Saturday, July 30, 2011


We've been watching a lot of movies lately.  Last night we rented two from redbox, "Rango" and "Red Riding Hood".  Rango was silly but for the kids and they liked it.  We put them to bed after and watched Red Riding Hood, which was kind of creepy but I liked it. 
Tonight we went out to the movies to see "Cowboys & Aliens", which I also liked. 

Today we also got to swim and R got to come with us since he had the afternoon off and it was a lot of fun.  The kids enjoyed having their dad there and playing with friends. 

We had to buy E some new shoes, he wears out shoes quicker than anything, so we went this morning and got some before doing our grocery shopping.

My cute niece Katie took this photo at Disneyland.  It's random and has nothing to do with my life right now except that I love Disney and aren't they so cute and doesn't it make you wish you were there?  It does me.

Friday, July 29, 2011


Yesterday we went on our obligatory DC tour.  We rode the metro, the only way we will venture in, and then spent some time seeing part of a Smithsonian and some monuments.  It was a good day.  Grandma choose the American History museum and the kids had never been there before.  We saw a couple of wings and had lunch there.  Then we went to see the sights on the mall.  This photo is in front of the fountain at the WWII memorial.  Lu was hot and tired of walking and her sassyness was in full swing :) 

The day before Kathleen baby-sat for us and the kids got to play and swim.  The adults went to the temple.  We enjoyed ourselves and mom and dad were happy to add another temple to their long list of temples visited.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

last few days

miss these two little girls.  J went camping with Tate and her mom and dad.  so fun!!

We've been having fun too. Sunday we had some friends over for dinner and games, Monday we went to Waldorf and got new cleats and a ball for our soccer boy, we swam with Ellie and Chelsea and when it started storming we came inside and made cookies, we had FHE and then watched Star Trek.

Today we had family cleaning hour, went to lunch and then did some shopping and got our nails painted.  Papa and E opted not to join us for the last two activities.

Sadly Andrea and Reggie are sick and were unable to drive up to play with us :(

Saturday, July 23, 2011

hot hot hot

It's been Ho-O-T!!! recently.  Yesterday morning Papa and I went for a walk with Millie.  We walked to the wharf and back (5miles) and it was miserable.  I was wet as if I had hopped in a pool and swam instead of went walking. 

After we came home, died on the floor for awhile & showered then we went to shop at some Amish markets.  We bought some over priced fruits and veggies but had a fun time anyway.

In the evening we went to Bro Erickson's viewing and then the four of us went out for dinner, Hannah baby-sat.  We had a nice evening.

This morning was the funeral.  It was such a shock when he died.  He was young (only 67) and fit and such a great father/grandfather/husband.  His love for his family was so apparent and he was such a good example to everyone.  He was a great scholar and a righteous man, he will be sorely missed.  His funeral was really nice. 

Mom watched the kids for me while I went.  R and Papa went to see jets land and take off. 

This afternoon Lucy went to Izzy's birthday party, Grandma and Han went swimming, R stained the deck then took the kids swimming some more.

Tonight we are going to a pioneer day BBQ with some friends.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mt Vernon

 Today we took a trip to Mt Vernon.  It's one of my favorite sights and we had a great time.  It was H.O.T. but we drank lots of water and some of it is inside.  We toured the mansion, walked the grounds, took a boat ride, had a colonial lunch and saw the museums.
 The kids were good sports despite the sweat dripping down our backs and off our noses, they did seek for shade where ever they could.
We ended the day inside exploring some of the interactive exhibits. 

When we got home we watered the plants, played phase 10 and went to be tired.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


report on our little co-ed.  She is studying hard.  Says it's the hardest thing ever and she has to study all the time.
She is finding time for some fun though and hikes the Y every day.  Went to a masquerade ball and is apparently planking around campus (whatever that's all about?)

1/2 Birthday

 Yesterday we took the girls, Dani & Tatum and Mackenzie, to the airport.  We had to have them there by 5, and then mom and dad's flight didn't  come in until 10.  Well there was little reason to turn around, drive home, wait an hour then drive back; so we had to kill time.  We went to Ihop, which the kids always LOVE.  Then we went to Barnes and Noble.  We sat in the children's section for 2 hours reading.  Everyone was happy as could be and the only fuss I had was when we left the store empty handed.  The only thing that got me out of there without actual tears was the fact that they were stunned into a stupor since that was a pretty much an unprecedented occurrence. 
We went back to the airport and watched places land and take off and enjoyed the escalators and moving walk ways until finally they arrived.  The kids were sooo excited and happy to see them.  Me too.  I am glad they came to visit and look forward to some happy days together.

On another note the 3 girls got stuck in Denver, due to bad weather, and didn't arrive home until after 3am (Utah time)  Poor girls.  I am sure they were exhausted.
This morning Lu was writing something and asked me the date.  I told her July 20th and she exclaimed "What! that's my half birthday!!! Can we make a cake?"  So we did, and Grandma even had a special surprise for her which turned into a very handy and timely half birthday present.

