Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pacific Science Center with Grandpa Swift


My mom found out we could go to the Pacific Science Center for 94 cents each. So we took everyone who wanted to go. Our group consisted of Jim, me, our 4 youngest children and my dad. The big kids didn't want to do much of anything besides movies and video games during break. With a group our size, it takes forever just to get out the door. We were making good time with very little traffic, for Seattle, when we had a little problem. Ashton got car sick. Of course we didn't think to pack extra clothes. We didn't want to go home, we were almost there. And going home would mean not going at all. Jim took off Ashton's shirt and put his fleece pullover on him. It looked really ridiculous. As soon as we got there I thought to buy him a new shirt in the gift shop, so all was well. Of course, all the other kids thought they needed new shirts too. We had a great time. It was nice to get out of the house.

This is a little area with sea creatures that the kids can touch.



This is a little kids area only. James loved this slide, he learned how to climb up the stairs and go down all by himself. He just kept doing it over and over. We had a hard time getting him away from it. He would have stayed there all day. Notice Ashton's new shirt.

The kids were able to crawl through a giant caterpillar they went in the mouth and came out the other end.

In the butterfly exhibit. If you look closely you might be able to see some cool butterflies.


Most everyone thought the '80's laser show was the best part of the day. When we entered they told us the best seats in the room were laying on the floor.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Amery volleyball










Amery is on the volleyball team at her school. She has played since 5th grade and really enjoys it. She is also having a few private lessons and is improving her game lots this year.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Family Picture Day

Time again for the Abel's annual picture day. It is always a delight, or is that just in my dreams? Reality is so crazy and stressful. We usually just have a friend take pictures of us. This year we decided to hire a professional, so I was extra stressed. When we are paying so much money for a picture, and who knows when we might hire one again, they have to be great!! Of course, the whining begins as soon as they find out we are getting pictures (I didn't give much notice because I didn't want to hear about it for days). Many of them are threatening they aren't coming, they don't want to wear the clothes I bought them, they are hungry, she is looking at me, etc, etc. After we get to the location, we realize at least one of them has no socks and most of them have filthy hands and faces. I guess this is the real Abel family. As soon as we get out of the car Jim proceeds to tell the kids it will only be a couple of pictures, so that is all they want to take- 2. I proceed to tell them we will be taking tons of pictures and bribe them with rewards after, "the better you cooperate, the quicker it will be over". After many attempts with bunny ears behind the heads and many silly faces, our skilled photographer managed to actually get a few good ones. After all this - I aged 10 years and put on at least 10 lbs, imagine how good I looked before this.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Leaf Raking

The very first week we moved to Spokane we participated in the annual leaf raking service day with the Catholic Charities. We always bring our whole family, even the babies. The first time we did, I think some people were surprised. Now, after seven seasons, they know us there and even use pictures of our kids on their web site and fliers. Others have started bringing their kids too. It is a neat experience to help out older people who are not able to do it themselves and don't have the means to hire someone. There are several people we have gotten familiar with when we have been sent to their homes many times over the years. Our children are big helpers most of the time. They also love it when they can have a few minutes to play in the leaves. Their favorite part of the whole thing is the chili lunch we are served afterward at Gonzaga. Here are some of the fun pictures we took this year.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Gold Mine

Funny how I can transfer video from my regular camera to my computer but not my digital video camera. Anyway, I just found this video on my computer. One of my kids must have taken it of Dallen. If you know Dallen this may surprise you. I couldn't stop giggling. I had never seen this before. I am sure he would die if he new I was sharing this, but I couldn't resist. It is pretty dark, but his best moves are in the beginning.
video

This is what happened in the next video:

video

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

James Walks

James started walking today. There was a time when we were worried he would never walk. He didn't ever want us to put him down. So he was very late rolling over. Once he started rolling there was no stopping him. He loved getting around where he wanted. He was much happier after that. I would post a video of him walking, but I can't figure out how to get the videos off my camera to save them. Apparently my VIDEO camera only comes with cords and software to transfer still photos, not video. I have to purchase all of that separately. I find this strange since I bought a VIDEO camera, not a regular one.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Don't give up on me yet!

I know, I know, it has been forever since I have updated my blog. What can I say I am a busy woman!! It was fine when all my friends blogs linked to my blog, but now they also list how long it has been since our blog was updated. So I feel extra embarrassed. This is just a note to let you know I am thinking about it and will get to it soon. Don't give up on me yet. More to come, hopefully soon, but no promises.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Jarom's 16, I can't believe it!!!

I can't believe I am old enough to have a 16 year old. I am lucky to have Jarom. He is a great kid and a good example to all of us. He is top of his class with a 4.0. He always gets up for early morning seminary, without being told and gets ready early. He is ready to leave for church an hour before it starts.
For his special birthday, we arranged several things. The one I think he was most excited about was his special birthday call from a famous rock star (one of the perks of parents who used to be in the music industry). I also made him a book with dating and driving advice from so many of you, thanks, it was great. I made him a slide show with music and pictures of his life (I think I liked it more than he did). We had a special presentation with a couple of scriptures and a watch, which I still need to get engraved with this scripture reference on it Matt 26:41 "Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak"
Happy Birthday Jarom, We Love You!!


