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Wrapping Up August

1 Sep

We were very busy trying to fit in as many activities and play dates as we could before school started.  So instead of doing lots of posts I decided to just wrap August up all in one.  Yes my posting often days are slowing down.  I plan to continue to always post photos but not necessarily write about everything.

So here goes August…..

Sydney was in a soccer class through the city. She was so darn cute and enjoyed playing.

Colin started tennis lessons and his first lesson was a private lesson. We have since had a join another class because no one else signed up for that day and time. He has always loved playing tennis in the driveway and cul de sac and so it has been nice to show him that you do need to hit it over a net.

My parents came out to help me while Brandon went to a wedding in Iowa. It was great to have them here!

We went to our favorite parade in downtown….. the pooch parade.

We also went to the aquarium in Monterey.

We have made it to music in the park almost every Friday night this month.

I put my parents to work. ;) My mom was just going to cut out the dead pieces and before we knew it we were taking off everything. It makes our view even better!

I found this battery powered jeep online for free and it needed a little TLC and so my dad and I painted it and it looks good as new. The kids are having a blast with it!

Then Grammy and Grandpa came out to watch the kids while Brandon and I went to Tahoe with his work.

They went to the lake by our house.

Went to an aquarium on the Pier.

They made donuts with Grammy.

Played at the park.

Colin got in a round of bowling which was on his list of things to do before school started.

We got in some Bocce Ball and dinner.

Then the ladies grew hair on their chests after downing a round of this.

This was the small crew that went rafting on the trip in South Lake Tahoe. We also played a round of golf, went to the movies, had some amazing dinners, relaxed by the pool, and ended with a massage. Some business trip, huh?!

When we hear the coast has great weather we pack up and head out. We went to Half Moon Bay and enjoyed exploring by the water.

Hermit crabs and snails were the big hit. I was glad to be in charge of the camera at this point. ;)

Oops! Someone got caught off guard.

We also stopped at Lemos Farm and did a pony, hay, and train ride.

A fun August it was!!!!

Wisconsin Trip

26 Aug

After a great time in Clayton, Illinois we then picked up Brandon in Chicago and made our way to Wisconsin for another great visit!

Our first stop was at Cheryl, Eric, and Aaron’s house for dinner out and some quick catch up on our lives time.

The next morning we got up and headed to a mini amusement park in Green bay. The weather was beautiful and we had a great time trying out all the different rides.

We then made it up to Amberg, WI just in time for happy hour with the Grandpa and Grandma. Although we didn’t need to rush as I’m pretty sure they live by it’s five o’clock somewhere, like we do. ;)

Colin informed me that he was going to race Great-Grandpa and I started to tell him that maybe he should think of another activity until I came outside to see this….

Grandpa with the remote for the remote control car. Let the game continue! I always let the kids pack their backpacks with whatever they would like as long as they can carry it. I’m always amazed what they can squeeze in.

Yes, we brought Colin’s scooter. It actually worked out perfect to bring until we walked down to the convenient store in Amberg to walk out and discover it was missing. We franticly looked around as Colin reminded us how he did tell us that he wanted to bring it into the store. A lady mentioned that some kids were just getting a soda a little bit ago. Brandon went chasing after them one direction(workout number 2 of the day) and the kids and I down another street to eventually find out that they legitimately thought the scooter was a friends of theirs that they borrow often and thought they had left it there. So they returned it back to their friends house. Phew.

We had scrumptious meals outdoors. Great Aunt Gail and Uncle Tracy came up north to hang out for a couple of days. Thank you for joining in the fun with us!

We visited our favorite zoo. The kids even got to feed the hippo. AMAZING!

Like I said this zoo is amazing!

The best way to spend an evening at the grandparents is around the campfire eating S’mores.

This had to of been a happy hour session. ;) Great-Grandma was learning the booty shake from Sydney.

The boys tried out Grandpa’s gun at the shooting range. It ended up being a little too powerful for Colin.

I love this picture!

Thank you so much Great-Grandpa and Grandma for everything you did for us while we were there. We are extremely lucky to have you both in our lives. You are always incredibly welcoming and we always enjoy every minute we get to spend with you both. Thank you!

Illinois Trip

1 Aug

Over the 4th of July the kids and I joined my family in Illinois.  It was an incredible trip that definitely will leave lots of memories for me and the kids as well.  It was the first time we had been back since my incredibly amazing grandma passed away and to be honest I wasn’t looking forward to being so close to where I had so many great memories with her.  We definitely changed the routine of our visit this time but a moment didn’t pass where I didn’t think about her and how much she would have loved to be in the center of it all.  Here is a recap of our trip:

What made this trip really unique is that we stayed at a little farm house. Our closest neighbors were the chicken coop and cows. I was very impressed how well 9 of us shared one bathroom.

