Wednesday, July 31, 2013

these pictures make me a little homesick.

I love a good party.  And the wedding reception was definitely a good party :)  the whole night was wonderful!!    every time I'm with my family I remember just how much I really do love them.  

it was outside and the weather was lovely- so my kids just ran around and enjoyed themselves!  look at rugrat #3.
Metta and her orange pigtails kill me.  She's such a turkey.
there were even lots of great climbing trees!
My brothers in law and the kiddos.  I really missed kent- but at least I had lots of great help,
Gramps is the kid distractor.  He's great at feeding them- spoiling them- taking them away.  The perfect gramps.
Ike getting tickle tortured by gramps.
They had a photo booth at the wedding.  It was so much fun for the kiddos.  I think Zeb did it seven times!!
Laney and Milly goat.
Have I mentioned I love my cousins?!  we all grew up spending summers together playing or camping or going to lagoon or just hanging out.  I promise I have boy cousins- but girl pictures are more fun :)  I'm so glad I made it home for the wedding.  It was worth every penny.

My sister Metta is the inspiration for my Metta :)  and they are so much alike.  they love clothes- both very social- a little wild and a lot of attitude.
a little family pic.

the gremlin- charlotte.

that cake in the picture was to DIE for.  Magelby's chocolate cake.  I couldn't believe how delicious it was.   It's a good thing I don't live near that restaurant.  I don't even like cake.  Holy Smokes.

Here is the man- Harold Howell.  He's the reason we all exist as the great cheesy cousins (that's what we call ourselves).  He's the inspiration for our craziness. He's well into his eighties and is still motor biking, cliff jumping, and being as wild as ever.  He's had search and rescue called for him on more than one occasion :)  we love him.
On the dance floor :)  Metta was crying here.  I got a little too wild for her.
the lighting on this picture is a little creepy-but I love these two boys.  so funny.

utah is so so pretty.

And finally- some evidence of our picture booth shenanigans.  This is a cell phone pic- but it's my favorite of the whole night :)

I love that my kiddos have such great cousins.   and seriously- look at me and my sisters.  we are pretty cool.  My mom and dad have done a really amazing job at raising us and showing us how to become good people. 
 Zeb in the last pics on the right KILLS me.  What is he doing?!  the bottom one is my favorite.  I wish I had a photo booth at my wedding!!

best family EVER.  thanks, mom and dad.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


We made a fun filled trip to Utah last week so I could make it to the wedding of my cousin- Tanner.  Kent spent the week swimming and playing and 'working' at diabetes camp- so he couldn't make it with me.  Despite the fact that after our Christmas trip home I vowed to never fly husbandless again- I decided the wedding was worth it.  Thankfully the flights were wonderful and easy.  We did have a FOUR hour layover in Atlanta- but there was an awesome USO lounge where I could eat/relax/play with the munchkins.  Thank goodness for military perks :)

It worked out that while we were in Utah- we got to go through the temple with my sister- Daysa- who is getting ready to head to Brazil for 18 months as a missionary!  I am so excited for her to go!   It was great to be together with all of my sisters!  Everybody is all grown up.

Tanner's wedding was WONDERFUL.  I have the most fabulous family.  Amazing cousins.  Stellar aunts and uncles.  We have so much fun when we all get together!!
Cousin Amy!
Cousin Tanner found the most wonderful wife.  They are both geologists and met in geology classes at BYU.
They got married in Manti.  I love the temple in manti!  and the weather was perfect.   A few clouds showed up just as we were leaving- but no rain.   I took this pic with my NEW PHONE!  Kent and I got our first smartphones- and they are life changing.  wonderful.

Cousin Kate and Sister Daysa- our soon to be sister missionaries.
I grew up next to Tanner and his sisters and they are more like siblings than cousins.  So- Tanner grew up with a LOT of sisters.  Not a single other boy in the bunch.  He'll make a great husband because of it :)

A random picture of Milo.  He's two weeks old- and belongs to laney.  She almost didn't make it to the wedding.  When she and her family got to the airport in buffalo- the airline wouldn't let laney and the baby board.  The plane took off with her husband and kiddos aboard- while she was forced behind!!  apparently her baby was too YOUNG to fly.  Luckily- they've got a great on-call family friend pediatrician (Kent).  He drove to work at six am on a sunday morning to fax the airlines medical clearance for Milo to fly.  Laney made it on a flight later that day.
Chloe and Tanner.  
Every time we land in Utah I am reminded of it's DRYNESS!!  luckily there are a lot of beautiful things to make up for the yellow fields :)

My niece Charlotte.  She belongs to my sister- Metta.  And her husband- clair.   Baby Charlotte is pretty funny.
On the way to the temple- we were slowed by a cattle drive.  So we unrolled the windows and took pictures  like the city folk we are :)  

Saturday, July 13, 2013

long overdue blogging!

