Thursday, August 29, 2013

Back to School 2013

Look at those smiles!

Monday the 26th of August was back to school for Adyson and Max and a first day of school for little Lucy.  We had a wonderful summer, but truth be told Mom (Hailey) was counting down the days until the kids were back to "schedules, routines and some order!"  Well here we are back in full swing.  This year Adyson is a second grader, Max enters first grade and Lucy goes to half day pre-school for 3 days a week.
So proud of the kids and their excitement for school

Adyson is 8 yrs old and is getting baptized this Saturday.  We are so happy that she has made the choice to do this and cannot wait.  The Kandell Grandparents flew into town to join us and all the Smoot Grandparents and Great Grandma Smoot are all coming to support her too.  She was so excited for her first day of school. The best thing about the first day according to her was that she gets to do homework this year on a computer.  She was a bit bummed that her friend Emmy was not in her class but she does get to see her at lunch and recess.  Oh, she also said the PE is the best part of school!  I am just glad they still have PE.

Max is 6 and still a ball full of craziness.  We sure love this guy but two days in and I think he may already be "marked" as someone to keep your eyes on as far as the teachers are concerned.  We shall see.  There is a special place in my heart for a son like that.  I think I was always watched just a little closer shall we say.  Max has excelled in school and I cannot wait to see how much he learns this year!  When he gets older he may not like that I posted this on the blog, but I will share it anyway as a great memory.  Max just barely or should I say I just barely found or made the time (my guilt set in) to help Max learn to ride his bike!  Ya I know, sad right, well he is great at swimming, has picked up tennis very easily and we even started golfing this year, but he had not been given the support needed to ride a bike.  Well I had promised my mom, Grandma Sue he would have it down the next time she came out here so Tues night I made the time and within 15 mins he was impressing me!  Now this is all he wants to do.  Good job max.

Lucy could not have looked any cuter on her first day of school.  She wanted nothing more than to put on her uniform and be like Ady and Max.  I cannot wait to sneak over to her school one day and watch from the two way mirror and just see how she interacts with all the other kids.  There is no doubt Lucy will be a great addition to the class.  I too cannot wait to see how she goes about learning this year.  Very exciting.
FHE at the Dames!

On Mondays we have Family Home Evening (FHE) which I think I have mentioned in older posts and this past Monday we went over to our friend's house the Dames and had a blast riding around on their golf carts, eating ice cream and we even found this tarantula while on a back country golf ride.

a real live tarantula we found

  It was sure a fun night that Hailey and Shellie planned.  Thanks ladies.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Eric and Hailey's 9 year anniversary

Today is our 9 year anniversary!  Can you believe it?  As I was watching Adyson get all ready for school this morning I told her that Mommy and I had been married for 9 years and that that was longer than Ady had been alive.  She smiled and watched me give Hailey a hug and kiss and went on with her morning, however it was crazy to me to think that we have been married that long and in that time how much has been accomplished through our marriage.

engagement pictures over 9 years ago!

There are too many great things to list them all but the most important to me are:
  1. 3 absolutely wonderful children who though they stress us out a lot, bless our lives more than any worldly possession or thing.
  2. A home that is safe and peaceful (most of the times) that can shelter and protect us from the outside world at times
  3. Amazing in laws from both sides that have added to our memories and friendships.  Nieces and nephews and more coming now from Hailey's side.
  4. Great friends, wow we have great friends
  5. We have been able to visit some very cool and fun places
  6. learning to be patient, understanding and committed.
  7. The family garden that many do not know, that Hailey actually started years ago and has become something we all look forward to.

heading out for a lazy morning stroll in Vancouver
Anyhow, I could name many more but those seemed to have come to mind quickly.  So this past weekend Hailey and I took a few days alone and visited Vancouver, BC and it was amazing!  We loved it and had such a great time.  The reason for going of course was our Anniversary and the best thing about it was that we just got to spend time doing what we wanted to do, when we wanted to do it.  So what did we do?  We ate, slept in, watched movies in bed, ate, slept, walked the city, .............................  You get the point, we did was parents of 3 normally cannot do on vacation and that is whatever the Heck we wanted to do.  One morning we literally woke up at like 9, got breakfast, came back and watched a movie and fell back asleep, we then got up and went to some food carts for lunch, walked a mile or so (ya that was my fault, we ended up walking down the side of a freeway into nowhere) then came back, watched more TV or a movie, had dinner and dessert and then bed and movie.  Sound boring to you?  Then you do not have 3 or more kids under 10 at home.  We loved it.

