Sunday, May 23, 2010

Catching up!

Jaryd has finally come home from his mission, which has been bittersweet. It has been odd not worrying about getting packages ready each month to send out to him. While I will miss putting these packages together with the family, it is nice to not have to come up with new and exciting ideas! We were able to go out and pick him up and spend some time in Washington D.C. It was a great trip!
We were driving towards our hotel after finally landing in D.C. and we were greeted with this beautiful temple.  What a perfect beginning to our vacation!

Everyone was so excited to finally see Jaryd.  It was like my boys couldn't get enough of him.  Jaryd had either Breydon or Connor glued to his side the entire 5 days we were out there.

The White House

The Washington Monument

The Lincoln Memorial

The Cherry Blossom Trees were gorgeous. They were everywhere and I really couldn't get enough of them! 

I can't get this picture to turn sideways..but it was at the Vietnam Memorial.  Each memorial gave me such a peaceful feeling. I am so grateful to these men and women and was touched by how many names were written on the walls.

One of my favorite pictures of the entire trip!

The boys watched an episode of "Man vs. Food" and this diner was on it.  It was in Annapolis (which was by far my favorite place we visited during our vacation!)  They were so happy to have eaten here!

Breydon REALLY wanted to order this 6 pound glass full of vanilla shake.  It was $17 just for the shake!  If you drink this whole shake, a huge pastrami burger that weighed something like 2-3 pounds and a huge order of fries in under an hour then you could win a free shirt!  He really thought he could do it, and if we didn't have so much walking to do after lunch I might have let him try, but I knew he would make himself sick and miserable, so unfortunately he did not get to try.

Annapolis...our future retirement home!

Arlington Cemetery

It was so stunning here.  There were thousands and thousands of tombs.

The tomb of the unknown soldier.  We watched the changing of the guard, which happens each hour.  It is amazing to me to realize that 24/7 a soldier marches back and forth in front of this grave in order to honor the unknown soldier.  No matter the time of day or the weather, someone is honoring this soldier.

Being part of the Olsen family means we get a sporting event in as often as possible. So obviously we went to a baseball game!  It was pretty fun and such great weather.  We took the Metro into D.C. this day and it was pretty hectic.  The Metro line that runs to the Pentagon was shut down due to some police activity so after the game it was VERY scary.  People were yelling at each other and we were packed like sardines on the train....not fun!

Me and Ry at the game.

Sweet Breydon

Silly boys!

Not too long ago I called Connor to come home for dinner and of course he was super upset to have to come in from outside. Come to find out he had been going door-to-door selling books from his room that he no longer reads. He and his friend Mia were selling their old books for nickels in order to go to Nickelcade. I cannot imagine what the neighbors were thinking when they opened their door to these two kids selling their used books for a nickel! They both came home so excited that they had made $3 or $4 and were able to go play the games at Nickelcade. When I think of this it just makes me smile…even though we are now missing many books it is a memory he and Mia will remember when they are older and I am sure they will laugh about how silly they were.

Connor is also having the missionary discussions and preparing to be baptized in a few weeks. It is fun to see him get excited about something. He is not one to show too much emotion in front of others and every once in a while he forgets himself and gets pretty excited in front of the missionaries. He is such a sweet child and I am so proud of him for making this decision all on his own. Connor turned 8 while Jaryd was on his mission and refused to be baptized until Jaryd came home. He is so close to his uncle and did not want any other person to baptize him. Connor knows exactly what he wants and will always fight to get it.

Breydon's soccer season has come to an end and so he is able to relax a little more. He has recently started scouts and has really enjoyed it. In fact this Wednesday they are going out flying which he is extremely excited for. I am glad to see him participating in more extracurricular activities, he is one to hang around the house a lot, which I don't mind at all, but I do want him to spend some time out of the house…not just with friends!

That is about it for now...School is coming to an end which means me and the boys have the entire summer to hang out.  My last day of work is Friday and then I am officially jobless until I graduate from Weber State in December.  I cannot believe that graduation is so I just have to get through student teaching and I am finished!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Well it has been a while since I have updated and once again I cannot remember all of the things that I would have liked to have posted!  We have added a new addition to our family.  Brighton Michael Mansfield was born November 27 and the boys were pretty excited to have another nephew!

Connor and Brighton

Breydon and Brighton

Even Emery was excited to hold him!

Connor just finished wrestling...he really had a lot of fun.  He was able to compete in a few matches which he won!  He was pretty proud of himself, and Ryan and I just love watching the boys do things that they enjoy! 

Each year we celebrate Grandma Alice's birthday and Santa comes to visit all of the kids.  My boys are teetering on that edge where they kinda beleive and they kinda don't.  Connor was adamant that this could not possibly be the real Santa and wanted to say..."If you are the real Santa then why are you asking me what I want for Christmas? Shouldn't you already know?"  I had to tell him that this indeed was not the real Santa and that he was just a helper that would relay the message to the real guy!  I was so worried he would ruin it for all of the little ones.  I always tell the boys that you have to believe to might backfire on me one of these days!!

