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Ski Trip to Tahoe

We decided it was finally time to teach our kids to ski.  Oh and for me to learn too.  Connor grew up skiing from a very young age but I had never been before.  I think it’s great for our kids to try new things so I agreed that this would be time time to try it.

We dove up and made it to our rental and of course the kids wanted to get their snow clothes on as soon as possible.

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Then we went for a walk in the woods next to us.  

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Game time!

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The next day we headed out for ski lessons.  We decided to put all the kids in lessons and Connor would do his best to teach me.  Unfortunately, when we got there we found out Kinsley’s age would be bused to another side of the mountain from the boys.  I was a little anxious having all my kids at different places all day long, so I made Connor come with me to where Kinsley was being bused so we could check on her.  We decided not to let her know we were there so she wouldn’t get distracted but it was good to lay eyes on her.  It didn’t look like she was having the greatest time but she wasn’t crying and seemed to be at least doing what the teachers asked.

Then we went back and checked on the boys.  They were doing much better and enjoying learning.  

Connor spent some time teaching me but it was hard and I was scared and it really hurt. Day 1 was a bust in my opinion but at least I got on some skis and took that first step.

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Connor picked up the boys at the top of the mountain while I went down to get Kinsley.  

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The next day we hung around the house, went in the hot tub and went to a movie.  We also had an apple taste test.

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The next day we went to a different side of the mountain for lessons and this time they were all together so it was less stressful for me.  I could focus a little more on learning.  

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By the afternoon, Kinsley was done with her lessons and basically just laying on the snow eating it.  So we picked her up early and she had a BLAST going down the bunny hill with Connor.

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By the end of this day, all the kids were much better on their skis!

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Coloring time!

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We went for another walk!

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Then we went bowling!

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What a great trip and (most of us) got to try something new!!


December 2016

I caught Kinsley relaxing while reading a book!

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We went to the park!

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“Look, Mom, my shadow makes me look like Princess Leia!”

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Christmas stories in bed!

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Cason got Cool Cougar (student of the month) for caring and kindness!!  

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Great America had it’s first Winterfest so Connor and I went on a date to check it out for the kids!  It was pretty awesome!

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One of the toy soldiers photobombed us!

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We tried the ice skating!

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Yummy hot chocolate!

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We took the kids to see Santa!  This year we got a fast pass so we got to go to the front of the line.  No tears this year!

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The kids played with the new robot in the mall!

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Had to get this picture!

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We finally made it to the lighting of the Christmas tree in our downtown, but we missed the actual lighting. Oh well.

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Then a stop for dessert!

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We watched the First Presidency Christmas devotional.

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Then our tradition of going to the Creche exhibit!

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And ice cream!!

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We came home to our driveway decorated!!  Thanks friends!!

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Connor and I were in charge of our ward Christmas party and we had some great friends come help!!  

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Kinsley got a bindi at preschool!

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My few pictures of the party decorations!

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All smiles and in bed by 9:30pm after the party was done!! Phew!  Hopefully, we will never again be in charge!

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We were making friend and neighbor gifts using the oranges off our tree!

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Connor and I took Kinsley to see The Nutcracker!

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We got to take the kids to Great America Winterfest!

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We went on our annual trip up to see the temple lights and picnic dinner in the car!

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Kinsley had her preschool Christmas program!

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She refused to sing!! She just stuck her tongue out at me!

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My three ornaments from all my kids time in preschool!  I treasure these so so much!

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Another tradition going to the live Bethlehem!

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Kinsley wouldn’t perform her dance when I came in.  That girl!

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I got to help for Cason’s holiday party at school!

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We are full of traditions in December and this one of our family favorites!  We get pizza, then candy and drive through the lights in the park!

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Our favorite candy shop that is just so festive at Christmas time closed down and reopend as a more upscale candy place that was not decorated for Christmas.  It made for a different experience but we still got some (expensive) candy.

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Then on to the lights!  

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Corbin wrote the cutest letter to VidAngel and the CEO wrote him back!

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Since Christmas Day was on a Sunday, we decided to do Christmas pictures the Sunday before since there would be a mess in front of the tree on actual Christmas.  Fun from the photo shoot!

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We celebrated Hollys birthday!

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Kinsley took a mirror selfie!! I foudn this on my phone.  Good thing I wasnt in the shower!

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Another Great America WInterfest outing!

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Holly wanted to go to Disneyland for her birthday so we decided to tag along!  We made a pitstop to a mall because Corbins shoes were falling apart.  We found a store called Kinsley so of course we needed some pictures.