We loved just spending time together and not having to worry about much of anything.  You see, after 9 years of marriage I have come to realize, there are always worries.  Not that my entire life is spent worrying, but you worry about kids, about work, about your spouse, etc.  It was just good to let that all go for a few days.

Some other highlights or our Vancouver trip were::
  • Hawksworth Restraunt
  • China Town Night Market (for me at least)
  • Food Carts
  • Horse pulled carriage ride at Stanley Park
  • The Granville Island Public Market
  • Relaxing together
a Great Panoramic view or Vancouver from Stanley Park

look how awesome and fresh the Salmon in Vancouver is. 

Sushi is so good there due to all the fresh local fish

some of the best food made at the Granville Island Public Market

Since we had no kids we found ourselves taking lots of Self Portraits or "selfies"

I look forward to the next 9 years too!  That is a worry, you see.  In 9 more years Adyson will be a senior in high school, Max a Jr and Lucy will be almost a teenager!  I bet that all gets here sooner than I can expect at this point.  Through all of it, I am lucky to have the support and love of my wife who I say Thank You to today and Happy Anniversary.  

Monday, August 19, 2013

Redhead Event 2013

Ady and I attended the Redhead Event in Portland and at this point we think we made the Guinness Records Book

So on Friday this past week both Ady and I traveled to Portland, OR to try and get into the Guinness Book or World Records.  We were part of the Redhead Event 2013, which was trying to gather the most natural born red heads (currently known as gingers) in one roped off area all at the same time.

To be honest, the record attempt was really just an excuse to take Adyson away for a special weekend and create some good memories.  I did not realize until I was in Portland just how special a weekend or even just a night really, away with just one child could have such a positive impact.  We were really able to bond and have lots of fun.  She thought it was awesome that I gave her a key to the room and she was the one that insisted on opening the door every time.  Each time we left the room she made sure I knew she had the key in case we needed to come back and get in!

So on Friday night after we checked into the room, we got on a bike taxi and headed out to eat some Street food.  We were dropped off by a large parking lot of really nasty but tasty food carts and trucks and we first got some Mexican food.  While eating, Ady pointed out a man that was eating food out of the trash can so I explained why and asked her if she wanted to give the rest of her food to him and we did.  We talked about how good it made her feel.  It was cool because the guy was very grateful that it was still warm and waved to us later when we saw him again.  Ady smiled when she got that wave later.  We also tried some Korean BBQ that was very tasty too.
Ady enjoying some Mexican taquitos on the street.  Portland Redhead Event 2013
After filling up on street food we went back to the hotel and watched The Croods on tv!  The funny thing is that I fell asleep during the movie only to wake up and Ady had watched the entire thing and downed an entire bag of m&ms.  She was so excited to be able to stay up til Midnight and to sleep in as long as she wanted.  She was telling me the entire time, "mom and I love to sleep in but Max and Lucy always wake us up."  She was pumped that I said she could stay up as long as she wanted and that she could sleep in all day if she wanted.  We were up before 8 am!

So the next morning we got breakfast in bed and this little foodie or ours got an crab omelet!  Yup I love how she enjoys eating such crazy stuff. 

After breakfast we checked out the Portland farmers market since we had heard such great things about it and I have to tell you that it did not disappoint.  This was by far the best farmers market I had ever been to.  Just walking the market you could smell fresh basil as if though it was infused in the air somehow.
heirloom tomatoes at the Portland Farmers Market
By about 11 am we headed over the the main square to sign in to the Redhead Event 2013 and then had some time to kill so we found this really cool candy store called Rocket Fizz.  Ady was as they say, as happy as a kid in a candy store.  The great thing about Ady was that all she wanted to do was get treats for Mom, Max and Lucy.
happy as a kid in a candy store
Now we get to the main event, the Redhead Event 2013.  You would have to be there to believe it but over 2000 natural red heads actually showed up and at this point it does appear that Ady and I are World Record Holders.  We will know for sure in about 90 days.  When you get there you have to have a picture of yourself when you were under the age of 8 and this is how they verify for people like me who are no longer sporting the flaming red, that you were truly a redhead.  We got official tags with our numbers on it and we were then just sitting around eating ice cream and waiting waiting waiting.  The bad news is that it was about 90 degrees and hot and sunny.  Nothing like 2000 gingers in the sun.  There was more sunblock used in that park than anywhere else in the world that day too I bet.
sitting in the sun with italian ice, just waiting to be officially counted
After the long wait they herded us all like cattle through one entrance to a roped off area and filmed each person entering one by one.  I kind of felt like we were being led off to our death in some weird lets rid Portland of the red heads kind of thing.  But we survived.  Here is what it looked like.

