Thursday, July 24, 2014


We drove down to AZ the day before the 4th of July and the kids and I stayed 9 days. Jared had to go home Sunday after Bruce's blessing.
I wish I could explain how much I love going home---it is my happy place and the kids love it as much as I do. I always take so many pictures and I have the hardest time narrowing it down, hence the humongous post.
This week was especially nice because both my mom and dad had the whole week off work. James and Karrah were here also which was fun. We got to see Johnny, Josy and Tyler a few times as well as Jen, Jake and Bruce. The only one not around was Stephanie...she is out exploring the world!
 James was puppy sitting this cute little dog. I wish we had the space for a lab...they are beautiful dogs.

When I tell people I am from AZ I think they assume I am from the desert part...It is actually pretty green where I am from and a good 20 degrees cooler. Sometimes I am sad my kids wont have the same childhood I had (plenty of space to explore and build forts as well as a garden and animals to take care of) but I am grateful they get to experience it every now and then.

Bruce's Blessing Day
My dad thought it was only fitting he wear a tie Jen bought him. (He changed it before the blessing!)

Bruce's blessing was wonderful. I love going to church with my family and hearing all their testimonies was extra special.

 I love this pictures of my dad and Bruce. They both look so cute! 
After Bruce's Blessing Johnny and Josy invited us over to swim and hang out. Swimming in their pool was a nice break from the heat. The kids had fun playing with Tyler...he is so full of energy and so cute. He reminds me of Devin at that age.
Back in Payson. These are my dad's raised beds.

Picking strawberries


Dad's Greenhouse. To the left are the tomato plants. He has so many...he takes them to DQ and they use them on the burgers. He also sells a lot to the health food store in town.

Cherry tomatoes
Okay, so my dad is the ultimate Renaissance man. He does it all...This is his latest venture. It is a tilapia tank, full of tilapia.
This is Lyla and Roxy, two summers ago.
Lyla and Roxy now.
This is sad...Roxy had this huge tumor on her leg as well as bone cancer. My parents had to put her down while we were there. She was just miserable and while we were there she stopped eating which the vet said was a sign that it was time. It was really sad...she has been a part of the family for about 10 years. At first I wasn't going to tell the kids, but eventually I did, and Addie sobbed for a few hours. She was so upset.

Addie and Jackson.

Paintball shooting
So there are hundreds of walnut trees in the lawn...I remember as a kid having to pick them up which was a pain because they stained your hands. Anytime the kids fought I had them pick up a bucket. It was awesome. I wish I had walnut trees just so I could use it as a punishment. On a side note, my mom told Devin she would give him 5cents for every walnut he picked up. I don't think she knew how motivated he is when it comes to money. He picked up $50 worth of walnuts. There were a few morning I woke up around 6:00 and he was already outside picking them up.

One night we had tilapia for dinner. It was really good!

We went to the lake on Thursday.

They loved the tube. Adalynn would not stop giggling!

They also liked the jet ski...I let them drive by themselves (with me on it of course) so they thought that was so fun.
Roasting marshmallows and lighting sparklers

  I had to get lots of pictures of us with James and Karrah. They are already in Pennsylvania for medical school. We are going to miss them so much.

She loves getting into the dress up box...this was her favorite this time
Oh my. I love this picture of the two of them.
Finding flowers to put on Roxy's grave.

While we were there, James, Karrah, Dad and I canned strawberry jam. It is my kids favorite.
We also made homemade spaghetti sauce. Everything came from my dad's garden.
We also diced up all these onions and froze them/vacumn sealed them.
 And that was it! I already want to go back!


Samantha Christensen said...

Oh my gosh, that looks like so much fun. I want to go back! I just love all the pictures of your kids outside. And I love the pictures of the girls on the boat with their hair blowing in the wind.

Josy said...

We loved seeing you guys.. Tyler was so happy playing with his cousins specially Devin, it's so cute to see them get along so well.