Sweet Grandma Alice

Connor telling Santa's "helper" his Christmas wishes

Breydon joking with Santa

We spent Christmas Eve with the Holmes family this year and had a great time!  We decorated cookies for all the kids to take home for Santa, but I think Damon and Emery spent more time eating the cookies than they did decorating them.
Emery must have used an entire bottle of sprinkles for each cookie!

Damon just kept dumping sprinkles on his half-eaten cookie, and then eating each sprinkle individually!!

I think he might be kinda proud of this one!

Cute Breydon and one of his many cookies!

Here is our finished plate of cookies...don't they look delicious?!

The boys were pretty excited for Christmas, but as usual I think I was the most excited.  I never sleep very well the night before Christmas because I am so excited to see the boys open their gifts.  Jaryd called us around 6:30 from D.C. to let us know what time he would be calling the family that night and he thought for sure the boys would be up.  He was wrong, I was pacing back and forth waiting for the boys to wake up; finally Ryan went up and got them up around 7.  I thought I was going to go crazy!!

Both boys knew that Christmas would be pretty small this year so that we would be able to go pick Jaryd up from D.C. at the end of March, and I don't think they minded this at all.  We had a great day and thanks to our family for making the holidays so much fun.  We love you all.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Halloween turned out to be a pretty fun night. I am not a huge fan of Halloween, but the boys really enjoyed themselves. This year, in the effort to save some money, we decided to try to make their costumes. As many of you know, I am NOT a crafty person; and Breydon wanted to be a Pepsi can!! Great, I thought. But, thanks to my fabulous friends at work, the Pepsi can came together quite nicely. I don't know what we would have done if I didn't work with such amazing people who, for one, know how to operate a sewing machine, and two, are very creative, helpful people. So here is the great unveiling of his costume….

Connor's idea for a costume was much easier; he wanted to be a gangster. He decided he would wear a dark hoody under his football jersey and some bigger jeans. So the clothes were all figured out! We just needed a giant necklace, magnetic diamond earrings, a doo rag and a hat! He did. This year our grand total for Halloween costumes was under $17!!! My hate for Halloween has weakened slightly.

Breydon and his friends all had a theme for their costumes: hot dogs, mustard, ketchup, Pepsi, etc. I thought it was pretty funny, they are such funny kids. Breydon was nice enough to let Connor go trick-or-treating with him and his friends. At first I was hesitant about this because I felt like it wasn't Breydon's responsibility to take Connor, but Breydon kept reassuring me that it was ok, and Connor really didn't want to be stuck with just me….so I finally gave in. Basically they went out trick-or-treating, Ryan went to a football game, and I spent the night watching The Office, doing homework, and passing out candy to the cute kids that came to the door. It was one of the better Halloween's ever…mostly because I didn't have to endure the extreme cold.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween Dinner Party!!

Last year we started a new tradition and it has turned out to be so much fun! The Olsen family has a "Mystery Dinner." The Dinner is three courses and everyone has to order their food by writing their order down on their menus. But…there's a twist. The food has spooky names, so they don't know exactly what they're ordering. This year we had chili, hot dogs, corn bread, Jell-0 worms, chips, veggies and veggie dip, etc. Only Kristi, Nanette and I knew what foods went with which spooky name. Here is the list that the family had to order from:

  • Witches Wart (Fork)
  • Mummy Wrap (Bun)
  • Goblin Guts (Chili)
  • Devil's Tail (Jell-O)
  • Black Cat Curse (Chips)
  • Frankenstein Phlegm (Onions)
  • Pumpkin Pus (Punch)
  • Rotting Brains (Cheese)
  • Troll's Toe Jam (Deviled Eggs)
  • Warlock's Nose Hair (Napkin)
  • Spider Spit (Corn Bread)
  • Ghostly Goop (Cake)
  • Bloody Boogers (Veggie Dip)
  • Eerie Ear Wax (Veggies)
  • Squirmy Skeleton Fingers (Hot Dogs)

For example, Ryan's first course was: a hot dog bun, cheese, punch, veggie dip, and onions. After everyone is served their third course, they can get up and fix a full plate of food! We really have had so much fun with this, and I am excited to continue this new tradition! It seems like it is so difficult to get everyone together in one room and even though Eric and Jaryd were missing, it was still nice to get almost everyone together for a night of fun, food and laughter.

"Tapeworm" Hot Dogs

Punch...yes there are floating bats and spiders

Kristi's Kitty Litter Cake...Looks disgusting, but was pretty delicious.

Jell-O Worms (Kristi if you are reading this and this picture looks familiar...I stole it from your facebook page! I couldn't find a picture of these on my camera.)

Our table!

Kade and Issaiah having fun with the sticky eye balls...they are anxiously awaiting their first course!

Not sure how excited Uncle Ryan is about finding a spider in his punch!

Breydon must really be studying his menu...or maybe he just needs to put his glasses on.

Being silly as usual!

