Thursday, July 31, 2014

I Don't Want to Forget-July

To get straight to the point...James dad passed away in July of last year and I haven't been able to blog since. It was a long two weeks we spent in Oklahoma and blogging about it didn't sound fun and skipping the event all together made my brain hurt because I like things in chronological order. But since I put a pause on blogging I've realized that I've started to forget things and I don't want to forget reasons why I took a certain picture. I'm going to dive into it now though and continue to start posting random pics so I can remember things and use it as my log for when I do our family photo albums.

James Dad passed away of Cancer July 2014. It was expected but sudden and very very sad for all of us. James, Ellie and I spent 2 full weeks in Oklahoma helping pack organize paperwork. James' Aunt was there to help pack and organize and one of James' brothers stayed a long time too to help pack and move. So that was helpful. It was also great spending time going through old pictures and old files of paperwork from when the brothers were in school. It was fun hearing stories too. I always enjoy that part.
 The funeral was beautiful. Nothing bad could ever be said about James' dad. He was a wonderful, loving, caring man and not only did he love fully but people loved him. He will be missed!

We spent a lot of time, while the majority of family were in town, at Gina's house. They had a huge backyard with was great for the kids and everyone to hang out. Grandma and Great Grandpa with some grandkids.

 This is my Sister in Law, Becky. Our girls are 3 months apart. I posted about them at Christmas time. It's crazy how different their personalities are but they are just too cute together. We planned a twin day with them and took way too many photos. 
 Felicity's the hugger!
 (stole the collage from Becky)

James and I stayed in a hotel the first week and the 2nd week, once people flew home, we relocated to the apartment which had a pool. Thomas (James' brother) and I took our girls out there once (why didn't we do it more?!) and they had a lot of fun. Ellie doesn't really have experience being in a pool since we live in Idaho but she had fun playing with her cousins and clung to me like a Koala bear while we were in the water.

This is back at the apartment. Ellie thrives on big kid attention, she LOVES it. So, being in the mix with her cousins for two weeks was like Heaven to her. They watched a lot of Yo Gabba Gabba on repeat. Haha.

And an occasional movie.
 The girls did AMAZINGLY well for being cooped up and mixed in with the chaos. So proud of them all.
-Notice the purple cast under the frog. Poor Sariah broke her leg one night playing with her bigger cousins. Thomas had to stay longer in OK so they could get the walking cast put on after some time because he had a lot of traveling ahead of him still and a full leg cast wasn't going to cut it. Such troopers. One trial after the other. 

We tried to fit in some play time since we were in a new state to explore. We went to the OK Zoo one day with James, his brother the girls and James' mom. It was SO FLIPPING HOT that that's all I remember. 

It was so hot that by the end the older cousin was sobbing saying, "I'm crying because I'm so sad that I'm so hot." Or something like that. Needless to say, they earned their treat from the gift shop for putting up with that torture. This must be why we stayed inside so much while there.

*Now this is one of the unpleasant memory but I have to remember it. Because... that's how I am. I'm not sure if I talked about it on the post from last Christmas (2013) but the 24 hour flu went through the family while we all stayed at the cabin. I avoided it thankfully! But of course, I was an anxious wreck because I hate being sick and I despise throwing up. Well, on this trip, while the majority of family was still in Oklahoma, a lot of people got sick. I am thinking that both the flu and food poisoning happened though (some how). A huge majority of people all got sick on the same day but there were a select few that got sick a few days later and for more than one day. Talk about anxiety. I don't do sick! James felt ill one day but was able to still get stuff done but again, I avoided it. Very grateful. Germs...eww!

Anyways, that was Oklahoma in a nutshell.

Now for the rest of July...
See...I already can't remember why I took the piano picture. My guess, since she's about 19 months, started climbing and getting up onto the bench herself and plucking away. Probably extra cute that she brought her babies along.

I'm pretty sure this was Gluten Free brownie mix. I was gluten free for a long time to help some digestive issues. (Her hair looks very red here, interesting!) 
This was a lucky buy. I went to get her a pool for the backyard and it rang up much cheaper than I planned. Always exciting. Our pump wasn't working or I didn't have the attachment or something so I lung powered that entire thing. We used it a lot over the rest of the summer.

Okay, I'm feeling onto August.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

4th of July 2014

This year for the 4th of July we spent the morning walking around a park downtown. It's like a nature walk and has a little pond with fish and glass walls along the trail where you can see the fish under water. It's pretty neat. 
 I'm a sucker for these photo ops. James is a good sport. 

  Later that night we went to a friends house for a bbq. Their son and Ellie played outside and ate Popsicle before we did some fireworks. 

Ellie has never seen fireworks before and she wasn't scared at all. But hopefully she'll learn the concept of "danger" soon. 

