Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The many faces of Canyon

So Canyon started smiling yesterday for the 1st time & I'm THRILLED to say that his first smile was for ME. . . not Daddy, not sister, not brother, but MOMMY.  6 kids & that has NEVER happened before.  My 5 others all smiled for Daddy first.  I'm kind of excited about this, can you tell?

I tried to get pictures of him smiling, but he does it SO fast that none of the pics turned out with him actually smiling, but they still turned out cute because Canyon is a cutie pie.

I love this kid!!!

My Anniversary Jewel Collection

I have a dear friend that I met when I was 17 years old on an AIRPLANE.  I was flying from Los Angeles back to Salt Lake City after spending the summer interning for Disney as an Imagineer.  Nancy happened to be sitting next to me on the plane & the entire ride we chatted about life in general. We had a lot in common & we became fast friends even though she was quite a bit older than I was.  At first we spoke back & forth via email, but then when I moved to LA when I was 18 we saw each other almost every weekend.  We had a BLAST.  Things changed a little bit when I got married (age 20) & moved away, but we've always stayed in touch & I always visit Nancy when I'm in the LA area.

Nancy is our family's 
"Fairy Godmother."
She sends us packages all the time with fun things for the kids or for myself.  She isn't married & doesn't have any children of her own so she spoils us like we're her family.  I always look forward to Christmas & birthdays because she sends the most AMAZING & THOUGHTFUL gifts for the whole family.

This was by far my favorite gift from her.  Not only is it all gorgeous, but it involved some research & learning on my part which I adore.  I appreciate being able to LEARN & GROW intellectually in my life & this gift did that for me.  She sent me an "Anniversary Gemstone" collection to celebrate the 12 years my husband & I have been married.  I love it because every year I'll get a new addition to the collection which means more research & learning on my part.  I LOVE THIS.

Year 1: Gold - Rose Gold Chain 18"

Year 2: Garnet - Tanzanian Garnet, 1.75ct, 8x8mm trillion cut

Year 3: Pearl - Cultured Golden South Sea Pearl, 8mm round

Year 4: Blue Topaz - London Blue Topaz, 3.00ct, 9mm round
(This cut is beyond GORGEOUS)

Year 5: Sapphire - Blue Sapphire, 3.25ct, 10x8mm oval cut

Year 6: Amethyst - Uruguayan Untreated Amethyst, 1.25ct, 7mm
octogonal cabriole cut
(The picture does it NO justice.  This guy is SPECTACULAR)

Year 7: Onyx - Mexican Black Onyx, 12mm round, checkerboard cut

Year 8: Tourmaline - Nigerian Pink Tourmaline, 1.15ct, 7mm round
(again the pic does NOT do it justice!)

Year 9: Lapis Lazuli - Afghanistan Lapis, 14x10mm, oval
cabochon cut
Year 10: Diamond - 3 Diamond Rings: Mocha, Yellow, & Red

Yep, they are GORGEOUS.  I'm just now realizing that diamonds
aren't always white.  In fact, red are some of the rarest diamonds
you can find.  SO FUN to research.

Year 11: Turquoise - Mexican Turquoise, 14x10mm oval cut

Year 12: Jade - Green Chinese Jade

It's quite the collection.  Pictures just don't look as good as the jewels themselves.  They are SPECTACULAR in person.  I'm still reading up on the history of them all which is super fun, but now I've got to decide what I want each to be made into.  I think I might want them all to be rings eventually. . . like anniversary rings since they're Anniversary Gemstones.  But that will take time & money, so one thing at a time.  

But what a FUN birthday gift.  Nancy is just SO clever.  She also bought me a book on gemstones to help me research the stones more fully.  I'm having a blast.

Thank you Nancy for such an AMAZING gift for my birthday.  But thank you even MORE for your FRIENDSHIP over the years.  It has meant more to me than you will ever know.

Happy 32nd Birthday to ME

So another year rolls around & I'm another year older.  32 years to be exact.  Where did all the time go?  I feel like I'm 20, but the age is definitely started to show.  I have little crows feet by my eyes & laugh lines around my mouth.  But I'm proud of my lines. . . they are from years of happiness with my sweet husband & years of laughter from my wonderful children.  I have a wonderful life & I have the lines to prove it.

