Sunday, November 29, 2015

mini trip to Nashville

Letter to mom and dad hale ---
Sent: Monday, August 31, 2015 9:45 AM

Yes,  it's nice to be in these years where the biggest trial is a tantrum or a poopy diaper gone wrong (rather than other more serious life trials).   Our kids are so much fun right and we sure love them.   We love being together just the 6 of us.   We went to Nashville last weekend on a mini family trip and stayed in the fancy Opryland hotel.   Mom,  you would love it.   Bright beautiful flowers everywhere.   Maryanne was in heaven.  People kept stopping us and telling us how beautiful our children were and how these were the golden years of our life and to treasure this time.   It's stressful to have a bunch of little kids but I think Joey does a good job of enjoying them,  which helps me let go of the frustrations a little more and enjoy them too.   After about the 10th person telling us to enjoy them, we looked at each other and said man we better start enjoying these kids cause I guess it's all down hill from here.
Joey cut a track in Nashville.   There was a little booth you could go in and sing and a cd spits out.   He sang Ozzy's "mama I'm coming home".    The kids made us listen to it all the way home.  They love their dad.  Huge fans.  

performing their musical (that lasted about the same length as a musical) called "The New Castle of Arendale!"

 "mama I'm coming home!"

The reason for our trip in the first place was to witness this happy occasion.  The union of one Jesse and Brooklynne Noe.   I really only know these folks through Sarah Bradsher but they've been at my house multiple time into the wee hours of the night/morning and so I just sort of fell in love with them.   And I was so happy to be at their sealing.  What a dynamite couple!  Happy day. 


aaaand... a quick catch-up with the cool dude Welshes.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

St. George

The first weekend of October I headed to St. George for a girls' weekend and to support my friends who were running the St. George Marathon.  I got to stay with one of my best friends, Sheri, and see her new St. George life so that was really fun.

Sheri, Gianetta, me and Amanda

me and my dorky signs cheering everyone on in the marathon. 
I really liked hanging with these boys for the weekend.  We played a lot of tag in the backyard, we talked Ningago and wrestled.  It was nice to know that I still like other people's kids.  (you know how fun you are with kids before you have your own?  what is that all about?)   Something about being free of responsibility that makes me fun again I guess.
These were their cool signs.

And sweet Elsie... who likes to play hard-to-get.  Oh, how much do you love those eyes?
And then marathoners taking Graham up on his free high fives.

I was actually at this spot (mile 23) for about 4 hours.  I saw Giannetta first and ran with her for a while.  Then I randomly saw my friend from high school Matthew Lee!!  I ran with him for a while and we caught up on life.
   I ran with Devin and Monica (more about them later) and then I waited for the real reason I came... my dear, dear friend Amanda.  She is so amazing.  
 When we talked about this marathon - she just jumped on it without even ever running another race.  Her mantra was from her 4 year old's karate teacher "I can do it, yes I can".
Well, without much training - here she came across the 23 mile marker.  When I saw her she was full on running because they were about to do the cut-off and she had about 30 seconds to cross that 23 mile marker to be able to finish.  
I saw her and she started sobbing.  We hugged and then I ran/walked the last 3.2 miles with her.  I was so incredibly proud of her when she crossed the finish line.  So that was really cool.  Good job Amanda!!! 
At the finish

And one of the reasons I was so excited to go to St. George was so see my long lost mission friends Devin and Monica.  And they did not disappoint.  (they are the best human beings!)  It was a just a bonus that they happen to be running in the marathon.  So, of course I ran with them for a little bit. 

And I got to hang out in the their lovely home with their adorable children.  What a great family.

And it was just like old times 
 I laughed so hard one night as they reminded me of all the really dorky and embarrassing things I did on my mission.  So.... that's always fun.  But I know they love their little sumile chan.    And really, they always make me laugh so hard I want to die.

Oh and I should say that we also stayed up analyzing our kids and each other kids and we talked about their son Jake.  They were telling me that for the first 2 years of his life he hated people.  He just screamed when anyone was around that wasn't their immediate family.  And he is just now tolerating people and that's about it.

So when Jake came over and snuggled with me while we were watching conference the next day, Devin snapped a picture to capture this momentous event.    but oh that was only the beginning....

