Sunday, July 31, 2016


I thought my kids would be fine sleeping on the ground. I mean, they're kids. Aren't they supposed to be able to sleep anywhere? But after a few nights of sleeping on the ground and rolling ALL over the place, including onto each other, they opted for this baby-doll bassinet. After the first night that Cheeks tried it out, Boy Howdy wanted his turn. It seemed to go well enough but then he opted for the crack between my bed and the wall (maybe 2 feet wide). I guess they were craving some boundaries in their sleeping arrangements. Poor babies.

And then there's this last picture. Poor boy howdy came in to church took off his shoes and promptly fell asleep on the pew for the rest of sacrament meeting. He hasn't slept in church for at least two and a half years until this trip when he has slept more often than not. I opted to let him rest in peace but Cheeks couldn't let him be. After not being able to wake him, she finally resigned to making him as comfortable as possible and gave him a program "blankie". Too funny.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Pool Time

After Myrtle Beach I spent two weeks with my parents in Virginia. Part of the time was spent at my parent's neighborhood pool with my sister Nichole and my nephew Nathan. The kids, thankfully had life vests that allowed me to play with them both at the same time. After a few hours of playing with them I needed a rest by the pool; thankfully my sister was willing to step up and play the fun aunt for her dear beloved niece. Once a fun aunt, always the fun aunt!

And then we have a picture of my daughter who decided she was thirsty and the water I had for her wasn't good enough. For some reason the pool water was much more enticing. So she lapped it up like a little puppy. I had to take a picture, because really, how often do you see that happen?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Cousin Time at the Lake

After family reunion, my sister-in-law Bre and I both made our way to my parent's house and were able to spend a little more time with the little cousins.

I guess my mother and Cousin E had a tradition to get milkshakes after she picked her up for preschool when they lived in the area. So, naturally since the two were together, they needed more shakes. Thankfully they let everyone else in on the treat.

 But treats aren't only at McDonalds, if you go to Grandma's, treats are on demand. Want a soda? Sure why not!!

These two. I love that the Cousin E and Boy Howdy pair up, but even more I love that Cheeks pairs up with Cousin P even though they are 9 months apart. They hugged and laughed and played even though Cousin P isn't talking and had a gimpy ankle during the trip. You'd never know it by the way they played together. Since they are the youngest, I'm grateful they have each other and Cheeks isn't just the tag along with her older cousins.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Family Reunion 2016 - Fun in the Sun

In addition to fun activities my darling sister Nichole planned, most of the days were spent either at the beach or the pool. We could not have asked for a more lovely family reunion. Wonderful 2-bedroom suites for every family, mostly in a nice little row. Beautiful weather that made getting in the pool or ocean the perfect thing. Fun family with whom to spend the week. And fun games after babies were in bed. I loved this week. Paul and I are in charge of family reunion in 2 years and I can pretty much guarantee it will not be nearly as cool and thought through.

This girl. She did NOT want to wear the life vest but once she began trusting it to not let her drown, that was it. She no longer wanted me touching her or helping her to swim. She just wanted to paddle around the pool showing off her new-found independence. It was adorable.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Family Reunion 2016 - Minute to Win it

Because I have pictures, I may as well post them for posterity. I mean, why not.

Minute to Win it family style ended up being fairly entertaining with only limited drama. The first game was trying to get an Oreo from the forehead to the mouth while not using your hands. Boy Howdy took the game seriously though unsuccessfully. Cheeks tried for a moment but was more interested in eating the cookie than winning points for her team.

Poor Boy Howdy, trying to keep the balloon from hitting the floor. Thankfully he was excited just to participate.

Cheeks with her sweet Aunt Nickey and her cutie Cousin Emmalee.

Family Reunion 2016 - Boat Trip

Cheeks showing off her pretty nails for the camera.

The day started out sadly enough. Boy Howdy didn't want to go on the boat trip. And then he got some sunscreen in his eye from some over-spray (much drama ensued, including a very pitiable "Why did this happen to me?!!?"). He was determined to not enjoy the trip but got on the boat as opposed to staying behind on his own. After being fairly nonplussed about the dolphins he quickly fell asleep in Matthew's lap. Cheeks let me show her the dolphins, she seemed reasonably interested in them but she also managed to also fall asleep. Oh how I love my little family, tired and sad though they may be.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Family Reunion 2016 - Family Pictures

 Our entire family, minus 3. Holy Smokes that's a large group

The cute grandbabies, minus 1. As always, this picture is a monumental task. We did what we could.
My siblings, minus my little sister, Megan. Plus one cute little photo bomber. Maybe because it was my child I thought she was an adorable addition.

 My little family. Cheeks' expressions were all over the place and Boy Howdy was just not remotely excited to be there.

The cute little 4-year olds. We tried to get a picture of the 2-year olds but after all the other pictures they were asked to take they were unhelpful for one more.


The outtakes. My cute family. How I love them so.

And all because these two were willing to take a chance on each other and the Lord. So proud of them and the loving family they've created!!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Our Summer Vacation - The Plane Ride

The kids have been looking forward to our summer vacation for months, counting down the days. I tempted fate by taking a red-eye flight from Portland to Myrtle Beach. The trip started off well enough. We got on our way with Cheeks holding onto her trip backpack for dear life. I told them they were in charge of their backpacks and for the most part they took their duties very seriously.

We left late enough at night that the kids fell asleep fairly quickly. Too bad I didn't bring a blanket with me so they had to make due with my light cardigan. But having gone to bed after 10 and it only being a 4 hour flight, my babies were beyond exhausted once we got to Charlotte for our layover. As we walked from one gate to the other, poor Cheeks kept pitifully begging me to put her to bed. We got on our next flight and they were asleep before we even left the gate.

Once we got to Myrtle Beach, it was Boy Howdy's turn to melt down. He yelled and cried from the time we were deplaning to the time Matthew dragged him to the car. He was angry the beach wasn't in the airport (we were at Myrtle Beach after all) and that there would be no beach time that day. He ended up sleeping through the majority of church and went to bed with zero fuss.
Poor babies. I sure hope I never have to do another red-eye flight for their sakes.