Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Letter--2013 in Review

This year has kept the whole family busy.  We’ve been doing the usual things we do every year, but it’s been so much fun.  We’ve had the kids in basketball, scouts for Tyler, girls achievement days (or whatever it’s called these days) for Hailey, YW for Kim, work and E.Q for Trevor, house building, moving (ourselves and others), running for the girls in their “running club” and the 2nd annual half marathon for Kim (with her sister, Amanda), ortho appointments for Tyler (poor kid), Redneck fishing for a romantic getaway, family visits and family reunions, piano for the girls and school.  Time flies when you’re having fun!

Trevor’s highlights of this year are going on several hunting trips whenever he can find a few days to take off work.  He picked us up a sweet (really used) fishing boat and it had its debut at our Redneck fishing tournament in August.  It worked perfectly and only took a few months and some good scrubbing to rid it of the fish smell. We took it out a few times to a lake to take the kids tubing, as it turns out it pulls us up on a ski, too!  We sure love this man—he works so hard for our family and we love it when he gets to play hard, too!

Kim’s highlights this year are building a house (having it built, rather).  It was a lot of fun to be able to see the whole process start to (almost) finish.  It’s a good thing Trevor has good taste.  As I tell a lot of people, all the really good ideas were his.  It’s true, all the things I love the most about our house he came up with.  We had awesome contractor(s) that made everything run as smoothly as possible.  I don’t know why everyone says building is hard on a marriage.  Maybe Trevor and I are on the same page when it comes to what we want in a house.  J I ran in my second half marathon with my sister, Amanda.  I beat my last year’s time by a lot, so I was excited.  I stay home with the kids and fill in at the office once in awhile. 

Tyler turned 10 this year.  And as I mentioned earlier, he has joined the ranks of the orthodontic patients. He only has an expander and brackets on four teeth so it’s really not that “in depth” yet.  He’s already not very excited to have a full set of brackets in a couple years. He’s such a good kid and really likes school, basketball, swimming, friends and scouts. He has some amazing double jointed abilities with his thumbs.  It’s gross. 

Hailey just turned 9.  She loves school and really likes her teacher.  She has been loving origami lately. She’s been teaching all her friends at school and church how to fold paper into all sorts of creative shapes.  She and Ashley are such cute sisters and are always coming up with dances to show the family.  They were both in running club this year and ran in their summer 5K.  She started piano lessons a couple months ago and is really doing well and loves it.  She NEVER complains about having to practice.  This must have come from Trevor’s side of the family…

Ashley can’t wait for her 8th birthday.  Just 6 short months away J  She’s so excited to be baptized and loves going to church. Bless her heart.  She’s such a fun loving little girl and so happy.  She loves to read and wants a LOT of books for Christmas.  I LOVE that she wants books for Christmas. She’s such a good helper with Jason and really gets along well with everyone.  She also likes piano lessons and she’s excited for basketball to start again.

Jason is 5 soon. He’s going to preschool again this year and likes it much more than last year. He seems to be learning a lot and likes seeing his friends each “school day”.  He’s got attitude and can hold his own with his brothers and sisters…also school and church teachers…they have the patience of saints.  He’s also the most loving little boy anyone could ask for.  He often wants to sit and “cuddle” with me and he tells me all the time how much he loves me.  He says to me on the days he doesn’t have school: “Yay, I can hang out with you all day!”

We are so grateful for our Savior’s birth and atoning sacrifice.  We count our blessings every day and are so thankful for our family and friends and the opportunities we have.  Thank you so much for blessing us with your friendships.  We love and miss you all so much!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Here's the Latest

We got a trampoline :)  The kids are so excited and love to jump on it.  Too bad it's starting to get too cold.

While I was taking pictures of the new trampoline, we also got our first injury.  Ashley knocked her own tooth out with her knee.  It was one that needed to come out, but another one she knocked loose is the one I'm a little worried about. 

 We buried our trampoline.  Quite a job! It took a lot of digging and moving cinder blocks. My husband's amazing.

Trevor's the coolest dad.  Just so you know.

