Ethan turns 9!!!

I know I will say this every year, but I can't believe how fast time goes and that Ethan is now 9 years old!  Crazy!  We usually do a friend party on the even years and a family party on the odd years.  He decided to go with a Despicable Me theme and we went as a family to see Despicable Me 2 and out to eat at California Pizza Kitchen.

Ethan's cute neighbor friends wrote him a big happy birthday sign out of chalk, but sadly it rained right when they finished and a lot of it washed away.

Cake and ice cream with cousins

 It was fun to have Gavin and Bailey come, since they were here visiting.

Ethan is a fun, loving and kind boy who is thoughtful and sensitive.  We are so lucky to have him in our home.  He has grown so much over the last year.  He reads really well.  He loves to write stories and while everyone else in his class writes a small paragraph, he writes a story that fills the front and back of a page.  He loves to run fast.  He loves to be outside and ride his scooter and play with friends.  He has always been a good helper and has helped me even since Austin was born and now with Aubrey.  We love you Ethan!!

Pioneer Day

On Pioneer day we went over to the Spanish Fork parade for the first time with my friend Jessica and her kids.  It was such a great parade.  

Adam is always so sweet to Aubrey.

They threw out candy and the best thing in the parade was when an entire stake of men and boys were dressed like the Army of Helaman and sang the song as they marched through the parade.  It was so great!  It gave me chills and made me cry!

Here's a video:

After that we went over to the park near our house and finally saw the little pioneer village there.  They had a lot of people there giving tours and showing how things were back then.  A guy showed us how to start a fire different ways and the kids got to pull a handcart and try to walk on stilts.  We had a fun time!

July Fun

Love these goofy kids of mine!  

Caracas, Venezuela Reunion 2013

I usually don't have a lot of reunions to go to, but this year we had three!  This one was just a get together for an evening to visit at a park and have treats for those who used to live in Caracas, Venezuela and were in the same ward/stake while there.  We lived there from December 1988 to July or August of 1989 while my dad's company had him working there.  It was such a neat experience, and I have so many memories while living there.  Sometimes I feel like I remember that year so vividly and better than the year or two after we moved back to California, but probably because it was so different that things stood out in my memory and impacted me more.  Now I want to dig through my pictures and find some to scan and put on my blog.  It was held in Bountiful and it wasn't planned too early in advance, so there wasn't a whole lot of people.  I mainly went to see me and my twin sister's good friend we made while living there, Kimberly Streeter, who we've stayed in contact over the years.  She lived there a lot longer than 6 or 7 years!  Her dad worked for the Church while there.

Here are some pictures I found on the internet for now.

This is the C.C.C.T Hotel we first stayed at before we found the pent house we ended up at.  (I'll have to find out the name and location of that from my parents).  It was really cool because it is a hotel on the top and a mall on bottom!

Here is the private school we went to called Escuela Campo Alegre.  It had all the way from kindergarten to senior in high school.  I was only 10, and felt completely overwhelmed at first trying to find my way around, and at that age it seemed like there were millions and millions of stairs!

Here's a picture of downtown Caracas.
And here is what really stood out to me: how drastic the difference in living was of the rich from the poor.  These ranchitos filled the hillsides.  Homes practically made out of cardboard boxes stacked on top of each other. :(

Before leaving Caracas to come home we had the chance to fly to the island of Margarita when my Grandparents, Aunt Charisse, and cousin Jenny came to visit.  It was beautiful there!

Not too long after we moved there, it was pretty scary for a few weeks, because riots broke out.  Here's a little bit about that from the web:

 The Caracazo or sacudón is the name given to the wave of protests, riots, looting, shootings and massacres that began on 27 February 1989 in the Venezuelan capital Caracas and surrounding towns. The week-long clashes resulted in a deaths of hundreds of people mostly at the hands of security forces. The riots and protests began mainly in response to the government's economic reforms and the resulting increase in the price of gasoline and transportation.

I was too young to understand much going on, but we were pretty excited about the no school part!

Totally got sidetracked....
So here are a few pictures from the reunion.  

Aubrey is usually a Momma's girl, but she snuggled up fine with Kimberly.  

"Memory is a child walking along a seashore. You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things." ~Pierce Harris
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