Friday, January 31, 2014

National Anthem for Viana!

As a note to the previous post, in case you were wondering what kind of man Trevor Jones really is to pull off such an epic prom invite...well, he's a smart one--check out where he likes to sit; right in the middle of all the cheerleaders!  Good kid.
And in other news, we are in a drought (shocking! living in the desert I would have never guessed!) so our stake president had asked us to fast for moisture in addition to a man suffering from cancer in our stake this fast Sunday.  Well, we got dumped on yesterday!!  10 inches I heard.  The funny thing about that is it wasn't even in the forecast!  And it came pre-fast.  So Eric and I were talking about why the moisture came now and talked about God knowing the desires of our hearts etc. but then Eric said maybe He did it so we would really focus our efforts on fasting for the man suffering from cancer.  I thought that was a really interesting thought.  God's ways are higher than ours, but it is still fun trying to figure them out!  The snow was especially fun since Frozen is all the rage.  And if you know the soundtrack you better believe the phrases floating around our house were, "Do you want to build a snowman?" and "Monroe is in deep, deep, deep deep snow."

 So anyway, Viana wanted to be like her mom and sing the National Anthem in public.  It took me 30 years, but Viana can check that one off at the ripe ol' age of 8!  She got to sing the national anthem at our home wrestling match last night.  She was amazing.

She was a little nervous, but you would have never known.  She owned that microphone! Seriously though, she sang so well and her last note was especially pure and beautiful and perfect.  It is so fun to watch my children grow and find what they love and then do what they love!  Eric filmed if you want to see it, maybe you can watch it one day.  It may have helped her that we spend A LOT of time in our gym, so she probably felt like she was just singing at home!  Here is generally what we look like...
Emmers, pink as can be.
Ram hanging upside down on the bleachers
Brooke playing with some toys and sharing with Emery
Emery already loves Dinosaurs!
And CharlyAnn, no pic, where was she at this point.  Yep, that's about right for her: freebird!
 Cutest part of the night was Viana saying, "The clapping was louder than I thought it would be." True!  Good job Viana!!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Arr, we be askin' a lass to prom fer the Captain!

Creative date asking is one of the perks of being in the culture that we are! (Whether that culture be Utah, or Mormon, or maybe just the culture of the 21st century-I don't know).  Trevor Jones asked us to be the first stop on a pirate scavenger hunt for our dear Kristen Ellsworth (of the voice teacher Kristen).  We took that idea of pirate to heart and went as all out as one can go by digging through one's dress-up clothes stash!

(Do you like Viana's home made eye patch?)
 We also dressed up our living room, though it doesn't look that exciting in this pic...BUT, we had Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack playing, and we had the lights turned off save one candle, two flashlights and a tea light lantern, we set out our pirates dice game as decoration, in addition to two of Viana's chapter books that had boats on the cover as well as a lighthouse picture on the piano.  It was overall fabulous.
 The children posed by the door prepared to recite their "lines" when Kristen came.  It went something like, Welcome to the Carter Cove, come aboard the Carter cruiser, Ahoy matey come on the ship--all in grough pirate voices.
 Kristen had to find where X marked the spot and dig underneath it to find...
 ...A treasure chest!
 Kristen was supposed to come at 7...she didn't make it to our house until 8:30, so we had a ton of fun playing pirates and guess who i am pirate version and practicing our parts.  Overall we decided we need to dress up more in our lives.  So Kristen was being led around by Shania.  Kristen had no idea her night was about to take a turn for the better. She was under the guise that they were coming to our house to pick a DVD Eric had made for our trek fireside.  So she was pretty surprised when our 3 little pirates greeted her at the door!  She then started giggling and giggled the rest of the night.
 She found her treasure chest and in the chest were real pirate clothes for her!
 She looked great!
 We then gave Shania the map to whisk her away to the next buried treasure location, in which she actually did have to use a shovel! Out into the night they went for more swashbuckling excitement and pirate thrills!
I am also happy to report that Trevor called later that night to thank us for our help (that boy has a good mother!--seriously though, she's a gem) and he was with Kristen so he let me talk to her and she was STILL giggling!!  A+ for prom invitation!

Monday, January 27, 2014

State Champs!

