Sunday, July 31, 2011

Happy 13th Birthday, Rachel!

On July 20th, Miss Rachel turned 13 years old! Finally an official teenager! She doesn't like cake and cupcakes so she dropped plenty of hints every time I was on a computer that she wanted me to make her some homemade ice cream, preferably vanilla. I ended up making both vanilla and chocolate ice cream, and they were pretty good!

Ingredients. You see those vanilla beans? Although they smelled so good, and made the ice cream taste delicious, they were stinking $8! For only two! Next time I will be buying them on Amazon where they were only $22 for about 54! Wegmens is sooo overpriced!

This little stinker didn't feel like sleeping that night, so he got up to help me make ice cream at 11 pm. Ha, too cute. Vacation ruins any schedules!

The vanilla beans smelled so good!

When we made the chocolate ice cream, Andrew's favorite part was unwrapping the little chocolate squares!

So delicious. Rich, creamy, and smooth!

13 Candles! She blew them all out at once! And if you look closely, you can see how humongous her ice cream sundae bowl is!

Happy Birthday, Rach!

Ice Cream Toppings: Chocolate syrup, caramel syrup, crushed Oreos, mini M&Ms, chopped nuts, cherries, gummie bears, whipped cream, and sprinkles!

Suzanne and Aubrey--glad the Shields were all here to help us celebrate!

Ha, the little boys were in Heaven!

Cute Aubrey!

Leslie making her sundae!

And one last picture of Evan: so stinking cute. He is getting so big and fun!

13 Wonderful things about Rachel:
  1. She is both a fun loving girl and a serious girl at the same time.
  2. Rachel has such a creative mind, and she is always doing a new craft or sewing a quilt!
  3. She is the most independent girl in the world! Completely opposite of myself, she never procrastinates anything and she is always on top of her game!
  4. She can be quite the crack up.
  5. She has lots of love for her family, although she gets annoyed with us too!
  6. Rachel has always been such a hard worker: from school, to at home, to at church. She manages her time, helps everyone around the house, and goes to church activities and Personal Progress lessons.
  7. She can't wait for me to leave for college, but I know inside she will truly miss me :)
  8. Rachel and I are very alike when it comes to one thing: we both hate sports. So together, we don't feel like pathetic losers while Suzanne is at swim team and the boys play soccer.
  9. She will tell you how it is. Straight up. My hair looks ridiculous? She lets me know. I smell because I haven't showered in maybe three days? Man, you smell. So brutally honest!
  10. Rachel is awesome at serving and helping others (most of the time--unless it's me, ha!!
  11. She is such a great friend and an example to her friends.
  12. Rachel is her very own person. She is not like Suzanne or myself, who have many things in common. Rachel is unique.
  13. She loved her birthday! She better have, because I spent lots of time on the ice cream! :)


It is a rare thing when two families get along extremely well, when all of the children blend in together and love each other as if they themselves were siblings, and when the spouses get along so well with each other. Over the past four and a half years, we have really grown to know and love the Shields Family so much. After all of us spending a little over two weeks in the same house together, you all definitely become a huge, strong family.

Tonight we finally had to say goodbye (rather, see you later) to this awesome family as they prepare for a great three year adventure far away from us! I am so happy for their family and all of the fun things they will to experience! That said, we will miss them so much! They are at the airport now, boarding the plane. Mom sent a picture from her phone:

Seriously how cute is that family? Hoping that their plane ride goes well and quickly for them!!!

We snapped some last few pictures before they left for the airport. In the first picture, Suzanne was missing. In this picture, Gray and Evan are missing. So between the two, we have all the kids pictured... thirteen kids total!

I like to appear pretty tough, and I am definitely not a super emotional, crying person. However, as I said goodbye to those cute little kids and Leslie and John, I became one! Tears were shed by everyone, and we are both sad for them to be leaving but excited for their family. We love you guys!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sleeping Beauties

For the past two weeks, Jocelyn has taken over Suzanne's bed, booting her to the couch upstairs, and Rachel and Aubrey have booted Gray to the couch and taken over his bed. Each night I come to bed and see just the cutest sleeping girl, and hear two sets of snickering and giggles in the next room. At midnight, Jocelyn is fast asleep, and Rachel and Aubrey are just getting started for the night! Of course, they sleep in late the next morning!

One night Gray and I came downstairs and Jocelyn had fallen asleep with her pillow over her head--hilarious!

Sleeping with her stuffed animals and blankets.

Up late--playing DS, making bracelets, chatting and giggling!

Jocelyn also likes to wake everyone up in the morning. When she wakes up before me, she scoots over onto my bed and wakes me up! Very cute. Andrew and Jocelyn always like to wake up the sleeping people on the couches together.

Andrew and Landon, the youngest two, each have a porter crib in their parents room. Every morning Andrew comes running out and ROARS at everyone to wake them up and scare them.

Andrew and his cute PJs, and Evan.

What will we do when the house goes back to only 11 instead of 17?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Happy Birthday 7-Eleven

Last week, Mom took all of us kids to 7-Eleven for a free slurpee! It was over 100 degrees here that day, so it was a nice treat to cool off! I think Mom was even more excited than all of the kids were!

Rachel filling up her Slurpee!

