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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Eric!

It's hard to believe my baby is now 5! What a fun little guy! We sure love him and are glad he is part of our family! Having a December birthday is pretty hard. Not sure WHAT we were thinking that March, 5 years ago!! The pour kids will probably never get a really cute decorated birthday cake like all his brothers did. Luckily, when I asked him this year what kind of a cake he wanted, he just said a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles. Whew! That was doable on the Monday before Christmas.

I decided that even though I still had a million things to do, I'd better take some time to do something fun with him for his birthday, so I took he and his buddy, Tysen, to Jumpin' Jacks for some fun and exercise. They ran and bounced and slid for a good hour and a half before coming home to continue playing.


We had Grandma and Aunt Barbara over for birthday dinner, presents, cake and ice cream. He loved every present he got and has played constantly with them all!




5 Great Things About Eric:

1. He is the world best snuggler.
2. He loves to be a big boy and help with everything.
3. He is a smart kid.
4. He loves his family.
5. He makes me laugh!

Thanks for always making our days full of laughter and surprises!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Redemption!


Not the best pictures as they were taken with my phone, but you can see the excitement on our faces at the end of the game, and the beginning of pandemonium on the field! We went to the BYU vs. Utah game (of course), and with the exception of the mean and hostile men in front of us, had a fabulous time! As usual, it was an exciting game with a last minute play in overtime to cinch the win! This is one game every year that never fails to surprise us in some way and nearly puts us in cardiac arrest at some point! What a great game!! Way to go cougs!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Congratulations, Jordan!

See that proud smile? That's my Jordan accepting the Award of Excellence for the song he composed and played on his violin for the Reflections contest at his school. Way to go, buddy! He worked really hard on his song, practicing it and writing it out all by himself! He was so excited when he won! He very proudly showed off his medal to all the Grandparents and family members he could and is now anxiously awaiting the next round of competition in January.

Here he is, showing off his certificates, ribbon, and medal. We are so proud of you, Jordan!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Happiest Place On Earth

Our fabulous family vacation started out with a stop at my Aunt and Uncle's house down in Richfield. They are like a second mom and dad to me, and the boys just love them. We ate yummy food and played games with them. We slept there Sunday night, and set out for Disneyland, 2 1/2 hours closer the following morning. The road trip was great, and we got into town with plenty of time to swim and eat a good dinner.

We spent two fun filled days in Disneyland and California Adventure. We LOVE both of them and have been lucky to visit them several times in the last few years. This year was a lot of fun as there was no throwing up (refer to humorous stories of our last visit to the happiest place on earth! If you haven't heard the story, feel free to ask anytime!) In fact, every time we passed the lovely restaurant where we all got food poisoning last time, at least one of the boys would say, "This is where we got sick last time! DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING!" It was pretty funny, especially when Eric yelled it out loud while passing several diners at said restaurant! I'm sure they really appreciated us. Other reasons why this year's trip was so fun: We took Grandma Barfuss with us; the weather was fantastic; everyone got along; there were practically NO lines and we rode all the big rides at least 5 or 6 times; and we finally convinced Jordan to try rollercoasters again--he rode all of them, including California Screamin' for our very last ride of the trip! Way to go Jordan!!! After traumatizing him when he was quite young by forcing him to ride the Matterhorn with his dad, he has refused to ride any of them. Like I said, he rode them all this year, and even said that Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain were his favorite rides. Eric was also very brave, riding all of them but California Screamin'. I love that my kids are all old enough and big enough to ride everything together. It is really a fun way to experience Disneyland. It's fun when they are little too, but oh so much more exhausting and very limited to what they can and want to ride when they are little. Here are a few photos of the trip.

One of the super fun bonuses of the trip this year was running into one of my best friends, Jocelyn. We went to high school together, and we still keep in touch now. It was so fun to see her so unexpectedly, and it was really fun to meet her kids. She has met mine when she has come to town for our high school girlfriend reunion weekends, but I had yet to meet hers.

