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February 2018

Doctor appointment=ice cream!

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More basketabll for Cason!

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The kids take off on their scooters!

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Superbowl Sunday!  Holly and I found it funny that she and I were in watching the game while our husbands were in the kitchen getting food together!

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This was the weather…in February!

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Another field trip! (I feel like I go on one a month!)  This was one with Cason to the Baylands!

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Singing Happy Birthday to my dad on what would have been his 60th birthday!

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Oh goodness!  I had an ER visit! Boo!! 

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Homework time!!

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My pretty girl!

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Valentine’s Day.  Cason grabbed one of my roses from Connor and got in this position!

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I helped in Cason’s class!

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Then helped in Kinsley’s class!

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Their party loot!

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Our traditional Valentine’s family dinner!

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Baby snuggles!

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Kinsley had a showcase at school to show the work her group did on making a map!

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Then our trip to Utah and celebrating Corbin’s 10th birthday!

Getting back from Utah was hard.  Luckily, we had all of Sunday to wind down.  A family movie night was in order!

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Kinsley pretending to sleep on a saw box!

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This has been far and few between so I have to capture when my kids are getting along.

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Corbin loves this cousin of his.  It seems to be mutual!

Why does time just fly by? But it was such a great month!

Utah February 2018

We wanted to fly to Utah but it wasn’t it the cards, so driving it was.  We left on Friday around dinner time.  Cason had an appointment with his neurologist and we left after that.  Some of the kids fell asleep on the way and some did not.

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Wed did stop at a hotel to get some rest before we drove the rest of the way.

We got in just in time to have a girls night of Cafe Rio and watching my niece dance in her performance.

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 Sunday we went to church and got together for dinner and fun!  Sadie made Corbin some cupcakes for his birthday!

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The next day was Corbin’s birthday!

On the Tuesday, we went and saw a morning movie of Jumangi.  We all really liked but the boys had really wanted to see this one:

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Then we headed over to look at some ski stuff.  Kinsley really liked this mannequin.

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We got together for dinner and then visited with Connor’s grandparents who were in town from Arizona.

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The next day was another day of skiing.  I’d rather not go into the details of how I did but here are some of the pictures!

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That night, all of us went to a place called Dartside where we just had a big nerf gun war.  It was pretty fun!

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The kids got to spend the night with cousins.  Matching girls!

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Then the kids got to see Nana and Papa for some fun!

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Connor and I went to the temple since our temple is now closed!

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We ate at the Pie with some friends!

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The morning we left, we ate at Waffle Love!

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Then got back on the road! This is what makes driving easier…devices!!!

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We stopped at a hotel in Winnemucca.

Then back at it! Snow!!

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We had a great time together and as always it is so hard to leave.  

Corbin’s 10th Birthday!!

Our oldest child turned 10!!! I can hardly believe that I have been a mother for a whole decade.  Crazy!!  We were in Utah for his birthday and he really wanted to go skiing.  It also happened to be President’s Day so it was a little bit crowded.  But we were with lots of cousins and aunts and uncles so it was a blast!

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We got to Utah with 60 degree weather and woke up on Corbin’s birthday to snow! Perfect for a ski day!

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Play guess the Duke kid!

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Since I cannot ski and take pictures (yet?) most of mine are when I’m not on ski’s.

After skiing, we met the family that couldn’t make skiing and went to Corbin’s favorite Utah place, Pizza Pie Cafe.

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His cousin, Sadie, made him cupcakes.  They were awesome!

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We had this whole upstairs room to ourselves which was good because of this…..

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While we were there, Corbin lost a tooth.  I didn’t even know he had lost one.

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Later that night, his cousin Allie lost a tooth!

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When we got back from Utah, we celebrated his birthday with my side of the family and I made him the cake he wanted: Black Panther themed.

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Carrying the chips!

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Blowing out candles!

