Thursday, April 22, 2010


This Easter was pretty low key. Jason has been commuting to Bakersfield almost every day and as much as we would have loved to have spent Easter with our extended families, we decided to stay in town.

I absolutely love holidays. I love the excitement and the silliness of it. I love Santa and the Easter Bunny! The Tooth Fairy still comes to our house too! I love it! I love all of it!

I felt a little sad this year as I realized that our years with the Easter Bunny are almost over. Austin just turned 12 and will be in junior high next year. He's known about Santa and the Easter Bunny for a while. (Although his finding out about Santa story is kind of funny-sad, but funny. I just checked back through my blog to see if I had posted about it, but I think it must have happened right before I started blogging. Remind me to tell the story sometime.) He's a good sport and plays along, but the excitement is gone.

Jessica goes back and forth and sometimes still pretends she believes. Maybe it's because she is like an excited puppy when it comes to candy!

Lauren is on the edge, but we wont have the oldest kids for Easter next year and in two years, it may be all over. Of course Ashlyn is still little but, I'm not sure how that will all work out. Will the Easter Bunny come to our house when it's just her? I don't think it would be the same. We'll see...

Anyway, the Easter Bunny came to our house and we had a little Easter egg hunt in the morning when the kids woke up. Austin wasn't too excited about getting out of bed. He found a few of his favorite candies and then a cozy spot on the couch with a blanket while the other kids ran around filling their baskets. I didn't really get any pictures in the morning, but Jason took some video on his iPhone. I'm trying to figure out how to pull pictures from it. I'll post them if I can.

It was fun to hear the kids giggling and calling to each other as they found new things. It made the late night worth it. :-)

It was conference weekend, so we didn't have church. As the kids were winding down, we turned on Conference in time to hear the prophet speak. It was nice to sit together as a family and listen. I realized that the holidays will probably become more of what they "should" be as the kids get older and are able to understand more. I guess there is a season for everything.

Jen and her family decided to stay in town too, so my parents stayed to be with us. We showered up and headed over to my parent's house to spend the day with them. We had spent Saturday skiing and the week before had been so busy that we hadn't dyed any Easter Eggs. We thought it would still be fun to do and have another Easter Egg hunt at my parents house.So, after an early dinner, we colored Easter Eggs.
Ashlyn, Lauren, Brynne, and JessicaLauren sporting her ski burn. She is almost the same shade as her egg! (And little Brynne)

Ashlyn waiting patiently for her egg to turn green.

Jason and Jeff were happy to play Easter Bunny while we distracted the kids inside.
The kids all ready to go
The youngest are always the most fun to watch!

Lauren Garrett and Austin
It started to rain and the kids scrambled to find the last of the eggs.It made to colors outside really pretty though!We went back inside and decorated cookies and enjoyed the rest of our day.Me with a little frosting on my cheek!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Batter Up!

Baseball season has come and gone! Austin played for the school again this year and the season isn't very long. He loves baseball and wants us to find a summer league he can play on.
I always loved going to watch him play. Ashlyn would get very excited on game day too! She would pack snacks in her purse and wouldn't complain about being buckled in her carseat when she knew we were going to watch Austin. She brought her princess ball to play with while we waited for one of his games to start.Batter Up!!He pitched in the last game and even got the game ball for striking out each player that came to bat.We were really proud of him!"Go Austin!"I think Ashlyn is Austin's biggest fan!
He played 2nd base and short stop in the outfield.
He had a great season. Next year he will be playing for Junior High!!
I think we enjoyed watching him play almost as much as he enjoyed playing!DaNae (Grandma) and JasonAshlynTravis

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Learning to Ski

This has been an amazing year for skiing! It's April and there is still snow on the mountain! Jason and I usually only make it up the hill to ski about once a year. We love it though. I love the car ride up with just the two of us. I love how he coddles me each time we go and helps me with my boots and skis. I love how patient he is as he gives me a refresher lesson before we get on the chair lift. I love the ride up and having the time to talk. I love looking around and seeing how beautiful everything is. I always get nervous right before I get off the lift that I am going to make a complete fool of myself and end up in a pile on the hill somewhere, but I love it. I love the time we have together and the skiing part is just a bonus.

My beautiful sister Jen, discovered skiing this year. If you know Jen, you know that when she discovers a new hobby... she's all in!After heading up the hill a few times on her own, she called me one morning to see what my day looked like. The kids were at school and I had everyday house stuff to get done, but nothing out of the ordinary. "Let's go skiing!" I protested at first thinking of the laundry and finding a babysitter last minute, but it did sound like fun... She said we could share Kristin (our assistant) at my house so my laundry would be done and she would pick me up in an hour. Done! We had a blast and I'm so glad I went.

When we realized how long the reason was going to be, I turned in my lift ticket and bought season passes for Jason and I. A few days later, Jason came home with three different pairs of ski boots for me to try on and a new pair of snow skis! He said he wasn't sure which ones I would like, so he just brought them all home and said he could return the ones that I didn't work out. I was so excited! A few days after that, he surprised me with two pairs of ski pants and two coats for me to choose from! I was feeling very spoiled and very loved!!

