Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Reflections 2011

The theme this year for Reflections was "DIVERSITY". Tracy said he wanted to enter and came up with an idea all on his own. He drew a picture of himself with his friend Tino and wrote "Buddies". Such a simple drawing on one level, but with deep roots into who Tracy is. He loves everyone regardless of what they look like, what they wear, where they live or what they believe. There is a reason he makes friends everywhere he goes. He has an open heart and puts himself out there in the world. I love Trace for many reasons, this being just one of them.

As it turns out, I wasn't the only one who thought Tracy's entry was noteworthy. He moved onto the next level and was a finalist for the whole district!!! I am proud of this accomplishment, but mostly I am proud to know the sweet, open-minded boy who created it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The things we learn from our children...

I thought that as the parent I would be the one to provide teaching and guidance. I have since learned that I am often the student.

This last Thanksgiving, Mike's father learned an old schoolmate had nowhere to go for Thanksgiving. Being the generous man that he is, he invited him to join our family for the holiday. It was a tasty, enjoyable and LOUD feast followed by some down time before pie. I had noticed that the "friend" didn't join us for dessert and figured he just needed some quiet away from our rambunctiousness. Come to find out, Tracy had asked him to join us and he had politely declined. Tracy then asked if he would just like someone to talk to and spent some time keeping this man company. I was too wrapped up with filling my belly with pumpkin pie to notice my sweet seven-year-old showing love to a man he met only an hour prior. 

My father-in-law later told us about what had happened and I feel very touched. I am so proud of his unprompted act of kindness. As this time of year we turn our hearts toward gratitude, I am grateful for my children. I am thankful for the love they show to me, to each other and to others. If you know me well enough, you know crying is not in my lexicon. However, each time I read this post or think about Tracy sitting with this gentleman, I get a little choked up.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Urban Adventure

Rather than spend money on school pictures where the kids look awkward and it's a single pose, we opted to spend the money on professional pics instead. I used this AMAZING photographer who captured the kids and their personalities perfectly. One of our favorite places to play is the skate park so I wanted to incorporate that into the photo shoot.There were over 100 pictures from which to choose, but here is a taste of what was captured.

Just getting started.

Yep, she is the boss!

Hey there, GQ.

I have no idea where he gets his gangsta attitude. ;)

Aww, my sweet Trace.

This hat is one of my favorite things in the world.

He kept posing on his own and Jodi just kept snapping pics as he went along.

Million dollar smile!

Little outdoors man.


Helloooooo blue eyes.

Okay this hat is another of my favs, and so is the cute girl.




Walk like an Egyptian.

Smiling, happy people...

Love her!

Look out Bruno Mars.

This picture captures Everett's personality with perfection. He is adorable and sweet and yet you know he is plotting something mischievous. 

Handsome guy.

We are a happy family!
 Hope you enjoy those as much as I do. The kids have never had so much fun getting their pictures taken. Jodi Palmer at Yummy Life Photography was amazing! I feel like we captured them in this time of their lives. One day, when I look back at these, I will remember how fun, quirky, silly and adorable they are.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Farewell to Veloy

In October, Mike's wonderful grandmother passed away. She is one of the most gracious and classy women I know. I say "is" and not was because I know she is sharing her wonderful gifts with others where she is now. The funeral was beautiful and Tracy rubbed Mike's back the whole time. He has grown into such a loving person. As sad as it was to say goodbye to someone we loved so much, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to discuss death with my children. To me, the sadness is brief. I still miss my mom and it hurts to not have her here. That said, I know she is looking over my family and that we will be with her again one day. I feel this same way about Grandma Bollinger. I am blessed to have the knowledge that people will be reunited with loved ones and death is only a temporary goodbye.
Here is Veloy's obituary.

