Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sibling reading time

They stayed like this for a solid hour. Read every single one of our "Sunday books." The motivational secret? A single jelly belly for each of them upon completion of each book.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

This is how we #ldsconf

Thanks to the wonders of technology, we get to enjoy hearing messages from living Apostles, Prophets, and inspired Church leaders... while sitting on a picnic blanket in the middle of a beautiful park :)
This is where we spent both Saturday and Sunday afternoon sessions! It was awesome. The kids listened some, but mostly ran around playing and didn't disturb me, so I could tune in. I guess I should be more responsible and make sure THEY get more out of it... but I'm selfish. This was "me" time. I love General Conference. The messages are like a breath of fresh air. Encouraging, inspiring, comforting... Can we do this EVERY weekend?!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Monday, September 28, 2015


Brianna joined her grandparents for a late night excursion to Fred Meyer so they could buy some football paraphernalia to bring home to Utah.
Yay foosball

Hiding in the racks

Totally one of my favorite childhood shenanigans.... Too bad my children might not get to do it as much as I did simply because I so rarely retail shop:)

Sunday, September 27, 2015


Brian's parents made their first trip out to see us! They spent 6 days here and we packed each one. I know it wasn't easy for them to make this journey up here, so we're grateful they did! 

Monday we went to Main Market for Lunch. I love that place! Such an awesome huge selection of healthy options. Brian met up with us, and Meredith just happened to show up too - scooping up Charity and taking her next door to Boots Bakery, returning back with 4 gourmet vegan cupcakes!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

my happy place

Meredith snapped a pic of me getting a free chair massage at Valleyfest in the "mom & baby expo."  I think it was intended for pregnant women... but if I let my gut out, I can look pregnant enough... so I didn't hesitate to jump in! :)

Valleyfest 10K

Brian's mom watched the kids at a nearby playground while Brian and I did the race. He could've done the 5K, but decided to do the 10 to get a longer break ;)  Brian is the epitome of a "Weekend Warrior."  Funny guy. 
We did this one last year too, but it was better - way more people, prizes, etc. But there happened to be 3 other big races in Spokane that took the runners away. Bummer. I should've done the "Happy Girls Run" downtown, for more competition - thus a better workout. Oh well. Hopefully next year is better here, because we'll be coming back! Can't miss Valleyfest, it's awesome. Tons of kid/family activities/booths/animals/shows, etc. 
Bottom photo is from the Photobooth at the "Walk for DS" event we snuck into.... the goal was to get the whole fam in... we did it! 
Despite a few of their faces, they actually were having an awesome time there :)

Friday, September 25, 2015

Brianna on the [WA] beach

Brian, his parents, and the 3 oldest had a great trip to the west side of the state! They used Brian's Hilton points for a free night stay, then Brian's parent's Worldmark timeshare in Blaine (near Canada). The kids came back with lots of shells, crab legs....and Diabetes from all the sugar their grandparents gave them :)

Gooooo Devin!

So fun to watch my nephew in his first cross country meet!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mere texted this to me...

   All bathed, hair washed, belly full.   

So precious, right?! They are loving spending more time with Charity as she gets older and more talkative, responsive, funny, and FUN!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Cold Laurels

Celebrated Camryn's 17th with a quick trip to Cold Stone (because the Colbert Store was closed! Waaah!) I just adore my little Laurel class Prez. She's such a fantastic young woman and is going to make a killer adult someday (SOON! ah!). She's got spiritual strength and resilience like I can only pray my daughters have someday!

I'm sure it helps to have awesome friends like Calli at her side ;)

Logging w/ Laurels

 Who says we can't join the boys and cut/haul wood?! 

It was a great evening of service - slicing up wood and delivering to some elderly couples in the ward who need it to stay warm all winter.