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Hotel room fun!

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Oh, I forgot to mention, Connor and Jona did get to go to the BYU Bowl game.

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A view of Cars Land from our hotel room!

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We didnt tell our kids that we were going to Disneyland.  Cason was kind of starting to figure out by the signs but we told him we didnt see any rides. It was pretty cute!

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We got home after lots of traffic, some throw up and being caught in the middle of a police standoff.  Memories!!

Christmas Eve at my moms!

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Pj time!

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Christmas morning!

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Getting ready for our Tahoe trip!

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Up next: The Dukes go skiing!

November 2016

Kinsley got to have a friend come and play.  She was being a good hostess and had fun playing cars!

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We started our Thankful Tree!

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When Kinsley gets to choose an activity out, she ALWAYS chooses to go to Toys R Us and sit in the cars.

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We met Holly and Jona for dinner at Smashburger and at the end we had a ton go cups because of the shakes an drinks we all ordered.  I thought it was pretty funny.

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We celebrated my mom’s birthday and it was a fairly warm evening so we had it outside.  It was a really nice evening.

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She just wanted fruit instead of a cake.

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With my boys!

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My very own troll doll.

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I loved that Kinsley wrote “turkey” with an upside down “u”.  

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Crazy hair day!  It’s hard to tell but we sprayed it blue.  And tried to make it look like a wave.

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I help with Cason’s student store.  They earn tickets and get to spend them on prizes!

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We had a stake temple day with babysitting so we went to Fenton’s!

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Trying on snow stuff!

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I volunteered in Corbin’s classroom for his Thanksgiving party and Kinsley got to come along!

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Connor volunteered in Cason’s class for his party.  

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Connor finally got his new ice maker that he ordered over a year ago!  It makes nugget ice!  Pretty awesome!

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We went and saw the new Disney movie, Moana.  Corbin was too cool for school to be in the picture.  

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Thanksgiving Day!  The kids and I always watch the parade while Connor plays football.

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Thanksgiving at my mom’s house this year!

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The day after Thanksgiving on November 25, 2005 Connor propsed to me.  This year the day after Thanksgiving again was on the 25th so on the 11th anniversary of our engagement, we took the kids to the spot where he did it.  The San Francisco Botanical Gardens.  

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Then and Now!

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Then we took the kids to see The Lion King!  It was great!

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Kinsley found a heart shaped strawberry!

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Erika and I went out for breakkfast for her birthday and we wore the same clothes!

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Our annual decorate the Christmas tree for FHE!

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Our finished tree!

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My cute praying boys! 

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Kinsley made this cute winter scene with her Christmas toys and some styrofoam.

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Then Cason came home and………

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We’re ready for Christmas!

October 2016

October started out great for me!  Not only was it General Conference

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but I (along with Holly, Chris and Aisling) was invited to Willie Mays suite for a Giants Game!

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It was Star Wars Day so there was some dressing up and also awesome shirt give-away!

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Connor and and the kids (and Jona) came up to SF after to hang out!

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The next morning I made some yummy French Toast muffins and egg sandwich!

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One of the great things about General Conference!  Church in pj’s!

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Connor shaved off his beard a couple weeks before he officiated Chris and Aisling’s wedding!

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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Cason started playing basketball at an after school program!

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Kinsley at dance!

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Connor hit 10 years at Apple and they had a little celebration for him.  I was able to go for a little bit of it!  I am so proud of him!

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I got to go on a field trip with Kinsley’s presschool class to the fire station!

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The fun hat they got at the end!

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I realized I don’t get many pictures with Corbin or even just Corbin as much anymore!

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OH MY GOSH!  We starte this puzzle during General Conference and it took us FOREVER to finish!  We finally did but it was HARD!!!

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Cason came up with these cute monsters playing basketball!

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The boys got back their schol pictures and they sent this sheet (which I didn’t order) in case I wanted any of these other prints.  I thought they were pretty funny!

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I used to take Cason to get hot chocolate at Starbucks when Corbin was at school and I’ve kept that tradition now with Kinsley!

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I took Kinsley to the Children’s Museum!

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She could play in this kitchen for HOURS!

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So then the day of our Pumpkin Patch tradition came.  Connor takes time off work and we go up to Half Moon Bay to the same pumpkin patch that we have since Corbin’s very first Halloween.  It was raining slightly but we didn’t think much of it.  We drive up there and the pumpkin patch is CLOSED!!!!!! We went to the one across the street and even though it wasn’t the same and we didn’t stay long becuase of the rain, we still were glad we did it. (Well at least I was, not sure if Connor thought it was worth it!!)

