Sunday, October 26, 2014

Shawnee and Andrew...Bridal Shower...

Actually, one last hurrah in August a bridal shower for this beauty...
Cute Shawnee came up to visit Andrew, and while she was here Becky threw her a bridal shower. Andrew came for the dinner part. You know guys, come for the food.
Kathryn, Alyssa (Shawnee's sister who lives in Spokane who is equally cute and sweet), Becky, Andrew and Shawnee...
Shawnee is just the sweetest, cutest little thing, and I'm so excite for her and Andrew. We instantly were friends, and I just love that. I guess she is my (step)sister in law now, so we should be friends! :) ha ha.
Becky threw such a cute little gathering for her. Delicious food and desserts...

Shawnee telling us how her and Andrew met...

I do love me these summer evenings just hanging outside! And I always love me a good reason to celebrate! I was kind of hoping that somehow I would end up going to the wedding with Kathryn, because I knew my dad wasn't able to make it, just so I could tell people that I was Andrew's step-sister! :) It has a ring to it!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

River Front Park Passes...

River Front Park passes were hands down the best thing I purchased this summer. I was worried that I wasn't going to get my money out of them because we only had the end of July and August to use them. Luckily, we went enough times in August to make them well worth the money! :) We went by ourselves plenty AND we went a lot with friends. I loved that all my friends had passes, so we usually always had buddy's to go with.
This year, Tucker and Taylor tried the roller coaster, and I didn't even have to force it. They went on their own, and actually really liked it. I was a little shocked!
Even though you can't tell from these pictures, after, she was all smiles! :) She looks so calm! I know if that was me on that roller coaster, I wouldn't be looking so calm. I HATE roller coasters, even this kid one, I know because I've been on it many a times with Tucker and I hate every second of it!
Sweet big brother, had her in his arms the whole time...
And, I seriously don't understand the draw to these kinds of rides at all, but they spin and spin and spin and I don't know how they handle it!!! But they love these spinny strawberry's to!
Taylor and her friend, Lily...
One thing we discovered this summer is that this boy LOVES carousels. It was the cutest thing I've ever seen. I would put him and on and he would just immediately start laughing even before the ride began. And once we were going, oh boy, he wouldn't stop laughing and looking all around, and straightening out those little legs with excitement. I, of course, would be standing right next to him the whole time, and usually I was in a state of being right on the edge of vomiting. My motion sickness detectors in me are SO very fragile, almost everything makes me feel like I'm going to vomit. Needless to say, carousels are NOT my favorite. Jackson better be grateful that I was willing to sacrifice for him, because we went time after time after time. And, it was actually worth every second because it made him so happy, and he was so cute about it.
My two big kids, they look SO big in this picture. Makes me sad! :(
So happy to be on again. Right when we would get off, he would point back at the front of the line telling us he wanted to go again. And he would do that over and over and over again. Luckily the big kids would appease him for a while.

The train ride is also a favorite. It's hard to do a lot of times when we're with our friends and in big groups, so we always did it when it was just the 4 of us.

One thing I always loved about going down town was that it always wore this guy out, and he would always sleep really well. Too much partying...
And, really, my one and only reason for wanting to go down so much was for this right here:
And, of course, we had to get it when Jackson was asleep so we didn't have to share!!! :) But shhhh....don't tell him!

Taylor, Ella, Jane and Grace:
I just love all of these cute girlys so much!
Taylor and Ethan on the water bumper cars. My friend, Laura was on bed rest in the hospital all summer pregnant. So, we tried to take her kids for her as much as we could. Poor thing, she was miserable, but she now has a beautiful, healthy baby girl here so I guess it was all worth it.
Cute Ethan. I was trying to get a picture to send her, and I think I got a pretty cute one!
Of course, we had to make a few rounds on the carousel.

And the take off, pure joy!!!
Our one last hurrah was the first weekend in September which also happened to be Pig out in the Park. Thinking back I think that I was pretty crazy to take them that weekend, but I really just wanted some good greasy food. So, off we went! The boys in the roller coaster:
One awesome thing is that inside at the food court they have slushy machines, like 10 different flavors, and I bought cups last year for the kids, and found out this year that those cups are good year to year, so we could come back and fill up anytime for free!!! I like free!

