Sewing Cousin Christmas Dresses

Jan 07, 2018

Christy and her sister-in-laws on the Cook side of the family, decided to make matching dresses for all the girls for Christmas! We had so much fun we decided this needs to be a new tradition! We found a picture of a dress online that we mostly liked, and then decided to modify it and make it just how we wanted. (Miraculously we all know how to sew at least to some degree, and we could help each other out).

Ava is on the left, towering over the others. Mabel and Ruby are both 3 and are the best of friends. Excited hugs every time they see each other, and sometimes tears when it's time to leave. Rose and Vivian are the younger ones on the right and are so fun to watch!

Ava's First Piano Recital

Jan 07, 2018

A few months ago Ava began piano lessons from Christy's sister, via FaceTime (because she lives across the country). But unfortunately the connection wasn't very good so it was a bit of a struggle. So in the fall, Ava began lessons with a neighbor girl. We were lucky enough to obtain an old, beat-up piano from another neighbor, so she has a way to practice at home. This picture is from her first recital, which was at a local music store.

Ava loves to be in the spotlight, so she relished these few moments in front of a small crowd! She would much rather risk embarrassment than pass up an opportunity to be in the spotlight! (Which is pretty much the opposite of her mother, who was extremely shy as a child/teen!)

A Trip to Zion National Park

Jan 07, 2018

In the fall we took our girls to Zion National Park, which is about a 4 hour drive from home. It's a beautiful area with giant red rock "mountains" or maybe pillars is a better word. Monuments? Ant there are some creeks/rivers that flow through so the greenery is a stark contrast to the red. 

Our girls were good little hikers (we kept the hikes to under a mile and a half and brought lots of snacks). They wanted to collect rocks and sticks all along the way, but of course those aren't allowed to be taken out of the park so they couldn't bring them home. 

At the visitor's center, they were given a booklet to fill out-things they saw, presentations they attended and what they learned, that sort of thing. At they end we turned those in and they recieved a "Junior Ranger" badge, and the real ranger "swore them in" very official-like, and made them feel so important. It was pretty awesome. They loved that part the most!

Back to School!

Aug 24, 2017

Our oldest is back to school and excited for a new year and a new teacher! I take back-to-school pictures every year. It's only been a couple of days, but I forgot how much more I'm able to get done in a day with even just one kiddo in school! But I miss her when she's gone. I've been walking her to the bus stop every day even though it's just around the corner, because I guess I'm feeling a little sentimental!

Bryce Canyon Trip

Jul 20, 2017

We recently celebrated our wedding anniversary by taking a quick weekend trip south for a bike race and trip to Bryce Canyon. I hadn't been there since I was young and Ryan was only 3 when his family went last, so he had no memory of it. It's pretty incredible, really unique, and breathtaking. It's a red rock valley filled with rock towers called "hoodoos" that have formed because of water freezing and melting repeatedly, which breaks apart the rocks and erodes them. If you turn around from where this picture is taken, you'll see a green valley covered in pine trees. The contrast is crazy. And there is a white waterfall running right through the middle of all this red rock. We hiked around a little and made plans to come back with our kids in the future!

Baby Ssssnake

Jul 10, 2017

For Ryan's mom's birthday we celebrated as a family, and someone found a Mama snake and a baby snake. Ryan has a brother (and nephew) who love snakes, so everyone took turns holding them. Except me (Christy). I don't do snakes. I'm not terrified, but I'm certainly not going to voluntarily hold one of my own free will! Spiders on the other hand, I'm terrified. And bees. I run and they chase me, no joke. They must be able to smell the fear!

Ziplining with the Cooks

Jul 10, 2017

For her birthday, Ryan's mom wanted to go zip-lining and invited any of us to join her. Ryan doesn't do heights, so he declined, but I (Christy) decided to join in the fun! Ryan's dad is also afraid of heights but likes the thrill of forcing himself to do something like this anyway, ha ha. As for me, I figure it can't be too terribly dangerous if hundreds (maybe thousands) of people do it every year and we've never heard any local news reports of any accidents or deaths. So off we went! My take on it is that I was expecting it to be a big rush, but it wasn't. It WAS fun though! But no adrenaline rush for me, just fun.

Summer Cooking Lessons

Jun 18, 2017

In an attempt to keep summer interesting and encourage bonding as well as education, I am teaching Ava a little about cooking. In our last neighborhood we had this wonderful neighbor who did cooking classes for kids aged 5-11. Ava loved them. And since she is somewhat of a picky eater, I thought it might help encourage her to try new things. Which it has! Her pickiness is funny because she loves things like potstickers and sushi, yet she is afraid to try most new foods! All in good time. 

Our first cooking lesson was chocolate chip cookies (we had a friend over for that one). Next was breadsticks. And most recently she learned how to make quesadillas. Today she actually made lunch for the whole family and put a sign on the door for Ava's Restaurant. She was all formal about it, pretending like she was our server (and chef too)! It was pretty cute!

A trip to the zoo

Jun 18, 2017

A friend of mine invited us to join her at the zoo for 2-for-1 day, along with a few other friends. The weather wasn't as hot so it was a great day to be there with the monkeys, giraffes, and seals. By the end the other 3-year olds had fallen asleep in their strollers, but not Ruby! Oh no. She wasn't even IN her stroller. Just running around still excited about all the animals!

Camping & Hiking to Hot Springs

Jun 07, 2017

A few weeks ago we decided to take on a remodel project. I (Christy) have always dreamed of remodeling something. I love taking anything that is seemingly old and outdated and flipping it to something fresh and beautiful. I've watched too much HGTV, clearly. We bought an old, used, outdated camper trailer, and are beginning the process of the remodel. We hope to sell it by labor day and make a profit.

Now that school's out, we took it out for a test run! We camped at a local canyon about an hour from home, and the girls were so excited they could hardly sleep. We walked along a nature trail to explore. Then the next morning we hiked to some hot springs up the canyon. The girls were troopers and had lots of fun. It was a great, simple, mini vacation.

Host: www2