Friday, September 30, 2011

The House

We've only been living here for about a month and a half, but here,


are some pictures...I initially had planned on putting them in a particular order, but after forgetting to put this last picture in, I was not about to reload all the pictures just cuz I left this one, for starters, here is the kitchen. :)

Ya, it's nice and big. I really don't know what to do with all the space. Especially above the cupboards...right now there are just some glass dishware and my beloved window.

Carter on the front I said, these are totally out of order.

Another shot of the front porch. I really LOVE this porch. It is so cute! We don't sit out there all that often, but it'll come in handy on Halloween! We won't have to keep opening and shutting the door. :) We can just sit there and hand out our goodies...

Front door. Love that it's red. (I have a love/hate relationship with red...I keep trying to eradicate it from my home decor, but it seems to keep slipping back in. I just can't seem to live without it!)

Wanna see a little more of what's inside? Well come on in. ;)

Gavin at the table painting with/eating yogurt.

The living room. (Can you tell what movie Jem is watching?!?) I am having trouble with this room. I know I need to raise the picture of the temple and possibly put something on top of the entertainment center, but the walls are so big and the ceiling so high compared to what I'm used to, that I'm having difficulty balancing the space. Suggestions welcome! And, I haven't put any window treatments up cuz there are SO MANY WINDOWS! They would need to match, and I can't do 4 new sets of window treatments right now...and that's just the living room. I LOVE all the light though! Definitely welcome after living in dark apartments with one window per room.

Our beloved piano. I was super bummed that it didn't fit in the living room, but at least it's close by. (Never thought I would have a piano in my dining area/kitchen.) I would LOVE to find an area rug to go under it. I think it would help absorb some of the sound. (It's pretty loud with the tile under it and high ceilings...not that I'm complaining!)

View of the whole dining area.

And here's a front view of the house. Isn't it cute! I love the rock accent along the bottom and the little window above the garage. (I've been having a rough time with Carter...what's new...maybe I should put him in the attic when he's least he'd have a window to look out of.)

No bedroom pics yet...I'm truthfully not doing a whole lot in those areas...we're only here for like 10 more months and I don't wanna get carried away in a space I won't be staying in, ya know.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Swimmin' in the heat

Before all the family left town after Melanie and Jade's wedding, Grammy & Grandpa Stone had us all over for a BBQ & swim party. PERFECT! Especially since it was still very hot. We had a blast hangin' with all the family, coolin' off in the pool, and eating lots of good food...oh, and the boys managed to fit it watching the BYU game...which, unfortunately BYU did not win...:(

Daphne, Jemma & Kyrie.

Gavin & Sydney...only about a month apart.
We really need to work on Gavin's social skills. He had a real problem with hitting this sweet girl.

Carter & Sean, sportin' their goggles.

My brother Jacob and Sydney...Jacob is really great with all the grand kids. It's no wonder the little ones all adore him!

We busted open the left-over pinata from the wedding and Carter FINALLY took a whack at one of these babies. Pretty sure he loved it!

Cousin, Hayden. (He's Carter's age and HILARIOUS!)

Here's Dallin, the oldest of the grand kids. He wielded that stick like a light saber and cracked this baby wide open. Nicely done Dallin. :)

Gavin, enjoying some of his saltwater taffy from the pinata.

Jacob with Gavin.

The kids had a blast playing water charades and doing all kinds of tricks in the pool for each other...not sure what exactly was goin' on here, but we thought it was cute how they were all huddled together planning something.
The kids miss their cousins. Are you guys sure you have to wait until Christmas to come back? We'll take you for Thanksgiving, Halloween, this weekend...asap!

Love you guys!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mel & Jade

My little sister, Melanie, got married Friday, September 9th to Jade Magnum Thomas...I don't usually put full names on my blog...but his is just so darn cool, I had to spell the whole thing out. :) We are so happy for these two. They are so darn cute together and VERY happy. Here they are coming out of the Oakland Temple just after their sealing.

See! Cute, and happy! :)
We took the whole family up to the temple and my siblings Emma, Jacob & Nathan were kind enough to watch all 9 nieces and nephews while the rest of us were inside for the sealing. Thanks again guys! Here's Jem chillin' in front of one of the fountains...side note...I found out a few years ago that every temple has a water feature of some sort because it is symbolic of Christ who is the "Living Water". Cool huh. (Pretty sure you told me that, Sharee.)

Jemma & Carter with their Aunt Mel.

