAT results - the tests (MRI and x-ray) all looked perfect and we can relax for another 3 months.  Paige loves the doctor and has been talking about going to see the "doctor's horsie" for the past couple weeks.  She loves the colorful horse in front of the hospital!

Paige cried this visit when they put the IV in her hand (can you tell by the big sad blue eyes?).  The nurse was excellent - but there is quite a bit of scar tissue in her veins and the nurse had to maneuver the needle to get it in.  She was still a trooper though and the hospital staff fell in love with her.  She ended up with quite a stash of goodies - her favorite being the nail polish - yes, there are days that her nails get painted at least 3 times.
She had already forgiven the nurses and was smiling by the time we got done taking pictures - she is one TOUGH kid!!!

Monday, February 20, 2012


We saw our first snow of the year this weekend - and we all enjoyed it.  Saturday the boys and I ran up to Brian Head for some snowboarding.  This is the second time this season that we have gone up for night skiing -we love their "poor and hungry" deal - it includes the lift pass (from 4 pm to 9 pm), board rental and pizza and a drink for only $25.  The boys are getting to be pretty good snowboarders - they are tons better than their mom and need Uncle Michael to come down again to give them more pointers (Michael - if you are reading this - what are you doing two weeks from now?)  Here are some of my favorite pictures of the trip.  In case you can't tell - Ethan is the one in the green/grey jacket.
Miles is in blue - but you might could recognize him better as the one in the Oregon Duck beanie.
Miles rode the lift by himself most of the time - I was a pretty nervous mom the first few times - but he did great!
Ethan rode with me!
We took a break to warm up with a piece of pizza. 
We all had a great time and even though it got pretty cold on the lift - I couldn't talk the boys into leaving until it closed at 9 pm.

The next morning we woke up to 6 inches of snow outside.  I LOVE SNOW!!!  And Sunday is my favorite day for it to snow - the only driving that we did was 2 blocks to church and back. 

Monday we went sledding - here are some pictures.  Here is Piper and her cheesy grin - with the cutest hat that I have ever seen - her cousin Victor gave her this hat for Christmas (I think his mom might have helped him a bit - thanks Elsa - you are super talented!). 
Paige was the dare devil.  She loved to go "super fast".  She liked riding with Ethan since they went faster together than she did alone.

Abby also had a blast!
Ethan and Miles liked the jumps.
And my favorite picture of the day - aren't they cute?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

28 minutes 15 seconds

Miles ran his first 5K today!!!  Pineview High sponsered a run as a fundraiser to help a cute little girl that has leukemia with medical bills - I signed both of us up.  I thought that by taking Miles with me it would give me an excuse to not run fast - but Miles pushed me the whole way.  He is a pretty tough kid - I was proud of him - we ran the whole way and he even had lots left at the end of the race to outsprint me!  His new goal is to run the "Dogtown" (Washington City) Half Marathon next year - I think he just wants the super cool t-shirt.  Either way though - it is fun to have a running buddy.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Talent Show

The boys' elementary school had a talent show a couple weeks ago.  They were both excited to work on pieces for it.  Miles chose to play an arrangement of "Secrets" by OneRepublic on the cello (he also rapped a song with a few of his classmates).  Ethan played a Sonatina by Benda on the piano.  I was able to get someone to cover a class for me so I could go and hear them - they both did great.  I just got a new camera and was excited to use it.  Turns out that it records video in high definition (which uses tons of memory).  I had recorded both Miles and Ethan's individual pieces, but realized as I started to record his rap number that the memory was filled up.  I knew that he would want that number the most so I deleted the cello solo.  By the time I did this the other number was almost done as well - so Miles wasn't real happy with me at the end of the show:(.  Anyway - we recorded his cello solo here at home - here it is.

Monday, January 9, 2012

She is 5!

January is a good time to set yet ANOTHER goal to keep my blog up to date - right?  Well - I am not promising to go back and fill in all I missed last year (although I really want too since this blog has turned into both my journal and the kids scrapbook), but I am going to keep it up to date this year. 
Miss Abby turned 5 last week - we celebrated a day early since I had to work on her birthday.   She had a great day and we got to have the birthday party at grandma's and grandpa's with Lainey, Katie and Shawni.  She wanted a polka dot cake - this is what we came up with.

 Abby got some GREAT presents this year - thanks everyone!  Her dad got her a Leappad, I got her a game to go with it, Miles, Ethan, Paige and Piper got her a journal, Grandma and Grandpa Duncan got her this dress and the Larson's gave her a super cute shirt with a matching scarf and headband.
Abby is so happy to be 5 - but a bit disappointed that she didn't get to start kindergarten on her birthday (she thought that since you went to kindergarten when you were five that you should start on your birthday - Miles had to break it to her that she had to wait until after summer to be in kindergarten).  She is now looking forward to being 6 - as we were walking out the door Sunday to go to church she commented that she couldn't wait to be 6 because then her shoes would fit :) 
Abby keeps us laughing here - we love her and are glad she had such a special day!