You can't go to Pig out in the park and NOT get a corn on the cob, for some reason at places like this, they are the BEST!
I think that it was at about this point RIGHT HERE that all the kids were DONE for the day. Even though we had gotten some delicious food, a root beer float, that GINORMOUS elephant ear, they were done and I was done!
It's a good thing that these two boys are so dang cute! I just love them both so much!
This has nothing to do with Riverfront park, well, maybe a little, but at the end of the summer, I finally got around to getting to the back of the van to clean it out, and this is what the side cubby hole back by Tucker looked like. From the looks of it, he had a pretty great summer.
And while I do love summer with all of my heart, we were all ready and I was counting down the days for school to start. There's nothing better than a little schedule and routine after a few months of craziness and going, going, going. So, farewell summer, you really treated us well this year. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Kathryn & Papa's wedding...

So, when my dad and Kathryn got engaged last year, they always said that they would get married sometime in the fall or winter of this year. So, we waited and waited, and never heard much more about it. Then, Kathryn's son got engaged with their date to get married in October. Then we heard that they wanted to get married before he did, just something small and easy so it could be done and then she could focus on Andrew's wedding. Then we never heard anything, and never heard anything. Then one day mid August, on a Sunday my dad just casually asks me what I'm doing that Thursday, and I just kind of started rattling off, well, I have the post camp fireside, and this and that. And then he tells me, well, if you want to, you can come down to the Courthouse at 5 and Kathryn and I are getting married! WHAT???!!! This is how you're going to tell me and you're not going to even invite me, you're just going to tell me IF I want to come, I can. Well, thanks for the heads up, it was only like the most hectic day of August for me with the post camp fireside! Like, my whole job at camp was for this fireside, and now I have to fit in a wedding on the most hectic day in August for me!! :) But, of course, I was happy to be there with them on their big day, and so excited for them!
Once word got out, that the ONLY people they had invited were our family and her boys, there were some folks who wouldn't accept that! :) So, Chuck and Becky came, and my aunt Kathy and Uncle Scott came up from Milton-Freewater.
Chuck and Dad before the ceremony...
Papa and his little buddy, Jacksy...
Taylor and daddy waiting for the ceremony to begin...
Andrew, Courtney and John. I was so glad that Andrew was in town and got to be there for it, too!
Kathy and Scott...
The happy couple during the ceremony. My dad, of course, was making jokes the whole time and having a good time with it all...

It's a done deal!
Jackson clapping after the ceremony was over. He's not sure why he's doing it, but he saw everyone else doing it, so why not! :)
Uncle Scott and Andrew as the witnesses...
Tucker went up to her after and said, Hi Kathryn, or should I say, Hi GRANDMA!!! He thought he was so funny!!! :) 
The whole group. It was so fun to be with family and friends. It was just a nice, relaxing, casual, happy event. I couldn't be happier for them!

All the ladies...
And the men folk:
Kathryn and Becky outside of the courthouse. It is such a beautiful building, and some pretty beautiful ladies! 
All of us with the new couple:
Taylor giving her new Grandma Kathryn a good bye hug. They were off to a little weekend getaway and we were off to the post camp fireside!!! :) I wish we would have been able to celebrate more, but it was a fun, quick, happy wedding celebration. They keep on telling us that next year when they get sealed they will have a big party, and once they are all settled on where they're living, and get those things figured out, we'll party! :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Max'n and Relax'n in August...