I love this picture because it just says it all. It's the end of the first day in the parks, and we are all exhausted and starving, waiting for our food. I think Eric is actually asleep in this shot. We had to wake him up to eat.

Another fun thing about the time we went this year was that it was right when they were switching over the Halloween decorations to the Christmas decorations. The first day we were there, everything was still Halloween. The next day, there were several Christmas things up as the transformation had begun.

The trip continued the next day at Legoland. We have tried several times to take the boys there when they were younger, but everytime we had a free day when we were in town, it was one of the days Legoland was closed during the week. The boys still had a good time, but it is definitely geared to younger kids, and it was a little bit of a let down after Disneyland, in my opinion. However, it was a fun day, and I'm glad we got the kids there finally. Eric was in heaven with all of the Thomas and Handy Manny models in the park. Everyone loved Miniland with all of the amazing models there. The model of the capitol below is from that part of the park.

This is, unfortunately, all we saw of the ocean this trip. We made a quick stop there after Legoland, but it was already just past sunset. The boys were a little sad, but that just gives us a good reason to go back!

We finished up our visit at Paul's brother's house. We had such a great time with them. The kids love to see their cousins and play with them. Justin got to go to a high school football game and tail gate party with his cousin, and the little ones just played and played. We had Alisha do a few quick family and kid photos for a yearly update. Some of them turned out hilarious. You've got to love kids when you are trying to take family photos! Anyway...a few of them turned out great, and I'll post them later. We are so grateful to have been able to take this trip! We had a great time, and everyone is looking forward to the next one!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fun Fall Days in October...


I love Fall. I love the colors, the cool weather, and the fun activites. October brought with it the end of another season of soccer for Justin and his friend Brett. It was an awesome winning season! Justin always seems to be on a team that is a little challenged, and it has been discouraging for several years. This year, most of his team were 9th graders, and they played really well, winning all of their games up until the very last one. Bummer way to end a season, but they did great!

Here are a few of the other things the Hammonds have been up to this month...

Tyler's first Pinewood Derby with the cub scouts. He worked really hard on his BYU car, and he ended up taking 4th place. He had a little melt down thinking that was last place. Guess we need to work on that sportsmanship a little! But he had a good time, and he felt a little better about all his hard work after we explained the places and no matter who took last, everyone was a winner for trying!


A favorite fall tradition of ours is going to a pumpkin patch and picking out pumpkins. This year were went to the patch next to a corn maze and did both activities in one night. The kids picked out some great pumpkins, and we all had fun in the maze!




We always love going to the ward chili cookoff, eating some great food and visiting with good friends. This is Eric and his buddy Tyson having some fun after chowing down.

One of Paul's least favorite things to do in the fall after picking out the pumpkins is carving them. But he is always a good sport to help the boys do it. They had a great time for family night drawing their faces and watching Dad get dirty carving them!




And lastly, in anticipation of the many hours we will spend in the car this week on our trip to California, Eric got a little early birthday gift so there wouldn't be any fighting over whose turn it was to share their DS with him! He was very excited!! We will be too, if we find enough ear buds hanging around so that the children will be seen and not heard!!

We are now all patiently waiting for Dad to get home from meetings so we can hop in the car and head off to the happiest place on earth! Disneyland....here we come!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Happy Birthday, Justin!

Friday morning we woke up to some fine chalk art renditions on the driveway courtesy of some of Justin's friends from school wishing him a happy birthday.

They also decorated the tree. We were just glad it was a happy birthday sign and not a case lot of TP!

Later that night, Justin and a few of his friends met up at the park for some football, soccer, and capture the flag. He even had a girl (one of the same who decorated the yard) call to see if she could come to his all boy party. Nice. It has begun. Not sure if I am ready for it. (Did I happen to mention he is now officially old enough for proper documentation that allows him behind a wheel to drive?! Very scary!)