Left to right:  Bishop Stumm (one good man!), my dear Camryn, and nephew Connor!
Not pictured, but present: a BIG group of awesome 16-18 yr old Greenbluff ward youth :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Outdoor Beehive lesson

   As YW Prez, I don't normally get to teach Sunday lessons. Especially not the younger girls. I'm the fallback if my Laurel Advisor has to be gone, and I do the whole group once every few months. But just having my 12-13 yr olds was a real treat! And a challenge. They're quite different maturity/experience/ambition wise than my 16-17-18 yr olds.  In general.  So we got creative with planning. And location! Outside! The Spirit really is stronger outdoors sometimes!  I love these girls and want so badly for them to make good choices and experience the happiness that comes from a life dedicated to following Jesus Christ.

Monday, September 21, 2015

bloody lame

Why is my poor Courtney having to sit in the corner next to my stairmill machine playing on the laptop?!  Because she bumped into another tyke in the YMCA's childcare, got a little bloody nose, some of which got onto her shirt... and they have a policy that says children can't come in who have blood on their shirt. They came to get me to see if I had extra clothes for her. No, sorry, I don't carry around 4 extra sets of clothes for all my kids plus me wherever we go. Sheesh.  grrrrrr.  So I had to take her out. And she got to witness my crazy sweat sesh while playing on

Sunday, September 20, 2015

1st day of 2nd grade!

Note her 3 siblings are demonstrating how they feel about her leaving....


I had been feeling pretty lame about not taking the time to go teach the twins to ride 2 wheelers... just never got around to it... then one evening, Brianna runs in shouting, "I taught them! They're doing it!" and drug me outside to see these two cruising around like big kids!


I won this "tick-tock parachute" off a blog giveaway awhile ago and finally brought it out. It's from a cute site called
Kids loved it! So fun!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Multi -colored watermelon!


Just another Saturday morning race

Fun little 5K at Riverfront Park. Funny story:  I WENT TO THE WRONG RACE! There were 3 going on today at Riverfront. I thought I was registering for this "Fiesta 5K" I had been looking at and planning for.  Nope. I did the "Stomp Out Abuse" 10K! I didn't realize I wasn't in the race I had planned for until we ran by the start line of the Fiesta 5K!
I'm ridiculous.
But it was fine.
Brian and Bennett actually ended up being on the 5'oclock news because KHQ did a story on the race's cause - domestic violence prevention. The kids got to paint footprints on these big posters. And they got bananas and donuts after the race, so they were pretty darn happy.

She can pump!!

Acorns at Riverfront

They were thrilled to find these gems!
But concerned that squirrels were going to steal them... so naturally we had to hid dozens in our pockets til we could get to to the car.

cookie maker

Cuz I want to solidify my Favorite Aunt spot

I found some cute new workout shoes for Annalee and brought them by to surprise her!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

"Look what I can do!"

He was very proud of (and intense about) his arm-hula-hooping :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

my Brianna Friend

This sweet little girl elected to spend her evening going The Friend magazine and doing all the activities inside. She's holding up a poster she made showing pictures of Christ and descriptions of things He did, which she says she will bring to Sacrament mtg at Church to help her remember Jesus.

She makes me want to be a much much better person :)


When Daddy is out of town, sometime we do irresponsible things... like stay up late baking treats, then bike over to Meg's house dressed somewhat homeless-looking to deliver and hang out :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Monday, September 14, 2015

Mac n'peas

My poor children .....they're being raised thinking it's perfectly normal to always have frozen peas and Applegate sausage mixed into their Annie's macaroni and shells.
Whatever happened to just plain ol' Kraft Mac with delicious yellow #5?!!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Luau for Mom!

We celebrated Mom's day of birth Aloha-style!! I've been wanting to throw a luau for awhile now, since I've collected quite a stash of Hawaiian paraphernalia. Mom's birthday (and the impending cold weather) gave me the motivation I needed to get it going!

