When the boy goes away…the girls will PLAY!!

cute little ladies with cute little summer purses!

So, Brian left with a 50 pound backpack on Sunday eve to hike the Grand Canyon. He and about 6 other brave boys decided to hike to the bottom of the Canyon to Havasupai. Brian and I did this together about 10 years ago. It is about a 15 mile hike to the bottom where there are several gorgeous blue green waterfalls. I wanted to go too until I tried to lift his backpack:).

While he has been off having his fun, the girls and I have definitely found ours. Monday we woke early, cleaned the house, and hit the park with some Sonic. It was a nice breezy afternoon holiday! We came home and the girls swam and played sidewalk chalk. After dinner we watched a good ol’ chick flick, Far & Away. I don’t know if the girls liked the popcorn or the movie better.

Today we slept in, and scrambled to get everyone dressed, fed, and to the gym on time. They enjoyed their two hours of crafts and fun while I enjoyed mine. I did a pilates class and got ready there. Afterwards we decided on Panda Express for lunch, and then braved Walmart to pick out some ribbon for our summer craft.

Gwen with her Marc Jacobs Satchel

Lucy lovin' the Louis Vuitton

It’s officially summer at our house now. Fortunately, I made up a calendar of events a couple of weeks ago to keep the little ladies busy! We had made these jean purses in Young Women’s a couple weeks back and I thought my girls would really enjoy it. It was good to get rid of a few pairs of pants with holes in the knees and some old sewing embellishments!

back of Grace's purse

Abby stylin' with her designer Prada purse

Tonight we are watching What About Bob with more candy…of course. I go in for another OB appointment tomorrow. Hopefully all the sugar I’ve been craving lately won’t tip the scales. The girls are still so excited about this boy. Lucy asks me daily when the baby brother is coming. We have already found a few cute outfits online and in stores that this little guy will need. Who said shopping for boys is no fun…especially when I have 4 little ladies opinions. Bring on the blues, browns & greens!

they each knew what colors they wanted

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In the news

Oh, Boy!

(more on that later)

This has been an interesting week here in AZ. Sunday we had our first 100 degree day of the year. Then on Monday we promptly had our first 110 degree day of the year. Tuesday our pool started boiling. Apparently Friday is supposed to be down in the 70s. I’ll let you decide which of those sounds the most reasonable for the desert in late May.

Our summer holiday begins this weekend as the girls finish their school year. They’ve both had really wonderful years, all things considered. We really couldn’t have asked for better teachers. Both were just perfect for what each of them needed. Now we’ll see what we can do to keep the girls’ interest through the summer. Surprise’s first movie theater opened today, so I think that summer movies might be in the works.

We’ve been very proud of Gwenyth and how she’s become so independent. Swimming lessons helped her build a sense of empowerment, especially as it relates to fashion. She’ll come down the stairs most days with her favorite garb on. It’s always particularly exciting when she dresses herself for swimming.

back view/trap door

In other news, Julie is pregnant w/ #5. And . . .

It's a boy!

I’m sure that Gwenyth will help out with the masculine stuff like sports:

Gwenyth in wrestling/swimming? suit

Here were yesterday’s predictions/comments before today’s ultrasound:

Abigail--her guess on the baby

Gwenyth--clueless

Gracie in shock

Lucy is excited

We are registered at The Sports Authority.

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Mother’s Day

It’s nice to have Julie home again. Though we survived without her, it’s not something that I want to get used to anytime soon. Sean and Jana were nice enough to take Lucy for a few days, which she thoroughly enjoyed. I’m not sure if Sean and Jana can say the same.

We made it out to Joe’s Farm Grill with Sean, Jana, Michael, and Alison. It was a great place. You should go there if you’re ever in Gilbert. You know, the town where the LDS church is building a temple but the hosers there don’t need one. After dinner, we headed out to Mikey and Ali’s place so that the girls could veg on XBox and I could veg on whatever else. We had a great time, even if we set them back a week with their fun projects. How’d staining the door go, Ali? ­čÖé

Abigail and Grace were excited to do something for their mother, even if she wasn’t going to be around for┬áMother’s Day. When Julie got home, she found these. A sweet note from Grace:

 Grace's mother's Day card

A poem that Abigail wrote:

Abby's mother's day poem

They were very proud and I think that Julie was touched as well.

julie & girls

After Julie got home (the flight was only delayed an hour this time — things at US Airways are looking up, apparently), the routine began again. Things are really starting to wind down with school, and up with summer.

