Friday, October 9, 2015

Girls' Labor Day Weekend

 I have been trying to organize a cousin's retreat for a while now...and we finally made it happen.  Shannon and Heather flew to Vegas and we stayed in the JW Marriott resort.  It was SO fun!
Shannon flew in first, and while we were waiting for Heather's flight, we kicked off the weekend with facials at massage envy.
 We also made a pit stop at Target and got a few snacks. :)
 We ate so much food!  One of the restaurants we went to was Guy Fieri's restaurant, it was really good!
 Heather was making the most of her trip to Vegas...ok, maybe she was just sitting while Shannon and I were using the restroom. :) 
 We walked around the garden in the Bellagio.
 We went shopping...
 We went to Cirque De Soleil "O"...which was amazing!!!
 We had some pretty awesome seats!
 We may, or may not, have made a few of our own "bat dad" videos...which will NEVER be made public! :)
 We had a spa day, with massages, facials, and pedicures...thank you groupon for the awesome deal!!!
 This picture was taken right after my awesome facial...I look like I just had an hour nap...which I kind of did.
And we laid out by the pool.  
It was an awesome weekend.  I miss you ladies so much!  You are my best friends, and I'm so lucky to have been able to grow up with such great cousins!  I loved our long talks, and laughing so hard my cheeks hurt!  We need to plan the next one!

My first experience canning at my house.

 My parents went on a road trip to WA state...back to the farm...and brought back a haul with them.
 We had our work cut out for us, but man is it worth it when it is all on your shelf!
 I remember helping my mom can when I was growing up, but I have never lived close enough to her to have her help me can as an adult...and I was too chicken to try on my own. 
 Come to find out, it isn't that hard, just a lot of work.  We'll see if I keep up the tradition. :/
We did stewed tomatoes, peaches, pears, salsa, apple pie filling, apple sauce, and dried apples...all in three days.

Talk about growing up...

Kasidee had her first official babysitting job.  Addison went with her for moral support.  They had a good experience, and the parents said they did a good job.  I told Kasidee, "whatever you do, CLEAN UP." :)

Back to School

 Bailey: age 7, grade 2.  Spunky, full of attitude, but so fun and is up for anything!
 Addison: age 9, grade 4.  Starting to figure out who she is.  Likes to try doing her own hair, and has become witty all of a sudden.
 Parker: age 12, grade 6.  First year of middle school (deep breathes), punk, likes to tease, but is deep down still a momma's boy, which makes me so happy.
 Kasidee:  age 12, grade 6.  Also starting middle school (AHHHH!), still likes to read, but has become more independent and organized this year.  Starting young woman's has helped her grow up so much!
 See what I mean...punk! :)
 Cute twins.  It makes me so happy that they have each other!  Especially when it is big changing years like this one.  I think I was way more nervous for them to start middle school than they were...I love that they can look after one another.
 And we have last, but not least Reilynn:  age 5, grade K.  She is so happy for it to finally be her turn to go to school.  It is half day kinder here, but it has been a perfect transition for her.  Just enough, but not too overwhelming.
Wyatt has missed his buddy at home,  and he is the first to the door, to welcome them all home!

Beach or Bust!

 We have had a crazy summer of divide and conquer.  We didn't get to do much as a complete family.  So the weekend before school started, we had a small window to make that happen.
 We jumped in the car, and headed to California, to the beach.
 The kids had so much fun playing in the sand and the water.  The water was too cold for me...I'm a wuss, but they played and played.
 As you can see, burying each other was the favorite.
 Wyatt was NOT a fan of the sand.  We had to make a towel island for him to play on.  He was happy for hours, as long as he didn't have to put his feet in the sand.  Funny kid.
 They had sand everywhere...which, even after they washed off, meant I had sand everywhere in my car too!
 We had such a good time as a family.  
 We had a man that was surfing with his kids come up to us and start talking to us.  It turned out that he was a member of the church, and for some reason (maybe the 6 kids:) he figured we were too.  It was fun to talk to him a little bit about living in California as a member.  
 Cute boy, and his sand-free heaven.
 It was a little chilly, especially since we are used to bath water temperatures in Galveston.
 I was so happy that we got to meet up with a college roommate who lives is Redondo beach.  Love you girl, it was fun to catch up!
 The kids love staying at a hotel.  I don't know why sleeping on the floor instead of their comfortable beds is so appealing...but it is!
On our way back home, we had someone honk at us as we were driving down the freeway.  Our wheel was wobbling, and when we pulled over and looked closer, we were missing 2 lug nuts.  Someone had attempted to steel our rims, and failed.  Luckily we didn't get in an accident...scary!

Summer continued...

 It's so stinkin' hot!!!  There aren't pools everywhere, like in Texas...what are we to do?!?!
 ...catch up on dentist appointments and...
 have a few sewing lessons.
Both Addison and Bailey made pillows and blankets for their American Girl Dolls.

Girls Camp 2015

 I was lucky enough to be asked to help with camp this year...Kasidee's first year at camp.  Our theme was "Which Way do you Face?"  It was so much fun!
 We were up at the church's camp, Camp Stimson, and it was actually 20-30 degrees cooler than Vegas.  It was heaven!  If the sun was behind the clouds (which it was a lot the week we were there) you needed a sweatshirt.
 Here is cute Kas with her fellow Beehive, Avery.  Kas had such a fun time.  I have such fond memories of girls camp, I'm so happy that Kas will too!
 Some of the leaders and girls chilling at the campsite.
 Me and my fellow camp director.  I had so much fun working with Nancy.  
 My cute girl.
 Here is our group sitting for one of the "ward time" devotionals.  It is amazing to me how the spirit can come so quickly when you are out in nature.  We have a really good group of girls!

 We made wooden arrows, that the girls nailed together and painted.  They had a good time with them.
 It is fun to see how 30 girls can turn the same wood into something totally original and unique.
 Kasidee's favorite past time was the rope bridge.  She shocked me...I didn't think she would like it at all.  Good job Kas!

 The other main craft that we did was leather bracelets.  The girls got to stamp the leather.  An old cowboy in our ward let us borrow all his leather working tools.  It was fun to go to his ranch and talk to him.  He had greasy dirty hands, just like my grandpa's.  I wanted to hug him! 
 I think that everyone enjoyed camp.  I was so blessed to be a part of it!