Washington 2018

Grandma’s pictures are better than mine, but I’ll share what I have.

We love the 4th of July in Anacortes. The weather is perfect and the small town atmosphere is fun.

We went to the parade,

ate pizza in the park, visited a beach, andwatched fireworks. Gavin and Sean were scared of the fireworks. I was surprised at Sean’s reaction because he is eight years old and has seen fireworks before, but maybe we just haven’t been as close to the loud booms as we were this time.

Gavin enjoyed it as long as I covered his ears.

Brooklyn was in awe. When Ricky was four years old, he was terrified of fireworks and thunderstorms. He spent much of the summer of 2008 wearing earmuffs over his ears. It’s funny the things that bother some kids and delight others and how this changes over time.

Whenever we visit Grandpa and Grandma, we try to hit as many beaches as possible. The kids love searching for unique shells, skipping rocks, and exploring the tide pools. I have a million beach pictures, and I bet Rick’s mom has a million more.

Another must-do when we visit Washington is to visit the Davis family. The kids have taken to calling each other “cousins” and on this visit we used the Family Search app to prove that we are actually related! Who cares if it’s 10 generations back. We had a great time visiting and playing games at the park. I loved listening to the kids share their memories of good times together. I can’t believe it’s been ten years since we moved away. I’m glad they could add some fun new memories to the mix like Ricky catching a water bottle in the face and Gavin yelling, “Gavin’s out!!!” Oh, and Ricky climbing on Rick’s shoulders to retrieve a frisbee–that was funny too.

Nice wink, Darren.

We missed Emily, but I sent her a picture of her “cousins.”

Seriously, we love this family.

So, that was our trip to Washington. One of the more wonderful things about this trip for me was the ease of getting to Anacortes from Tucson. Traveling from Iowa was rough and very expensive. I think the traveling portion of our trip this time took halfthe time at maybe sixty percent of the expense compared to when we lived in Iowa. We are blessed to live on the west coast now because it makes visiting our families so much easier and, therefore, a more pleasant experience.

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June 2018

Is it OK that this is mostly a place I dump pictures? I haven’t gotten digital prints in a few years, and the prints I do have from the past ten years are in boxes and drawers that sometimes the kids get into. The little rascals like to dump the pictures out, mix them up, and throw them back together so that I have 2009 with 2015. It annoys me, but not enough to reorganize them chronologically. So, the blog becomes a safe place for pictures but also it’s kind of boring because instead of great writing you find pictures with short descriptions. Oh well, maybe this will keep my readers checking back for quality work in between the boring family updates. You’ll never know if a post is going to be insightful and witty or just another news report. Lucky you! And lucky me because I don’t know either. Honestly, I could spend time being a little more witty and creative with my captions, but that sounds mentally exhausting and I just want to do something worthwhile with all these cute pictures.

I plan to write about our trip to Washington last week, but a few other things happened between our Moab and Washington trips.

Raingutter Regatta is one of those fun Cub Scout activities that can get out of control with crazy crafty parents and aggressive competition. Thankfully, our troop’s Regatta was all fun. I threw Sean’s boat together in about 15 minutes, wrote an “S” with permanent marker on the sail and called it perfect.

It wasn’t bad either.

I’m glad the activity wasn’t anything more than a fun race and a swim party.

Gavin is just cute lately. He’s super talkative and has strong opinions. He insisted on wearing Ricky’s socks all day because they were his “basketball socks.”

Ricky left me some nice selfies on my phone a couple of Sunday’s ago. During family scripture study one evening, Gavin sat on a stool by the back door and took care of his baby.

I’m not sure if I have said much about Sean’s swim team experience. This kid can swim! He’s fast. He only participated in two swim meets because of family conflicts, but still ended up with two first place ribbons, a second place ribbon, and a third place ribbon. He has improved a ton since April–swimming every weekday for an hour will definitely help you improve. He hated swim team at first because practices were hard and he didn’t want to go every day, but once he got a “taste of the glory” (Nacho Libre) at a swim meet he loved it.

Here’s a picture of his arm with his swim events written in permanent marker.

Here he is on the block, ready to race:Cheering on a teammate in a relay:Having Sean involved in swim team was quite a sacrifice for me The meets were very long and late at night and they fell on evenings when Rick was out of town. This meant I had all the kids with me at the pool from 5:30-9:30 pm. Luckily, we had friends there.

I think Brooklyn will participate in swim team next year and Andrew has expressed interest. We shall see if I’m ready to make the sacrifices to get them to practice every day and endure those meets. I do think it’s important for the kids to be good swimmers and this definitely teaches them skills.

These last pictures are of Brooklyn and Gavin being friends. These two play together so well. Brooklyn starts kindergarten in just three weeks. Gavin is really going to miss his playmate.

Here they are “making notes” on the office door.

And here they are digging in the dirt with Winter.

Sometimes they make big messes, but I love that they can play for hours without any interaction with a screen. Brooklyn is especially creative in her play and she’s great and inviting Gavin along.

So, there’s some random “summer of 2018” pictures for you.

Get ready for a Washington Trip picture dump.

OK, Let’s Go To Moab

Ricky went to his first EFY in Flagstaff with a friend. About a week before I drove them there, I got a crazy idea–Flagstaff is halfway to Grandma and Grandpa’s house in Moab. Rather than driving the boys to Flagstaff and home again, why not visit my parents? Rick and Makayla stayed home to care for Winter and work while I took the younger kids on a road trip.

Before I share pictures from our trip, observe Ricky’s first haircut from an actual barber.

He had a few special requests for EFY: nice clothes (besides his usual basketball shorts and t-shirts), sunglasses, Axe body spray, and mints.

With those things and some candy from Target around the corner, he was ready for a great week.

After dropping the big boys off, we drove another 5 1/2 hours to Moab. What a fun visit!

We went to the community pool.

Brooklyn jumped off the high dive about ten times. The first jump took a little cheering and convincing from the kids waiting in line behind her, but she did it.

We visited my parent’s property near Monticello called, Mountain View Terrace. It was fun seeing the ingenuity, planning, and work that has gone into that place. The kids thought the camping trailer was so cool!

The pond level was low because of drought. We ate dinner at the Moab Diner and watched Incredibles 2 at the movie theater.

We went to a new rock climbing park.

We also went to Moab Giants, a dinosaur park. The weather was hot, but the park was nice.

On Friday, we drove back to Flagstaff to be prepared to pick up the boys on Saturday morning.

We stopped at The Hole In the Rock Visitors Center in Bluff, Utah to eat a picnic and take a break from driving. What a great place!!

The kids panned for gold.

They dressed up like early settlers They practiced roping cattle (Gavin chose to ride one instead).

The bathrooms were clean and air-conditioned and we were able to have a delicious snack of ice cream and cookies before getting on the road.

As we continued our drive to Flagstaff, Emily called to let us know she had received her mission call!

She was so excited to open it, we had one hour once we got to Flagstaff to get settled, eat dinner, and be sure we were connected to Wi-Fi for a video call.

Emily has accepted a call to serve in the Port of Spain Trinidad Mission and the Suriname Mission Region speaking Dutch! She reports to the Provo MTC on October 31. We are super excited for her and are enjoying learning about the area and doing what we can to help her prepare.