Friday, June 10, 2011

Thanksgiving 2010

For Thanksgiving this year, we invited my parents and Rob here to spend the weekend.  They arrived on Thursday, just in time for dinner, which was wonderful and we had a great day together.  The next day, we got up bright and early and headed for the train station in Pasco to ride the train to Portland.  We have gone to Portland on the train several times now, but never with Grandma and Grandpa House and Uncle Rob.  The kids love to ride the train; the seats are big, they can get up and walk around as much as they want and they get to go to the dining car and play games and get snacks.  While most of us were riding the train, Jim and Calvin rented an 11 passenger van to drive to Portland so we would have someone to pick us up from the train station and have a car to get around for the weekend.  Plus, Calvin would have been a nightmare on the train.

We got to Portland about 12:30 pm where Jim picked us up and we went to get some lunch.  After lunch, we headed over to OMSI for a few hours.  We had a great time looking at and experiencing all the exhibits.   My parents have never really spent much time in Portland, so this is a place that they had never been to before.  It was a nice way to spend the afternoon.

From there, we went to the hotel to check in, get settled and decide where we wanted to go to dinner.  We went to a place Jim and I used to go when we lived in Portland called Sweet Tomatoes.  It was very yummy!!!  They even brought around freshly baked chocolate chip cookies while we were eating which the kids thought was the best thing in the world.  And, of course, it is their favorite place to eat in Portland now.  After dinner we went back to the hotel and the kids went swimming with Grandma and Rob.

The next morning, we checked out of the hotel and went over to Washington Square Mall for a couple of hours.  Dad needed to get a little bit of time in at Sears while he was there--especially since it is a much bigger Sears than the one in Idaho Falls.  We had a good time just shopping in the mall.  From there, we went to the Portland Temple to walk around a little bit and enjoy it's beauty and peace.  I still love how you are driving up the road that leads to the temple surrounded by trees, then, all of the sudden, there is the temple.  It is so beautiful!

To end our trip to Portland, we went to IKEA on the way out of town.  I love IKEA!   I always end up finding more things than I should to buy there, but I did pretty good this time and only bought a few things.  I actually think my mom bought more than I did this time.  After IKEA, we all piled into the van and headed home.

It was a fun couple of days and a nice break from everyday life.  We had such a great time with Mom, Dad and Rob and I think we will do it again sometime and maybe throw in a couple days at the coast while we're at it.

 On the train...Haden clearly did not want me to take his picture...I totally did anyway! ;-)

 Rob, however, had no problem with me taking his picture...he was a very willing participant.

 Cooper loved this station at OMSI...he could have stayed here all day.

 Calvin spent quite a bit of time stacking these blocks.

 This was Calvin's favorite place in OMSI...the ball room.

Dude, I cannot believe you actually fit in that space capsule!

Lexie with Grandpa and Grandma House. My dad always has to find some kind of sugary treat wherever he goes.  This time, Godiva chocolate.

My six beautiful kids outside the Portland Temple.  This is where it all started 16 years ago!

Cooper's 5th Birthday

Cooper turned 5 on October 3, 2010.  He went to preschool for the first time this year and enjoyed being able to wear the birthday crown during his class and the whole rest of the day.  In fact, I tried to get him to throw it away, but he still wants to keep it.  Very cute!  Cooper is growing up fast and is such a smart and sweet boy.  He knows how to read really well, although I'm not sure how that happened and can't take any credit.  He just started to read the words from the book I was reading one day and we were all amazed.  We had a pretty low key birthday party, but it was fun and he loved being the center of attention and getting to open all his presents. I'm so grateful to have this wonderful boy in our family.  Love you so much Cooper!

Cooper's preschool birthday crown...he wore this crown for quite a few days after his birthday!

We had our party on the deck because the weather was actually really nice.

A Star Wars cake, of course...not quite what I had in mind, but I was late in planning and this is what they had available.

I think he likes it!

Star Wars legos...not a better present than that.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My trip to Philly and New York

In August, I was fortunate enough to be able to make a trip to see Natalie and her family in Philadelphia...ALL BY MYSELF!!!!!  Jim had the week off and was able to stay home with the kids so I could go.  We had a great time together and I hope we will be able to do more sister trips in the future.

I arrived on Monday evening and we headed to Natalie's gym to go to a BodyStep class.  Seems like a really weird thing to do upon just arriving, unless you know me and my obsession with BodyStep and then, it seems perfectly normal. ;-)  Great start to our trip.  We then headed to Natalie's apartment where Taylor had dinner all ready for us when we got there.

On Tuesday, we spent the day in Philadelphia just seeing the sights.  Taylor, Hannah and Maddie came with us until after lunch and then Taylor took them home so Natalie and I could make it to all our attractions a little faster.  After seeing the sights of downtown Philly, including, of course, the Rocky steps, Natalie had an activity at the church for the primary.  We got home from that at about 9:00 pm and then proceeded to plan the next day of activities in New York City.

ROCKY!  And, yes, we did run up the steps just like Rocky!

Elfereth Alley...the shortest inhabited street.

Independence Hall and The Liberty Bell

The Love statue downtown Philly

Me and Benjamin Franklin on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania

The Love statue on the campus of University of Pennsylvania

On Wednesday, we left Philly at 4:30 am to head to New York.  We planned on driving to Staten Island and take the ferry over to Manhattan, but somewhere along the way, our directions led us astray...not me...the directions. ;-)  So, we just drove into Manhattan and parked for the day.  It actually worked out better because we didn't have to worry about getting to the ferry in time to make the last one of the day after our show was over.  New York is awesome!  I loved every bit of our day there.  There was so much to do and we managed to do a lot of it in just one day.  We even got to see Mary Poppins at the end of our day and there is just nothing like Times Square at Midnight.  I wish we could have stayed another day, but now it gives me the opportunity to visit again and take Jim with me.  I think we made it back to Philly at about 2 am.  We were pretty tired, but it was worth it.