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Birthday questions:

1. What is your favorite color? BLUE

2. What is your favorite toy? LEGOS

3. What is your favorite fruit? PEARS

4. What is your favorite tv show? NONE

5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? CORNDOGS

6. What is your favorite outfit? GIANTS COAT

7. What is your favorite game? LIFE

8. What is your favorite snack? Z BARS

9. What is your favorite animal? SNAKES

10. What is your favorite song? CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS THEME SONG BY WEIRD AL

11. What is your favorite book? DIARY OF AN 8 BIT WARRIOR

12. Who is your best friend? MY BEST FRIEND MOVED, KEVIN LEE

13. What is your favorite cereal? FRUITY PEBBLES, COCOA PEBBLES (ALL THE PEBBLES)

14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? 4 SQUARE

15. What is your favorite drink? STRAWBERRY FANTA

16. What is your favorite holiday? CHRISTMAS

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? BOOKS AND MY 49ERS BLANKET

18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? PANCAKES

19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? CORNDOGS, BACON CHEESEBURGERS AND PIZZA PIE CAFE

20. What do you want to be when you grow up? COMIC BOOK AUTHOR AND VIDEO GAME TESTER

Corbin’s dr stats:

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We love this big 10 year old of ours!

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Our House: Family Room

As soon as we moved into our house I knew that I would want to re-do our family room someday.  We used it mostly as a playroom which was worked for us at the time but was becoming more and more annoying to me as the kids got older.  With Kinsley starting Kindergarten in the fall and the kids would just not be spending that much time there, I thought it was as good of a time as any to seriously start the project.  We had just finished paiting and putting up crown moding in Kinsley’s room so I think that gave us the bug to do more projects at home.  We didn’t realize how long it would actually take.  

We started in July finding a contractor to do what we wanted which was to put hardwood floors in and re-do the fireplace.  Once we found that we started work on the room.  

First getting rid of toys and furniture.

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Then pulling up the laminate flooring!

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Then Connor and I repainted the room.

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Then the work by the professionals could start.

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Once they left, we did the finishing touches and got a new couch for the room!

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This was all done by the end of August.  Our contractors were charging a little too much for the built-ins we wanted so we had to find someone else.  This took so long siince it was a semi-small project.  Most people were used to re-doing whole kitchens and houses.  But we finally settled on someone in October but they couldn’t start until January! I thought the day would never come, but it finally did.

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After they were in I could start adding the stuff to the shelves.  I assume this will be a lifelong process.  But there was still one last finishing touch.  

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Connor finally had time to hang our mantel that we bought.  We had it made by a guy that lives in Bountiful, UT where Connor grew up.  We thought that was kind of cool to have something made there in our house!

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We absolutely love this room now and love being here and spending time!  I actually like writing so many emails now that I have a pretty space to do it in!

January 2018

Corbin got a metal detector from Holly and Jona so the boys were trying it out!

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Papa came (a little earlier than Nana) for Cason’s birthday and baptism!

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Celebrating Cason’s birthday!

Cason bringing his new scriptures to church for the first time!

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The boys set up their room so they could watch a show together!

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Cason’s first time to cub scouts!

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Connor was in China for 2 weeks so there may have been a night (or two) with fast food in front of the TV.

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But we also went hot tubbing at my mom’s.

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Had play dates with friends!

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Cason’s first basketball game!

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Kinsley wore a dress I wore as a kid to church!

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Reading in our new family room!

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Martin Luther King, Jr Day.  Watching his speech and then a hike!

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They story about the above picture.  Our hiking group got separated and the group I was with (mostly all the oldest kids) arrived to the parking a good amount of time before the rest of the group.  As one of the only adults, I was trying to come up with things for us to do.  Some of the kids were trying to balance and walk across that blue curb but having a hard time.  So I came up with the idea that if they could get all the way across without falling down they could earn a dollar.  Each kid could earn one dollar and they could try as many times as they wanted until it was time to go.  They were all having trouble and then one kid did it and then all the sudden ALL the kids did it.  I felt like it was inspired because I only had exactly enough dollar bills to give to each kid and I didn’t even know that before I started. HA! 

Kinsley snuggling Nate.  She calls him Nate Nate!

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Kinsley had told me she had a loose tooth and then a day or two later, out it came!

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I must admit that there is something quite sad about my baby loosing her baby teeth.

I got to go on a field trip with Corbin’s class to a California Museum in Oakland!  It was pretty fun!

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They LOVED this room the most!

Signs for dad to welcome him home!

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We had Nate’s blessing at our house!  Chris with his nephews! Oh and all 4 of these boys wore that blessing outfit as babies.

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Crazy hair day at school! Kinsley’s was supposed to be a unicorn!

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I threw a baby shower for one of my friends.

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We played pool on the mini set we were given for Christmas!

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Kinsley celebrated 100 days of school!

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My super lame picture of the super blood moon eclipse!

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It actually turned out to be a great January.  The weather was beautful and we were able to do some pretty fun things!

