Friday, April 5, 2013

El Mar, La Playa, y La Familia!

We spent Spring Break in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico with Wayne, Treva, Kip and Lindsay.  It felt absolutely wonderful to step off that airplane into 80 degree weather when we had left out house earlier that morning with frost on our windshield. 

  Our flight left at the unearthly time of 5:00am, so with all the other things factored in, we had to leave our house at 2:30am.  Surprisingly, for not sleeping at all on the flights, the kids actually did pretty good.

We stayed at a beautiful resort called "Paradise Village" just outside Puerto Vallarta.  Wayne got up extra early each morning to set our towels out to ensure us the perfect spot on the beach. (Left of the yellow flag.)

A must in Mexico.  Although her face doesn't show it, I didn't have to beg her to do this. : )

The girls did a lot of playing in the sand.  A definite love-hate relationship with sand:  love the endless entertainment it brings to the kids, but mix that with food, sunscreen, diapers, and wet bodies...not so fun! 

Carson, on the other hand, could have spent all day, every day playing in the water.  It was a perfect beach for the kids:  safe, gentle waves perfect for jumping in and boogie boarding.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the sand!  Something I could definitely get used to!
While Brandon and Kip were on a mountain bike ride one morning, Wayne, Treva, and Lindsay took Carson and Norah on a "Jungle Canal" boat ride.  They saw quite a few different animals, and made new friends on the boat.  It was a nice break for Claire and I...we took a nap. : ) 

One afternoon, Brandon and I took a taxi into town to pick up a few things from Walmart.  On the way back, we thought we'd visit the next town up on the beach.  We thought we'd just walk back to our hotel on the beach, since it didn't look far.  Somehow, our eyes deceived us, and a quick walk turned into a 2.5 hour walk on a sloped sandy beach.  Whoops!  It was all worth it, as we got to see the sunset, some beautiful hotels, public swimming beaches, an icky sea crab,  almost get taken out by parachuters. (Brandon requests not to be made fun of for carrying a purse...he was just being a gentleman. : )

Reason #3 why we tried to stay away from the pool.  This girl only wanted to climb up and down the ramp (which was angled a little too much for her to walk up and down without falling. every. time.)
Claire is definitely our water baby.  She LOVED the ocean.  A few times we let a small wave catch her to try to give her a healthy fear of the water.  Nope.  Each time she came up smiling.

On our last full day there, we took a bus to Sayulita, a quaint little surfing town about 30 min away.  Little did we know that it was some sort of holiday, and the usually quiet beach was absolutely packed.  We found a spot to sit, eat lunch, and watch the surfers.  It was such a great little town, even as busy as it was.  We know several people that have honeymooned there and now we know why.  Definitely somewhere we'd like to go back to!
First city bus ride (and in a different country too!)

Poor Claire would fall asleep on anyone and everyone...this time Kip was the victim.  She was such a trooper.

One of my favorite pictures of my oldest girl.  We did some shopping in Sayulita to find a silver cross necklace (like Aunt Lindsay's) and found this dress too.  I couldn't resist!

My social son talking it up with a surfer at the bus stop.  I can only imagine the questions he was asking...

Chocolate covered bananas.  SO GOOD. 

Since we left Easter morning, we had a little egg hunt for the kids at the hotel...while hunting for eggs, we also spotted an iguana!

First class on the way back!  Plenty of room for Norah to make herself at home. : )  

We had such a wonderful time and made a ton of was hard to come back to reality!  And we know the grandparents probably came back exhausted.  They chased our kids around and around and obliged every "Grandpa lets go boogie board again!" and "Grandma, can you take me potty?"  Brandon and I are so thankful for our families and the way they love on our kids and us!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Cousin Play Day

About a month ago now, my mom got really sick. Scary sick. After a few trips to the ER they finally admitted her... But they weren't quite sure what was wrong, and she had tested negative for the flu. After a few long days of her not being able to keep anything down and bad reactions to a few medicines, she slowly started getting better. A few bad viruses, staff infection in her lungs, sever dehydration, and an intolerance to codine cough medicine. To say we were all very worried about her is an understatement and are so thankful to our God for not leaving her side!

And, like it is when any mom gets sick, things fell apart around here! (No, just kidding!). But my mom DOES do a ton for us! She watches my sister's twins a few times a week, so we all helped out. Five kids under the age of 5! It was actually a TON of fun and the kids all entertained themselves. (Except Norah and Ivy who each kind of liked to do their own thing). A good glimpse of the fun times ahead for these five (and another cousin on the way!)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Snow Day

We spent a few nights at my parents Mt. Hood cabin last week. Such a great place to escape for a few days! My husband likes to make fun of me that I actually know what the weather term "inversion" means. (Hello, we BOTH went to school in the land of inversions...Idaho!!). But because of that, it was warm and sunny up on the mountain, and freezing and foggy down below. Made for a perfect day. We drove up to Timberline and the older two did some sledding with Brandon while I got some serious cuddles in the sunshine from my youngest. Carson was very interested in the skiers and snowboarders. We decided since the weather was so fantastic we'd rent a snowboard and let Carson and Norah try it. They had a blast giving it a whirl and even got to ride the chairlift once. I'm pretty sure Norah's highlight was watching Beauty and the Beast three times in as many days!

Her First Haircut

I knew she was too much like my sister Tara to slip through her early years without taking a pair of scissors to her hair. I had given Carson and Brandon haircuts earlier that morning, and when cleaning up, I put the bag with the clippers and scissors on the stairs. She found them after her nap, and proudly showed me her new 'do. I was actually shocked it wasn't too bad...basically she decided to give herself bangs. And of course, she had to do it the day we planned to go get the kids their passport photos!

Pink Pony Party

I gave Norah the choice to have a tea party birthday...or a pony birthday. She went with the latter, which was a lot of fun. She was so excited to have her friends over for her party, so we had a few friends and our families over for a fun morning. Toni and Adam were still in town from the holidays and Kip and Lindsay were able to come over from Bend. It is so much fun to watch the joy on your child's face as they are loved on by friends and family! Happy 3rd birthday, Norah!

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Tale of the Tree

In the six years we have been married, we've never had good luck with our christmas trees. This year was no exception. On our way home from church we decided to stop by a place that was selling their trees for $10. Good deal, right? In all honesty, we did know they were slightly overgrown trees that the owners of the property were just trying to get rid of. Three tired kids, rain, mud, and
VERY overgrown trees. We realized the farther we walked, the longer we'd have to drag the tree back to the car. And so we found a tree we both agreed on. And because I've been known to be picky in the past, I tried to be agreeable and we found one we could both live with. It was a little tall, so we thought we'd just cut the bottom off. Got it home, brought it in, and still too tall....mud all over the ceiling. So instead of bringing the chainsaw in the house to trim the bottom, we just trimmed the top a little. Brandon tried to get the mud off the ceiling with a Magic Eraser, and because our ceiling is textured, it just ripped the eraser to shreds and Now we have white chunks all over the floor. I'm not going to lie, it was a little stressful. In Carson's words, "come on you guys, work together!" After we got it up, we both realized it was a hideous looking tree, even if it was only $10. So it sits, with no lights. The kids love it regardless. Brandon told me we could get another, but I don't know if I have the energy...and I haven't even started on the lights yet!

Friday, November 16, 2012


I sure have missed out on blogging. The main reason is I just don't carry my camera around. Poor Claire. Luckily she has aunts with camera, or else we wouldn't have any pictures of her. The long awaited upgrade on my cell phone is up, and on our way home from vacation, I got an early birthday present: an iPhone. Hooray! And now I can blog from my phone, watch out!