Sunday, August 31, 2008

Idaho Trip 2008

So right after getting back from Palmyra, we decided to spend Andy's 3 week summer vacation out in Idaho. Part pleasure, part business. Andy and I spent a week driving to a few places we're thinking of moving to when we're finished up with school...while the kids vacationed at the Grandma and Grandpa Resort. (Thanks mom and dad!)

This is a picture of what Andy looked like for the two day drive. Next day, different shirt, same expression. Kids say it, but adults certainly think it..."Are we there yet?"

This is not what I looked like for the two day drive. Most of the time, I was half-turned around saying things like, "Rachel, would you please give Matthew his binki? Rachel, could you reach Matthew's sippy cup? Brooklynn, would you please not put your feet in Taylor's face? Taylor, could you please turn the sound off of your gameplayer?" Nuts. Completely nuts.

Don't believe me? This is proof. Rachel actually did a great job at keeping Matthew happy and entertained. It was a trade off though...crying...for weird noises from Rachel and loud laughter from Matthew.

The First View of Idaho...

Ahh...coming home. We came into Idaho at about 8:00 pm on the second day. The sun was setting over the mountains and it was gorgeous. There's just nothing better. We rolled down the windows and just breathed in the clean, pine-scented air. So good.

We rested for a couple of days at mom and dad's house, and then Andy, Matthew and I headed out on our dental practice road trip while the other kids stayed for a week with grandma and grandpa. Our first stop was Boise, and it was so fun to stay with Kyle and Ashleigh for a few days! Matthew had a lot of fun with the twins. Thank you Kyle and Ashleigh for watching Matthew for us so we could go out and do business stuff! We miss you guys! We're still talking about our "Dance Party"...we'll have to do that again real soon, that was a blast.

On the road again. This poor little guy, he was such a trooper. We headed up to Spokane, WA...which is about 8 hours North of Boise. We bought this huge sub sandwich, and let Matthew have at it. He didn't like the lettuce on it, and kept giving that to me...but ate all the meat and cheese he could find.

Among other things, we stopped in at the Spokane, Wa temple. This isn't a very good picture, but it was really pretty. It sits at the bottom of a sidehill. We stopped in to the stake center and met a member of their stake presidency...who tried to convince us to move right in. He even gave us a map of the different stakes and their ward boundaries for when we started house hunting. So funny.

Up in the air...

Uncle Trever told Taylor that for his 8th birthday he wanted to take him up for a flight around the valley...Taylor was SO excited. He's loved airplanes ever since he was tiny, much like Uncle Trever. I was really nervous, I'll have to admit. The thought of flying in a little tiny airplane made me nervous. But once we were up there, I really liked it. And Trever...great job on the we came in, little Matthew was standing by the hanger clapping for all he was worth, it was so cute. That little boy loves airplanes too. Uncle Trever must be contagious.

Hard to see through the windows...but the look on Taylor's face says it all. He was beaming. No fear, let's fly. Both Tay and Samuel kept begging Trever to go "weightless." Although I'm not 100% sure what that means, I had a pretty good idea. Thank you for keeping it simple and not going "weightless" Uncle Trever.

Hiking at Palisades Lakes

Grandpa took a day off of work and we spent the day up at the Palisades Lakes trail and campground. This was one of my favorite trails as a kid...and when we would come here with the horses, my horse would always be terrified of this particular rock. We are so out of shape! We go on little hikes out here in Ohio...but it's relatively flat, and several thousand feet lower in elevation. I had forgotten how this trail climbs. Andy and I have mountain-biked this one a couple of times. Going up is tough, but coming down...that is AWESOME!

We went up the trail for a few miles, and then turned around. We stopped at the first bridge to let the kids play in the creek (pronounced "crick" out west).

Here's grandma teaching Rachey the fine art of skipping rocks.

And Grandpa showing Brooklynn the fine art of roasting marshmallows. Do you think that 4 on a stick is enough grandpa??