Friday, August 8, 2008



James had his first haircut today. Like many of his siblings he was lucky enough to have the best hair dresser in the world do it, his Aunt Talitha. James has more hair than any of our other kids with the possible exception of Evan. Amery just realized the other day that she was practically bald as a baby. I don't know why she didn't realize that before. Maybe the cute hairbands I put on her head gave her the illusion of having hair.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Happy 1st B-day James

Our baby is 1. Now I have no excuses for the extra 10 lbs I have to loose. We had a small party at our house for James Jr. We invited some of my walking buddies and their families. James had a great time with his very own cake. I don't think anyone really wanted to eat it after him anyway. He is a ton of fun. We all enjoy him so much. He has tons of personality and a great smile. Everyone tells us that our kids all look the same. James is sure no exception. He has more hair than most of them, a double cowlick, and is smaller but other than that. He is cut out of the same mold.
After that cake, all he wants to eat is sweets!! He fits right in with our family.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Off to Rexburg

James and I took another trip. This time we went with my mom and brother, Isaac. We went to Rexburg to see my sister Doranda, her husband Bob and their baby Tucker. It was my mom and Isaacs B-day on Friday and Tucker's 1st B-day on Sat. We had a party for all of them on Friday. On the drive we listened to the book "Twilight" on CD. I really enjoyed it, but I don't think my mom or Isaac did. It was a quick trip, we left Thursday morning and we home by 1:00pm on Sat afternoon. We had a good visit with every one.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Schools Out for Summer!



The kids are so excited to be out of school. Jarom made a CD of songs especially for the last day of school. This is his song list:
School's Out
Up all night
High School Never Ends
Like There's No Tomorrow
Youth Gone Wild
Summer Nights
I Wanna Rock
Let it Rock
Breaking the Chains
Paradise
Wild America
It was a pretty good CD. I feel like I just got done with finals. It seemed like several grades could go either way, so we did lots of studying for finals. I know more about history than I ever have (well I have probably already forgotten what I learned, history isn't my thing). Amery and Jarom both pulled off straight A's! I am so happy for them. I am trying to talk Jarom into an easier schedule for next year. So far, I haven't had any luck. For now it will be the hardest he has had so far, and this year was bad. This is a photo of Evan with his teacher Mrs. Stone. I hope we all make it through the summer in one piece. Any ideas on fun, cheap things to do with lots of kids of all ages?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I need your ideas

I need music help. I really want family songs for our blog. Almost everything I can find is country, I want some variety, especially rock. Do any of you know of any good songs about family? I would love lots of ideas!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Evan's Turn

Tonight was Evan's turn to get the game ball. He did a great job at the game. He played catcher several times. It is so cute. The catcher gear is so big and he is so small. He also got to play pitcher one inning, he loves both those positions. Dallen caught another fly ball, up to $2. Both boys were great sports. The weather was aweful! It was rainy and cold, looking outside you would have no idea it was June. When we got there most of the team was there, but only a few parents. About 1/4 of the way into the game, we were the only parents left. Luckily I had a big winter coat on with a big hood.The pictures are from another game, better weather

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Tonight was Amery's awards band concert. She plays the flute. They played songs from Titanic and Pirates of the Carribean. It was great. She also recieved an award for the most improved flute.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hurray for Dallen!

Yesterday was a great day for Dallen. At baseball he caught a pop fly while he was the 1st baseman. Coach had promised he would pay anyone who caught a pop fly a dollar. I guess only 2 or so had been caught all season. Well at yesterday's game, I think the team caught about 7. Needless to say, it caught the coach completely of guard, he had to borrow a few ones. The second neat thing was at the end of the game. The coached gathered all the boys around and told them how important it was to be a good sport. He told of a boy who had given it his all when he was on the field and while he was waiting he rooted on all of the other players and had a great attitude. This boy was going to be presented with the 1st game ball given out this season. Then he said "and this boy is Dallen". We were so proud and excited for him. He was too.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Cry Wolf!

Dallen has been working hard all year to earn his cub scout wolf badge. Well, actually not all year. He started out with a bang, going gang busters. Then slowed down for a while, and came on strong at the very, very end. He actually earned 3 arrow points too. On to Bears.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dallen's 9th B-day

We were supposed to go camping for Dallen's birthday, and Memorial Day weekend, but the weather wasn't good so instead we went to see my parents. Dallen decided it would be more fun to go over there instead of them come here because he would be able to spend his special day with many more relatives. My mom made his favorite breakfast, cherry crepes. Later, we had a party and lots of relatives came, Dallen's grandparents, Uncles- John, Malachi, Isaac, and Caleb, and his Aunt Talitha. We also got to see Aunt Lane and Uncle Nathanael on other days. The weather was good there. Dallen had a baseball and bat cupcake cake. He got many great presents too, i.e. Heely's, a new CD player, crazy hats, a pocket knife, a bowling game, candy, a money counter, a cool bag to carry his scriptures, and some water toys. He was in Heaven. Don't you love how lots of the wrapping paper looks very similar to shopping bags. That's how we roll.
I think the thing he enjoyed most about the whole weekend was going to the YMCA with his Grandpa Swift, he really loves the "Y" and especially spending time with Grandpa.
Aunt Talitha, the fun Aunt, bought all of the kids these giant Sugar Daddy's. Fun!! (for the kids, not the parents)
This was my dad's idea of consequences. Dallen had some work to do, and this was my dad's idea of work for him. You would think after 8 children he would know this is just fun for boys.