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Since it was a rainy and quick outing, we decided to head to down town Half Moon Bay to a cafe for some dessert and hot chocolate.

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Someone may have been a bit tired after.

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Corbin really wanted me to make mushroom stew (he read about in a book) so I made beef stew and added mushrooms to his and mine.  He was disappointed in the beef!  What???

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We had a fun FHE at Golfland!

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Corbin had a little accident.  It was actually hillarious and I wish I had it on video!  Here’s the aftermath.

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Then of course some arcade games!

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So back in September, I started noticing Cason seemed to be zoning out a lot.  It seemed like he wasn’t listening to me and I thought he was trying to get out of stuff.  Then I noticed it more frequent and at odd times like when he was reading me abook out loud.  So I emailed his doctor just to check and she thought I better bring him in.  She said he thought he moght be having absence seizures and to see a pediatric neurologist.  So we had the appointment and the doctor confimed that he does have absence epilepsy.  He had Cason blow into a pinwheel which induced the seiziure.  We then scheduleed an EEG  (which he had to stay up all night for) to confrim even further.  He sure was our trooper!

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Then the start of Chris and Aisling’s wedding.  We took the kids out of school early so we could head up to SF for the rehersal and rehersal dinner!

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Corbin’s face still hadn’t healed!

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We tried to get a good night sleep so we wold be ready for all the festivities in the morning!  

The wedding was the day of our schools big Walkathon fundraiser, so we wore our shirts in support!

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THen of course a little swimming at the pool!

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Then we started to get ready and the girls went over with Aisling and the boys went with Chris!

Aisling was the best bride and Kinsley got all these fun things for being the flower girl!

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The boys getting ready!

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I didn’t take many pictures during the ceremony but here’s one I did!

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After!!

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It was a great wedding and we are so lucky to have Aisling as an official part of our family!

The next morning was a little bit lazy and then we had a brunch at Aisling’s parents.  Then we had our scheduled our fmaily pictures in the city!

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DInner after!

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What a great weekend!

Then for FHE that Monday, we did our annual pumpkin carving!

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Also, this month we finished The Book of Mormon as a family and started the New Testament.

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First we had the Ward Halloween party!

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Then Erika’s!

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On the day of Halloween, we had a couple parades and then trick-or-treating!

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Wow!  What a great October!

September 2016

Our September started out with the kids all getting some good chore time in!

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We had Chik-Fil-A before the first BYU game of the season!

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I decide to make salad a little differently since we all like different veggies in our salad.  Everyone can creat their own!

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We went to Great America to get some more use out of our passes.

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Connor found this Ferrari next to our van!  Pretty funny!

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I got to have a girls weekend in Napa to celebrate Aisling’s Bachelorette!

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I love seeing one of my kids reading to another!

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Yum!  Benihana!!

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Camping for Labor Day Weekend

We actually only went one night of the weekend, but we had a good time despite a rough night.  

Connor left work a little early so we could beat traffic and have a little more time there before it got dark!  The kids went exploring immediately!

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Cason got these kid binnoucluars in Missouri over the summer and he remembered to bring them.  But he was kind of mad at me for putting them with the toys so he almost forgot them.  He said, “Mom, these are not a toy these are for nature!”  

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We went on a small hike and found a view of the ocean!

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Hanging out!  They were just chatting and relazing with us!

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Corbin learning fire starting skills!

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Dinner by the campfire!

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That night our kid went to bed pretty early but when Connor and I finally went to bed, it was so warm and I think all of us were too hot.  Then there were some teens being loud  until 11:30.  And around 2:30am a car arrived and starting blowing up their air mattress with that lovely machine making noise.  So none of us really slept all that well. But in the morning, we woke up and ate breakfast. I didn’t get any pictures of it, but Connor said it was gourmet even thought it was super easy!

After breakfast we went on a hike!

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We found a Ropes Course that the kids tried a little of!

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Snack break!

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The hike was pretty hard, downhill to the waterfall and then uphill coming back.  It was about a 6 mile hike with an elevation of about 1500 ft (I think?) and the boys did it all themselves with very little complaining.  

We got back and since we were already packed up we headed home.  We did make a stop at a burger place on our way!

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It was a fun way to celebrate our Labor Day weekend!

August 2016

One of the last Great America trips before school starts!

