This is my simple photo journal. I like to take pictures and once a month or more, I load them onto this blog so that we can remember some of our family highlights.


Our Last Hurrah!

We are off to Pinetop for one last hurrah. I'm actually looking forward to one more non-scheduled, relaxing vacation to the mountains and then to have order and schedule back in my life. I love when school gets out .....and then when it starts back up. I do better with order and routine.
We can't wait to spend a few days with Tom up there. He can never go and stay for long periods of time, like the rest of us. Someone has to make it all possible.
Oh, and if any of you are going to be in Pinetop, come by and visit.


This Week

These are some of the highlights of this past week.
On Sunday, Cavan Cooley was born. We all can't wait to see him and get to know this little guy.

We had fun celebrating Isaac's birthday. He wanted a storm trooper costume, nacho libre costume, CTR ring, and an alarm clock. He thinks that when your a big kid, you have an alarm clock in your room. The picture with his CTR ring on, cracks me up. I asked him to show me his ring and this is the pose I got.

What would we do without Janet! She snapped these pictures while my kids were over having a "late night" at her house. Janet always takes fun to the next level. Why just sit and watch a musical, when you can be dressed up like the actors, singing and dancing along. We have watched this movie all week. Janet even loaned and dropped off her costumes, so we could enjoy them at home too.

Cole has perfected the "no bake" cookie. He usually makes a deal with Summer and Meg. He makes them and they clean up the mess. Both parties agree and are happy with the arrangement, .....for now. However, Cole's highlight this week was finishing the Book of Mormon. He started reading the last day of school and he finished it 57 days later. I will never forget that cute face coming in to tell me he had finished it.

The long awaited braces got put on this week. Summer has a great smile, but it is going to be even prettier in about 2 years. She has braved a sore mouth, full of canker sores since Tuesday.

These two love to fight and play mancala. Isaac likes to bug Meg and Meg likes to boss Isaac. You should hear these two play this game. I love playing this too, but I never can beat Meg or Ike. They have got their strategy perfected.

We always look forward to the missionaries, in our family, coming home. I love the anticipation of watching them come down the walkway and be absorbed by the welcoming mob of aunts, uncles, and cousins. We welcomed Sam Ashby home on Thursday. He served in Argentina. I am grateful for the strong examples these young men are to my kids. Welcome home Sam!

On a sad note, my 19 year old cousin Andrew Hall, passed away last Sunday. His funeral was today. It is so nice to see so many of my cousins, that made the trip to pay their respects. Andrew battled health problems his whole life, due to Cystic Fibrosis. He lost the battle last Sunday while fishing in Show Low with his Grandpa Hall. His family was so glad that he didn't have to pass away in a hospital. He was doing something he loved, with someone he loved very much.


Turning 5

Our baby is turning 5. We have been counting this down since Christmas. Ike loves to look forward to events and there isn't a bigger event than turning 5!!! Since his birthday falls on a Sunday this year, he asked if for his birthday he could please stay home from church. Sorry, but we'll still make it fun. So, Happy Birthday to such a fun little guy. We all just adore and love having him in our family.


Back to the Mountains

We got back from Colorado, did a couple loads of wash, unpacked, ...and then repacked and headed back to Pinetop. I wasn't quite ready to take a break from that fresh mountain air. I am so thankful that we have a place to escape the summer heat and enjoy the outdoors. I just wish that thing called "work" didn't get in the way, so Tom could go.

We have been feeding the ducks, at Woodland lake, since my kids were little. You never outgrow feeding and watching ducks scramble for your bits of bread.

Every year we have to get a picture on the green bridge. This is the first summer that I have seen water flowing under it. The lake is no longer at drought level.

This is the hill where Cole knocked out his tooth, when he was 5. This isn't probably the safest activity, but they sure have fun racing down.
Tough Guys

If you tilt the camera and lower the looks like your have some serious skillThere is a great 9-hole Frisbee golf course

There was a crew thinning the forest, so Jill started a little Woodworking 101 class. The kids all picked bits of the cut trees to make candles out of. I was surprised how long they sat there scraping and sanding their pieces.
The kids always beg to hit the race track. They have double cars, where you can drive with the younger kids next to you. They have a fake steering wheel, so they feel like they are a part of the racing. Isaac felt cheated when he realized that his steering wheel wasn't the one driving us. So we stopped at the Kiddie-track for a little Ike independence.

Until next time


Celebrating the 4th of July

We met up with the Bray family, in Colorado, for the fourth of July. We thought Cole may be a bit out numbered with 6 girls and Ike , so he got to bring his good friend, Robbie, with.
Thanks, Brays, for making the 12 hour drive, from Oklahoma, to meet up with us. Chris and Gale have four beautiful, extremely talented, good girls. They were fun and easy to vacation with. This will go down as one of the best vacations our family has taken.

We stayed in the General Palmer the first night. It was nice, with a lot of old-fashion charm. The elevator was about as big as a broom closet. They messed up our reservation, so Tom and I got to stay in the Presidential Suite.
The next day we climbed aboard the Durango to Silverton train. We sat in the open air gondola car and enjoyed some pretty amazing scenery. The ride takes just over 3 hours. None of the pictures I took, do the scenery justice.

We opted to take the much faster shuttle back down so we could go river rafting. The rafting was freezing and so fun! We got to experience a series of Class II and III rapids. The only bummer ---we had to all split up into different rafts. Chris took all the older kids, Gale and Ava were in a different one, and Tom, Isaac, and I were in another. Isaac loved every minute of it.
After river rafting, we drove to Pagosa Springs, where we stayed for the rest of time. We stayed in a great cabin that housed us all comfortably.

Our first day in Pagosa, Chris found a great spot to take us to---Treasure Falls. It was so beautiful. The kids enjoyed exploring around the trails, streams, and falls. It was also such a beautiful drive to and from. We had fun spotting deer and elk.

The last day we went to check out the Pagosa Hot Springs. There were at least a dozen different hot springs, with varied temperatures. It was a perfect day of relaxation. The springs overlook the San Juan or Piedra (?) river. We all took a plunge in that freezing river and then warmed right up in the springs. Tom was taking the picture
After the springs, Gale put together a fun treasure hunt. There were nine clues, so each child got to find, open, and read a clue. The treasure chest was filled with poppers, sparklers, snappers, candy, and small fireworks to celebrate the fourth of July. It was the perfect conclusion to our vacation. All the kids loved celebrating that night, with their loot.