Look at all the Redheads
To end the day we met up with my cousin Jimmy Kandell and his wife and daughter over at the hotel and had some snacks and caught up.  It is cool to be able to get together even if just for 30 mins with family.  Ady was very polite and I hope she enjoyed that little pit stop.  After seeing Jimmy, we got back to the room, packed up our one small bag and headed off to the airport.

What a blast and what memories we will cherish for so long.  I am so glad I had the idea to do this and even more glad that my wife, Hailey held down the fort back home.  I guess I will owe her a Mom weekend away with Max soon.  I wonder what they could get in the Guinness Book for?  Messiest child and most stylish mom?  Well, I bet most of you reading this had no idea you were friends with a couple or world record holders.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Trying to get the kids to understand consequences

This week Hailey and I set the goal to start or should I say, revisit the teaching of consequences.  Of course when me make decisions we have to deal with the consequences both good and bad.  Who knows, maybe it is that summer break has been long, that school is about to start and we are just at the end of it, but it just seems like lately the kids act before thinking about the consequences.

Anyway, last night Hailey and I prepare a Family Home Evening about consequences.  We asked the kids questions like, "if you touch fire, what will happen?"  "should you be mad at the fire or at yourself?"  You should have heard the answers to the second question.    Obviously we explained that you know before you touch fire what will happen so if it hurts you should only be mad at yourself and not the fire.

We also asked questions like, "if you are nice to so and so, how will you feel?"  So we began to try and get them to realize each time they do something or act a certain way, they would have consequences.  I had read a blog some time ago or maybe I saw it on facebook, but a friend from high school had her own kids come up with their consequences for not behaving etc.  She said it was great because they made the list of consequences (punishments) so they could not argue when they had to face them.

Not only did we do negative consequences, but we let them list or pick positive ones too!  To be honest I really liked this part the best because I had no idea how excited they were when they were talking about the good things that can happen if they make good choices.  Their good consequences were not full of candy or tv or things, but rather family bike rides, walks to the sno shack, and spending time with us.  I loved hearing how great they said they would feel if they got MORE of that kind of stuff.

So, even though I do not have lots of good pictures and fun stories today, I thought it would be good to document this new effort in the Kandell home!  Make good choices, get good consequences.  Make bad choices and get bad consequences.  We will let you know how it goes.

Ps, here is a photo capture of a facetime call Hailey had with me to let Lucy tell me she was sorry for something.  I cannot remember what it was even one day later, but it was a fun call.

the guilt for doing something wrong.  Facetime call

Monday, August 5, 2013

Utah is very beautiful

Tibble fork reservoir

Yesterday for something to do after church I took the kids up American Fork canyon to drive around and just figured we would see what we would see, cool plan hu?  That is how dads do it!  I do not need to have a set in stone plan, rather just get me out of the house and lets see what occurs.

So we drove up the canyon and we pulled off at a turn out next to the gushing river (more like a fast stream this time of the year) and the kids had a blast.  I love seeing how they can just invent stuff to do.  Here is a list of "stuff" they started doing within minutes.
Ady and Lucy playing in the river

  1. skipping stones
  2. who could make the biggest splash with rocks
  3. throwing leaves (little boats I think) into the water and watching them go as far as the eye could see
  4. looking for crayfish.  I told them I did not think they could live in such cold water.  Who knows?
We then jumped back in the car and headed further up the mountain to a place called tibble fork reservoir and it was the most beautiful site!  Here is a link to google images.

There were people roasting hot dogs, fishing, swimming, relaxing and just enjoying the wonderful views.  The kids wanted to get wet but I did not want them destroyed so we walked over to the stream that was filling the reservoir and they walked around finding shiny and smooth rocks and making a rock store and were "selling" rocks to each other.  I never saw any real funds exchanged but I did see smiles and fun.
collecting shiny and smooth rocks

I was talking to a co worker who goes up there all the time and he said a 45 min 4 wheeler ride takes you to a place called Salamander Lake, and that his kids caught tons of salamanders.   My kids would have a hay day up there catching all those things.  I think I am going to have to plan this sometime very soon!

Anyway, I thought to myself yesterday that too often I am just happy to sit at home and not get out.  I had truly forgotten how awesome the outdoors around here are.  You end up taking it for granted when you look outside any given day and see snow capped mountains.  I am going to try to really enjoy the outdoors with friends and family this fall!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Wow has it been over a year?

