Wednesday, September 28, 2011

new family pictures

My wonderful friend took pictures of our family. Not only is she an amazing friend, she's also an amazing photographer....after all she managed to get some good pictures despite the torture it was to take these pictures. It was dinner time. The kids were hungry, cold, and not interested in posing. I've decided next year to make it w/ lots of balloons or something. The pictures may turn out cheesy, it'll be an experiment, but at least it won't be torture for everyone involved. I love how the idea is to try and capture a loving, happy family and in reality the moment is utterly psychotic. Well with that said, we do all love each other and these people pictured wether they're looking at the camera or not, smiling or not, listening or not, make me the happiest person I've known. I love my shaw squad!
Love kissing this boy and can't stop staring at him. Every feature (lips, cheeks, nose) are to die for.

This girl is full of emotion and expression. She is a sweetheart.

This beauty is wise and tender-hearted. LOVE her.

The picture above is in our backyard.

Love HIM. Sexy, supportive, smart, and silly...glad he's my man. Since I'm talking about everyone, I'll mention something about myself. This brunette, although I'm thinking about going blonde again, is surprisingly tenacious and full of life, even though at first glance some may think I'm subtle and dull.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Just a week or two ago I mentioned that fall is just around the corner, well it's here. It's been here for about a week now. On Sunday it was sunny and warm, perhaps the last day before I need gloves and a snow jacket (boo-hooh), so what better thing to do than go on a family walk and enjoy all the beautiful warm, fall colors.

I just love this candid picture. We're all having a good time.
Seriously, the picture above could be a cover of a book or made into a puzzle.
Red, orange, yellow, green--love the changing season.

Another candid picture that makes me laugh. Running down the hill; Levi falls and the girls take no thought to help, let alone look to see if he's okay.

Friday, September 9, 2011


This week Jordyn started Lions and Lambs preschool. She was so excited that it was finally her turn to start going to school. I was so happy for her because she has been waiting so patiently for her special day. On our way to the church bldg, where her school is inside, she found one of those weeds (can't think of the name) that you blow and make a wish. She made about 3 wishes with 3 different weeds and wished she'd love preschool. After this pit stop, she ran to her classroom, picked the apple with her name on it, and started playing. That was it. I said goodbye and gave her a kiss, but I don't think she really noticed. Her teachers are Ms. Marie and Ms. Danielle. There are 10 kids in her class. When I picked her up and asked how school was she said, "I don't like Ms. Danielle. She said I couldn't be line leader." grunt and pouty face ensued thereafter. She'll be line leader next Thursday when she brings snacks. Other than that minor detail, she loves preschool. She wishes she could go everyday. Although I've only experienced 2 days of her and Sydney both in school, it's been nice just hanging out with Levi, quiet, but nice. Levi loves having alone time w/ me and/or Jeff.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor day weekend

I spent the week preparing to take Sydney on her first overnight backpacking trip. My greatest fear was that she would be cold. After several trips to REI, I felt confidant that we had the right gear for this excursion. We went with Bob and Anna from our ward. It was nice to be able to share gear since Bob and I were carrying all the equipment for our daughters. I was so proud of Sydney. She was such a good sport and never complained the entire trip. The first day we hiked about 5 miles to our destination. We separated to scout the area and find the best place to pitch our tents. Sydney and I attempted to cross a stream but ended up falling into knee deep water. Sydney panicked since the water was moving pretty fast. I pulled her out and took her back to safe ground. Once we dumped all the water out of our boots, Sydney asked if we could say a prayer to thank Heavenly Father for protecting us from drowning. She offered the most sincere, heart felt prayer giving thanks. Slowly we have begun to shift where I learn more from her than she does from me. Thankfully she was wearing special non cotton hiking socks so she was able to continue hiking without much trouble.

After this incident, we fished for awhile. I set Sydney up with a spinner and taught her how to cast. Two minutes later I was putting together my fly rod when I heard Sydney screaming and crying. On one of her attempts to cast she lost balance and fell on a sharp rock and cut her finger badly. Bob, who is a doctor, diagnosed it as a "superficial cut." Once I told Sydney that Bob is a doctor and that she would be OK, she stopped crying and said, "Thanks Dr. Wenzel." After some antibiotic cream and a bandaid, she was good as new. She decided to just watch me fly fish for awhile. It didn't take long before I caught a couple of Dolly Varden Trout. Then Sydney used the fly rod on a rock ledge by just dropping the fly in the water and waiting for a bite. A few minutes later she felt a tug and pulled up her first fish ever. She was screaming and shouting with excitement. So was I. Later we cooked these fish over an open fire in a beautiful valley with the sun just starting to set. I taught Sydney about the miracle Christ performed when he fed thousands of people with just a few fish. I told her that I imagined that experience took place in a location that was just as beautiful as our valley and at about the same time of day. It was the perfect setting to discuss this great miracle.

Sydney and Anna did so good on the hike. They held hands, talked and sang most of the way.
The trout didn't provide much meat so we cooked on a few hot dogs on top of this large flat rock.
Sydney was so excited to catch her first fish. Here it is.
Bob, Anna, Sydney and me at the trailhead as we began our hike.
On Labor Day we went to Eklutna Lake and went fishing and four wheeling. I was glad to take both Sydney and Jordyn on this fun excursion. Our friend from the ward, Mike Henrie, invited us to go out on his boat. The girls had a great time. Mike caught a fish and let Sydney reel it in. As soon as Sydney came back with this fish, Jordyn claimed it as her own. The funny thing is that she didn't realize it was dead. She over heard me say that we were going to cook it and eat it for dinner as soon as we get home. The thought that Daddy would kill her pet and eat it was the cruelest thing she could think of. Once we got home Jordyn saw me gutting the fish in the backyard and starting yelling at me to stop. I explained to her that fish are a gift from God to feed us and give us strength. After I grilled it, everybody was eating bites except for Jordyn. Once she realized that even Levi liked it, she tried a bite.

Jordyn and me sitting at the front of the boat.
Sydney proudly displaying the only catch of the day.
We had a blast riding the trail on the side of the lake.
We took a break 4 wheelin to check out this teepee on the beach.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Front Yard

The titles of my blog posts are always soooo intriguing and captivating. It just pulls you right in. Well at least it's straightforward and you know what I'm going to talk about.
This past Monday was a hot, sunny day. When I say hot I actually mean it. It was in the mid 70's, but for some reason the mid 70's is actually hot here. I enjoy it hot. I appreciate warmth and sunshine more than ever. While Levi was napping, Jordyn and I enjoyed our front yard. She preferred picking berries from one of our trees while I enjoyed the beauty of the flowers in our front yard, after of course I had soaked in some much needed sun
.So intent on getting that "one special" berry.
After she got the lowest berries, she went inside and pulled out the stool to get the higher berries. She picked berries for an hour and then made some (berry, leafy, muddy) "soup."

I wish I could take credit for the flowers, but I have a brown thumb. Jeff planted and bought the flowers. The potted flowers on the ground totally grew and flourished.

Eagle River had a fairly warm summer, warmer than last summer. Monday was possibly our last summer day. The leaves are already turning and fall is just around the corner. Fall is a fast corner to turn because winter (to my records) starts the end of October. We have a trip to Maui planned in March so every day in winter I will look forward for a week and a half vacay in Maui.