Crestview Cougar

Ava went back to school last week. 
She is in first grade and was so anxious about all day school. We actually had about two weeks of Ava waking up in the night until she had her back to school meet the teacher day. After we visited the class, met the teacher (Ms. Nixon), picked her desk, and practiced where to stand in line after getting off the bus she was able to sleep through the night (well until the night before school). We spent a lot of time talking about what to expect and how to handle different situations. She was a pro by the time school started.
Our great neighbor had donuts and juice in her drive way on the first day before the bus. The kids are all so anxious they can barely eat but it is fun to see everyone with their new back to school outfits and haircuts. You can kind of see Ava's anxiousness in her face as she smile. I know lots of mom's cry...but I just felt gratitude. Gratitude that I get to be her mother and that I get to take part in raising her, but also grateful for all the others that help me teach her and mold her into the woman she will one day be. I had flashbacks to pregnancy moments and that day she was born. I thought about her milestones and every memory made me smile more and more. I am really the lucky one...lucky to have her as my daughter. I heart my 1st grader!!!

Lining up for the bus! So many neighborhood kids.
Coming home! She was tired but excited to tell me all about it.

We celebrated a successful back to school week by going bowling with some friends over the weekend. It was fun but by the end, you could see how tired the kiddos were.

We love these three crazies!


It's a Wrap!

Summer raced by with a ferocity that left us with wind blown hair and blood shot eyes!
But it was GREAT!
We summed things up with some fun and exciting activities such as:

The annual Ward Camp Out
 I admit that we didn't actually camp this year or any year so far for that matter, but it is in the plans sometime in the future. We don't actually own camping supplies and my husband doesn't think a night in a small tent with 3 kids 6 years and under sounds that fun. I can't think why he things that! I actually think the kids would surprise us and be great campers but until we buy a tent and sleeping bags, we will just have to be party poopers. We had fun at the dinner and the kids loved the annual candy scavenger hunt. The night would not have been complete without a ghost story around the fire to give the kids good dreams (oh compliments of one of the bishopric). :)

The Homestead Free Concert Series
We went to hear my cousin Stephanie Mabey (actually 2nd cousin) who is a super talented singer/songwriter play at a free concert up at the Homestead. She has a great newer CD out that my kids make me play on repeat in the car. The CD includes a few songs she did for the EFY soundtrack last year and Ava especially loves the song Glorious. Ever since I told Ava that I had a cousin who sang on stage and introduced her to the music, she has been asking to see her play in person. We made the trek up to Heber for some yummy greasy food at the Dairy Keen and then off to the concert. Ava was fascinated and I could see her plotting her future in her head as she watched. A few months ago Ava was singing and dancing around and I asked her if she would sing a specific song (I can't remember which one but something like Twinkle Twinkle) and she told me that she only sings "original" songs.  First of all, how did she know that word or what it meant? Second of all, she knows her mind and there was no persuading her otherwise. I love watching her creativity growing and developing. She starts piano lessons next month and she couldn't be more excited. 

Ava was enthralled and Claire was a little less so. I think she was more there for the treats!

Ava was a little star struck and couldn't believe she was meeting the girl that sings "If I were a Zombie." Her eyes just glimmered with the hopes and aspirations of her future possibilities. I hope she never loses that belief in herself.
And of course while we were there we had to check out the crater and walk around the beautiful scenery at the Homestead.

Oh, and we made new friends too! Claire again was a little unenthusiastic about one dude who tried to share the bench with her, But she loved Heather (Stephanie's sister who also is a talented singer). She was adorable with my kids and my kids love it when "grown ups" take interest in them. That is a cute and scary prospect sometimes!

Talmage was snug as a bug in a rug as he slowly let his heavy eyelids close and be lulled to sleep by melodic tunes.

 Definitely the definition of a Perfect Summer Night!

Taffy Town Tour
Thanks to our great friend Katy Ramsey, we took the kiddos on a Taffy Town Tour.  The fragrance was heavenly and the kids were too.  They actually behaved very well and were so interested to see how the Taffy was made and packaged. They don't do the traditional taffy pull, but the kids watched while the smoothed cut and separated huge batches. Of course they favorite part was the sampling. They each got to pick the flavor of their choice to sample. Ava tried her hand at reading the label signs by herself and ended up picking caramel apple. There second favorite part was picking taffy to buy in the gift shop when we were done.  There were some pretty incredible flavors. My kids wore their hair net around for days. The two babies, Talmage and Simon even cooperated and wore their hair nets without complaint.
RaNea and Lola Johansen, Robyn Elsie and Von Hardcastle, Katy Ava Sawyer and Simon Ramsey & Us!