Jake and I developed a special bond and this was later that afternoon. 

 Oh the love.  Thanks for making me feel special Jake.

And even though she wouldn't let me take a picture with her - I also visited my Aunt Verla and Uncle Bill.  They live in a movie star home with breathtaking views of St. George.  It was fun to chat with them but way too short!  But we were lucky to even overlap.  (they had just gotten home when my trip was over)

Good times.  A huge thank you to Sheri for hosting 6 people in her home while she was 8 1/2 months pregnant.  She was a real trooper.  I loved seeing her new house being built and can't wait to see her again with a new house and now a new baby!!

And that was St. George.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bi-Annual Tri-Family Quad-Challenge Lake Trip

(kate was taking the picture)

M&V came for their biannual fall trip to Greers Ferry Lake and this time they brought Chloe and Ellie!!  We went back to the same house that we loved so much.  It shares a cove with cliffs to jump off and is right by our favorite beach and next to groceries and restaurants.  So pretty darn perfect. 

You can't help but have fun when the Malmborgs come to visit.  When you get Mike, Caleb and Joey together - they come up with some pretty funny and fun games/challenges. 

Challenge number 1
Dance-off on the paddle board for as long as you could balance
I think Joey won with his dramatic, interpretive dance to flash dance
(we were videoing this, right?  Vic, do you have it?  Joey's was so funny)

you have to imagine these with 80's music blasting

Challenge number 2
Who can paddle the board all the way around the island of cliffs the fastest. 
Mike won this one.  I think he beat Joey by like 5 seconds... and me by 2 minutes. 

Challenge number 3
Try to not get knocked off the paddle board by the boat's wake.  This was a lot of fun and I think maybe Caleb won this one. 
Mike Malmbooooorg!

And challenge number 4 
one night the 3 couples stayed up and gave each other karaoke challenges.  One couple would pick the song, one would pick the style and the other couple would sing it.  And I'm sorry to say that I do have a few clips of it on video.  
The first two aren't part of the challenge but lovely (?) nonetheless: 
1. Confrontation - Joey and Mike
2. Summer - Mike and Jane
3. we've got Kate and Caleb singing Michael Jackson's Billy Jean - country style
4. Mike and Victoria singing Summer Nights - Do-wop style
5. And my favorite - Mike and Vic singing The Lion Sleeps Tonight - Robot style.  
I'm sorry.  We are dorks. 

lakekareoke from katiehale on Vimeo.

And the rest of the trip was just so nice.

 Maryanne on the boat trek to Sugar Loaf mountain and Ellie with a stick bug we found on the hike
 good hikin kids

the top

Riding back 
(it's great to have somewhere for extra people to go when we don't all fit on the boat.)
Oh and speaking of the way back - it's kinda far to Sugar Loaf mountain and on our way back we ran out of gas...about 100 feet from the marina.  We just paddled that 100 feet.  Pretty lucky.  (our gas meter still said 1/4 full)

Favorite Beach

Favorite Cliffs

This was one of the most enjoyable skis of my life.  The water was perfect glass.  I know this sounds dumb but I felt so alive.    We were all kid-free and just playing to our hearts content. 

so fun.
sure like that lake and those people.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Oh what do you do in the summertime

...when all the world is green?

lazily dream

or swing on a swing

swim in a pool to keep yourself cool

 go catch a frog or happily jog in the grass in your own backyaaaard.... is that what you do?

 So, I just love, love, love summer.  I absolutely love having my kids home with me and to me the summer is way easier than the school year.  I always thought people were crazy who were glad to have all their kids home.  But it is so nice to be able to create your own schedule and have the whole day every day to do whatever the heck you want to!  I feel like a more fun and relaxed mom.  Instead of moving them along all day --- hurry, eat your breakfast, put on your shoes, do your homework, brush your teeth - hurry, get in bed! you need your sleep!   We all just do our thing -- and I love it. 

