Sunday, July 31, 2011


We made s'mores on the deck for Family Home Evening treats!! Great pic of summer Peanut!
Check out these cute cousins! Taylor was in heaven having "brothers". He kept asking Jack if he wanted to be his brother! I don't think Jack felt like he needed more brothers!
We had fun playing at the beach!
Here's a pick of Sleeping Bear Dunes from the beach in Empire. Pretty huge and vertical!
I probably posted a bunch of pix like these last year when we went, but it never gets old! It's such an amazing place!

WOW! So steep! I better start doing lunges now!!

We contemplated doing the dune climb (but we're putting it off until next month when Steve is with us. It'll be a better parent/child ratio then).
We had a picnic lunch at the beach in Traverse City before heading out to Sleeping Bear Dunes.
This is probably the longest parade in the country! We stayed for probably 45 min and it wasn't even a 1/3 of the way through!
We finally made it to the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City! (I'll be going back next year!).
We fed all 5 missionaries at the same time!! Yay for Cafe Rio dinner!
Hailey is a good one rally the troops for cheering (cheering gets more candy thrown!).
We rode bikes to the 4th of July parade! (wearing our firework t's that we made at the family reunion).
Hailey came and we did fireworks in the street (to mixed reviews, Griff did NOT love it!).
We rode our bikes to Scooper's (thanks Leavitt's!) for family home evening treats.
We took a picnic lunch to Fallasburg park and played in the water!
I nearly but my fingertip off (this is a week later and it's healing up quite nicely).
We went to the Farmer's Market and bought cherries and ate them off our fingers!!

A week in the life....

Now Taylor has Katie's fever. Oh joy, another 5 days...atleast we know what to expect.
Soph was all wiped out yesterday after I took her and Katie to the pool. Even the girls were going stir crazy!
This last week we have stuck close to home. Katie had a fever she picked up on our trip down to Cincinnati. I finally took her into the Dr's on Tuesday afternoon only to learn what I was pretty sure I already knew. She did not have strep throat, only a virus. So frustrating, but she'd been running a fever for 5 days!! Don't get me wrong, I'm all about keeping everybody healthy, but our insurance plan has us pay sick visits out of pocket and while we're still playing for Taylor's visit to the ER (which resulted in no meds given, or stitches or staples and yet we have $1100 to pay for the 5 hrs we WAITED TO SEE A PHYSICIAN!!). Anyhow, I could had done with out the hour and a half wait with 3 kids to spend 3 min with a dr to tell me nothing, not to mention the impending bills.
Anyhow, I did haul them out to a park on Tuesday because the weather was so nice (meaning sunny but not humid). Then on Wednesday it was almost cool in the morning so I jumped on the opportunity to fulfill one of my summer goals, a trip to the berry farm to pick raspberries. Imagine how elated I was when we arrived at the farm and it wasn't too hot or too sunny and it was the very last day for picking!!! Katie and Taylor each picked almost 2 pts and I picked 7pts. Sophie just wandered around and played with her mermaid barbie, but it was AWESOME to get out and do something great with my kiddos!!
We spent that night making 9 batches of raspberry freezer jam. Sadly, I couldn't find the pectin I used last year so we ended up with sweeter jam than last year, but it's still good. I miss how fresh raspberry-y it was last year though. I'll have to do some research this year so next year I can remedy that problem.
Taylor did end up with Katie's fever by Thursday night. He has been down all weekend. He's finally beginning to recover now and it's Sunday afternoon. Hopefully we'll be all done with it now (yeah right! you know Sophie is next!).
I took the cutest video of the kids helping me make jam and now it won't upload, any ideas?

Monday, July 25, 2011

That which does not kill us will only make us stronger

Sophie was so wiped out yesterday after getting home we found her up in her room like this! HAHAHHA!!

Here's Taylor's pencil dive at the hotel pool. We spent a couple hours there each day.

Ice cream was the only reasonable choice for lunch on a day that hot. Down below you can see Katie and Sophie in front of the frog and Taylor is in the navy blue swim shirt under the green mushroom.

This past week we accompanied Craig down to Cincinnati. He had to go down for a week of work stuff (the headquareters of his division is located in Evendale, OH, a suburb of Cincinnati). It was hotter than all get-out this week (pretty much everywhere or I would have gone somewhere else). The kids love to stay at hotels so we decided to go altogether. It fell to me to try to occupy the kids during the day and also be on call to drive Craig to and from his work obligations. Understandbly, I was less excited about the prospect of the trip than the rest of the family (also I'm in charge of packing and unpacking).

Anyhow, I did some online research and found some things for us to do that would allow us to stay relatively cool (the kids would have been happy staying in the hotel the entire week) and also not lose our minds completely.