Bear Lake for a Day
We had been talking all summer of going to Bear Lake for a day but never put a solid plan in the works. Then my nursing school friend Erin approached us about heading up the weekend before school started because they wanted to go and didn't want to go alone. Some friends from church decided to come too and we made a quick day trip out of it. We were a little slow getting up there due to chaos trying to get out of the house and 2 small bladders traveling with us. We went to North Beach for the first time and it was beautiful. The beach was lined with canopies and kids. The water is nice and shallow but quite a while and pretty warm too. It was perfect weather. As we drove along the beach front road the water was crystal blue and beautiful and Tyson and I immediately wished we were back in Hawaii. 

Talmage loved the water and I think drank half the lake. He would get so mad if you tried to pick him up or make him stand. He wanted to sit and splash as the waves rolled in.

 These girls practiced swimming and just played to their hearts content.

The Sand was perfect for building sandcastles and we all jointed in the fun.

Jaysen brought his raft and took the kids out for rides.  It was a big hit and some good exercise for those who rowed.

All in all I think the day was a hit with the kids and maybe even the dads too!

There have been a few fires that have created some incredible sunrises and sunsets. There have been red suns and moons that are beautifully eerie.

It has been a great summer full of lots of family fun and togetherness and there is no other place that I would rather be than with these 4 people.
Artwork compliments of Ava Anne. She is such a good little artist.
(btw Talmage is sitting in his Bumbo chair)


Summer Fun Is Exhausting!

So exhausting that we can sleep in weird positions with stinky feet in our faces (haha)!

Nine Years of Bliss

We celebrated our 9 year anniversary last week.  I am not joking when I use the word bliss in the title of this blog.We have had good times and hard times, but we have endured them together and we feel blessed in all that has happened during that time. We often use the words "Team Bringhurst" to describe our approach to how we function in our family. We are a great team and we approach every need of our families with mutual respect and mutual responsibility. I am fortunate I married such a wonderful man. My husband is the most even tempered, helpful and forgiving man. He is always quick to forgive me of my short comings and help me be a better mother. My girls adore him and he is a very engaged father.We are lucky to have such a handsome man in our life!

Oh and did I mention that he makes me feel like a young girl with butterflies in my stomach and the electricity of his touch! He is the romantic sort and I love it!
 We had a fun anniversary this year. The day before we took a nice drive up to Brigham City to go to the Maddox restaurant. We took my mom this year since she has always wanted to go. My mom has sacreficed so much for the sake of her children. She is never concerned for herself and has often gone without so that her children could have not just what they needed but what they wanted. My wedding was no different. So we enjoyed a nice drive and had a wonderful lunch of the Maddox's famous friend chicken and rolls with raspberry butter.
After lunch we went to one of the road side markets and bought some wonderful fresh fruit. Our children devoured a whole cantaloupe the next day that tasted like Heaven. The next day we spent our actual anniversary making peach jam and apricot jam. It turned out so delicious! Tyson then made a wonderful anniversary dinner and we had fun spending time with our girls. There I can't think of a better Anniversary!

(Oh and here is the cute card Ava made us. She sounded our Anniversary and drew our family portrait. Talmage is laying on the ground playing with a butterfly. I love my beautiful artist.)


Ten Months

Another Month Older.
It really feels like his time in the womb went slower then his time outside.
He is my little happy boy and my heart bursts when I look at him.
I love this age and stage and I regret any amount of time that I have to be parted from him.
(okay maybe I don't regret the turns my husband gets in the night with him).

Oh and he is getting wiggly. This is the one good picture I got. The rest of the pictures fall under the out-take category. 
 Here are a few things he is doing:

-He is finally eating the little Gerber Puff snacks without gagging and acting like he is choking. I still have to break them up, but he is doing it...and loving it.
-He loves food and can mostly hold is sippy cup to drink. He loves cold water.
-He isn't crawling but he is getting up on his knees and rolling around to reach what he wants.
-He can do all the actions to Patty Cake Patty Cake and it is so cute. He looks so proud as he "tosses it in the oven". 
-He gets mad when he is left behind and you walk away. Especially when it is mom walking away.
-He loves playing with balls and now tries to toss them in the air. Looks like he is a true boy.
-He loves his sisters and gets so excited when they play with him.
-He is getting less content to sit in the jumperoo because he wants to be on the floor. He curls his legs and makes it impossible to get his legs in the jumperoo.
-He can finally reach his legs to the floor while in the walker and is starting to move--backwards but that suits him just fine.
-He is starting to talk more rather than just say mamama and dadada. He babbles in a talking voice and looks at you like we should have understood what he just said. I love watching his tongue too because it looks awkward and cute.
-He got mad at Claire when she was getting too close and tried to bite her. Oh no!! Good thing he is all gums still---no teeth on the horizon!
-He loves getting bathed in the big tub and is quite the little splasher.
-Last but not least there has been no change in the fact that he is a Mommy's boy. I am still his #1 and I revel in it!!!

While taking the pictures, he figured out how to make the rocking chair rock and he got so excited. (Don't mind my wierd voice..I was trying to brush my teeth and really needed to spit but I had to hurry the capture the moment.)

(Still working to get this video uploaded)

Here's another clip of Claire doing what she would love to do 24/7. Talmage is a good sport.