Cason’s 8th Birthday and Baptism

Our sweet Cason (my youngest boy!!!) turned 8!!! I can hardly believe it.  In our church, when a child turns 8, they can choose to be baptized.  Cason decided that he did want to and that he wanted to on his actualy 8th birthday.  It made for a busy and fun weekend with family!!

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For breakfast he really wanted a guitar shaped pancake.  Ummm….ok?! This was the best that I could do and it broke.

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Cason got some snuggles with Nate while we were getting ready!

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At the chuch before his baptism!

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It was a lovely baptism.  I felt the spirit and felt Cason did too.  He is a special boy!! I’m so glad he is mine!!

He decided to go to Five Guys after for hot dogs and hamburgers.  It was a bit chaotic getting that many people there but we did and it was so fun.  No pictures though!

Then we came home for cake.  Cason really wanted a geode cake so here is my attempt.

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Cason’s birthday questions!!

1. What is your favorite color? PURPLE

2. What is your favorite toy? LEGOS (I read this post that the Lego company does not like it when you say Legos as the name for their product, but they would rather you use Lego bricks. However, it just doesn’t sound right to me, so this is a conscious decision!!)

3. What is your favorite fruit? GRAPES

4. What is your favorite tv show? NINJAGO

5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? CHEESEBURGERS

6. What is your favorite outfit? MY COMFY CLOTHES

7. What is your favorite game? MONOPOLY

8. What is your favorite snack? Z BARS

9. What is your favorite animal? NONE

10. What is your favorite song? EAT IT BY WEIRD AL

11. What is your favorite book? MATILDA BY ROALD DAHL

12. Who is your best friend? DENIZ

13. What is your favorite cereal? CINNAMON TOAST CRUCH

14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? PLAY

15. What is your favorite drink? FANTA GRAPE

16. What is your favorite holiday? CHRISTMAS

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? BLANKET

18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? CEREAL

19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? HOT DOGS

20. What do you want to be when you grow up? DOG TRAINER (This is funny to me since he is my kid that is the most scared of dogs.)

His dr stats.  

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We love this boy so much!

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December 2017

We started out our December by going to our city’s tree lighting!

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Outside my kitchen window, I love watching my kids!

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Another tradition that we continued was to go to the Creche!  We invited our neighbors this time!

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We also went and got ice cream, but no pictures!

Kinsley in front of the Christmas tree!

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So one morning, I came into Kinsley’s room to encourage her to get ready for school and saw this:

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A mini vodka bottle in her American Girl ice cream truck.  When I talked to her about it, she said she found on the way home from school (how I didn’t see her pick it up, I have no idea) and she thought it was perfect size for her American Girl dolls.  Oh that girl!

Another tradition that started last year was Great America’s Winterfest.  

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The next morning we got pictures with Santa!

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Later that day we went to a cookie party!

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Then Connor and I went to his work party! He sang karaoke with some co-workers!

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Another tradition was going to see the temple lights!

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The next day was Bethlehem with Holly and Jona and Nate!

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My cute Cason!

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Cason had his school performance!!

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Helping in Cason’s class for the holiday party!

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Connor’s favorite tradition of getting pizza, then candy and then driving around for Fantasy of Lights!

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Kinsley dressed in the Santa costume Connor’s grandma made for him when he was a kid!

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During the break, I took the kids to Christmas in the Park.  Not as great during the day as at night, but it was still fun!

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Boy cousins!

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Met a new family!

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Hot chocolate with my baby boy!

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Ice skating! (I can’t ice skate AND take pictures!!)

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Then hot chocolate!

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Acting out the nativty with friends!

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I decided to take the boys to see the new Star Wars movie (Connor saw it with friends on opening night) so Connor and Kinsley had time together.  Kinsley was so excited for the daddy/daughter date.  She insisted on them dressing up for it and go to a nice lunch together!

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Christmas Eve was on a Sunday this year, so we dressed up in our usual fancy clothes!  Unfortunately, Corbin woke up throwing up and just did not feel good.  I told him he could stay in his pj’s for the pictures but he said he wanted to look nice.  So he got ready and was grabbing the bowl to throw up in between the pictures.  Poor guy!

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Corbin even took a nap which he never does!

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Corbin was feeling a lot better to go to my mom’s for our tradition!

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Our Christmas Eve pj’s!

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Christmas Day!!

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Kinsley gave me this beautiful roses!

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What a great Christmas!  We are so grateful for our knowledge of the Savior and that we have time to celebrate His birth!

