Sunday, September 28, 2008

Spiritually Fed

I loved the Relief Society Broadcast on Sat.! I especially loved Elder Uchtdorf's talk on creating and compassion. There are so many ways to be creative. It inspired me to do a few things to beautify my surroundings and sharpen my skills. I think it also validated my love for photography (which I definitely need to sharpen my skills on) and scrapbooking, and not to mention blogging. :)
I can't wait for this weekend and General Conference. I found a website that has an activity book for conference. (It was from last conference) You can find it here. I didn't print ALL the pages, I just chose the ones I thought would keep my kids busy.
Let me know if you find another one, maybe one made for this conference!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Our Washington trip

Road Trip! This is how I travel! Poor Mike had to do the driving. . .all 16 hours of it. It was a fun trip and the kids did amazingly well. I bought somethings from the dollar store to give them every couple hours to keep it fresh. I also took Jodi's idea of giving them a disposable camera. That was a big hit!

Beautiful Mt. Hood (or was is Mt I can't remember) with the Colombia River in front of it with the John Day Dam. It was fun to drive thru Idaho and Eastern Oregon along the Colombia River because I am reading the American Girls series to our girls and we are on "Kaya" who is an Indian living in these parts of the woods in the 1750's . It was fun to identify some places they mentioned in the book. Also, Hwy 84 goes along the Lewis and Clark expedition trail and we've been learning/talking about them, too. The other pic is of Mount Renier with the Pudget Sound in front of it.

Aaron at a playground during a pit-stop in The Dalles, OR.

Once we got to Washington on Friday, Mike and I left the kids with my parents and headed for Seattle. We stayed the night up there and went to the exciting BYU/UW game on Saturday.

This is my lame attempt at a panoramic shot. You can tell where the pictures didn't piece together well. Anyway, the stadium is BEAUTIFUL! You have the lake on one side and the Seattle skyline on the other with the Space Needle and ribbons of freeways. The seats have huge coverings that go overhead (because it rains so much) and that just amplifies the sound. It was an exciting game. Some of Mike's long time buddies were at the game as well.

After the game we headed to my brother's boat, where he lives.

This is beautiful "A Dock". There are more "live aboards" than you would think. Some families with children, etc. We dingied out to a water-front restaurant and had a wonderful meal (Thanks Brent!) We left just as the sun was setting, the view on the water with the boats and the sun setting behind the Olympic Mtns was one to remember.

This is my brother in front of one of the boats you see on "The Deadliest Catch" on the Discovery Channel. They live up the hill from him. Word on the street is they work 3 months out of the year and party the rest.

Sunday we had a fun family party. My sweet cousin Laura gave my kids gifts to play with at Grandma's and some for the ride home. She and Newby also played with them tirelessly. Thanks guys. My darling Great-Aunt Caroline (whom was really more like my 3rd Grandma) is 93! She is so active, with such a positive attitude. A laugh is always quick on hand with her. I love her and am so grateful we were able to spend some time with her. It was also wonderful to see my other aunts and uncles that I unfortunately didn't get pictures of. Its always nice to catch up over some good food. We also took a minute to celebrate my Dad's birthday!

I assure you he needed more than one candle on his cake. ;) A nice cousin pic. Me and Brent and my cousins Laura and Nicole.

On my Dad's B-day we went to the Northwest Trek. You can go on this bus-like thing with no windows and see all the animals in the wild. We saw elk, moose, big horn sheep, among others. My favorites were the buffalo (or bison or whatever).

This is the bear through which my mom earned her name as "Bear Whisperer"! We were having way too much fun for our own good. This bear was sleeping and my mom told him get up (in English or "Bear" I can't remember) and he did. He stared at us for a long time. Moving his big lips occasionally. Funny, funny memories.

A trip to Washington would not be complete without going to Hartstine Island (spelled many different ways depending on where you are on the island). The girls are sitting on a bench that was placed in memory of my Grandma. She bought a cabin on the island before I was born. Several times a year we would go there. It was a wonderful place of discovery and fun as a child. The positioning of the bench is so perfect because we spent many, many hours with her on that beach making many memories. As we sat on the bench it was very tender, I could feel her near. I miss her.

The tide was very high, so all we could really do as we walked along the beach was collect and throw rocks. The girls collected, the boys threw! We saw an occasional jelly fish, but not the usual star fish or sand dollars we find when the tide is out. I love the beach. It is so calming.

Next up, the Zoo.

