Sunday, October 28, 2012

Happy Halloween!

It's looking like our official Halloween will be rained out due to Hurricane Sandy but thankfully we got plenty of festivities in yesterday.  We went to the Baltimore ZooBoo and then also to our ward Trunk or Treat.  The boys got loads of candy and romped around in the costumes.  What more do they need?
My cute Yoda, Ewok, and R2D2
Apparently there is a scene in Star Wars where an Ewok hugs R2D2.  Sam insisted on doing that during the group pictures.  This is my camera shy man.  Go figure.


Sam as an Ewok
(he was kind enough to wear the costume I made last year for Elijah.  Thank you Sam!)

Elijah as R2D2
This was my big project.  Thought it would be easy but turned out to be a pain and a frustration.  Thank goodness for duct tape!  It's made out of a collapsible laundry basket (he can sit in it) and a whole lot of duct tape because I couldn't find a white nylon basket.  The helmet is a metal mixing bowl with a cardboard inset to fit Elijah's head (that took multiple tries to figure out). 
 
Mr. Ben was our little Yoda
He wore the robe basically for the pictures only.  The rest of the time he flat out refused to wear it.  The hat my sister made for him last year and thankfully it still fit him.  He happily wore it most of the day.



My cute sister Bekah as Link


My cute sister Rachel as a pirate

Ben enjoying the goods.  This is what Ben wore for all the festivities. He is quite possessive of his little bucket, "Mine".  I had to write his name on it so that he wouldn't get it confused with his brothers.  And yes he recognizes his name.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Busy

It's been a busy couple months and I have LOADs of pictures I would love to share.  We've been busy at home, I helped with Girls camp and Youth Conference, and then we had a big trip to Utah.  I'll try and crank on the posts today but I will post-date them to when they happened.  Stay tuned!

We're having a baby!

Yep.  Surprise surprise.  It was a bit of a surprise for us in fact.  Not unplanned, but a little earlier than planned.  I was thinking February or March sounded like a good time to have a baby.  Instead, this little one decided it need to arrive earlier than that.  Say around Christmas! 

I've been kind of coasting through this pregnancy.  Not to say I've been feeling lovely, but mostly just busy with life and chugging along.  Well I've managed to chug right along to 20 weeks (crazy!).  Yesterday I went in for my ultrasound and got to glimpse the adorable profile of our little bambino.

(Sorry it's a bad picture of a picture)

And unlike some people I know who can manage to wait the full 40 weeks to find out what flavor they are having, we made sure to find out yesterday.

Oh my goodness!  We are having a GIRL!!!!!! (Really?)  I asked the technician if she was sure "because I had three of the other flavor at home" and she was pretty darn sure.  SHOCK.  I had completely geared myself up for it to be another boy and now I'm just not sure what to think now that I know it is a girl.  (I'm sure that will wear off)

The boys all stayed home with a friend so Josh and I stopped at the store real quick to pick up something for them on the way home.  Lo and behold we happened upon pink filled Oreos.  Too perfect (and Josh grabbed a package to take into work today too).


Needless to say, the boys are all excited.  Sam especially was hoping for a girl because "he has too many brothers" and he wants to play with her hair.

So a new adventure begins!  Possibly involving the colors pink and purple, ribbons and boys, ruffles and princesses, mood swings and eventually makeup.  Oh goodness!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Baby Charlie

While in Utah we were able to be there for the baby blessing of my newest nephew, Charles John L.  He's a pretty cute little chub of love.  It was wonderful to share in his special day, get to know his little personality, and especially see Benjamin interact with his little cousins.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hoggle Zoo

While visiting family in Utah we were able to go to the Hoggle Zoo with all the boy's cousins.  The zoo has been doing some great updates including recently adding seals and sea lions and a new polar bear.  It was pretty crazy going through the zoo with 10 little kids.  Poor Grandpa had two toddlers each on leashes.  It was pretty funny to watch him trying to keep them from getting tangled together while maneuvering through crowded areas.

Traveling in style.  Four kids in one stroller.


The classic picture of the lion drinking fountain.  Grandma and Grandpa Strong remember drinking out of it when they were little.

Uncle Cuyler and his peeps.  All the grandkids minus the 2 youngest.

Sittin' in a log


Ben with his Daa.  Ben was lovin' the zoo.

My two little handsome men!  Love those boys.

Elder Cuyler

Josh's youngest brother returned home from his 2 year mission to Mexico City while we were visiting.  Sadly we were late arriving to the airport and were unable to give him a big greating as he entered the baggage claim.  :(  Elijah had worked hard to create a poster for Cuyler and we made sure to get a picture of them together.  It was really nice to see Cuyler.  He was missed.  I am grateful for his wonderful example to my boys in serving an honorable mission.