There's the trampoline all buried.  We also have grass.  HURRAY!  I'm VERY excited about the grass.  And the trampoline.

 I saw this picture on my phone and had to include it.  Jason got a new suit jacket.  He REALLY wanted one to be just like his dad.  We picked one up and he's feeling pretty dapper.  He looks pretty dapper.

The fireman came to Jason's school to talk about fire safety.  Jason was chosen as a volunteer to try on the uniform.  Doesn't fit as well as the suit jacket, but he still felt pretty awesome.

 My dad and my nephew, Conner came to visit for a day.  Conner and Jason had a snowball fight.  Jason thinks Conner's pretty amazing.  He was so good to play with the kids.  Bless his heart.

Grandma Strupp came to visit for a day, too.  She brought the kids some face paint and spent the better part of the morning making these amazing creations.  It was a pretty thankless job because Hailey and Jason asked to wash it off (pretty sure they just wanted another work of art done) but not Ashley.  She wore it ALL day, to stores and everywhere else we went.  She had a hard time washing it off that night and wanted to make sure I had taken plenty of pictures.

 Take a look at his thumb.  I never knew he had such talent!  It's disgusting, I know.  There's all sorts of other talents he showed me that day.  Wish I could document all of them.

That's the latest.  I didn't have much time for the narrative, I apologize :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Summer Is the Best--Part VI/Summer Comes To a Close :(

My brother and his family came to visit this summer.  They couldn't stay long, but I had fun while they were here!  Just wished I'd taken more pictures.

Here are Jacob and Jason.  They had a lot of fun together, I'm glad they're to an age where they like to play with each other.  Love these kids!

Trevor flew his little jet on it's maiden voyage while they were here.  I love that Trevor has fun hobbies that the kids love, too.

We went to a movie.  I know, exciting.  The kids entertained themselves while we waited for the movie to start by trapping each other in these little basket things.

We also went to Virginia City while they were here.  It's a cool little ghost town.  We had to drive a ways to get there and I felt bad it turned out like it did because I underestimated the driving time and we didn't get to spend much time there before we had to get back for an appointment.  Nice.

I love spending time with my brother and his family.  They're so much fun to hang out with. I just wish we lived closer!!

After they had to leave to get home, we went to the Strupp Family Reunion in Island Park.  That was a good time.  I was excited all Trevor's brothers and sisters could make it.  We played on the reservoir in this boat we rented.  One morning after the boat had been tied to the dock, we came out and there was a mink in the boat.  It had dragged some half eaten crawdads in, too.  We (Bryson and Trevor) cleaned up his crawdad mess...and a different mess...and we tried to get the mink out but he was hiding in the front of the boat under the seats and we couldn't get him out.  We decided we'd just go water skiing and see what happened.  I went first.  It was funny to see the mink run up to the side of the boat and jump out into the water.  We saw it later, too. I assume it was the same one since he lives by that dock.  The kids chased him awhile and tried to catch it.  They didn't.  I guess that's good--they probably would've gotten rabies or something.  No pictures of the mink, though.  Boo.

We had a surprise birthday party for Trevor's dad.  This is one of the many things you can do with a party hat.  Aunt Lisa is such a fun aunt!

That's the extent of the pictures I got at the family reunion.  I'm waiting on some promises to email other's pictures.

This is what we did for Labor Day.  We have a little fishing boat that we bought, and it's really pretty nice to water ski and tube with, too.  We didn't know if it would pull us up on a ski, but it pulled us right out of the water and it's really fun to ski behind!  The kids didn't want to get off the tube all day.  Except Ashley...she wasn't a fan.  It's not a really clear picture, but she's about as happy as she looks.  Kind of weird because she wanted to go on all the rides at Lagoon, but the tube is "too fast" for her.  Whatever.  

The first day of school.  Ashley goes to a different school, and Jason (obviously) hadn't started school yet in this picture.  The kids like school and their teachers a lot.  I'm not sure I was ready for summer to be over yet.