Me & Mel. :) Wasn't she a lovely bride! She gave the honor of fixing her hair that day. I am KICKING myself for not getting ANY shots of the sides and back of her hair. Lame. Maybe the professional photographer did...

Our family in front of the temple...Brandon and I were married here a little more than 7 years ago, so we thought it appropriate for us to take a current photo of our family in front of where it all began. :)

The three musketeers "playing patty fingers in the holy water"(name the movie!)...j/k. For those who are not LDS and reading this blog, we do not consider this water to be holy. Just a pretty addition (and symbol) on the temple grounds.

More fun in the fountain.

Some of the kiddos outside the temple.

Left to right: Dallin, Jemma, Gavin, Ruby, Kyrie & Daphne.

After the temple sealing, we all headed back to Ceres to prep for the family dinner later that evening. Melanie didn't wanted a reception...just a simple outdoor dinner for family and close friends, so that's what we did and it was LOVELY.

They had these cute pom poms at the family dinner that Gavin was totally intrigued by. He kept walking around under them trying to figure out how to get one down...if I remember correctly, he did finally retrieve one. Here he is headed off to check the pom-poms out.

Melanie talked about having a pinata at the dinner, and by golly, she pulled it off. She and my sister Emma tore apart some hideous pinatas and made them much more appealing...

Here's Mel helping my nephew, Dallin, gear up to hit the pinata.

Jemma takin' a whack at the pinata. Gavin had his first swing at a pinata that night too, I was just too busy helping him swing that 10 lb bat (not kidding. that thing was heavy) to take a picture...and Carter, well, he refused to take part...crazy huh!?! Ya know what, it just boils down to him getting super introverted when we're in public...he's very athletic and would have thoroughly enjoyed swinging that bat, if there hadn't been such a crowd.

This was Gavin's expression during the whole pinata extravaganza. Completely mesmerised.

Did I mention it was a blazing 98 degrees that night? Well it was. Scorching, I know. While Gavin was wandering around the yard (and I was supervising said wandering), he sauntered his way around the house and into the front yard where he discovered the front lawn being watered.

It took about 5 seconds for him to decide to run around in those sprinklers, and I let fact, I almost joined him.

Much better (cooler).

It was such a wonderful day from start to finish and we are so grateful that we got to be there to witness it all. We love you Melanie & Jade and can't wait to see where life takes the two of you!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Wedding Festivities

One of the things I love about a Stone wedding is spending time with my family. It is fabulous! Over the years, we have developed a few favorite, hands down, is doing the flower arrangements. It. Is. So. Fun. So, here are a few pics of my mom and sisters working on the arrangements and the finished products.

Jewel! Where were you!?! I know you did these with us, but I don't have a single picture of you on my camera! (Melanie, the bride, was gone working on other stuff...she's never really liked doing these! Crazy girl. Next time, like it or not, we're draggin' you in to do them with us!!!)
Aren't they lovely!?! Those creamy-peach roses were my FAVORITE...along with those pom-pom/ball things...ya, I don't know the technical term...
We had them all sitting on top of the piano when we finished them. The living room looked and smelled like the Garden of Eden! LOVELY!

These next pictures have absolutely NOTHING to do with past family traditions...this is purely a MELANIE tradition. She is notorious for her "photo-shoots". She loves dressing up, doing funky stuff with make-up and taking gazillions of, per request of Mel (the bride-to-be), we put on clothes that could pass off as American Indian, Mel painted our faces, and it was out to the backyard to take pictures...and for kicks, we called it her bachelorette party. :)

So, I have to admit, it was REALLY FUN! And, the kids thought it was awesome.

Melanie is the one with the long dark hair and glasses on.

Here we are dancing around Mel...we look utterly ridiculous and I'm laughing out loud right family ROCKS!

Duck-duck-goose...I'm sure Indians played this one all the time. ;)

More silly dancing...before we had an all-out Indian war.

Can you see Gavin in the middle? He had no idea what was going on, but he made sure he was part of it all, cuz it was so darn fun!

Thanks Mel for your creative and imaginative personality! What would we do without you!?!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Before & After

No, these aren't pictures of the house...sorry.

My sister Melanie just got married, and this was our wedding gift to them. I just thought I would put before and after pics up...

So, I found a hideous picture (so hideous, in fact, that I took it out of the frame before I took this picture) at a local thrift store, (which for the record, is nothing like Thrift City...still bitter about having to leave that behind.)