After our picnic, the kids waded in the creek. I tried too, but couldn't make myself stay in it for more than a few seconds. The water was so cold! I had forgotten how cold the high mountain water is. It didn't seem to phase them much though.


We can't visit Idaho and NOT go to Reed's Dairy at least once. Check out Tay's THAT is good ice cream.

I had my all-time favorite--Huckleberry Cream--so good.

Off topic: The first time I had a Reed's was in the 9th grade during driver's ed. Coach Maughn had us drive out to Reed's and back and bought our carload ice cream. I had to drive on our way back and the car was a stick shift. So, while I licked my ice cream, steered the car and worked the clutch and gas pedals, Coach Maughn shifted for me. How's that for driver's education?

Rachey had mint chocolate chip. Brooklynn started out with strawberry, traded daddy for his chocolate, and then had a few licks of my huckleberry but I wouldn't give it up completely. A few licks is all she got. Sorry honey, a mom has her priorities. I think she ended up with her strawberry again. She is a stinker...but since it happened to be her birthday we let her get away with it.

Brooklynn turns 4!!!

Brooklynn is such a fun little girl. This year she wanted a pink and purple flower cake. I did my best.

In our family, the birthday boy or girl gets to cut their here is Brooklynn using a real knife, and mommy trying to keep all of her limbs in tact.

Yummy...strawberry cake and strawberry ice cream. Pink, pink, pink, pink, pink!!!

A few days before Brooklynn's birthday, I went shopping with Aunt Katie while Andy swam with the kids and cousin Abigail in Abby's pool. Aunt Katie and I were on a mission--to find the perfect doll for Brooklynn. I had so much fun Kate! Thanks for spending some girl time with me...the look on Brooklynn's face when she saw her dolly tells me that we did a good job. Mission accomplished.

Here she is with her very own "baby". She now takes very good care of it. She's changed it's name about three times. It started out as Rosella...and now I'm not sure what it is. Before Brooklynn goes to bed, she tucks her baby into the cradle...and while she's at preschool she puts her down for a nap. Her dolly even wets her diaper, which Brooklynn thinks is super cool...personally I think I'd rather have it sing or something. Changing diapers has lost it's super- coolness for me somehow. :)A fun birthday surprise was that Great Grandma Belnap came over! She came to give all of the kids little gifts to keep them busy on the drive home.

Riding the horses...

Throughout the three weeks, we would let the kids ride horses before bed. Brooklynn's birthday was our last night after her party we had to go outside for one last ride. She kept giggling and saying "I'm the birthday girl." She was so cute, and excited to be a "big girl." Here she is riding Megan...and that saddle is my old saddle. So fun to see my girls in it.

I just thought this was such a cute picture of Rachey sitting on the fence waiting for her turn to ride.

Rachel is getting to be such a good rider. She was so proud of riding all by herself. We even let her take Megan out in the big pasture. Dad kept saying that she reminded him of me when I was a little girl. She is just so cute!

And here is Taylor taking his turn. None of them wanted to get off. Poor Megan is probably so glad they're gone!

And this is mom and dad's newest and youngest horse, Tashina. Dad is training her right now, and here he is...using his own baby grandson as a guinea pig. Just kidding dad. So, here is proof that Matthew, not grandpa was the first person to ride Tashina bareback. Way to go Matthew!

And so it ends...

Those three weeks flew by. Andy and I did a lot of good work on our business trip, the kids had a blast at grandma and grandpa's while we were away, we had family dinner with the Thuernagles, and attended a temple session with them as well, we swam and canoed at Rigby lake, had airplane rides, went hiking, and just packed in as much fun as was possible in the time that we had. It was hard to leave...the kids really miss their Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, and won't be too long until we won't live so far away!!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

July Palmyra Trip

We went to Palmyra in the summer of '06 and had such a great time there. Andy served his mission there, so it was amazing to walk where he walked as a young elder and to meet some of the people he taught and served with in the wards. We couldn't let another year go by without going back one more we squeezed it in this year. Literally. We left for Palmyra early on a Saturday morning, came home late Sunday night, and Tuesday morning we left for Idaho. Whew...what a week!

