Tuesday, May 31, 2016

july 2015 misc.

And finally, to finish off July (woo hoo!!) we have ... 

Kevin visits Camp Helaman (young mens youth camp thing).

We celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary with an overnight date in Redmond, WA, where we check out a cool art festival and pick up a special picture to commemorate (for lack of a better word) 16 fun and crazy years. 

Kevin takes Mae on a date to another arts/crafts festival in Bellevue. 

The kids and I visit the beach with friends, and Joseph is the willing subject of a sand burial. 

We all spend the evening outside with Joseph while he learns to ride his first real bike (with training wheels of course, but still;). 

joe's first hike (little si, july 2015)

I feel like a broken record when I mention that hiking is kinda a big deal in our family--by this point, this is really no surprise. So probably also no surprise that when the youngest member of our family accomplishes his first real hike on his own two feet, it's also kinda a big deal.

On a warm day in July, we decided Little Si would be a perfect day for 4-year-old Joseph's first real hike. Little Si is pretty great because it's not the easiest hike around but not super tough either. WTA.org indicates that this particular trail is 4.7 miles round trip and 1,300ft. in elevation gain (http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/little-si). 

I really don't have much to say about the hike itself, so I'll let the pictures speak for themselves ... 

What I will say, though, is that little Joseph has a way cool and fun dad who decided to make his new hiking accomplishment extra exciting. 

When we got home that afternoon, Kevin made a personalized certificate to give to Joseph. Joe couldn't have been more excited when we called him downstairs, presented him with his certificate, and basically dubbed him some kind of super Jedi hiker. 

Dream come true for a 4-year-old!!

Here's a close-up of the certificate. 

These of course are the amazingly fun and gratifying moments of being a parent. If only all moments could be like this;). 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Linda Loo Weekend (july 2015)

The moment camp was over (in fact, I think we had arranged to skip out on the last day), it was time to head over to Ensign Ranch for our yearly Linda Loo Weekend--which also happened to be 4th of July! I won't take time to talk about the Ranch in detail, because I know I've already gone on and on in previous posts about all the things we love about this church-owned property in Cle Elum, WA.  I'll just say, like always, we had a fun, wild, and crazy time together ...

Hanging around camp.

Playing games.

Being friends (J&J)!

Sometimes getting in trouble:(

Finding crazy things like a snake in the middle of eating a little creek fish--huh?!

And playing into the night:-).

Of course we also loved all the water activities at Ensign ...

like the rope swing!
(sadly, Grandma's valiant act of retrieving the rope cost her an iPhone--oops!!)

Leach-infested lake!

And definitely the giant slip-n-slide--oh, yeah!

Grandma hung out in the beautiful sun.

While the rest of us got crazy wet.

And of course it wouldn't be a Linda Loo Weekend without a family talent show. 

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves!!

Other than to say that this thing went on into the night--we just don't know when to stop;). 

The only disappointment this year, was that the traditional 4th of July fireworks show that the ranch generally puts on was cancelled because of a wildfire concern. We have enjoyed many years of those fireworks shows and were pretty bummed to go without, but hanging out together was pretty amazing all the same!!

cub camp (july 2015)

To kick off July, Brooks and I spent a few days (or more like very long evenings) at Twilight Cub Scouts Camp. I was a "den leader" which means I got to hang out with Brooks and his buddies during the entirety camp. I think this may have been my 3rd year volunteering for this event, and I'm not gonna lie, it's great to help out and be with my boys, but it's also completely and totally exhausting:-)!!

It was great to spend the time though with B, who definitely loved all that camp had to offer!

Like archery ... 

Bench building ... 

Paper rocket assembly ...

Followed by launching ... 

And more!!

Great times with Mr. Brooks, and it will likely only take me 2-3 years to recover and talk myself into going again;). 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

june 2015 misc.

In a contrast to May 2015, our June outings/pictures are much more sparse. In fact, all I have by way of posts is this one splattering of misc. collages. 

Joseph and his little friend Kelsey had a great time at the Tacoma Children's Museum (https://www.playtacoma.org).

The boys enjoyed 24 hours of wild, crazy, and dirty fun at the fathers-and-sons church campout.

We were all happy to celebrate this amazing and entertaining DAD of our little family for Father's Day!!

Mae did a fantastic job at her dance recital--g-ma and friend Molly even got to attend:). 

Porter finished off a great 7th grade year (and left several random pictures as evidence;)

Joseph was thrilled by our first visit of the summer to Wild Waves!

And finally, we messed around a lot: 
at home, at Menchie's, at the Bennion's, and even at Gracie's ballet recital. 

I think it's safe to say we're definitely ready for summer to start!!

time for tea (may 2015)

This didn't manage to make it into the main Utah trip post, but I couldn't move on without blogging about it. Grandma Cathy hosted a very special tea party date with all of the girls in the family. Great Grandma Porter even got to make it for the special event:)!!

The girls got to spend some time the day before making cute little treats, and we all worked together to make a special and memorable party for the granddaughters to enjoy. 

G-ma had been collecting tea kettles just for this event, and for the purpose of letting each of the girls pick one out on her 12th b-day. The girls loved seeing how cute all the little dishes and and place settings were. 

At the end of the party, g-ma read this great quote and gave a copy to each of the girls to remind them what it means to be a woman of God.