2012 Family Picture

Clarkson Family 2012

Washington DC Weekend

We rented a van and even though the kids and I were just getting over strep we headed to DC. Our first stop was the DC temple. Isn't is beautiful? The kids enjoyed the visitors center and chatting with the sister missionaries.

We were so lucky to have a warm weekend! There is snow on the ground, but the weather was great!

Valentines day morning, we visited the Washington Monument. Andrew and Tim with the White House in the background.

The best place was the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. The kids LOVED it! And did you know ALL the museums in DC are free????

To Matthew, our 7 year old, this real giant squid was the coolest thing ever!
Levi had this look on his face the entire time! He loved seeing the animals! Here he just discovered a giraffe.
We had a great little trip. Something I didn't plan on: sooooooooooooooooooo much walking. Also, we took the METRO and that was an extremely new experience for Tim and I, being from the West. But the kids were really obedient, didn't get lost, and it was actually fun (looking back on it!)

This was hilarious and I had to share!!


OK! I am finally getting around to posting. Here is a summary of what we have been up to in Pittsburgh!!

After traveling for 9 hours, the boys and I arrived in Pittsburgh, where Tim picked us up. The boys were super good and the only problem was when our plane landed, all 4 boys were asleep! And, the stroller wasn't waiting for me on the gangway, so all 4 boys were crying and tired as I was trying to herd them (while carrying the car seats and carry-on) down the aisle of the plane. That was hilarious. So, Tim met us and brought us to the extended stay hotel which was to be our home for the next 3 months! The manager of the hotel upgraded our room for free to this awesome 2 bedroom suite.

Christmas was so much fun. We were just glad to be together as a family! Here is a picture of our Christmas Eve "feast". It's hard to cook in a hotel, even when the kitchen is furnished, because they have the bare minimums. We are eating my family's traditional dinner of Clam Chowder. The boys had their first taste of egg nog and loved it.

Andrew lost his 1st tooth on Christmas Eve! So we had the Tooth Fairy and Santa at our house that night!Our family tradition is to act out the Nativity in Luke 2, so here is the cast below.
Mary and the baby.
Isaac our "angel".
The wiseman and the shepherd.
The boys in their Christmas p.j.'s. They all wanted "feet" pajamas, even Matthew, so luckily we found some in size 8!
Christmas morning! Santa brought our presents to the lobby tree and one of the hotel staff took a family picture of us.
Our White Christmas
Our hotel is right across from PNC park where the Pittsburgh Pirates (baseball team) play.

Pittsburgh has over 1200 bridges, and here we are on one of them.
My cute 4 boys at an outside skating rink.
Andrew lost his 2nd tooth a few days after Christmas. My boys are so brave and pull their teeth out on their own. I was always too freaked out to do that and waited until it fell out while eating applesauce or something like that. It is fun to have a house full of boys.
Isaac and Levi being funny while I'm trying to put the pull out bed away.
One of the best things about living in a big city are all the things they have available for kids to do. We bought a pass to the Children's museum (less than a mile from our hotel) where they have 4 floors of fun things to do. Here the boys all built rockets and launched them through rings.
Really the only downer of the trip was that my boys got Strep for 2 weeks. They got it from my cousin who we went to visit in Columbus, OH, just 3 hours away. We spent a week with them and it was so much fun, but we brought back strep. We had to take them in for antibiotics because their fevers were so high, and they just felt awful. Here they are playing play dough since we were homebound.
The best part of living in a hotel is that whenever the place gets a little dirty, the boys and I just leave to go do something fun and when we get back, the place is clean!! Also, I have been able to read a lot. I read all 8 of the Anne of Green Gables series (which I really enjoyed and have wanted to do for some time) and the book Wild Swans by Juan Chang (very different than the Anne series but also very interesting, about growing up in communist China).

We have some great pics from a weekend trip to Washington DC, but that will have to be another time!!!

October/November update

My cute boys ready for trick or treating on Halloween! Tim was Clark Kent - he really is my Superman!
My awesome Grandparents were here visiting!!! It was so cool because both Tim and I were able to go trick or treating with the boys while my Grandparents passed out candy. And they were so much fun to hang out with and chat with. Last time my Grandma was here she helped me paint my house. This time, I helped her make a digital scrapbook! It was so fun and she picked up on it so quickly!! We used, just in case you were wondering.
Here was our "Spooky Dessert" I made for us on Halloween. (Ok, this was actual Halloween. Our neighborhood, being in Utah and 90% Mormon, celebrated Halloween on Saturday night. So we had our "Spooky Dinner" on Sunday, real Halloween.) Isaac was really disgusted and freaked out that I would serve dirt and weeds for dessert! Really, it was ice cream, with crumbled cookies on top. The "weeds" were chives. :) It was a fun night!
Allyson and Shari, please don't hate me for posting this picture! These two ladies are such amazing friends, neighbors and running buddies! At first we were walking buddies, but Allyson found an app on her iTouch that got us running a 5k! The app was called "From Couch Potato to 5k" just FYI. We ran our 5k on November 6th. It was so much fun and Tim was a great cheerleader! This was also the last day that Tim was in Utah! He was offered a temporary job move to Pittsburgh, PA for 4 months and he left that night.
My awesome cheerleaders!