After Christmas we went to Pismo Beach.

When we got back we celebrated New Years Eve with our normal tradtion of having chocolate fondue.  

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We also started a new tradition of collecting great moments of the year and reading them while enjoying the fondue. 

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Here is our list in random order:

amazing Greece trip
Kinsley’s Thanksgiving performance
Lake Powell
our Lake Powell trip
Nana and Papa having fun with the kids while mom and dad were gone!
4th of July french toast
Mom and dad;s trip to Greece!
Mom and Dad
fun trip to Utah for spring break (adventure: driving when we were supposed to fly!)
Kinsley’s birthday
Nana and Papa visiting
the Grand Canyon
making the place in London
getting our family room re-done
have fun with our cousins
Duke family visited for Thanksgiving
seeing Hamilton
scripture camp
visiting Alcatraz
playing dolls
Kinsley’s birthday and cake
Mom’s birthday
watching my kids during swim lessons
Corbin’s 3rd grade Beatles performance
Kinsley’s soccer
Jona and Holly’s cute baby boy
Utah for spring break
went on a field trip to Mission San Juan Bautista
how beautiful my wife looks with her new lipstick!
the girls had a fun day at Lisa’s Tea Treasures!
having a great family
skiing in Utah
the boys participated in a HUGE move with good attitudes!
taco bell and the book fair
this year’s book fair
Super Bowl and seeing relatives
Valentine party
successful grownup Valentine’s party
movie day during President’s week
dad’s birthday
Cason’s 1st grade patriotic performance
Little League baseball season started and all 3 kids got hits!
Cason;s 2nd grade performance
New Years Eve and being with my family
summer at lace pal with nana and papa
Nate was born!
Chris and Aisling announcing having a baby!
Connor wiped the counters in the kitchen
Kinsley playing Barbies with dad
Family hike on MLK Jr day
Corbin and Cason getting to play Minecraft on the Xbox together!
At Wendy’s Kinsley said (while offering Connor some frosty) “Here dad is your daddy taxi (daddy tax).
Connor and I had a good date night.  We tried a new restaurant (PhoEver) abd saw a really good movie (Arrival)
school (science)
celebrating starting 2017 with my family in Tahoe!
Pismo Sand Dunes
having Thanksgivng dinner
playing tennis
Thanksgiving with family

We have so much to be grateful for in 2017!!  Can’t wait to see what 2018 bring!

Pismo Beach 2017

Since Connor had some time off, we decided to take a couple day trip down the coast!  

We arrived just in time to see the sunset!

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We went downtown to dinner!

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Then we walked on the beach in the dark!

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We played at the hotel in the morning.  They had lots of fun things to do!

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We got some yummy clam chowder for lunch and headed to the beach.  The kids actually went in the water…in December!!

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We played some games!

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We rode an ATV on sand dunes!

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We rode our scooters to dinner!

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We let the kids choose a treat and they wanted a gumball!

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Hot tubbing!

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Scootering to the park!

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Checking out the butterflies at Pismo Beach!

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We had such a great time!

November 2017

Cason’s class went on a field trip the day after Halloween and I got to go with him.  It was another bus field trip which aren’t necessarily my favorite but it is good to see how the kids are during it.

We got to go to Natural Bridges beach and to see the butterflys.

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My sweet little buddy!

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I got a new phone that takes great pictures!  Got one of Connor!

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Corbin got a new book from his book order and he was reading on the walk home from school.

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I got a new phone that takes some awesome pictures so I hope the quality will improve sometimes.

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Corbin needed new church shoes and they fit me. Crazy!

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Cute soccer players!

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Corbin and has favorite little buddy!

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We were lucky to have a lot of Connor’s family come out for Thanksgiving.  First there was the Sparan race!

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Connor carrying Cason to church!

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The next day we went to Academy of Sciences.

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Kinsley had a Thanksgiving performance!

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The next day we went to Alcatraz and hung around Pier 39.

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I didn’t get very many pictures of Thanksgiving day but the weather was beautiful so we got to eat outside and I got to hold a sweet sleeping baby!

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Our annual decorate the tree for FHE.

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A cute picture of Cason!

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Corbin was leading a scout activity carnival booth.

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Cason reading his book at breakfast!

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Corbin opened up his fun size m&m pack and there was only one m&m in it.  

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We had a great November!  Now, on to December!

October 2017

Connor and I got home from Greece on October 1st and we were both so anxious to see our kids and give them big hugs and kisses.

