Thursday, June 26, 2008


It was hard (as always) to get Xander in pictures

Xander driving

Christopher and Darci driving

Darci loved riding whatever she could alone

This was a miniature version of the swinging ship

The Firefly

Just off the Tilt-A-Whirl

Plenty to share. The corn dogs and french fries were so big we could all share two of each.


Mini-roller coaster. Darci was upset because we weren't going yet.

Christopher has been asking for 2 years now when we are going to Lagoon Amusement Park again. We've hesitated because it has gotten so ridiculously expensive and you can't ride a whole lot when there are 2 adults and 3 little kids.
Well, we discovered that a friend was having a Stake Lagoon Day and couldn't use their tickets and took advantage of the discount price.

WHAT A FUN DAY!!!! The kids had a BLAST. Christopher was just 1/2 an inch too short for most of the big roller coasters, but after he got over that he rode everything he possibly could. Xander and Darci would have gone on everything if given the chance, too. We had to calm a few tears and distract to other rides quite often. Darci would watch the biggest, baddest rides in awe. When a coaster would go racing past and she heard the screams of delight and terror she would look at me and smile and scream right along with those people. Christopher and Xander would have ridden Rattlesnake Rapids 100 times. If anything Bret and I wore out fastest and got the most sick on the rides.

Ohhhhh, I must be getting old. I used to ride coaster after coaster and never feel the slightest vertigo. I could ride the Screamer and then the Musical Express and only feel slightly dizzy. I just couldn't wait to take my turn on Wicked, The Spider, and The Bat. The last couple of times we've gone to Lagoon I've been pregnant and unable to ride the big stuff. Ugggghhhh... I rode The Bat with Christopher and got off clutching my stomach and reaching for a Sprite. I did the Tilt-A-Whirl with Darci. She spent the ride giggling and I spent the ride praying for it to stop and trying to not lose my lunch. So, alas, Bret and I skipped anything the kids couldn't ride and I will take a good dose a Dramamine the next time we attempt an amusement park.

We also did Lagoon-A-Beach. It was 100* and a must. Another area all three kiddos greatly enjoyed. Darci is truly fearless. She went on anything she could and has no problem going down a waterslide or under a waterfall... something her mother still struggles with.

9 hours later we all wearily headed for the car. I'm so glad I had the foresight to pack the kids' pajamas. We changed them and headed for home. They all konked out in the car.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Genes are so fascinating. Every child I've carried has me wondering what they will look like. After they are born you wonder what they'll look like and who they'll look like as they grow and change.

Darci definately looks like my mom and I have the proof. Go ahead and look at the last several pictures I've posted of Darci and the picture I have posted here of my mom. If you can't tell... she's the younger of the two.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Jenny!!!

Kip and his new girl ;)

The birthday girl opening presents

Kayla, Elise, Christopher, and Xander getting candles

Crystal and Darci

A little bit early. Her birthday is actually Wednesday, June 25, but we decided to go 2 days early to celebrate.

Jenny is Bret's older sister and she is such an example to me. Her faith is strong and she teaches her children right. She's a single mom, a Relief Society counselor, a school teacher, a helpful daughter and sister. She's been through some of life's hardest circumstances and still comes out on top. Her ex-husband is not a nice guy and really not a good father. He was a HORRIBLE husband. Yet she is so nice and wonderful and strong. I'm sure she doesn't always feel that sometimes. I hope she know how much a look up to her and that I think she's amazing for all she's been through and still turned out as good as she has. I hope that the future has nothing but happiness and blessings for her.

We met at Bret's sister's (Wendy's) house and had yummy pizza. The cousins (as always) enjoyed each other. Bret loved gabbing with his brothers. They are so funny together. They are sarcastic, funny, and you can tell they enjoy being together.

I really enjoyed visiting with my sisters-in-law. Crystal is Dustin's wife. I've always felt a distinct bond with her and I miss her when she isn't at family activites. She's pregnant with her first child and I couldn't be more thrilled for them. Jenny is so good at making me feel like I'm a part of the Armstrong clan. I don't have sisters and she gives me a glimpse of what it's like. Wendy is so generous and willing to give you whatever.

