Saturday, August 22, 2009

Where'd It Go?

While I was out in Washington, Owen lost his first tooth! We're not even sure why, and were actually a little worried about it. 1) He JUST turned 4, so seems a little young, and 2) it was a TOP tooth! Usually you lose a bottom tooth first. Anyway, we called his dentist's office a couple times, and the gal said that if Dr. Oliver was concerned he would call us back. He never did, so I hope everything's okay! Guess we'll find out in Nov. at his regular appointment.

So over the phone, I told Owen about the Tooth Fairy. He didn't get it. After going round and round trying to explain it, I just said "Kellen will tell you about it--ask her." He kept asking questions though, and honed in on the money part. He finally said "Can I get some money?" and I said "Yes, that's what I'm trying to tell you!" "Cool" was his response. Conversation over. He was satisfied! ;-)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

10th Girls' Get-Together!

July 2009 marked the 10th time that three of my best friends from college and I got together for a few days to catch up and have fun! We all used to live in Spokane, WA, but now Summer is in Boise, ID, Joy is in Lynden, WA, and I've ventured far off to Arkansas! Only Becca still lives in Spokane.

Joy's aunt has a cabin on Lake Whatcom in Bellingham, WA, a couple hours north of Seattle. Her cabin was adorable, and her dock system provided a great little swimming area and beach. We were there during the area's heat wave, and since no one has air conditioning up there, we swam in the lake quite a few times, just to cool off!
Joy's parents let us use their wave runner. Here are Becca and Joy about to go out for a ride. You can see our A-frame cabin in the background.
Summer, Becca and Joy. Lots of deck-time playing cards!
We always have delicious food on our trips! Here is Joy grilling some kabobs.
The four of us. There's a lot of years of friendships represented here. We've been in each others' weddings, been through good times and bad, and now have a dozen kids between us! I'm already looking forward to next year!

The Carolinas

This July we got to take a family vacation to North Carolina. Brian's sister, Dena, lives there with her husband, Stan, and their daughter, Hailey. Hailey spends part of the summer with the grandparents in Tennessee, so we drove Hailey back home after her visit.
We also headed further on to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. This was a definite highlight of the trip. The kids had never seen the ocean until we went to California last spring, and now in a matter of four months, they've seen both the Pacific and the Atlantic! The whole week was a blast, and the kids did great with all the driving. Good times!

Went to The Giant Crab for seafood one night. The kids tried calamari, scallops and clams, in addition to shrimp and fish, which they've had before. And, in a moment of temporary insanity, I let them try crab, which they loved, so I spent a good portion of the night cracking crab legs to get out tiny bits of meat for my children to eat!!! Crazy!
Peyton with the ocean view from our condo in the background. 9th floor.
Our kids with their cousin, Hailey, on the beach one night.
There was a splash park associated with our condo, so we spent part of each day there, as well as the beach. Here is Peyton with Aunt Dena.
Hailey, Kellen & Owen in a train coming down the water slide.
Hailey, Peyton & Dawson on the lazy river.
This is how Team Church naps at the beach! ;-)
Hailey spent lots of time helping Dawson dig in the sand. She's a great cousin!
Playing in the sand was probably Dawson's favorite thing to do. Notice the fat lip? Face, meet concrete. Concrete, meet face. While hands were in pockets. Not pretty.
Wave jumping!
Family pic on our condo balcony
Stan, Dena and Hailey
The Cousins!
Kellen took this pic of B and I while we were eating on the patio at Margaritaville.
Hailey and Kellen with their balloon parrots that could attach to their shirts. The balloon man came around on stilts and was a hit with the kids.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Owee turns 4!!!

