Monday, June 13, 2011

Graduation Time!

It's a tradition on my mom's side of the family to have a big party when one graduates from high school. I have such great memories of all my aunts and uncles and cousins coming down from Washington to come to my graduation. This year my cousin Brooke graduated.. she's my youngest cousin on my mom's side. (There are 10 of us total). We took a day trip up to Snohomish to celebrate my beautiful and talented cousin.

Once again, I struggled to get pictures. I did get a few and then stole some from my sister. Thanks Shell!!

Told you she was beautiful!! She is headed to WSU in the fall. That makes me feel really old!

The graduate with her momma (my amazing aunt Carolyn) and niece Sedona

Grandma Jean. This is my uncle Scott's mom. I heart her. More than words can say! That beautiful baby is Aurora, Scott's son Brandyn's newest bundle.

My cousin Hayley with Carolyn. Hayley will be a senior at Pepperdine in the fall. That makes me feel old, too!

As usual, there was lots of good food. Matthew loved his chicken "popcicle"!

So... my aunt Chris bought some hula hoops and had them in the backyard. To say they were a hit is a HUGE understatement! We spent most of our day in the backyard (another reason I don't have lots of pics from the rest of the party!)

Trying to figure it out...

Doug showing the kids how its done! I love this picture.. he cracks me up!

My beautiful niece Abby

Daddy loves his kids....

... very much!

Grandma, Evelyn and Audrey (my cousin Justin's little girl) watching the action.

I love that when Evelyn is with her cousins, she is completely herself. She doesn't try to impress and isn't shy around them. She has freedom just to be herself. The gift of family....

Her and Cole being silly!

They really are such good buddies!

Sweet Peyton. My cousin Justin's oldest. He and Evelyn have always had fun when they get together, and this time was no exception. Peyton has AMAZING hula hoop skills! He and Evelyn have become pen pals, too.. they send pictures and notes to each other in the mail. I love it!

Evelyn was so excited to see her aunt Michelle! Better yet, they are coming here to visit next week!! Boo Ya!!

SO very thankful for my family. Every day!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sunday in Rickreall

Every year for the past 14 years, Doug has helped out with sound reinforecment/emcee at his good friend John's swap meet down in Rickreall, Oregon (the Polk County Fairgrounds). It is a very tight knit group of friends and family who are involved, and it usually brings out lots of people for a great day. It is not uncommon for it to be raining on Swap Meet Sunday, but we DO get a sunny day sometimes, and this year was on of those years!

Doug usually goes on Saturday to set up/test with his dad helping, then stays with his parents (Dallas is a 10-15 minute drive to the fairgrounds) overnight. He and his dad then get up early (like 4am early) Sunday morning and go set up for the day.

The kids and I went to church and then headed down south to meet up with Doug and the Swap Meet crew.

Daddy time and snack time... apparently NOT picture time!

She loves Daddy's Swap Meet hat and wore it most of the day!

Daddy showing Matthew on of the many cool cars at the "Show and Shine"

We know the owner, so Matthew got to "test drive"!

Us and Doug's parents. They are one in a million!! We love them!

John and some of his family

John's mom Darlene. She is a peach! She runs the raffle station!

John's sister Jeanine and her husband Eric. Love these two!

The whole crew. A great group of people who I am blessed to know and love!

It was a fun Sunday, as it is every year. Looking forward to next year!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Taste of Summer

Yay!! Finally some hot weather for us rain weary Oregonians (and it really takes A LOT of rain to make us weary of it!)!

Evelyn really wanted to play in the sprinkler, so we got our suits on and went out. Matthew got in the sprinkler only once last summer and really seemed indifferent to it, so I was curious how he would do.

At first, he was fine. He got a a ball and was putting it in the sprinkler.

Then the tears started. I am not sure if it was just too cold or the fact that he was barefoot (I don't think he likes it... need to get him water shoes for sure!) but he did NOT want to get wet any more.. he just wanted to sit on my lap.

Evelyn, on the other hand, went crazy and had fun with it. She is like her daddy and loves to be barefoot in the grass.

Her cute Speedo suit was only $5 at Ross. Score!

My pretty girl....

I got shoes on Matthew and he still didn't go in the water, but he was MUCH happier and did other things... like play with the swing.

.. and play in the rocks!

Silly boy!!

BEST photo of the day! They both climbed in the wagon and I wanted to get a picture. Matthew wasn't cooperating and Evelyn as impatient. LOVE her face!!

SO glad to get some vitamin D today. Even more glad to have fun time with my sweet kids playing in it!!

Thank You Colleen.. 10 years later!

Ok.. so that's not entirely true. I know I sent her a thank you card way back then, but didn't really understand how AWESOME this particular wedding gift was:

Our friend Colleen got this for us as a wedding gift, along with a sweet card saying how she saw it and thought of us and knew we would have fun with it. Sadly, it went into storage until we moved into this house and has been tucked away ever since. Both Doug and I love ice cream, but I guess just felt it was easier to just go get a half gallon at the store. We have talked about using it many times, but just didn't seem to do anything about it. Until today!!

It. Was. Time.

The gift reciept. From Meier & Frank! Still taped to the box. July 2001.

Coleen also got us this book to go with it. And I am SO glad. The recipe in the book that came with the machine is SO complicated. This book's basic recipe is SO easy. And really, can you go wrong with a B & J recipe?

$1.40 for a huge box of this at WinCO. Perfect!

The mix took, oh, 30 minutes to make (I made chocolate, and had to melt it and cool it.. that took the most time). Adding the ice and salt is a bit of a chore, but really didn't take too long, either. And off it went!

About and hour later.. ready!

Amazing chocolately goodness. Heaven on a spoon.

I'm not that picky about ice cream. But I honestly don't think I have had homemade ice cream many times.. cuz I had NO idea how good it was. Oh, my goodness!! Seriously, I may never buy a half gallon at the store again!! ;)

Evelyn also had fun in this process (she picked the flavor!) and LOVED the ice cream.

What a fun gift.. 10 years later! Ugh!

Thank you, Colleen!! We will use it often the next 10. I promise!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

He picked it...

I have been SO blessed with friends and family giving me "hand-me-down" clothes for both my kids. Truly it has been such a huge gift in so many ways.

My younger sister, like me, has two kids. A boy and a girl. Cole is almost 5, Regan almost 3. What's fun is that I give her my girl clothes, and she gives me boy clothes. It's perfect!

Today they came over to play and she brought some clothes for me. All 3T and bigger. I set them by the couch in the living room.

Later on this evening while I was making dinner, Matthew went to the table and grabbed a cup that was full of water (leftover from snack with the cousins) and dumped it on his shirt and on the floor. His pants were fine, so I just took off the shirt, cleaned up the floor, and told him to go play until I got dinner in the oven and then I'd get a new shirt for him.

He took off to go play. Or so I thought. He instead went straight to the boxes of Cole's clothes and found a shirt to wear, then brought it to me. He was so excited. He thinks his cousin is pretty cool. There was NO way I was going to get one of his silly 'ol 2T shirts on him.. oh, no.. he was gonna wear the shirt he picked. Period.

A 5T shirt.

I couldn't say no.

Sad thing is, it wasn't that big. *sigh* (oh.. and I am not quite sure why Evelyn has her coat on in.. but she had it on all afternoon, silly girl!)

Love my sweet kids.. and the gift of hand-me-downs!