Sunday, August 30, 2009

Blake turns 3 months

Blake Laughing from Tara Banks on Vimeo.

Our little Blake is 3 months old! I know it's cliche, but my how time flies. He is a little sweetie and his best attribute is that he SLEEPS THROUGH THE NIGHT! He's been doing it for about 2 weeks and he goes most nights from 8pm-6am. And it is WONDERFUL.

Blake is also just giving us his first little laughs, and starting to talk up a storm. He has the softest little cooing noises--I just love to listen to him. Anyone who knew Halle as a baby knows that soft noises are a welcome change.
He is also starting to bat at toys and make the first attempts to grab things (like my hair). He's a great baby who has really learned to go with the flow and put up with a lot from his siblings.

When he was first born I was sure he was a little Josh look-a-like, but now that he's a bit older, I think he has more Halle in him. What do you think?

Love you sweet boy!

The Great Styrofoam Disaster of 2009

Well--I had a clever post all planned out, but Rusty pretty much stole it. Title and all. I'm suing for plagiarism. So go here to read about the messiest basement disaster ever to hit the planet. I seriously never knew it was possible to make such a mess out of a little styrofoam. But leave it to kids....

Friday, August 21, 2009


Yes, it's official. Halle is in Kindergarten at Black Rock Elementary. In true Halle fashion, on the very first day she marched in like she owned the place, hung up her backpack, and with nary a goodbye kiss was off to conquer the world. I think she gets that from her dad, b/c before I even had time to let the tears well up in my eyes, he had whisked me out the door. And that was that.

Little Josh was so cute. I said to Rusty as we were walking home, "Well, I guess it's just me and the boys." Josh got so concerned and he said, "We don't have our girl anymore. We sent her to kindergarten! Oh no!"

So in honor of my Halle girl I thought I'd tell you what we love best about this little (oh, I mean BIG) girl.
-She really is a sweet sweet girl. She is thoughtful and kind and always wants to make others happy.
-She is a good friend to Josh. You would not believe the antics these two come up with. The latest is "space walking." Halle gets in her top bunk, and Josh on the bottom. Then they both climb to the outside rails and walk along the edge. This is space walking.
-She is so friendly. You better believe if we're at the park, Halle's made a new friend to play with.
-She loves animals. She wants to be a cowgirl when she grows up, and is currently saving her allowance to buy a pet. (Uh....when should I tell her the best pet she's going to get is a goldfish?)
-She loves all things Princess, Pony, or Barbie. She also loves her stuffed animals, whose names change on a regular basis. Every night she has what she calls a "BIG SNUGGLE." She piles all her animals on the bed and then snuggles them all at the same time. So funny!
-She is an awesome reader. She could read before she was 5 and I wish I could take credit for my amazing parenting skills, but I can't. It's just something that came very naturally to her.
-She hates having her hair brushed. I swear she has the most sensitive head in all the world. She ends up in tears just about every day when it's time to do hair.
-She is a GREAT help with the baby. She'll always run to get me a diaper or blanket, or if he's crying she'll go coo at him and love him.
-She loves to hear stories about herself when she was "little." She also loves when Rusty and I tell her stories about our childhood. She makes us repeat them over and over.

Halle, we love you and know you are going to have a fun and exciting first year of school!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Vail on the Cheap

When your hubby is launching a new business and you have no money, you have to be creative in your vacationing. Our neighbors, Brian and Erin, got married in Vail, so we decided to have one last summer hurrah and all go up for the weekend. I scoured the internet for good hotel deals and cheap activities. I found us a decent hotel for less than $100/ night, and everything else we did was FREE!

Riding the Gondola at Lionshead after 4pm....Free. Packing a picnic to eat at the top....FREE

Riding the Ponies at Beaver Creek Stables....Free. Mr. T was a great little pony and the kids loved riding around his little corral.

The Main Event....Brian and Erin's BEAUTIFUL wedding at the Sonnenalp Resort. It was picture perfect! Two of our other neighbors, the Szabos and the DeFalcos, were there as well and it was fun to be able to spend time with them and share this special day with Brian and Erin.

We ended the weekend by going to the Vail Farmer's Market....FREE. It is the largest Farmer's Market in CO and had so many interesting things, and so many yummy samples. Then we walked to the famous Pirateship Park and the kids played to their hearts content.