Here's Jason's first day :)

Random picture on my phone.  I was driving to pick up my V.T. partner, and I saw these three bucks in someone's yard.  The part I thought was weird were all these bucks hanging out together. No does in sight.  Weird.

Summer Is the Best---Part V

After leaving the kids in Utah for Grandma and Grandpa to take care of, I went to the annual Redneck Fishing Tournament with Trevor and The Johnson's...it's not really a place for kids...a lot of drunk people around that weekend...

Everyone needs to experience this at least once in their lives.  Put it on your bucket list. Google "Redneck Fishing Tournament" and read about it.  It's in Bath, Illinois--a town of 350 people, but this tournament is quite the attraction and there are MANY more people in Bath the weekend of the tournament. They're trying to rid the river of Silver Asian Carp because they're taking over. They don't want them to reach the great lakes. In spite of their efforts, the fish get closer and closer each year.

You may have seen videos of these fish on America's Funniest Videos where the fish jump out of the water--a lot of times right in the boat.  It's crazy.  You don't need a pole, just a net (and the website says a baseball bat :) )  They don't know why the fish jump, but it has something to do with the vibration or noise of the boat engine.  The fish jump right behind boats where the engine is.  The best way to catch fish is to stay right on the tail of another boat...and I mean RIGHT next to them--like 6 feet from the boat in front of you--so you can net them as they jump out of the water.  However, it's risky because you get hit by these huge fish as they jump.  They've had broken noses and fingers, etc. at this tournament each year.  We all got hit a few times, Marci had the most hits.  A couple years ago when we went, Trevor's legs got cuts all over from getting hit with fish.  They jump in the boat often, and those fish are MOVING.  Sometimes you drive through a school of fish and there are so many fish jumping, it's all you can do to keep from getting hit.  You just drop your net and cover your head.  Good times. Seriously. You need to try it.

We all dressed in our redneck gear to go along with the redneck theme.  You should see some of the costumes people wear.  It's a circus for sure.

There are two heats each day, two hours each.  We only fished in the two Friday heats and the Saturday morning heat.  Then we had to get going because we had to drive 24 hours straight so Trevor and Jared could make it back for work Monday morning.

Here are some pictures:

I know the picture is blurry, but this reminds me of our trip.  We saw this huge sugar daddy at a gas station early in the trip.  They bet me I couldn't eat the whole thing by the time the trip was over.  It was hard, but I made it.  Mission accomplished.  It was good, too.

I love this girl.  She makes me laugh really hard.  We needed some temporary tattoos to complete our redneck costumes.  This is what Marci picked.

The view from our boat as we waited for one of the Friday heats to start.  Judging from how clean everyone still is, it's probably the very first heat. It looked like this both directions, but the Saturday heat was MUCH more busy with the boats packed more tightly and people EVERYWHERE.

After each heat, they would count everyone's fish and dump them in these bins.  Then use a fork lift to lift them into a truck (a diesel) and haul them off.  We only counted our fish one of the heats, the rest of them we didn't want to wait in line and we knew we wouldn't win since we only had 4 people in our boat.  So we just dumped them in the bin.  We caught 180 fish in one heat. 

This is the biggest fish we "caught".  It jumped right in our boat.  Not only that, but right in the bin we were using to hold our fish.  It had a death wish, I guess.

How filthy we are after a heat.  Those fish are so slimy and scaly.  You have dried scales all over and this is what the slime looks like after it dries.  We spent a lot of time in the shower after the heats.

One of the times Marci got hit with a fish.  She was wearing a baseball face mask even.  The fish knocked her over!  Poor girl.  She took it like a champ, though. (Marci...not the fish.)

The end of our trip.  The whole weekend I was laughing uncontrollably like in this picture.  We stopped at a gas station to get gas and they had a Sinclair dinosaur there.  Naturally we climbed on and took a picture.

I don't know how I composed myself long enough to get a normal picture.  It makes me smile just to remember that weekend.  Now go google the tournament and mark it on next years calendar.  It's that much fun.

