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Monday, July 30, 2012

Bachelor Ben

While the kids and I were gone in Idaho, Ben tried to get in as much outdoor activities as he could squeeze in on the weekends and after work. He insists he missed us lots, but it seemed to me that he hardly had time to be lonely with all that he did.

Both weekends we were gone, he met up with his brother Nick and did some combination of camping, fishing and hiking (and they even met up on week days in between). I'd say that he got his fill of the great outdoors, but Ben could never have his fill of any of that. He always says that if he wasn't planning a career around supporting a family, he would have become a wildlife/park ranger. (I even had to talk him out of going camping on our honeymoon).

Backpacking into camp in the dark.

Ben and his headlamp- those things come in handy on campouts!

Nick, starting up a fire in the dark

Their tent and camp spot, with the lake behind them

Gorgeous shot of the lake


Andros Brothers

Nick fishing- Ben loves this photo. We really do live in a beautiful area.

My bachelor!

Ben was also able to attend the temple sealing of his good friend in our ward while we were gone. It was a really special day and he was so glad he could be there.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Team USA

In honor of the 2012 Summer Olympic games, Mitch sang his new signature song "God Bless America." Go Team USA!


video

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Idaho Road Trip

My last post was about the kids getting out of school. Now the summer is half over! A post is long over due- if I don't get going, my next post is going to be about school starting again. What a summer it has been. These last few weeks have been super busy/crazy, but I need to get caught back up because things are just going to get busy again.

At the end of June, the kids and I took a road trip to my parents house in Idaho for just over 2 weeks. This has become an annual summer trip for us and we look forward to it every year. Ben is usually able to join us for a week of our 2 week stay, but was not able to come this year- we have a surprise trip planned this Fall for the kids and he had to save his vacation for that. It was really hard to be away from him for 2 whole weeks- that was the only negative aspect of our trip.

My sweet mother flew up to Seattle and helped me drive down with the kids. We decided to tough it out and try something new and drive the whole way in one day. We left my house at 6:30 a.m. on Monday, June 25. Without stops, it's about a 9 1/2-10 hour trip to Burley, Id. With 4 kids, two of whom are newly potty trained, it took us 12 hours. We thought that was pretty darn good. We took an hour break for lunch to let the kids run around, and a few potty and gas stops and one stop in Boise, Id to pick up a car at the airport for my sister. It was a long day, but the kids really did an amazing job, especially considering this was their first long car trip without their portable DVD player, which broke a few months ago. The star award for best traveler goes to Mitchell. He did ask just 30 minutes into the trip when we were going to be there, but he was such a happy little traveler all day long and never complained.

We arrived in Burley around 7:30 p.m. (almost 12 hours later exactly- calculating one hour in there for the one hour time change). With Western Washington still in wet, rainy June weather mode (60 degrees), we were so happy to be instantly in a warm, sunny climate.

The next day, my older sister and her 2 boys came down from Utah. We loved having them there the entire time we were there.

We were all smitten with this little guy. Jackson just turned one back in May. Chloe and Mitch were especially taken with him.

He can't quite walk on his own but loves holding on to people's fingers and walking around the house. Chloe loved walking around with him and it made Jax so happy.

Mitch and cousin Carter clocked in hours and hours of playtime. There was jokes, laughs, tears, so much sillines and even blood shed, but it was such a fun time. These two are quite the pair and it was so fun to see them play together.

Carter brought down 2 bikes for he and Mitch to share. I say share because one was small and one was bigger. They both preferred the bigger one, but did a great job of taking turns riding both.

They had races down Grandma and Papa's street. Of course they both "won."

Then they would switch bikes and race again!

With so much HOT weather, there was lots and lots of pool time.

Baby Jax wanted to get in, too!

He won the award that trip for happiest, sweetest kid around. Seriously love that baby boy.