I haven't blogged in TEN days?!  All I have to say is that the last ten days have been INSANELY busy. 

 Busy with an irregular amount of regular stuff!  like barbecues, swim lessons, work, lawn mowing,  fireworks, picture taking, food, etc.  But we all know just how much I LOVE to be busy- so things have been good.  

A few pics from our 4th festivities.  We watched fireworks, did fireworks with friends (we had to get our fireworks all the way in indiana because they don't sell them in Ohio!!), and had some good barbecues.

Metta loved shoving glow sticks down kent's throat!
She also must take after her nannie annie because she 'ooed' and 'ahhhhed' at every firework.  Look at her little lips.

The actual 4th of July was INSANE with rain.  Our big church bbq was moved to inside the church- but we still had plenty of fun.  That night we played games with friends and ate some more :)  The doc Kent was working with told him he should spend the fourth with his family and didn't have him come in!  so we had him all day long.  It was wonderful.
Everybody had to try on metta's bow.

This week we also celebrated cow appreciation day!  I think this is our 5th consecutive year attending.  I love free chick fil a.
my cow ears made my hair a little crazy.  free value meals are worth wild hair.
 We decided to go for an early dinner- at 4- to beat the craziness- and it worked :)  People thought we were a little strange but I will do just about anything for free food.

she's the happiest child ever.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

so sad to see it end!!

The boys saw this giant shark and insisted we stop to take a picture.  It was a giant souvenir shop.

After a lot of research and recommendations from friends- it was decided that 'Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede' was a definite must for a Gatlinburg trip!  Cameras weren't allowed- but I tried to sneak a couple of pictures.

It's a giant dinner show in a huge arena.  You get a four course meal (with NO silverware)  while all sorts of crazy goes on before your eyes :)  It really was so much fun.  Ostrich racing, horses jumping though rings of fire, lumberjack contests, and a lot of jokes and funny business.  Metta loved it more than anyone.  The food, the fireworks, the animals- EVERYthing.   She laughed and screamed and ate her heart out!

Here we are before start time with our soup bowls. Their soup is famous- and was delicious. Although tricky to eat without spoons!! we are all a little rosy cheeked here.
the servers run past your plate and throw baby chickens at everybody!  It was pretty crazy.  And speaking of crazy- kent is crazy allergic to horses and had a bit of a rough night :)  By the end of the evening he was wheezing and hacking.  The giant arena is basically a big barn with a dirt floor. But it was so much fun!!

After a few days of craziness in town- we needed some good mountain time!  I'm quite certain a lot of people go to the Great Smoky Mountains and never actually enjoy the mountains.  There's so much to do it town- you almost forget where you are!

we did a few hikes that weren't too hard on the rugrats.  we still heard lots of complaints about sore legs, though.  In their defense- we were actually hiking.  Like UP mountains.  All of the hiking we've ever done as a family is usually on pretty flat terrain!

Metta enjoyed being carried atop shoulders all day!  somehow she'd lost her pants by this point.  pretty sure she fell in the river.

We visited Laurel falls and almost fell off some cliffs.

This river crossing was the hit of our mountain adventure day!  We all enjoyed playing in the water and climbing the rocks.
The water was a bit cold- but felt really good in the hot weather.
Zeb found some pretty great little water newts!

 we spent a lot of time here just playing and creature hunting!

Check out the exhaustion of these children on our last day.  I love all of their faces and body language.  We drove home around dinner time and got the kids to zonk- making for a lovely drive home! until we hit the most insane torrential rain storms.  It got so crazy we pulled over for a bit :)

The vacation was so wonderful.  I loved every single bit of it!!
Goodbye Tennessee!! Hope to see you again soon!!