On Monday we went to the Cincinnati Museum Center. It is pretty impressive. I forgot to bring the camera so we don't have any pix, but it's housed in an amazing art deco train depo. We paid for our tix to the children's musuem and spent a wonderfully cool 2 hours playing there, then we had a snack and visited the Cincinnati History Museum (it was free with our pass to the Grand Rapids Public Museum). We spent an hour playing there and loved the gigantic train display of Cincinnati in the early 20th century. Also they had a riverboat we could get on and a flatboat to explore and tear apart and turn into a house and even an accordian player. It was certainly worth a visit!

On Wednesday we visited Winton Woods park. This is huge park with walking trails and hiking trails and a harbor where you can rent boats. Thankfully, we were there for the splash park. Unfortunately, we showed up at 10:15am and the splash park didn't open until 11am. We almost had heat exhaustion by the time we hit the water park, but it was fun and only $5 for all three kids to play as long as they wanted. After playing for a bit we took a break and had ice cream for lunch.

Thursday we had to stick close to where Craig was working because he needed to go to another location mid-day. We explored the play area of a nearby mall. After Craig finished that day we went up to Dayton and he dropped us off at Leisy and Kent's house. We got to spend the night there and go to the YMCA on Friday morning together and make a fun care package for cousin Tanner, all before Craig came back on Friday around 3pm.

After our visit with the Millers we trekked up to Ashland and got to spend Friday and Saturday nights visiting with Craig's parents and brothers. It was so fun to get the cousins together, (eat lots of Yaya's great food, especially the ice cream) and visit with the Webbs.

We are all happy to be home and I'm excited to start hanging things on the walls again (inspired by the gorgeous house that Donna Starkey has redone for her daughter).

Sunday, July 17, 2011

But wait, there's more!

We followed Derek and Rachael's tradition of taking pictures on the walk before leaving for home!

What a cute group in the back of Grandpa's truck!! Too bad Hailey's kiddos had to leave early!

Who knew my nephew Jack lived there??!!!

We had great fun walking downtown Coeur d'Alene!

Had to take the kids to feed the goat in downtown Spokane!

Sophie loved the carousel almost as much as I do!

Monday, July 4, 2011

There's no place like home!

The morning that Derek and Rachael had to leave we had a special girls (grown-up girls) trip to Rockwood Bakery. You can walk there from my parents house, everything they make is amazing and it's a fun atmosphere to stay and eat there or you can go over to Manito Park to eat it if the weather is nice. I miss this place when we're not in Spokane!

We did shrinky dinks for probably over 4 hrs on Sunday afternoon! Very addictive to watch them shrink! I hope mom has finished her Pirate charm bracelet by now!

We did goop (cornstarch and water) for the kids in the backyard after playing at the park (this is to keep them busy while I made dinner. I think we fed them every meal on the back patio. Thank goodness the weather was nice!

We took them to Upper Manito to play on the playset and in the splash park on Saturday evening. It wasn't warm enough for me to feel like putting a swim suit, but they didn't seem to mind! (brrrr....with a breeze too!).

Brave kiddos!

After we left the cabin on Saturday morning (well, it was 11am by the time we got all packed up and cleaned up) I was able to talk almost everybody into a trip to Paul Bunyan's for a Huckleberry milkshake. Even better than I had remembered!!

Here's what we did at the cabin! Such a perfect family vacation! Hang out, let the kids play, let the daddies play ping pong, throw rocks in the lake, go canoeing. So fun!

I was the only one who did the Stars and Stripes manicure! I think Carver is starting to realize just how crazy his Auntie Amy really is!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!

This rails to trails ride that we took was awesome. Made me long to live out West again! No humidity, not tons of bugs. That sweet smell of sap in the warm pine trees. Ahhhhh.... there's no place like home! I guess you just can't take the Idaho out of a girl no matter how many years I spend away!

Such a great ride! I'd love to go again and go on further! Dad says a couple miles farther there's a little deli to get lunch! That's a great day trip!

Ahoy thar Matey's! We didn't take the boat cruise this time, but we did almost go aboard the ship in true pirate fashion! (without being invited).

It was awesome to walk the boardwalk around the Coeur d'Alene resort again. One of my favorite spots in the area!

Grandma came to get ups from the airport!! So exciting to finally be there!

So thrilling to finally be leaving on our trip (we'd been planning it for probably a year or more. Many breakfast discussions revolved around our trip to WA to visit Grandma and Grandpa and go to the cabin!).

We also go to travel with Auntie Hailey and Jack! PARTY!!

We took a week long trip out to Spokane WA to visit my parents and have a family reunion last week. It was really fun to be all together and go hiking, biking, canoeing and stay in a cabin on Lake Coeur d'Alene.