My favorite picture here is the one of Kip and Darci. Kip is Bret's youngest brother. He's single and gets a hard time for it. He's a good guy that will make some girl very happy someday. Darci has been really clingy lately and won't go to anyone but mom or dad. It takes a lot of effort and "warming up" for her to go see anyone else lately. She totally chilled with Kip. Sat still with him and acted like they were the best of friends. Says something about him, I think.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

World's greatest fathers

Marissa and her Daddy 1982

Daddy and kids 2007

Grandpa Pingel and Xander 2005

Grandpa Pingel with Christopher and new Darci 2007

Daddy with Christopher and new Darci 2007

Daddy and new Xander 2004

I should have saved this post for tomorrow since tomorrow is officially Father's Day. But today is when I've had these thoughts.

My Grandpa Pingel... I've missed him so much since he's been gone. He was one of the sweetest men I knew. Every meal was the greatest he'd ever eaten. He never had anything bad to say about anyone. He raised 2 of the most amazing people I know. Between him and my grandmother there was a love of God and the gospel, an emphasis on hard work and working together, and a deep love and loyalty to family.

My Daddy... Today he and I went horseback riding, just the two of us, in the hills of Elk Ridge. The scenery was beautiful, the company GREAT! I've been quite down in the dumps lately and today my dad made me feel so much better. I don't know if my relationship with my dad is a normal one or if I'm just REALLY lucky. He and my mom are two of my VERY best friends. I'm his only living daughter. He is understanding of my flaws and helps me find and build on my strengths. My dad and I are quite a bit alike in personality. For some that makes for a clash of wills, but my dad and I really enjoy each other. My dad is the strongest man I know... physically, mentally, and spiritually. I am grateful to see him as often as I do and that my children will continue to grow with him in their lives. He has taught my brothers and I (along with my mom) a love of God and the gospel, an emphasis on hard work and working together, and a deep love and loyalty to family.

My Husband... the love of my life... the love of my eternity... my VERY, VERY best friend. He loves me no matter what. He thinks I am the most beautiful woman on Earth. He adores our children. I simply don't have enough of the right words to describe what an amazing husband and father he is. He finds such great joy in the time he spends with us. His favorite times (and mine too) are the ones spent within the walls of our own home when everyone is here together. He finds happiness in the laughter and happiness of our sweet children. He gives us all that is important in this life. He is understanding of my flaws and helps me find and build on my strengths. He helps our children find and build upon their strengths. He is teaching our children (and I hope I'm helping him) a love of God and the gospel, an emphasis on hard work and working together, and a deep love and loyalty to family.


Sunday, June 8, 2008

HAPPY 40th Anniversary Dan and Rosemary!!!

The happy couple 40 years ago.

The big surprise

All the kids enjoying balloons

Kip and Jenny

Wendy and Marissa

Last night we celebrated Dan and Rosemary's (Bret's parents) 40th wedding anniversary. With a lot of work from our sister-in-law (Audra), Bret's sister (Jenny), and Bret's Aunt Judy we were able to throw quite the surprise party for Bret's parents. Bret spent a good chunk of the day helping to set up. I stayed home with the kids so that Darci could nap. It ended up being a good thing, because my stomach problems kicked in and I became quite ill for several hours.

The party took place up in Herriman, UT where Bret's parents and sisters live. We held it in a church cultural hall and decorated in Rosemary's wedding colors. I got to buy a pretty new dress for me and for Darci.

When Dan and Rosemary walked in we had it dark and all the grandkids yelled SURPRISE as the adults turned on the lights. The grandkids crowded around their grandparents and gave them lots of loves. Most of Rosemary's siblings showed up along with lots of members of their old Taylorsville ward that they lived in for 30 years. There was good food and visiting. The last hour Bret played beautiful music while couples danced.

The funnest part of the night was at the end when the kids were playing with the helium balloons. Uncle Dustin and cousins Cameron and Quinn were sucking helium and doing lines from Wizard of Oz and Looney Tunes. The smaller kids just ran and played and enjoyed balloons in a way only little children can. We love the opportunities for the cousins to play like this. They truly enjoy each other.

I signed Dan and Rosemary's card "All because 2 people fell in love". This is a favorite saying on the Pingel side. If they hadn't had such a loving and sweet relationship and raised their children right and in the gospel and in love... well, my wonderful, sweet husband wouldn't be the man he is. So, I am truly grateful for this 40 years of marriage.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Tae Kwon Do

Christopher started in Tae Kwon Do this week. Tae Kwon Do is a Korean martial arts form. We are hoping that Christopher will learn discipline, balance, coordination, and self-defense from this. So far he seems to be really enjoying it. His mom and dad are enjoying watching him improve every class.

We have all learned to yell "kee-up" when we punch and kick and change stances. Even Xander and Darci will join in practices at home.