On this trip, we didn't tour all of the church sites, we just went back to our favorite ones. Our first stop was the Joseph Smith farm and the Sacred Grove. I just love walking through the grove, knowing that it is one of the few places on this earth that God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to man.

There are benches throughout the grove, and our kids seemed to think that they had to sit down on each one. At first, it annoyed me a little because I didn't want to keep stopping...then I wondered...maybe they're right. Maybe you ARE supposed to stop for a while, take it slow and ponder things. What's the hurry?

If only trees could talk...what would they say of what they've seen?

From there we went over to Geraldine Buck's house where we stayed the night. I was so excited to see Geraldine. While I was Miss Idaho, I lived with the Buck's and since 1997, they had moved from Boise to the east coast, and then to Palmyra, NY of all places. It was like coming home again to spend one night at the Buck's house, and Sunday morning I went to the Palmyra ward's young women's class with Geraldine, who is in their presidency. I had at first went to Relief Society...but had only been in there for about 5 minutes when Andy comes walking in to tell me that Geraldine wanted me in class with her. Again, it was like coming home when I walked into the YWs room...I don't know what I'll do when I'm released from my YWs calling and have to start going to RS again!

We also took the kids to the Hill Cumorah Pageant again. They LOVED it. We spent some time before it started walking around talking to the cast members, and we ran into a few people that Andy had taught on his mission.

This year we snagged the wicked King Noah for a picture. Taylor thought he was awesome because he was wearing Keen's...oh brother. Matthew didn't know what to think of all these strangely dressed people.

Andy and I would like to come back in a few years with our family and be in the Pageant. He said he's wanted to ever since he was a missionary that I've seen it, I think it would be awesome to be in it too. I think Andy would make a good Moroni. Captain a skirt with a sword.

A-W-E-S-O-M-E.........okay, he's going to kill me for that.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Summer Baseball

So I'm playing catch up! I just let myself get so behind!

This year, Taylor and Rachel both played Baseball again. This year they were on different teams, but still both had red t-shirts. Seriously, next year I'm going to request any color BUT red. Red shirts for 3 years running and I'm getting a bit tired of it!

This year, Rachey played so well, and armed with her purple bat and pink batting helmet, she could really hit that ball. I loved hearing those silly boys say "come on in guys" when she'd come up to bat and then watch my little girl wham it out there. In your face boys. Ha!

Taylor tried out some new positions this year, one of them catcher. He seemed to really like that postition, and made some great plays on home base. He also played on the pitcher's mound. He's in coach pitch, so he didn't pitch the ball, but did all of the other catching and throwing that goes along with playing pitcher and again, made some great plays.

This year, Andy was the assistant coach for Taylor's team...but do you think I could get him to wear his official shirt? For a few games he did...but he said it was too hot. Oh brother. I thought he looked pretty good in it, and I liked it because it was BLUE not RED!!!!

It is so fun to the kids learn and grow each year...the most important part is that they love it and have a great time. Way to go Taylor and Rachel on another great season!

Just a sidenote: I've often thought that one day I'll be the smallest member of my family...I'm just betting that all of our children will be taller than me. Well, Taylor's shoes in these pictures are actually MY reebok's...his feet are now the same size as mine. I am constantly having to defend my Keen's against his constant onslaught of "CAN I PLEASE?"

Monday, August 11, 2008

Long Time, No Post

Okay, sorry everyone for being silent for so long! I've had a couple of comments left on the blog, and a lot of emails from everyone wondering where I've been! We've been out of town for the past 3 weeks, and I am busy trying to get kids ready for school, the house back in order, I'll post as soon as I can! :)