Thanksgiving is a time for family, and boy did Tim and I get a LOT of family time in! Tim flew back into town for a 4-day whirlwind weekend! We drove up to Provo to be with my family, pictured below. It was so great to see everyone and loved being together! My parents also spoiled my kids with all of my little brother Tyler's toys that he has grown out of. My kids were on cloud 9!
Then we drove to Kanab on Friday to be with Tim's family for his parent's 50th wedding anniversary! Tim is #9 out of 11 kids, so there are a lot of us. It's like "Where's Waldo" in this picture! But it was a lot of fun again and great to see everybody.
Tim left Sunday morning to fly back to PA. :( Here the boys and I are raking the front yard leaves. It was such a nice day and I wanted to get it done before we left for Pittsburgh (we joined Tim on December 17th). The boys had so much fun raking leaves! They were such great helpers. In the days before we left for Pittsburgh, my boys did up to 9 chores each day (before and after school!!) I'm amazed at how they were just able to step up and CHEERFULLY help me get ready for our trip, since I had no husband to help out. Kids are much more capable than we think they are. Matthew even did things like vacuum out the car! (Muahahaha! Now I know what he can really do!)
Check out Levi's face. I LOVE this little guy and all his hearty laughs and giggles!

That's all for now. I will post Christmas and Pittsburgh in the future, but the kids need me. :)

I really don't like thinking of titles...

Key highlights of the last 6 months of family life. For some reason I was feeling too overwhelmed to blog, but now, as my boys have gotten older, life is not so overwhelming and I have a minute to myself. YAY!

Below you will find: Birthdays, Bosler Reunion, Funny Boys, Camping Trip, First Day of School, Bahamas Vacation and Playing in the Rain.

Isaac's 3rd birthday! (Notice the TV and stand in the background... not something I'd normally point out, but it's a before shot to my new entertainment center picture below).

New Entertainment Center! My aunt Kendra bought this for me off and then I stained it to match! Much better!
Matthew's 7th Birthday. I really can't believe I have a seven-year-old. WOW. He is so wonderful and I love having him as my oldest. He is so smart and mature. I love having real conversations with him.

We went to the community center pool to celebrate Matthew's birthday. Isaac had so much fun he fell asleep! He really cracks me up. Isaac is so funny and does the craziest things.Matthew lost his 5th tooth on his birthday! So cool for a seven-year-old.

Bosler Family Reunion at Deer Springs Ranch in So. Utah. We had SO MUCH FUN!!

Tim and I slept with all the kids.... yeah, we're the old married couple now!My mom surprised me with a wedding book she made for me on Heritage Makers! What a wonderful present. I haven't had a wedding book all these years, and now I have a beautiful one. I love it that my mom made it because she knew which pictures would have meaning to me. I love how the book has professional and candid photos. So wonderful. Thanks mom!
Summer! My kids live on popsicles in the summer. Here's Levi having his 3rd that day!

I love Isaac's eyes!
And Levi's eyes! I seriously think all the boys in my life have such gorgeous eyes! I'm glad the boys took after their daddy with such long, dark eyelashes! So dreamy! Levi LOVES the garden hose in this St. George heat. (We are probably washing off the popsicle mess!)
We went camping for a weekend, just our little family, at Deer Springs Ranch. We love that place. It's Tim's dad's ranch and it is so peaceful there. Our boys had a blast. This next pic is for my siblings.... we took a picture like this when we were little, haha!

I LOVE this kid! Isaac is posing outside of a real log cabin from the 1800's. I think it's called the Shumway cabin? Any way, real pioneers settled and lived in this very cabin. I stood in the middle of it and wondered how they really survived? I am so amazed by our ancestors, what they went through and how hard they worked to just survive, every day. We are so blessed.Cute boys in a pretty place.
First Day of School! Isaac is off to preschool. It's a joy school type preschool that 4 of my friends and I are doing. We rotate teaching preschool once per week at our homes. It is awesome and I love it. Isaac loves it too! And my friends are my neighbors, so Isaac just walks down a couple of houses all by himself, like he is so big!

Matt's 1st day.

Andy's 1st day.Matt's 1st day..... Again! Yup, they switched schools. They got into a charter school, after the public school already started. They were such troopers to switch after a month in, but I can't say better things about the school they are going to now! It's amazing and I'm so happy they are there! Vista pride!

Here's Andy in his Vista uniform.
Here I am being domestic. My wonderful friend, Paige, taught me how to bottle peaches! The church orchard had extras we could go pick for FREE, so my other wonderful friend, Allyson, and I (with our families) went and picked a couple hundred pounds of peaches.... each! Paige also taught me how to can chicken and I had so much fun doing that, too! It's so fun to learn something new.
My adorable "babies". They aren't really babies anymore. :(
Tim's 32nd birthday. I always make him pineapple upside down cake. I made this cake for him when we were dating and now it's tradition. We took Tim's birthday to a new park the boys had never been to before.
Our 10 year anniversary Bahamas Cruise! Tim earned a cruise for being in the top 10 at work (the Diamond Club) and we had SO MUCH FUN! I was so scared I was going to miss our kids, and I did.... for about an hour! My mom flew out to watch them for 5 days while we had so much fun together and with his awesome friends from work! Below is a pic taken on the bus, after landing in Florida. About to board the ship!
At the Atlantis hotel and waterpark!
At the "captain's dinner" on the cruise ship. I have my adopted mom, Betsy, to thank for the great wardrobe. She took me shopping a month or so before the cruise so I would have cute stuff to wear! Seriously, she is amazing. I am so grateful to have the best friends and family one could ever have.
Levi loves riding this toy horse that is in our backyard. Sometimes he rocks back and forth so hard I'm scared he's going to get hurt or fall! Couldn't you just kiss those cheeks off??Playing in a warm summer rain.

Well, that's all for now! If you made it this far, you are a true friend! More recent things have happened, but that's for another post.

How many licks to the center of a tootsie roll pop?