His real birthday was Sunday, so there wasn't a lot of major partying going on that day, but he did enjoy presents and two cakes...an ice cream cake by mom, and a yummy chocolate cake by another one of his friends.

Loser Mom forgot to make sure I had enough candles, so from the few we had kickin' around in the cupboard, he chose to be 1 again. Sorry buddy!

Some of the great things about Justin:

He is kind to everyone.
He has great integrity.
He is a good example to others.
He is a leader.
He knows what is right, and he isn't afraid to tell others.
He keeps us all honest!
He is a great student.
He is responsible.
He is quick to help those in need.
He is fun to be around.

Thanks for being who you are, Justin. We couldn't ask for a better son! We love you!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Long Awaited Rematch!

Last spring, Justin and Crazygirl were dishing out some serious trash talk about who was the better soccer player. This, of course, led to a challenge game between families. After about an hour of "serious play" we ended the match tied--one game to one. All the old people decided we were too tired for a tie breaker and opted for ice cream instead. It also allowed us all to save face. Well, that may have been an error on our parts because ever since, Justin has been begging for a rematch! It has taken us over a year to arrange it, but it finally happened! The kids decided to make it just a kid rematch, which suited us just fine! Here are all the happy (and friendly) participants before all the fun began.

Stretching is critical! (At lease it is critical to making you look like you know what you are doing. I'm pretty sure the girls completely dominated in this pre-game skill!)

Here are the two "captains," playing nice and exchanging words before the game begins.

That didn't last long! The gloves came off pretty fast and the trash talk and fighting began!

A friendly kick here, a little shove there...it's all fair in a friendly little game of soccer!

Well, the girls started off with a bang, scoring 2 goals in the first few minutes! Justin was getting a little worried and was complaining about something. I believe Kim's comment was along the lines of "Give me a break! You're wearing shin guards!!" The boys were decked out in shin guards and cleats. The girls were wearing no socks and cute little tennies I believe! We'll unfortunately for the girls, those were their last two goals. The boys scored 5 of their own, and play continued until Dancingqueen declared game over! Just in time for us to get home for the REAL game of the day.....BYU vs. Oklahoma!
What an AWESOME game! We grabbed some pizzas and sat down to enjoy the first game of the season, in pretty high spirits, even though we were all sure of the beating about to come! So we were completely surprised and ecstatic with the winning outcome instead! There was a lot of cheering and yelling coming from our basement that day! It was great to enjoy the game with good friends and some good grub! Thanks for a fun day, Fosters!

Here are some happy, true blue fans!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ward Camp Out

The boys always look forward to going to the ward camp out. I personally think it is a whole lot of work for a very short trip, but I'm just the mom and the only girl in the family. What do I know? Luckily, once we got there, most of my work was done. I sat back and let the boys get busy putting to use all of their scouting skills.


For the last two years, our ward has gone to a campsite in Wallsburg. It is actually pretty nice. Very beautiful scenery and nice facilities, so once we get there, it's usually pretty fun! This year the camp out unfortunately landed on the same weekend as an activity for some good friends of ours. Their son has juvenile diabetes, and Saturday was a 5K walk and fundraiser for JD. Since Paul is over activities in the ward, we decided we needed to stay overnight at the camp out to support that. So to show support for Parker and his activity, we decided to wear our "Parker's Posse" shirts that everyone in his group had for the walk to the camp out. They were pretty sweet shirts, and it was easy to find all my kids since they had on matching shirts!

Once camp was set up, the boys got right around to having some fun with each other, friends, and playing some stick throwing game called Coob or Cube or something like that!




This was the nice little bridge and river that ran past our campsite. I could hear the gurgling river all night. On one hand, it was very peaceful and naturey sounding. On the other hand, that may have been one of the many contributing factors to me not getting any sleep!

We were up early to break camp and help with breakfast so we could make it back for a friend's baptism. Here are the boys cooking.

And for those of you who have patiently been waiting to see if Justin's second attempt at camp cooking went any better than the last....well, see for yourself...

He was very proud! And they tasted good!