Sunday, June 27, 2010

{A Keepsake}

I have been on picture-organizing mission lately.  My biggest fear is the dreaded hard-drive crash and losing all those precious baby pictures.  I have always been crazy protective of my pictures.  Most are backed up twice.  Once on an external hard-drive and also at an off-site storage facility.  I mean, what if your house burns down? There goes you computer and your external hard drive.  So, online backup is a must.

But, it has been lingering in my mind to get some of my old photographs of me as a kid scanned, edited, and backed up somewhere so the only version of the picture isn't sitting in a box or closet somewhere. 

About this same time I was trying to come up with a gift to give to my parents while we were on the cruise.  Kind of a thank-you! you-guys-are-amazing! we-love-you! kind of gift.  So I enlisted my siblings help, and I semi-forced them to participate.  We each went through our scrapbooks and boxes of photos....given to us by my mom long ago.  And we scanned in photos from the first 20 years of their marriage. For me, that was 19 years of my life.  My mom had done an amazing job of scrapbooking my childhood and giving me several scrapbooks filled with pictures, cards, and notes.  That stopped when I was about 12 (probably when she entered the crazy-busy-I-have 5-kids-life!)  And then for one of my YW projects at church, I completed ages 12 to 18.  So for me, it was mostly just going through those books, carefully prying the pictures from the pages and getting them scanned in, edited, and beautified again.

Everyone else thankfully did the same.  We all uploaded our pics to my Snapfish account (love Snapfish, by the way), and then I got to work...organizing them by date, deleting duplicates (of course we had a lot of the same family photos, etc). and trying my best to put them in chronological order, in a layout that made sense, and keeping it to under 120 pages.  Man, it was project.  But I am so happy with how it turned out!  Since my parents gave us all our pictures, they didn't have these photos any more, so it was so nice to give them this completed book with all our best pictures, all in one place. 

Loved their happy and teary reaction.  I think we were all teary after she went through the first couple pages. 

Here are some of my childhood pic favorites...

My mom and me (below, left) in matching dresses!
Love these pics with Bryce and I with Dad.

Bryce might kill be for posting this page of us in our dance costumes.  He won't admit it, but he loved it, and he always stole the show!

There were a ton of family portraits where my mom made all of our outfits like these, below.  Where did she ever find the time??

My dad took us on an infamous hike up to the 'Y' (below, left).  He didn't know about the trail, so he just tied us all to a rope and scaled up the mountain. We still laugh about this all the time!  We took the trail on the way down.

And hello, yellow shorts (below right).  Man, I was all legs back then.

The end of the book included a page index with each photo identified with subject, place, and date.  Whew!  But so worth it when you look back and wonder when? or who? 10, 20, or 50 years from now.

Best part is, I can order a copy for myself too!  Love the digital era we live in.  All the hard work over, I loved doing it, so grateful for my sibling's help, and so amazed at how well it turned out. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

{Summer Is Finally Here}

I know...most of you have been out of school for days or weeks or a month....but up here in WA, school goes through the end of June!  Luckily we don't start until mid-September. And I guess I wouldn't trade the beautiful September days for the gloomy and depressing June weather we have had (up until 2 days ago...hooray for the sun!).

So Addy graduated from Preschool. She attended for two years and it is hard to see it end! I have a two year break before Ry starts up.

The kids helped pick out their gifts for their teachers this year.  Addy choose this pencil vase (the pencils are held together with a rubber band so they can actually be used!).

She did great at the end-of-year program.
Except for the part when Trev had to pull her off the stage to go to the bathroom and the teacher insisted on stalling the whole program because the next song up was Addy's favorite.  So sweet, but yeah...a little embarrassing! But she is a major singing contributor and did a great job!

Kindergarten here we come.  (um, really??...sniff, sniff)

Thank you Ms. Cindy for an incredible year.  Preschool is my favorite and Ms. Cindy pulls out all the stops to make it such an adventure!  And the projects....oh, the projects....we have a whole box full of keepsakes.  Love 'em.

And Carson finished up 2nd grade!

Ms. Martin was fabulous.  He has really grown this year...doubling his reading rate and really enjoying math and art. Now, if we could just keep his trips to the school nurse down to less than 3x a week next year!

Carson choose the 'Extra' gum gift for Mrs. Martin.

We celebrated the final day of school with a slurpee run!  Let the summer begin!

Ry learned how to 'Say Cheese!'

Monday, June 21, 2010

{Baseball Season}

Even though he missed the first two games of the season when we were in Florida and a bunch of the practices fell on cub scout day...Carson was still anxious to play on the school baseball team this year. 

New twist for 2nd grade: Coach Pitch.  No more T-ball.  Yikes.

It was a lot more pressure, but Carson did really well.  He really improved during the short season and really enjoyed playing.  He got a hit on average of about 3 out of 4 times up to bat.  Picture me silently praying each time.."Please let him hit the ball, please let him hit the ball....".  There is so much individual pressure in baseball!  The kids are pretty good sports, but since scores are kept now, it is hard when you strike out.  The coaches were very encouraging and helpful and saying most of the time "Just keep your eye on the ball!"  Carson definitely wasn't a power hitter, but he got some good contact with the ball and had the speed to get to first or second base. 

We are proud that he stuck it out even when he wasn't enjoying it as much during the end of the season. And mom is glad we have about a 2 month break from sports.

Yes, they spelled his name wrong ;-)

{Happy Father's Day}

To my sweet husband.  Here he is with Carson (one week old) as a brand new daddy.

