Family Temple Day- May!

>> Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Whew!! It's almost the end of May but we made it! We are still going strong with our New Year's Resolution!

We went and grabbed lunch at Zuppas and then headed over to the Temple. 

We had a more casual visit this time since I didn't plan a lesson for Alayna and me.  Eli's recommend expired and we didn't know it, and he hurt himself that morning, making doing baptisms really difficult. As you can see he's on crutches. :( It's not too big of a deal but a little rest will help his leg. 

So, he joined Alayna and I for a little video on Joseph Smith and the Restoration while Jared and Walker went and did baptisms. Going on a Tuesday at noon made for a record breaking fast trip! :) They were in and out in no time! 

Walker was mistaken for a Melchizedek Priesthood holder AND Jared's brother!!! LOL!!! Not sure what was going on in there today! :P LOL!! 

Love all of those faces!!! <3 


Swim Team In Full Swing

Swim Team Season has begun!! Alayna had her 1st practice today. It was a little bit of a rough start. She stayed up too late and we woke up super early... 6:15AM comes before you are ready! LOL!

Tonight we will get back on a good bedtime schedule again and hopefully tomorrow won't feel so painful! :P 

I'm excited to see how she does this year!!! Maybe a little less excited about sitting in the heat waiting for her meets to start though..LOL! 

It's going to be a good season! I feel it!


Bob Ross Rocks!

>> Sunday, May 28, 2017

Walker and a bunch of guys from the ward put together a group date with some girls they all know. The theme was Bob Ross. They went and got all of the supplies and the winner was awarded a Bob Ross t-shirt. :) They watched a YouTube video and they all tried to replicate it. They voted for the couple's that had the best painting. 

Sadly, Walker and his date didn't win but I thought they did pretty good!! :P 

I thought it was a really clever and fun idea! I think I might steal it and do it with some of our friends!

After the group date Walker and the guys and different group of girls from the Ward went to an Escape Room in Mesa.

He said it was fun but not as difficult as he thought it would be. :) I'm not sure I'd say the same thing if it was me! LOL!

They finished with 17:02 minutes to spare! They rocked it!!!


I Like To Lift Things Up And Put Them Down!!!

>> Saturday, May 27, 2017

They guys have decided they want to get ripped this summer!!! :P 

No, but seriously, Walker has been taking weights in HS the past 2 years and he loves it. Jared has been looking for a way to get in better shape and so we decided to get a rack, bench and weights for them to work out together. 

Eli will be taking weights with Walker next year. Walker pulled some strings with his coach and was able to get him in the class. Freshman don't typically take weights. I think it's really neat they will have at least one class together next year. This will help him get a jump start on the year too. :) 

Watch out comes the gun show!! LOL! 


Alayna's Yearbook Cover Art Submission

>> Thursday, May 25, 2017

Earlier this year Alayna submitted artwork for the school's yearbook cover. Sadly, her's wasn't chosen. Her submission is on the left and the one chosen is on the right. I may be a little biased, but I think her's was worthy of the cover!!! 

I'm glad she entered the competition. It's always good to try for things. Maybe next year she will get it! :) 


Eli's Golden Scholar

>> Tuesday, May 23, 2017

 Eli had his Golden Scholar ceremony today! The Kitch's are 3 for 3 this year! So proud of Eli and his hard work in Jr. High! Next year he'll be a Freshman and we are so excited to see what he does next! We know whatever it is, he'll bring that crazy fun personality with him!!!!!

Eli is pretty good pals with the Principal Mr. Cannon. He likes to joke around with him and tease him. I love that Eli has such a fun relationship with his teachers! 

As he handed him his certificate he said, "I don't know how you got here but good job Mr. Belvedere." 

Apparently, he started calling Eli Mr. Belvedere because every time he saw him Eli was talking a British accent. LOL! 

Do you remember that show? :P

And just like that the end of his 8th grade year comes to a close!

Love that kid! 

  Eli and a couple of his friends, Ashley and Tanner. 

And Brynne.

5 consecutive years of earning a place in Golden Scholars! This boy is so smart! It's hard to explain how quick he thinks and processes things. His mind for puzzles and problem solving. How he can decide to accomplish something and then doesn't give up until he's been able to conquer it and understand it completely. He is constantly impressing us with his ability to absorb knowledge. As a mother I feel so incredibly fortunate that all of our kids love school and do well! It's not something that every parent can say. 

High School, here he comes!!! :) 


Alayna's Lake Mead Project

>> Thursday, May 18, 2017

Alayna's class has been working on a huge project for Social Studies for their end of the year grade. Each student was given a choice of what tourist attraction they wanted to do their's on. Alayna picked Lake Mead. 

