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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Park time with family

While we were in Kansas City (specifically, Blue Springs) == we played hard. Every day we were either going shopping, visiting family, playing at the park, playing with friends, swimming .... you get the idea!

The first day we are in Missouri, we meet up with my brother and his family. I have two nephews from my brother: Joshua & Liam. Joshua is almost 4, and can be a serious little boy and is INCREDIBLY smart. My brother & his wife, Rachel, play sand volleyball with their friends, and so we went to watch and let the kids play in the sand.

Dark clouds started to roll in before we arrived, and I was SO excited to get a feel for a good Midwestern storm!  There's nothing like it, I have to say -- a huge lightning show, thunder crashing, the smell of rain....we managed to get home just in time before the rain started.


Madison & Liam played really well together!!


My brother Mike blocking the ball...


and now serving the ball!


A few days later, we all enjoyed teriyaki chicken on the grill at my grandma's house.  She needed her back deck power washed, so my brother and dad went over to do that fun job!

Here are the girls with my grandma.  If you read this post I wrote back in January of 2010, you'll see how far Katie has come as far as height!!  All the grandkids (and now great grandkids) know they're growing up when they grow past Grandma!

This is Coco.  My grandpa and grandma got Coco two weeks before my grandpa passed away.  Coco is a bit.... wild.  Maddie was afraid of him, really.  He would jump all over people -- and she doesn't do well with animals period.  Ever since the goat bit her hand.... and the rabbit bit her hand... and well, you see a trend?  Bites == Maddie refusing to do anything with animals!  Anyways, my grandma had the brilliant idea of putting Coco on a leash, and gave the leash to Maddie.  That way she could control Coco.  Maddie loved that idea!  Coco was very obedient on a leash.  After a few days, Coco was fixed -- and he went straight to Maddie to be held after he got home.  This picture below is of Maddie holding Coco, while he was a just a bit "out of it".

Here are two great grandkids (Katie & Joshua) helping Grandma with her yard work.

My brother working the power washer....

and my dad ... doing something.  Wrapping a cord?  It was SO hot while we were in KC the entire two weeks.  100% humidity plus high heat == a very hot, sweaty day.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane.....

When we went to Kansas City a few weeks ago, my girls, I think, were most excited about going on a plane.  The last time Katie was on a plane was when she was 4 1/2 -- Maddie was only 18 months old.  Maddie sat on my lap, sleeping away while Katie was listening & singing very loudly to Shania Twain on her portable CD player -- I told her to quiet it down a bit since everyone could hear her, but she just said "I can't hear myself sing!"  I'm so thankful for all those people who didn't complain.
Fast forward 8 years.....
We leave on a Tuesday morning for Kansas City.  We traveled on Frontier -- but I didn't pay for the higher end tickets, so to put a suitcase under the plane was $20 (turns out, if you pay for it the day before, it's only $15!) -- so I had the girls lug their stuff in duffel bags and backpacks.  I had a duffel bag and a big suitcase that we put the heavier stuff in.  We came loaded.....  well, we stayed for two weeks!

While we were going through the lines, Katie was stopped.  Of course.... why?  Look at her arm!  All those metal bracelets.  It took FOREVER to get them all off!  On the way home, she only had one bracelet on... lesson learned!   (side note, Frontier had the most comfortable seats ever!  And since my butt is a bit wider than most ... it fit comfortably in the sit... just saying!  oh, and their snack is a chocolate chip cookie!  Perfect!)


I was able to pick which seat we were going to sit in, so on this ride, Maddie sat next to the window first.  On the way home, Katie sat next to the window -- but a seat opened up next to me, and she moved over to the window seat by me.  Which.... started a "MOM!!  That's SO not fair!!" from Katie.  Attitude does exist when you are flying high in altitude.


I loved seeing their excitement!!


stay tuned for more vacation stories and pictures!

Monday, July 18, 2011

the iron king.... the iron daughter... the iron queen.... TEAM ASH!!!

Since I am in Kansas City for two weeks.... I have had ample reading time on the plane, and at night.

My sister in law Tiffany texted me a few weeks ago telling me about a few new series of books that are Young Adult -- and were SOOOOO good!  So, I went about my business requesting them from the library, and just last night I finished the series so far of the Iron King.  I'm not normally into reading fantasy books.  In fact, I believe this might be my first fantasy book I've ever read.  I don't consider Twilight fantasy, but maybe it should be???

Written by Julie Kagawa ... it's a fantasy/faery type of book.  Meaghan Chase is about to turn 16 years old, and all of a sudden she's starting to "see" weird things ... creatures!  Turns out, her biological father is a King of the Summer Faery -- so she's part faery and part human.

I realize I'm butchering this little book report up BIG time (I never said I was good writing book reports .... I just like to read them and tell you to read them yourself if I think it's good).  So, do me a favor.  Go to the library or book store and find The Iron King by Julie Kagawa ..... read it.  If you like it, read The Iron Daughter.  AND if you like that one, read The Iron Queen.

Yes, there is a love interest with the main character.  I have to say I'm 100% Team Ash.  You'll know what I mean by the time you read book 3.  Can't wait for book 4 to come out!!

