Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ode to the Swagger Wagon

It's official. We have acquired 100 thousand miles on the Sienna. I was so glad that Shan pulled out his phone to snap a picture (in the middle of the night on our way to Oregon) and capture this moment of greatness.
These 100,000 miles have been filled with singing (and arguing about who is singing and who should or should not be singing); finishing up breakfast on the way to school; running errands with toddlers in tow; being lost in the middle of nowhere; hauling camping gear; going to DisneyWorld; shuttling family to and from airports; driving across the country, not once, not twice, but three times; meandering through the Appalachian mountains; screaming through Kansas just miles ahead of a terrifying tornado; and hauling bikes, diaper bags, strollers, golf clubs, suitcases, Christmas trees, science projects, folding tables, chairs, beach gear, Christmas presents, PTA bake sale food, and furniture (thank you 'stow and go' seating). These miles represent close to a thousand trips to the grocery store and a zillion bags of groceries (thank you grocery hooks). They represent hours of laughter, tears, listening to books on tape, rockin' out to music, and great conversation. To me, they are trying to nurse a baby in the back seat on long road trips; passing out a million wet wipes; buckling and unbuckling those car seats and boosters (thank you tether hooks); trepidatiously carrying sleeping babies into the house; vacuuming out sand, cheerios, and goldfish; and washing it down in the driveway with the juvenile work staff in bathing suits.
We've had to pull over for a vomiting car-sick child, to change dirty diapers, and twice when one of the kids dropped an entire cup of lemonade on the floor (thank you spill-resistant mats). We've spent hours playing "I Spy" and "Slug bug" and "Trivia." We've pulled trailers and boats, and the car top carrier has been a frequent accessory. Once when we were lost, we spun around on the road, and two year old Emma referred to our "U-turn" as a "W-Twist." For these great times and so many more, I heart the Sienna.
I love how the Sienna is equipped with 12 thousand cup holders, and how in our van, every single one of them is filled with napkins, chapstick, change, toys, hair elastics, maps, and trinkets, so I still have no where to put my cup until I remember the pull-out cup holder in front. Genius.
Actually, I think Toyota should put me on their payroll, since I have successfully encouraged 4 friends to purchase a Sienna. Recall nothing. We love you Toyota!
Given my feelings, you can imagine my sheer delight at this:

Plenty more for your laughing pleasure on Youtube.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Starfish on the Beach

We took the children out to the beach for a few days and shockingly, we had two beautiful days out there without any rain and no wind! The first night we were there, we went down to the beach to look around, and each of the kids found a starfish, which was a first for all of us. They were so cool. (And yes, we threw them back.) It was a perfect beach for us because there were thousands of agates and the girls and I treasure hunted our hearts out. Our hotel was right on the beach. I loved falling asleep listening to the waves crashing and the view was just spectacular.
The next day we met up with Jade, David & boys, and Peg, Alex & Crew for some tide pool exploration at Yaquina Head.

This was super fun! The kids loved seeing so many creatures up close and being able to touch them and watch them tighten up.


While in Portland, we rode on the OHSU tram and it was super fun! Madeline was really scared at first, but once we got going she said, "It's just like floating!"
Madeline in Henry's jacket (we weren't as prepared for the rain as we should have been.)

Miss Emma

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Big 9

Ryan celebrated his birthday while we were in Oregon and we all went to play laser tag together. Even Mimi and Papa played! So much fun.

Aunt Alex decorated this cake for Ryan who had requested an "Indian party."
He blew them all out, and we wonder what he wished for...

A real bow and arrow set was the hit of the day. He's been target shooting ever since.
A few great things we love about Ryan are:
-He loves to make people laugh. He has a great sense of humor.
- He is a voracious reader. So far this summer, he has read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Harry Potter #1 and #2, Fudgemania, Pollyanna, James and the Giant Peach, The Indian in the Cupboard, and Runaway Ralph.
- He is really conscious of right and wrong and wants to do what's right.
- He loves being a Bear Scout so much and always makes sure his uniform is just right before going to activities.
- He cares about everything. For example, the oil spill brings tears to his eyes everytime we talk about it. I think this sensitivity will be a huge asset as he grows up.
Happy 9th Birthday, Ryan!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cousins Rock

Jeep fun with cousins Ezra and Eli. Eli was so cute- he kept "pushing" the girls around.
Oliver in Babushka.

Wildflowers after a nature walk we took with the cousins.

Chelsea and Mike took us to the Cruise-In diner where we fed on the largest grass-fed beef burger I could ever imagine. We left stuffed with goodness.
It's too bad I didn't get a good picture of us with Chel and Mike. We all went to BYU at the same time (the first time around:), dated together, married within a month of each other, and we all just celebrated 12 years of marriage. It's crazy to see how fast the time has gone, and to look at all the kids we have now! I can't lie- we were thrilled when they finally started procreating. For selfish reasons only... because cousins rock.

Jakob's Homecoming

Jakob is home from his mission in Romania! It was so great to see him and for the entire family to be together again. (The last time that happened was before Shan left for Iraq over three years ago!) Chels took some great pictures and I stole them from her...

I love this picture! The kids are soooo cute.

I'm not sure whether Bryce is taller than me or not...

My kids pretty much love Uncle David more than me.

End of School Field Day

School is officially out and the kids had the typical week-long celebration to prove it. Why they even hold school the last week is beyond me:) The last day was "Field Day" and the kids got to play relay water games and get soaking wet.
Emma passing the dripping sponge.

Mrs. Bishop won Teacher of the Year this year and she deserved it. We love you Mrs. Bishop!

Emma with her two wonderful teachers: Madame LaCroix and Mrs. Steeves. These ladies were great and outperformed my greatest expectations of the French immersion class.
Our summer adventures have already begun and I have a zillion pictures to show for it... to be continued.