Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Back to School, 2015


It happened.  Summer break ended and school started.

Emily is a big Sophomore!  She is looking forward to getting her learner’s permit, starting Winterguard again, and lots of fun with friends.



Josh is in 8th grade at a new school.  Next year will be another new school for him, as the new high school will be finished up.  That means 4 different schools in 5 years for him!  He’s looking forward to guitar and NOT having two hours of English/language arts!



Rachel is an adorable and slightly hesitant 3rd grader.  Looking forward to cursive and times tables!



Caleb is a cool and confident 2nd grader.  So cool, in fact, that he walked himself to his own class while I was hugging Rachel at the doorway to hers.  He thought he was going to get away without a hug and kiss!!  He’s looking forward to math and minions (his classroom theme)!



Daniel is going to rock his last year of PreK!  We can’t wait to see the growth that will happen for him this year.



And this is what happens when we try to get one of everyone together.  PURE CHAOS!!



Happy Back to School!!  It’s gonna be a great year!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Summer 2015


It’s hard to believe this summer is coming to an end!  Even though the month of July sort of evaporated, we still had lots and lots of fun.  Here are some of the exciting things that happened.  (In the interest of getting this posted, I am going to skip the pics for now.  Getting the memories recorded is more important!)

We went to St. George to kick off the summer.  We saw Indian petroglyphs, went on a RAZR tour through the sand dunes (where we saw lizards and packrat nests and Moki marbles), drove through Zion (in the rain) and especially loved the tunnels, played at a great park, swam in the hotel pool, ate too many yummy treats, and stopped at Kolob Canyon on our way home.  Funny things: an Asian lady kept calling our room and telling us to stop running (we were literally tiptoe-ing), and we also ran into one of Jared’s bosses at a restaurant.

Caleb turned 7 the day we came home from St. George!  We stopped at Thanksgiving Point’s dinosaur museum to start off the fun and then came home for presents and treats.

We went to Lagoon, our annual tradition thanks to Cook Martin Poulson.  Everyone was sad that Cannibal wasn’t open yet.  But we managed to have a great time anyway.

Jared made raised garden beds for our vegetable garden.  Then we spread 200 wheelbarrow loads of woodchips around the non-grassy areas of the backyard.  We planted a garden for the first time since 2012!!  We have been enjoying an abundance of zucchini and yellow squash, and are just now starting to get green beans and cucumbers.  We are anxiously waiting for the tomatoes to turn red!

We got family pictures, and we’re very happy with how they turned out!

Emily went to Girls Camp and Josh went to Scout Camp.

We went to Seven Peaks and had fun playing in the water!

I had surgery to fix some problems in my small bowel caused by Crohn’s Disease.  Four days in the hospital and then several weeks of recovering at home…the reason for July’s evaporation.  We are crossing our fingers that this will keep me healthy for a long long time.

Daniel learned how to open doorknobs and climb out of his crib all in the same week!  Enter the toddler bed!  He’s been great about sleeping in it.  We just have to have a doorknob cover on the inside of his door so he stays in his room!

We had a fun family reunion at Tony Grove.  Even though we didn’t camp, everyone had a blast.  Paddleboards, kayaks, cousins, good food and a fire…all the essentials for a great day.

We visited Minnetonka Cave.  The 90-minute tour probably seemed like a 3-hour tour to Jared, who had to carry Daniel in his arms and on his shoulders the whole way. 

Josh turned 13, which means we officially have two teenagers now!  Yikes!!

Jared and I had our 16th anniversary.  We recreated our first date with the kids and had a great evening.

Emily had a piano recital and performed her own composition, called Autumn Winds.

We went camping…finally!!  We really need to go more often and/or stay longer.  Getting it all ready is so much work!  We found a nice spot in Blacksmith Fork Canyon and had a blast…even with the rain and our close encounter with a skunk!!  Thankfully no one got sprayed.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Rachel’s Baptism

Rachel was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints today.  She has been looking forward to this day since she was old enough to know what baptism is!  We are proud of her decision to follow Jesus Christ and become a member of His church.