We were really having a tough time figuring out how to make a model of a lake. We thought about all sorts of craft supplies we could use to make water, mountains, etc. But nothing really was coming together. Finally we decided to make the water out of blue sand. Print out an areal view for the mountains and have all the different things labeled. Then Jared came up with a clever idea of making a Google satellite to go with it as if it was an image from Google Earth! :P 

We worked on it over a couple of weeks. Alayna did a good job putting it all together. We all sure learned a lot about Lake Mead!! LOL!!

Tomorrow parents are invited to come in and look at everyone's models. It will be neat to see what the other kids did. :) 


Mother's Day

>> Monday, May 15, 2017

I didn't want much for Mother's Day. In fact, all I asked for were for all of the blinds in the house to be washed and for Jared to pick up some carne asada from the carniceria for a yummy lunch! :) 

Both of my wishes came true! <3 

 Walker and Jared worked most of Saturday taking all the blinds down and giving them a good scrubbing. Blinds are heavy and awkward to maneuver and just plain old lots of work. I was so thrilled to have them all done!!! Happy to have a big strapping teenager to lift those things! :) 

I think I must be getting old...LOL! Should clean blinds make me so happy? But honestly it was the BEST gift ever! I feel like I have a brand new house again! Especially if you were to have seen the state the kitchen blinds were in!!! :P 

Alayna surprised me with a framed picture of us from her activity a week or so ago and a cook book her class at school made. Such a cute idea!

Eli also surprised me. He's not usually one for cards and such as he's gotten older. He came in Sunday morning beaming and handed me this. I love the art work! Totally a crack up! Is that me giving the mom "look"? Hahaha!

One thing I've heard Eli say often this year is, "You are there." That means so much to me! All I ever wanted to be was a stay at home mom. Some may not feel that is "enough". But I have loved it. I've also seen how important it is to be home not only when they are in Elementary School but also as my kids have gone into Jr. High and High School. Our kids need us more than we realize. Sometimes more now than even when they were smaller. Their problems are bigger and have a profound affect on them. When they get home they need to let it all out and share their day with someone. Eli has told me several times it's nice to know I'm here whenever he needs me. If I'm not home when he gets home from school (which is rare) I get a phone call asking where I'm at and when will I be home? LOL!! It's pretty cute! I'm really thankful I "can" be home with my children. We have had to sacrifice a lot for me to be able to do it. We don't have fancy cars, the latest fashions, or gadgets....but we have what we need.  <3

 It was so sweet and thoughtful. And of course he had to put his own humor into it. :) 

 At church all the mom's got roses. I got two cards from Jared's parent's and my parents too. <3 

 Jared and the boys made an amazing spread of food for lunch! We all were so stuffed! 

Jared grilled the carne asada perfectly! I didn't even get a picture of the chocolate overload cake we had too. 

After we had lunch we pulled up our old home movies and watched the day each of the kids were born and some videos from when they were so little and too adorable for words. I looked over and found Jared was even wiping a few tears away too! <3 Our babies are growing up so quickly. Made me so grateful for all those videos I used to take!!! Help our old brains remember those memories!

It was a really nice Mother's Day weekend. So grateful for my three beautiful children that have enabled me to hold the title of Mom. Grateful to my Father in Heaven who has blessed me with the gift of motherhood. Not every woman is blessed so richly. This year has been filled with a lot of reflection and looking into the future too. Walker will be a Senior. Big decisions are on the near horizon for him. If he will go to college for a little while or if he will decide to serve a mission first. Eli is starting High School. Both boys are going to be at the same school for one year, one last time. I'm so happy they will have this opportunity to bond. Alayna is heading into 5th grade and is becoming a young woman before our very eyes. I wouldn't trade any of it for the world. I know even with all these milestones other milestones will follow. It's just hard to think about letting them grow up and eventually...very soon....they will be leaving home. It's tough on this sappy mom's heart! <3 

Happy Mother's Day!! 


Alayna's Character Counts Assembly

>> Saturday, May 13, 2017

Alayna was recognized for several awesome achievements at her school's Character Counts Assembly yesterday! 

The students were asked to stand where they were sitting for several of the recognitions. She's the tall one in the middle there next to the boy. :) She is getting so tall! :) 

She was recognized for being among the top readers in the whole school. Reading well over 1 million words in A.R. :) I'm sure she actually read close to double that with all the books she read at home too! She loves to read!

She was recognized for being on the Honor Roll. 

