Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sunny Snowy Summer Sunday

There are few places in the world where half of your family can jump on a trampoline in a tank top:

while the other half is skiing a mere lift ride away!

We figured we would finish the ski season off in style with an end-of-June day up at Snowbird. The girls and I played at the base, enjoying the trampoline and bouncy castle, while the guys got in the final few runs of the season. It was a perfect sunny, snowy, summer Sunday!

Going up, up, up

And then going up some more!

And now, finally, it's time to go down.  I'm so glad that the boys got the experience of skiing in late June on a perfect bluebird day.  The sad/amazing part is that they think that this is normal!

I particularly like this photo because Ben is following a girl skiing in shorts :)

Sam is looking so good on his skis this year!  Glad we got a 9 month ski season to enjoy them.

And back down again

Three happy, tired out boys say goodbye to the 2010-2011 ski season

Meanwhile, Sasha and WanYing find a different purpose for the ski racks at Snowbird's base.

Before the trampolines opened, the girls decided to make a pilgrimage to the snow.  In case you're wondering about their faces in this pic, they're shouting, "snow"

And now it's time to bounce!  I wasn't sure how WanYing would feel about the whole experience, but she loved it

Sasha perfects her flip while WanYing bounce, bounce, bounces

The boys found a second wind once they got off of the mountain and had some pizza

Everybody's rocking the flips this year!

Sasha tried out everything within her height limit, including the rock wall.  I think going down was more fun than climbing up.

And we rounded out the day with adventures on the ropes course

I'm beginning to think that every ski season should end at Independence Day!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

An Apropos Screening of Cars 2

WanYing's first drive-in movie experience was the thoroughly thematically approprate screening of the new Pixar movie - we saw Cars 2 in our car!

WanYing enthusiastically embraced the experience, especially the churro and pizza consumption, although she wasn't as on-board as one might have hoped with the going-to-sleep-because-you-are-hysterically-exhausted part.

We had such fun hanging out with the Thomases (visiting from far too far away). The kids took full advantage of Rainy's drive-in amenities and watched the whole movie from the top bunk.  Truly the best seat in the house (parking lot?)

Sasha also had a great time and I just had to highlight her fantastic footwear.  I have no idea where these babies came from, and I've never seen her wear them before, but when she heard we were going to go watch a movie in Rainy she ran up to her closet and pulled the stuffed Dora heads out and insisted that they perfectly completed the ensemble.  It's hard to argue with stuffed Dora head footwear.

Steve really upped the ante on the Rainy drive-in experience. Not only does she have a new fridge that kept our Fat Boys frozen until just the right moment (Steve's Christmas present from my parents) and new canvas on her upper bunk (Steve's Christmas present from my dad's new van because he no longer needed the canvas he ordered for his old van), but the audiophillic experience went up a notch this time with a new bass tube.  No, the irony of a powered subwoofer in an 87 VW Vanagon does not escape me.

You know you're in trouble when your husband texts you asking if he can buy a present for your van and, when you say yes, informs you that there are several stereo components that he's been eying at the pawn shop.  Let's list the issues...
  1. Why is my husband at a pawn shop?
  2. "Been eying" implies repeated trips to the pawn shop.
  3. Wait a minute - my husband watches the children... that means my children are shopping with my husband at the pawn shop!
Oh well, I guess it's just a part of their well-rounded liberal arts education.  And, besides, Lightning McQueen's rumbling exhaust never sounded so good, and for such a bargain price!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Strawberry Girl 2.0

I'm so glad that our girls enjoy strawberries as much as I do! Of course, it means that there are never any berries left over after harvest because they are consumed on the spot, but that's a small price to pay for a sticky, happy girl (or three).

WanYing is following in Sasha's Strawberry Girl footsteps with gusto.

Strawberries are worthy of WanYing's best cheesy grin

No time to smile, Mom, there are strawberries to eat!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

That's How We Roll

Just hanging around in the back yard, driving my car around, sportin' a sweet pirate flag tat, playing with my gun.  That's just how we roll at chez Morningstar.

I think she's hunting robins

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Getting CrossFit

In an attempt to counteract the seemingly unending months of video games interspersed with occasional solar overdoses at the pool, the boys are participating in CrossFit Kids this summer. It's like CrossFit (this is where Steve goes to the gym and is brought to tears by the workout and then goes back the next day to begin the cycle anew. Yeah, I don't get it, either) only for kids. The childrens' version seems to involve less crying than the adult version, although that may simply be explained by the fact that our kids are far more fit than their parents.

Although both boys are participating in CrossFit Kids and seem to enjoy it, Ben is unsurprisingly embracing it with more gusto. I particularly enjoyed this conversation a few nights ago:
Mom: What did you do at CrossFit?
Ben: We did races and it was boys against girls and the boys always were slower except when it was my turn. Sam was the slowest one of all.
Sam: Well, I was just jogging.
Ben: Yeah, and I was running.
Sam: [In his customary superior tone, which is simultaneously grating and hilarious] Well, jogging is more energy efficient. Go green!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

There are so many things I love about Steve:  rugged good looks, makes a heck of a mojito, can ski circles around me, does all of the grocery shopping, leads our sons in the way of the Xbox, never misses a chance to ooh and aaah over Sasha's dress-of-the-day, gets up with WanYing at night (every night), feigns interest in family pictures because he knows it makes me happy, and even participates in Mommy and Me swim lessons...