Of course she chose the baptism suit with ruffles!  Girly girl!



The dress she picked out and absolutely loves! 



Primary friends who came to support her.



Family who came to support her.  That’s a big group!!



Our group.  I can’t believe how fast we’re all growing up!!


Friday, May 1, 2015

Emily’s Piano Recital

Emily had a great Spring recital with all the students of her awesome teacher.  We are sad her teacher is graduating and moving on (and we have to find a new teacher). 
Here she is playing Sonatina.

Emily rocked her final piano recital.

Posted by Heather Larsen Ripplinger on Thursday, April 30, 2015

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Rachel is 8!!

Rachel had a birthday, shout hooray!  She was so easy to shop for this year…she knew everything she wanted and had a list prepared for months.  The best part is that most of it was not toys!!!



She requested Twilight Sparkle cupcakes for her treat.  Twilight Sparkle is one of the ponies from My Little Pony.  You can probably guess that she loves MLP.  Here’s a picture of Twilight Sparkle so you can see how mom got the inspiration for the fun (and super sugary) cupcakes.TS

Rachel (and everyone else) loved the cupcakes and she was especially excited about turning 8!  She is so much fun and we are glad she is a part of our family.


Here are 8 things about Rachel:

  • She is silly
  • She is tender
  • She is thoughtful
  • She loves math
  • She is an awesome reader
  • She loves chicken cordon bleu pasta
  • She is creative
  • She is super excited to be baptized

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Daniel turns 4!

Though he doesn’t really understand the concept of birthdays yet, Daniel sure enjoyed the attention and presents and fun of his special day.



He LOVES Elmo, so of course he was lucky enough to get Elmo cupcakes as his treat.  They were a huge hit!



This kid is so much fun!  The personality just oozes out of him.  I love how excited he gets!




He is also super curious and definitely one determined kid.




He is loved and adored by everyone!



A few things about Daniel:

  • He is getting ready for his 4th set of ear tubes.
  • He knows his colors!!
  • He is busy busy busy.  Anyone who watches him says, “I don’t know how you do it.  He just doesn’t stay still at all!”
  • He is getting to be a better eater again, but still loves his yogurt and bread.
  • He is much better about keeping his hearing aids in (at least, when his ears aren’t full of fluid).
  • His speech has improved exponentially just this year.  He is making great strides and saying lots of new words!!
  • He loves to remove his diaper…and I’m sure I don’t have to give you any more details about that!
  • He is a climber.  I have found him up on the countertops (on multiple occasions) exploring the contents of various cupboards.
  • He loves Legos (Duplos) and shuts himself in his room to sit and play with them.


Here is a fun little video of Daniel identifying a few colors.  He knows many more than this, though!

Colors!! He also knows orange, pink, brown, black and white. Progress, baby!! #smallvictories Jared Ripplinger

Posted by Heather Larsen Ripplinger on Friday, April 24, 2015

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Happy Things

I’ve finally faced the facts: I’m never going to get caught up!  I want to keep going on this blog because it is a great record (when I actually get to it) of our family happenings.  So, I’m just going to do my best.  I’ll be happy when I can post and let go of my agenda to stay caught up with too many things.

Here are 10 happy things:

Josh finally made it back to school after missing 3 weeks in a row!  What started with a bad virus – likely a strain of influenza not covered on this year’s shot – turned into really bad pneumonia that took much longer than anticipated to recover from.  After three different antibiotics, steroids, breathing treatments, xrays, blood work and lots of cough medicine, Tylenol and Ibuprofen, we are so happy to finally report that heeee’s baaaaack!

We have completed 2 of 12 family adventures this year.  This was the main Christmas gift for our kids.  We decided to do a monthly (mandatory for everyone) adventure in an effort to create lasting memories and avoid more junk that no one plays with or even cares about.  In January we went to the Hill Air Force Base museum, with stops at Guitar Center and a piano store just for kicks, and dinner at 5 Guys.  Caleb said it was the best day of his life!  In February we had a family movie night – Ice Age 4.  We had a great dinner of mammoth cakes, sloth-berry syrup, sabertooth sausages and scrambled dinosaur eggs.  Don’t forget dessert: snowball cookies, Scrat acorns and popcorn!  Ice Age definitely made Daniel’s day!