Speaking of chicken coop…. the kids got to go out one morning and collect all of the eggs.

We started out the trip with going out to the cemetery where my grandma is buried to put out flags for the veterans.

We spent another day visiting the Lincoln Library.

Then the 4th of July was spent at Bailey Park watching Kayla win the talent show for dancing amazingly, playing, playing, playing some more, eating dinner, and of course ending our time having homemade ice cream.

The kids definitely had a huge fan club.

We then went down to a little lake and did sparklers and watched the fireworks from Bailey Park. Then some family friends did a mini firework show for everyone.

Some people got a little crazy with their sparklers and accidentally flung sparks into the hair of others. Guess who?! ;)

Another family enjoys photo bombing way too much. ;)

We had a picture scavenger hunt thru 3 different towns which was filled with all kinds of family history. This team definitely won for most creative pictures.

My mom rocked this photo while she was imitating what my grandma looked like on the fence she held on to while a tornado was coming through. Unfortunately the chiggers were just waiting for some flesh. Way to take one for the team mom!

Colin took us all on a hay ride.

Or maybe it was more like he was a co-pilot while farmer David drove us around.

We watched humming birds get caught and tagged, had a picnic and waded in the water at Siloam Springs Park.

We then had a barn dance and I had two of the cutest dates.

All I can say is it was an event that will be remembered.

We ended our time going to this tiny church in the country where our family made up half of the congregation. They spoiled us with ice cream, which apparently they have an ice cream social that you don’t miss, and breakfast.

Here is the barn where we had the dance.

We enjoyed a lot of time at Becky and Jim’s beautiful house. The farm is filled with 2 horses, 1 donkey (Becky’s ass), chickens, 3 geese, sheep, dog, cats, and a rabbit. Thank you both for spoiling our family. You guys were great hosts and we felt at home at your home. We know you put a lot of time and energy into prepping for everyone coming and we sure did appreciate it. Thank you! If anyone is ever looking for a great bed and breakfast I would highly recommend staying with them!

David and Kelly, thank you for opening up your farm house to us. What a great experience for us to be able to stay next to an active farm. You guys did everything you could to make sure we had a great trip, from sneaking away our dirty towels and leaving fresh ones on the porch, including us in gathering eggs, letting 4 crazy kids stay at your place, and taking us on a hayride was all extremely thoughtful of you guys. Thank you!

Thank you also to everyone else that changed up their schedules to come and spend as much time with us. It was greatly appreciated!

My family still has more pictures that I hope to add to the album sometime soon and so check back. ;)


Southern California Trip

20 Jul

Well it is time to start recapping some of our trips from this summer.  It has been one of our favorite summers yet and we still have some great things planned before school starts at the end of August.
We started off for Southern California on Monday after school was out on Friday.  We stayed at a “mansion” in the the eyes of the kids as it had 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. We chose this place, 20 minutes from the beach, for its size and the great backyard.  The kids had a blast in the pool and the spa.  Well I can’t just say the kids, as I think everyone knew if you couldn’t find me then I was probably relaxing in the spa.  It was so nice to be able to heat it up whenever we wanted to get in.  We even had breakfast in the spa the first morning. The trip started out with Jamie and the kids and then the guys flew in and joined us Thursday evening.

We then spent a day at Legoland. What a blast everyone had! It worked out great as Kayla and Colin went on everything and Jayden and Sydney went on the one’s Sydney was tall enough to go on.

We couldn’t pass up a photo by the plumber.

We went on the water side of the park where Kayla and Colin were loving it while the rest of us were shivering in the chairs.

Well we of course couldn’t pass up going down this one.

The Rice family visited us one afternoon to swim and play. Their family moved to Southern CA the same time we moved to Northern CA from AZ.

We also got in a round of miniature golf.

What a fun week with cousins! It is so fun having them so close in age and how well they all get along together. We sure do miss them often! :(




6 Jun

After almost two years of living 4 hours away from Yosemite we finally made it to this incredible place.

These two pictures were from the Lower Falls. We hiked to another fall besides this one but the battery wasn’t charged on our camera. So we missed taking pictures at the first one. We then charged up at lunch time.

This guy did a great job biking and weaving in and out of people. It was really busy as it was a 3 day weekend but it worked out great having our bikes. We biked to one hotel for lunch, did some hiking and then ended at another hotel for a drink, appetizers, and dessert.

This was outside on the patio of the last hotel we stopped at. It was the perfect area to wrap up a great day!

