Thursday, July 20, 2017

Jake the Biker

Jake has been a biking champ this year!  He has been keeping his Dad company on some longer (15+ mile) bike rides.  Matt better watch out - pretty soon he might have trouble keeping up with these boys!  :) :)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


We had a slow start this summer, but Matt has managed to get the kids out a few times!  Jake & Lincoln did a weekend out camping with their Dad, and then Jake & Bentley did a weekend at the ward campout!  In addition the kids have been engaging in "deck camping" on and off for the past couple of weeks.  Jake has been out there every night, and all four of his other siblings on and off take turns to join him.  Summer time fun!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Lincoln's 6th Birthday: Year of the Penguin!

Lincoln is my funny guy.  He tends to ask for "complex" cakes.... I think it goes back to his first birthday.  :)  I was in the hospital and my good friend Carmin, a cake decorator, made him this masterpiece:

(awhhhhhh - SO CUTE!!!!).

Anyway.  Lincoln & I have a history of fun cakes.  Grandma Julia normally gets roped in too.  So this year I tried (as usual) to sway him towards a bundt cake, a costco cake, a simple but lovely tie dye cake.... no dice.  He informed me he wanted a penguin cake.  For the record, I have never heard him discuss penguins before.  I guess it's because last year we had an eagle cake?!  :)

This year was FANTASTIC!  I found a few cute ideas on Pinterest and then enlisted Genevieve who has an enthusiasm (and far greater talent than I) for this type of stuff.  She did fabulous!  

She's hired!  (And no, this isn't forced child labor - as I type she is engrossed in the Hello Cupcake book, looking for something new to make.... !)

We had our usual pizza, and Lincoln opted for Star Wars 6 as his evening movie of choice.  We will be going to H2Oasis as a family in the next couple weeks as his official "bday choice" activity.  On Sunday he picked dinner, and apparently he is all about breakfast - eggs, pancakes, muffins, and bacon!  :)

Happy big 6, big guy!  We love you!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Swim Lessons!

This summer Lincoln & Evan are learning to swim.  We signed them up for two back to back sessions June/July with our favorite local swim group.  It meets very close to our home, which is awesome!  Now that I'm on my last children I'm becoming wise - I have invested in "warm belly" suits, which are made out of the neoprene that divers use to stay warm.  The little guys are able to concentrate on learning to swim because their teeth aren't chattering from the cold.  Brilliant!

Lincoln doesn't love that the suits make you a tad buoyant (irksome when you're trying to do bobs!) so he decided to wear his regular swim suit one day to class.  He didn't believe me that the new one was all that different.  He quickly changed his mind.... :)  Lincoln did awesome.  By the end of the first 8 sessions he mastered front and back floating and has a great wall glide.

Evan?  He's making progress, but a bit slower.  In his words.... "why did you sign me up for this?  I didn't ask you too!!!!"  Anyway.  Cute kid.  Love them both!

Summer Dance Intensive

In June Genevieve did a 3 week dance intensive at her ballet school.  She went last summer and thoroughly enjoyed it, so decided to give it another whirl.  I was thinking she'd give it a pass because it starts "early" (9:30 am) but she rose above that struggle.  :)  I guess that means she REALLY likes it?!  They bring up different guest instructors from around the country and have classes in ballet, jazz, modern, singing, and stretching.  She had a great group of girls (and one boy!) that she was with and had a fabulous time.  At the end of the three weeks we had the chance to enjoy a performance down town!

A quick shot after the show:

Monday, July 10, 2017

Girl Scout Camp!

Genevieve went to her first overnight camp this past week.  She is now a third-generation camp Togowoods attendee!  I did many (okay, maybe a SLIGHT exaggeration, but more than a few!) overnight camps as a kid and I wasn't always a happy camper - I would get homesick and didn't love all the camp activities, but was always convinced I wanted to go by my childhood bestie.  Genevieve headed off to camp on her own and I was a bit worried - but she was not.

She had a grand time, and tells me she didn't miss us... at all.  Sheesh!  She wants to go back for longer, and to farther away places.  I guess I will settle for feeling happy that she is a secure and well adjusted independent child?!  :)  I'm delighted she enjoyed Camp Togowoods.  She came home singing camp songs and has been busy teaching them to her little brothers.... :)

Weird trivia?  They had a burn ban at the camp (which I think is odd as it has been pouring rain lately.)  They made smores with marshmellow puff creme instead.... !  Genevieve's platform tent had space for six campers, but the three girls who didn't show up were all in her tent so it was just her and one other girl in that tent.  There were six total in her group and two counselors - so they had a nice counselor to kid ratio, I suppose!

Other weird trivia?  Rise time was 7:30 and we were told she was always the first one up, and the most cheerful.  She's been holding out on me for years, I didn't know she was capable of early mornings!

The packing list they provided for a three night four day camp was quite incredible:

Here she is with ONE of her bags (she had two big ones by the time we got everything packed up!!!):

Dropped off by Dad (it's nice, on occasion, to have a spouse that doesn't mind a good drive.... !):

She's getting so big!  

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Tipping Point Bday.... :)

The majority of the children are now into the double digits.  Triple yikes!

We had a fun birthday day.  Geneveive was at dance camp for the first part of the day.  Matt took the day off of work and got in a fun (LONG! 17 miles?!) bike ride with Jake while she was out.  In the afternoon we were able to hang out all together, and then in the evening we had the cakes (triple layer purple checkerboard velvet!) and chocolate-chocolate-chocolate.  I think there was enough sugar for all.  We had Grandma Karen, Grandma Vicki, and Marjory all join us for pizza and cake to celebrate our favorite new 10 year olds.

Happy #10, Jake and Viva!

Off to dance camp.  With a crown.... 



It was silver, and Genevieve helped decorate it.  Silver and black are her current favorite colors.

Game time!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Cub Camp 2017

This past week Jake headed off to Boy Scout camp!  It's a long week as the mornings start at 7:30 am in order to meet/carpool out to camp - that's early for laid back homeschoolers.  But it was survived.  :)

Jake reports it was a successful and enjoyable week out at camp.  Archery, BB guns, hiking, water fights, boating, kick ball, wood burning, and more.  Matt went out for one of the four days with Jake and for the other days he was with the rest of his pack.  On Friday they had their ending campfire.  Jake won first place in the "camp olympics" for chess puzzles (his time to solve the puzzle -16 seconds - next closet time - > 1 minute!!!).  He also won a second place for best score at archery.

He's looking forward to next year!