Sunday, December 31, 2017

may 2017 misc.

And to finish off May we have ... 

The kids car!!!

Favorite family pastime (aka, the made up game of "Tips")

Fun with the Mariner's 
(thanks to a super awesome friend!!!)

The brothers;) ... I will seriously miss these days.

Chess Jamboree.
(lotsa thinking going on here)
(and Porter for the win!!!)

Piano time.

Mae bakes some more:).

 (including this amazing Pokemon character cake for cute little Keaton's b-day)

Mother's Day!! 
(thoughtful gifts as always, including a cool climbing picture and poem from the hubby)

And, last but not least, kayaking season has definitely arrived!!!

Moving on!!

memorial day weekend (may 2017)

I feel like Memorial Day Weekend around here is pretty touch and go. Sometimes it's amazing and beautiful, and other times (much of the time actually) it's cloudy and wet. Yuck!

This year was one of those amazing and beautiful weekends when living in the Pacific NW is definitely THE BEST (trust me, I don't always feel that way)!

The weekends enjoy-the-great-weather festivities were ... 

Fun at Dash Point Beach!!

Family hike to Tradition Lake--
good one if you're looking for more of a nature walk than an intense workout. 

Yearly church run/walk/bike + breakfast event.

And kayaking at the neighborhood lake!!

So ready for summer!!

city art contest! (May 2017)

I love Mae's knack for art--probably because it's a skill I have NEVER possessed. She submitted a piece for our annual city art contest this year, and won 1st place in her age group! Woot woot!! 

The theme was What Liberty Means to Me, and all the winning pieces are displayed in the city courthouse. Pretty cool.

What else was pretty cool, was that winners and families got invited to a special gathering and city hall meeting where the artists were presented with their awards. PLUS they got to take a tour of the court house with our super amazing city judges, and even got to try out the seat of honor--mallet and all;).

Future judges maybe??!!

gettin' older! (May 2017)

I feel like it was just yesterday that I was the young mom with a gaggle of little toddlers trailing me around the house. Yet somehow I celebrated my 37th b-day this year (What the heck!??). Not exactly old, but certainly a far cry from 21--my age when I had my first baby.

That's okay, though, I'm actually kinda loving my 30s!! Which I guess means I'd better enjoy my final three years before the big 4-0 hits, cuz who knows what that's gonna bring;).

As always I was spoiled for my big day with handmade cards, sweet hugs, and thoughtful gifts. 

Oh, and new iPhone from my hubby, which was pretty much awesome!

What more could I want?!! 
Other than maybe brownies ... 

And some extra love from my family!

Bracing for 38!!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

april 2017 misc.

And to finish off April we have ... 

Kevin's last days at Weyerhaeuser. 
(It was a great 10+ years, but time to move on to something new!!)
**photo courtesy of David Boyd (WY co-worker)

Sleepy Easter morning!!!
(don't all get up and look for candy at once)

(Mae's delicious key-lime Easter cake)

Brothers play chess!

Brooks track season.

Family ping pong.

Porter goes driving (with his learner's permit).

Here comes May ... 

james 14th b-day (april 2017)

This seriously awesome kid turned the big 14 this year. James is extremely resourceful, responsible, kind, hard-working, tough as nails, and just all-around fantastic. 

The whole family was excited to get together to celebrate!! 

He got a few little prizes, and of course some cash for his big day. Not too mention some yummy s'mores brownies.

The main thing he was hoping for, though, took us all out to the garage, where a box was waiting for him ... 

With this little beauty inside!!
(can't tell who's more excited here;).

Love you, James! Thanks for putting up with all of us. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

spring break in st. george! (april 2017)

Beware! There are a ridiculous amount of photos in this post. And I promise, there are a TON of pics I'm not even including. St. George is just such a fun place for our family--the picture overload couldn't be helped;).

That said, I really will try to keep the post itself very brief!

For the second year in a row, we were super lucky to get to spend Spring Break visiting family and having fun in St. George, Utah. 

We again flew in to Las Vegas, so were able to make a favorite pit-stop at IN-N-OUT Burger.

This year we all rented a beautiful home at Paradise Village at Zion, just outside of St. George in Santa Clara, UT, so that we could have plenty of room to hang out with the extended family. 

We had fun catching up.

Playing Games!

Being with cousins.
(which was extra awesome in the downstairs "kid" space)

And watching LDS General Conference with all these lovelies (including our own little Bay Watch babe).