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The kids finished swim lessons and everyone was impressed with Kinsley having no fear off the diving board!

Kinsley had been talking about having a girls night and was asking and asking and we finally planned one!  She LOVED it!!!

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We watched our friends kids for the weekend and I thought this was so funny when they all lined up for sunscreen on our way to the pool!

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The Olympics started and we have some fans in our house!!

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So I really needed to go through the toys and organize.  And I finally did it.  I even have an emptry shelf which was pretty hard with our toy loving kids!  My OCD side even labeled the boxes and shelves to hopefully help the kids put stuff away in the right place!  Notice 1.5 shelves just for Legos.  Craziness!

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I came in Kinsley’s room one morning and Cason was doing her hair!  So cute!

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The kids had been begging to do some backyard camping.  We finally did it.  They were disappointed that they just got to sleep in a tent.  We didn’t even roast marshmallows!  We’ll keep that in mind for next time, kids!! 

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Connor took a day off work to spend a last summer day with us.  The kids wanted to go to the zoo!

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Holly got tickets to a San Jose Giants game and we went one afternoon.  It was blazing hot.  There is not much shade coverage so we were baking, but we made it through most of the game!!

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Kinsley fell asleep in the car and it was funny because she was biting her lip!

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Another bucket list activity was to go to Chuck E Cheese, so we went there for lunch one afternoon!

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My mom had passes to the Monterey Aquarium so we headed there one day!

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These kids still love dressing up ALL the time.  Star Wars this day!

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Our annual last day of summer lunch with dad at Islands!

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And just like that, summer is over!  Goodbye summer bucket list!

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School starts!!

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Our friends came out from Utah and we met up with them at Giants game!  So fun!!

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Kinsley also started her last year of preschool.  I can’t even think about it too much or too long or else I may be a mess.  This will be the 7th straight year I will be taking one of my kids here.  Can’t believe it’s the last year!

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Now that we are back to the school routine, this is the view I see a lot on our walk home from school!

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Since Corbin has homework every day, Kinsley has been wokring on her “homework”.  It’s basically a workbook and flash cards.  It’s so funny that she walks in the house after picking up the boys and grabs her homework from her homework box and goes to the table to start.  I hope these habits continue!

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Our school has a back to school picnic the second week of school and it’s such a fun event!  I got the one picture of Kinsley getting her cotton candy, but other than this one time, I basically didn’t see my kids for the whole event.  They all took off with their friends!  Even Kinsley has some friends from preschool who have an older sibling at the elementary school!

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My mom took the kids overnight and Connor and I went to a baseball game with my siblings!  We even got to go early and catch batting practice which was fun.  It had been a really long time since I’ve made it to a game for batting practice.  We made it for the pitchers batting practice.  My favorite part was when Javier Lopez (he’s the one on the very right of the below picture) was talking to us fans tellin us we needed to stand back when Madison Bumgarner came up to hit,  And he was right, those balls were hit FAR!  Chris and Jona both got balls!  Pretty awesome!

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Jona took the picture of us since he was in his Baraves jersey!  They lost but at least 1 out of the 6 of us was happy!

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Kinsley and I did Connor’s hair.  I think this a rite of passage for a dad with a daughter!

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Can’t believe August is already over!

July 2016

On the 4th of July, I decided to whip up some patriotic French Toast!  It was coconut syrup with berries!  It turned out pretty well for the first time and no planning.

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Took some patriotic pictures!

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Then we headed to a family friends pool to hang out and swim.  The kids loved the slide!

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Then we tried a new place for fire works.  There were benefits and downsides so I have no idea what we’ll do next year!

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Kinsley and Cason put on their Warriors jerseys to welcome Kevin Durrant to the team!

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Another Great America day!

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We went to the park on early morning to play!

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I set up the sprinkler thing that Connor made a couple years ago. 

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We were getting rid of some toys and Corbin hugged these and said but they reminded him of things so he didn’t want to get rid of them!

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We celebrated Aisling at her birdal shower!  So fun!

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Safari Run and then free slurpees for 7-11 day!

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Great America again!!!

Then we had our big RV trip (see separate post)!  Then back to summer at home!
 

The kids had more swim lessons!

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We went to the children’s museum

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My mom took the kids one Saturday and Connor and I hit the pool just ourselves.  

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One night for dinner, we roasted hot dogs and s’mores on our fire put.  It was a prefect summer evening dinner!

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Another fun summer month!!


