Thursday, December 20, 2007

Thank You Grandma Parks

We got a christmas package in the mail from "Grandma Alaska" and in it was a gingerbread christmas tree kit. We haven't done a whole lot of pre-christmas "stuff" since we are going to California for christmas so the kids "ate up" the chance to make a gingerbread tree. I have to admit there weren't much sprinkles left over by the time Anna and Jared were done with decorating their trees and most of the frosting ended up in their mouths, but that is what gingerbread cookies are all about! They had a lot of fun. Thank you Grandma Alaska!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Crazy Weather

The last three days have been in the 70's. We have been playing outside in short sleeve shirts and sandals. Our Rhododendrons in the front yard are starting to bud. It feels like it is April instead of December. Our neighbors were mowing their lawns, I was weeding the garden, and Anna has been collecting Dandelions. It is amazing to me that just one week ago we were playing in the snow! Here is a picture of Anna at the park today. We are taking advantage of the nice weather as much as possible since it is calling for snow in 3 days. Crazy huh!?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Let it Snow!

It snowed! Anna looked out the window yesterday and saw the snow falling on the ground. She was captivated. It was really wet, but we went out anyway. We made lots of snow angels and snow balls. She wanted to leave some snow angels as a surprise for our neighbors down the street so we walked down and left some. She thought she was so sneaky. Unfortunately it warmed up and the snow was gone by the time Jared got home from school, but hopefully it will snow again soon.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Hide and Seek

This is the kids favorite game. As soon as Kevin walks in the door Anna is begging to play hide and seek. We have some Christmas boxes out and they have become the new hideout.

Are you ready for children

thought this was funny

Mess Test:
Smear peanut butter on the sofa and curtains. Place a fish stick
behind the couch and leave it there all summer.

Toy Test:
Obtain a 55-gallon box of Legos. (If Legos are not available, you
maysubstitute roofing tacks) Have a friend spread them all over the
house. Put on a blindfold. Try to walk to the bathroom or kitchen. Do
not scream. (This could wake a child at night.)

Grocery Store Test:
Borrow one or two small animals (goats are best) and take them with
you as you shop at the grocery store. Always keep them in sight and pay
for anything they eat or damage.

Dressing Test:
Obtain one large, unhappy, live octopus. Stuff into a small net bag,
making sure that all arms stay inside.

Feeding Test:
Obtain a large plastic milk jug. Fill halfway with water. Suspend
from the ceiling with a stout cord. Start the jug swinging. Try to
insert spoonfuls of soggy cereal (such as Fruit Loops or Cheerios) into
the mouth of the jug, while pretending to be an airplane. Now dump the
contents of the jug on the floor.

Night Test:
Prepare by obtaining a small cloth bag and fill it with 8 - 12
pounds of sand. Soak it thoroughly in water. At 8:00 PM, begin to waltz
and hum with the bag until 9:00 PM. Lay down your bag and set your
alarm for 10: 00PM.Get up, pick up your bag, and sing every song you
have ever heard. Make up about a dozen more and sing these too until
4:00 AM. Set alarm for 5:00 AM. Get up and make breakfast. Keep this up
for 5 years. Look cheerful.

Physical Test (Women):
Obtain a large beanbag chair and attach it to the front of your
clothes. Leave it there for 9 months. Now remove 10 of the beans.

Physical Test (Men):
Go to the nearest drug store. Set your wallet on the counter. Ask
the clerk to help himself. Now proceed to the nearest food store. Go to
the head office and arrange for your paycheck to be directly deposited
to the store. Purchase a newspaper. Go home and read it quietly for the
last time.

Final Assignment:
Find a couple who already has a small child. Lecture them on how
they can improve their discipline, patience, tolerance, toilet
training, and child's table manners. Suggest many ways they can
improve. Emphasize to them that they should never allow their children
to run riot. Enjoy this experience. It will be the last time you will
have all the answers.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Indian Rock

Kevin took the kids up to the Parkway and stopped off at Indian Rock. Not really sure why it is called that, but it is a stop on the Blue Ridge Parkway that has several large rocks stacked on top of each other creating some fun little caves and look out spots. It was a chilly day, but the kids had fun anyway.

Friday, November 2, 2007


Halloween in Buena Vista is a city wide event. The festivities begin at 4:00pm when all the stores in our downtown area are opened and decorated for trick or treating. The downtown parking lot is cleared out to make room for games like bean bag toss, cake walk, pin the face on the pumpkin, and others. There is also a costume contest and refreshments. The downtown activities go till 6:00pm and then it is time for everyone to go trick or treating from house to house. Over half of the homes in our neighborhood participate. A few homes have haunted houses or paths you can attempt if you dare. Buena Vista trick or treating is so famous that families from other communities drive into our town to go trick or treating. The kids had a great time and ended up with tons of sweets.

