Thursday, August 31, 2006

Happy Birthday Taylor!!!

Our oldest son, Taylor, turned 11 today and has the pre-teen attitude to prove it! We celebrated with a family party and Taylor's traditional birthday pumpkin pie. It seems like only yesterday that we brought him home from the hospital. They just grow up too fast!!!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Getting Spoiled by My Secret Pal...

My secret {to you not me ;o) } pal did it again this month! The theme for August was 'Something for Mom' and she went overboard! She sent a novel, grapefruit scented bath items, a 'zen garden' relaxation CD, chopsticks and a cute back scratcher/roller where the roller part is a chinese girl head! I had to get a picture of that so you could see how cute it is... She also sent some candy and chocolate that met its demise before this picture was snapped! I've been trying to get some projects done around the house and using each of the gifts as a reward to bribe myself to complete them. Slowly but surely, its working! Thanks again secret pal!!!

Friday, August 11, 2006

According to My Fortune Cookies...

Grandma, Josh, Xander and I went to Pei Wei for lunch today (love that honey-seared chicken!) I usually get stupid stuff in my fortune cookies but today was different. The first one said, "Be prepared to recieve something special" and the second (because you know I can't have just one!) said, "Next summer you will be dancing to a different tune." I certainly hope so! I'm still counting on a March 2007 referral and bringing Meili home in May...

Check out the pictures of Xander trying to use chopsticks... I tried my best to show him the ropes but he insisted upon using the "stab" method. Too cute!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

First Day of School-2006

Audrey is starting 3rd grade this year but is tall enough to pass for a 5th grader. She is growing up too fast! She makes having a daughter so much fun that we have to go to China so we can do it again!!!

I couldn't quite figure out why Taylor was in such a bad mood this morning. Later in the day it hit me that he is starting junior high and if it hadn't happened yet already, today is the official day that anything that your mom wants you to do is no longer cool-especially posing for pictures at the bus stop! Here's my Tbone just before being fed to the junior high wolves!

For Noah's first day, I was able to attend Kindergarten orientation with him. He was a little nervous before we left the house but once he got to school and saw the other kids, the playground and all of the toys, he was good to go! Our school district started full day kindergarten this year with the exception of 2 schools including ours. Fine with me! I'm not ready to let this little guy go for a whole day yet!!!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Bouton Road Trip-2006

Yes, we are back and still alive. It has been forever since I've updated the blog but you all know how it is when you try to re-engage in reality after a long trip! We brought Taylor's friend, Josh back with us from Utah and picked Grandma Johnson up in Sun City on the way home so we've been busy with entertaining houseguests also. We had such a wonderful family vacation! I wish that Blogger would cooperate and let me post all the pictures that I wanted to...We packed up our tent-trailer and left Tucson on Saturday the 22nd and made our way to Jacob Lake, Arizona. We found a great little campsite about 40 miles north of the North Rim of the Grand Canyona and stayed there for the night.

On Sunday morning we woke up early and made our way to SLC. We just had to stop at Training Table and have some cheese fries-worth the drive just for those! That afternoon, we drove past our old house and neighborhood. It looked so different-just not our home anymore. We spent the evening with our cousins' Mark and Melanie. They have 4 children that line up in age perfectly with ours (we keep asking them when they are going to China!) It was heaven-the kids played and Melanie prepared a meal that inspired me to put a little more energy into preparing meals for my family! Ardean and Elna were there to top things off!

Matt, Mark and the older kids spent the night on the Days of '47 (Pioneer Day) parade route. Despite being rained on twice, they had a great time! The moms showed up the next morning, freshly showered with breakfast in tow! Melanie did it again! Did you know that you can make home made cinnamon rolls by making a simple sweet dough, rolling it out, brushing it with a bit of butter, and then coating the dough with RED HOTS before rolling it up and slicing into rolls? They were delicious!

After the parade, we made our way to Riverton and the home of the Tuttles who would be our travel-mates to Yellowstone. Diane made a wonderful chicken salad for us (Does it surprise anyone that food highlights are part of my travel-log?) After dinner, the moms did the pre-camp shopping. We watched fireworks (yes, pioneer day is big business in Utah!), had a delicious dessert and headed to bed.

