Brooklyn actually smiling at the camera! I wish I knew how the girls got her to do this, she is NOT a great photo taker, she never cooperates for me.
Boston having a great time in the sun. I'm not sure he understood the concept of "sun" until we came to Heber, Oregon has had a hard time remembering it's summertime. It's been so cold and rainy, I'm afraid we're going from winter straight to fall and skip summer this year, we've already skipped spring!
Three cousins with matching jammies, what more could cousins ask for? They loved to be matching and Brooklyn loved having "princess dress jammies". Olivia and Brooklyn were perfect together. The both love princesses and dress up and pretend castles. Mckenna loved playing with the boys.
I love this picture of Payton. He has a root beer in one hand and a juice box in another. He snuck up the hill in the backyard and consumed both. I guess if you're that far away no one can tell you no, right? All the kids LOVED to play in the yard, even though it's still mostly just weeds and hills, but that's a dream land to kids.
Benjamin, Christian and Payton in the yard, playing various games. My favorite game was Indians and Americans.
Here Payton is demonstrating his wonderful Indian bow and arrow skills. My favorite moment was when they were carrying Benjamin off in pretend handcuffs (he was an american) and he was singing at the top of his lungs "I'm proud to be an American, at least I know I'm free..." I guess they do pay attention about history is school. The indians ran around yelling "Run for your life, the Americans are coming!
They played for hours and hours until it was too dark to play anymore.
I love this shot of them playing the yard, you can see Midway across the valley. It looked like the Garden of Eden, it was so green and plush looking. Heber is so pretty this time of year, it's truly breathtaking.
Olivia and Brooklyn loved picking all the weed flowers. She would keep bringing be flowers of different colors and types and was so excited with each new find.
Jenna and Maddie were always found together they were so great with the little kids too. Boston was a little nervous around most of the cousins but he loved when Maddie and Jenna would play ball with him. There were many days I would not have had a shower unless Maddie and Jenna were there. I even managed to get a few runs in!
All I can say is Thank You, Thank You Thank You guys!!! The following is a true story..... So there was a recognizable stench in the house and it kept getting worse, especially when anyone did the laundry. We figured a mouse had dies in the dryer vent and needed to be blown out the hole, but after much work on John and Heather's part, no mouse was coming out of the hole. So John dismantled the dryer and behold a ground squirrel had found it's way through the vent and into the dryer and died. We figured sometime when Tanya was at girls camp this happened and Tanya says when she got back and used the dryer for the first time she thought it sounded weird. So a few days later the smell happened. Well after John found the stinker in the dryer it was just a matter of getting him out. A pair of tongs and many suggestions later I came up with the brilliant plan of just putting gloves on and grabbing it (Duh!). Well I guess this was too gross for John and I had already opened my big mouth and after the conversation I had with my sisters and mom on the way home from the airport**, I was the one who got to do it. Honestly, it really wasn't that gross. It took about 2 seconds and double trash bag glove hands snagged it and dropped it in the trash without even looking and then I left the laundry room and John took care of the rest. Once the windows opened up for a few hours the smell was gone. So the big Thank You is to the Robison boys shooting the ground squirrels with their pellet guns. I think in all about 40 met their fate, but I'll assure you there are still at least 10 times that left.
***So I flew into Salt Lake and my mom's plane arrived a little later than mine and once we picked up my mom and headed to Heber we were talking about my Grandma Robison and my mom and what I appreciated most about what I learned from them was a get it done kind of attitude. I never remember my grandma or mom waiting around for others to get things done that they were more than capable of doing themselves. And even if they didn't know how to do it, they figured it out. With my husband being so busy and not wanting to have a gigantic list of things to do once he finally gets home from work I try and get things done myself. Also the one thing I can hear my grandma and mom say the most is don't cry over spilt milk, just clean it up and move on. They never dwelt on their hardships or complained, it was faster if you just dealt with it that whining about it. I'm so grateful for these lessons that I've learned. Sometimes I feel frustrated with others who are more inclined to cry over the milk rather than just clean and move on, it's just not the way I was raised to do it and so I have to try and have more patience with those who deal with things differently than I do. Ok Ok, sorry to make a long story even longer....
Ok but seriously even with dead ground squirrels in the dryer, I'd still live in Heber for this very reason, isn't it GORGEOUS???!!!!!
And cousin time all the time would be sooooo great!!!! They seriously slept so good all night because they just played and played all day long.
And fantastic tiny desserts every night. We seriously had the BEST desserts every night. I'm surprised I didn't gain 15 pounds just over the 8 days, but I'd have to say it's probably because they were in these tiny cups, tiny servings. Sure we ate at least 2 of every one, but even 2 tiny cups is smaller than 1 huge helping. Plus the tiny cups and tiny spoons are soooo cute!!! I'm trying to find a place to get some here in Portland. I'm sure I'll find them sooner or later....
We had a Robison cousin dinner one night. It was a lot of fun to see all the cousins I haven't seen in a long time. Here Uncle Elwin, Uncle Bruce and cousin Keith are playing horseshoes. I'm not sure who won, I was too busy playing Shanghai.
I know this picture is hard to see because you think it's mostly just about the sunset, but I thought this was cute. Maddie and Jenna were so excited about finding different rock and bringing them to Uncle Bruce to have him tell them what kind of rock it was. Here Bruce and Elwin are telling Maddie about some kind of rock they found. I was surprised that Bruce knew so much about rocks, but I guess I'm not that surprised. Bruce is one of the smartest guys I know.
Brooklyn and Jenna waiting for the Car Wash. Since there is no pool in Heber and it was such a warm day we decided we needed to have a car wash. With all the cars that drove from California, Illinois and girls camp up the road, there was plenty of dirt and bugs to scrub off. So after Maren and I got back from our run, we got all the kids in their swim suits and put them to work!!!
They loved it! The best part was playing super heroes with the wet rags and running around the driveway.
Boston even got an occasional splash from the hose. He loved to watch all the cousins run around and scream.
We also were able to be there for Benjamin's baptism. It was so fun to have so many of the cousins see Benjamin get baptised. Brooklyn had so many questions about it. I think this is the first baptism she has been to, so I think it makes much more sense when we talk about getting baptised. She used to cry and say "I don't want to get baptized and DIE". I think she was so used to hearing about Jesus being baptised, he died and then he was resurrected. I think a light bulb finally clicked on in her head and really understand what being baptised means-at least physically. We talk about these things all the time, but it's fun the see her finally understand what we are telling her. Now she asks all the time if she can get baptized, and I keep reminding her that he has to wait until she's 8 years old. Man, it might be a long 4 more years!!!!!
We had such a great time in Heber. I'm so glad that we all have a place we can come and hang out as family. The older I get the more I realize how special and lucky we are as a family. We all get along, are still talking to each other and actually WANT to spend a week together. When I thought I might not be able to come to Heber I was so upset, I wanted to be there soooo bad!! It seems like most of the world cringes at the idea of spending so much time together as a family. I feel so blessed that my parents raised us to always love each other and to get over our disagreements quickly(because he do have them, we're not super human!), because I think I will always love being part of a family that loves to spend time together, so thanks mom and dad for raising us to love each other. I'll thank you for eternity!