Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My sweet little girls......

Josie Lynn Pratt
age 6 1/2 (First grader)

Joely Elizabeth Pratt

age 4 1/2- (Preschooler)

Jenna Grace Pratt
age 3 years (Preschooler)

We had a great lesson in church during Sunday school and the topic of journal keeping came up...of course someone mentioned "blogging"! What a great way for us busy moms to take a second and record a little bit about our lives and our children! I am a HORRIBLE journal keeper- I think I write in my journal a couple of times every decade...so of course I miss out on recording and thus later remembering, many little details. I've blogged a bit about my boys...so now its time for the girls. After having three boys, I never thought I'd be a "girl" mom...but I must confess how much I love being a mom to three precious little girls. Josie, Joely and Jenna are such joys and we have a lot of fun with them. So, just a few little details of their daily lives! Josie, in first grade...loves all things "girly"! Pink rules the day, and so does Barbie, Strawberry Shortcake and Hello Kitty! She is a great student, and loves her teacher Mrs. Lamb. She is taking piano lessons and really doing well! She loves to ride her bike, color and draw, jump on the trampoline and play with her friends! She is my little "kitty" as she loves to curl up either right next to me, or on my lap! Right now she is trying to master the jump rope and spends many hours practicing! Joely is going to preschool this year with me and Jenna (I teach another 4 yr. old class and Jenna goes to a 3 yr. old class). She is learning her letter names and sounds and learning to read! She loves to play with her sisters and friends, and she loves her puppy Nacho and our adopted cats Tiger and Oreo. She loves to sing and and can't wait to start piano too! Jenna is also going to preschool and she adores her teacher...she is so big and smart...she loves to play with the big girls and right now is into catching moths in the backyard! She loves elephants and has about half a dozen different ones on her bed. Everyone adores her and she is truly the baby of the family! Right now her favorite movie is "The Little Mermaid" and she can be heard singing the songs all over the house! We never presume to know what she wants or needs...Jenna will for SURE let us know if we are missing something...even though she's number six, she does NOT get left behind...EVER! So there's a bit about my girls...what a blessing they are. I love them so much!

Friday, September 26, 2008

We've made it 16 years together...can you believe it?

Today is Alan and I's 16th wedding anniversay...so you are going to have to bear with me as I blog a bit about being married to the best husband on the planet for a minute! OK, we all know, NO ONE is perfect, but if there was a close call to it I think my Alfie would top the list. I'll give you some empirical data to prove it (can you tell I married an engineer???) First off...he does laundry- ok it totally annoys the heck out of me HOW he does the laundry, but hey, with six kids and two adults, who cares HOW it gets done as long as it gets done. Second, he rarely fights with me. Now, those of you who know me, know I WANT him to fight with me, but instead he laughs and then I usually see how ridiculous I'm being and the fight dissipates before my eyes! Third, he hardly ever complains about my "girls night out" or my "sisters weekends" or my "scrapbook USA" or all the other activities I participate in for my own sanity's sake. Fourth, he still likes my body (we won't go into too many details on this one, but I have carried, delivered and breast-fed six kids- use your imagination I don't have a supermodel body!!) Fifth, he loves his children and they KNOW it... even if they do get annoyed sometimes by it! Sixth, and not last by all means, he honors his priesthood and uses it to bless my life, and our children's lives. The list could definitely be longer and sweeter, with better examples like how good he provides for us, how hard he always works, how he spends his vacation days doing things I want to do or what the kids want to do...etc, etc.
At the end of the day, I couldn't be more blessed or more happy to roll over and have HIM by my side! Love ya Alfie! Can't wait to see what the next 16 years bring!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Football, Soccer and a fractured skull!

Jeremy just finished up an awesome football practice, and Josh a soccer game tonight! I just have to say that even though I usually spend at least an hour or more per day driving my "athletes" all around to practice and games...its worth watching them learn, excel and have fun. Jeremy is playing tackle football for the second year in a row and having a great time. The first part of the season he was a little disappointed b/c he was playing offensive line and not really getting any "action". I tried the usual "parent pep talk" about being a team player and having fun, and working hard so the coaches would see how good he really is...blah blah blah to his ears, I know! Anyway...he is now the Defensive Captain and playing Defensive end and kicking some tail! He told me he had quite a few sacks of the quarterback at practice (they scrimmaged a 6th grade team) and his coach said he was MVP of the game! Kudos to Jeremy for being so awesome!

Josh is playing on a competition AAA Under 16 team- the Lehi Arsenal. They have a lot of talent on their team and really decent coaches..there is just STIFF competition out there...so they've only won 1 game this season...but Josh is as dedicated a player as I've ever seen. He never misses a practice, runs on his days off and plays his heart out every game. I love watching him run (for you Nacho Libre fans..."He runs like a gazelle!") and he really has improved his technique and ball handling skills tremendously this past season. It's super fun being the soccer and football mom this year!

Jonah is not doing a sport right now (he was due to start karate a couple weeks ago) due to the fact he fractured his skull and gave himself a concussion last week. He is doing fine...a trip to the ER and a doctor visit later (not to mention the $$$$- ok I won't complain..he is my kid!!!) But...no physical activities for about 6 weeks! Long story short....he made a little swing out of some webbing (rock climbing rope) and in the basement was swinging in the doorway over the concrete..lost his balance, flipped around and landed on the back of his head. I knew he was really hurt when he said his ears wouldn't stop ringing, and then he started barfing! YUCK! Thankfully, he will be ok, as long as he NEVER does that again. Six kids..three boys and the only bones they have broken are the ones that can't be cast- Josh and his tailbone and Jonah and his skull! I hope we have filled our broken bone quota...but I sort of doubt it! Joely and Jenna still need to learn to ride a 2 wheeler!!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy 35th Alan!