Jared's Birthday

We celebrated Jared's birthday on Monday. Jared loves to play board games so our theme was...Board Games! I bought a white sheet and made a life size Chutes and Ladders game so the kids be their own game pieces. (One of my rare moments of brilliance) Then we played a version of Hungry Hungry Hippos where the kids were the hippos and the balls were jelly beans. They had to scoop up jelly beans with a spoon between their mouth and drop them in their little bags. I think the kids enjoyed it. We then had Jared blow out his checker board cupcake cake and ate cake and ice cream. It was a lot of fun. I just can't believe my little guy is 6!

Grandma is Here!

Grandma Dunn is out visiting for a week. The kids are having a great time playing with her. She flew in on Jared's birthday for a surprise. After I dropped Jared off at school Anna and I drove down to the Roanoke airport to pick her up. Jared was surprised to see her standing in the road when he got off the bus. He was grinning from ear to ear. It has been a fun visit so far

Friday, October 26, 2007

Alumni Weekend

We saw many old friends from school last weekend during SVU's Homecoming. We also participated in many of the alumni activities on of them was The Alumni Basketball game. Kevin did really well and some fun playing with his old teammates Ben Lingen, Ryan (Hindu) Henderson, Spencer Kimball, Ryan (Killer) Killinger, Brandon Wilson, and many others. Kevin still has some sore muscles and bruises from the game, but all in all still glad he played. FYI in the middle picture you will notice some people behind the bench. They are from left to right Walt Ralls (SVU VP), Rodney Smith (SVU Pres.), Glade Knight (SVU mascott named after him), his wife, and Chieko Okasaki (I know I miss spelled her name) Chieko is sitting up on a bleacher and everyone else is standing. They offered her a chair to sit on but she said no thanks and then jumped up onto the bleachers. Cool huh.

"What was that?!"

I promise I keep my house clean! Anyone who has known me for any amount of time knows that I am somewhat of a neat freak so why (more importantly how) do we get rodents in our house. I for one would like to blame the male college students that rent out our basement, but oddly enough they keep it pretty clean down stairs. Anyway, Kevin and I were watching T.V. the other night when something grey darts into our media room and hides behind the T.V. Imagine if you will a grown 31 year old, 6'4", 200 plus pound male jumping as high as possible from his reclined position on the floor to the lounger behind him crouched on his feet and asking over and over, "What was that?!" His 27 year old, 5'8", not relevant pound wife on the opposite side of the room jumping on the couch clutching her chest (asthma) telling herself over and over, "It can't be!" Well folks it was a little cute (if it weren't for the nasty germs and diseases) grey mouse. Two hours later, and with some help from Bayden, we were able to get the mouse out of the house (alive). It was quite the process involving removing all the furniture in the room and propping up cushions to help trap the little guy. I'm sure if we would have had our video camera on we would have won America's funniest home videos. This is an after picture. Kevin is holding the blanket and bowl used to capture mousey. Since then we have narrowed down where they are living (outside on the back porch) and have caught a few more. We think this one got in our house while I was doing the laundry. Needless to say I close the door to the porch when I'm doing the laundry.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Welcome Noah!

Noah Dennis Parks is the newest of the Parks clan. He was born on Sunday, the 14th. He was 7lbs 5oz, 20 inches long. Son of Keith and Amanda Parks in Alaska.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Typical Anna

These pictures capture Anna's personality in a nut shell- crazy eccentric princess.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pumpkin Patch

The kids and I went to a pumpkin patch this Saturday for a friends birthday party. We went on a hay ride to the patch and then had cake and ice cream. I promise Anna had a good time even though the camera never caught her smiling. We have had a very dry Summer this year (only raining 5-10 times in five months) so the pumpkins suffered along with many other crops in the area. Jared and Anna managed to find some decent size pumpkins considering the lack of water.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Ultimate Mom Song

Copy and paste this link to listen to a very funny Mom song.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Saturday Walk

We went for a little walk in between sessions of Conference today. It has been abnormally warm for October (87 degrees) so we took advantage of the warm weather and walked down to the park. We also walked around the corner to the "scary house" There is a house that goes crazy in decorations for the holidays. When Jared was little we walked past the house on our way the park and he made us walk on the other side of the road to avoid the "scary house" and only those who have visited or lived in Buena Vista truly understand what he meant by "scary house" The yard is full of blown up characters from Homer Simpson dressed as a mummy to a skeleton driving a skeleton drawn carriage carrying a corpse that rises from his coffin every 30 sec. When it gets closer to Halloween there is scary music playing from 8:00am-10:00pm. On Halloween night if you can get up the courage the owners will let you walk through the inside of the house, but most of the kids can barely make it up to the door for their candy. We think they are a little eccentric but oh well to each their own! The kids discovered there were bats and spiders (fake) hanging from the castle in the yard and thought that was really funny.

