Monday, July 30, 2012

Independence Day

We had a wonderful Fourth of July this year in Missouri, even without seeing fireworks.  We spent the day at Meramec Springs with my entire family. We grilled out, fed the fish and just let the kids run around and play together.  It as a super fun and relaxing day and pretty much everyone, including myself, was in a pretty good mood which always makes things a little more enjoyable.  We usually visit Meramec Springs every year, and I have to say, I really love that place.  Maybe it's because I remember going there when I was little, I'm not sure, but it just seems like the perfect picnic venue with it's beautiful scenery, quaint atmosphere, fish to feed and plenty of space for the kids to run and play.  I've uploaded way too many pictures in an entirely random order, but that's ok I suppose.   
 The after lunch watermelon one wanted to cut the watermelon, so my dad took on the task. He cut them into gigantic pieces, but the kids didn't seem to mind. It was also an effective way to get almost all the kids in one spot at the same time. 
 My sweet niece Emrie.  She was so much bigger than when we had seen her before just after her birth. She was all smiles despite the heat and craziness going on around her.
 Just thought this was a cute picture of Kevin and Londyn. 
 My precious niece Natalie that I finally caught in a picture. She and her sister are rather hard to catch these days, and never too eager for me to take their picture. 

 The girls in front of the little waterfall. 
 The three musketeers trying to feed the fish.  These three are quite a trio, and it's so much fun to watch them play together. 
 The best picture to date of all the's getting easier, but we just seem to keep multiplying.
 This is everyone standing around waiting to see if the raccoon was going to come out of the trash can.  They were trying to rescue him, but I don't think he wanted to be rescued. 

On this trip, this is where Lincoln's obsession with riding a horse started.  He got on this old iron horse and sat there forever. All the other kids had gone back up to the pavilion to eat, and Lincoln remained on that horse. He totally claimed it as his own, and even after we got him to get off, he talked about "his horse".  At one point, he stared down a couple of girls that got on it when he was taking a break.  It all went downhill from there. He didn't stop talking about horse riding for a long time.

So after our long, hot day, we all kind of opted out of fireworks which was entirely fine by me. I was exhausted from our previous traveling, and was eager to just take it easy and hang out at home.  Next year, will have to hit up a good fireworks show!
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Friday, July 20, 2012

More Beach

Again, I can't say enough about what a great time we had at the beach. Thanks to my sister-in-law and her family, we were able to spend the night in their beach house and enjoy a couple of days away from Portland.  We were truly blessed with great weather both days, and we had lots of fun exploring and enjoying the coast which we don't get to see nearly enough.
Thes are the girls with their "old" cousins.  They love getting a chance to spend time with the big kids.   Thankfully, the older kids are very kind and sweet to my little ones. 

Like the only picture ever of Lincoln smiling while I'm holding him for a picture!
 Me and my girls.
 Lincoln finally warmed up to the idea of playing in the sand and water.
 Goofy girls
 The olympics inspired a little racing on the beach. 
The girls posing for a picture with Grandmommy and Grandaddy. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Oregon Coast

Probably one of my favorite things we did in Oregon was visit the coast.  There's just not much that beats the ocean, and the kids couldn't have been more content with the beach as their playground.  The thing about the Oregon Coast is that you don't go to the beach to swim, which is fine by me at this point in my life, but I spent a lot of time preparing the girls.  Honestly, now, it's my favorite kind of beach. You get to enjoy the beauty of the beach and play in the sand, but everyone is fully dressed!  We couldn't have asked for more perfect weather for our time there. 
 Londyn LOVES the beach. She always has. Once she gets on the beach, she never wants to come in.
 Our niece Lilly playing at the beach.  I think she's having fun!

 Vivi enjoyed splashing around as well.
 So much fun watching the girls play together.
 The mandatory attempt at a family picture. 
Kevin and Lincoln joined the party a little late. Lincoln was taking a nap when we arrived, and the girls couldn't wait to get to the water.  He wasn't sure what to think about it.  The first visit, he wouldn't put his feet in the sand, and told us it was dangerous. I guess I'm glad he's learned to be a little fearful of things.  The next time he went down, he enjoyed it a little more!
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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dinner Out

Our California friends treated us to a nice seafood dinner out while they were visiting in Portland.  We had a great time visiting, and the food was delicious! The kids were as good as could be expected, but I was reminded why we don't go out for a nice evening meal that often with them. 


 Londyn had a lot of fun playing with the remains of the lobster.  Who knew they could provide such entertainment?!?
All the kids enjoying their dessert!
 Me and Rebecca, one of my favorite people! I met Rebecca when I started my first long term sub position in California as a brand new teacher. We hit it off right away, and actually ended up at the same school the following year.  She taught fourth and I taught fifth, but we were still able to collaborate and bounce ideas off of each other constantly. I'm not sure how I would've survived my first year of teaching without her. 

So thankful we got to see each other this year.  I think we are on an every three year rotation, but I'll take what I can get!
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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Oregon Zoo

We did actually visit several zoo animals, but we had an equally good time trying on masks in the gift shop trying to stay dry.  It was a little cool outside for my taste, and a little drizzly to start, but it was a great day to visit the zoo because apparently the animals are fond of cooler temperatures.  The zoo was one of our mini adventures with our California friends, and even though we frequent the zoo in Tulsa, it never seems to gets old. 

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