Wednesday, August 19, 2015


We had lots of fun this month. The weather was gorgeous so we spent lots of time (especially in the evenings) outside enjoying it. The first blackberries started to ripen, and boy is Sharli a BIG fan of blackberries!
 We kicked off the start of the month with Ethan, his Dad, brothers, and sister all going on an overnight backpacking trip in the Gila Wilderness. Since that's right in our backyard (kinda), our house was the jumping off point for the whole adventure. The best part (for me anyways) was that my sisters-in-law came (with their cute kiddos of course) and we all partied for a few days while we waited to see if our menfolk were going to return alive. The guys got back on the fourth, just in time to go down to Lordsburg for a picnic with some of the Payne clan and to watch the fireworks. It was tons of fun, but somehow I neglected to pick up my camera during that entire week. Oops.
 Sharli discovered a new favorite reading material. She gets her favorite blanket, gets all comfy in one of the big arm chairs, and thoroughly enjoys looking at all the pictures in the Mother Earth News magazine someone gave us. She is somewhat obsessed with chickens these days, and this issue had an entire article about them.
 On his birthday, Erik unlocked the secret to freedom; he figured out how to "pump" on the swing so he no longer needs someone to push him. That's an exciting discovery for EVERYONE!
 I love this picture. They are having so much fun, and just love each other so much!
 Erik thinks he's quite the daredevil. We are way beyond "look mom, no hands!" and now have to come up with new ways to challenge fate.
 Also this month, Erik got to build his first pinewood derby car, and race it at our Primary Birthday Party.

 He loves his car, and even felt like it deserved its own party hat.
 While he did not win any races, he did win "Most Fuel Efficient", because any car that's driving that slow must be getting good gas mileage. :)
 Every Wednesday in June and July is exciting, because that's the day we get to go to the local library's summer reading program. This year I was helping out with activities for the little kids (5 and under), so we got to play with lots of play dough and have all kinds of crazy fun. Oh, and we also read a few books, because that's what you do at the library.

 One of the more crazy things we did was divide 75 pounds of flour between two kiddie pools and turn the kids loose. Oh boy did they have fun!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Happy Birthday Erik!

 Our baby boy turned four in July. FOUR!
The day after he was born. 
1st Birthday
2nd Birthday
3rd Birthday
 This year we invited several of Erik's friends for a birthday party. It was pretty relaxed. We had snacks (like this banana Sharli's enjoying, but the dirt it's rolled in was an optional topping)...
 ...about 300 water balloons (took about 3 seconds for the kids to pop them all, thus no pictures), and some of the other moms brought their kiddie pools and even a slide...

 ...and last, but not least, we even had someone nice enough to share their slip-n-slide with us. This kept the kids occupied for well over an hour, and then we pulled out a good, old fashioned, sprinkler and that kept them going for a long time.
 And of course, there was cake. Erik asked for a strawberry cake with orange frosting and lots of sprinkles, so that's exactly what he got. His friend Jubilee nearly exploded waiting for him to blow out the candles!

 All the kids loved the cake. We didn't even bother with ice cream, just snacks and cake. I don't think anyone even noticed the lack of frozen confections.

 Our friend Sally brought her bubble machine and a bunch of bubble solution. Bubbles are always a hit at our house!

 That night when Ethan got home from work we had pizza (per Erik's request) and he got to open a new game and a set of Planes stickers. He was well supervised by a jealous little sister.
 Later Kett and Cameron came to visit and brought more presents from them and the Richins Grandparents (a minion water bottle and lunchbox).
 The card they brought was a hit too, it came with a little kit to make your very own Dusty Crophopper model. It's just made out of paper, so it's more a decoration than a toy, but it's still very loved.
I think Erik had a great day and made some fun memories. Not bad for the first birthday party he's ever had (at least with friends his own age). We sure love our boy and we're so proud of the kid he's becoming.

Monday, August 17, 2015


June was a very fun and rather busy month. Here's a collection of miscellaneous pictures to show you some of the fun we had.
 As time passes, Erik and Sharli are starting to enjoy each other more and more. They still aren't best buddies, but they're beginning to think maybe they do like each other after all. Sometimes.
 Did you know June 5th is National Doughnut Day? I found out that little detail and we couldn't pass up the opportunity to make my mom's spud-nut recipe and make ourselves sick with all this awesomeness!
 Sharli forced me to put child locks on my cabinet doors several months before this, but sometimes things don't get closed tight and she still gets to have her fun.
 Ethan got a new baby, do you think he's at all excited about it?
 Erik got to go to the local Vacation Bible School with some of his friends. It was held at the park a short distance from out home, so each morning we went a few minutes early to enjoy the toys before Sharli and I left Erik there and went home for us her to take a nap. This was the first time I'd left Erik alone for something like this, and it took him a day or two to be okay with the idea, but by the end of the week he was having a great time.

 This particular morning the clouds on the mountain were just too pretty not to get a picture. I wasn't able to capture an image that really did them justice, but I got some cute ones of the kids, so we'll call it a success.
 It was a bit cool that morning, standing still for a picture was kinda a long shot.
 With everyone in my extended family attending or helping to run different youth camps, we got to see a fair amount of Grandma and Grandpa Richins whenever they'd pass through town on their way to/from camp. Erik even got to ride with Grandpa and my Great Uncle Roger to go hang out at the stake Girl's Camp for an evening. He had a ball, coming home sopping wet (thanks to the monsoon rains) and completely exhausted.
Grandma and Erik reading a tractor magazine Aunt Jossie gave him. It was MOST impressive! 
 Sharli started to get interested in anything that makes pictures of her adorable self. The kids have an old camera they can play with and she started carrying that thing around taking "pictures" of us all. She would also find the real camera and beg to take (and then look at) pictures of herself.

 Here's what she was pretending to take pictures of...
And here's her saying "sheeeeze" for the camera...
 Sharli also started trying to help out around the house. She observed me doing laundry one day, so she cheerfully ran down the hall to her dirty laundry hamper, grabbed everything she could get in her little arms, and carefully stuffed it all in her dresser with the clean clothes. At least she was trying, right?
 She is also becoming something of a fashion diva. She loves digging through her clothes and creating outfits for herself. Here's one of her first creations.
 Other favorite pastimes around here include watching TV (Erik) and watching deer (Sharli).
 Sharli's view out the window:
 After a week of Vacation Bible School, Erik got to go to two weeks of summer school. He LOVED it. Sharli and I are too cool for school though, so we stayed home.
The other BIG event for the month of June was when my brother Brigham came home from his mission. We got to go to my parent's house in Animas and spend some time with all the family. It was a ton of fun, although by the time we got around to getting pictures taken the babies were DONE! Thanks to Erin Richins of the Sunshine Picture Project for managing to capture some amazing pictures of our family despite the foul mood the kids were in. 

All the grand-kids with Grandpa and Grandma Richins. 
A realistic view of what taking a family picture is like. 

The copy we show to the public, courtesy of the magic of Photoshop.