My kids loved my parents trampoline. I am now a little nervous around trampolines, seeing how Leah broke her leg on one just 3 short months ago, so I enforced strict rules about no big kids jumping when little kids were on. I was hoping Leah wouldn't even want to get on the tramp at all, but sadly that wasn't the case. I was a nervous wreck every time she climbed on it, even when it was just she and Lexi jumping.

We made our traditional trip into Storybook park- a cute little park in town. Lexi loves the big kid swings. She's not a big kid is she? I'm kind of in denial that my "babies" aren't so much babies anymore.


This one doesn't need help on the swings anymore.

That's better- on the baby swings! :)

My kids all love swings- if I let them, they would swing for hours.

Cheese!

I decided I wanted a picture with me and my kids. It was not as easy as I was hoping.



Finally!
Grandma with her grandkids

They are only a little bit cute

The three big kids

Before we left, we all tried our hand on the balance beam (which shakes like crazy, by the way). Chloe rocked it.

I think Grandma fell off soon after this. :)

Mitch tried the sideways approach.

Leah got lucky and got help from Grandma

So did Lexi!

More pool time!

Mitch was excited to help Papa mow the lawn one day. I remember riding with my dad when I was little. And then when I was a teenage, it was my job to do it.

Look, no hands!

One evening, we headed to Harris Pond for my mom's hospital work party. The kids were super excited about getting in the pond. Grandma had the brilliant idea of buying each kid a float ring. They were perfect!

Lexi was my happy little swimmer- she wrapped herself around her float tube and kicked her way around that pond until it was time to get out.


Carter was a little hesitant about getting in that pond. I don't blame him- it was muddy and a little gross.

Leah looks happy here, but she did a fair amount of crying and whining. But she refused to get out. Go figure.

Uncle Steve came into town that night and met us at the party. He took the big kids out on a boat ride around the pond.

Jax got to walk around the grass with Grandma and he was happy as a lark.

Papa and his cold, wet girls!

Saturday, June 30 we traveled up to Pocatello, Id to attend my niece's baptism.

Chloe and Paige are 6 months apart. We are anxiously looking forward to Chloe's baptism this winter!

Our family with Paige- we are so glad we could be there with her on her special day.

While in Pocatello, I was able to get together with my best friend from high school, Amy. She lives there with her family and it was so good to see her. We had such a good visit and my only regret when we get together is that our visits aren't more frequent.

My other regret this visit is that we didn't get a picture together! I brought my camera with me to her house for this very purpose and I totally forgot. I was so bummed.

Since I don't have a recent picture of us to post, I thought the next best thing was to post a picture of the two of us from high school. As I was looking back through all of my high school pictures, I literally came across picture after picture after picture of the two of us together. I must have hundreds of just the two of us together, or both of us in the same picture in a group of people. We were always together. She truly was my best friend and we have so many good memories together. Whenever we get together these days, it's like time hasn't even passed.

Here are some throw back pictures from the good old days. Disclaimer: We were sports/athletic fanatics in high school and loved every minute of it.

Our classic "tough" picture first (notice our ghetto jackets? We got them at D.I. and loved them). Yes, that's a black eye on me. I got it during a basketball game.

Now a smiling one. February 7, 2002 (Senior Year).

This was for our Preference Dance our senior year of high school- a girl ask guy dance. We got ready for the dance at my house and we were none to anxious to put on our skirts a minute before we had to. This is our signature pose- "3 in the key." March 15, 2002

Proof that we indeed did put on skirts- me in my favorite color orange and Amy in her favorite color yellow (right Amy?). We could be ladies when we wanted to.

Whoopsie!

Tough guy pose again after a basketball game- Febrary 6, 2002. There's that pesky black eye again. I still have this sweatshirt and wear it frequently.

Same night- we just won districts! We are the champions! We got to cut down the basketball net, which we then put around our necks. Go team!

So good to see you Amy! Let's get an updated picture next time! :)

The kids all got a picture with Steve before he headed back to Logan after the weekend ended.

We were lucky to have Great Grandma Dewsnup (Grandma D, as we call her) come up for a week. She is so sweet with all the grandkids. 91 years young and still going strong! The boys enjoyed reading a book with her this day.