...but the most amazing thing about Steve is that he actively seeks to lead our family on God's path. He lives out the truth that there is no greater adventure than the one God has envisioned for us, and I am astoundingly blessed with the privilege of following a man who's following Jesus.  Our lives are messy and chaotic and fun and never, ever dull and I think that's exactly the expansive living that we've all been created for.  Happy father's day to a man after God's own heart.

The boring pic of all of the kids smiling (except for Ben, who we all know is incapable of smiling on command)

I particularly like this shot because Sam has taken over my traditional role of giving Ben the evil-eye for not smiling

And, let's face it, this is the real us

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Easy as Cake

It has been a summer of first concerts - and although WanYing's first lacks the wow-factor of U2, seeing Cake live is still a pretty good one for bragging rights.

Step 1 - waiting in line for the gates to open.  Because what's the point of going to a concert if you can't arrive 4 hours ahead of time?!?  WanYing passed the time by studying the mysterious and elusive (although mastered-by-Steve) art of mojito making.

Step 2 - Once inside, waiting for the concert to begin.  Unfortunately, the weather was uncooperative, but a sun umbrella doubles handily as a rain umbrella in a pinch.  Thank goodness that picnic blankets also double as lap blankets - mountain showers get cold!

Waiting is never more fun than when it is accompanied by good friends and good food!  Good weather helps, but oh well, you can't have your cake and eat it, too (sorry, I couldn't resist).

WanYing was a total champ and loved the concert, even if she wasn't a huge fan of the Mommy-is-determined-that-you-won't-go-deaf-before-your-third-birthday earplugs.  All the kid needs in order to be happy are M&Ms and music!  Oh, and a Daddy-lap to recline on never hurts. 

We had a fantastic time at our first Red Butte Garden concert of the season.  Cake was high-energy and super-funny as they engaged with the audience, the crowd was fun, and the band played all of the big hits and a bunch of lesser-known ones that Steve and I were familiar with thanks to our studied and steady consumption of Cake Radio on Pandora over the past few weeks.

And the weather even cleared up right as Cake took the stage!  Perfect.

And, yes, I still find myself singing to myself, "sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell."

Friday, June 17, 2011

So Beautiful

Double rainbow all the way across the sky!  What does this mean?!?  

You have to admit, there's a certain poetic justice to our VW van frolicking (yes, I believe that's what she's doing) beneath a sight so beautiful.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The First One Bites the Dust

By Ben

So, it all happened on Summerfest and it was on a Saturday.  When my tooth fell out, I was just wiggling it, feeling it, and playing with it when it popped out [Editor's note:  I'm sure this had nothing to do with the tremendous quantities of Laffy Taffy and Tootsie Rolls consumed at Summerfest]!  And my big tooth is already starting to grow.

The tooth fairy didn't come so I charged her interest so before she forgot, she came in the morning.  As in, I know it is Mom or Dad. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Summerfest Day 2 - Paradetastic

It was hard to top Day 1 of Orem Summerfest, but we were up for the challenge! We ate (a lot) more, rode some more nausea-inducing rides, including a ride for Steve and Sam aboard the Zipper (gag), and capped it all off with the Summerfest Parade and inviting friends back to our front yard for ice cream and fireworks-viewing.

First, we gather our strength for the parade with more eating

The kiddos line up for the Children's Parade.  I'm so glad that the, "Orem, America's Nicest City" shirt Sam purchased 2 years ago has survived to be displayed in another Summerfest!

Ben earns his Children's Parade popsicle by towing the girls with his bike.

Don't they look adorable?!?  Sasha was a very good parade-waver; WanYing was more concerned with her corn on the cob than any parade goings on.

Towing his sisters, waving, and ringing his bike bell - that's some Summerfest spirit!

This is what I get when I ask WanYing to smile.  Horrifying, yet still somehow adorable.

So I try to capture the candid grins instead :)

Oure Summerfest parade watching gang

So much fun!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Summerfest Day 1 - Ridetastic

Ah, Summerfest, how we do love you. Non-stop fat and sugar consumption, nausea-inducing rides, and capping the whole weekend off with a ridiculously late (and even more sugar-filled) evening of parade watching and fireworks oohing and aahing. All within a block of our house. The perfect summer kickoff.

The starter ride - a stunning success

The starter snack - a "tornado fry."  Also successful, although Sasha preferred the scones

The Fun Slide was especially fast this year making it... um... especially fun.  Apt naming, if not the most creative.

Ok, maybe not everybody enjoyed every ride.

But the girls enjoyed their motorcycle ride!

We weren't sure how WanYing would do on the rides, but she loved it all!

Going up!

Hey, I can see my house from here!

A fantastic view with two fantastic boys

The Gravitron - before.

The Gravitron - entrance.  Yes, Sasha insisted on going.  We figured, what's the worst that could happen?  Puke washes out!

The Gravitron - After.  Yep, she loved it!  Daddy, not so much.

The Gravitron Survivors.  All Sasha would say was, "more rides!  more rides!"

Fools that we are, we chased The Gravitron with a Tilt-a-Whirl ride.  Everybody kept their cookies in place, but I think this is the last year we'll all fit in one car!  I kind of didn't think about the part where more people = more weight = more spinning.  Ugh.  And after we got off, what did Sasha chant?  "More rides!  More rides!"
A thoroughly enjoyable Friday at the Orem Summerfest!


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