Monday, August 10, 2009

Kaley's Birthday Party

Kaley's birthday has always and will always be at the worst possible time during the year. I don't know what she was thinking! Trying to get people together to celebrate is so tricky in July! And the beginning of August is just as bad. With reunions, her siblings anniversary's, holidays, etc., her birthday celebration always gets pushed well into August. We finally decided on a movie (Ice Age 3) with dessert after. Here we are in front of Baskin Robbins after the movie.

Kaley chose her gifts from her parents this year. I expected her to go nuts on clothes! But she surprised me by carefully choosing 1 thing- A camera/camcorder that has a case to make it waterproof up to 15 ft. As the camera itself used up all of her birthday money, she was ready to do extra jobs to earn a little more money to buy some memory for it. Aunt Julie and Uncle Vaughn came to the rescue, however, with a memory card as their gift. She was ecstatic!

Alissa giving Kaley a birthday squeeze. They have such a close and loving relationship, Lol!

Aunt Julie LOVES princesses!!!!!!!!!!!

Alissa and her Grandma- this was a funny moment. :) Mom was helping with the grandkids (as usual) and commenting that she sometimes feels like a rug. Alissa ran up to her and gave her a hug, saying, "But you are my FAVORITE rug!!" So now I know what I need to aspire to be when I'm a Grandma- somebody's favorite rug!!!

It's so fun just being together!

Aunt Vel and baby Laya

This is the world you get to live in when there are Miller's involved. Truly frightening!!

Nathan and his bride, Sheri

Grandma Joan holding a very sleepy Bella. She was asleep about 5 minutes after this picture was taken.

Umm- Jenn. What did you do to that baby??

Kaley has a special relationship with her cousin, Jenn. Always has, always will.

Oh, yeah!!! Play-Doh from Chad and Chelsea!! You must know Kaley very well!

Finally blowing out the candles!

It's official, now, Kaley! You really are 11. The good part about having your birthday stretched out is that it actually gets celebrated for nearly a month! I can't believe how grown up you are. My baby!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Happy 11th Birthday, Kaley!!

My little Caboose is growing up as fast as she can. Today she is 11. She's changed so much in the past year- she's gone from a little girl who needs her momma to an independant pre-teen. I have so much loved being her mom. She makes the sun shine for me!

Kaley has been the absolutely perfect last child. Anyone in the family (including herself) can tell you that she's definately spoiled. (Right, Kaley?) And that she loves it. I think she really enjoys her status as the caboose of the family.

Kaley is ridiculously smart. She can memorize things so quickly. When her sisters were struggling to memorize poems, multiplication tables and such, Kaley would have them memorized seemingly within seconds. She had her multiplication tables memorized in the 1st Grade- because Cassidy was learning them in 3rd. Let's just say that Cassidy wasn't amused when Kaley could rattle off the answer before anyone else had time to compute what the question was.

Kaley is a budding violist. She is picking up on it very quickly. She is the fourth child in our family to learn this instrument. She has a great deal of interest in other instuments as well.

Kaley was a super shy little one. She's pretty much outgrown it, but when she was little- if a stranger talked to her, she would come unglued! She was so cute that everyone wanted to play with her- but if she didn't already know them well, she would just start crying. She's become much more secure since then, thank goodness! Look at her glaring at the photographer! Lol!

Kaley is an author and an artist. She has been writing stories and books since she was able to hold a crayon. She has a vivid imagination with no end. Some of her topics have absolutely blown my mind. Most of her stories are fiction. Some of them are in first person. It will be intersting to see how valuable this interest and natural skill become to her later in life.

When Kaley was little she liked to make up games. One game that she made up was called, "What's that Movie?" She would repeat a phrase from a movie and then make us guess which movie it came from. If we guessed right, then we got to have the next turn. She also made up a sport called Chinese Soccer. We never did figure out how all it went- but she was sure it would be a real sport some day.

