Friday, September 30, 2011

Baptism Day

My Bailey girl is such a wonderful girl, I don't even know where to start with this one. She is as hilarious as she is smart which I love about her. Bay always keeps us on her toes with her quick whit and humor, she never misses a chance to make you smile. I love this girl so much.

She can get dirtier than any boy I know outside in the yard, climbing, crawling, and digging until her heart is that is Matt's kind of girl :) She is rambunctious and full of energy and yet she has this soft sensitive side that makes me so proud. She loves to help people and really looks out for the underdog. I am so proud of her...even the little mischievous side she's got!

She was so excited to get baptized this summer, she could hardly wait. When she had her interview with the Branch President I waited for her outside his office. The hallway was packed with people and all of the sudden the office door flew open and she bounced out with her arms up in the air, "I passed!!! I PASSED!! I can't believe I passed!" she exclaimed. I chuckled and then paused. Wait a minute, what were you so worried about...I think we need to talk :)

Bailey's baptism was wonderful. She really wanted to be baptized in Utah so that Oma Great could be there along with all the other Utah fam. We had lots of family and a few very special friends there to support us, it was amazing. She had a fantastic day and we are so glad that she is making the right decisions in her life. She has a strong testimony already in her life and I know her Heavenly Father is very pleased with Bailey!

She is such a ham.

Boy I love her.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Just a fantastic trip

Our trip to Utah was so what we needed! Despite the fun of early pregnancy and stressing out about our upcoming move, it was so relaxing. The best part by far was getting to see so many of our friends that we miss dearly...I only wish I had taken pictures of everyone we got to see, I'm pretty forgetful in that area :)

Big, humongous thanks to my parents for letting 7 people crash at their house for a couple of weeks!! Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did, we love you so much.

Until next year :(


Well here we go, I am going to try my best to catch up on our CrAzY summer!! I was bound and determined to make it back to Utah for a nice long visit this summer, finding out days before our departure that we were moving and finding out we were pregnant could not alter my big plans. See moving to Indiana 3 years ago, we have fallen way short of my quota for sufficient Utah visits :) I was intent on having a fantastic visit squeezing in all that we possibly could.

I had planned to visit for a whole month! I was going to drive out by myself with the kiddos, then Matt would fly out for a week or so and drive us home. I had planned some fun along the way to break the trip up a little since I am no long-haul driver like Mattie. Well, lucky me, my Mom decided to fly out to Indiana and just for "fun" she would make the long 2100 mile 35 hrs of driving time trip with me and a car full of 5 road warrior kids. Is my Mom the best or what? Honestly.

The Mighty Mississippi! The kids were so excited and were dying to get in it :)

I think my kids' absolute favorite thing in the world is Oma, they were in Heaven having her on the trip.
Of course we know how Taite feels about Oma so for her that is an understatement.

The children's pioneer park was their absolute favorite part. They wanted to stay for hours pretending to live the frontier life. They loved it so much we had to come back the next day before we left just to touch up on their pioneer skills.
Pioneer cuties :)

My Mom even found something to entertain herself, and she was dang good at it!

This majestic temple is just awe inspiring, it makes me emotional just to see it. You can't help but have your thoughts turn to the Prophet and leaders and all the early Saints who went through so much and gave all they had. I love Nauvoo so much and each time I go my testimony is strengthened.

The Card Museum

I tried to find "cool" things to do along our way to keep it fun for the kids. The headquarters for Hallmark cards is in Kansas City and they have a free children's museum. It was so fun and a great break in all the driving.

The kids had endless crafting items at their disposal to set their little creative minds free. They could make cards, pictures, puppets, banners, flags and about a million other things. I think their favorite was this cardboard station where they drew a picture on a piece of cardboard and then got to slide it through this machine, turn the crank and watch their picture get cut into a puzzle.

Their other favorite, and mine, was the glow in the dark room. You go in and paint your little heart out and the lights make it all glow. They had SO much fun, they didn't want to leave.