We had a lot of other fun adventures in August. A lot of hanging out at home, playing in the yard, hanging with friends.
You can definitely tell that we have a 1 year old in the house when I turn the corner and see this:
My life has drastically changed since he has become mobile. 
The day I finally got home from girls camp, I was so exhausted that I just let these guys eat cake for breakfast. It was my leftover ice cream cake from my birthday, and it had been in the freezer for so long, it needed to be gone, but I didn't want to do any cooking, so ice cream cake for breakfast it was! :) Plus, it was more like lunch, because it was so late, so it was an ice cream cake brunch! :)
They didn't seem to mind...
One thing Jackson's physical therapist told me was to practice going up and down the stairs with him, so we spent a lot of time on these steps! :) He liked it at first, but would quickly get sick of the 'work'! :) stinky boy!
It's a good think he's so cute! :)
This boy has started to pull himself up on EVERYTHING! I need to move this art easel. It's perfect for my Taylor artist but totally not worth the mess that this boy makes by pulling himself up and everything out! :)
My sweet young woman friend, Jenny from the branch moved down to Dayton, WA, which is right down by Walla Walla. So, she wanted to go down and say good bye to Hermana Taylor before she left. I loved Hermana Taylor so much, so I offered to take her down so I could say hi to her, too! She left our Valley branch and was serving at the Indiana Branch downtown, so it was good to see our old friends from that branch. It, was also the Lee's mission farewell that day, so it was fun to be there for that. They were leaving to their mission in Puerto Rico. So jealous! :) I do love that Hermana Taylor, but why oh why did no one tell me that I looked like this: 
ha ha!
Also, we had a ward activity and Jenny took a pic with Elder Vargas. One thing I love about being in such a tight nit branch is that we get so close with the missionaries, and the youth and I feel like these kids are my own and I just love them!
Then there's this guy! He is such a stinker! I love his little personality coming out, now that he's learning he can move his legs, it's like he is learning he has a say in things in his life, and opinions about things! :) His favorite place to be while I'm getting ready is right here next to me in my sink. He loves to play with our toothbrushes and with my makeup and really, with anything else he can get his grubby little hands on while he's up there!
All of these pictures below were taken within like 2 minutes. Dramatic, much???! :)

These two! I just don't know what to do with these two sometimes. They can be the best of friends sometimes, but then other days they are at each other! So, I saw this idea of putting them in the same big shirt when they fight, and then they have to be in close proximity until they can be friends again. And, it is funny because one of Ben's friends works for UPS, and had given him a UPS shirt that says 'united as one' on the front. So, I put them in it for the first time, and they thought it was great. They started laughing and running around together and their issue seemed to be gone.
Then they got so excited that Tucker started to drag Taylor around and the crying started again. Maybe the shirt idea wasn't the greatest, but I will definitely be trying it again!!!
But then there are other days that they are the best of friends, and make club houses in the tree, and play outside all day together greatly!
This boy would spend all day on the trampoline if I let him!!
These two, the best of friends...
Ben and I went on a date and had to stop at Juan and Maria's house on the way home and this little lady answered the door. I love her so much and it looks like she has quite the crush on someone...
Cute little Odalis, love her so much!
Jackson got a present in the mail from his grandma and grandpa, and of course, his favorite part of the package was the box. I'm not even sure why I buy toys for him!
Somewhere in there, during the first few weeks of August, Collin and Chase came to stay with us for a few days while Tara and Dave went to Vancouver, Canada for a race. They're crazy like that and enjoying doing things like that together. It was fun having them here for a few days, and Jackson got a lot of snuggling time in with his Collin buddy. Collin loves him some Jackson.
Jackson trying on Papa's awesome Cinderella slippers...
And maybe this is TMI, but this is my view when I go to the bathroom. He doesn't ever leave my side, even when I go to the bathroom, this is the face I get.
Silly boy, is just wanting to get into everything these days, and won't leave my side, so this is what I get to hang out with most days:
He is mostly happy and easy going, so that makes it all good. I can't complain with this one!
my silly little boy...
It's been a good month with my babies, maxin' and relaxin' during these lazy days of summer.

Swimming lessons 2014...

We did another round of Swimming lessons with Coach Rhonda. Tucker has really loved her, and I thought that Taylor was ready to finally get in on the lesson action. She did SO great. After uploading these pictures, I realized I didn't take any of Tucker this year, but he did lessons, too. I think I took so many of Taylor because it was her first time. She was so proud of herself, and really did so so good! 
This girl cracks me up!

Her sessions are two weeks long, and we go every morning. And, my favorite part is that I get to chat with my friends for two hours every morning. This guy also had fun with his girlfriend, Emery. 

And she even started to swim with her head underwater! I swear, this girl, once she is determined to do something, she does it! I love that about her!
Jumping off the diving board for the first time, without her floaties...
Of course, since we were in lessons, I had to take them to the pool as often as we could. We got a pool pass at Chester hills pool. It was perfect. And nothing made me more happy than looking over one time and seeing Tucker actually practicing his strokes! He is old enough that this year he had started to learn actual swim strokes. I'm so excited for him! And it's nice because one of my best friends has a membership there, and a lot of people from our stake, so whenever we go, we know we'll have friends there! :) I already can't wait for next summer for our lazy pool days.
Without Rhonda by her side, this one was a little bit more hesitant, but definitely getting more brave without her floaties. She's already talking about next summer when she FOR SURE swims without her floaties, every time. Sure do love that smile, though and I love my little fishy babies!!
This guy! This guy on the other hand. This was not my year to just 'enjoy' the pool. :) He was just a needy little guy! He was happy in the water, floating around, but if we were out of the water, he wanted to be in it! We'll see how he does this upcoming summer! :) I hope he's a water baby like my other ones!
This is what I saw a lot if we were out of the water at the pool:
It was a good swimming summer for our family! I can't wait for the days where I feel comfortable enough to just let them go at it, and they are all comfortable enough in the pool on their own! We were just swimming at the Y, and I asked Tucker if he wanted to join the team at the Y, and he told me that he wanted to stick with coach Rhonda! I thought that was cute, I guess that's a good thing that he likes her enough! We'll see if swim team is his thing one day in his future!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Stormee's Wedding...

