Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

It's been crazy and busy leading up to Christmas here...and we've been loving it! We went to our local botanical gardens which goes all out decorating with lights for Christmas. It was freezing, but it was beautiful and our friend, Lindsey, snapped this GREAT pic of the 5 of us! (Nice pictures with all 5 of us in it AND smiling are so few and far between nowadays.)

And of course, Santa was there at the botanical gardens so we had to pop in and say HELLO. Emilee graciously posed for a picture with man in red...

And Carter wanted NOTHING to do with Santa haha! He was gung ho until it was his turn and then he sorta flipped out and all we got was "Mom! YOU tell him what I want for Christmas, I don't want to sit on his lap!" So here's what the camera guy snapped...

(I carried him up there and plopped him in Santa's lap.) I'm coaxing "come on, honey, smile for the camera." Carter is thinking "get me outta here." Santa is wondering "why does this kid hate me?!"

Mommy and Santa smile while Carter continues to will the torture to be over

Very cute picture after Trevor sitting with Santa...

And my FAVORITE PICTURE...the one that made us spend the crazy amount of money on the CD when we were just going to go for the sit on his lap and skip the pic plan. The look on both Trev and Santa's face was just priceless. Santa is intently listening and Trevor is sharing his big Christmas wish.

And a few more Holiday fun pics.

Carter made a herd of candy cand reindeer to share with his classmates.

Joshua and Emilee cooked a whole bakery's worth of bread, as is Joshua's Christmas eve family tradition.

And we decorated Christmas cookies.

I'm off to get the hyper, Santa-anticipating monkeys snuggled into bed. We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

trip to CA

Here are just a couple of odd pictures from our Thanksgiving trip to CA...

Joshua got home unexpectedly so we left for our trip to CA half a day early. This meant that I was not completely packed (ie. missing a few smaller detail last minute FOOD). The first leg of the trip involves 5 hours of NOTHING. I had heard about this "nothing" and sorta just thought it meant there's not alot along the road, but there will be some drive thru where we can grab a bite to eat. Uhhhh nope..."nothing" meant ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. About three hours into the "nothing" the kids were starving and we finally spotted a scary run down gas station with a C store. We eagerly stopped and after passing on most of the items for sale because they were expired we made a pathetic dinner out of frozen microwaved hot pockets, mac n cheese, peanuts and a yogurt for Carter. I snapped this picture because the remnants of our meal cracked Joshua and I up. Our dash board looked like that of some hill billy jalopy!!

This would be Carter and Trevor (hiding under Blankie) NOT wanting to get their picture taken at about mile 500 into our trip.

Going over Donner Pass was a bit yucky driving-wise, but our whole family was tickled to see the snow!

Our monkeys have participated in several Guinness Book of World Record we couldn't pass up the opportunity to visit The World's Tallest Thermometer on our way home.

decorating the house

Joshua got the lights up on the outside of the house the weekend before Thanksgiving since we'd be gone on his traditional decorating day of the Friday after. He's pretty serious about his house lights and he had to start over this year since it is our first whole Christmas being in our new house (yes, this means scale drawings etc to make sure that the lights are exactly spaced and never error his red-white-white pattern from any side of the house). And can I also mention how stinkin' HIGH our second story roof is? We've never had a house this high to decorate and I chewed my fingernails the ENTIRE time he was up there!

But with a little help from Emilee up top and Trevor handling technical issues down below, it came out amazing as usual!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

it's that time of year...

The Thanksgiving decorations are put away and the first snowflakes are starting to fall...

So, that means it's time to decorate for Christmas!!! Joshua decided that this year he was tired of my fake tree and wanted to get a real one. And as luck would have it, in Idaho you can buy a permit for a few dollars and head up into the forest and cut one down yourself! I have to say I was pretty leery of the adventure. The Forest Service Website cautions you to bring 4-5 days of food and water with you, practice your survival skills and 4WD driving, and to alert family and friends as to your whereabouts and return time so that in the event you are caught in an avalanche, someone will know to come looking for you. UHHHH, SERIOUSLY??!! So friends and family alerted to our plans via facebook, up the mountain we headed in search of the perfect tree.

We hiked along some easier paths...nope, not that tree...

And STRAIGHT UP some hills (this picture does NOT do justice to the incline we went up on this hill)...nope, not that one...

Two hours later we finally found a spot to cross the creek that was seemingly keeping us from ALL of the awesome trees and we found THE ONE!! (Snapshot in front of the tree before we cut it down)

Trevor sawed...

And Emilee caught it while Carter yelled "TIMMMM-BERRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!"

