Monday, July 27, 2009

Family Camping Trip

Last weekend we went camping down in Santa Cruz with some of our friends. We had a great time and it was so nice to escape the triple digit heat in Sacramento. The highs where we were were in the 60s. It actually got kind of cold at night and I wished that I had packed jackets! We spent our days at the beach just soaking up the sun and playing in the sand--it was a little too cold to actually go swimming. The kids got so dirty playing around the campsite, but did great. We enjoyed smores every night, and when we got home I found myself craving them in the evenings! Dan, who is not a huge fan of camping, even enjoyed himself! I think we should make it a yearly tradition!

Here are a bunch of photos from our trip:

Ava and Keilani sitting in the kids chairs

Sweet baby Meigan (she was a bit of a trouble maker!)

The ladies on our first night at the beach--a little chilly!

Drew and Jacob making smores

Drew and Ava enjoying their treats

Keilani sitting so pretty in the tree

Faye with Meigan trying to eat dirt!

Ava enjoying the beach

Drew building sand castles

Me, Rose and Jen enjoying the sunshine

Dan and me by the campfire

Pete and Jen

Eric and Rose

Ava "climbing" the tree

Drew and Eben in the tree

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Little Friendly Competition

You know what one of my favorite things to do on a Saturday when it's 105 degrees outside is? Going outside and playing volleyball! Well, not exactly my favorite thing to do, but it's what we did today. Our life group was challenged by another life group to a volleyball tournament. Since we at TNLG (thursday night life group-yes, we're very creative) are up for any challenge, we accepted!

It was super hot, the court was muddy and there was lots of slipping and sliding. We also had some fabulous spectators, including members of our group who kept us cool with spray bottles. We had a great time and won all three games we played, earning us the Golden Spatula and the title of Life Group Champions! Great job team!

Our team accepting the Golden Spatula

Top-Justin, Rob, Andrea, Dan, Andrew
Bottom-Tony and Pete with our ribbons

Second place is good too!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A weekend in Murphys

This weekend we were lucky enough to go visit some of our favorite people, Kevin and Linda, at their new home in Murphys, CA. Murphys is a small mountain town about an hour past Jackson on Highway 49. It is absolutely beautiful! And as an added bonus, our former associate pastor and his amazing wife live there and invited us to stay with them this weekend. They both have very special places in our hearts, they were with us through Drew's last heart surgery, were great friends to us and our kids love them and have adopted them as surrogate grandparents. After this weekend I miss them even more!

Anyway, we started our visit with a picnic lunch that we brought to White Pines Lake. We ate in a park near a playground and the kids had fun swinging and climbing and occasionally eating. After lunch we took the canoe out on the lake. Dan and Kevin bravely took both kids with them on the first trip out. Then Linda and I went by ourselves, to make sure we could handle it before bringing any kids with us. We decided to only take one at a time! It was a lot of fun and we found a little family of Canadian geese to go visit.

After we had enough canoeing, we visited Big Trees State Park, only about a ten minute drive from the lake. The giant sequoias in the park are thought to be as old as 2000 years! They are huge! There are various trails in the park and we choose to do the shortest and easiest, about 1.5 miles. Somewhere along the way, I was struck by the fact that Drew was walking the trail by himself. Something he could not have done when we first met Kevin and Linda, before he had his surgery. He amazes me! It started to rain on us about halfway through the trail, but there was nothing to do but keep going. It was actually kind of fun!

When we got back to the cars we headed home to Kevin & Linda's house and everyone got cleaned up. We had a yummy dinner of bbq chicken, corn and salad with peach pie for dessert, of course! Then we took a long walk through the golf course that they live on (and I forgot to tell Dan to bring his clubs!). The kids looked for abandoned golf balls and found lots of them! We also found a lot of baby frogs and Ava loved having me catch them for her so she could hold them. After all that walking and playing we were exhausted! We all slept well that night!

