Monday, December 3, 2012

We have a new blog!

 It's true!
Take a peek over at "You Are My Happy" for all the latest with our family! 
It's a work-in-progress, but then again, what isn't?
Love always,
The Samuel Dodge Elmers
Please note:  This blog will remain but all new posts will be over at the new digs!  We hope to see you!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April, May, June...

I'm struggling to believe that my last post was in April!  Where did the time go! 
I have to admit that all this while in the back of my head I've had that gnawing little feeling that I should be chronicling all the happenings of our little family.  And then of course, you get swept away and before you know you're off and running!
Here's the latest from our family. 
Mostly happy times, some sad, but all a part of life!

On April 23rd, my Grandma Lopez had a stroke. And this on the heels of her 83rd birthday! Here we are visiting her in the hospital-and yes, even under dire circumstances we try to be happy and even a little silly! 

After she was released from the hosptial she moved in with my mom.  We attempted to make her a home away from home, but of course, there's no place like home!  Thankfully, the arrangment was temporary.  She is doing much, much better and moved out last month!
We love you, Grandma!
On Samuel's side of the family we had a great visit from Aunt Alta and Uncle Don from Arizona.  They were passing through on their way to report for their mission in Seattle, Washington.  It was nice catching up with family we don't see too often, and to see my father-in-law laugh like I don't think I've ever seen him laugh before!
Actually, that's not true. 
He laughs heartily often, which is one of the reasons we all love him so much!

At the end of the school year brings there are a ton of field trips, and thanks to my mom, I was able to attend many of them.  Iris and I enjoyed, Fairytale Idol at a local theater in Roseville.  Yes, they rapped and did all sorts of crazy stuff, and of course, because I'm a weirdo, I still cried! 
Something about live theatre!
Always a good time at the zoo!  Especially when it's free!

May 8th was Samuel's last official day of instruction at California State University, Sacramento!  We anxiously awaited his arrival at home, and pretty much screamed at the top of our lungs as soon as he turned down our street! 
Total happiness would be an understatement!
For the girls Activity Day Recognition Night, the girls showcased their newly acquired baking and cake decorating skills by making treats for the evening.  We loved unlocking the mysteries of fondant, and I don't think we've ever consumed so much sugar at one time!
The actual Recognition event was a super-size family relay complete with a tug-o-war and an egg toss!  By night's end, everyone was pretty happy and the treats were a hit!
Isabella and Ava, we're so proud of your accomplishments with the Fath in God for girls program!
We love you!
May also brings the Father and Son Camp-out!  Samuel has been going with Owen since he was a baby, and now that we have two boys, and their both older, it's becoming more and more fun each year.  This year didn't disappoint with the requisite soaking wet shoes, peeing on a tree, and gobbling up chips!
And we can't forget, when Samuel and the boys were dropped off at home,
they discovered they were locked out!  Look who had to set-up camp in the front yard!
When the Father's and Son's rolls around, that can only mean one thing...the Mother's and Daughters!  We planned a super fun day trip to San Francisco with my good friend Tara and her daughter, Taylor, but on the eve of, we tucked in for a cozy evening of oven-fried chicken tenders, homemade pretzels, and sweet potato fries with Elmer House bbq sauce, ranch, and honey mustard dip!  We were so, so full!  What a great night with my great girls!
Escaping to the city is one of our all time favorite treats!  And to spend some one-on-one time with our daughters made it even better.  We visited some favorite haunts, slurped up noodles and munched on crispy fortune cookies, and watched our girls frolick in the surf while the wimpy mamas cuddled in a blanket! 
We are so doing this again!
Mother's Day Sunday! 
Complete with breakfast on the patio and chocolate dipped strawberries-my favorite!  I love my kiddos!  I am one lucky mama!
May 19th was Samuel's commencement ceremony!  He is no longer a Master's Candidate but now holds a Masters of Business Administration!  We are so, so proud of you, honey.  And proud of this family for pulling through!  It certainly was not easy, and at times, it was downright miserable.  But with Heavenly Father's help, we did it!
Iris, at the ripe old age of 6 years old, finally learned how to ride a bike without training wheels!  Go, Iris!  And yes, I'm sure the neighbors are thrilled to finally not hear her lung-busting shrieks of fear!