12/25/1923 ~ 11/03/2011
VeLoy Tucker Bollinger was born Dec. 25, 1923 in Price, Utah, the second child of Wilhelm (Bill) Paul Tucker and Doris Maria Winn Tucker. She passed away on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011 due to complications from a fall and Alzheimers. VeLoy grew up in Salt Lake City and graduated from South High School. On August 4, 1942 she married her sweetheart, Kenneth Harlow Bollinger in the Salt Lake Temple. They immediately moved to Seattle, Washington, where Ken worked with the military during World War II. 
VeLoy was a member of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. She loved the changing of seasons, spending times in Palm Springs and enjoyed the friends and family that went to visit them there. She loved her husband, four children, gardening, needlework, playing tennis and golf. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She was a devoted member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, holding many different positions. She was a wonderful cook and her children and grandchildren loved going to "Grandma B.'s" house for Sunday dinner. 
Survived by her husband, Ken, one daughter and three sons and their spouses: Judy (Bill) Stagg, Jerry (Judy), Ted (Kelley), and Steve (Dawn); 14 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren, two brothers, Clyde (JoAnn) and Billy (Sherrie), two sisters-in-law, LaVora Tucker and Bobby Tucker Shelley and many other extended family and friends. VeLoy was preceded in death by her parents, one infant brother, Paul, and two other brothers, John and O. Keith Tucker. 
We would like to thank her wonderful care givers who have made things easier for VeLoy and Ken. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Checking in with the Bollingers

I have said it before and I will say it again, WHEN WILL I FIND TIME TO BLOG? I have missed the blogging world and it is a fun way to journal. Plus I know you have all missed hearing about our exciting lives. JK
To catch everyone, as well as myself, up on what has been happening with the Bollinger crew here is a little synopsis:

Mike has been busy, busy, busy with work. With his increased load, however, he has been traveling more leaving me to play single mom. I don't know how you single gals do it! Getting them all ready for school, while I am getting ready for work, getting lunches made, doing homework, shuffling them off to school, sports, dance etc. is a massive feat! Back to Mike. He is working with a lot of Universities, Deseret Book, and even the Leonardo which has been both exciting and challenging for him. I am so grateful he enjoys his job.

As for me, I may be finding more time to blog because I just put in my two weeks. Well, sort of. After crunching the numbers, factoring in both Mike's and my work schedules, paying a sitter etc. we discovered I was almost PAYING to work! It was very difficult to come to this realization. I love my job and was disheartened at the thought I would not be working with my cute students any longer. Fortunately, when I talked to my awesome boss (first time I had to go to the principal's office in my LIFE, lol), she offered a solution. She created a new position in which I will be working with the school psychologist and resource regarding behavioral issues. The best part is I will only be working while Ev and Summy are in preschool. :) I am grateful for the opportunity to be home more. Kids are only little for such a small part of their lives and I don't want to miss ANY of it!

Tracy is our big first grader. He loves school and excels in his schoolwork. I enjoy seeing him in the halls, which is one thing I was going to miss about leaving my job. He recently started a hip-hop class which involves a lot of tumbling and jumping around. PERFECT for our little ball of energy! He is going to start playing basketball in the fall. As for piano, he is on a sabbatical of sorts. He still practices but I don't want him to be an over scheduled kid so we let him choose something to cut out. He wants to try it again next year. He is a lego-master and can spend countless hours coming up with new creations. I wish he could spend countless hours cleaning them up as well. He continues to be the sweetest and most protective big brother. When I walk over to pick him up from school, he always has to push Summer's stroller. He often puts his arms around and comforts Ev and Summy. Well, when he and Ev aren't fighting. Oh, the joys of boys. He has become an awesome swimmer and wants to join the High School swim team....NOW! Haha. He isn't THAT good yet.

Everett is our mischievousness little squirt. He just finished soccer, in which I coached, and looks forward to starting hip-hop with Trace in January. He is in his last year of preschool and can't wait to start Kindergarten. He loves riding his bike and playing games. Especially when he makes up his own rules. Ev loves his friends and loves to tell stories about them. Even if they are full of hyperbole. So far his friend Sam has a race car, owns a rocket launcher and is part ninja. Haha. He is my favorite little exercise buddy. Whenever he hears the treadmill, he runs in and jumps on the cross-trainer. When we race at the playground he just keeps running, and running and running.....He wants to run the 5K Race for the Cure next spring with me. I am so excited! His amazing abilities also include the ability eat exceedingly without gaining weight. I think he has hollow legs. He has also become an awesome swimmer so I feel like the mamma of little fish. I am just glad all three love the water because Mike and I are water lovers and spend a lot of recreational time in it.