Our Cheerleader squad took a big step forward this year and decided to compete. And they wanted to do it Co-ed, so we had 5 boys join our 8 girls and the result was amazing! I guess I'm just so use to drill competitions that it made cheer state extra fun! And anything is more fun when you win!  (Never mind that we were the only Co-ed team so we were the only ones in that category). It was such a cool routine and so fun with the boys stunting. Good job SSHS cheer! 
The competition was in Salem which is right in between Payson and Spanish Fork. Or in other words it was right in between the Trumans and the Fongs, two dear friends we had not seen in too long. It was so good to see Lori and it was like Spencer and Ram had never been apart. And Lucy and Viana were in Frozen heaven.  Plus the view out the Truman's window is not too shabby!

It was so fun to see the Fongs in their beautiful new house. It was just like old times except now we have 8 kids between us! We are hoping not to let so much time pass before we see these friends again!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


We had initially planned on going up north for the holiday, but we had a slow morning and decided to just stay home. Best decision ever! We had the best day. First of all, we worked really hard! Eric was able to make a lot of progress on a video for the stake fireside this week, and the kids and I cleaned the house--with minimal whining even! Then the kids got to have a picnic for lunch with the neighboorhood kids, Eric went on a bike ride, and then we took Emery on her first hike to the hot pots! As we were leaving Anabelle decided he should follow us, so our 8 family members made it all the way up! The new soaking tubs that have been put in by the prawn farmer are cool! We can't wait to use them! As we started hiking back we didn't see Anabelle anymore but hoped he would find us or find his way home. That was just the beginning of the trek home... At one point Eric said"the hike up here was like act 1 of into the woods and now we're in act 2!" Haha,  it wasn't that bad but it was pretty funny.

We didn't find anabelle at all, so of course we all assumed that our unlucky cat is lost forever at the hot pots, if not already eaten by coyotes. But Brooke had the faith to pray and Eric reminded Viana to do the same. We were going to go bowling, but realized the sun was going down so now would be the best chance to find that silly cat.  We tested our vans off-roading skills and made it all the way to the hot pot, which is where we last saw Anabelle.  Eric and I got out and I wondered ifhe hadn't gone to explore the prawn farm construction.  So we went over there and called to him, and sure enough Eric heard meowing.  We found Anabelle! He had climbed under a tarp that was covering wood and had either gotten stuck or scared. We were glad either way, because then we were able to find him!  We are now wondering if that taught Anabelle not to follow us on walks anymore!
We were able to go bowling with happy hearts!

Before we bowled CharlyAnn managed to win jackpot at the arcade :)
We had fun bowling! This was the first bowling trip that the kids attention span lasted all 10 frames, so it was great!

So overall we had a non-segregated, full of love, day of work and fun! Thanks Dr. King!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Emery smiles :)

These pictures are a little fuzzy, but it was hard taking the pics while playing with Emery! You can still see how adorable she is. Emery has right dimple smiles and left dimple smiles. These are mostly left dimple smiles. 

 Ram wanted in on the picture action too.
And Emery said what kind of face was that? 
 So Ram flashed his Squishy face instead!

Friday, January 17, 2014

We're Carters!

I'm so glad that or last name is Carter,  which of course means one who drives.   Because we like going places,  and it's usually crazy places.  Like this Wednesday Eric's life long friend Colby who lives in Alaska was in Las Vegas for business. So  we said,  let's meet in Cedar City at IHOP! So we did!  It was great to see Colby and great to eat at IHOP too!  :)

 Ram was one happy soul with his hot chocolate.
And CharlyAnn has learned how to truly embrace being a "carter", let someone else do all the hard work! 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Here I go, attempting my desire to write more this year! 

