Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pasco Thanksgiving

 We decided to drive up to my sister's house this year for Thanksgiving. They just opened a restaurant and weren't going to have family around so we thought we would go ahead and visit. Heather just found out she's expecting a baby girl and we are all excited for a new cousin in the family. After we made the decision to drive to Washington my parents decided to go and my younger brother Spencer too. Dan's Mom flew up as well and we had a big Thanksgiving dinner at their BBQ joint, Dickey's, in Kennewick.

Waiting for dinner to be done.

 We had most of the usual spread plus ham. It was nice for Heather to not have it at their house. And we still were able to take all the leftovers home.
 Dan was back and forth from the store prepping the meat with help from Cody. The best part for the kids was the ice cream. We made lots of desserts and football games were on all the tvs.
 Love my sister.
I did some black Friday shopping with my parents on Thanksgiving (yes I'm one of those shoppers) and a little more on Friday. It was awesome. Tri-Cities doesn't have the crowds that Utah and Salt Lake counties have. The parking lots weren't full and I got everything that I set out to get. Even at Target. I was amazed and happy. 

We had a fun vacation, the kids played well with their cousins and the food was delicious. Much to be thankful for.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Piano Recital

Aubrey and I were in my Dad's piano recital on November 24th. 
 I played "Where are you Christmas." I've loved that song and wanted to play it for a few years but my Dad's recital date hadn't coincided with my schedule until this year. I didn't even play the entire song, my Dad shortened it for me, since I ran out of time memorizing it, but I did fairly well. My Dad's band plays along with you which makes it unique and fun.
 Aubrey again played without a single lesson from my Dad. She played Jolly ol' Saint Nicolas. I showed it to her a few times and she learned it. Unfortunately, I thought I recording her but I wasn't. Lisa Marie took pictures thankfully.
 Parker and Mckenna were also in the recital so it was a family affair. 
I love it when my Dad plays and play he did with his band.

Aubrey clogging competition

Aubrey competed at the Autumnfest clogging competition in Provo. I was was more nervous than she was. I helped work on her freestyle with her and we curled her hair so that it was perfectly bouncy and ready to go. She looked stage ready! Part of the reason I was nervous for her was that I knew all the judges. They were all my dance friends from growing up. My clogging teacher was in the crowd and she was dancing against her friends too. Again, she wasn't nervous, just excited. I reminded her to smile and have fun and she found her teacher and got in line. 
 She did great and her hair bounced along in time to the beat!

Aubrey and her cute friend Polly both placed 1st at their first competition! I was so proud of both of them.
 Here they are with their teachers!
I'm not sure if the link to her dancing will work, the dropbox file said it was too big to load and I'm not sure how to convert it to an youtube file. Any thoughts? I didn't film it, I had a friend send it to me via dropbox. 

Halloween 2014

We didn't follow any family theme this year for Halloween. I let the kids pick whatever they wanted and I bought all costumes online weeks in advance. Tucker picked a candy cane and I found this gem on Oriental Trading for $10. Score! I should pull it out this week for the holidays.
Blake went with a dinosaur, but he got called a dragon over and over.
 Cole is a cute penguin and Aubrey, along with every other girl is Elsa.

 Cody decided to dress up and borrowed one of my cancer wigs and is Axl Rose, so last minute I threw together my black apparel and a witch hat. We left town since Cody was off work and the kids were off school and visited Grandparents and ate dinner with the Calderwoods and trick or treated with Grandpa Mickey in Sandy.

 There was an amazing sunset that I managed to capture a picture of. The kids missed tricking with their friends, but they each came home with loads of candy and were happy!
 Tucker's class at school had to create a book report pumpkin that looked like the main character of their book. He chose the Diary of the Wimpy Kid. I don't know much about the book, but this is his pumpkin. We didn't carve any pumpkins this year.We bought them and displayed them on our front porch until they started to get old and then threw them in the field next door.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Fall Break

This year for fall break we decided to head down to Moab with Lisa's mom, our good friends Bart and Becky Williams and the Ashursts (they came down late Friday Night).  Unfortunately I think everybody in Utah had this idea.  It was the most crowded I have ever seen Moab in 18 years of going there.  We almost always get a camp site at Sand Flats area, but this time they were completely full, as were most all other sites around Moab.  
By pure coincidence we happened to run into my good high school friends Doug Cary and Spencer Couch as we first entered into town.  They were down in Moab to take their boys on a fun camp trip.  They, like us, were without a camp site, so we decided to find one together.  We went back north of town to some BLM land and ended up finding a great site for the kids to all play.  Best of all was the site was free.  Woo hoo!
The kids were in heaven.  They would go hiking, digging in the dirt, climbing trees, etc.  It was funny to see so many kids in our site.  It was like a swarm of bees that just hovered from area to area.

For as full as Moab was, this site turned out to be just about perfect for our group size.

Friday morning when we woke up there was a hot air balloon drifting directly over our camp site.  Only about 50 yards above us.  Lisa took this awesome photo with both the balloon and the crescent moon on it's left in the same shot.

That morning we took our kids with the Williams over to the Bar M trails to do some kid friendly mountain biking while Spencer and Doug took their boys into Arches National Park.

The kids all did awesome and really got the hang of it quickly.  Even Blake was able to ride a paved trail with his training wheels.  Next year he'll be ready to hit the dirt trails with us.

Back at camp the kids did more digging and playing in all that glorious sand.

That afternoon we took all the kids rock climbing over in Kane Creek.  The approach to the climbs is a steep, talus slope.  The kids all loved it.  It was like a giant play ground for them.

I lead climbed a route and then we let all the kids that wanted take turns climbing up.  Bart and Becky's boys killed it.  They were naturals.

Tucker really enjoys rock climbing now and feels so comfortable now with both the climbing and the rappelling part.

Doug's boys did great as well.  They all are so fearless.

Aubrey is such a cool girl.  Although she loves all things girly like the color pink, princesses, dancing, and dolls, she also loves to keep up with her brothers.  She is a big fan of outdoor activities and loves to rock climb.

Spence had fun getting to know our kids even better.

Here is a view from up top looking back down at our vehicles and the descent.

Late Friday night Joe and Jessica rolled in, and then we had a huge group.  It was fun getting everybody together.  Each morning treated us with some beautiful sunrises.

We had fun around the campfire.

This tree was a favorite for the kids.

Here is a cool photo I took of Bart, Kaden, Lisa, Tucker and Kolton when we were riding on the Bar M Trails.  Those boys are great bikers.  I can't wait until my kids are old enough to do some longer, more technical trails down there.  The older these kids get, the more fun they are.

We had great weather for our weekend in Moab.  The kids played non-stop and I had fun hanging with Bart and Becky, and running into Doug and Spencer.  We are lucky to live so close to Moab and such beautiful country.