Jumping on the beds in the hotel....FREE(Favorite activity BY FAR)
Whining every step of the way....FREE. If I had a dollar for every whine I heard on this trip, I'd be a millionaire. EVERY SINGLE thing we did, "I'm tired," "I'm cold," "I'm hungry," "When are we going back to the hotel," "I don't want to walk anymore," on and on and on and on. We'd get done with an activity and I'd be about ready to throw myself off one of the beautiful mountains, and they'd turn to me and say, "That was fun! Can we do it again soon?" Seriously?? Fun for whom???????

Minus the whining we had a good time and the scenery can't be beat!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Year #7

Happy Anniversary to us! I wish my hair was still that color....

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Berry Patch Farms

It's always been Rusty's dream to live on a farm. "The simple life," he calls it. He gets a far away look in his eye as he imagines his acres of land, horses, and his kids playing on the tractors. This all coming from a man who can't even mow his tiny lawn every week, has weeds the size of trees in the backyard, and a wife who can't keep a house plant alive to save her life. But he tells me "that's different." Ok Rust, keep dreamin'.
In order to give the kids a little tiny taste of farm life, we went to Berry Patch Farms over the weekend. It is an adorable vegetable farm where you can go and pick your own strawberries (raspberries come in season in a few weeks!), dig carrots, and pick fresh flowers. They also have a barn filled with all the other produce the farm produces. The kids had a blast picking their very own strawberries just like Oso taught them (playhouse disney anyone?). We also bought a bunch of other veggies and had them for Sunday dinner. Halle licked her plate clean. She loved picking, washing and peeling the veggies. On the way home from the farm she told us yet again that she was going to be a cowgirl on a farm, but her farm will have veggies AND horses. Josh said he didn't want to live on the farm, but he'd come drive Halle's tractor for her. Rusty and I were in tears laughing. We will definitely go back when raspberries are in season!

Here is Josh picking berries. Here is Josh not putting the berries in his basket, but eating EVERY SINGLE one that he picked. You should have seen his red stained mouth when we were done.

Monday, August 3, 2009

My Mom is a MESS!

In Primary yesterday we were talking about temples. The Primary President was making the analogy that sometimes our houses get messy and chaotic, but that the temple, God's house, was always clean and peaceful. The PP asked the kids if their houses were ever messy and Halle STANDS UP and yells out, "My Mom and Dad's closet is a MESS. They NEVER pick up their cloths!" Thank you Halle for literally airing our dirty laundry in front of the whole ward. I admit my closet isn't the epitome of organization, but I didn't think it was THAT bad. Geez...

Brainard Lake

This weekend we had a fun excursion to the mountains. Rusty and Josh went on the Father and Son's campout on Friday night (post to come soon) and had a great time. We had heard from a friend that Brainard Lake was a great place to take the kiddos--short hikes, lots of water, picnic tables, etc--so we decided to give it a try. Halle, Blake and I met Rusty and Josh in Nederland and we went up to the lake. It was BEAUTIFUL!! It was the perfect weather to be in the mountains. We had a picnic lunch by the lake and the kids threw sicks and rocks in the water. Then we decided to try the 0.5 mile hike to Longs Lake. I have to say, this was the best hike we've been on with the kids. Halle did awesome--she hardly whined at all. And Josh did pretty good too, although Rusty did have to carry him on his shoulders for long stretches. Blake just slept peacefully in his sling. Longs Lake was gorgeous, clear blue water, the 13,000ft mountains in the background, and a cute little stream feeding into the lake. It was so refreshing to be in the cool mountain air and just enjoy the beautiful scenery. I was hesitant to go (it was a 1 1/2 hour drive) but I am so glad we did!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Blake's Photo shoot

I just got back Blake's 6 week photo shoot, and I think the pictures turned out pretty darn cute.


Yes, I do know how to spell (well...that might be a slight exaggeration). is my new favorite website. According to the website, "Picnik is photo editing awesomeness." And I totally agree. Best of all, it's FREE. (Mostly) Ok, ok, I admit, they roped me into the "premium" membership, but I'm glad I did it. Here's some before and after pics so you can see some fun Picnik effects.



You can make cute little scrapbook layouts and collages

I realize this next one looks a little weird, but it's just to demonstrate the effect. I call this one "Pleasantville"

And there is much more to discover in the magical land of PICNIK. Have fun!

Tennis Camp

This week Halle attended her first ever Tennis Camp. Rusty was skeptical that 5 year olds could learn tennis, but he was wrong. She did awesome. Her teacher was great and knew just what to say and do to make the whole thing really fun. The camp was just 4 straight days, and now we can't wait for next summer so she can take lessons.

Birth Announcment