Well it's official...Alan and I are OLD! No, just kidding....I truly believe age is a state of mind! We celebrated Alan's 35th birthday today (he's finally caught up to me) and we had a pretty good time. Unfortunately, he still had to go to work, and although I wanted to drive up and take him to lunch, he was too busy with stuff and meetings...so I cooked him his favorite dinner (meatloaf, baked potatoes, shrimp salad and jell-o!) and then we had cake and ice cream and BOY, we were stuffed! Only Al and I ate the meatloaf, the kids wouldn't touch it, but everything else was a big hit. Pretty easy to please and pretty easy to pull off! We kept it simple this year, and Al got a new shirt and pair of pants from me and the kids got him a DVD, a flashlight (he really asked for one!) and a bag of one of his favorite candies...black licorice (YUCK!) but he loves it! Hey, what else could you ask for except a good, hot meal, some cake and candy and best of all, six wonderful (but hyper) kids all around you???? Happy birthday Alan! You are the best and we all love you so much!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ahhh, Paris!!!

I really loved Paris! Of all the cities we visited in Europe, Paris was my favorite. I think it's because I felt like we saw SOOOO much stuff! We started out with our tour guide, Antoine taking us on a bus tour of the city. We drove by all the big sights...and saw everything to get us excited about being in Paris! Our first stop/tour was Notre Dame. It was incredible! It was huge and very crowded, but we did get to go inside and the stained glass was breathtaking! We stopped for photos at the Arc de Triomphe and other sights as well...but the most impressive was the Eiffel Tower! It is so huge! The boys really loved it! Jeremy was so cute..he said, "I can't believe I'm here at the Eiffel Tower; I've waited my whole life to see it!" We also took a boat ride on the Seine river and that was another really great way to see the sights as well. We of course visited the Louvre Museum and Josh, Dane & Andre really loved it and took off on their own to explore. It is an enormous museum and the other boys were hot and tired, so we didn't stay as long as the big kids...however we did see the famous Mona Lisa and yes, she really is as small as the picture...but still very cool to see in person!

Pictures from Stuttgart

Our second stop in Germany was Stuttgart. We stayed in a really nice and fancy hotel and the boys and I loved having air conditioning and really yummy breakfast buffet. They have the BEST yogurt in Germany..in Europe everywhere for that matter. Also, did I mention the chocolate??? OK, hands down its the best in the world!! It is so rich and doesn't taste at all like the chocolate bars here in the US. Anyway, our hotel had a big bridge that went over the freeway and right into a park that connected to a shopping plaza. We had fun walking around and saw more beautiful old palaces, fountains and statues.

We visited the Stuttgart Museum and it wasn't too great because everything was in German with only a few displays equipped with English translations...plus it was hot with no air conditioning! But we did have fun walking around and seeing the shops.

They had a really cool display called the United Buddy Bears. Jeremy had his picture taken in front of the United States bear...of course!!!

As for the food, we SHOULD have eaten at least a bratwurst, but we ended up in a Chinese restaurant..let me sum it up by saying that it tasted COMPLETELY different than Chinese food in the US. Josh was good sport about his Sprite having no ice and not tasting anything like Sprite.

We were only in Stuttgart for one day and one night but it was fun!

Oberammergau Pictures (Slide show #2)

Our second stop in Germany...Oberammergau a small town nestled in the Bavarian Alps! It is the home of the Passion Play...put on by the people of Oberammergau every 10 years as part of a promise their ancestors made with God when their town was struck so hard with the plague. They promised to put on a play depicting the life and death of Jesus Christ if He would spare their town. He did, and they have kept their promise to Him! This is a HUGE production and it was so cool to see the huge theatre they built for it and hear about the production of it. We went on the stage and got to see all the costumes backstage and it was impressive! Oberammergau is high in the Bavarian Alps so they couldn't make their way in the world by farming...so they had to find another way to make money..so they became woodcarvers. They had some of the most amazing wood carvings in their shops. All of the buildings in the town had some part of the passion painted on their fronts. It was neat. There were beautiful gardens and flowers and even in the end of July I was chilled enough to need a light sweater. How cool is that? It was a beautiful part of Germany and probably my most favorite place in Germany!

Pictures from Europe (FINALLY)

We had a great time in Europe!! It's taken me a while to get all the pictures together and edited. I hope you enjoy seeing where we went, and what we saw. It truly was a trip of a lifetime. I am going to post the pictures in video form in a few different posts because its easier to upload smaller video files. This is part 1- leaving for Germany and a couple of pictures from Germany. We left SLC and stopped for a brief layover in Atlanta. Then we were off the Munich, our first stop. When we arrived at our hotel it was too early to check in, so we locked up our bags and hit the streets of Munich. It was kind of scary b/c it was the first time I had been somewhere where I had no idea what anything said, or how to communicate with anyone..unless they mercifully spoke English, which most people did. It was humbling to be so dependent on the kindness of complete strangers! Anyway, mom knew we wanted to see the Glockenspiel..a giant clock tower with full size figurines that moved to music..and WE FOUND IT! We were quite proud of ourselves! Then our tour bus picked us up and we headed out for our first tour..to Dachau Concentration Camp. It was very somber, quiet and an amazing experience. The boys were so tired...it was midnight Utah time...and early morning in Germany. But they did their best and we saw the barracks, gas chambers and ovens they used at the concentration camp. We will never forget that experience and we have first hand knowledge that it DID happen. We were tired but grateful for the experience.