July - Family Trip to Salt Lake City

Last weekend we headed to Salt Lake for a few days. When we started out, the girls were so excited to get their Squirmles they had been begging for. Emma was so excited about hers that she could hardly sleep the night before. Unfortunately, Squirmles are not as cool as they appear in the commercials. Oh, well. It was an inexpensive lesson learned. They still played with them for a long time in the car though.

Our first stop was Cowabunga Bay in Draper. It is an awesome water park with kids. Emma was able to go on every slide but one, and boy did she enjoy it. Despite the wind causing her to shiver uncontrollably, I think she would have gone all day. Ash wasn't a fan of the slides, but she did enjoy the lazy river and just being in the pool.

Emma is getting old enough that Nick would let her go on the slides she wanted to go on while he went on those he was interested in. The place was the perfect size to be able to keep a good eye on her while she had fun.

After four hours of fun there, we went to dinner at a yummy Thai restaurant. Even the girls are beginning to share Nick's enthusiasm for Thai food. My favorite dish was a shrimp and rice dish served in a pineapple. Yummy. From there, we went to my Grandma Hutchens apartment for the night. She's so willing to let people stay with her.

The next day we brought Grandma along with us to the Aviary in Salt Lake. We've been several times are really enjoy it. They've made several improvements recently, too, that have made the trip even better.

I thought it'd be fun to let the girls participate in feeding the pelicans. They, however, did not really like the idea of throwing dead fish. Emma hesitantly participated, but Ash . . .

let Daddy throw her fishies. (I can't really say I blame her.) But is was kind of fun.

The bird show was really well done. We all enjoyed it. There were only three rows, so it had a much more intimate feel than other shows we've been to.

And you can't help but enjoy watching the crow tuck away a donated dollar. Too fun.

And since the girls were being such stinkers, we fed them to the birds. ;)

That afternoon we took ourselves away from the worst of the heat and headed to Park City where we met up with Nick's parents, cousin Cassidy, and sister Lacee with her little guy Carson.

Several of us had the chance to go on the Alpine Slide. This little Carson sure loves his Grandpa. Sorry the picture's turned. I'm too lazy to try to turn it.

I love this picture. The slide was so fun. The girls loved it, especially since they shared it with people they love.

Despite a temporary scare when Grandma just about passed out, the trip was perfect. We fished the day with a trip to Chucky Cheese's. The kids had a lot of fun. While the pizza was better than we'd expected, we decided that the kids get more bang for their buck here at our local game center. But everyone went away happy with their little prizes.

The next morning we went to the zoo. It was fun going with all the cousins. The zoo is always a hit. We especially loved the elephant show. The baby elephant is trained to flap its ears, spin in circles, and even do a hand stand. It was really fun to watch.

And who can resist a ride on a carousel. The girls loved it. It was a near perfect trip. Thanks everyone for joining us.

July - Millar Family Reunion

We had a great time getting together with my family for a bit of a reunion two weeks ago. We stayed in Rexburg and gathered at Mom and Dad's for fun time. Unfortunately, my camera never made it's way out of my bag. I only have this picture because Nick brought his new underwater camera to the pool to try out when he was able to come and join us. Know, however, that these are some of my very favorite people. I love the feeling of love and acceptance that exists in my family. We all love each other tremendously. With lots of little people running around all the time, it's just some times hard to stop and enjoy each other. :)

On Thursday, I finished my final, graded papers, entered grades, packed up the girls, and headed to Rexburg to my little sister's house for a BBQ. It was great fun, despite a bit of rain. The girls and I stayed out at her house and really enjoyed it (Emma did have a sleep over with her cousin Kate one night). Friday morning we headed to the sand dunes. It was fun watching the kids play in the sand just as I did when I was a kid. We then took the sandy little ones to Grandma's house for lunch only to leave a short time later for Rexburg's new pool. It was a bit windy, but super fun. The kids played and played until they couldn't handle it any more. Saturday was a bit of a down day. Grandma rented an inflatable bouncy house for the front yard, and the back yard was turned into a kid water park. We ended the day by having a birthday party for my brother-in-law Heath, but mostly for his little guy Ryken. Sunday we all went to church with my sister Kerri. It was fun all being together (well, except for two MIA sons-in-law and my sweet sister Alisa and her family in Alabama). It was a great weekend.

As much fun as we had, we were very excited to see Daddy again and to go to a farewell BBQ for our good friends the Moores. All in all, it was a great weekend.

July 4th Fun

We definitely celebrated the 4th of July in phases. On Sunday night, we let the girls stay up late to do fireworks. Since we discovered last year's stash that we didn't finish, we were able to have an extra bit of fun. The girls especially love sparklers (what kid doesn't) and pop-its.

Monday morning we were treated with a visit from Joel and Sarah and their family. We have missed these guys so much since moving from Laramie. We were thrilled that they would spend a couple of hours with us. We went to the parade and dinner. Unfortunately, the weather was cold, windy, and rainy, and the parade was rather poorly represented. Oh, well, the kids got lots of candy, and we LOVED the company and can't wait to see them again.

