Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

I was going to do a video post but we went to the water park today...... so no video. I didn't have the energy to get all fancied up for a video. I do have a cute little assistant who is going to reveal the winners. Winners were drawn at random by the cute little assistant.

The winner of the savvycents wallet is:

The winner of the cookies/bars every month for a year is:
Congratulations winners! OCmom please email me your color choice and address so I can get your wallet shipped to you. Susan your first batch of cookies will be in the mail by mid September!


Outdoor Movie Night

I didn't create a bucket list for this summer {a must do for next summer}, but if I had one of the items on my list would have been the outdoor movie night held at a local park.

Every Friday night during the summer, the city sets up a large inflatable movie screen and shows a family friendly movie starting when the sun goes down.

People bring chairs or spread blankets out on the grass. You can bring in your own food and snacks but they also have some concession stands set up.

I have wanted to go to the outdoor movie night for a few years and we have never made it. I was so excited when it fit into our schedule to experience movie night.

We met our friends at the park {which is my favorite park} for a picnic dinner. The kids played on the equipment and in the splash park until movie time.

We had a great time and look forward to going again next summer!


Blog Anniversary {giveaway}

Three years ago today I started this little blog.

It is a place to journal about our family life, homeschooling, vacations, projects, and thoughts/ideas. Although I haven't been great about keeping up this summer I still know this is a great place to record our memories.

I know I have said it before but when I started this blog I never imagined creating friendships and connecting with other women all over the United States. I must say it has been a beautiful benefit of blogging. Something I am thankful for every day.

In honor of my blog anniversary, I am doing a little giveaway.

The first item is a savvy cents wallet. My friend Rachel turned me onto this wallet about a month ago. I LOVE it! It combines a regular wallet with the envelopes cash system. I no longer have to keep a wallet and my FPU envelopes system in my purse. I love how the envelopes section not only has room for cash but also for coupons, gift cards, etc... The wallet comes in three colors: red, pink, and black. The winner will get to choose the color of their choice.

** i am giving away this wallet at my own expense. i am not being compensated for giving a review of this wallet.

If you have read my blog for any time you know that I love to bake. The second giveaway is a cookie/bar of the month. The winner will receive a dozen cookies or bars made by me. Some months will be a tried and true recipe, like my chocolate chip cookies, and some months may be something new.

Leave me a comment, question, memory, whatever! I will draw for the winners on Wednesday August 25th!


The Markley's

Last year, my dear friend Sarah shared her story on her blog.

It struck a chord with men and women everywhere. It is an amazing and beautiful story of love, redemption, reconciliation, and forgiveness.

Sarah is sharing today about their experience with filming this video clip and trusting God with their story.

Sarah, I am glad you did. This is beautiful. I was brought to tears again by God's goodness in your story.

I hope you will take the time to watch.


Fire Camp and S'mores

At the start of every summer we always have high hopes of having a few camp fires in our neighbors awesome fire pit but we usually end up fitting in only one or two.

This year it took us until the very end of July to find a summer night to roast marshmallows and eat s'mores. Campfire nights are a highlight of summer for my kids. It is my kind of camping: fire, blankets, s'mores, and then sleep in a house with a bed and running water. Yes, perfect!

the kids ready for roasting marshmallows
it is often my sweet boy will crawl up in my lap and snuggle so i take advantage any time... and got pictures to prove it. i even snuck in a little smooch. he thinks he is getting to big to get kisses from him mama :o(
i am not sure how you do s'mores at your house but we are not a regular s'more type of family.... the hershey bar is a little too plain so we shake things up with reese's and twix. add a perfectly browned marshmallow and there is a little bit of deliciousness.
the roaring fire and some taste testers
mauryn explaining what we are doing that evening.... not a camp fire but a fire camp :o)


Tree Climber

Landon likes to be sneaky. He likes to hide. He likes to climb.

This spring the tree in front of our house has grown tall enough over the last year that it is now Landon's favorite place to climb up and hide.

Can you see him??
There he is the little spy... and he sits up there so quietly
taking in the day, checking out the action from above.

You Decide

When we were home visiting for Thanksgiving in 2008 we took a picture of my nephew Ian standing with Mauryn. The tallest with the littlest {at the time}. When we were home a few months ago I happened to accidently snag another picture of Ian standing with Mauryn.

You decide, has she grown in almost two years? I am thinking Ian will be our measuring stick for Mauryn. Each time we see him we will snag a little photo of the two of them standing next to each other and compare them over the years.

THE Wedding

The main reason for the timing of our trip back home was for a wedding. THE wedding.

THE wedding of two of our favorite people. Two people whom we love and adore.
THE wedding that got my husband to take his first week off of work since we moved 5 years ago.
THE wedding that brought us back into the fold of our church family and friends that we haven't seen since we have moved to Idaho.
THE wedding that felt like coming home.