I love doing pictures for family and friends. This is exactly why I started doing pictures in the first place. Their wedding theme was kind of country chic. I thought it was gorgeous. Small and simple with lots of country touches. I was with Stormee all day that day. I went over to Jr.'s house that morning and spent the morning with Stormee and her bridesmaids getting ready. It was so fun. The actual wedding was at her grandparents property in the country, they have an orchard and land.

The wedding favors for the guests:
Jr. and Stormee showed up in Uncle Scotts old Ford. It's a pretty cool car!

The weather was perfect! Stormee was beautiful and it was a GREAT day!
It was officiated by one of Jr.'s best friends.

The bride and bridesmaids:
And, of course, the food was DIVINE! Some yummy fresh salmon:
Lots and lots of tri-tip. Also, crab, and pretty much anything you could want to eat was there! :) It was food heaven!
This girl was attached to my cousin, Kristin all day. I'm so glad that she had a buddy to play with all day! :) Kristin is so sweet with her.
Taylor being Taylor with her yummy food:
Kristin made me get in a picture with her, you know, to document that I really was there! :)
I love weddings and the happiness and joy that is always there. Besides one of the groomsmen getting so drunk that he was acting belligerent and getting kicked out of the party, it was a perfect day! :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Weekend in M-F for Stormee's wedding...

The day after my day with the missionaries, we had to head down to Milton-Freewater for my cute little cousin, Stormee's wedding. She got married on the 16th of August, and I was the one who actually made her wedding announcements. But funny story, my dad called me the week before the wedding asking if I was going to be the photographer. Well, let me back up here. I took their engagement pictures in May and then she had me do her announcements, so I made those, and everything was great. I kept on thinking to myself, she hasn't asked me to do her wedding, so she must have gotten someone else, which is totally fine, I was glad to just go and enjoy her wedding and not be the photographer. Well, I should have actually asked her. I didn't even think about being her photographer again until the week before when my dad called and asked me if I was her wedding photographer. I told him no, that Stormee didn't ask me, so I wasn't planning on it. He then told me that I should probably call Stormee because he was under the impression that they all thought that I WAS going to be the photographer. So, I did. And lo and behold, she WAS under the impression that I was going to be the photographer. No biggie, I just had to change my frame of mind from relaxing weekend at the wedding to photographer.
Besides the wedding, we did have a great weekend spending time with family and long time family friends.
We stayed at Scott and Kathy's all weekend, and of course, the kids had fun swimming in their pool. My kids are little fishies, and love love love the pool.
This little guy loved all the doggies...

We spent all day Friday in the pool while these guys stayed inside shucking crabs all afternoon. It's fun to see these brothers together. I love my Uncle Scott AND my dad.

Beautiful Milton-Freewater sunsets, I love that we can still be in the pool playing this late at night!
These guys were our playmates all weekend; Dad, Kathryn, Louie, Nancy, Scott, Kathy, Stu and his wife.
These two lovebirds...

Saturday we spent all day doing wedding things, which I will post about in a bit, and Sunday we just hung out with these fools again:
Went out to breakfast, did some swimming, and then we had to get back early so that I could be there for my other son's Eagle Scout court of honor. I was giving the opening prayer and just had to be there for the big event in his life! I love Starling! And especially now that Tucker is in Cub Scouts, I understand the work that has been done by him AND his mother! :)

It was a great weekend spent with family and pseudo family! :) I sure do love my Milton-Freewater family and roots. There is nothing like being with those who love you and you love the most! Up next is Stormee's actual wedding day, that deserves a whole post of it's own! :) Lot's of good times.