What could be a better 4-yr-old birthday present than a brand new big-boy bike??? Owen has been learning to ride without training wheels on his little 12 inch bike, but it's much harder to balance on those small bikes. So, here is the proud owner of a shiny red 16 inch bike!
Of course lots of practicing ensued. Daddy got a good workout!
Look at that face of concentration!
Not every try was a perfect run---good thing Daddy has quick reflexes!
We actually gave Owen his bike a few days before his birthday, because we were in North Carolina at Brian's sister's house on the actual day. Dena did an AWESOME job of making him feel special on his birthday! When we arrived, the house was decorated with signs and balloons, which Owen just loved!
Balancing his new "real" tool set on his head. A favorite gift from Aunt Dena and Uncle Stan. He also got a bigger, camping sleeping bag from Nanna and Papaw, and some Spidey jammies, a movie, pool toy and a game from us.
Dena decorated a bunch of orange and blue cupcakes, most of which had his name written on them.
Blowing out FOUR candles!
Our four kiddos being silly eating the cupcakes.
Dawson preferred the hands-free approach.
We're so proud of our new 4 year old. As many of you know, I still call him our "miracle baby", as I was 17 weeks pregnant with him when we were in our horrible car accident. We know it was only by the grace of God that he survived the accident, all the surgeries, my medications, the stress, the pain, etc. The Lord has truly blessed us with a precious boy. He is super sensitive and caring, but definitely "all-boy". We love you, Owee!

And she learns to ride!

It took Peyton a long time to decide that she wanted to ride her bike, but once she did, it was only a matter of minutes before she was cruising!
Once she got going, it's been difficult to keep her off her bike ever since!
Here's what Dawson's usually riding when the other kids are riding their bikes.
Kellen decided to be silly and is riding Owen's tiny bike!

Monday, August 10, 2009

It's About Time!

This absence from blogging hasn't been intentional, but I do think I'm about to get rolling again! We were home all summer until the middle of July, and then bam, bam, bam we had several things in a row going on! Also, to add to the mix, we closed on our new house at the end of June, so trying to get that in shape has kept us busy in between our adventures!
So, the middle of July found Brian and I in Las Vegas! Brian has a conference every summer in a different location, and this year I was able to go with him. Brian's parents graciously watched the kids for four days. The conference was in The Paris hotel, so above is a picture of the Eiffel Tower replica at the hotel.
This is the Stratosphere hotel. WAY up at the very top are three amusement park rides, almost 1000 feet above The Strip. I LOVE rides! Riding those rides was a major goal of mine on this trip!
Here's Brian next to one of the rides at the top of the Stratosphere. It's a short, straight roller coaster track that shoots you off over the edge of the building and you hope it stops at some point!
This ride shoots you up the tower at an incredible speed, and then you free-fall for a few seconds as you come back down. It was such a rush! The third ride up on the top of the building was closed due to high winds, so I got to do this one twice!
Here we are at the top of the Stratosphere.
Posing with The Paris' Eiffel Tower in the background.
We watched a lot of the fountain shows in front of the Bellagio. They're especially impressive at night.
Here's another view of the fountains during a show we watched from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
We took a tour to Hoover Dam one morning. Hoover Dam is right on the Nevada/Arizona border, and dams up the Colorado River. That's Nevada on the left, Arizona on the right. It was quite impressive learning about the major feat of building it in 1936, and getting to go down deep inside the dam and see the turbines, generators, etc. You definitely can't appreciate its magnitude unless you've been there! The dam also created Lake Mead, which is such a beautiful lake.
Right next to the dam, the Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge is almost complete. It will be a Hoover Dam by-pass when it is finished.
The white line on the banks of the river show the river's highest point in years past. The normal height is usually about halfway up the sides, so it is currently about 75 feet below it's normal flow, due to severe drought in the area.
Both Brian and I agree that the highlight of our extra-curricular activities was getting to see the Cirque du Soliel show, "O". It was an amazing combination of theatre, acrobatics, synchronized swimming, and symphony. Incredible. Amazing. Can't even think of how to describe it to someone who hasn't experienced a Cirque show. Highly recommended!
We saw several street performers along the strip. They were all painted in this amazing bronze paint that made them look like statues. They'd pose there, motionless, until someone came to get their picture taken with them and they'd do some sort of fluid, robotic move and change positions. They were very talented!
It was a fun break to get away with Brian, even though it was for a conference. As you can see, though, we managed to fit several fun things in between meetings! Next year it's in Orlando! ;-)