Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Who drives to Texas? Part 4

These are the pictures from yesterday:

Our second stop at Panera. The soup! The bread! The Mac and Cheese! The pastries! (note the soft cast/sling on our boy....ugh.)

Panera was in Joplin, Missouri, where a huge tornado hit. We asked a lady at panera where we could go to see the major damage and she said "go down to main street. It's decimated. That's where my house was." :(

It was crazy and a sobering experience for our family to see the destruction.

This is the next picture:

Lots of cousin love! We ended up in Tahlequah, Oklahoma at Ryan's sister's house. I LOVE hearing the sounds of cousins playing and laughing. We talked our faces off with Brooke and Spencer. Yay for hanging out with far-off family!

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Who drives to Texas? Part 3

No driving yesterday! We stopped at my friend Carie's house and just had the best day...until we had to take Seth to the emergency room. But I'll get to that.

After a lovely run with Carie, we headed to Liberty Jail, a place with historical and spiritual significance for our church. It was neat to be there:

We stopped for lunch at Panera. (Don't have one in Spokane and holy cow! We stopped there AGAIN today for lunch.)

We headed to downtown Kansas City and went to Kaleidoscope (a Hallmark owned children's art museum). We had so much (free!) fun:

Gabe using their wall kaleidoscope maker:

Lots of art to make:

The adults dropped kids at home and left for dinner at Jack Stack (cuh-razy good barbecue) and the famous chocolate bag for dessert (picture on my regular camera--but that thing was a. A work of art and b. so so so yummy).

We got home to news that Seth had jumped off a ledge and hurt his arm. We weren't too concerned till we heard him whimpering at 12:30 in the morning. One middle-of-the-night ER run later, the radiologist confirmed it was a bad sprain. Phew. We tend towards broken arms around here and we were scared. Ryan reports MAJOR charming of the nurses on Seth's part:

He is now complaining, as we drive to Oklahoma, that is itches. I hope it itches so much he NEVER jumps from at 5 foot ledge again.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Who drives to Texas? Part 2

Yesterday was Mount Rushmore day. It was sub-zero and snowy but brilliantly sunny. After a quick stop at a local church meeting, we headed up the mountain.

My family of groomed sight-see-ers were suitably impressed/excited and there was a neat feeling there.

We headed back to the car to drive to Kansas City, but made sure to detour at Wall Drug (because how can you pass 153 billboards and NOT check it out?):

Some of the photo ops:

If you know Seth, you know this kind of personal space invading is NOT just for wooden figures:

It was a long 11 more hours, but we made it to KC. Remind me to detail our extensive car trip activity preparation. Here they are in one of there more sedate moments:

The next 10 days only has a few 4-5 hour car rides, so we are looking forward to our driving break!

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Who drives to Texas? Part 1

So Ryan's family is having a reunion in Texas for Thanksgiving. And we are driving there. Because we want to.

Yesterday was Day 1. We left at 4:00 am and the roads were nasty (due to the fact that the first major snowstorm of the year happened the day before). We made it through okay and drove through it all the way through the entire state of Montana. It's a long state.

We tried to stop at Big Hole battlefield (outside of Billings, MT) but the rangers there were NOT interested in doing anything with any visitors 30 minutes before closing time. Lame. Here's our picture in front of the battlefield:

And in the visitors center, where these lucky kids had their history major mom give them all the details of native American/US government relations and the ensuing battle at Big Hole (somebody had to...)

We rolled into Rapid City, SD after 16 hours in the lovely blue van. We dealt with the last excruciating hour by having Ryan tell us HILARIOUS stories about his siblings.

In going back and re-reading what I've written, I realize that the day sounds miserable. Guess what? It wasn't. It was great. Good kids, pumped up parents, lots of activities and a fun destination= awesome.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011


I was trying to make this recap extra exciting with my title.  Did it work?

We’ve had the loveliest, warm, sunny fall (almost makes up for the CRAPPY early summer) and one day, I actually stopped in the MIDDLE OF MY LIST (!), and played in the leaves with Faith:


We continued our yearly tradition of heading up to Greenbluff (a community of farmers that put on fun fall fastivities) between soccer games one Saturday.

We ate:


The big kids did the corn maze:


The little kids did the hay maze (notice Faith’s favorite pose for the camera. ???):


but we didn’t have to spend a million dollars for pumpkins because…

this year we grew 9 in our OWN BACKYARD:


I made this lovely pizza, which is totally random to include in my October wrap-up but I make a BUNCH of yummy things that disappear in about 1/5 the time it takes me to make them, so I’m including this for posterity:


I also participated in a makeover/image consulting class for 6 weeks this fall and LOVED it.  I just felt like as I move from young mom to not-young mom,  I wanted to direction in how to look good with what I’ve been given. 

Ali (from Biggest Loser fame) was the keynote speaker at our event.  Here she is in the dressing room:


And here is one of my “After” shots:

fashion show1

I know, I look completely different.  Just kidding.  In this picture, I just look like my mom and her sisters.  Am I right, Abbie?  Erin?  Bekah?

We also watched conference:


(I keep changing my favorite talks as I read and study them.  The one about families and bearing children.  No wait, the time management one.  No, I know, the Forget Not one.  So lucky to have prophets and apostles that give us inspiration and direction.)

We also did the regular:

Dental checkups (is Faith not hilarious in this picture?)


And participated in swim meets (I realize my Super Swimmer probably deserves a decent towel, but he’ll lose it anyway, so rags it is.)



Wasn’t that SO ROCKING?  No?  Well, I’m pretty wiped by the end of each day, so I don’t what your problem is….

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

5 kids at Halloween=Major Busy

(Halloween just gets more involved and crazier every year.  But I kind of like it, because, unlike Christmas, I’m not feeling like I should be having this major spiritual experience for my family.  In December, I resent the crazy.  In October, I think it’s fun to just enjoy the silliness of costumes, parties, candy, decorations, etc.)

Here’s the total for the month:

5 pumpkins carved (3 at 6:00 am this morning while I was running.  Thanks, Ryan!)



8 Halloween parties attended (1 birthday, 2 school, 1 church, 1 work, 1 neighborhood,1 mom’s luncheon, 1 adult dance party!)



1 Darth Vader costume for Ryan, made from a Gabe’s size 8 cast-off costume.


3 different costumes on Jessica (1 wonder twin, 1 witch, 1 Jaclyn Smith/Charlies Angels)

5 childrens’ costumes (1 crayon, 1 Tom Brady, 1 Cleopatra, 1 Frankenstein and 1 butterfly)






2 plates of treats on our doorstep via the Boo Ghost

4 dishes prepared for the annual Halloween dinner (dinner in a pumpkin, glazed carrots, orange jello, breadstick bones and blood)


1,004,640 sugar grams consumed

7 family members exhausted but content after a month of family fun!