Summer Is the Best---Part IV

One day while at Grandma's house, we took the kids to Lagoon.  Grandma Madsen came to help out with all the kids I wanted to take :)  Tyler, Hailey, Ashley, Jason, cousins Jared, Nathan and Natalie all came to have a fun filled day at Lagoon.  Here are some pictures to document our fun:

Hailey's really having a good time, she just thinks it's funny to look like she's not :)

Nathan and Ashley on the Spider.  I was surprised at how many crazy rides they wanted to go on.

Natalie and Jason--they loved riding together on some of the smaller rides.  When the kids wanted to go on the big rides, I went with them and Grandma stayed with Natalie and Jason.

The older boys would humor the younger kids and ride the little rides with them (they loved it...)

This may be my favorite face.  I think this girl is darling.  She looks a little scared, but she really wasn't.  I turned and said: "smile!" and this is the look she gave me.

 All the kids on a swing ride.  

Tyler and Hailey on the Colossus.  They loved this ride!  They wanted to keep riding it over and over, but I told them we should try other rides, too.  Ashley went on it, too.  She was barely tall enough.

We also took the kids to 7 peaks.  I don't keep my phone with me to take pictures with at water parks.  So this is all you get.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Summer is the Best--Part III

I went to YW camp this summer.  Although it was amazing, I didn't take any pictures...I do have some "selfies" from the Young Women taken with my phone, but I figure they don't want me to post their selfies on my blog. 
*Note: I was only using my phone for the camera and the clock.  There was no service up there...this is important because phones weren't allowed.  And apparently I wasn't even using the camera...so I guess it was just a very large watch...

I did the girls hair in a lot of braids so Trevor and the babysitter wouldn't have to worry about their hair.  It took longer than I thought, so Ashley's braids are bigger since I had to leave and didn't have time to make her braids tiny.


After the braids:

We took a second trip to Utah this summer that was FULL of fun..each and EVERY day.  We went for a couple reasons:  Trevor was going on a fishing trip to Yellowstone with some guys (so I wasn't invited) and I figured we should visit Grandma and the attractions in Utah.  And I needed to drop off the kids at my mom's so she could watch them while Trevor and I went on a little trip...to be posted later.

We did so many fun things.  I had bought the kids a "Pass of All Passes" which is a pass to a whole bunch of fun places in Utah.  And it was only $10 for a year!  Actually $30, but then you get to chose a $20 gift certificate to one of the places they list on their website...I digress.

We went to the Trafalga's.  These pictures are of the Lehi Trafalga.
Hailey and Ashley REALLY liked the rock climbing.  Jason wouldn't try it because he was busy playing on the slides.

Tyler tried it...I think it scared him to get higher than this...
 We went with the Howard's (Aunt Saralyn and Uncle Sam and cousins) and Grandpa and Grandma.  The kids loved the time they spent with their grandparents and cousins!!

Hailey in the go-cart.  I just think they're a little weird about the rules these days.  I got to drive when I was her age.

I met with some friends one morning for a picnic breakfast.  I have such fond memories with these girls from high school.  We missed the rest of The Collective!!

We went and visited Trevor's sisters.  Briana bought a house in Murray and Britta was visiting.  Her house is beautiful!  I only got to see Scott for like 3 minutes before he had to leave for work.  But I DID see the amazing things he's done to their back yard!  It looked so good and he wasn't even finished yet!  It was so great to talk with Briana and Britta while the kids ran wild in her house.  I wished I had taken some pictures...

We stopped by Scheels when we were driving past one day.  They have a ferris wheel INSIDE the store.  It's huge.  All the kids wanted to go on the ferris wheel, except Jason--who I FORCED on the ferris wheel.  I knew he'd like it if he tried it.  He did.  He LOVED it!  That eased my guilt.

That weekend Mike and Alicia came to Orem to go to a wedding. We went to the Orem Trafalga.  I secretly want my kids to be best friends with the cousins their age.  It's working like a charm!

Tyler and Trevor got mustache's with their game winnings.

If you haven't read the two previous posts, those are new today.  I have to stop for today to pick up kids from school, but there will be more Summer posts to come!  Maybe not until after the Labor Day weekend though--we have more fun plans :)