Lucy finished her preschool this past week. Abby and Grace had their recital today, and will be finished with school next week. I head out to Havasupai with Michael and some other guys. Then a week after we get home, we’re heading out to Oceanside for some beach time. We’re looking forward to that one. After a beautiful spring, my thermometer on my web browser says that it will be 109 on Monday. Ouch! But if our first 100 degree day doesn’t happen until May 18, I’ll take that.

Of course the heat means lots of swimming. We seem to have a steady flow of girls coming over to swim each day. The doorbell rings around 4:15, like clockwork. Being the demons that we are, we make the girls do their chores before they can play. So the conversation at the door starts with “How long till your chores are done?” Instead of “Can you play?” Evil, I tell you.

We got some new family pictures taken. The whole Elcock clan was around for this one. Lucy rules in this picture.

Latest family picture

The Harvest

So I’m pretty proud of my garden. It’s looking like it will turn into quite the business venture for us. Some kids have lemonade stands, sell sno-cones, whatever. I’m going to have Abigail and Grace set up shop out front and start selling tomatoes. These things are good. The cherry tomatoes are like eating candy. Even Lucy was popping them and wanting more. Today I had my first sandwich with the homegrown tomatoes. Very yummy. I’m a little concerned about the enthusiasm of the pumpkins. I wasn’t expecting them to take over the whole side of the house. I am going to have to pull back some more of the rock and make some more room for them. Once it gets to be 110, they may wilt on that granite and next to the wall.

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In other news, I’m officially boycotting US Airways for the rest of my life. In the span of 10 days, they’ve canceled 2 flights on us. I had the displeasure of sleeping in the Philadelphia airport a few weeks ago. They finally decided to cancel my 8:40pm flight at 2:30 the next morning. They compensated me with a $10 meal voucher (!??!) and a flight back home at 10am. But I guess I was one of the lucky ones. A husband and wife tandem that was sitting next to me got split up. One was routed through DC on her way back and the other directly to Phoenix. So the husband was going to have to wait for his wife for 4 hours once he got back to Phoenix.

The other canceled flight was Julie and Gwenyth on Tuesday. They left me to go up and see Julie’s parents. Like clockwork, they canceled her 1:50pm flight at 3. They did get her on another flight around 5, so that was good. Luckily it didn’t take too much haggling to get Gwenyth a seat by her mother. The geniuses at US Airways assigned them seats at separate ends of the airplane.

So I got all tough on US Airways and told them I would be closing my (un)substantial credit accounts I have with them (through Bank of America). I’m sure they’ll miss all of my business.

In other news, like I mentioned, Julie is up in Utah with her parents. It sounds like there’s been lots of sleeping going on, which is always a good thing. Gwenyth thinks she owns the joint. There’s much less sleeping here while Julie is away. I just wallow in my patheticness without my wife.

Speaking of Gwenyth, she can now swim and thinks she’s really hot stuff. She didn’t really enjoy it at first (or in the middle!), but she’s done really well. She always wants to go “jumping,” which means jump in the pool and “kick, kick, kick!” back to the side. She’s a certifiable nut. Her high hopes at the beginning:

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Quickly faded to blood-curdling screams and glares of “daddy, why are you letting this happen?!?”:

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After a few of these:

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she came out on top and was happy as ever:

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Abigail and Grace had a performance the other night at school. They both did really well. Abigail has quite the voice and really learned to project during her short time at her theatre group in Pleasant Grove. Grace sang a solo. Yes, that means that Grace was all by herself on the stage. Well, her microphone was with her. She did awesome. I have some video that I’ll try and put up soon. I’ve also got some of Chuck jumping off the diving board.

Jana was kind enough to take Lucy for the week so that I would have time to blog . . . errr . . . I mean . . . . work this week. I think she’s taken over that household as well. Jana said that Lucy insists that her mother is on every plane that flies overhead. Hopefully by today she understands that Julie and Chuck have landed safely at their destination. Of course maybe she knew they were flying US Airways, so there were really no guarantees that they would get there before Memorial Day.

More pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/midder/