Emily is almost done with her first season of Winterguard (indoor colorguard during the winter)!  What an experience this has been.  She has loved it, and does really well.  (Mom, on the other hand, is exhausted from driving to the high school {nearly} every day at 5:30 a.m., early morning Saturday hair curling, and late-night Saturday pick ups from the high school!!)  It was fun to get to see her first performance, and we are looking forward to seeing her last performance as well.  Shhhh!  Don’t tell!

We have been enjoying the nice weather when it is here, and we’re thankful for the moisture when it comes.  We can’t wait to set up our trampoline!!

Caleb lost his first tooth!


Daniel has a few new words, among them “No!” and “Back!” said while holding up his first finger, which of course means, “Be right back!”

I have managed to find time to get a few crafts done.  Having Josh home for so long made that a lot easier.

Jared got a Saturday off work last week!  Of course we had to take advantage.  So we all (minus Emily who was at her colorguard competition) went to Preston to find Napoleon Dynamite’s house.  We were successful (thanks to good ol’ Mr. Google)!!  We also found his school, ate at Big J’s, and stopped at a nut factory.  As we left Big J’s, Caleb noticed a teenager with curly hair and exclaimed, “IS THAT NAPOLEON DYNAMITE???”  GOSH, this kid cracks us up!


I get to have a non-surgical procedure done to attempt to stretch open the stricture in my small intestine!!  The best news is that my meds are doing their job of controlling inflammation.

And last, but certainly not least, taxes are due in less than a month!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

December = Christmas


Some of our December activities…

Visiting Santa.  Daniel still hates him!




Josh’s band concert and Emily’s recital




Gingerbread houses.  Warning: there was an overabundance of sugar consumed during the making of these houses!








A visit to Temple Square to see the lights.





We also had a fun party with Grandma and Grandpa Beckstrom, aunts and uncles and cousins too.

November in a Nutshell


Christmas came early when Daniel won a contest!  He won a Strider bike for himself and SIX more bikes for our local chapter of our state’s Down syndrome foundation!



He’s not a huge fan right now, unless someone else is touching it.  Then he’s more than anxious to go for a drive around the house!  For now we’re keeping it inside, but come warmer weather we’ll be moving to the great outdoors.



In case you’re wondering about the contest: I saw a link for it online and just couldn’t resist.  I had to submit a picture of Daniel and tell a little bit about his story.  I don’t even remember what I wrote!  Here’s the photo I submitted.  How could anyone possibly resist that?!?!

DSC_9449 (4)


We invented our own version of cleaning the sink.  (Daniel is enjoying his own little bowl of ice cream next to where I’m standing.)



We took goofy selfies.



The weather was so nice for so long that we were able to get the front door painted the weekend before Thanksgiving!  Obviously we still have some work to do with the frame and the sidelights…but I’m still not sure how I feel about the door.



Rachel participated in the Veterans’ Day program that the 2nd grade puts on every year.  Made me all teary-eyed!!



And I worked on some projects.  This one is the finished drapes for the sliding glass door.



Thanksgiving mantel.



Fall centerpiece.  Jared cut the wood and assembled the box.  I sanded, stained and did all the foliage.



We also hosted Thanksgiving for my side of the family.  We had lots of fun, ate lots of good food and yummy pies, and enjoyed the day.  We only had 12 people total so it was actually kind of quiet.  I was not very good at taking pictures.  But we did get these few phone pics.

Caleb drinking his M&M water and an “M” that floated to the top of the water.



Daniel really enjoyed the pie.



And the day after Thanksgiving (thankfully), Daniel started the puke fest.  It made its way through him, Caleb and then Rachel.  So glad it didn’t hit any sooner!

The last project for the month was putting up the Christmas tree, which I did in between rounds of puke with Daniel.