The Manhattan Temple

View of Central Park from the Belvedere Castle 

Cheesecake from Carnegie Deli

 Natalie and I waiting for Mary Poppins to begin

After two days of pure running, we decided to just relax on Thursday.  In the after noon, though, Hannah wanted to show me the zoo and all her favorite animals, so we went there for a couple of hours.  The zoo in Philadelphia is really nice.  My favorite part was feeding the Lorikeets...they just sat on our arms and drank their milk out of a little cup we held up to them.  I think Natalie had three of them on her arm at once.  Very fun.

The Lorikeets
Hannah was pretty excited about feeding the Lorikeets.

These are the two cutest monkeys I have ever seen!

Friday, Natalie and I went to the BodyPump/Step combo class that she goes to every week at the YMCA.  Loved it!  It was 1 1/2 hours of exercise at it's best.  As you can see, I'm a bit of an exercise nut and pump and step are definitely my favorite classes.  In fact, and don't tell my husband this, I booked a later flight so that I could go to this class because Natalie raves about it.  We went downtown around lunch time that day so that I could try the famous Philly cheese steaks at Pat's and Geno's.  These two places are right across the street from each other and have been featured on various food shows, so, in honor of Jim, I had to try both and see which one I liked the best.  From there, it was almost time for me to head to the airport, but Natalie had to have me try one more Philadelphia treat...water ice or Italian ice.  It was sort of like a slurpee, but thicker and not as good.  I would take a slurpee over a water ice any day, but I just had to try it once.

This was a wonderful trip and I'm so glad I was able to spend this time with Natalie, Taylor, Hannah and Maddie.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hallie's 12th Birthday!

I'm still way behind in my blogging, but I have made the goal to catch up by Christmas.  We'll see how I do.

On August 3, my Hallie turned 12 and joined me in YW as a beehive.  I think she is really thrilled that I get to be in there with her. ;-)  She was more than ready to be out of primary and thrilled that she didn't have to be in the primary program this year.  I think last year she just stood up there with an "I can not believe I have to be standing up here" look on her face the whole time and didn't really sing a word, even though it looked like she might be singing a little bit.  I think the highlight of being in YW so far was that she was able to do baptisms for the dead about a month after she turned 12.  She really enjoyed being in the temple and serving the Lord.

She continues to have a very lively personality and isn't afraid to speak her mind and let her opinion be known.  She has always been this way and I really wouldn't have it any other way.  Its what makes her who she is and I think she is pretty great.  She works hard in school--straight A's all through sixth grade and again the first quarter of seventh grade.  She played volleyball this year and did really well.  She had one of the best serves on the team and played well all around.  I'm very proud of her!

One of the pictures I am posting is of her birthday cake.  On it, I wrote "Frip on Tuesday".  What is the word Frip, you might ask?  Well, the story goes that, once, Jim and some of the kids were playing Boggle and someone wrote down the word Frip.  They all knew that it wasn't a word, but Hallie and Kenedy thought it was the funniest word they had ever seen.  They started using it to replace just about any word.  Hallie says the definition of "frip" is...whatever the frip you want it to be.  She is so crazy!  For awhile, she and Kenedy used it all the time, but I haven't heard it used in quite some time.  Maybe it has been retired.  One can only hope.

For Hallie's birthday, we went to the Mongolian grill for dinner.  We go to one by Jim's office, so we met him there right after he was done with work.  He surprised her by having her new bike put together for her when we pulled into the parking lot.  She was very excited!  I think she had a great birthday and she deserved it.  I love my Hallie!

A couple of Hallie's friends came over one day and curled Hallie's hair.  Isn't she beautiful!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy 7th Birthday Lexie!

Our sweet Lexie turned 7 on July 22.  Kenedy and Hallie were at Girl's Camp on her actual birthday, so we celebrated by going to Red Robin the next day after they got back.  My Lexie is the sweetest little girl who always tells me she loves me and still loves to snuggle with me.  She is playing soccer again, loves to read, draw and sing.  She also started taking piano lessons in July and is picking it up really quickly. She is a bright light in our family and brings joy to us every day.  Love you so much Lexie!

I love the "missing front teeth" look in this picture...very cute!  Jill took this picture while we were in Bend in June.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Kenedy's 14th Birthday!

On July 7, Kenedy turned 14!  I can hardly believe it has been that long since our first precious little baby girl was born.  She has brought so much joy to our family and I am so proud of the amazing young woman that she has become.  She is such a kind, thoughtful, smart, beautiful, funny and talented girl.  She is an amazing example to her five siblings and we are so blessed to have her as part of our family.  Love you so much, Kenedy!

We celebrated her birthday in Utah while we were on our summer vacation, but neglected to take any pictures of the party that we had.  I'm not sure what her loser parents were doing during the party, but they weren't taking pictures. :-)  However, she took a ton of pictures both at Bear Lake and at Girl's camp, so I thought I would share some of those.

Love this picture of McKay, Hallie and Kenedy.  

Ashley, Kenedy and Hallie going to see Eclipse 

 Kenedy, Larissa and Kelsey at Girl's Camp

This must have been taken on the first day of Girl's two don't look dirty or tired...yet! 

Love the tu-tu...oh, and by the way, there are two people that have climbed onto your back.

Bear Lake fun

Madi and Kenedy

I think this picture taken with Elder L. Tom Perry and his wife was actually taken on Kenedy's birthday.  What a great birthday present!