Monday, August 29, 2016


 After Medford, we headed to Bend, via Crater Lake.  I LOVED the pretty blue water - it was such a pretty place!  The kids were excited to see snow, even though it wasn't very cold outside.  

The last picture in the collage below is Weston showing a splinter in his hand.  He did get a pretty good sized splinter from the railing.

I wanted to look at the lake, but the kids just wanted to play in the snow.

 Weston's favorite part of Crater Lake was all the construction vehicles there! 

We stayed in Bend on Saturday night and went to church in the morning.  After that, we explored some of Newberry National Volcanic Monument.

We got to spend a day with some friends in Portland.  We did a hike at Multnomah Falls, had hamburgers for lunch, played at a park, and had pizza and ice cream for dinner.  Owen got along really well with Riley - they started writing a book together!

Before we headed out of Oregon, we went to the Portland Temple.  

On the road again... more singing videos:

Friday, August 19, 2016

Canada Vacation

We took the kids out of school the last 2 days to get a head start on our 32 day vacation.  Our first stop was camping for 2 nights in the Redwoods.  We enjoyed our campsite amidst the tall trees.  The boys discovered pretty quickly that the trees had perfect branches for climbing.  Nathan climbed up pretty high - too high for my comfort.  I took a couple of pictures and then told him to get down!  

This water area was a favorite spot - anywhere they can throw rocks!  Savannah was more interested in making rock piles.  


Nearly every tree they could climb, the boys scampered up.  No fallen tree left unclimbed...

Our next stop was Crescent City - Alex loves it there!  He has been there before, but it was the rest of the family's first time to see it.  We stopped at the cheese factory on the way out of town. 

The kids loved hanging out at the beach and the park.

We stayed one night in Medford, Oregon.  One of the most favorite parts of our trip was the waterslide at the motel!  It was fun - I tried it a couple of times.  

Alex and I got up early in the morning and went to the Medford Oregon Temple.  (Nathan is now old enough to watch the kids - he did a good job throughout our trip in helping out.)  This was 1 of 8 new temples that we visited on our trip!  We tried to visit all of the ones along our route.  We took advantage of being able to go in the evenings or early mornings of our motel stays - basically instead of crashing in front of the TV or sleeping in at the motel, we went to the temple instead.

On the road again...

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Ready for junior high!

We were asked to provide some pictures of our 6th graders from their K-6 years.  I had fun looking back through Nathan's elementary years.  Middle school starts in 7th grade, so Nathan is officially done with elementary and ready for junior high.  

Nathan is an excellent student - he has excelled in many areas.  He recently got his test scores back and scored nearly as high as possible in every area.  I knew he was good at math, but I didn't realize his reading and comprehension are equally as strong.  We are really proud of him!

He still wants to be a pro athlete when he grows up - we better get working on that... 

Here are some of Nathan's friends.  Nathan is an outgoing and well-liked guy, but not one of the "cool" kids.  He said he wasn't in the cool crowd - I actually like his status!  He has a few good friends, but I am guessing he might be more likely to stay out of trouble later on when peer pressure is stronger.

The 6th graders sang 2 songs for graduation - "Best Day of my Life" (by American Authors) and "Count on Me" (by Bruno Mars).  I held it together while they were singing at graduation, but I did get a little emotional the first time I heard Nathan practicing at home.  He's growing up!

Each of the students shared one of their favorite memories during graduation.  Nathan shared the time when he was an astronaut for the wax museum.  We made his costume out of trash bags, so he will always remember being a trash bag astronaut!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

School fun

Owen played a sloth in the first grade play, The Great Kapok Tree.  He makes such a cute sloth.

The kids had great teachers again - the first picture below was gifts for teacher appreciation week.  I made bath salt sundaes for end of year gifts.  Jared actually had 2 teachers, but one of them wasn't there on our last day, so we missed her.  

We left for vacation 2 days before school got out, so we had a hard time getting pictures of friends.  Owen got the most pictures because I was waiting outside his classroom when school ended.  I asked if he wanted to take pictures with some of his friends.  He gathered this whole group pretty quickly - "Everyone come take a picture with me!"  

Owen has a lot of friends.  He is very popular with the girls too. 

We only got a couple pictures of Jared's friends - the ones who were at 6th grade graduation.  The cowboy picture was from one of the 4th grade end of year activities.  

I'll post more for Nathan in the next post. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

June fun with friends

Weston and Savannah did a couple of outings with friends right before school got out - play place and a hike/park outing.  

I had to dig out a picture from 3 years ago - they have grown a lot! 

Memorial Day

We had a fun Memorial Day weekend, starting with a visit from Mike, Carrie, Nicholas, and Ryan.  The kids enjoyed hanging out at our house and playing at the beach.  We were especially sad to see them go, because they moved to TX in June.   

On Monday, we went on a hike with friends - it was pretty hot!  After our hike, we stopped to play at the park and enjoyed some ice cream.  

I got enough cute pictures of Savannah to make her own collage!  

