Tuesday, October 25, 2016

march 2016 misc.

And to finish off March ...

Grandma Loo, Gracie, Mae, and I enjoy a BYU folk dance group performance.

Porter and James participate in another season of school basketball.

Joe gets an award at school--that's a good day right there!;)

Mae keeps everyone busy on Sunday morning with another one of her fun ideas--wind tunnels with fans and bed sheets.

The younger boys get to hang out with Dad at one of his favorite places in the world: Menchies!!:-)

Porter and James come to my rescue by stepping in to run our Scout group's Winter Court of Honor!!

Mae chops off a good portion of her luscious locks. 

And has fun taking silly selfies on the way home.

That's it folks;)!!

easter (march 2016)

Spring is coming and it's Easter time again!! Admittedly, Easter this year took place in late March and felt almost nothing like Spring, which seemed a bit wrong. That's okay, though, we still had a great time gathering as a family and celebrating this special day that honors Jesus Chris and his beautiful resurrection.

It is such a blessing to me to have faith and hope in a Savior who lived, died, and rose again; as well as in a God (a father in heaven) who cares about and loves all of us. With all the chaos in the world, it is not always an easy thing to have faith in, but I'm grateful for my choice to follow this path. It brings peace and joy that experience has taught me cannot be found elsewhere.

Mae geared up early for the holiday, preparing these adorable baby chick cupcakes--this girl never ceases to amaze me!

Easter morning--lots of sleepy but excited faces:).

Time to enjoy some baskets full of candy! You don't have to tell this dad twice!;)

No pictures of the kids all ready for our Easter church service, but here's our pleasant afternoon with the extended family ...

Mae and Gracie had a fun time decorating, while G-ma Loo and I finished preparing dinner, and the boys enjoyed some Easter candy.

And now time for the Easter egg hunt--Porter wasn't going to participate this year, but then changed his mind and started loading up his shirt part way through;), Janie is racing to get some more eggs, Auntie Jill is sweet enough to help Mr. Joe round up a few eggs before his siblings/cousins take them all, and I think James was sort of the hunt supervisor--probably also helping out the younger kids and maybe keeping an eye out for eggs that looked like they had dollar bills inside:-).

Looks like Kevin got back from his church service assignments just in time.

The fruits of their labor;).

What's better than a puzzle on a peaceful Easter Sunday:).

Actually finishing the puzzle is always nice too!!
I love how the picture above is with Porter, and this one is with James (a little confusing since they're both in gray t-shirts)--looks like they tag-teamed to help their dad out.

iglooing trip (march 2016)

Why anyone would want to do this, I have no idea! Okay, well I do kind of get it. Building an igloo does sound like a bit of fun. Especially if there's a warm lodge with hot chocolate nearby--which in this case there of course was not. But sleeping inside an igloo after working in the cold snow all day long? No, thank you:-).

That said, I know that my boys love this kind of stuff, and I'm definitely grateful for their super cool dad and scout leaders who are willing to make this happen.

Here they are shortly after arriving at the Paradise section of Mt. Rainier, making sure they have their gear prepped and ready to go. 

Group shot with Kevin! 
James is seriously committed to keeping that face warm!! (second from the left)

And after a short 1/4 mile hike, it's time to get to work! 
Serious work!! Hence the pile of coats in the background.

Yep, that's definitely James. 

Very cool igloo kits certainly help to make the job a little easier. Or at least, make for a much more sturdy igloo. Keep it up boys!;). 

Now the final product (sorry for the picture quality).

Kevin inside one of the igloos. 

The opening that leads out/in. 
I always naively assumed that there would be a simple and direct "door" that led straight out. But actually, the opening is dug down a little first and then back up--like a bit of a worm tunnel, so as to keep the wind from blowing straight inside. Makes sense!!

Nothing like cooking your meager meal in the FREEZING cold;). 

And now for the best part (and actually I do think I would enjoy this a bit more)! Time to collapse the igloos. 

I think they are actually required to do this for safety reasons, but obviously they would be happy to do so regardless--what 12 to 15-year-old boy doesn't like to smash things up?! 

The job is actually a lot tougher than you would think--those things are seriously built tough!! But they eventually manage.

Time for a little sledding before they depart for home.

And maybe a quick snowball fight.

Looks like it snowed a little while they were busy having fun.

And that's that! 

No camping trip would be complete without a fast food stop on the way home!!

Really grateful for strong boys who don't mind a little hard work and discomfort, and for a husband who helps them develop these qualities!:)

february 2016 misc.

And to finish out February ...

Kevin takes the boys (and friend) to a local robotics competition. 

I accompany Joseph to the Museum of Flight (http://www.museumofflight.org) for a fun school field trip!

Love this little guy of mine!!

Mae volunteers to decorate/set up for a church Valentine-themed potluck--she brought along hers and Brooks' very creative school Valentines boxes (that she had made previously).

Kevin and I have a great date night in Seattle at The 5th Avenue Theatre's showing of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. The theater/cast did an amazing job of making the show funny, entertaining, and actually quite flawless. I would say it was one of the best productions I've been to.

And these two studs pay a visit to Five Guys along with their amazing dad!!

chopped leaf weekend (february 2016)

And finally the last exciting event for February! Of course, this one is probably only exciting to myself and Kevin;).

In February we officially joined with The Chopped Leaf family (under the Innovative Food Brands umbrella) as soon-to-be franchise owners, and then ventured out to Phoenix for a company gathering/conference/vacation. This is a great chain out of Canada with a fresh, modern, and wholesome but tasty vibe (http://www.choppedleaf.ca). When we stumbled across it, we knew that it fit perfectly with our desire to assist ourselves and others in living a more healthy and active lifestyle. After much research and deliberation we jumped on board.

Our long weekend in AZ was full of beautiful weather, helpful content, and networking with lots of really great Canadians;).

Excited for our  new adventure.

With Blair Stevens--founder and current brand president, and overall great guy:).

All the current franchisees, as well as some of the awesome corporate gurus. 

We even fit in a hike (no surprise there, right?!) with many of the other conference attendees. 

I'm sure there will be more on this one later!!

marvel universe live! (february 2016)

Next was a really cool experience that the kids (but Joseph in particular) was looking forward to for quite some time: Marvel Universe Live! (https://www.marveluniverselive.com) at the Tacoma Dome. I was really just along for the family experience, but it was actually a pretty great show for everyone. The technical aspect of the production was pretty amazing--there were carefully choreographed motorcycle scenes, areal contraptions descending and ascending from the ceiling, all kinds of lights/smoke/fire/etc., and of course all the Marvel super heroes your heart could desire. 

We didn't get any great shots of the family, but here's a couple--mostly of Mae messing around:-). 

And then a few pics of the actual action!

I think everyone in the Dome was pretty ramped up when the Hulk arrived!!

Good shot of some of the "stage" lighting.

Lots of flying or swinging super heroes. 

Spider Man was pretty cool to watch with all of his acrobatics. 

And there's a couple of those motorcycles I was talking about (albeit not a great pic). 

And that's a wrap!