The next morning we got to join Kevin and Linda at Sierra Bible Church, where he is the interim pastor. The church is totally different from our church, with mostly older people and hardly any families with young children. But everyone was so friendly, introducing themselves and chatting with us. It was a very nice church. Afterwards we had lunch with Linda at a nearby diner (Kevin had a meeting) and the food was great! We headed home to Sacramento with full tummies and hearts. Thank you Kevin and Linda for hosting us. We love you guys!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Drive-In

Ready for the movie to start!

Earlier this week we thought it would be fun to take the kids to a drive-in movie. Ava's only been to one movie so far and I thought this would be a good way to see a movie and not worry that the kids were moving around and talking too loudly. Drew's been wanting to see Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs so we decided to go for it! Wednesday night we packed up the kids in their jammies, a bunch of blankets and pillows for the back of the van, lots of snacks and a cooler for the adults. :)

The movie started at nine (it's got to be dark to see the screen), so both kids had naps that day. They did pretty good and really liked watching the movie from the back of our car. We enjoyed popcorn, starbursts and junior mints while we watched. Both kids watched the whole thing and I am the only one who feel asleep! And it was super cheap! Only $6.75 for adults, $1 for kids 5-11 and Ava was free. I totally recommend bringing the family to the drive-in this summer!

Ava excited on the way there!

Drew and his doggy on the way to the movie

Cozy in the back of the van

Drew took this close up of us

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!

We had the best Fourth of July weekend in a long time!

It started out on Wednesday, when we got to visit the TNT Fireworks warehouse and pick up our free fireworks! These awesome folks have agreed to donate fireworks to our family every year until the kids are grown up. And they add another heart family each year! Valerie set it up for us and while we there we were totally spoiled with T-shirts, hats, and pins for the whole family, plus flags and candy for the kids. We are so grateful to them! You should definitely buy your fireworks from TNT every year!

Drew at the warehouse, with his flag, pin, shirt and visor!

Thank you TNT for all of these awesome fireworks!

Then on Friday we enjoyed a pre-holiday bbq with lots of our church friends at the Krengel's clubhouse. Everyone brought a dish to share and there was plenty of food! The kids enjoyed swimming and the parents enjoyed visiting. We even stayed for the fireworks show, which was good practice for the kids for the next night.

Some of the moms, watching the kids swim

Some of the kids in the kiddie pool

Saturday morning we went to the Carmichael parade, just down the street from our friends the Quayles' house. We walked from their house to the parade route and had great seats! All of the kids enjoyed watching the parade and it was a great start to our Fourth!

Keilani and Ava waiting for the parade to start

Jacob, Eben and Drew eating popsicles while they wait

Mommy and Drew

All the kids

We all went home and had naps in anticipation of staying up late to watch fireworks. Well, Dan and the kids took naps. My aunt and uncle came over for a bbq and while everyone else was sleeping we made a peach pie and batch of peach jam. Both turned out delicious and I'm excited to try and make some more peach jam all by myself.

Mmm, peach pie!

For dinner we had a yummy tri-tip, some corn on the cob, watermelon, asparagus, leftover red white and blue cake, and of course, peach pie! The weather was not too hot, so we ate outside and the kids got to run around and play until it was dark.

Eating outside with Aunt Marie and Uncle Terry

Me and Dan, enjoying the evening

Ava with the red, white and blue cake

Drew with the red, white and blue cake

Then it was fireworks time! I got earplugs for the kids to try this year, since neither one of them likes loud noises. They worked great! They were both able to stay and watch the fireworks and ENJOY them this year, which was nice! Our neighbors had some fireworks too, so we took turns lighting them off and even took a break to watch the ones we could see from our backyard at the Sunrise Mall. We all stayed up too late and had so much fun! It really was an awesome weekend!

Oh yeah, we had to crate and medicate the dogs this year so they could survive the loud fireworks. They stayed inside and listened to the weather channel.

Drew doing a sparkler

Ava and a sparkler (As a side note, I find it interesting that we tell kids all year long not to play with fire, and then on the 4th of July we hand them an exploding stick and tell them to wave it around in the air)

Watching the show!