Sunday, August 26, 2007

No, we're not twins! Although Mommy likes to dress us alike and we're ALMOST the same size, we are definitely 18 months apart! This was part of our fun Kamas trip while visiting cousins in Utah!
Faith loves Daddy Yes sirree! And in their favorite place...the water!
Hey Jeff (Hillman), Andrew must have taken some secret "face" lessons while we were together. I have never seen this one before!
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At the top of the rock in Gettysburg, PA. WE learned all about the battle during the Civil War and really loved CAMPING for the first time as a family!
Johnny posing in between the rocks. I love his hair shorter like this!
This is our Camping Crew - the Ahrens & McMullin families from New Jersey. There were 11 children under the age of 8, and we had so much fun! It's a great reminder that kids don't need "things" to be happy. Just give them a stick and lots of dirt and they are great!
Faith at the Hayes Park Sprayground. This was before our Utah trip, and a perfect day for it, because it was SO hot!
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One of the unique features of Assateague Island, MD is the Wild Ponies. They roam up and down the beach, through the parking lots poop on the sidewalks. They aren't even phased by all the people around. Once a year they herd hundreds of them across the bay to the mainland where they sell the horses to people who will train and ride them. It helps keep the numbers down and is a VERY big event in the area.
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The kids at Family Home Evening one night (Just Kidding!) Our Stake is having a Film Festival, and our kids are some of the STARS! The clip really is about Family Home EVening, so we'll pass it along as soon as the film is complete! But, I couldn't pass up this funny picture!
The NEW Trampoline! We have jumped EVERY single day (except Sunday, the kids will point out) since we returned from Utah. This has been such great exercise and FUN for everyone! Both Faith and Grant have figured out how to do a front flip, Clark can do Knee-Bum-Up and Johnny can stay on his feet despite bounces from everyone around him.
Isn't this cute of two of my boys? John's shirt matches his eyes, and we just can't get enough of this sweetheart. He speaks in full sentences now, and it's so adorable! Today during Sacrament Meeting I told John that we think of Jesus during the Sacrament, and he immediately said "Where's Jesus? Where's Jesus?" I replied with "He's in heaven, watching you...because He loves you!" What he said next just melted my heart! He turned to me and in the most sincere voice said "He loves ME?" I teared up right then and there when he smiled, knowing that was truth.
This is the outside of the Crab Shack. Sorry, so many pictures of the shack. Just wanted you to feel the full experience. Our ward members, the Dredges, offered to have us stay in their Ocean Home in Maryland, and we took them up on their generous offer! We left work at NOON on Friday and drove 3 hours to Ocean City. The home was beautiful and IMMACULATELY clean, complete with giant tub, screened in porch and passes to the Beach House Pool & Assateague Island. What could be more fun? We packed every minute with swimming, eating and sleeping!
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Andrew and the kids building a sand castle on the beach at Ocean City, MD. It was so fun to leave D.C. and get to a REAL beach in only 3 hours! The water was almost warm, and Clark couldn't get enough of the waves. He would get toppled over and over again, and as we'd go out to rescue him, he'd just spit out the salt water, and run right back toward the waves! John was content to eat popcorn on the shore, while Faith and Grant tried out the boogie boards. Just so much fun!
Grant on the boogie board. He'd get hit so hard with the waves that his "floaties" would come off, but it didn't slow him down a bit! He got so that he could ride the waves in all by himself, smiling all the way!
After the beach on Friday night, we went to Dunsters for burgers and ice cream. The kids were so hungry and the ice cream tasted great!
This is the Crab Shack, run by a mother-daughter team. They were so nice to us, and we got some authentic east coast seafood! Great fun!

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Faith and John outside the Crab Shack where we ate lunch on Assategue Island, MD. We did a quick getaway with the family, leaving around Noon on Friday and returning late Saturday night. This Crab Shack was really authentic, and the kids ate Calamari (don't worry...we didn't tell them what they were eating), crab cakes & the ever-popular fish n' chips. I was proud of them for trying it all. And despite the dive-like appearance of the place, we really enjoyed ourselves!

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Saturday, August 4, 2007

More blogging - so much to little time!

We loved spending a day with Jeff and his girlfriend, Jen. The kids obviously felt comfortable around them, and we've learned that Faith has a "thing" for TALL guys. She wanted to be held by Andrew Israelson, Jeff and anyone else over 6 feet tall! We'd better watch out for those basketball players who might start making stops at our house!