I would like to brag about my children.  They are the best in the world.  We live in a portion of the world called Utah.
  I have found that living in Utah and being from Utah are entirely different.  Provo seems to be a bubble (surprise!) of people that strictly live in Utah.  That is because of the melting pot of BYU co-eds that share residency with Cosmo the Cougar 9-12 months out of the year.  To tout where one is from becomes essential to your identity as a college student.  And when you have that conversation on repeat-- you know the one, "My name is CJ, I'm from Colorado, my major is Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology"--and someone actually says they are from Utah, well social suicide for them!  Not that this indicates an undesirable person, or a contrary soul, or someone completly unlikeable.  Indeed, Utahns are some of the kindest, most fun, charming people around.  But there was an understanding when 'from Utah' came up: Utahns like Utahns.  The same way Texans root for Texans, or East Coasters find solace in one another so far away from home.  But since the rest of us were just living in Utah we knew to excuse our 'from Utah' friends on the weekends because they would go home and be with their other 'from Utah' friends.
 Somewhere between my seventh and eigth years of living in Utah I made the transition from living in Utah to being from Utah.  How can you know when that transition happens?  There are many different methods of knowing, but the easiest way is to go on vacation far, far away.  While you are on vacation go on a tour of some sort.  When the tour guide asks where you are from, and out tumbles the word 'Utah' from your mouth-that is how you know.
Another sure fire way of knowing you are from Utah is that Californians, both those actually from California and those who live or have lived in California, become a wonderful novelty.  When you hear someone claim California as home it gives them a little bit of celebrity status.  To say, " When I lived in California..." is a practical badge of honor.  I doubt anywhere else is this the truth.  From my experience, when I was from Colorado, Californians never impressed me.  But now, since I've become 'from Utah', for one to say 'from California' and a sharp intake of breath including some wonderment is synonomous.  It's like you can trust that they know what the real world is.  
So now here I am, from Utah, surrounded by 5 kids who are definitely from Utah--born and raised.  Being from Utah is lovely, and I know it can give them a long and fulfilling life, but I wouldn't mind them being able to experience more from-ness down the road. As I pondered how to help this happen for them, my husband discovered something very important.  A true game changer.  Seventy-five percent of the grandparents, whose very blood runs through their veins, are pure-bred Californians.  Of the Southern variety to boot.  So-Cal is where the majority of my childrens' grandparents return for class reunions.  Three-quarters of the family sages were a stones throw away from the beach or Disneyland growing up.  So as I ponder how to give my children a full life with varied experiences I rest easy knowing they have this secret weapon.  At Utah parties they can break the ice with a little ancestral location dropping, and it will be smooth sailing from there.  Even though 75% by the school grading system is just average, there's nothing average about being 'from Utah' realistically, but 'from California' genetically.  In my book that's 100% best kids in the world certifiably.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The little things

A new years resolution I would like to make but am a little afraid to is to blog more . And not just to blog more but to blog more of my daily life and to take the time to write. Don't feel like you have to read what I wrote I just want to exercise my writing muscles and maybe leave my posterity a little more access into who I am. As you can see that's a tough resolution so that's why I haven't totally committed to it,  but secretly hope I can still do it :).  My real resolution is going swell though,  lest you think I'ma total cop out on resolutions this year. So here is just a little bit of joy in my life from tonight.  I told the kids we're going to start laying out or school stuff the night before to help the mornings. They got into it! Enjoy their creations! 

And Emery is thriving! She's such a joy and such a good baby!
Here's to a half commitment to a secret desire of improved record keeping! 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Viana's baptism and Emery's blessing!!

We had such a wonderful, spiritual weekend.  If you're into family planning--I would definitely say go for kids 8 years apart at some point so that you can have a baptism and blessing in the same weekend.  It was so great to have those two ideas of physical birth and spiritual birth back-to-back.  My heart was filled with gratitude, joy and the spirit all weekend.  I was so blessed to have a daughter who chose to be baptized, a husband who could perform that baptism, and two wonderful extended families who came to the great events!  We also had such kind ward members and local friends come and support our family.  I love the gospel and I love how central the family is to our Heavenly Father's plan.  Viana was so great and it was wonderful to be reminded of how important baptism is.  it was such a special thing to her and so important to her to feel pure.  I hope we can all remember to feel that way--it can be hard sometimes since I was baptized so long ago.  She even bore her testimony on Sunday in her beautiful white dress.  Emery's blessing was beautiful and she was blessed with the gift to bring joy to those around her.  It is truth, she really does that!  Here are so many great pictures of such a great weekend!

Orion came down for the day just for Viana's baptism!  We love Orion.
Al the peeps!!
Haha, Andy assured all of us that he only came because Summer made him.  At least he had fun with Ram!

We ave morning church now!  Sunday afternoon naps are back in business!

We went on a hike after the baptism.  We scaled the steepest hill-Ram totally did the whole thing and was awesome!  Brooke stayed at the bottom and froze!!

As part of her baptism day Viana wanted to do a Frozen play.  This meant tat she would single-handedly sing the entire movie, even tough she was only cast as Anna, she just lip-synched for all the other parts.  It was splendid!  (This is the bow)
Thanks for coming dad!
Roy portion-minus Brooke who had already left with the Carter cousins.

Carter portion.  Molly spoke on baptism and Emily played her violin.  They both did so good!

Hooray for such a GREAT weekend!!!