 This last picture makes me laugh because she all of a sudden pulled out a new trick. Her silly kissy face.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Washington Trip

2 weeks ago we took a family trip to Washington for a family reunion. We stayed at Ensign Ranch. It was a lot of fun. I always love getting together with James' family. I grow closer to more people each time.

First though, James' aunt called me 2 days before we were supposed to leave asking if we could house them for a night. We are the half way point from Utah. So I of course said yes. Funny thing though, she was like, "well wait, hold on, let me see if you have enough room for all of us...there will be 9." I said, yup, we'll make it work.
They arrived late and I let Ellie stay up which, hello, big people to hang out with, it was like Christmas for her. My neighbors basketball hoop was quickly taken over. See Ellie? Always in the action. I don't think she realized how little she is.
The 9 of them left at 7:30am. We left at 9:30am and we all got that at the exact same time. It was kind of funny. They apparently made a few stops.

I hate when I don't take enough pictures. I wish I had pictures of each little thing we did. I like remembering those things. When we arrived they had a 3 on 3 basketball tournament going on so while James played I put our room together. We slept in the lodge part of the camp. There were like 6 rooms I think in the lodge and they each had 2 sets of bunkbeds.  We were lucky to be in the lodge so that I could put Ellie down for her naps or bedtime and I was still in the same building with the baby monitor. If we were in a cabin that would be a little more difficult.

I'm going to skip many details of the great trip and just explain photos.

There were always balls around and as we know, Ellie loves balls. This basketball had some holes in it and Ellie discovered a cool trick, "floating ball."

Only one of James' brothers, Thomas, and his wife Kristen were able to make it which was sad. But I'm glad they were able to come! Thomas has 3 girls and he wanted to sign them up for horseback riding. It was very simple, someone just leads the horse in circles around the corral. Nothing crazy. I didn't sign Ellie up because I wasn't sure if she would like it but I wish I would have and just sat with her or something. We asked if we could take her picture on a horse and once she was on she starting pushing her body forward and back as to try and get the horse to move. I thought maybe she was comparing it to those horses on a spring at the park that you rock back and forth? But she loved it. No fear what so ever. Her great grandpas would be proud.

One of the activities was a carnival. Our game was Toss A Cross. We wanted it to be tournament style but it just ended up being a regular game. Kids had fun though. As well as James.

Someone else in the family took this picture but I loved it. I didn't even know Ellie was roaming around shooting baskets.
 Our cousin Amy wanted me to take her family pictures while we were there. We wanted to do it the day we arrived but it was chilly and windy so we opted to wait until the next day. The weather was perfect. We did have to budge on the time though. Too many activities planned for optimal shooting time. Darn. But they turned out great. Her boys are too cute!!

Right after pictures it was time to do skits. Too much to explain, but they were funny. Everyone did a great job.

This was Ellie's best buddy the entire time. I have no idea why she loved him so much but it was so cute to see her reach out for him or wave as we walked by. Actually, I didn't realize it at the time, but she was teething bottom molars and was happy but super clingy on this day and would only let James or I hold her. But...she would leave me for Shaden.

The horses came up to the fence and a feeding frenzy erupted. It was cute watching the kids though.

Until next time...

So Seattle was only a little over an hour away from where we were staying so we extended out trip and spent 2 days in Seattle with Thomas' family. Our first stop was the Seattle Aquarium. I was so excited to go. Ellie loves the Aquarium here in Idaho and I'll be the first to tell you it's nothing special! I had such high expectations for this one but I was pretty bummed out. It was great when comparing it to the one here at home but it was just eh when compared to one in like Monterey Bay. The kids didn't know the difference and we all had fun, but we finished much sooner than I anticipated.

We made sure to make it in time for the feeding the fish "show."
I wanted to show the girls this one fish that was hiding and I lifted them up to see. I knew they were a lot heavier than Ellie, but man, so awkward trying to lift a big kid. Thomas sure captured the truth of that! I need to work on those muscles.

After the aquarium we were walking towards Pikes Market Place but I wanted to stop by the antique store. There was a coin operated horse out front that Kristen let the kids ride. I really don't think Ellie enjoys that stuff very much. She looks miserable. (wink, wink).

And long story short, we walked all the way back to where we started for dinner at Ivars. Ellie kept asking to walk and James told her she could walk if she held his hand the entire time, and she DID!

We made some changes to our plans for the second day and decided to hit up the zoo. Again, compared to Idaho, this zoo rocked! We were there the entire day and still didn't finish seeing everything. We all loved it! Wish I could go back.

  I wanted to show you all of these next pictures. These are literally one after another. Look at how many faces Ellie can make within seconds. 
Getting to play with her cousins was so fun! SO happy we got to do it.

Pictures galore. Great trip. Good memories.

Aquarium and Zoo pictures were take by both Thomas and I.