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!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Swimming lessons

The monkeys took swimming lessons this summer and the entire experience was FANTASTIC! I was very adamant that all three kids become more "water safe and water friendly" because I intended to spend as much time as possible at our neighborhood pool (having this pool was one of the main reasons we bought this house). Emilee took one session, got some pointers to refine her strokes, and then was promptly told "outta this are too good for us, you need to be on a swim team!" Wow, girlie, who knew?! Trevor took two sessions and made great progress. At the beginning of summer he was "safe" around a pool, meaning I knew he could fall in and return to the side...and he could sorta do the front crawl. But by the end of the summer his strokes were improved and he was a MUCH stronger swimmer! And Carter started the summer refusing to get his face wet...and by the end of his second session could actually swim from one end of the pool to the other unassisted!! AMAZING progress!

Here are a few pictures...

Bunny of course had to join us AND specifically watch Carter's lesson...

Em and Trev having a "tread water with your hands out of the water contest." Trev is forgetting the hands up part lol...

Working on dives off the side...

I love this picture of Em pushing off the side to start a lap of some stroke...the water just looks super cool!

Another cool pic of Trev mid-stroke

And some video...

Trevor doing freestyle...

Em doing butterfly (her shoulder strength is amazing!)

One of the first days of lessons. The teacher had gotten Carter to get his face wet and started introducing freestyle arms and kicking.

They also got right to introducing these little ones to dive from the side {{ughhh I can't get this video to load correctly for some reason, check back later, I'll try to fix it}}

Carter's first jump off the diving board

Eventually he got up the courage to jump alone, and and Trevor took a jump!

A dive later on in the lessons

And Carter's shining moment...jumping off the board and swimming the whole length of the pool alone! He came so far from not wanting to get his face wet 4 weeks before! And this was our goal, so that we could all safely enjoy our neighborhood pool.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!

We hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween yesterday...we did!

We had a much anticipated pumpkin carving party on Friday night...

And here are this year's carved pumpkins. Left to right...Trevor's "BOO" mouth jack-o-lantern, Emilee's cross, Karen's spider, Joshua's bats-over-the-moon and Carter's bunny. Yes, when asked how he wanted to carve his jack-o-lantern face, he replied "in the shape of Bunny!" So a tribute to his best stuffed friend was rendered. Emilee free handed her cross...go, Girlie! And Trevor carved his whole entire face all by himself this year!

And here's the front of our house. The skeleton with a beating heart was a hit around the neighborhood and Joshua and the kids loved adding spiderweb this year to our display. (I on the otherhand, just about lost my mind taking that web down today...ooooh my what a sticky mess!)

The three monkeys...Emilee went for the "80s look", Trevor searched many a store for a GREEN skeleton costume, and Carter has been adamant since August that he was going to reuse his Fisherman costume I made two years ago. I tried to steer him to a "new" suggestion, but when his mind is made up, it's made up lol. Oh well, they sure made for three cute trick-or-treaters!

And here's Em with her two friends that joined us. Amy was a mime and Ali went along with the 80s theme.