So, here you go. My first post was a disaster, but at least you can see some of what we did while in Utah. Both families have ALL the pictures, but this is just a taste. We will update weekly on this site, and hope that you will comment and keep us updated with your family!

John didn't feel well at all on his (2nd) birthday, but we carried on with the Sesame Street party! He liked blowing out the candle and eating the cake! We just love our Hawkins cousins and their beautiful yard (and trampoline) that they shared with us so many times during our visit!

These are 3 of my adorable kids - this shows Faith's beautiful smile. We were visiting Temple Square after our Croshaw cousins picture - hence the matching shirts & dress.

The new Tabernacle was beautiful! We also visited the new Children's Exhibit in the Church History Museum across the street from Temple Square. What an amazing site - the temple, the Square, the Conference Center, and so much more to come in the future!

Well, you'd think we weren't watching the kids...but we were! We came home and Peter immediately headed for the backyard, Clark following closely behind. Before we knew it, they were both in there with their clothes on! Those crazy boys! It wasn't nearly as funny when Peter did it again the next morning right before Cousin pictures!

We celebrated John's 2nd birthday, as well as Peter's 3rd birthday (both on the same day). Cute Sophie was the only one who would leave her party hat on her head!

Faith was such a sweet little Mommy to her new cousin (Joanna's baby) Amelia. She was the only baby this summer, so we all enjoyed kissing and loving her!

Breakfast with my princess!

Faith and I went with Joanna, Abbie and Mimi to have breakfast with the Disney Princesses at the Center Street Theatre! What a great use of $14! We met and took pictures with ALL of the princesses (except Sleeping Beauty - they said she was sleeping). The girls were in heaven, hardly sitting in their seats from excitement. After breakfast, they performed all the hit songs from Disney movies, and the girls couldn't get enough! As each song would end, Faith would say "It's not all done, there's more!" At the very end of the show, she said "Can we watch the whole thing again?" Definitely a hit!

Swimming was definitely a highlight of our trip! Both sets of grandparents had the same type of pool, which gave us hours of fun at both places! Cousins and water...what could be better?
This is at Brigham Young's home at "This is the Place" park. The kids liked visiting their Great-great-great-great-great grandfather's pink home. We rode the train, learned the Virginia Reel, ate a cookie, went to "school", and had a yummy picnic. If I lived in Utah, we would LOVE to volunteer as Pioneers. It was a great day!

Still figuring out this blog thing!

This is the BEST picture of the Croshaw cousins. 7 children under 8 years old definitely left it's mark on G & G's house! We know that Sophie can smile! Isn't she beautiful?

"Excitement and Freaky" in UTAH!

We just spent the whole month of July in Utah! Every day was filled with adventure, fun, and very few responsibilities!

Let me try to summarize our fun week by week:

WEEK 1 (July 2-9): The Rich Family spent the week together at a condo in Deer Valley. Just being all together was quite a feat! Mindy & Jeff came from Thailand, Jesse took a week off EFY and Laren missed work just for us!

We watched the Fourth of July Parade in downtown Park City, went swimming at the incredible pool in Kamas, played Bowling, Golf & Tennis on Jesse's Wii (Nintendo), had a professional picture taken of the family, and just played a LOT. The uninterrupted time was just priceless and our kids will have memories of that for a VERY long time!

WEEK 2 (July 10-15): We got to know our Croshaw cousins again! Emily, Spencer & Jeff came up from Las Vegas, Suzy & Nels from Cedar City and Laurie & Fred from around the corner. Who knew grown adults could have SO much fun with a kiddie pool & a slip-n-slide? I haven't laughed that hard in a LONG time! We fed each other chocolate pudding, launched water balloons, played soccer on the church lawn and ate some DELICIOUS food!

Mom & Dad Rich took the whole group to LAGOON! Being there as a Mom was very different than when I was there as a 17-year-old daredevil! I DID go on the new rollercoaster "Wicked" and liked it a lot more than I thought I would! At the end of the day, we tearfully said goodbye to Mindy & Jeff's family, heading back to Bangkok.

We finished out the week with the Croshaw Family Reunion at the Church camp in Heber City. Listening to the barbershop quartet while enjoying nature was wonderful. Andrew shared his presentation about LaMont Croshaw and everyone was in tears! Being in the mountains was a great reminder that kids hardly need a thing to have fun! Up there, they were perfectly happy to wander through the woods with a stick and some rocks! Oh, I am just so blessed to be a part of this family - they are such choice people and I hope I can become like them someday.