Monday, October 19, 2009


We have had a fun and busy weekend. Ryan and I had planned a fun night for us on Friday, but Breydon had a different idea for a fun night! He left us and went with his friends to Frightmares at Lagoon. He and his two friends were going through one of the haunted houses; they were running from a guy chasing them and each was holding on to the others shoulders as they ran in a line. Well somehow, Dakota, who was leading them, ran into a wall, so the rest of them also smacked into the wall! Breydon said the guy chasing them stopped being scary and asked: "Are you guys okay?" They were so embarrassed that he had left his character and was worried about them that they all jumped up and ran out of there! While he was having fun at Lagoon with his friends, Ryan, Connor and I went out to dinner and then to Black Island Farms in Syracuse. Connor tried and tried to talk me into going through the Haunted Acres but there was no way! As we were standing in line there was a man in a clown mask that was freaking me out, then I heard the chain saws!! Connor couldn't believe what a wimp I am, so he settled on the corn maze. I don't think he wanted to deal with me in the haunted house! I, of course, forgot my camera so we took pictures on the camera phone…sorry they don't turn out very well!

In the maze…it was so dark! Ryan and Connor kept hiding around corners and scaring me when I walked by; Connor thought it was hilarious!

I actually got him to pose for a picture after we spent over an hour completely lost in the maze! Usually Ryan knows exactly where we are and how to get out, but this year he was quite lost too! It was pretty crazy.

Saturday, we were up bright and early for Breydon's soccer game. I can't wait until he has a full team of players and we can actually have subs during the game. Right now we are lucky to have 6-7 players there. Next spring we will have a full team because half of our team was also playing football and football took precedence over soccer…lame! Anyway, they played a good game against a full team of players and only lost by 1!

I wish I hadn't jerked the camera up right before taking the picture!!

Breydon is about to kick the ball (he is in the green pants). He really has become so aggressive this year, and goes after the ball….it is so much fun to watch him play. I am so happy that he decided to start playing again; he thinks he is a bad player and I wish he could see how much he has improved and really how good he has become!

Kade and Kristi made it out to the game, and Kade seemed to really have a good time! Breydon loves having his family come out to watch him play and we (Ryan and I) really appreciate how much our family's support the boys in all that they do. So thanks everyone for coming out and supporting our kids!

Saturday night Connor had his football banquet. It was held at the Athenian and we really had a good time celebrating the season with his team. His coaches handed out trophies at the end of the night and Coach Wilson said something about each player before calling their name and giving them their trophy. When Coach got to Connor he said: "This guy we call our #1 draft pick, he played almost every position on the field…Connor Olsen." Of course, Connor loved hearing that he was the #1 draft pick and goes walking up to the front with his tough guy look on his face and his tough guy walk. It was pretty funny to watch, when he got up there his coach got him to smile and quit being a weirdo!

You should know that Breydon was also absent from the banquet. He got a better offer from his friends Matt and Dakota. I am not sure when friends became more important than family. I knew it was going to happen and I knew he would start to pick his friends over hanging out with the family, but I didn't expect it to happen so soon. I mean, he is only in 6th grade. Is this normal? I know football isn't his favorite, but there was food involved, and lately that has been his favorite.

Sunday we decided to carve our pumpkins. Halloween has never been my favorite celebration, but I try to put on my happy face for the boys. I can't think of many things that are more disgusting then pulling the "blech" out of the pumpkins. That stringy, sticky, nasty mush inside the pumpkins makes me sick! Anyway, I sucked it up and we carved a couple of pumpkins. Breydon got frustrated with his stencil of a fiery face and just cut out a Cyclops. I think it turned out pretty well, but he was not quite so satisfied, so tonight he started the fiery face on a new pumpkin. I think it will be a work-in-progress. He and his friend Parker have got it started, but it will be a few days before it is ready for its unveiling. Connor got lucky; he was carving a mummy-looking face into his pumpkin when the saw broke. Ryan and I ran to the store and found this cool battery operated tool. Once Connor started using this handy tool, he finished the mummy in no time! This took us probably 3-4 hours to finish two pumpkins…we are pretty slow! Then Amy, Danielle, Emery and Damon came over to paint pumpkins. This was probably the most entertaining part of the day! Damon was painting everything except the pumpkin: Emery, his hair, his stomach, his mom…. Of course, Emery was directing everyone and telling them what they should be doing.
We've removed all of the "blech" and carving has begun.

Pre-battery-operated tool!

Handsome Breydon and his Unibrow Cyclops!

Now it's really coming along with this handy new tool! Wish we had had it all along….

Showing the boys how to properly paint a pumpkin…it's serious business!

I wasn't kidding when I said he painted EVERYTHING! Can you see it in his hair even? He was so funny!

Here are Breydon's pumpkins! He says the painted one is Mr. Johnson...I am not sure why, but I know that he is not very fond of this teacher.

And Connor's finished pumpkins. You can't see it in this picture, but on the painted pumpkin he painted a goatee that he was pretty proud of.

Anyway…that is about all I have to report on so far. They boys are getting ready for Halloween this year, and many of you will be impressed to know that I will be making Breydon's costume this year! We have been very frugal and both of the boys are getting homemade-ish costumes. Connor is being a gangster and his costume has come together pretty nicely. Breydon is being a can of Pepsi, and we will have to see how it turns out! I am making it out of a pop-up hamper and well….we will just have to see how it turns out! I will be sure to post pictures of them and you can let me know what ya think!