Can't imagine our life without you! You provide things for our children that I cannot match.  You are amazing at all the 'dad' stuff.  Including:

-Jumping out of bed at the first sound or cry from one of the three kids at night.
-Working hard (I mean really hard!) so I can stay home with the kids.
-Making it a priority to be at all the kids' events even when they are right in the middle of the work day.
-Giving the kids the best horse-y rides.
-Making sure we have enough family time planned on the calendar.
-Running/training late at night or in the early morning while the kids are sleeping so you don't have to take up any of the kids' time with their dad.
-Taking Addy on 'dates' and Carson on 'outings'.
-Encouraging (and paying for!) the kids to do a lot of sports and activities.
-Lovin all our babies in the baby stage...diaper changes and all.
-Taking the kids on rides in your jeep.
-Lighting up when you walk in the door (even after a long day) with excitement to see 3 little kids running your way.
-Dedicated and faithful member of our church.  You are our rock!
-Making sure we all know that we are #1 in your book all the time!

We love you! 

And Happy Father's Day to my dad too.  I couldn't have asked for a better dad as a kid or as an adult.  He is such an example of patience and hard-work and love for his family. Thanks for being so involved with our little family. We really appreciate the effort both you and mom put in to see us so much during the year even though we live so far away. 
Here he is with Carson (the first grandchild).   And thanks for being a great Grandpa (or "Bampa" as Ry call him right now!).  They all know who to go to for 'nannies'! (aka candy).
 And Ry thinks this is him in this picture.  Car and Ry are almost identical as babies!

Friday, June 18, 2010

{First Track Meet}

I am avoiding housework right now, so I am blogging again...

Our local Parks & Recreation hosts a bunch of track meets in the summer.  Several different teams are competing or you can just come as an individual and compete in up to 4 events.  All ages 2 to 99! Trevor actually got our family sponsored (minus if!) by his friend's company: Best Self Storage.  So Trev and the kids got to compete for free! Thanks Mike! 

Trevor started running 3 months ago after 4 years off from running. He is training for the Hood to Coast in August, so competing a couple times in the longer distances at these track meets are part of his 'speed work' or something.  He ran the 2 mile and basically blew everyone out of the water.  However, he wasn't too impressed with his time, but I think it was just under 10 minutes.  He hasn't run in a track meet in over 6 years! But he can't get the glory days out of his mind from college when he ran that race in under 9 minutes. 

Addy wasn't feeling too well and was afraid of the start 'gun'.  Well, I am glad she is afraid of guns, but I couldn't convince her it is just a pretend gun that makes a loud sound only. So she competed in the standing long jump and shot put (softball throw).  Maybe next time we'll get her to run the 50 and 100m dash.

Too cold to wear the shorts I brought her.  Jeans aren't the best track outfit, but she didn't seem to mind! She improved each jump, with a personal best of 3 feet 3 inches!
Need to work on moving a bit closer to the 'line' before she throws. :-) 

Carson competed in the 100m and 400m race.  And ran the whole 400 without stopping! Here he is warming up.

And Ry was just hard to handle the whole time. 

I was amazed at how many kids were there on such a lousy, cold day.  No 'placement' ribbons for our kiddos, but it was their first time and it will be fun to watch them actually learn how to compete better.  Good thing they have a good personal trainer.  I'm sure we'll be attending a few more throughout the summer.  Although, it was starting to drive me a little crazy because track meets seem to move so s-l-o-w-l-y.  Just a lot of waiting around, you know?

I guess kinda like me and the bathrooms.  Got. To. Get. Motivated.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

{June Camping!}

By chance we booked the perfect weekend to camp!  Until last weekend, It felt like it had been pouring rain for 3 weeks.  So a camping trip one or two weeks earlier would have made for yucky and cold conditions.  Instead, sunshine, shorts, and outside fun.

We met up with my sibs...Bryce&Becca fam + Reese&Chris fam.  6 adults & 7 cousins all had a great time.  Reese recommended this campground in Mossyrock, WA.  It is one of the Tacoma Power Park campgrounds.  It was fabulous and just over an hour from our house!  It is tough getting a spot because everyone reserves so early, so we decided to go in June while school was still in session.  We booked a few months ago and were lucky to find two spots next to each other. 

Oh these babies were so much fun!

Paige and Addy in the "friend chair".

Ry pushing/pulling Brynn's bike around for hours!

Ry was oh so cute....but so hard too!  I knew this was going to be the tough summer with a toddler.  He's not quite old enough to understand consequences, which meant lots of "Come back Ry!" and "No Ry!".  So we finally just tied him to a rope.  He didn't like it much, but he stayed in the camp!
But I just can't resist this face no matter what he gets into!  We played for a few hours on the beach. The water was too cold to swim, but the kids had a ball in the sand and playground.

Water balloon fun back at camp.

Ty Ty's 'Camping' Birthday Party! Becca did a great job with all the party activities, complete with a home-made 'moon' pinata!
The birthday boy! 6 years old!

(Cell Phone Pic)

It went by too fast and we all wished we had one more day.  Can't wait to get the trailer out again ... we have scheduled trips in July, August, and September.  Let the summer begin!  (But I need to get through the last day of school...which isn't until next week!!)

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My little blog is a family journal. I include things on here I want to remember years and years from now. So when I post a zillion is because I want to have it for my posterity. So please forgive the often posted-picture overload.

Currently I am trying to focus on my photography skills...reading, reading, reading, and taking pictures when I can. Then edit, read, read, read some more. I finally feel like I have a basic understanding of exposure...hooray! I updated my blog template so I can display larger photos because...aren't pictures better than anything I have to say anyway?

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