Our week in Minnesota was filled with waiting and anticipation for this day. I knew this day would be emotional, a little bittersweet. The joy of watching our friends get married and of seeing our deeply missed friends but also a bit of sadness for not being part of that community on a daily basis.
{mauryn snoozing on the way to the wedding}

We arrived at the church early so we could visit with friends before the ceremony. As soon as we parked the car we were met with familiar faces. I immediately teared up. It felt good to be in the presence of our friends.

The ceremony was beautiful. Leslie was a gorgeous bride and Pastor Joel {Derek, the grooms father} gave an amazing message. I am not sure there was a dry eye in the church. As we were leaving the ceremony to head to the reception, guests were walking off to a field. I turned to my friend and asked what was happening. She said Derek had planned a surprise for Leslie to get them to the reception.

Forgot the traditional limo or bus for the wedding party, they traveled to their wedding reception by helicopter. You heard me, helicopter. I seriously felt like there should be TV cameras somewhere, almost like a scene from The Bachelor. It was so fun!
When we arrived at the reception and went to get our table assignments, they handed Lance two buckets. The buckets were filled with crayons, paper, puzzles, games, snacks, and small toys to keep the little ones entertained while waiting for dinner and the dance. It was perfect and it really helped to keep Landon and Mauryn busy so we were free to visit.
My girls and I with the beautiful bride
My dear sweet friend Jennifer
Mauryn had a blast at the dance. If she wasn't cutting the rug, she loved swinging on the staircase.
One of the fun touches they had at the reception was a photo booth. All the guests were asked to take photos in the booth. The guests received one copy and then a copy went into their guest book where you wrote a message with their picture. So fun!
One of the people we were most excited to see at the wedding was our friend Sam. Sam has always loved our kids. Landon has loved Sam since he was a baby. loved him. From the time he was an infant until he we moved Sam was so special to Landon. I don't think Landon remembers Sam, five years later but he was immediately drawn to him again. It was so cute and Sam was so sweet with him. Landon is even convinced he is moving to Minnesota to be in Sam's first grade class.

Derek and Leslie, we are so thankful we were able to part of your special day.


Trip to MN

Only one week after returning from Bass Lake, the kids and I packed up again for another road trip. This time we were heading for Minnesota.... a 23 hour road trip. Even though my kids are amazing little travelers, this was our biggest adventure yet and I was a little nervous.

The kids were up at the crack of dawn on the morning of our departure. They were so excited for our trip. We were off to an early start on a cool and gloomy morning. It rained the entire 15 hours of our first day. The kids were troopers. We got up early the next morning and made the 8 hour trek to my parents house. The kids did am
azingly well with the long road trip and kept up with our busy schedule while we were in Minnesota. As wonderful as it is to go back home it is never a restful trip. We had a great week spending time with our family and friends.

what to do with 15 hours in the car when it is pouring rain: sleep and watch a movie

we couldn't pass through south dakota without a pit stop at wall drug

a trip home isn't complete without a day spent at the mall of america
on the top of my girls' list was a stop at the american girl store
here is mauryn waiting patiently for her doll addie to get her hair done
the little girl cousins at the american girl store
while the girls were at the american girl store the boys went to legoland {i didn't get there in time to get any photos} and had a blast. thanks to grandma the girls got treasures at american girl store and boys at legoland.

we couldn't leave the mall without the kids doing a few rides. as i was going to buy the tickets a man walked up and asked if we wanted the rest of their tickets. there were enough points for the kids to all do 3 rides. what an awesome gift!

this picture cracks me up... mauryn was totally crying and complaining about the ride when it started but was laughing and loving it by the time it was over. there is one thing i have really learned about her this summer: as outgoing and independent as she can be when she is comfortable she is really hesitant when it comes to new things and needs a little bit of a nudge to try new things.
while we finished at the mall of america, my boys went to a minnesota twins game at the new target field. thanks to my brother david for scoring them so sweet seats for the game. landon loved taking the light rail right from the mall to the new stadium. landon loved every minute of the game and sat through the entire game.
a trip home wouldn't have been complete without hanging out with our big cousins,
hanging with our little cousins, climbing trees, practicing gymnastics,
riding the tractor with grandpa, riding the four wheeler,
and making new friends.


Hello, hello is there anyone out there??? my three or four readers???

I have been on a very unintentional hiatus.

This summer has been a bit of a blur. Since being gone for most of June, we have continued on our whirlwind summer. Between swimming lessons, gymnastics, birthday parties, prepping for school, and life in general the time each day just flies by and there has not been much time for uploading photos, writing blog posts, or even reading blog posts.

We started up with school {which is a post on its own} on Monday, even though we are still on Morgan's summer gymnastics schedule I needed some type of routine. I am using the word routine loosely as we won't get into our normal schedule until Morgan starts back on her fall gymnastics schedule at the end of the month. Now that we are into more of a routine I hope to get caught up, I have many stories, thoughts, and photos to share.