They of course wanted to see what goodies we brought them.

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After presents, we showed all our pictures and while Kinsley was watching all the fun we had, she leans over and says to me, “Mom, did you even miss us when you were in Greece?”  We had been telling them how much we missed them but when she saw all the pcitures she realized we weren’t jsut being sad missing them all day long.  It was swet and cute and sad at the same time.  I told her “Of course we missed you but dad and I did have lots of fun too!”

SInce this weekend was General Conference weekend, everyone else was watching while we were on an airplace.  I loved this list that Nana and Papa made with the kids about what they were learning about during the conference.

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The next day Nana and Papa left (thanks again for staying with the kids!!) but for FHE we decided to have a picnic at the school which was what the kds wanted to do.  

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Oh I missed these kids!

The next day was Kinsley’s first full day of Kindergarten.  I can’t believe I’m actually at this stage to have all my kids in school all day long.  It’s sad!  But these kids melt my heart!

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Connor and I went on our first lunch date since all the kids were in school for lunch and we decied on Greek food since we were already missing it.

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Kinsley practiving to be a big cousin.

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If you read last year’s October blog you may remember we tried to go to our nomal pumpkin patch but it was raining and CLOSED.  Connor had decided that was his last year going with us but I was determined to still go again this year and the kids all wanted to.  Holly went with us!

First stop is always to look at the pony in the parking lot and the other stops towards the entrance.

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Oh and some treats of course!  Corbin was the only one wh got pumpkin ice cream.

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Corbin acting scared!

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Cason acting scared with his grape flavored snow cone.  (He has all the sudden loved anything grape flavored!)

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This made me laugh going through the pictures.  Cason pretending to be dead.

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Kinsley had to pretend too, but she just looks asleep!

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These are some awesome kids!! (I’m not biased at all!!)

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This pumpkin filled well!  Sigh! I have pictures of each of them as a baby sitting inside this well.  It’s crazy how it doesn’t seem that long at all but it was 10 years ago, a whole decade, when I brought my first baby here.

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This is probably the last picture of the kids with their aunt before baby comes!

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Sometimes these kids just CAN’T look at the camera at the same time!

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Cason and Kinsley rode the ponies.  Corbin is now too big to ride them.

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Just before it cloeed I and bought the pumpkins while Holly took the kids to the Haunted House.  

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I was glad to take the kids for our annula pumpkin patch!!

The next day, Kinsley had a soccer game.  It’s so fun getting to see her loving a new sport!

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Cason happened to pick a backpack for this year that a ton of other kids chose too.  In his class alone there are two other kids with the same one.  I came to pick him up one day and there the 3 of those backpacks were right next to each other.  Pretty cute!

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I knew I loved Greek food before I even went there but being there for 10 days and eating it every day and never even getting sick of it, made me love it even more.  I really wanted to try and make some of the recipes we ate a lot while we were there.  So 2 weeks after we got home, I made chicken soulvlaki, tzatziki, puta, Greek salad, and potatoes.  I impressed myself with how it turned out. 

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Took the kids to the park on their day off and they were playing a statue game.  I love when they all get along.

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I got back the kids school pictures.  Oh, I love these kiddos!


Some new Halloween pj’s!

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The kids school had thier annual Walkathon and they did great!  This year was a little different because it was cold.  Its usually balzing hot!  It was sort of a nice change but I could not warm up for the whole rest of the night.

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We took the kids to Great America to check out some Halloween decorations!  (And maybe some Christmas ones too!)

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I’ve also been wanting to take the old time pictuers so we did that too.  The boys were sp excoted to hold a real gun.  The guy doing it put a bottle of Jack Daniels on the table in front of us and we asked if we could do something else instead.  So we went with the gambling theme.  I noticed when we got home that there was a liquor bottle behind ius in the pictures anyway.  

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I got to go to the hospital to spend a little time with Holly while she was getting induced.  No one knew quite how long it would eventually take but the end result was getting to hold my sweet little nephew just an hour after he was born!  Welcome to the world sweet, lttle Nate!

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I got to go on a field trip with Corbin’s class to a California mission.  It ended up being a very hot day but it was still fun!

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The kids finally got to meet Nate!

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Picture taking before we had 2 Halloween parties to go to.

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Our annual FHE pumpkin carving activity!

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Halloween Day!  The kids at their school parade.  It was nice that we just had one school this year!

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Halloween safety talk.

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My favorite football people!

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What a great month!

© The Duke Fam 2014