She's on the far right. :) 

She was also apart of the "Be Kind Club" at school. 

She received a certificate for Reading  too! I told you she loves reading! :) 

So very proud of Alayna. She is working so hard in her academics! She loves school and shares her kindness and light with everyone around her! 

Congratulations Sweet Girl!


Walker Bought A Car!

>> Friday, May 12, 2017

We made a deal with the kids that if they would come up with a portion we agreed upon for a car we'd pay a portion of the car's price as well. Walker has been saving up for a long while. He's hoping to get a job really soon and next year he will need a car to get to and from school. We have been looking on Craigslist for weeks. It's tough out there! If any car is remotely in good shape and close to Kelly Blue Book, it's pretty much gone before you can even call to set up a time to go see it! 

Big prayers were sent up and answered and the very first car, and the ONLY car the guys were able to actually test drive, when we first began looking was still available. The man selling it wasn't willing to come down in price AT ALL when they originally went. I guess several weeks was enough time for him to see he was asking too much and just wanted to sell the car. :P 

Jared and I drove into Scottsdale and picked it up while Walker was still in school. He was really happy when he got home! :) 

It's a 2004 Kia Spectra EX with only 94k miles. 

It's a cute little first car. :) It has a few things we need to get maintenance on but nothing major. I'm a little nervous about how much it's going to raise our insurance having a boy teenage driver !! LOL!!:)

Fun and exciting times!!


Eli's End of The Year Band Concert

>> Thursday, May 11, 2017

Eli had his final band concert of the year! 

He always puts his stand SO high we can never see him! He's the one in the center ducking under his stand...such a goof-ball! He really hates having his picture taken! LOL!

He finally lowered it and even gave us a smile! :D

His Jazz band performed first. They sounded pretty good! :) 

This is his 8th grade band. He's on the right side, second row from the back on the very end. I love it when I can actually see my kids! :P 

The band is definitely progressing and they sounded really great! We got to see some of the Disney music workshop they did. Some before with the kids just sight reading, and after they worked with the Disney conductor. It was night and day! LOL! But impressive how quickly they learned with just a few minutes of instruction. 

For their final musical number they played, "Also Sprach Zarathustra". Mr. Bannon turned down the lights in the house and on stage and conducted with a red light saber. It was cute and the kids sounded awesome! 

So that's a wrap! Good news is that he is planning to continue in band next year! 


Eli's Disneyland Band Trip

>> Monday, May 8, 2017

Friday Eli and the 8th grade band, orchestra, advanced drama, and advanced choir went to Disney to do a music workshop over the weekend. This is such a fun trip the kids get to do! 

Eli was clearly feeling extra excited at 5:30am! LOL!

Eli is in that big crowd of kids. I think they said it was around 270 students with all of the groups. If you look in the center of the photo you see a girl (Kaitlyn) with her hand raised, he's just to the left of her hand. :P The kid with all the hair! :) 

One of my friends Cyndi Flores is one of the choir directors and she got to go with the kids. She sent me a few pictures. I really appreciate her doing that! Boys don't like to take pictures. :P This was at breakfast Saturday morning. Eli said he got more than his fill on waffles! LOL!

Also notice my child is the only one not wearing his Disney shirt. That kid!!! :P It reminds me of that Sesame Street song, "One of these things is not like the other...." Hehehe!

Here are all the 8th graders! 

Eli is pretty much in the middle. He's wearing his grey sweatshirt still so that helps! :P If you look at the Bucca sign, down to the door, and few rows from the back he's right there. 

This is his group he was assigned to and the chaperones. Funny note: The guy on the right with the hat and glasses, was in band with Jared and me in High School. He played trombone. :P Now our kids are in band together. His kid plays trombone and Eli plays saxophone like Jared did! :D 

We did manage to get a couple of photos from Eli! 


He said it was most fun Disney trip he's ever been on. He didn't really want to tell us that though. He didn't want to hurt our feelings. :P But it's totally understandable. You get to run around adult free all day with all you friends...How is that not going to be the best time ever??? :) 

He did say as they were walking home from the Park to the hotel it started to pour rain and then started to hail!!! It was a good 30 min. walk too. But I think it just makes the trip all the more memorable! 

We picked him up Sunday afternoon after church. As you can see it "loves" it when I want to take his picture. :P 

He was pretty tired. But was chatty in the car and told us all about the music workshop and all the fun they had. He even got pommes frites! Those are a family tradition! MMMM! So good! :) 

Grateful he was able to have this opportunity! These are the experiences you always remember and tell your kids about one day! 


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