That afternoon we had one heck of a rainstorm. I should have taken a picture. The road outside our house was a small river. It was beautifully scary. Then, a few hours later, after the clouds had blown over and everything looked summery again, we left for Pocatello's firework show. It was really quite well done. Thanks to a tip from some good friends, we had great seats, too. In face, the same friends ended up showing up and enjoying the show with us. Tyler and Ashley just recently moved their growing family to Burley. I miss them a lot, and was grateful for the opportunity to spend one last fun hurrah with them, at least while they lived here. As Robertsons showed us, good friends don't ever disappear.

July - Ladybugs and Butterflies

If you recall, the Easter Bunny left the girls a lady bug house and a butterfly house. We've really enjoyed watching the little critters. We went from having a fish to having a house full of little things to take care of within a matter of weeks. We've all loved it. Here's Emma releasing her ladybugs onto our lemon tree. They like being released when it's cool outside, hence, once again, pajamas.

The butterflies were really fun, too. And super easy. The hardest part was remembering to feed them once they hatched, and keeping the kids and puppy from smashing them. :)

How often does a kid get to hold a butterfly?

Pure happiness. (Note Ash's stuffed animals. She is almost always toting at least one around.)

I thought this was a fun picture. It didn't stay long, and girls kept wondering where they would all go.

June (not too much going on)

Apparently, when I teach, I'm a pretty boring Mom. June was pretty low key. Courtney, my only Laurel, babysat the girls in the afternoons while I taught for a couple hours. We'd occasionally catch lunch at the park or go to Pocatello's zoo, but we mostly stayed home. Sometimes, that's best, anyways.

This is truly the best picture I have from the month of June. And in actuality, it does sum up the month. I had no idea how time consuming having a puppy is. Well, having a puppy that you hope will become a type of member of the family. As Nick continues to say, "She's getting better." She's also getting bigger. We were apparently had. She is not the male cockapoo we thought we purchased. He is a she and is just over 20 lbs now at six months old. The guess is out about what type of dog she may be. She's not a dumb dog although not the brightest, has a bit of spunk to her, and thankfully does not shed. Nick keeps hinting at kicking her outside, but I know she'd be neglected, and that's the last thing I wanted when buying a dog.

She knows not to chew on the furniture, is house trained (yippee!), and plays really well with the kids. She's even beginning to tolerate Ashlyn constantly trying to ride on her, pull her tail, and drag her through the house on her leash. The kids love having her, but I have to admit, I think I like her the most, and she knows it. She rarely leaves my side when I'm home. It's kind of nice having a sweet, soft, loving, always forgiving buddy. Can you tells she's been rather therapeutic, too?

May (Yep, a bit behind)

May was a great month. It was full of birthday parties, field trips, graduation, and recitals.

My niece Jessi turned 3 and had a Dora party. Ashy and Jessi and good little buddies. Here is Ashy with her goody bag.

These two were so sweet together. They love each other very much.

Cousins! My girls love their Mills cousins. They enjoy being with them every chance they get. We were getting ready to head home in this picture, hence the jammies.

My sister's place had a few dandelions, so what better use to put kids to then to send them picking. Emma was in heaven. I have to note that she loved her outfit this day, despite my reminding her that long sleeves aren't necessary in May, especially with shorts. Oh, I love my Emma-girl. She is rather strong willed at times. :)

Emma's kindergarten was actually able to make it on a field trip at the end of the school year to a local pet store with a petting zoo. She really enjoyed feeding the goats, swinging on the swing set, and being with her school friends.

Kindergarten Graduation! Does anyone know where this tradition started? It was cute watching her little class sing the songs they had learned over the school year. We're proud of Emma and love watching her learn how to read.

Hurray for good teachers! Emma loved Mrs. Olson. Every time I was in her classroom, she made the time fun and exciting. She had so much energy, especially considering she was pregnant! I love my kiddos, but I'm pretty sure that being a first time kindergarten teacher while pregnant will never make it to my wish list.

Half of school is learning how to make and be a good friend. Luckily, Emma does both. Stevi is one such friend.

Our neighbor boy and good friend Carter. We'd walk down to school together every morning.

What would spring be like without a dance recital? Emma enjoyed tumbling again this year. Ash tried, but didn't like being away from Mom so much. I'm hoping she'll enjoy tap/ballet better this fall. I'm crossing my fingers that we'll get in.

Cousin Cass came with Grandma all the way from WY to watch Emma. Thanks Cass and Grandma!


Easter at Grandma's New House

Nick's parents were able to get moved into their new house for Easter and wanted to celebrate it right, so we headed over for a big Easter party. The girls had a blast. On Saturday we all enjoyed a delicious Easter dinner, egg fight, egg dying, and of course, egg hunt. It was wonderful.

Sunday morning was really fun. The Easter bunny set up a scavenger hunt throughout the house and left the baskets up in the playroom. The girls, including their cousin Cass, ran through the house after the clues. It was a very fun morning.

Mom's favorite was getting them all dressed up in their pretty dresses. I just love dots. They make me smile. I sure love these girlies.

I thoroughly enjoyed being able to relax a bit on Easter. Usually it is so hectic that we forget what Easter is all about. I am very proud of my Emma. She kept reminding us about our Savior and what Eater is really for. We are so blessed to have a special day to remember Him and all he has done for us. I feel his love for me and my family daily.