My parents have a fire pit in their back yard. We roasted hot dogs for dinner one night.


The only problem with cooking dinner over an open fire at 6:00 pm on a day late in June, was that it was H-O-T.


Grandma later helped the kids all roast marshmellows for S'mores.

And they were gooood.


One thing I love about my mom's house is that my kids never seem to get bored. There is always something to do. If they aren't running in the yard, jumping on the tramp, swimming, or riding bikes, they are always finding something else to do. It's awesome.

This day, Grandma and Grandma D had the kids entertained playing board games. They all loved the game "Don't Eat Pete."

While I was home, I also got together with a few other friends from high school. My good friend Nic just had twin baby girls in February. Before she left I snapped a picture of our 2 sets of twin girls together (but of course didn't think to snap one of the two of us). We love twins!

4th of July

We had a great 4th of July. We started the day off with a great pancake potluck breakfast at a neighbor's house- it was yummy.

Then we got a group shot of Grandma and Papa with all the kids. What a good looking group.

Then we loaded up and headed off to the Rupert parade. These two boys were "twins" in their patriotic red, white and blue clothes.

I'm proud to be an American and proud to be a mom to these 4 beautiful kiddos.

I love sitting and watching parades and all the fun floats that pass by. I love this Iwojima one.

Lexi was my little waver. She stood up and waved and waved at all the floats.

Leah preferred to sit and happily munch on some licorice. A girl after my own heart.

This little red baby stole the show- he always does!

Cheese!

Happy Independence Day!

After some big naps, played outside and had a BBQ.

Jax did what he does best- was adorable.

Leah "held" the guinea pig.


After dinner, we went over to the neighbor's house to pet their horses.

Feeding and petting the neighbor's horses is always a high light of our trip to Idaho. My kids literally ask daily to go see the horses.



Mitchell and his little mini-me, Jax- the two red headed boys in the family. He loved that baby. I teased Carter that we were going to take his brother home many times and Mitchell soon began to like that idea. Pretty soon, he secretly started asking Amanda if he really could take Jackson home with us. And he was serious. It was very sweet. I guess 3 sisters just isn't getting it done for this boy.

At dark, Grandma and Papa took the 3 big kids to the fireworks in town. And they loved it. They didn't get home until 11:00 pm and they were so wound up and silly. They came in the door and were telling jokes and making up the silliest things I've ever heard, and they were hilarious. That night is one of the memories I will remember most from this trip.


Did I mention that the kids swam a lot?

My two bathing beauties!

Mitchell loved wrestling with Papa in the pool. Mitchell loves wrestling with anyone, anywhere.


The take down!

We had such a wonderful trip and got to spend time with so many wonderful people! Thanks to my parents for hosting us and welcoming us for over 2 weeks and to my sister for coming up for the entire 2 weeks with her kids. I know it isn't easy to be away from her house with her baby and all of his needs, but we had a blast with her and her boys. It was great to see both of my brothers as well. My baby sister, who is in Alaska working for the summer, got engaged while we were in Idaho! We are so excited for her and her fiance George.

My parents were kind enough to help me drive back home as well. My dad had a business trip in Spokane, WA, so they drove with me as far as Tri-Cities. Putting half the kids in their car and having one of them drive with me was such a big help. Thanks to them for all of their help and sacrifices those 2 weeks. We drove the whole trip in one day again- we left Burley at 7:30 a.m. and arrived in Seattle around 6:30 p.m. It was another long day, but my kids are veteran travelers now and we just push through. My theory is, and I tell my kids this when they are whining, "The more stops we make, the longer it will take to get there." We push through and drive on! I don't like to hear them whine, but I also don't like to drag out a trip and have it take 4 hours longer than it should be. They're going to be tired if we stop so they can be tired in the car. We don't stop unless we have to.

We are so glad to be home and see our dad! We missed him. Mitch commented once while we were gone, "I don't remember what my house looks like." We love to travel but it's always good to be home.