Kaley is part fish- part mermaid. She is a great swimmer. She can swim for hours!

Kaley is so fun to talk to! She's like talking to a small adult. One of my favorite things to do is to coerce her to run errands with me. Then I have her all to myself, and can listen to her ideas and thoughts undisturbed by household drama.

Kaley was very interested in Karate for a while. She has discontinued her practice, but I hope that she will eventually take it back up. She was really good at it and progressed quickly.

Kaley loves to explore. She loves nature. She is so interested in animals and plants and, well- everything!

As the youngest in our family, Kaley didn't get to have any younger brothers or sisters to boss around. This never really bothered her much, though, as she has so many little cousins. She is very attached to them and loves to spend time with them. She is at the perfect age right now to begin babysitting, which she is very anxious to start doing more.

Kaley is an amazing reader! We make regular trips to the library because she's run out of things to read. She reads books that seem way to advanced for someone her age. I swear she would probably read the dictionary, if that's all she could find. She's even read the Bible- it was a version written comic-style- but she still read it!

Kaley loves to watch movies. She's an expert at remembering details about movies. She annoys us all by quoting different parts of movies over and over. She won't stop! We've tried everything- ignoring it, getting mad, threatening physical harm- nothing works! I think shock treatment is the next hope for a cure. I'll let you know if it works.

Kaley, I just want you to know what a special place you have in my life. You have been so much fun to raise and to have around. I love that you care so much about the people around you and that you are so aware of other peoples feelings. I'm so glad that you were given to me as my sweet little caboose. I wouldn't trade being your mom for anything!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fish Lake with the Scotts- July 24-26

I finally got to spend some time with Chelsea by joining in on a family tradition of Chad's family. They like to go to Fish Lake for a couple weeks in the middle of summer. Their whole family goes, including Chad's grandparents from both sides of his family. I think that's really neat. Here is a pic of our camp spot. You can't tell from the pic too much- but we are camped on a hill. Anyone who had set up a trailer before I'm sure can feel our pain- we had to dig down for the back side of the trailer and block up for the front. It took forever and required a lot of swearing, but once it was done, we had a great time!

George and Jaqui are taking a well-deserved break after getting camp set up. Of course, Jaqui was loads of help, right?
Alissa, buckling up her helmet for a ride.
Cassidy- those blue eyes of yours are gorgeous even goggled!
Kaley rides all day on these trips!
Cassidy and Alissa wanted a picture of them riding as fast as they could! The picture definitely doesn't reflect their speed, Lol! They might as well be posing!
They were quite disgusted with the dirt crusted on them after riding. Poor little city girls in the mountains with no shower!
Kaley must be going through that self-conscious phase. She covered her face for nearly every picture I took!
You tell me- does this big dog look happy to you??
Chad and Chelsea in front of the best trailer in the whole world!
Chelsea's dog, Dixie.
Kaley, going for yet another ride!
Probably the most important part of any good camping trip is the food. Here is the master of the BBQ, cooking steaks.
And here are the kids- enjoying them!Please don't think that my kids really eat this way!!!!! They love clowning for the camera!
And then little Jaqui- wishing she could have a plate, too!
Chad, cooking pancakes!
Chelsea and Todd enjoying the outdoors.

Kaley- would you stop that?!? You have very cute hands, but it's that face I want to see!
Alissa and Chelsea- warming up around the campfire.

Okay- I saved the best for last! As everyone knows, I love this big dog more than ANYTHING! He is such a good dog, and is always cracking me up. He loves to go camping- especially if there are ground squirrels to go after. I think we should start out this series of pictures with one of a beautiful, clean Moqui.

Here he goes! He's found one!
Absolute clouds of dirt come billowing out of the hole that he is enlarging, trying to get that squirrel!

Half-way in!

Look at his face! This was after hours of effort and digging. He never did get the squirrel- he never does. But he sure tried hard and had a great time doing it!