Painted the frame, raided my moms button tin, and sewed on like 200 buttons in the shape of a "T", I did not come up with the idea on my own...stole it from my clever friend, Alison.
As you can see, it was a rather big "T"...Jemma was kind enough to model next to it (in front of our gardening shed) for the picture to give you an idea of it's size...(sweats in 90 degree weather? I don't get it either. Maybe she was cold after her shower that evening...) I was really pleased with the result. Hope they like it!

The Joy of living in a HOUSE!

Among the blessings that awaited our family in California was a HOUSE. Ya, I know, we've been married 7+ years, and this is the FIRST time we have ever lived in a house where we are not sharing any walls/ceilings/floors with anyone else. It. Is. Lovely.

I LOVE having a washer and dryer again,

a ginormous kitchen,

tile floors,

my own bathroom, (and by "my own" I mean seperate from the kids...Brandon still shares with me:),

a garage,

a yard...especially the FENCED IN back yard where even little mister Gavin can play without me worrying that he might wander into the street,

a hose and drive way where we can wash our cars for FREE, (said in a high sing-song voice) Boy do the kids love that...chores have never been so thrilling...they get so excited when Brandon pulls out the lawnmower and edger and they get to help sweep up all the grass. Adorable.
And, we can fit our upright parents gave this to us (alright, so I asked for it...they were gonna get rid of it when they inherited a grand, and I learned to PLAY on this instrument!!! It had to be MINE...along with the fact that I couldn't bare to see it leave the family.)

And lastly, I love that my walls are not WHITE! All the brown fingerprints just blend right in to the tan walls. Perfect!

More pics to come. (For all 3 of you who care.)


Sunday, September 11, 2011


I realize we're comin' up on our month mark since leaving Oregon, and this post is completely random and a little difficult to follow, but I had to blog about our last week there anyway...

Lemme just start by saying that we LOVED Oregon. It was such a phenomenal place for us to be during Optometry School. There were TONS of things for us to do, gazillions of incredible people, and (minus the gloomy 7-9 months of rain) the landscape was (and is) to DIE for. Miss those moderate temperatures and all the green.

Anyway, we tried desperately those last couple weeks to squeeze as much fun into our schedule as possible. We had a list of places to go and people to see and I think we managed to get all those important things fit in. We made it a priority to hit up the Portland Temple grounds one last time with the kids...

we just sorta forgot that it was the last day of it's annual deep clean when we went...oh well. We didn't get to walk around the grounds, but we did get to see some dude scale the temple wall. Pretty cool.

Love that temple.

I stole this collage from my friend's blog. Her daughter, Reagan and my Carter were BUDDIES. Carter doesn't connect with many other kids...he's just not very social. But he sure loved this little lady. They were pals and it broke my heart to separate them.
Don't worry though, Reagan's mother happens to be one of my closest friends (a kindred spirit if I've ever met one) and so they WILL see each other just won't be on a daily basis...which, frankly, is lame.
Those last couple of weeks though, we crammed in as much fun as possible with their family;
splash park & aquatic center, picnics, Out-of-this-world Pizza, water balloon fights, walks to the park, and, of course, the beach.
Here they are all loaded up in the Skinner's van. AWESOME!
Kristina is crazy strong and pulled all 6 kids to and from the beach...just kidding. But she did give them a ride from the top of the trail to the van after we spent ALL DAY lounging in the sand.

Carter and Reagan on the wagon.

And Jefferson & Jemma swimming in the river that goes down through the beach. (I think Jefferson was retrieving his shoe here.)

I think saying "goodbye" is the WORST part of moving...I'm sure that's how most feel...Jemma was not real happy about leaving all of her she is with Michelle, her bike riding buddy. Michelle actually helped Jemma gain some confidence on her own bike by teaching her to ride in circles. They went for one last bike ride the day before we left and I had to snap a picture of them. No, that's not Jemma's bike. That's Michelle's. ;)

Brandon's dad came up to drive the moving van for us. Don't know that I would have survived the drive if he hadn't...seriously. I don't do long car rides...I get WAY too groggy. So, thanks for coming Mike! And for putting up with the DiSaStEr we were living in the last few days.

Speaking of disaster...there I am...right in the middle of it.

Here's what got me through the insanity of moving:

And the extra insanity that came when Carter ended up with Strep Throat 2 days before we were pulling out. Poor kid.


Back to goodbyes. I HATE them. And I don't know that there has ever been a harder goodbye for me to say than this one.

I realize we'll always stay in touch and definitely see each other again, but I also realize that we probably won't ever be next door neighbors again. I miss you BIG time Kristina!

We spent our last night at our favorite park eating Baja Fresh and watching the kids play.

Thanks Oregon for 3 wonderful years!