I couldn't wait to try out my new stuff and spend a day skiing with Jason.

Our friends always take their kids skiing with them. Up until now, we have left ours at home because we liked to have the time with just the two of us, so we don't forget that we are a couple. It's easy to get lost in the roles of Mom, Dad, and the kids. Lately, we've had a bunch of time to be a couple, so after a day for just the grown ups, we decided it was time to bring the kids up.
We started with Lauren. She was so excited to learn how to ski and couldn't wait to learn so she could ski with her friends.
Jason is an awesome teacher! He spent most of the morning on the bunny hill teaching Lauren the basics.I'm sure he ran up and down that hill 50 times!She caught on pretty quickly and said she was ready to hit the hill!Lauren's first ride up the chair lift.Jason kept the harness on her, just in case. I skied in front of them and tried to give Lauren a nice big S pattern to follow. My favorite line from the day was from Lauren exclaiming in total excitement, "Look! I used my brakes!" when she brought herself to a stop on the side of the hill. Lauren is very trusting and followed directions almost perfectly! She did an amazing job her first time down. The end of the run was the hard part because neither Jason nor Lauren had poles and it gets pretty flat. Jason tried to skate while I pulled Lauren along.He finally decided it was easier to take off his skis and walk. :-) We loved spending the day with Lauren! She loved skiing and kept asking when we could go back. SO...
We went back and brought Jessica and Austin. I wasn't sure how we would do with three beginners, but Lauren convinced us that she could ski now and it would be okay. Who knew she was so determined?
Jason and Jessica (going up the tow rope for the bunny hill)Jason and Jessica

Austin had learned to snow board a few years ago, but decided he wanted to try out skis this year.

He picked it up amazingly fast!

Lauren held to her word and was very independent while Jason and I worked with Jessica and Austin. She went up and down the bunny hill and practiced sharpening her turns around the cones. She must have asked 100 times if we could go up the chair lift yet! :-) She couldn't wait to ski! We took a break for lunch before we headed up the lift. At lunch, Austin told me that he was really nervous about the chair lift.

I knew that he would be nervous because we had talked about it a few weeks ago. He was surprised when I told him that I get scared of things too, especially when I'm not sure what to expect. We had a really good, long talk about fear and weighing the risks. I appreciate that he isn't reckless or irresponsible, but I was worried that he might miss out on some really fun things in life if he lets his fear take over. I told him that sometimes he has to just feel the fear and do it anyway. I know that with Austin, you can't push too hard. If you push, he retreats and nothing short of physically making him do something can change his mind. I knew I had to be careful. I knew it was a real fear and he was getting physically sick as he looked at the lift.

"Well, Austin... what do you want to do?" I asked. He thought about it for a minute and said he didn't know. I reminded him about our talk and explained to him that it would be really brave of him to get on the chair lift. He looked at me kind of funny. "Brave?"

"Yeah. People that are brave face a challenge or fear and do it anyway. It's not bravery if it isn't hard right?" I could tell he was thinking about it and knowing that he trusts me just enough, I said, "Common, let's go." I got up and started to walk off. He started to protest, but I told him he could do it and it would be glad he did, but if he really didn't want to he could stay there and wait for us. He took a deep breath and got up.

We thought it would be best if Jason went up with Austin in case he needed help getting off. I thought Austin might throw up as we were waiting to get on. Wes was there and rode up with them.

I was so excited when he got on the lift! I can't tell you how proud I was of him for overcoming such a huge fear. It literally made him sick to think about. He turned white and got nauseous, but he felt the fear and did it anyway!
Wes, Austin and Jason

Jess was a little nervous about getting off but the girls loved the chair liftOn our first run down with all of the kids, Jason kept Jessica in the harness and Austin and Lauren followed me.Austin was a natural and didn't have any problems and Lauren just wanted to know if we could go faster!Wes took a short cut and waited for us in the snow.It was so much fun! We got to the bottom Austin asked half jokingly if there was a way we could just teleport him to the top so he could ski down the hill again. We laughed and got in line for the chair lift. He took a deep breath and got on. We took Jessica off the harness and had an amazing day skiing together.JessicaAustin, Lauren, JessicaJason, Austin, Jessica, Lauren, WesJessica, Austin and JasonMe and my nephew GarrettLauren and Jessica with Jason keeping a watchful eye from behind. I actually got teary eyed seeing the kids ski in front of me. I LOVED having the kids up the hill with us. Lauren, Wes, Austin, Jessica, Tara

They all loved skiing and begged us to bring them back the next weekend. So we did. By the end of the day, they had all taken off with their friends to ski. Austin jumps on and off the chair lifts and even convinced me to go over a jump on a blue run with him! I had to eat my own words on that one!
Drew, Austin, Jessica, Wes, Lauren

Austin and Wes
I love it that we have found something we can do as a family. I love it that my kids are getting old enough to be fun to hang out with. On one of the car rides up, Jessica played DJ with the music and I just laughed to myself as we all sat rockin' out together. I love my life!