High-Fivin' a Prophet

This is my brother, Jared, and his wife, Stephanie...

He graduated from Weber State University on Friday (a major in Spanish and 3 minors: art, zoology, and chemistry - overachiever ;) ) He's going to Michigan State for Medical School in the fall. He's a cool kid - I've always been a little jealous of him - he's hillarious, can pretty much do anything he puts his mind to, has a lot of fun in life - Austin reminds me of him so much...
Because he's such a cool guy he was the student body vice president at Weber this year. Because he was an officer he got to sit just feet away from President Thomas S Monson (president of the LDS church, our prophet). I took these pictures from the very top of the Dee Events Center

President Monson was there to recieve an honory degree and deliver the key note speech. He talked about the "ABC"s of life: A for attitude, B for beliefs, and C for... not sure because by the time that came along I was only paying attention to keeping Austin quiet with a few games of tic tac toe

Once it was over we walked down to congratulate Jared. He was handing out medals to distinguished guests. Austin went down onto the floor with my dad. Before I could get my camera out Austin was high-fiving President Uchtdorf. Man, I could have gotten a great picture! Too bad! Austin was so happy. He came back to tell us and Landon got a little sad he missed out. Jared saved the day. He took both boys into the middle of the crowd assembled around President Monson. Jared had already met President Monson so he said, "President Monson my nephews would really like to meet you." President Monson looked at the boys and said, "well boys, take your hands out of your pockets and give me a high five!" These pictures are as close as I could get. The entrance was blocked off to everyone except "VIP"s. When Jared took the kids down they tried to stop Landon. Jared said, "they're with me." The usher, "Oh they're graduating with you?" Jared, "yeah. come on Landon."
They came back with big eyes and big smiles. Happy and excited. A little reverent too. It was special for them. A once in a lifetime opportunity. How many people can say they've given the prophet a high five?!


baseball and other signs of {SPRING}

We have loved being outside lately. Spring and Fall - best times of the year.
Oh my, do they take their baseball seriously around here. Landon has practice three nights a week about two hours each time. Games started on Saturday so hopefully practices will slow down now that games will be twice a week until the end of May.
It can be crazy to haul everyone around, eat dinner, get the kids to bed at a decent hour. But I really love love love watching my kids play sports. I think they need it too. It gives them a goal to work towards. It gives them something to do. It gives them exercise. It makes them happy. It gets them outside. It makes them well rounded. It gives them something to practice together (Austin's age group starts in May). I especially love baseball because it's a sport I'm actually pretty good at. I love playing catch with the kids. And now that they're older and can really play, it's especially fun.
Cameron's been finishing our fence; doing a FANTASTIC job. It's something else the boys can do together. They spent the entire day on Saturday (minus baseball game time) picking up the wood and putting up the fence together.

(this picture is last saturday when they drilled the holes for the posts and cemented them in)

Oh, yes. The kids are into bugs lately. Landon got an ant farm for Easter. He tried to find ants to put in it. He cried and cried when he couldn't find any (we sent away for some...). The next day I went to Target and found these little bug traps in the dollar spot. Got them for the kids. I told Landon to lift up the rocks to find bugs. Surprise - A HUGE ANT hill. The kids have been filling their bug traps up with ants every day since.

In an effort to motivate the kids and give them some one on one time (we're all about multi-tasking around here) we've been giving them rewards for working towards certain goals - when they reach their goal they can do something special with one of us. This time Austin read an entire book with no help to Cameron. So the kids and I met Cam after work and Cameron and Austin went swimming together as his award. (Zac, Landon, Ella and I hung out at the park across from the hospital for a while.)



This Sunday we blessed our Ella-girl.
Here's Ella on her special day. I LOVE how she kept holding her dress and rubbing it in her hands. My mom made the comment that she thought Ella "felt pretty". I really think she did! She seemed to know she was all dressed up. Isaac kept calling her a princess.
I'm happy that once again, my parents made the effort to come be with us. It was a special day.

{if you're not LDS and wondering what a blessing is: We don't baptize our kids as babies, we wait until they are 8 when they can make the choice for themselves and be held accountable to keep the commandments. As babies our kids are given a special priesthood blessing; a prayer just for them}


spring V A C A Y

We spent Spring Break in Utah... always fun to be around our families and friends
We met up with some friends at the Dino-museum in Ogden (we missed you Jessie). We wanted to meet up with more friends but Utah's spring break is this week so with kids in school this was as much as we could do. Landon had fun flirting with the girls and Austin was in heaven climbing the valcano and chasing the other boys around. Isaac - well he got "lost" twice; can't keep up with that kid! I miss my friends (thanks for letting the kids sluff school so we could see you guys!) but at least we all have a common denomenator: Utah.
We spent a lot of time just hanging out and being around eachother. We LOVE Grandmas and Grandpas
Ella turned two months old. Oh how I love this girl! She is the most pleasant baby. I've started calling her Stare Bear becasue she is happiest staring at someone while they talk to her. She smiles all the time. I know she has her first real belly laughs just below the surface - it will be soon. She still sleeps a LOT during the day and has a hard time settling down for bed before midnight but we're working on it.
As if keeping Zac out of trouble at home wasn't hard enough, keeping him out of trouble at my mom's: near impossible. Yes that is her lipstick he put on. {a little side note I've been wanting to document - I love this little boys voice! He sings all the time. He talks all the time. He's starting to scream less of the time. His normal voice sounds like Jar Jar from Star Wars, "that movie ISA cool." or "I want to go to THEESA store too." and when he's sad or worried about something he gets this little English accent, "Daud is MAUD at me." or "what's the MAUTER Dauddy?" LOVE this kid and his cute little voice}
Ella got to meet lots new people. The cousins wanted to hold her. I loved watching my Grandma - Ella's Great Grandma - meet her for the first time. something special about that

We did lots of Easter stuff. This was my attempt at an Easter picture. Not one for the mantel but a glimpse of reality. Isaac singing, Landon posing, Austin goofing off, and Ella screaming. "feed me already!"
I also tried to teach the kids the real reason we celebrate Easter. While the guys were at the priesthood session I told the kids the Easter story. We read some versus from the Bible and from the Book of Mormon. The next day my dad asked Isaac about Easter. I reminded him that we talked about Jesus the night before. "what happened to Jesus?" Isaac's response: "Jesus loves me!!"
Easter eggs at the Smed's. I didn't get pictures of the "BIG HUNT" because Easter morning the kids all woke up at 6:50. I got up and tried to convince them all to go back to sleep. No luck. So they all hunted on their own while I tried to keep them quiet and let the rest of the "normal" (the ones that sleep in on Sunday mornings) people sleep.

Easter eggs and General Conference at the Perigos.
Great week. Happy times. Loved it.