On our bike back to the car we ran into a little wild life. If you haven’t been to Yosemite and need a tour guide, it wouldn’t take much arm twisting to get us to go again. I have a feeling it will be a yearly thing for us. We did stay about an hour and a half outside of Yosemite which worked out great. We can never pass up a cheaper hotel with an indoor pool. :)

Lake Time

30 May

The kids and I joined another family at the lake during the week. Shhhhh, I might have taken Colin out of school a couple of minutes early.

Sydney was a little more unsure this time on the tube. She was afraid that the sharks in the water would get her.   Her favorite part about the lake was swimming in the water and she was giggling every time we would swim around.

Colin on the other hand was a crazy man! By the picture you can see that he was asking Brian, driving the boat, to speed it up and then Ezra was wanting him to slow down. I went out with him once and was hanging on for dear life while Colin was wanting him to go faster and crazier.

After a great day tubing we decided to cruise around the lake and check out different channels to end the day. That is until the boat kept over heating and we were stranded. After calling the emergency number we were able to get someone to come out and tow us back to the dock. We got to enjoy watching the sunset and made it back to the cars just before it got dark.  Thank you to Brian and Rebecca for having us out!

Mother’s Day

25 May

We had a very similar Mother’s Day as last years and once again I enjoyed it so much that I’m ready to repeat it again next year.

Actually it started a few days before with Sydney’s school having a lunch for the moms.

Sydney was so excited to give me a rose and a picture of her with a frame that she had decorated.

Both Colin and Sydney filled out a paper about me and I absolutely loved them. They know me pretty well. ;)

and now onto THE day…..

After having breakfast in bed and Brandon surprising me with getting HGTV for me for Mothers Day, oh and I guess that means we have other cable channels, we went along the coast and picked strawberries.

We got enough that we just had to make chocolate covered strawberries with some of them.

We then ate lunch at one of our favorite fish and chip places along the coast. We were planning on hanging out at the beach but it ended up being a little chilly, so instead we drove up the coast and stopped anywhere someone thought it would be fun to stop. So we pulled off to watch wind surfers, a barn, tasted some oils, Starbucks, and

along a creek. I absolutely loved the randomness of the day and getting to explore some new areas for us.  Thank you to 3 amazing people in my life that make me feel special each and every day.


Colin’s 6th Birthday!

2 May

Well I have yet to figure out how to slow down time, so we had to celebrate Colin’s 6th birthday. He had one wild and crazy day as we had his party on the same day as his birthday.

Here is a recap of the day:

He started the day with Cinnamon Rolls and watching TV, per his request.

His class celebrated and he brought a new ball to donate to the classroom.

Then it was Party Time! The kids started out by getting their pictures taken, picking a secret agent name, and putting their fingerprints into their Spy Mission Passport.

Then they went on their next mission to making marshmallow guns while Brandon worked to upload the pictures and finish making their ID tags. After they finished each mission they got a stamp in their Passport.  (Thank you Papa for getting and prepping all of the supplies)

The next mission was to work as a team to pop all of the bombs.

That was one challenging mission!

The next mission required them to avoid touching the laser beams

and then to ring the bell to notify us that the mission was accomplished.

Next up was to hunt for characters that were on the most wanted list.

Then they had to use their marshmallow guns to get all the bad guys.

They all passed their missions and became official secret agents.

Pizza time!

Cake time! (Thank you Grammy for making a delicious ice cream sandwich cake)

Present time!

Some Slip and Slide fun!

Then a little surprise for the kids when all the adults came out with water balloons.

Some of Colin’s buddies.

I would say it was a day to remember! We all had a blast and Colin was thrilled.

You both deserved every ounce of that Margarita. Thank you so much for helping before, during, and after the party. We honestly couldn’t have pulled it off without your help.

Happy Birthday to a boy that amazes us more and more each day! We love you more than words will ever be able to express!

Easter Goodness

26 Apr

The evening before Easter we did some Egg Coloring.

We were at home for the morning and afternoon of Easter, before flying out for AZ, and so we were able to go to church in the morning and then come back for brunch and egg hunting.

Uncle Tim and Jeff did a great job hiding the eggs. ;)

Happy Belated Easter!

Scrapbook Weekend

29 Mar

A couple of weekends ago I got to go on a scrapbook weekend with several other ladies.  We rented a house along the coast and literally scrap booked from the time I got there on Friday afternoon until Sunday late morning with breaks to sleep for 7 hours, eating time, and a couple of walks.  It was perfect as it got myself to see that I may actually accomplish Sydney’s baby book.  As I walked around the neighborhood and drove to Sonoma to meet the family I was in awe again by how gorgeous this area is.

Here are some of my pictures along the way:

Luckily I was only 20 minutes away from Sonoma to meet these great people at the train park!