Saturday, August 14, 2010

Rock climbing

Another great idea my dad has was to take the kids rock climbing.

Here is Jake all harnessed up ready to go.
And Kate.
Kate was the most brave her first time up the wall. She made it pretty far before she wanted to come down.
Jake was a bit of a spider monkey. He made it pretty far the first time or two, but after that he climbed all the way to the top. That is over 30 feet! For a boy who used to claim to be afraid of everything, he sure seems to have no fear of this. He ended up climbing all the way up four times.

The first time he made it to the top.
And here he is repelling down. I have to admit even that was a little scary for me but he loved coming down the wall "like Spiderman". He did so great we might skip the little league and soccer stuff and stick to rock climbing.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Camping at the coast

My kids have never gone camping before. My dad thought it would be fun to give it a try. Plus it gave us a chance to go to the coast while we were visiting. It was me and the kids, Rachel and her kids, and my parents.
Here are the kids "helping" my dad set the tent up.

We cooked hot dogs over the fire and, of course, had s'mores. I was worried about the kids being cold in the night so I did not sleep that great, but they sure did. It is nice that Ian likes to sleep with a blanket over his face because it kept him nice and warm through the night.
Here is Jake's sleepy face when he woke up.
And here is the insane bed head that Kate woke up with.
After we packed up camp we headed to the beach before we left for home. Grandpa went with the kids to hunt for shells and crab claws.
Ian sat on my lap making silly faces.
We ate lunch in the cars before we left for home and there were a lot of seagulls hoping for food. My dad decided to get rid of our last bits of bread and he got swarmed.

The kids handled camping really well so I guess we should try it again some time.

A visit to Salem

While we were in Oregon we took a trip to Salem. My grandparents live there and they have never met my kids. So Rachel and her kids loaded in my van with me and mine. My mom drove and picked up my sis-in-law Debbie and niece Sammy in Eugene and brought them also. We had a really good time. Grandma Joan and Grandpa Bill made a yummy lunch and then our friend Meta joined us for the afternoon. The kids also got a chance to pick raspberries and cherries out of the yard. They didn't really like eating them, but they liked to pick them. After lunch we headed to the pool. The retirement community they live in has a great pool and the water was nice and warm for the kids.
Here is Grandma Joan, Rachel, my mom holding Ian, and Meta pool side.

A.J. and Jamie swim like fish. One day my kids will be like that...

It was so bright I could not seem to get a shot with Jake's eyes open.

Kate, Sammy, and Debbie hanging out on the stairs.

After the pool the kids got to ride the park carousel.

Meta brought some fun toys for all the kids and here they all are enjoying the bubble wands.

It sure was a fun day. We might have to do it again sometime:)

Thursday, August 12, 2010


For the 4th we started the day with church. In the afternoon I took the kids to a friends house, Matt and Jessie, for a fun BBQ. Jessie made a great spread and it all tasted so good!
Here are a few of the kids posing.

Here is Kate with her b.f.f. Matt. She has cake in her teeth. There is not really a huge gap between them.

And here she is enjoying one of her favorite foods, ribs.

Can you feel the love?

After the BBQ we went with my parents and Rachel and her kiddos to the fireworks. The people watching is almost as fun as the firework watching. One of the kids favorite parts is that you can buy paper plates for a dollar each and write your name on them. When it is dark the plates get spread out all over the football field. Then they have 4 skydivers fly in and land on the field. If they pick up your plate when they land you win money. Jake and Kate were so excited for the skydivers to land and Jake was pretty sure his plate would get picked. Unfortunately his plate did not get picked, and he was really upset. Maybe next year.
Here is cute Jamie, Kate, Jake and A.J. waiting for it to get dark.
Ian was a great sport, as always, hanging out in his patriotic p.j.'s.
And here he is pooped out once we got home.

It was happy for us. Hope it was for you.

Hiking Roxyann

One Saturday my dad and I took Jake and Kate and hiked the mountain behind my parents house. It's called Roxyann. When we first started out I was not even planning on going all the way to the top. The kids surprised me though and just kept going.
Here is Kate working hard. She said she had fun but when I asked her if we should hike another mountain she said," Not with me!"

Here is Jake getting a little break. Both the kids hitched a ride for a few minutes on the way up.

We made it to the top!

A pit stop on the way down.

Jake counted the entire way down and ended up counting to 1,199. The highest he has ever counted. They were both pretty worn out but we all had a good time. We even talked them into another hike a few weeks later, but I forgot my camera so you will have to take my word for it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


After we had been in Medford for about a week, we made a trip up to Washington. Bryan's grandma had passed away so we headed up north for the funeral. On the drive up we stopped to eat our lunch at Multnomah Falls. The falls are beautiful, the family picture there, not so much. It was a nice stopping place for us though.

Ian posing in front of the falls.
The kids playing in the freezing cold stream.
We were only in Washington for a few days. It was nice to have the chance to see almost all of the McLaughlin side of the family, even though it was not under the most happy circumstances.
We really did enjoy seeing everyone, even though we don't have pictures to show it. One afternoon the kids played with bubbles in the yard and we did get some pictures of that.
It was harder than it look apparently. She finally decided running with the wand was the best way.
Ian hung out on a blanket in the grass.

Jake running back for a bubble refill. Is it just me or does he look so old in this picture?
Action shot.
The only other pictures we took were of Jake(Osis) and Kate(Piley) jumping on the mattress playing with Uncle Trevor(Pumpkin Head). Pumpkin Head was doing a great job of keeping them entertained.

So what did we do for the summer? Drive!

Car seats, kids, movies, McDonald's, blankets, and bags. Lots of bags. We have gone a lot of places this summer and done a lot of things. And I have seen a lot of this:

Starting with our trip to AZ in June, these kids have spent 80+ hours in the van. We went out to Oregon, up to Washington, up to Salem, out to the coast, and back to UT. Jake once said,"I'm sick of this van" and I could not have agree more. At least all the driving allowed us to go fun places, see loved ones, and have good times.

Constuction Paper Iron Man

We were home from Arizona for about 5 days before we left for a month in Oregon. During that time Jake found time to sit with his paper, tape, marker, scissors, and string to make this costume for himself. He is one creative guy.

We went to AZ!

During the first week of June, Bryan was going to be in Phoenix for work. I drove down with the kids to meet up with him and hang out with Ethan, Ashley and their kiddos. Minus the 24 hour stomach flu, we had a fun time. Jake and Logan act a little insane when they are together, but they get along great and always seem to enjoy themselves. It is nice to see them be such good buddies. It is too bad it takes so long to drive down there, because it would be fun to go visit more often!

How many ways can one girl sleep in a chair?

Kate fell asleep in the chair in our hotel room in Phoenix. Every time I looked at her she was in a different position. None of them look particularly comfortable.