Thursday, July 31, 2008

Body Parts

A photo essay by Mason.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Racing Day!

Yesterday was the New Jersey State Triathlon. Matt and several friends completed the race and we had a great time being spectators.

Matt took about 12 minutes off of his time from last year. Way to go!

Phil, Mark and Matt just past the finish line!

The crew

Great job, we are so proud of you!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bye, Daddy. Have a good day....

...don't kick anybody in the face.
~Mason, age 4 years 364 days

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Exciting Conclusion

Saturday morning we got up and packed up the cars. Julie and I loaded up the kids and headed back to Grandma & Pops house. We made a quick stop at the park in St. George so that Melissa could eat and the boys could run a bit. Then, after a quick drive-by of grandma Lissa and grandpa Sam's house, we drove the rest of the way to Vegas.
We were home barely an hour before it was pool time! Julie's kids are so brave in the was so good for Mason and Ollie to see them swimming with such confidence.
At times it seemed like a contest to see which child could get the most floaties on (I think Ollie won), other times all the kids were jumping off the diving board like they had been doing it for years! We swam twice a day, ate yummy food, watched The Closer late into the night, and had a great time having the family together.

Zach, age 6, Master Swimmer!

Mason, age 4, first time off the diving board. Loved doing 'the octopus' (thanks Sam!)
Ben, age 4, king of the 'push downs' (diving for rings)

Ollie, age 3, Kamikaze! And he loves goggles.

Jakey, age 2, taking the plunge

My brother Sam and Ikey, age 2, not quite brave enough to jump, but still a little cutie!
Melissa smiling poolside in her swimwear debut.

She loved floating in the spa!
Somehow, cousin Noah is missing in action in the pool pictures. He was a super brave swimmer with his cousins, but was not feeling well on the day the camera was out :(

Thanks grandma girl and pops for a great vacation, we love you!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Our Summer Vacation: part 3

It was so fun to have all the little boy cousins together at the cabin. Here are the 5 older boys taking a little break on our walk to Tommy Creek, the two younger boys were too slow to make the picture :)
Ollie, Mason, Noah, Zach & Ben

The next day was the 4th of July. Fortunately for us, my cousin Stacy and her family are building a cabin near the lake where they have the fireworks. We spent the evening on her deck watching 'the booms'.

The whole crew hiking to the Alpine Pond.

On our last day at the cabin, we went to the spring. The boys were so brave to cross the creek on this log. The big boys did it with no help. The littler boys were lucky enough to have Erica and Stephanie to help them across. Where was I during all of this? NOT standing in the freezing cold water, that is for sure! This fun day continued with lunch at the Burger Barn.

We had such a blast at the cabin, that even after being there for two weeks, we could have stayed for another two without ever running out of things to do. After all the mountain fun, it was time to head back to the heat in Las Vegas. Fortunately, we knew there would be plenty of swimming in our future...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Melissa Joy Lyman

We decided to bless Melissa at the Panguitch Lake branch near our cabin in Mammoth Creek. My entire immediate family was able to be there, minus Chad, my bro in law. He is busy working (and hopefully playing a little) in England. Also, my aunt & uncle, many cousins and their families, and some family friends were there with us. Melissa's blessing was wonderful...we are so grateful to have her here with us and so grateful to have so many family and friends to love her!
Melissa is named after her two great grandmothers - Melissa Earl and Helen Joy Griffin. I hope that with all the special gifts and talents that she has throughout her life that she will be blessed with her great grandma Lissa's kindness and compassion and her great grandma Griffin's thoughtfulness, grace and style.

Melissa's dress was made for her by her great grandma Lissa more than 15 years ago. Our matching bracelets were made for us by my very talented cousin Emily. (See her other amazing jewelry at adorn)

The Earl Family
Back Row: Ikey, Sam, Pops, Grandma Girl, Kristin, Melissa, Mason, Matt, Julie, Jakey.
Front Row: Anya, Noah, Zach, Ollie and Ben.
We sure missed you Chad!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Our Summer Vacation: part 2

Matt's family had to get back to work so we had a day by ourselves before my family arrived. We decided to go for a short hike to Cascade Falls. This is a beautiful waterfall the springs directly from the side of the mountain. We spoke to a group of hikers in the parking lot before we started. I asked if they thought the hike was too long or hard to take the kids. Their thoughts..."Go for it!" So we did! Many parts of the trail were so narrow that Matt had to walk single file holding Mason's hand in front and Ollie's behind. When we arrived at the falls, the group of hikers we had seen in the parking lot seemed surprised to see us. They offered immediately to take our picture. I guess they thought we would need proof that we actually made it to the end!

Silly Faces

It seems like everytime I pull the camera out, the sweet smiles disappear from my kids faces and their silly faces come out in full force. I tried several times to get a picture of Mason with his true smile. It took about thirty shots. They started like this:
and this:
after 26 more shot, I got this:
Then I learned that 'silly faces' may be hereditary.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Our Summer Vacation: part 1

Three short weeks ago we set off on an adventure. After a cross county flight and two quick days in Las Vegas, we headed to southern Utah for some quality mountain time. We were lucky enough to have Matt's parents, brother and family, and cousin Jared join us on Cedar Mountain for a week of fun at the cabin.

Grandma and Grandpa Riley with the grandkids.
Grandpa Riley is a FIRST RATE story teller. It is hard to know what is true or not, but he can keep the kids attention better than anyone I know! Being on vacation with Matt's mom is TRULY a dream vacation for me. She took the kids on walks & hikes, read them stories, gave them their nightly bath and put them to bed. I couldn't ask for a better mother-in-law!

Matt and Mason at Bryce Canyon

Matt and Bart (his bro) on the Bristlecone Pine Loop hike at Bryce Canyon

First family picture since the birth of Melissa.
The kids were total troopers on this hike. they walked almost the entire way. And we discovered that Melissa loves hiking about as much as she loves everything else. She looked around for the first few minutes and then nodded off to sleep for the duration.

Bart, Megan, Sydney and Alexander Lyman
We were so glad to have Matt's bro and his family with us this year. We don't get to see them very often, so it was great to spend some time together. The kids got along famously and had such fun together!

to be continued...

My to do List

Grocery Shop.
Update blog.
Trim tiny fingernails.
Read 348 unread blog posts on my google reader.
Answer 220 unread emails.
Potty train Ollie.
Open three weeks worth of mail.
Try not to let boys watch TV all day while I complete my to do list.

Getting home from a three week vacation leaves a lot to be done. We had a fantastic time with our families. We are now happy to be home and getting back to the real world! Vacation summary to come soon!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Disturbing News

Is anyone afraid of bats? Well, they no longer just sleep in caves according to a recent BBC article (the British version of CNN):


A teenager who thought movement in her underwear was caused by her vibrating mobile phone found a bat curled up asleep in her bra...

Full Article:

HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?? Another scenario I can envision: Hmm, where's the other half of that Subway sandwich? I just had it in front of me...

On a side note, Kristin returns on Wednesday from Las Vegas, so lots of family pictures to come (and less "bra news").