Here is a brief summary I have taken from Julie Kagawa's site:

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.
But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Girls Camp 2011

Right after we got back from the property (like literally.... 6 hours after we got home), we sent Katie off to our church's Girls Camp!  This is a 5 day long camp for girls ages 12-18 ... and it is THE event that all girls look forward to all year long.  Last year Katie went for the first time -- and I have to admit I was in tears sending her off AND picking her up.  This year -- no tears were shed by Momma.  I knew she'd have a blast.  They did kayaking (she fell in twice), swimming, crafts, archery, ate really yummy food, had devotionals, sang their hearts out (and Katie's voice went "bye-bye" on that Friday!).  They were supposed to go on a 5 mile hike, but down here in San Antonio -- it's boiling hot out, so they went for a 2 mile hike instead.  They all have a mailbox -- a place where people can place cards/letters, candy, little trinkets for each other.  Such a fun time for them!!

I took a few pictures before the girls left, and I sent w/ her a disposable camera so she could take pictures.  We got them developed after she came home on Saturday.  I'm so thankful for digital cameras now!!

You can see Katie in her element ..... as crazy as she gets w/ all these girls!   {{note all the girls rocking side ponytails ... FIVE of them!}}


This gal down here is Madison ... Madison and her family just moved into our ward about a month ago -- she & Katie became fast friends, but still very shy  -- however, you can see how they got wild & crazy.  Totally no shyness exists here anymore!


A picture of Katie in action... archery!


The cute redheaded girl on the left is Cassie!!   We love Cassie!  Followed by Madison & Katie...



Alex is on the left here -- she's a sweetheart as well.


More Katie 'n Madison....


I don't remember this gal's name ... Emily?  Maybe?  Not sure -- but Katie's hamming it up again for the camera.  The processing CVS did to the film made her eyes really pop out blue!



and here is what she looked like as soon as she got home:


I'm sure when Katie gets her voice back, I'll learn more about what went on...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

4th of July Bash part 4 -- THE END!

OK! Final post ... I think!

This is our last day there ... by now, the kids are TIRED of posing (except Zach.. always a smile on his face -- oh, and Seth)


I desperately tried to get them to laugh... I'm wondering if someone farted?  That'll make them laugh!


After we ate at the Italian Restaurant for the 3rd time (it's really good!) -- a storm came in and man was it windy!


Here is Katie & Seth ... he's such a cutie...  He tagged along w/ her when his thumb was too worn out to keep pushing the gas on his 4 wheeler!


Katie 'n Jersey .. she loved that dog!


Now this is Landon ... he's going to be adopted soon into the family.  Landon is such a sweet boy who has mental handicaps.  I love his smiles. :)  The family told us when we saw them, that his favorite friend in the whole wide world ... is Bob.  Bob... is the reflection of Landon in the mirror!  So, when we pass by a mirror, Landon runs up to the mirror and shouts "HI BOB!!"  It's a hilarious time, and he laughs along with us.  Here he is ... all of a sudden posing like a weight champion.  He talks to Bob every single time he sees himself in the mirror.. they have a conversation and all!!  So, next time you see yourself in the mirror, say "HI BOB!"


Finally... Gerri snapped this picture of Maddie riding her 4 wheeler... I love it!

IMG_3408 b&w

Monday, July 11, 2011

4th of July Bash part 3

... continuing on from our lake pictures....

here is our beautiful Miss Hannah sunbathing... she's most definitely a teenager now when sunbathing is more important than playing in the water!  ;)  She's got her Coke .. her ipod .. her flip flops .. and you can't see it in this picture, but her tanning oil.  Ahhh.. to be a kid again!


Gerri and I have always lined up the kids in order of birth (they all looked like it was slanting just perfectly!) -- and it worked until Katie shot up past Price and it just didn't look right after that.  So, this time we just told them to stand anywhere -- and we were going to shoot a picture or two of them all jumping in the water at the same time.


I yelled "When I count to THREE, JUMP!" 


Some took it as "OK, jump!" while others took it as "OK, when do I jump again?" -- so jump shoot == FAIL!!!


Here is Gerri -- the other photographer in the family -- pointing her camera at me....

One of my favorite "crazy jump shots" of Katie's ....


This next shot was hilarious.  Zach and Katie weren't even posing, but somehow they both went into a weird stance ... and I missed the next second of it all -- hope Gerri got it.  HILARIOUS!

Here is Hannah & Katie giving me... the STINKEYE??!  What?


Sunday, July 10, 2011

4th of July Bash part 2

While at the lake ... we asked a family if we could swim by their dock.  They gave their consent, and away we went!  The kids had tons of fun jumping off the dock.

Price was constantly after Katie trying to push her in -- You can see here he is pushing her


She's going "no way!"


and she goes after him ... he then goes into the lake!


Katie & Zach were the lead winners on creative jumps (a few today, and more on the next blog post)



Here we have the classic Price going after Katie .... AGAIN!


and she's going "you can't catch me!" ... and falls into the lake!


Where's Katie's other leg??


I didn't capture what happened here .. but again, Price going after Katie, and this time Katie's getting revenge!



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