So this summer I decided that in order to make sure we were being well-balanced and also just to give a bit of structure - we came up with this schedule for the summer:

Maintenance Monday - a day to clean and work hard to get the house in shape for the rest of the week (and the kids got a majority of their jobs for the week done)
Take-a-Trip Tuesday - We'd go somewhere fun
Water Wednesday - swimming or sprinkler park
Thinking Thursday - we'd do art, read books, go to the library and watch Bill Nye
Fitness Friday - we'd play sports, go roller skating at the church etc.

I really liked having that - and we didn't have to do it if we didn't want to.  Well, I take that back.  I got the kids involved and of course Lucy was pretty strict with us keeping on that schedule.   But even Lucy let me make the decisions sometimes. 

We also started a job chart system.  Yay!  I finally can join the ranks of all the job chart moms out there.  I was feeling pretty lame for not having one.  But the deal was - we have a magnet board that they could earn stars.  Luke earned 15, Lucy earned 10 and Maryanne earned 5 a week to get their allowance.   They earn their age every week but after savings and tithing their spending was $3.25, $2.50 and $1.25.  And I also started a kitchen job chart just like the one my mom used to have hanging in our kitchen for years.  We have clear the table, set the table and help with dishes.   So some jobs include - make bed, clean room, kitchen job and then Luke still does the garbages and just added toilets and mirrors.  Lucy and Maryanne disinfected doorknobs, folded laundry and emptied the dishwasher.  They all got a lot better at working this summer. 

maintenance Mondays

take a trip Tuesdays
children's museum  (has a new sprinkler park)

botanic gardens


Water Wednesday
Well, we swam more than just on Wednesday and hardly took pictures - but here's swim lessons with Mandie Huber that we did the last two weeks of June.

Maryanne was far from swimming but I thought I'd put her in anyway.  And this was what she did the FIRST day!!  I was so excited - we took a video for Joey. 

maryanne'sfirst swim from katiehale on Vimeo.
so proud of her!

And Lucy did great too.  This is her swimming on her second to last day. (she wanted me to take a video for dad too)
Lucy5swims from katiehale on Vimeo.

Maryanne, Bennett and Lucy

Thinking Thursday
(the Johnston scientist bday party - the kids learned all about the periodic table and did lots of experiments.  it was awesome!!)

Luke's art: medium -spy pen, canvas - sister's face

 Fitness Friday
Luke really wanted to use the team shirts that Wendy made us and play a Wilsons against Hales soccer game.  It was really fun.  We also skated at the church a lot.

wilsonhalesoccer from katiehale on Vimeo.

 and this summer Freddy fell in love with the ball.   (playing catch...there's a pink ball in there)

 ...and the Frisbee. 
(joey built a giant....and I mean GIANT net in our backyard for practicing his drives.  The neighbors think we're weird)

 He really will just go outside and throw discs into the basket just by himself.  I think Joey might have a disc golf buddy.  (these pictures are a long time ago - he was just under a year.  not walking yet.)

Maryanne and Audrey at Jane's doll spa birthday

my birthday - Luke made me an Amethyst, shark-tooth necklace

Joey got the rest of my blogs printed into books (which I LOVE!) and bought a block rocker that doubles as a kareoke machine.  

blockrockerjane from katiehale on Vimeo.

 cute brothers

Gently down the ... blue lagoon. 

And speaking of Maryanne lazily dreaming - we'll end this post with more sleepy Maryanne.
She is at that age where the day is just too long and so most of the time she can't make it. 

And this girl loves sure her new shoes she bought with her own money.
She had a whole store of toys and she headed for the shoes.  who's daughter is she? 

Oh man, this is all making me miss summer.  We had one day off yesterday in the middle of the week and it was heavenly.  Kids played so creatively, we read books, rode bikes and played in the sandbox.  The kids climbed in the boat with all the neighbor kids during the zombie apocalypse and used it as the getaway vehicle.  I just love play.   But... I guess all the work makes us savor the play even more.  sigh. 

Every story has a beginning...

Joey and Katie first met in Mr. Hawkes 3rd grade class at Valley Elementary. They became good friends in Jr. High and best friends in High School. Katie wrote to Joey on his mission in Tiajuana and Joey wrote to Katie later on her mission in Tokyo. Years later at the ripe old age of 25, these best friends finally fell in love... or maybe just realized they were already in love. They got married on January 22, 2004.

happy kids

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