Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Family Does Crack

Ah...the family crack-off. It is the highlight of Easter time. And we still have a couple crack-offs to go, but I need to get rolling on these (pun intended) or I will never get everything posted.

My family (Dargan) is great about coming out to celebrate with us. I admit that I was very saddened that my Dad didn't attend this year. This is the first time, in a long time, that he hasn't come, and the absence of his amazing egg designs was felt. But Miranda came and seemed to fill in nicely. In fact, I had to talk her into decorating some eggs, and I'm so glad she did. Let's check out the gallery for this year.

I warned the kids a LOT not to touch other people's eggs. I didn't want anything to get cracked early. I warned and I warned, but all to no avail. Someone picked up Ivory's rainbow egg and accidentally dropped it on her other egg, cracking her ice cream sandwich. Most embarrassing, was that the person was ME. Yes, I cracked her egg. I confess. This isn't the first time I have done this either. Tim was very quick to remind me of another year in which I cracked his egg. He dubbed me an 'egg-wrecker.' I don't disagree.

But it did lead to Ivory making another egg that I really liked. Her bat egg was super cute. I took a picture from two angles. And I labeled it wrong. Technically, it is called Swirley Moonlight. I was close.

The art judging is taken very seriously.

It is always very hard to decide on your top five. (And no, you can't vote for your own eggs.) These are some good looking eggs.

Votes are in. The winner is Deceptive Rose. (And she wasn't even going to design her eggs.)

Then we put the fluffy stuff aside and got down to the cracking. June and Tyler started us off. Of course, they missed each other's egg three times.

Minion is taking out Flowerbed.

Check out Tim's game face. He is a serious cracker.

In case you are wondering, we draw names randomly. You never know who you will face off against.

Here are the littles cracking off.

And then there were two contenders. Robyn vs. Mom.

She slaughtered me. Robyn never even had to use her second egg. This makes two years running for this girl. Maybe she has a strategy that I don't know about. I must watch her closely next year.

Always a good time. Thanks family, for the great memories.

*Dad, I expect you to weigh in on your favorite eggs, since you weren't there to vote in person.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Looks Like Spring Gave Us a Break

The weather has been fantastic lately. Spring feels so fabulous after winter. I'm glad they were put in that order. You would think that with this great weather, we would be having a rockin' Spring Break. Well....we got some family pictures that were super cute. (They will be coming soon.) But apparently we picked up a little bug somewhere along the way. Pearl started with it. Then Ives. Next Daisy. Robyn is manifesting with a fever today instead of the annoying cough, which in my estimation is the better way to go. June is still immune? Or is she saving her moment until next week when school starts again. (Let's hope not.)

Nothing serious, but just enough to keep us close to home. We did play a roaring game of Sardines the other evening out in the yard. It was super fun. All the girls came up with clever places to hide. Dad's was probably the most creative since he hid in the recycling bin. (Not all of us were able to join him in there.) My spot was the best considering they finally gave up and decided that I had cheated and gone inside. (Come on now...mom....a cheater?? Not when it comes to hide and seek. If you can't find me, you just have to look harder.) We think we might branch out next time and include more territory. So, neighbors, if you see a whole bunch of people hiding in your backyard, don't worry, it's just us.

We did make it to the park earlier this week. And a small miracle happened because I brought my camera. What can I say...the planets align sometimes. It was fun to get shots of the girls just being themselves.

With FIVE girls, I should have a vast collection of hair paraphernalia by now. Nope. No bows or ribbons. The occasion headband makes the scene, but it is usually lost in the first five minutes. My rule is that everyone gets their hair done on Sunday, and I let them do what they want the rest of the week. (Unless there is a very unkempt head to which I have to restore order.) So, the waif look is in. Pearl sports it very well. Sometimes I'm not sure if she can see where she's going, but she always seems to get there okay.

More awesome hair, but you can't beat it in combination with that smile.

Ivory has just learned how to manage the hair ties. So, she sports the waif look less often now. But when she does pig tails, she does a mean Pippy impression. (Not pictured here.)

This picture of June makes me smile. She is my cohort in crime. She is the other little mom that runs around and pushes people on the swing, and encourages and cuddles. (Granted, she probably does as much tickling as I do, but that comes with the territory.) I am so happy to have her as a daughter.