I keep saying "I", but I really couldn't have done it without all the help from everyone. Meg was awesome and did so much party prep, especially outside. Meredith was great, stopping at the store for the inevitable last minute needs, and showing up early to help, along with her bf Bobby. I paid him with Seahawks trinkets, his favorite.   Lindsay and Dave's troops journeyed over from Seattle, and Brady/Jocelyn sent a gorgeous huge Edible Arrangement to serve as our birthday "cake!" (mom's trying to eat healthier, and I didn't want to be responsible for sabotaging that, especially on her bday!)
Several of mom's friends came - Tompkins, Hopkins, Steinmetz, Housers, Larsens... and one of those Larsens was Blake - the "Balloon Baffoon" we hired to come entertain the kiddos! Though the giant inflatable Tropical Bouncy House I rented should've been sufficient, along with the snow cone (I mean Shave Ice) machine that the owner of All-Star Jump so kindly threw in at no cost.  We had island jams playing, some games, and lots of happy birthday wishes for the woman we all love so much - Debbie Smith.
Here's hoping for many, many more years of parties with my mom!!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Nonny took Brianna to Gymboree....

Brian, Charity, and bunny

hoping silliness breaks down walls

I've got a new YW who is as sweet as a lemon.

I've been trying to reach/befriend her, without much response so far...but finally today she returned a text from me.

I texted back with: THIS is how happy we are that you texted us!!! [crazy smile pic] ������ 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

QT watching youtubes

Nothing says quality time like gathering 'round the ipad for repeat sessions of Piano Gal clips...

Friday, September 4, 2015

More Aunt-of-the-year-ing

Today's adventures: 7 kids + me enjoyed 2 hours at the YMCA, a few yard sales, Spokane Boys fruit stand, COSTCO, and the Colbert Store for cones! I wonder if Meg thinks it's odd that I steal her kids everyday for like 6 hours....

Jewelry box project

Brianna has been going over to her Nonny's house once/wk or so for the last month just to work on assembling and decorating this jewelry box.
Finally done!
I love that mom does projects like this with her. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

I'm such a mean Aunt

No, actually I'm not.
I'm super nice.
They love me.
I take them places.
Just my usual haunts - The YMCA, yard sales, Greenbluff farms, errands....
Devin and Annalee are so funny - they use their little electronic devices (I'm not even sure what exactly these things are and do... I'm such an old fuddy duddy already I guess) while working out.  It's cute.
Nathan usually goes in the pool or "Club 7-11" with Brianna. Air hockey, foosball, DDR, boardgames, etc.   And of course - the twins, Charity, and Bethany go into the childcare, which they love. Crafts, toys, games, outdoor play - all that good stuff.
And me - I do my usual routine that keeps me sane. Exercise, shower, computer work. 2 hours of ME time, and then I can take whatever life throws.
Not that much is being thrown... life is pretty doable these days! I feel very fortunate to be sailing smooth and counting blessings daily.


I've done REAL track workouts the last 2 weeks!! I'm SO SO glad I joined up with the Spokane Swifts. We have a coach who sends us weekly workouts, then we meet up at a track and get 'er done! I've found a few girls Northside, so I don't have to go all the way downtown (though I want to check that out someday, since that's the "main" group meeting spot). The Whitworth track is awesome, I love it. For last week's workout, I left the kids at home and hired Annalee to watch them so I could go workout. This week, I brought them with me and hoped they would be ok w/ toys & snacks to entertain. They did great! I love our collapsible wagon from Costco. So awesome.
Last week was 6 sets of 800m/400m repeats with 200m/400m recoveries.  This week was 7 sets of 800m repeats with 400m recoveries. My original goal was to hit everything at a 6min/mi pace, but I'm doing better than that - 2:52 avg on the 800s. Yay!! I'm getting faster, and it's not killing me like I thought it would!! I'm SO excited to jump into more races and continue to improve. I forgot how much I love zooming around a track!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Cousins in carts

These two are a hoot (don't mind Devin the photobomber)

Charity & Bethany - 15 months apart.
Darling little girls!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Tahoe - my new happy place

What a trip! We've returned home, and it was amazing. Short and sweet.  My first time away overnight from all 4 children... I've been so ANXIOUS about this for months! But I'm a million percent glad we did it. Loved every moment. Tahoe is an incredible place and Brian has a super fun team to spend a weekend partying with.

Tahoe morning run adventure

Best way to start off a Saturday!

Stretching across state lines