We had a fun day.  We watched Jenna's TREK video, made some meals, did a tour of scenic Leonardtown, went to Wal-mart, played Quirkle and Phase 10, read about Elijah, and R took Dad to cubs with him and E, while H went to Activity Days, and they got to talk about airplanes, and pilots and see cool videos and have  a visit with Dave Nelson, our favorite test pilot.

Monday, July 18, 2011


loved it!  All four of us :)  Sad it's over.  Glad good won. 

garden harvest


Finally tonight we get to go see it, the end of the saga.

I can't wait.  It's been a delight to read each book and wait and wonder how it will turn out.  It's also been so fun to have all the kids I know so into it.  Through the years we have enjoyed "harry potter parties" the best of which were thrown by the Blacks.  Midnight book releases where we went ahead of time and got wrist bands so we could buy it at Barnes and Noble and got on the library list so we could check out a copy because we needed to have more than one on in the house; then spending the evening in downtown FtW with all the other fans walking around enjoying activities, seeing costumed people and drinking jamba juice waiting for the magic hour and the release. Seeing the movies, then getting on DVD.  Laughing and crying (I'm still not over Hedwigs death).  It's been great.

In parting a little HP wisdom:
Dumbledore to Harry: "Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy."

Sunday, July 17, 2011

nature path

 Around the temple is a nice little nature path.  We took a walk and had a lot of fun.  I had my camera and so it quickly turned into a "watch what I can do!" fest.  Kenz is a great little dancer and everyone was following her.


One thing that Kenz really wanted to do was to see the DC Temple. Today after church we ate a quick lunch and then headed down. It was a really a lovely day.  We got there and walked around and looked at all they had then saw "Joseph Smith, Prophet of the Restoration".
 After the visitors center we walked around the outside of the temple and enjoyed how  beautiful and peaceful it is.

last night

We got home last night and found these two watching "The Princess and the Frog" together.  Tate was also with them but hopped out before I grabbed my camera.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

we did it

It took a lot of hours and a lot of snacks but we made it.  At 8:30 tonight we read the final verses of Moroni.  The kids did really great.  They were exhausted and happy.  I learned so much, it was wonderful to see the story unfold, to get new insights and most of all to see the great love of the Savior for his children. 

At times I felt like Peter (asleep on the job when I should have been attentive), at times like Martha (when I jumped up to help with lunch and was happy for a minute to do something instead of just reading) and all the time grateful for the opportunity. 

After we had a sweet testimony meeting.  It was different because there were no stories to tell, nothing new or exciting to share...we had all spent 2 days together in the gym reading, we were all tired, we were all stuffed with junk food and glad we finished.  Still it was the simple proclamations of "I know this book is true", "I am grateful to the Savior for his love for us and his invitation to come unto him", "I know this is true" that were heartfelt and sincere and strengthening.  I wish every one of our youth could have been there. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

we can do hard things

This weekend is our Book or Mormon Read-a-thon, as the ending indicated "athon" like marathon, or danceathon or whatever athon it is a hard thing to do.  We have determined to read the entire Book of Mormon in 2 days.  Today was day one.  It is going great.  We had about 19 youth and 3 leaders, I was happy about that.  Many of our kids are off on vacations or at EFY or at work or whatever so this is great.  We started at 8am, finished at 9pm and left off in Alma, chapter 21. 

It was a lot of sitting, a lot of thinking.  It was really reverent and quite powerful.  It's a very different experience to start at the beginning and just plow on through.  Different things stand out, different insights are to be had.  I have really been struck by the simplicity of the message, it is all about repenting and coming unto Christ.  Same message, different cast of characters over and over. 

We had several cameo appearances by members of the ward and they have been very moving.  Adam Armour was a wonderful Enos and Tony Aina was an awesome Abinidi.  Both of them really touched me. 

I am excited, and dreading, tomorrow.  I am tired and have a headache and anticipate more of the same for the morrow.  But it was really a great day and a worthwhile exercise.  I can't wait to read the rest and see what happens.

In other news Ethan got invited to go to Busch Gardens with his friend John.  They are still gone but I heard a report that they had an awesome time.

Lu got to go to Julia's birthday party.

Sweet Dani held down the fort, cleaned the house, took Lu shopping for a present and then took both little girls to the party.  She is awesome, and it was so nice to go with Hannah and Kenz and not have to worry about anything at home, or even leave any instructions.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

throwing string in the water

 cuz can you really call it crabbing if you don't get a crab?  We headed down to the wharf today, equiptment in hand to try our luck.  We knew it was the wrong time of day but didn't let that discourage us.
 It was pretty.  We saw some fish and our chicken necks did get nibbled by crabs but we came home empty handed.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

our day

 We went swimming.
 Dani took all the girls to the store to buy hair stuff.  Then they played beauty salon.  More pictures coming tomorrow.
In the evening we went to pack meeting.  It was supposed to be a hike followed by smores.  It rained and stormed so it turned into an indoor meeting with games and root beer floats. 
It's all good :)
Bub got a few awards and everyone had a good time.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

hot & historic

DC Field Trip

 Today, the hottest day on record, we decided to go to DC and see the monuments and the Smithsonian. 