Isabella, one of the 5th grade winners of the Sculpture Park Mosaic Art Contest, created a mosaic tile of half dome!  You are amazing, Isa!
Is it really time for Open House?
Thanks for showing us around, Iris! 
What a great first year with Mrs. Benson's class!
Ava, you have done some wonderful work this year!  We have loved seeing you grow with Mrs. London's third grade class!
And Isabella, we are so happy you had a awesome year with Mrs. Shewards fifth grade class!  You have grown so much as a scholar-and as my daughter!  How do we wear the same size shoe?
Iris' "American Symbols on Parade" play was a smash hit!  Thank you to Mrs. Benson for organized such a spectacular performance followed by a family BBQ.  What a fun night!
The boys and I attended Isabella's school music concert and were treated to live bands, piano, opera, and violin solos, as well as jazz numbers and even a Louis Armstrong impersonation!
The end of the school year brings a slew of field trips!
I was so fortunate to attend the production of "Hansel and Gretal" with Ava and Mrs. London's third grade class.  What a great show!
We celebrated June birthdays for Lucky, Gabriel, and Owen with a family bash of roasted marshmallows and popsicles!  It was a sticky night, for sure!
Memorial Day trip to Rodeo Beach-with the dog!
Louella Mae did great-despite the chilly weather.
And the kids love a beach of any kind!
Nothing like the cheap seats!  Enjoying an impromptu peek at the ball game in our jammies on a hot summer night!
On June 18th, Gabriel turned three!  We celebrated with chocolate chip pancakes, Star Wars toys (that's why Owen is so distressed!), and sundaes for dessert!
We love you, Gabriel!
You bring us so much joy, son!
Gabriel in "panties"!  Can you tell I raised three girls first?  Gabriel, at three, finally became fully potty-trained! 
It was NOT easy, as evidenced by our temporary 12-hour set-up in the bathroom, but his graduation from diapers is hands down the highlight of my summer!
2012 Elmer Family Camp at Wright's Beach in Bodega Bay!
We spend windy afternoons on the sand flying kites, explored the curvy roads and pricey shops, and munched on taffy that cost an arm and a leg!
This summer we welcomed a new cousin to the bunch, Brooklyn Desirae!  And since we date night swap with the Joe Elmers, guess who got to have her all to themselves? 
We were also priviledged to have the circus come to town.  It's amazing what crazy things the kids cook up when they get together!
This was also the summer of homemade ice cream!  After pulling out the modest Krups ice cream maker that's been gathering dust in my pantry for years, I decided enough was enough!  Time to get over the fact that I lacked a manual and just track the info down on-line.  Sure enough, minutes later, I had the info I needed and we've never looked back! 
The reward? 
Sinfully dark chocolate sorbet, sweet cream and strawberry, and peanut butter crunch!
 One of the biggest kickers of all
is the realization that my baby is a baby no more.
I hold him everyday.
Force him sometimes.
But we cuddle, I coddle, and I tell him over and over again
that he will always, always, always by my baby!
In a nutshell...
Life is good!
Life is great!
And I'm excited for all that is too come!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The local Earth Festival has become an annual tradition despite Samuel's pro-carbon footprint tendancies!  We love the fun exhibits, quirky food samples, and of course, the animal show is always a hit!  Plus we scored four more fabric grocery sacks so I'm one happy eco-friendly lady!

Friday, April 20, 2012


We are so fortunate to date-swap
with my brother and sister-in-law,
and for the kids,
it's a win-win getting in some extra play time!

Only thing is,
when they all get together,
things can get kind of loopy...

Especially when you throw in lots and lots
of marshmallows!

We love you, guys!

Can't wait for you to bring your new baby sister over!

are you sure your ready to join this rag-tag bunch?