We left for Yellowstone early Tuesday morning making our way to the Bouton-traditional Imax in the early afternoon. We were able to get camping sites right next to the Tuttles. We set up camp, then snuck off to get a peek at Old Faithful. We got rained on that night but were comfortable and dry in the tent trailer!

On Wednesday, we enjoyed a 1 hour horse-back ride through some of the most beautiful landscape I had ever seen. Of course, there were no cameras allowed on the ride... I was amazed at how sore a person can get riding in a saddle. I was a bit disappointed that my ample natural padding didn't afford me a bit more comfort! Those of us who rode that day were doing the John Wayne swagger as we toured the rest of the North loop!

On Thursday, we did the South loop and took a swim break in Firehole Springs. Because of it's name, we thought that the water would be warm...we were wrong!

On Friday morning, we packed up camp and headed out for Ovid, Idaho for a visit and some horse-back riding with Uncle Zar at the family farm. He has just married a woman in Thailand. She is still there with her adorable 6 year-old daughter. We can't wait to meet them. Meili actually has quite a few Asian women in her extended family on my side of the family. This will be a first for Matt's!

We then headed over to Logan, Utah for a visit with Jenn's long-time friend, Heidi. We went to high-school together, although Heidi was a year older and much too cool to associate with me at that time. ;o) We became acquainted in beauty school in Glendora and both moved to Utah at the same time. It had been 5 years or more since we had seen each other-she looks just like she did in high school! Matt thinks that her husband, George looked like Captain America (that's a compliment from my comic-book obsessed husband!) Can't wait to see them again soon.
We made it back to SLC and Mark and Melanie's to enjoy a good chat and a hot shower before hitting the sack.

Saturday was a big day! We met Lisa from Tate-r-Bug at the park and had a nice chat. We went shopping for food and supplies to last us through our last leg of our trip then headed back to the park to meet more friends. The Parsons, Vidas, Buenos and Larsens showed up. It was so much fun to catch up with them! The kids had a blast seeing their old pals again.

After that, we headed for home after picking up Josh (Taylor's buddy since age 3) who will stay with us until the 12th. We made it back to Jacob Lake and got some much-needed sleep.

On Sunday morning, we got up early and drove to the North rim of the Grand Canyon-what a beautiful sight! We picked up Grandma and made it home at about 7 pm that night. I never thought I could be so happy to see my own toilet. I was soooo sick of public restrooms!!! We put a whopping 2900 miles on our car and Xander only cried to get out of his car seat for the last 20! The kids were amazing on this trip! There was a time not so long ago that I thought I might be nuts for signing up for a 5th child. On this trip, I couldn't help but think that we so have room for Meili!!! If our kids were anything but the wonderful kids that they are, things might be very different...

Enjoy the few pics that Blogger will allow me to post...

The Brood on Yellowstone Lake

Nope, this isn't Jenn after eating Matt's dutch oven cooking for a week...

This guy was so close to the car that I could feel his breath when I stuck my head out of the window to get this shot

Boutons and Tuttles:

Jenn, Matt, Noah Audrey, Taylor, Xander

Josh, Preston, Ryan, Diane, Blaine and Katelyn

Friday, August 04, 2006

Yep, I've still got it!!!

I went to the post office yesterday to send off home study documents to court and to clients. I had 5 kids plus Grandma with me so I decided to leave them in the car with the a/c running while I ran in. I went inside, used the automated machine to send the envelopes (very cool-now I can send packages 24/7!) and got back into the car. Upon returning, Grandma pointed out an elderly man who was getting into his car next to us. He must have been in his mid-eighties and looked a bit like Ed McMahon. Then she tells me that she saw him stop in his tracks, turn around and check me up and down a few times. Matt says that if I meet the weight goals that I have set for myself, I might work my way up the the baby-boomer generation!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Blog-Pals in the Park...

Last Saturday, we had the pleasure of meeting up with Lisa from Tate-r-bug! We passed through Salt Lake on our way home from Yellowstone and made arrangements to meet. Lisa has such a fun personality and related so well to my kids that I can easily tell that she is going to be a great mom. Tate is going to be one lucky kiddo!

When it comes to adoption, there are so many people out there that just don't "get it." It is so nice to make new friends who do! Lisa is logged-in just before us so chances are that we can have another chat in China! Of course, with the wait expanding like it is, we just might make our way back to SLC again before that happens... Thanks again, Lisa. It was great to meet you!!!