We rode the metro, which is always part of the fun :)
 Then went to the Smithsonian Castle and the Natural History Museum. We didn't get to see it all, of course, but saw a few wings before heading out to the monuments.
 We lost a few of our party at the WW II memorial, they found a shady tree and decided to wait.  Lu, E, M and I forged ahead to the Lincoln memorial, which is my favorite and a must see.
We took some pictures, sweated a lot and then headed home.  On the way home we stopped for frozen yogurt. 

It was fun, in a historic and hot kind of way.

then and now

same bone, same little girl, same bad photographer.  She's getting so big!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

post vacation

so, we arrived home on Saturday night, hauled our suitcases inside and that was about it.  I did go to the grocery store, R mowed the lawn and pulled some weeds and Dani unloaded all the kitchen stuff  we had but the suitcases and dirty clothes just waited for us.
They waited all day on Sunday (love that day of rest!) and then this morning we had a massive cleaning party.  Not everyone was excited about it, however in two hours we got it all done.  Dani did lots of work, Mackenzie also did, she's a great little helper.  The others took more persuading, but they did help.
After we went to the pool and swam, which was great and everyone enjoyed.

R got in a crash today.  He was leaving the base and there was an accident closing off one of the gates.  He got stuck in the traffic and he, along with many others were doing u-turns (over a broken line) to turn around.  Unfortunately he turned and didn't see the guy who also  turned and was then heading back.  That guys also didn't see R and t-boned into him :(  This is very sad.  We are glad and grateful that R is okay, so was the other guy..the car was towed though and we will know more tomorrow.   It is almost paid off and now we will have to fix it, and our insurance is going to go up.

When we were cleaning E and I were in the basement and I found a getting ready for 4th grade summer work book that H never did.  I gave it to him and asked him to do a couple of pages.  It was then that we discovered he didn't know how to divide.  I was surprised.  He said they never covered it in school, but I think he should have so I went over it a little, and he understood right away.  Tonight I told R about it and he worked with him on even more complex problems, E thinks it's great fun and asked for more and more.  Problem solved, he's now ready for 4th grade. 

We are really enjoying having Tate visit.  She is so funny.  She calls Sierra see-we-ah.  So cute.  She calls Millie "popcorn", and is very insistant on it.  "Come here popcorn" she calls.  Today we looked at a Clifford book with little windows to open for a long time.  She liked it.  She bit both Hannah and Dani today, she's part shark.  Everyone adores her.  I love watching how sweet E and Lu and H are with her.  They all play with her and watch out for her.  Very nice.

J is doing great at school.  She got an A on her first paper and 100%s on all her quizzes and tests so far.  She is changing her major to undecided and is going to a ball this weekend.  BYU is all I dreamed of ( :) )

We watched Knight and Day yesterday afternoon, it was cute.  We made fried green tomatoes for dinner (along with other things ) and they were tasty.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

More on the battleship

That tiny red speck in the top picture is E.  The bottom picture is me and my honey and if you look closely you can see Lu's feet peeking out behind my skirt :)


 Greg's flight was leaving from Norfolk and we had a lot of time between when we needed to be out of the house and when he was leaving so we decided to go to Nauticus.  It was a lot of fun.  The Battleship Wisconsin is there and we got to go on it and walk around. 

They also have a maritime museum and a naval museum that we got to go to.  It was very interesting to see what life would have been like on a destroyer. 
 They had a nice section on NOAA and the tools they use and they also had a few animal tanks.  We got to touch a shark, which was super cool.  It had rough skin.
 We also went to a labyrinth called Atlantis, it was for kids but it was pretty fun to run through and see all the things they had set up and even the big kids enjoyed playing on the interactive exhibits.
Norfolk was a lovely city and I am really glad we got a chance to see a little of it on our way home.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Birthday Girl

 We had the opportunity to celebrate Mackenzie's birthday with her this year! It's only the 2nd time in her 12 years that we have been together.  I remember when she was born.  I was expecting Hannah and Val and I were so excited that we would have baby girls together.  We were at Destin vacationing and got a call in the middle of the night, on our land line because that was all we had then (weird huh?) It was so exciting!!!Mackenzie was born!
 A year later when Hannah and Mackenzie were turning 1 we were in CA visiting Grandma and Papa and we had a birthday party for them.
Now 11 years later we are celebrating her 12th.  We made a cake, sang to her (a couple of times), went shopping, opened gifts, and went to play putt putt.  It was a lot of fun!

Happy Birthday M!  We love you.