Summer is the princess of the family. For example, last week I gave her a foot massage because her feet hurt from wearing her boots all day. At least she is a sweet princess. She looks out for "her boys" and loves to give kisses and squeezes to all. Her Grandma Kelley is her best friend and she has her wrapped around her pink painted little finger. She began both preschool and dance class this fall. She loves both. She takes her ballet/jazz very seriously. She is working on "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas" for her upcoming recital. Among her favorite things to do are playing princess, playing Jessie from Toy Story with Everett, making up and singing songs in public and getting excited over EVERYTHING! I love seeing her eyes light up and hear her sigh over the simplest things like getting Slurpees. Often times when she is sitting quietly I see my mom in her. A little gesture or turn of the head and I get a glimpse of the Grandma I am sure will be her other best friend one day.

We had a busy summer full of camping, family, birthday parties, time with friends....it passed far too quickly! On one of our trips, Mike, Ev and I were attacked by yellow jackets. Poor Mike got it the worst with SEVENTEEN stings! Everett got stung on the eye. It was so sad! I only got stung once, but being allergic, I was a little nervous the rest of the trip. We saw"The Little Mermaid" at Tuacahn last month and it was incredible! I will post pics of all of these things once I have time. Haha. Time.

Well, that is the last little while in a nutshell. I am excited to get back into the bloggity blogging world. I miss looking at all of your cute families and seeing what is going on in your lives. Sometimes that is the only way I keep in contact with many of you. I hope all is well and I look forward to blog-stalking you soon!

Monday, October 10, 2011

A very SCAAAARY birthday to Everett.

It is no secret we love both Halloween and birthdays here at the Bollinger home, so when Ev asked for a scary birthday party I was absolutely elated! He wanted blood and spiders and vampires and ghosts.....just what every five-year-old asks for, right?

Nothing beats a hairy spider for dessert!
The little ghosts and goblins entered through the haunted gate. I sometimes forget how desensitized my children are to monsters and blood. Some of the kids were too afraid to come to our house. SAD! 
We played pin the eye on the monster, had a candy pull and ended with scary bingo. I have no idea where these pictures are.....

Anyway, I am a mean mom and rather than have kids bring the birthday child a gift they bring a small present to exchange with the other kids. It seems to always be a hit.
I was so excited to get the Halloween decorations out a couple of weeks early. :)
Mummy cupcakes.
Ev got plenty of gifts at the family party! He loves Buzz Light Year and Megamind right now. 
We sure do love you Ev! You are the comic relief in our family with your adorable laugh and ginormous smile. You always make sure we give each other lots of hugs and kisses before we all head off to our busy days. Thanks for reminding us of the important things in life. I am always amazed at your ability to fall asleep anytime....anywhere. Just like your pops. Even thought it causes me to do more laundry, I think it's awesome you think you need to change your ensemble several times a day. You are quite the fashion guy. Your teachers and leaders always comment on how sweet you are and we are happy you are in our family. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Under the "tea" party.

I am still new to this Princess stuff, but when Summer asked for an Ariel tea party, I knew I had to get into the princess zone. We invited some of her closest princess friends and donned them in crowns and princess gear and had a photo shoot by the King (Mike).
Each girl made a frame in which to put the picture so we had to print them out pronto. Thanks Babe! Then we played a game of pin the kiss on Prince Eric, exchanged gifts and finally sat down for tea. Okay, it was pink lemonade, but whatevs. We also had finger sandwiches, grapes and cupcakes.

By the time each princess left for the day, I was pooped! But, there was no time to rest as the family party was that night. I cannot take credit for Summer's "Under the sea" cake. Mike was a HUGE help and did equal work with me. Making sea creatures out of fondant made for a late night but I couldn't have had a better partner.

Summer opened all her wonderful princess presents outside and then it was time for her last gift. Her gift for which I have been painting and sewing over the last month!!! When she saw it it was totally worth the hard work.......Her DOLLHOUSE!!!