We were pretty successful at keeping everyone sane! Getting the wiggles...for me and the kids :)

The hotel was always the favorite place to unwind!

Check out a close-up of that FACE!

The only real delay was when we left Nauvoo. The route that I had chosen caused a major delay!! No one around warned us that the recent flooding of the Mississippi River had caused several major roads to wash away. Then they felt no need to inform us of reliable alternatives. We spent the most ridiculous amount of time following the most random "detour" possible, adding hours to our trip. I wish we would have just followed my first instinct to just backtrack a little and head an entirely different way. Stupid Mapquest. Oh well we saw a very pretty rural part of Missouri that I hope to never revisit :)

Dead Horse Point, Arches & Goblin Valley

So what fantastic planning was this I ask you, to drive as far as we did for 3 days non stop and then go camping for 3 days!! Great idea right? I don't know what I was thinking, but I should have taken a little break before diving in and camping with my 5 kiddos without Mattie. It was super fun though, regardless of my exhaustion. We met Papa, Uncle Lloyd, Megan and Logan, Uncle Max and Aunt Sophy, Luke and Phal in Moab to begin our camping fun.

I was trying to keep my pregnancy a secret until Matt was in Utah to tell everyone with me and camping actually made for easy morning sickness habitat as I could turn and puke in a bush without much attention :) But I know everyone was wondering why I was SO exhausted.

First stop, Dead Horse Point.

The kids were amazed by this huge cliff. I on the other hand was hyperventilating most of the time because I just knew my monkey of a child Gus was going to climb up and over! He did try, but thank heavens the guards are pretty high for a 2 year old and I had plenty of adults to help me out. Someone was on "Gus duty" at all times! It was an awesome day.

Best cousins reunited. Ellery and Megan have such a bond and it was so fun to watch them reconnect.

Aunt Sophy and Phal...or Phally-wog as I call him always.

The kids were captivated with where this park got its name. Cowboys in the 19th century used to use the huge cliff as a natural corral and would drive wild horse herds to the cliff to easily round them up. When the corral was finally abandoned, they left the gates open but the heard that was inside the corral at the time wouldn't leave and they died without water. The kids thought that was so cool. It is a beautiful place.


Next stop, Arches. I love Arches! This park is amazing, I've been here many times and it is always fun. It was so fun to see the kids so amazed at the sheer size of these arches and then excited that they get to go climb on them. This is Double Arch, spectacular.

Here the kids and Uncle Max are at the very top right under the big arch.

Beautiful blue sky.

They thought that Elephants were hilarious. I didn't really take pictures of much else, but they had so much fun!

Goblin Valley

Last camping stop was Goblin Valley. I remember this place from when I was little, it is like a giant playground for kids to climb, hide and explore like crazy. It is awesome. We brought our walkie talkies and had a blast. This place is enormous.

See my crazy, climbin' fool of a brother up at the top!
The kids were very impressed with Uncle Max's skills :)

See how enormous this place is?!! Those cliffs Max was standing on are the second highest range in this picture below. All those rock formations in front are what make this place heaven for the kids...endless climbing!

I just knew little man here was going to do exactly this, wander off on an adventure of his own. He'd be lost forever in this maze of Goblins. Gus duty again :)

The whole gang.

It was over a hundred degrees and we were dying by the end!! I asked Uncle Lloyd to carry me too, I can't believe he said no.
The Hades-like conditions were ridiculous for the secretly pregnant lady, but it was still worth it!

Pit stops :)

I LOVE this kid!!

We were all pooped from our adventure in the hot sun.

Look how sweaty he was by the time we made it back!

We had a blast!

Next we were off to the house in St. George, we should have gone there for a nice relaxing rest before camping, but oh well. I love going to St. George because I get to catch up with several of my cousins and their cute kids and it's just beautiful. From there we finally headed up to Alpine to Oma and Papa's house!! What a week :)