We spent a long time watching the Gorillas. One just had a baby and it was so intriguing to watch the mom with her baby. Her almost human actions and care for the baby. This sweet Chimp was absolutely darling. She would sit like this with her chin on her hands, then occasionally when she maybe wasn't getting enough attention, she would tap on the glass with her knuckles.

They had a beautiful "Blooms and Butterflies" exhibit where you walked in and the butterflies just flew around you or landed on you. They carefully brushed you off before you left to insure all the butterflies stayed inside. The elephant was far away so Mike forgot about the "Do Not Feed the Animals" sign and waved some of the greenery in front of her. She came closer, that's for sure. She did something I've never seen an elephant do. . .she rubbed her eye with her trunk, no joke.
That was our trip, along with late nights with my mom watching HGTV and seeing their own home being remodeled. As well as, seeing Jamie and her handsome boy Daniel. When I asked Aaron what he liked about the trip, one thing he said was, "playing trains with that boy." That boy would be Daniel. It was too short. I could have used more time with my family in WA.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Playing House

While I was painting her finger nails Abby said:"I can't wait to be a mom."

Me: "Why, what are most excited about doing when you are a mom?"

Abby: "Taking care of my babies and stuff. Going to the park, playing with them."

Me: "Painting their finger nails?"

Me: "What do you like doing now?"

Abby: "Playing with you."

Me: "What do you like to play?"

Abby: "We play house," after I give her a questioning eye she adds, "we do play that you know."

We've never officially "played house," but I guess doing the everyday things together is playing house.
Just thought I'd write it down so I wouldn't forget.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Check this out (sad)

This blogging world is so connected, isn't it? I just cried for some one's trials that I don't even know. These two stories are so touching to me. They are both young moms. Neither of their lives will ever be the same. I am just counting my many, many blessings right now.

I know many of you have heard about NieNie (Stephanie and Christian) and their plane crash and resulting burns. If you haven't her sister is keeping updates for them on her blog

The other story I actually read about from c jane's blog. This young mom from WA had a c-section which resulted in a serious infection. They have had to amputate her legs below the knees and she has lost her eye-sight. I can't imagine not seeing my babies, or anything for that matter. Her husband has been blogging about it and has been incredibly upbeat and hopeful. Amazing. You can check out her story on their blog:

Check this out! (happy)

I saw this on some one's blog and have been laughing out loud!! Seriously, my stomach hurts.

You've got to check it out!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Back from WA

We had a GREAT time in Washington and we all survived the drive. It was so good to have a break and see family and friends! Loved it! Unfortunately, for some reason I cannot get my pictures to download (or upload or whatever) onto my computer! They are stuck in my camera card. So I will post more later when I get that all figured out.

But I will share this one interesting experience. As we were driving home, Anna had to use the restroom. So we pass a few exits that we probably could have taken and then finally get off at a Rest Stop. The guy in the car next to us asks Mike if he was LDS (I guess the mini-van with Utah plates gave us away) and if he could give him a blessing.
I guess this guy had been traveling for business and got food poisoning and had been really sick. He was just an hour away from home but did not feel like he could go any further so he pulled over at the rest stop to rest for a while. During this time he said he had been hoping (praying?) that he would run into someone to give him a blessing. And there we were. Mike gave him a blessing and he was on his way.
It was interesting to be an answer to someone else's prayer. And it reminded me of 2 things. 1) Heavenly Father knows who we are and loves all of us us and wants to help us. He heard this man's prayer and knew we were driving in the area. And 2) the Holy Ghost whispers so quietly. We were almost going to pass the rest stop because I think they are dirty and gross. But we just thought we better stop before Anna had an accident. It wasn't a strong feeling or anything it was just a thought like "well I guess we'll let her go here."
Some may say it was just a coincidence, but I know it was divine intervention.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Leavin' on a jet plane...

errrr...I mean a mini-van. We are driving up to WA, first time with all the kids. Wish me luck on this 13 to 15 hour journey with a squirmy 2 yr old!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day

For the second year in a row, we went to Steep Mtn Park (found this one thru Carol, thanks;) ) for our Gygi Labor Day party. It was full of good food and conversation. Thanks Laura for pushing Aaron in the swing forever! We missed those who weren't able to come!!

Anna "hanging out" and the two Abbys!

Cute Collin and Grandma Gygi

Grandpa Gygi and Shauna, Laura, and Uncle Alan

The Gygi girls and Anna and me (notice the brownie in my hand, have to have some chocolate!).
To have some fun of their own, the men created a tight rope and tried to walk across it. Anna proved to be the most successful, taking the most steps on her own! Way to go girl, show those guys how it's done! :)

A really good effort put in by all the men!