When she walked into her room, she kept exclaiming, "Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! A house for me!" Thanks to all who went in on it for her. And thank you Melody and friends for the sewing support. Or should I say sewing babysitting?

 I painted stripes in one of the rooms to match the stripes I painted in her room. It was a LOT easier in the dollhouse.

It was a long day but worth it for our little princess. In three years she has taught us all so much about always showing love for one another. She is also very quick to show gratitude as well as attitude!!!! Don't mess with this sweet girl. She knows what she wants and how to get it. Usually it comes by bossing around her "boys" to get things for her. lol But, no matter what, she will always be our sweet Summy!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tracy turns SEVEN!!!

On the 29th, my not so little Trace turned seven years old! Where has the time gone? I swear we just brought him home, having no idea what to do with him. JK He has turned into such a smart, strong-willed, creative and friendly person. He makes friends wherever he goes. And once you are his friend, he cares about you forever! I admire his strong sense of what is right and wrong (even though he doesn't always act accordingly). He is like his father in his unwavering testimony and I know he will be ready to be baptized next year. DID I JUST TYPE THAT? I love you Trace and I am proud of all you are, all you do, and all that you will become.
Trace wants to be a Lego engineer when he grows up so I thought I would use my cake engineering to build him a lego.

Yep, he of COURSE got a lego from Mike and Melody. It was apparently more exciting than the DS some of us went in on for him. Who knew? :)

Just a few of the crew who came to celebrate our awesome man. We let Trace choose whether he wanted a big party or to have a few friends go somewhere fun.......to my disappointment he chose to take three friends to classic. I soooooo love throwing parties. At least I still have Summy and Ev for a few more years right?

Should I throw it? Seriously, is he not the cutest little man?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

What do these people have in common?

What do these people have in common?:
Buzz Aldrin
Napoleon Bonaparte
Tim Burton
Jim Carrey
Agatha Christie
Winston Churchill
Rosemary Clooney
Francis Ford Coppola
Emily Dickinson
Patty Duke
Edgar Allan Poe
Isaac Newton
Robert Frost
Sigmund Freud
Cary Grant
St. Theresa
Mark Twain
Ted Turner
Vincent Van Gogh
Abraham Lincoln
Leesa Bollinger

To find out check out my newest blog: http://mybpcoaster.blogspot.com/  I am nervous but excited about it.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lake Tahoe

I have a favorite Aunt and Uncle who live in Northern California. I am really close to them and it had been a while since I had seen them so we decided to meet them in Lake Tahoe where we spent the week hiking, swimming, freezing lol, and visiting with two of the greatest people on Earth!

It was a great opportunity to teach the kids about marsh lands, forests, and different flora and fauna of the area. We went on a couple little hikes and even saw a snake on one of them. Summy thought it was pretty. She also did a little hip-hop routine on the pier.

My beautiful little angels. Haha. We have so much fun together. I love getting away together.

Family picture time! It really was so beautiful there. The weather was quite similar to what we have in Utah. One day it was warm and sunny, the next was snowy, and the next was cool etc. We packed for it though so we were ready.
Hey Buddy!
We were ALL so excited for Sandy and Chuck to arrive! I used to spend a week with them every summer when I was a teen. We would go to San Francisco, the beach, Chuck's football games (he was coach) and spend hours talking. She was the one person in whom I could always confide. It means a lot for her to see my children and interact with them because my mother cannot.

Sandy and Chuck sat for hours listening to Trace talk about legos, watching Ev wield his sword and listening to Summer pretend to talk on the phone with her boyfriend, Milo.

Sandy and I still had plenty of time to talk makeup and shopping and life. I just love her! I love having Summer grow a relationship with Sandy too. They are both "princesses".

We found this HUGE rock in the back of the resort and the kids played on it for probably an hour.

We couldn't leave without hitting the Hard Rock Cafe (actually we could have) so Ev showed us his orangey smile.

It was such a great trip, although the drive was horrendous. Driving to Reno sucks! The kids did better than I. I would do it all over again to spend some more time with my favorite aunt and uncle!!!