Really, I just smile at all my kids. They each have their own unique personality that delights me frequently while still driving me a tad insane at times. Most likely they have a bit too many 'stubborn' genes from their mom.

Remember when you could jump off a swing and not break a bone??

Peapod on the swing.

Ivory has been working hard in gymnastics. She found a bar at the playground and was showing off her mad skilz. I was pretty impressed. It is hard to take a picture that shows how fast she can spin around that bar. This is my attempt. I bet you get the idea.

I need to remember to go to more parks this summer. The kids always have a good time. They were sitting at the bottom of the tube slide and scaring children as they came down. They appropriately named it the 'Scare Slide,' and were advertising across the playground. There was a line of kids waiting to go down. Very creative.

Oh, and I managed to get my first sunburn of the season. Yep, looks like Spring is breaking us in.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pearl's 4 Year Gallery

Around the corner from our house is a field. Not much happening there. Just a field. No animals, or old buildings. I think the neighbor kids play games there sometimes, but we are pretty new and haven't explored it much. One day not too long ago, I drove past, as I often do and noticed the field was a new color. It had turned purple. Little wild flowers covered the ground. It was beautiful.

I never fail to glance at the field when I drive by. I wonder how long the color will last. The family has been on walks there, but for some reason, I have not been with them. So needless to say, when I was thinking about where to take Pearl for her pictures, the field kept popping into my mind. I wanted to remember the field, and I wanted to go do my own exploration.

Granted, I didn't chose the best time. The hour before conference started, I noticed it was overcast (better weather for picture taking) so I told Tyler I was headed out the door. He mentioned that I couldn't be gone long, and I knew it. I got pictures, but not a lot of exploring done. Guess that will come later.

Pearl was such a good little picture taker. She has a mischievous smile right now. And sometimes she got very silly. But I love all of her fun expressions. I hope you enjoy the purple flower field photo shoot. (Say that five times fast.)


I have to admit that I am loving the ages of my girls right now. Pearl is old enough to keep up. No more naps and diapers. June is young enough that she still loves imagining and playing with her sisters. They are all so fun. I think we will have a really great summer this year.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Conference Incentives

Does anyone remember the wall I made?? As the next session of conference approached, I wanted to reward those who had made the effort to read the previous talks. Everyone had signed the wall at least once, but only June really took the challenge to heart and finished them all. I wanted to reward her in some way, but I also wanted to reward everyone for trying. I set up levels of rewards with prizes when you read 1, 4, 7, 10, 12, or 15 talks.  I knew June would get all the rewards, but I figured that would be okay. I mentioned to the kids that there was a week left and what they could still achieve.

And thus began the frenzy.

Kids were coming home every day and asking for my phone to read talks, or asking me to put a talk on the computer. (The younger kids can't read the talks, but they get credit for watching them.) It only goes to show what kids will do for candy. (I'm thinking I need to find another reward system that isn't so sugar intensive.)

I will say that the wall was looking nice and full by the end of this week.

June, Robyn, and Daisy each read (or watched) all fifteen talks from the wall. Super impressive. But everyone went home a winner.

After all, something must have soaked in along the way. Or at least that is what I am hoping. Tyler was a bit concerned the kids would be all 'conferenced' out by the time we had conference today, but they sat quietly and listened. (You know, besides Pearl who was kind of all over the place.) They are good kids.

And I believe the wall served its purpose. I think it is a keeper for now.

Friday, April 4, 2014


In general, I do not take selfies. They never seem to turn out how I like. I think my FB picture has been the same for 5 years, at least. But I do enjoy taking a picture with my kids. Someday they will appreciate these pictures and that is what matters.

Ha ha. Just kidding Daisy. That doesn't really count. So I took another one later.

I feel so blessed to have all these lovely girls. Last weekend was the General Women's Conference Broadcast for our church. It was wonderful, and unlike other years, they invited all the women to come together, ages 8+. I went from attending by myself to suddenly having THREE children to accompany me. I loved it. (This is where I feel very sorry for Tyler who has no one to attend priesthood with him.) The girls and I went out to celebrate afterwards. We met up with June's bestie and had ice cream. Perfect end to a fabulous evening.

Even better that we have a whole weekend of conference ahead of us. Stitching and the word of God. It is like a mini vacation for me.