Ohio July 2013

I have no idea why I am blogging this morning.  Here I sit at work and yes things have been extremely busy the past year or two and now we have finally slowed waaaaay down.  I do not want to talk about work on this blog and hope that this quick post, if nothing else will strike a new desire in both Hailey and I to begin capturing life's memories on this page.

Updates?  It is almost as if too much time has passed to do updates and perhaps we will just have a gap in our family history (per the family blog) or we will just be required to go to facebook, instagram, twitter etc.  I was just talking to Hailey last night and her sister Christa was over and we were discussing how we will each have like 250,000 photos by the time we die and we wondered how they would all be stored or saved.  With new phones etc it is as if every single moment is captured.

Well I will try for some fast updates on each of us.

Eric (me)

I have been working working working.  That said I have been able to enjoy more time off and not be as stressed as in years passed due to some key hiring at work.  We grew the office to over 130 employees at our peak and business has been great.  I continue to love cooking and food and Hailey and I took a couple food trip to NYC earlier this year and had a blast just spending time away together.  Oh and we ate a ton.

I am loving my new found workout passion called Crossfit.  I have been starting to golf weekly with Max (just 3 times so far) and hope to keep that new habit going.

Hailey and I are teaching the 14-16 yr old kids at church in Sunday school.

Our family garden is back and it is not too long until the kids will be selling produce at my office again.

We spent Christmas 2012 with Grandpa and Grandma Kandell in Punta Mita, Mexico and have really fallen in love with that place.

The kids are growing up so fast and I love them so much.


Well Hailey has been uber busy being a mom to 3 kids who she is running all over the place all the time.  Lately we have started to feel a bit overextended with all of our commitments but we love staying busy and going going going.

Hailey has continued to showcase her talent that I suppose was hidden for some time of planning and throwing little parties or shindigs (ok some may not have been little) and our kids have been very grateful for all the work she has put into their functions.
Hailey making fresh muddled lemonade at Ady's Garden Birthday Party

A normal day could be something like, breakfast then Lucy off to princess camp, Max and Ady off to tennis lessons, home for lunch, Lucy naptime if lucky, Max and Ady being crazy kids (that was a nice way to say it) then Ady off to Dance class and Max to karate.  Everyone home, Dad home and dinner, wind down and bed.  So yes Hailey is a busy mom who cannot wait for school to start in a few weeks.

One thing that Hailey really has put lots of effort into this past year is serving those in and around our neighborhood.  Nothing over the top like manual labor of course (ha) but she is very kind and just seems to know when someone is needing a little help and will drop off some bread, lemonade, cookies or a card etc.

Our little Ady is not so little anymore.  She turned 8 and gets baptized very soon!  We cannot wait.  I will tell you that Ady has become an excellent dancer this past year that we have been off the blog grid and it is due to nothing short of her extreme hard work and dedication.  I have asked her many times when mom is not around if she likes it because I get worried she goes too much, and she loves it and all her best friends dance with her so it is a great thing for her.

Ady did awesome in school this past year and got some great awards for academic achievements at the end of the year too!  We are very proud of how much she tries and studies at school. 

Ady loves cooking with her dad.  If I am ever in the kitchen she tries to be right by my side and I love it.

Ady's highlight of the summer if you had to ask her was going to Ohio for 2 full weeks to be with the Kandell Grandparents.  Well to be fair, she loved spending a few days at the Smoot cabin too because she has become a fishing expert and seriously according to her has a magic fishing rod that always catches fish!

Doing all things boy!

Wow is all I can say about Max.  Dirty or messy may be the other two words. It does not matter what we dress this guy in he will ruin it or at least trash it!  Max did AWESOME in school and we are so proud of him and cannot believe he will be in first grade in a few weeks.  Max is in both karate and jiu jitsu so watch out!  He is still our mini Michael Phelps in the pool too. We love Max so much and  he just lost his first tooth a week ago.  He actually pulled it out himself at church!

Ok so Lucy is just a ball full of energy, joy and talk talk talk.  Hailey says since she is the youngest she has picked up so much more vocabulary from being with her brother and sister all day long.  I love hearing her try to reason and speak about basically everything.  She started dance recently and looks up to Ady for sure.  If it has to do with Princesses then Lucy is going to be interested.   She will start pre K this year and is really excited to get to go to school where Max and Ady go.  In addition to princesses, if you can eat it, Lucy will for sure eat it!  She loves to eat.  A friend pointed out that most pictures we post of Lucy, she can be found with food in her mouth.  It is true. Just watch.
That was my first ripe tomato and she ate it!

So hopefully this is a good catch up post and hopefully both Hailey and I will do better at blogging now.