Group shot in front of the 7-11

Ryan with his Slurpee. I guess he forgot to zip up that darn zipper because he was so excited!

Blue Raspberry

Mom, the driver!

Fun treat and a lot of sugar!!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

An Empty House is Far Too Quiet

Yesterday Mom took most of the siblings to Virginia Beach to both spend the day at the beach and visit family. I was planning on going, but I babysit now Tuesday through Friday so I didn't. Mom left midday Friday so that she could get there sooner. Dad and Gray play this game called Magic the Gathering and there was some big pre-release tonight (I really have NO idea what that is). They have been gone all day. Since I knew they would be gone most of the day, I went ahead and babysat all day. I got home about an hour ago, and man is it quiet in my house. It is almost eerie how quiet it is right now, as compared to when there are eleven people plus a dog in this crazy house! There is no noise at all, which is good sometimes, but man it would make for a boring life if it was like this all the time. The only noise right now is the tapping of the computer keys, the air conditioning, and Untold Stories of the ER (love that show). Can't wait for the family to be home! Dad and Gray won't be back until the wee hours of the morning.

For now, I'll sit on the couch with a bag of goldfish, watch TV, and read blogs on the internet.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

We celebrated the Fourth of July this year with great friends and family! The Fourth of July is Mom's second favorite holiday, so of course we make a big deal to celebrate! My Grandma and three cousins were here, and we invited two great families over as well! Dad grilled hamburgers, hotdogs, and shish kabobs for dinner, and we had corn salad, deviled eggs, baked beans, and of course Texas sheet cake! The food was so delicious!

We sat around in great company and just laughed and talked for hours! We went outside to do sparklers with the little kids and eventually shoot off fireworks. However, the dads got too nervous to shoot off the bigger fireworks, so we did a few and called it quits! It was such a fun night though and we all had a great time!

I am so thankful to live in the country that gives me so many freedoms and opportunities, and I am so grateful to all the men and women who have fought and who are still fighting and making so many sacrifices in order to keep this country and all of us safe and free! I am so blessed!

Some of the kids in their Fourth of July outfits!

Ryan helped place flags lining down the driveway!

Ha, we made a ton of food! And even then, most of it was eaten!

Some good old dinner conversation!

Zee and Sanjay brought the fireworks, and they had some awesome sparklers for the kids! So neat!

Derek holding Evan! He is an only child, but you would never really know it!

I don't think sparklers will ever get old!

Dad and his boys!

Sparkler designs!

Cute Rachel!

Aleena isn't very fond of fireworks! She thought they would be loud like the bigger ones! I had her come out for a sparkler or two, and then she went back inside to watch Nick Jr. Silly girl!

About 200 sparklers later, the kids had a great time!

Last year we celebrated with some other awesome friends, the Smith's and the Shields. Couldn't help but reminisce as know one family is across the globe in Germany and the Shields are visiting family in Oregon!

Happy 4th of July.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Evan's Blessing Day

Today at church Evan was blessed. Dad, Gray, my two cousins Austin and Jacob, and my Grandpa Gray were all family members that were able to stand in the circle for his blessing. Tim Trask, Bishop Ryan Phelps, Brother Chong, and Brother Erickson also stood in the circle. Dad gave Evan a name and a blessing, Evan Gray Kemmey. It was great, and I am so thankful for the priesthood that both my Dad and my older brother hold. Soon enough, Harrison will receive the Aaronic Priesthood (September!).

A lot of family came to help commemorate this day and to celebrate Evan. Mom's parents and two sisters came with their families. Dad's mom and my three cousins on my Dad's side came (Jacob, Daniel, and Jonah). It was so great to see them, and they all got to hold the baby. It was actually the first time Dad's mom had seen him, so it was very exciting. His family lives in Tennessee, six hours away. However, they are moving down to Texas at the end of the month for a year while my Aunt Tara is in a Master's program. Tomorrow will actually be the last time we see my older cousin Jacob for two years because on September 28th, he leaves for the MTC for his two year mission for our church in the Philippines. Very exciting!

Evan in his white blessing outfit

Love his little half-smile. So cute.

All of the family that was present for the blessing--missing two uncles and one aunt!

Mom and Dad and Evan

Gray, Dad, and Jacob were all able to stand in the circle in order to bless that baby!

Darling Grandma, Dad, and Evan

Grandma and her two eldest grandchildren!

Grandpa and Grandma Gray and Evan

Mom's family--Grandpa, Grandma, Mom, Aunt Sheri, Aunt Amy

Aunt Amy and her family: Jared, Katelyn, and Lauren. Uncle Joe is deployed right now with the Navy!

Aunt Sheri and her family: Austin and Becca

Dad and his six sons

Mom and her six boys!

Three daughters and sisters

Very typical

Suzanne and Evan

Evan and me

Mom, Gray, and Evan. Gray is her oldest child, 19, and Evan is her youngest, 6 weeks. Crazy, but awesome!

Mom's very good college friend Michelle Smith came to Evan's blessing as well!

The most current family picture!

Today was fast and testimony meeting at our church and Harrison (11) bore his testimony. He said it perfectly--that we are so blessed as a family to have Evan here with us. He is such a cute and blessed addition to this family. And somehow, I am supposed to leave in August for weeks at a time for school.