My boys sure enjoyed having TWO awesome uncles living at grandma's house.  And I will add that Cuyler and Dallin have certainly earned "Super Awesome Uncle" awards for helping me with their nephews!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Smith and Moorehouse Dam

While visiting the Strongs Grandpa took us up to see the dam he helped design and oversaw being built. It was a pleasent drive up the canyon and the resevoir was beautiful. A great escape from the heat of the valley. We spent a lot of time at the end of the boat ramp throwing rocks into the water. Elijah was even able to skip his first rock! He kept trying and trying and eventually was successful. It was pretty cute and I enjoyed cheering him one. Ben (my rock lover) was very particular about the rocks he deemed water worthy. It was cute to watch him mull over which rocks to throw.








video
And for laughs.  A video of the big boys throwing rocks left-handed and the little boys just being cute.

Kennecott Copper Mine

Grandma, Grandpa, Charis and her family, and all of us went to visit Kennecott Copper Mine during our visit.  I went there years ago and was excited to take my boys.  What could be better than a big whole in the ground, lots of dirt, and HUGE trucks?! 




Everyone looking out over the mine.  Pretty cute bunch of people.


Ben was mesmorized by the massive trucks.  He watched them for the longest time going up and down the road around the pit.



Lucy, Kendell, and Grandma

They have a nice little visitors center and I would reccomend the video they have there.  It was amazing to see the process they go through to get copper and other minerals out of that massive hole.  All of us were impressed.

And of course we stopped at the gift shop.  I got some beautiful copper ornaments for our Christmas tree, Sam picked out a little naural looking piece of copper, and Elijah picked out an orca mood ring.  (Ben didn't care and was very content with a bag of pretzels to eat on the way home).  All down the mountain we were hearing commentary from Elijah about his ring and how he felt, be it relaxed or active, etc.  We asked him if he was hungry and his response was "I don't know, that's not one of the options on the chart for my ring."  :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Grammie's Glasses

Grammie saved a pair of her reading glasses that the lenses had fallen out of for Ben to play with when he came to visit. Let's just say he was very pleased.



You might remember a similar picture of Sam wearing Grammie's glasses when he was almost 4 years old.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Salem Pond

While visiting Grammie and Papa we took their canoe down to Salem pond for an afternoon and then stopped at THE Hawaiian Shave Ice Shack in downtown SF.  (Best shaved ice.  Tigers blood with icecream is my favorite).

Everyone had a blast but sadly there weren't really any ducks for us to feed, well they were on the other side of the lake :(

Salem Pond really is a peaceful place.  I loved the mountains reflecting off the water.  I MISS THOSE MOUNTAINS!





My adorable nephew, Anna's son Hyrum, just hanging out.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Girls Camp

As part of my calling as young women's president in my ward I have the opprotunity to attend girls camp with my young women.  The camp is organized and run by Stake leaders so it is very little stress for me.  I get to go up and just enjoy being with my girls and being away from the craziness of everyday life (ie. my adorable kids, housework, errands, cooking).  This year my mom was in town so I was able to leave my boys knowing they would have a fabulous time with grammie and that the house wouldn't be a complete warzone when I got home.

Our Stake has been going to a gorgeous campsite at Blue Know State Park in Pennsylvania for several years now (this was my third year up there).  Sadly this was the last year they will be going to good ol' Blue Knob.  Next year they are going to a new camp which is closer in Gettysburg.  Sad and exciting.

I had 19 amazing YW go up to camp this year.  They are such a blessing in my life.  I am grateful I am able to serve them and bask in their greatness.
Leftish to Rightish: Brenna, Kimmy, Alissa, Erin, Sister Teerlink, Isabelle, Jessica, Tanissa, Amanda, Taylor, Melissa, Bishop Johnson, Kayla, Lexi, Kristine, Brianna, SuJin, Elizabeth, Alyssa,Sarah, and Charlotte.


And their sillyness :)

A couple of my favorite things about girls camp this year:  Flag ceremony and Ward skit night

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Horseback Riding








Josh has a coworker that has horses on her parents's property in Frederick, Md.  She invited a few families out for some horseback riding, swimming, and a BBQ.  The boys were in heaven, especially Benjamin.

There were three horses, two females named Holly (brown) and Specks (the one with specks) and a male named Peter (gray).  The boys all had an opprotunity to brush the horses, watch them be saddled, and then walk them out to the field.


Josh and all three boys holding Peter's lead rope and walking him around.

Then all the boys were given the opprotunity to ride the horses (while being lead by an adult).  Elijah rode Peter by himself.  (Crazy hair!  He's badly in need of a haircut and the bike helmet accentuates that.)


Ben proudly holding the rope for Elijah.  Ben was all in the entire time.


Then it was Sam's turn.  He was more hesitant to ride alone and so Josh got to ride with him.  Apparently Josh had never been on a horse before.



And finally it was Ben's turn!  Sadly the picture is blurry but there is no mistaking his grin.



video
Ben also got to ride Holly with Josh's coworker
When we were all done riding Elijah and Sam got to hose down the horses (along with those holding the ropes) and give the horses treats.  It really was interesting to see the whole process.  Horses are A LOT of work.

It was very hard to say goodbye to the horses.  Ben kept going back and waving to each one and was very reluctant to leave.  Ever since then he has been very interested in horses and notices them outside the car window and in books.