 The kids (even the big ones) had fun eating candies as part of the conference word game:-). 
(Here's a link for the April 2017 General Conference:

 It was great spending time together!

The girls decided to bake a delicious cookie-dough filled cake--yum!

The resort had a park either attached or right next door, which was really nice for playing and exercising! 

We definitely had a little too much fun--especially on this cool swingey thing. I cannot tell you how long this entertained all of us adults;).

Although I think it's safe to say we're pretty good at finding ways to be entertained;). Sometimes all it takes is a metal bench, or a cool blow up couch.

We all wanted in on some couch time. 

The playground was super fun as well, and I don't have a picture of it, but we also enjoyed the large grassy field where we played a fun and (mostly) friendly game of family football.

And then there was the pool:-). 

As it was the first week of April, the weather was fairly unpredictable and not consistently warm yet, so you wouldn't be able to find me anywhere near the water. It was nice, though, hanging out and watching the kids play. The pool there isn't huge, but it's big enough with two levels, a slide or two, and a decent size hot tub. 

Before some of the family was due to head back up North to central Utah, we ventured out for a day trip. The intention was to go to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (which we realized we were only a couple of hours away from). After about an hour of driving, though (and one child vomiting in the car), we got smart enough to double check the Grand Canyon website and realized that only the South Rim is open year round. The North Rim doesn't actually open until May 15th, which made us about 45 days too early--oops. 

After pulling over for some quick deliberation, we decided to drive pretty much straight back to where we'd come from, and visit one of our favorite spots not far from the rental home. Figures. 
It was a pretty cool and windy morning, and I think we were all starting to wonder if it was just going to be one of those days:(. 

But not so! Not long after we got moving, the sun came out quite a bit and the wind died down. 

Leaving us to enjoy the beautiful and always-entertaining Snow Canyon. 

Kevin had a great time getting some good shots with his little buddy. 

Yep, that's them in there too. Look close.

Them again;). 

And this time with two buddies!

I'm not going to go into too much detail, because I'd like to save this place just for us;). 

But we did have a great time being together ... 

 Trying to think up cool poses ...

(falling off the cliff pose)

(our family rocks! pose)

(hanging with my shirtless bro in a cave pose)

(girls rule pose)

And just enjoying the beautiful scenery!

Like this. 

And this.

And yes this--cool little tree, isn't it??

And even this. A different kind of scenery I guess.

And a few more scenery images as well ...

We love being outdoors with the fam!

And just had a super good time together.

Joseph especially looooved spending time with Cousin Kent!! 

They are quite the BFFs.

scrambling down into the lava tubes was certainly icing on the cake.

And we finished off our outing checking out the short but sweet Jenny's Canyon trail (

The rest of our time in St. George was filled with lots more family and fun!!

A little arcade and laser quest time.

Piling in and out of the car with cousins. 

S'mores around the rental home fire pit. 

Dollar Ball with Uncle Jeff 
(I actually have no idea what the game is called, but Jeff was certainly a good sport playing it with all of them).

How lucky that Kevin's cousins happened to be visiting St. George at the same time as us, so we could hang out a little. 

Mountain biking was also a super fun part of our trip. 

It was definitely hard work.

But pretty awesome out in the amazing landscape of Central Utah. 

We rented bikes for a couple of days, so went out in varying groups for a few different trips. 

Porter, James, and Kevin had fun on this close-by course. 

Then our last day with the bikes, Kevin and I were able to go out on a longer ride with Jeff and Jeanine. the trail was fairly brutal (in fact I wanted to throw up just about the entire ascent), but it was also extremely satisfying and the ride back down was definitely exhilarating. 

Our last few days were spent at Grandma's house, getting in some final visiting with Allison and her kiddos. 

Hitting the pickle ball courts--wouldn't be St. George without them.

And playing games with grandma!!

Of course, there was time for a shaved ice stop (or two).

A visit for me and Kevin to the St. George LDS Temple.

A little time messing around at a local splash park.

And a stop at Chick-fil-a (which we now happen to have in our own city here in WA!)

But before we knew it, it was again time to say goodbye. 

Never our favorite thing, but we always look forward to the next visit with this sweet and inspiring lady!!

After a quick stop in Las Vegas' chinatown district ...

We were again at the airport, and on our way back to the great NorthWet;). 

Family vacations really are the best!!