And the biggest monkeys hauled it back to the truck.

And here's the result of our family adventure. We returned home without getting stuck in an avalanche (yay!) and trimmed it to fit in the living room. Then we strung it with lights and decorated it with our cherished ornaments. It's not cookie cutter perfect like my fake-y tree (boy has that been an adjustment for me) but I rather like the silly story and experience that came with it!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving 2011!

We are in CA celebrating Thanksgiving with my parents and brother...thankful for family, good health and being together. We wish all of you much more of the same!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fall Sports

Em and Trev both got involved with sports this fall. I apologize for not many pictures...but my camera seems to stink at motion/indoor pics so I have very few grrr.

Trevor ran for his school Cross Country team and did FANTASTIC! It was a first for him, and he did so well. They ran a 1.5 mile course and he consistently bettered his time. By the end of the season he was running it near 10m30s, which is close to a 7 minute mile (I know I'm not running THAT anymore lol).

Emilee played Y volleyball this fall and had a blast. A couple of her new school friends were on the team which made it that much better!

And because Carter is just a tad to young to be on a team sport, we'll applaud him for his amazing bike riding skills at a mere 4 years old!

Monday, November 21, 2011


In August, we went camping at Lake Cascade and it was awesome! It was only a couple of hours from our house, in the mountains directly on the water. The weather was beautiful and it was a perfect place to play with our new boat. Here's our campsite.

There was of course many a marshmallow roasted...

And Joshua made us cinnamon rolls the old fashioned way in a cast iron dutch oven

Roasting your own hot dogs was a hit...

And chilling in Daddy's lap was also much sought after...

Our campsite had it's own private beach area and it was wonderful because the monkeys could head down and fish or play in the water any time they wanted!

Video of Carter catching the first little fishy of the trip

Em and Trev drownin' their worms...

Trev catchin' one...

Daddy and Em both pulled in a catch at the same time!

Trev playing lego boats on the shoreline and Carter throwing rocks in the background...

Trev brought his bike so he could ride around the campground and somehow it found it's way to the lake...and Carter worked on a serious rock collection.

We spent most of our days on the lake, enjoying the clear water and gorgeous views. This is me, in my favorite spot, chillin' in the bow...

Carter got the biggest kick out of steering while we were pulling Em and Trev on the wakeboard or tube. He'd drive straight for a while and then use every ounce of 4 year old strength he had and crank the wheel to the left and look back to see if he'd tipped them over.

Carter wasn't a big fan of the tube, but we got him on a little bit and pulled him around with Em and Trev.

This picture has a FUNNY story. We were fishing in a quiet spot, and we could see this stream feeding off the mountain into the lake. And every so often we could see these red cojo salmon jumping out of the lake trying to swim up the stream. Joshua was kinda going nuts SEEING these fish, KNOWING they were there and not getting a single bite. So I turned around and I see him emptying his pockets and plunk, he jumped off the back of the boat and started to swim over to where the fish were. His face was hilarious because he didn't realize how cold the water was until it was too late. And did his efforts get him anywhere? Nope, spawning fish have NO interest in eating so all of Joshua's cold efforts were in vain.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Swimming FUN!

Like I said before, we spent almost every day at the pool this summer. It was a wonderful, lazy, relaxing way to tick away the fun days of summer. Carter started sleeping in for the first time in his life, so we adopted a schedule of late mornings, quick lunches, SWIMMING, easy dinners and sometimes heading back to the pool for the evening too. This is the first summer that I honestly wasn't itching for school to start because the kids had started to drive me nuts with the "I'm bored" thing. We really had an awesome summer break and I hope we have that again next year!

I honestly didn't take too many pictures because I was either IN the pool playing, or later in the summer when Carter was swimming all by himself, I was on the side RELAXING and just enjoying watching the kids most days I forgot my camera. But here are a few favorite pics and videos...

Trev chillin'

Em jumpin'

Handstand contest

Once Carter got the hang of swimming, he was either underwater...

Taking a breath to go back underwater...

Or getting out to jump off the side and be back underwater...


A video of Carter jumping in

And one of him diving to the bottom of the 5ft

The big monkeys got free tickets through a reading contest at school, so we also got the chance to try our local waterpark once this summer. The consensus was that it wasn't nearly as cool as the one in Oklahoma, but we still had a nice day.

All three going down one the only slide Carter would agree to try

Em and Trev sliding down at the same time

This is Em and Trev going down a SCARY ride. The video doesn't do it's HIGH and a sheer drop. Both of them said they'd never ride it again lol, but I'm glad they gave it a shot!