I got to sleep in on my birthday which was great.  I slept all the way until 8:00.  That's UNHEARD of for me.  I'm an early bird & am usually up by 6:00 so it was nice sleeping a little longer.  Trek & the kids surprised me with a birthday breakfast consisting of:
a GIANT Mickey Mouse pancake (chocolate chips too)
& a cinnamon roll.

Here's my "official" 32 year old picture.  10 fingers from me, 10 from Craiger, a SCARY 10 from Taya, & one each from Cadence & Lorien.

I got lots of fun presents from my kiddos & family for my special day.  

Taya bought me a Mickey Mouse "D" keychain for my keys.
She knows how much I love Mickey Mouse.

My Auntie Char bought me a beautiful black
pearl necklace.

My mom, brother, & sister in law bought me a TON of fun
make-up from my favorite company.  I LOVE make-up
& they know how much I love playing with new colors.

Lorien used her money to buy me a Mickey Mouse steering wheel cover for my van which is darling & Cadence used her money to buy me a peach blush because she knows how much I love make-up.  My grandma Kinsfather send me $5 to spend on whatever I wanted & my Grandma Cherry sent me $20.
(I bought more make-up with my birthday money. . . see, I told you I love it.)

My friend Nancy sent me a TON of fun things for my birthday.  I'm TOTALLY SPOILED ROTTEN.
My favorite things from Nancy were the 3 pairs of gorgeous pumps for summer with a matching purse. SO MUCH FUN.
Oh & then the jewel collection which I'll do an entire blog post about on it's own.

Trek bought me a new stove because ours is on it's last straw.  Only 1 of 5 burners is working & the oven only heats on one side.  He made my birthday breakfast & learned VERY quickly how badly we needed a new one.  So, after presents we went shopping for a new stove/oven & found the stove of my dreams at Sears . . . . ON SALE!!!!

We went out to dinner at my favorite restaurant: Chipotle
& then when we got home the kids surprised me with a Cold Stone birthday cake with mint chocolate ice cream of course.  YUM.

 It was a fabulous birthday.  I love my kids & my sweet husband.  Thanks to all of you who wished me a happy birthday as well.  I feel loved.

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July from the Potter House.

We live in a great neighborhood with an awesome HOA.  This year on the 4th of July they had a chalk drawing contest for kids/adults to draw a 4th of July related picture.  All 3 girls entered the contest & did a fantastic job.  They all spent a good hour drawing fantastic pictures.

Cadence's finished picture.
She drew a beautiful flag with fireworks.  She has gorgeous
handwriting doesn't she?

Taya's finished picture.
(It's a unicorn, flag, & flower in case you couldn't tell)

Lorien spent an hour & a half on her picture.  She even drew
a rough draft on a piece of paper before she started so it
would look "just right."  I was proud of her for taking
the time to think about what she wanted to do before she
even started.
Lorien's finished picture.  A parade led by her Daddy holding
the flag in his USAF uniform, followed by two members of
the army.  I also loved the fireworks.

Lorien won 3rd place in the contest.  Not bad for an 8 year old going up against teenagers & adults (who won 1st & 2nd place).  So technically she won 1st place out of the kids.  We were proud of her.  She won a large package of glitter & rainbow sidewalk chalk.  She was pretty excited. 

After the chalk drawing contest we hung around the pool until it was time for the big BBQ potluck.  The HOA provides the main dish & drinks & everyone else brings side dishes.  It's great.  While we were waiting for our turn to get lunch, we happened upon a little tree frog.

Of course Lorien wanted to hold it & set it free in it's natural habitat.


After spending the entire afternoon in the sun having BBQ & playing at the lake, we came home & got everything together for the big BBQ at our house for the 4th of July.  I like to have a lot of people over for the 4th because it makes me less homesick for my family.  We had 65 people from the neighborhood/church show up for our BBQ & we had a BLAST

After eating, we had all the kids line up for a water balloon toss.  They loved that.

So cute!  Even the little ones were playing.

After they got bored of tossing balloons with their hands, we gave them all towels for some water balloon volleyball.  They REALLY enjoyed that.

And finally, for the grand finale, we just gave them 100 water balloons to throw at each other.  Poor Craiger got trampled in the process, but he was alright.  I think this was the kid's & the teenager's favorite part of the whole night.  We had SO MUCH FUN.

We had a great day.  I hope all of you had a wonderful 4th of July as well.