Soccer Game

It has been different this fall to watch a SVU Women's Soccer game from the fan's side of the field, but I am adjusting. This was the third home game of the season and The kids and I went to watch. As you can see Jared and Anna weren't really interested in the game. I don't know what it is about bleachers that is so appealing but for whatever reason that was the place to be. They had fun jumping from the steps, making beds out of grass, and poking the feet of the fans from under the bleachers. It was a fun afternoon except that the girls lost the game. (It is a rebuilding year)

Sunday, September 30, 2007


We had some of Anna's friends and their families over for a birthday dinner. cake, and ice cream. Anna's says thank you to grandma's and grandpa's for remembering her birthday! It was a fun evening.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Names, Names and more Names

This was a tag I got from my old roommate from College. Pretty funny!

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car) Smokey Saturn

2. YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie) Vanilla Peanut Butter

3. YOUR "FLY" NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name) T-Par

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal) Green Dog

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born) Kay Bakersfield (I'd go with Kay Baker.)

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first) Par-Ti

7. SUPERHERO NAME: ("THE" + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink) The Blue Cranberry

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers) Joseph James

9. STRIPPER NAME: (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne, favorite candy) Splendor Peppermint Patty

10. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother's & father's middle names) Marie Lee

11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher's last name, a major city that starts with the same letter) Fambrough Fresno

12. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you're wearing right now + "ie" or "y") Apple Jeanie

13. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree) Cheerios Dogwood

14. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: ("the" + your favorite hobby, fave weather element + "tour") The Walking Thunder Tour

PS....I am going to tag Tiffany and DC to do this....COME ON!!! PLAY THE GAME :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

First Day of School

And he's off! Today was Jared's first day of school and he was so excited to go. Today was also the only day that parent's can walk their children to their classes. I asked Jared last night if he wanted me to help him find his way to his classroom and He said, "It's ok Mom, I can do it." So this morning we drove up to the school one of the teachers helped open the car door and Jared hopped out and walked away (after we reminded him not to forget he backpack). Kevin looked at me and I started crying. I can't believe he is old enough to go to school. Anyway he had a good time.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Trip to Utah and Idaho

We recently got back from a quick trip to Utah and Idaho for Ryan's graduation from BYU and Kristen and Hyrum's reception in Idaho. We stayed with Ryan and Lacey. The Kids loved playing with their new cousin Rafe. One day the boys went golfing (of coarse) and the girls went to a pool. Jared branched out of the kiddy pool and spent the afternoon jumping into the deep end from the diving board (no floaties) and Anna loved running through the sprinkler area. Baby Rafe took advantage of the cool water and had a nap in his Grandma Smith's lap. All in all it was a fun day. The following day we drove through Logan and Preston on our way to Soda Springs (Hyrum's hometown) and took some time to look at Kevin's old stomping grounds from the mission. We even got to see one of his old apartments. Kristen looked absolutely gorgeous in her dress with Hyrum by her side. It was fun getting to know him and have him a part of our family. Unfortunately we don't have any pictures from the trip, but maybe we will get some from family and post them later.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Swimming at the River

We went down to the river the other day and had some fun keeping cool.

More from California

One of our favorite memories from the trip was camping out in the back yard. We cooked hotdogs and marshmallows in the fire pit and then camped out in the tent.

Monday, August 27, 2007

California Trip

We recently got back from our summer vacations. The first trip we took was to California for Blake and Sarah's wedding. We flew into town on the Fourth of July. Just in time for the neighborhood block party. The kids had fun watching the fireworks and writing their names with sparklers. We spent the first weekend in Fresno for the wedding and reception. It was one of the hottest days of the summer, but we didn't let a little 113 degrees stop us from having fun. We were able to do lots of fun things like float the Kern river and go to the Avela barn and beach. When we wern't travleing we played in grandma's pond, fed the ducks at Hart Park, and slept in a tent. It was lots of fun and we can't wait to get back there this winter for Christmas!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Mud Pies

We have had a lot of much needed rain the last week and the kids decided to make the most of it. They went out yesterday and started making some mud pies. Anna is the one who had the idea (she loves the dirt). Jared was reluctant, but joined in any way.