Thursday, August 11, 2016

double digits

This wasn't a friend party year, so we just had a simple celebration.  Jared requested an OSU cake and Dr. Pepper floats.  He wanted pancakes, bacon, and eggs for breakfast and scalloped potatoes and meatloaf for dinner.  Alex's parents sent a very useful book, called "Bad A** Bricks"!  It shows how to build different things with random Lego pieces, which is great since we have SO MANY Legos lying around.  We just had to laugh at the title of the book!

(We did end up having a couple of friends over for dinner and cake  - they were lucky on the day that their parents were in need of someone to watch them.  They got to help celebrate!)

Take a hike!

Jared needed to do a hike for one of his cub scout requirements, so we did a family outing one evening.  It turned out to be a fun hike, with the highlight being a little water area where the kids found frogs and threw rocks in the water.  The best part, however, was watching Kai jump in the water whenever she saw a splash.  She loved the water!  We were all surprised the first time she jumped in - we had no idea she liked the water so much.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Baby shower

I had fun helping with a baby shower for my friend Klisa.  She has 2 boys, and this was her first girl.  I made invitations, sugar cookie cups, and diaper cake.  We had a lot of fun celebrating her new baby girl!

cub scout cooking and carnival

I helped out with a couple of the bears requirements.  One was a cooking elective - they made a snack and lasagnas for their family.  They also put together a cookbook, which I made a cover for and collected the recipes to print out.  

They also had to do a carnival and a homemade appreciation award for at least one of their leaders.  We went ahead and made a gift for all of the cub scout leaders.  They made these trophies filled with starbursts.  

Mother's Day

I spent a little time getting these pictures ready for the primary kids to give to their moms.  Luckily, someone else did the flower pens, so I just had to print out the pictures and get the pens in place.  They turned out pretty cute.  

We had the kids fill out surveys too, which I loved. Here are some things the kids said about me:

Savannah - Mom and I like to eat pizza.
If I could go anywhere in the world with her, we'd go to the zoo with all the animals we can look at.
I love my Mom because I do.  

Weston - My mom's job is cleaning up.  
My mom really loves flowers.  She likes to eat flowers.  If she had time, she would like to pick flowers.  Mom is really good at picking flowers.  (I think he was stuck on flowers...)
If I could go anywhere in the world with her, we'd go to the farm, to play in the hay.

Owen - Mom is really good at cooking.  
She likes to eat Twix.
If I could go anywhere in the world with her, we'd go to my grandpa's house.

Jared - My Mom's job is being a mom and staying at home.
If she had time, she would like to sleep in and relax.
I love my Mom because she helps me in really important things.  

Alex got some of my favorite things - Twix, Snickers almond bars, and yogurt pretzels.  He also made breakfast and dinner (which was another breakfast food - crepes).  The kids made a few things at school too.

These were all great things, but my favorite part of the day was listening to Nathan speak in church.  It was his first talk to the congregation (another opportunity for turning 12 - the youth 12-18 years old are asked to give short talks in sacrament meeting).  Here is his talk (un-edited):

Mother's Day talk

        Hi my name is Nathan. First of all, happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there in the congregation. I love my mom. She is fun to be around, especially on Sunday because she is tired and laughs a lot. One of my favorite times with my mom was when we were at big five or sport authority.  We were tired and were laughing together. There are certain things that I ask my mom and things I don't ask her. For example, to earned more time on my kindle, is a one my mom would let me do. An example of not to ask her is to go hiking or go to the beach, as well as board games. Overall I love my mom. 
        My topic today is about how my mom has helped me through teachings and example understand who your Heavenly Father is, what his characteristics are and how she has helped me become like Heavenly Father.  My mother is a great example of Heavenly Father and you should look at you mothers to learn to be an example of Heavenly Father. My mother has been an example of Heavenly Father by loving me and caring for me. My mom makes dinner, washes my stinky socks, and even cleans my room when she asks me four times before that. By her doing all this it shows me that Heavenly Father loves me too because he sent her here for me. She does all these things with love for me. And now I believe that Heavenly Father sent mothers for us with love. When my moms comforts me I fell like the spirit guided, by Heavenly Father, is standing next to her telling her what to say.  Elder Jeffery R. Holland spoke on mothers in the October 2015 General Conference. He stated "Prophesying of the Savior’s Atonement, Isaiah wrote, “He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.” A majestic latter-day vision emphasized that “[Jesus] came into the world … to bear the sins of the world.” Both ancient and modern scripture testify that “he redeemed them, and bore them, and carried them all the days of old.” These words our used in others ways and can describe someone else besides Jesus. This can describe mothers. Our mothers have delivered us. Have borne us. Have carried us. All these things Jesus has done as well. This shows that mothers are an example of Christ and Heavenly Father. 
        A couple months ago when we had family prayers we started to get irreverent. Our mom then made us just be quiet and sit still for a little bit. If we did not do that we were sent to our beds. In doing this we were more reverent during prayers. Like my mom the 2000 stripling warriors's mothers taught them to remember that God would deliver them. Alma 56:47 says, Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. Like the stripling warriors my mom changed me and made me a better example of Heavenly Father. 
        I know that mothers were sent from our Heavenly Father because he loves us. I know that Heavenly Father loves me and I appreciate my mom for doing all the things she does for me and in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I posted these on Facebook:

I am grateful for both of these good moms!