The Big Trip

About a year ago, Connor’s borther bought a motor home (or RV, I really have no idea what the difference is or if there even is a difference) and they went on lots of trips.  They started to convince us that it would be fun to rent one oursleves and join them on a trip.  We thought about it and asked the kids who with no hesitation wanted to.  So we started to plan.  In January, we went to take a look at some RV’s so we could get an idea of what we would like.  We looked at several and the one picture I took from then happened to be in the RV we ended up renting.

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Carl and MaryAnn were taking 2 weeks for this trip and we weren’t able to do that so we had to make some adjustments so that we could maximize our time togeher.  We started a couple days before them and met them at Glacier National Park in Montana.  But that’s getting ahead of the story.

First, we had to pick up the RV.  They made us watch an instructional video before we could take it.

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The kids were really enthralled by it as you can tell.

Then there was going through the RV, making note of scratches and dents.  

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Now they are getting excited!! Connor drove it home so we could pack and be on our way.  When we were getting it packed someone stopped by and told us they had just done an RV trip and had a great time!  I think all of us were just excited to be on our way!!  We took a family picture just before we pulled out.

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We stopped at Safeway to grab a few last groceries and eat some lunch and then got on the road.  We thought we were leaving in plenty of time to miss traffic but it took us 3 hours to get to the top of the Bay Area.  I love my Bay Area through and through but this traffic lately is getting out of contraol.

There were some pretty views admist the traffic though.

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Cason had an extremely loss top front tooth and I was hoping he would pull it out before we left, but of course the first day on our trip is when it comes out.  Pretty cute though!

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This was at a park we stopped at so I could make dinner while everyone else played.  It took a little while to figure out why our generator wasn’t working, but we got it all situated.

Then we got the kids reay for bed and they watched a movie so we could drive into the night while they slept!  One of the great things about having an RV!

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We passed by Mt. Shasta.

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We stayed the night at a truck stop which was miserable for me.  It was loud and bright and very hard for me to sleep.  Connor moved us into the the shadow of a truck which did help but it wasn’t the greatest night of sleep I’ve ever had.

The next morning we made our way to Crater Lake in Oregon.  It was a beautiful drive!

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We found this really cool lookout point that had fossilized steam.  Corbin thought this was especailly interesting!

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The pillars in the background are the fossils.

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We made it to the lake!  It was so blue! I’ve never seen anything like it!

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The kids really wanted to play in this big pile of snow.  They thought it was cool there was snow in July!

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We then stopped in Bend, Oregon and I found this cute little resturaunt to have brunch/lunch at.  

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The inside had shelves and shelves of books!! 

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Funny story with Corbin.  He asked us if they had any Leo Tolstoy because he wanted to read it.  I told him I had no idea but he probably wouldn’t find it while we were there in just our section.  He truns to a book, picks it up and lo and behold!

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What are the chances!  Also, what 8 year old wants to read Tolstoy?  I’m 35 and am barely working my way up to reading Tolstoy. Ha!

Mango lemondae!

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I got a side salad with my crab sandwich.  Pretty much a full size!

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Connor goet biscuiits and gravy,  He said it was delicious but I’m not really a biscuits and gravy kinda girl so I took his word for it.

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That night we stopped at a RV park near the church for the next day.

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We took the kids swimming, put them to bed and then relazed outside.  Luckily I got a much better nighs sleep.

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Connor wanted me to document our RV in the church parking lot and him in white socks because he forgot his black ones.  The Dukes are keeping it classy!

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After church we drove up to the Spokane temple to have lunch!

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Then we drove through idaho and into Montana where we stopped to get som Huckleberry shakes.  Yum!

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It started pouring just before we walked out to the RV so we got a little soaked but nothing a warm blanket can’t fix!

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We finally met up with some cousins and found a place to crash.  Kinsley and her bed.  She likes things just so.

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The next morning we headed into West Glacier.  The kids loved this stream (river?) which was freezing but they could care less.

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I couldb’t get over all the beautiful color rocks!

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Rock skipping!

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Couins around a tree!

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So we finally realized that we were not hiking the right way to Avalanche Lake, so we turned around and went back to the RV for lunch.  On the way back, we found this tree that the kids all piled into.  There was a girl who thought it was hilarious and had to get a picture herself.

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We decided to ride the shuttle up to the top.  We had a few nappers along the way.

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We headed back and decided to retry making the hike to Avalanche.  Kinsley had a rough time, but we made it!

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We stopped at A&W for dinner!

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Some cute cousins!!

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For lunch the next day, I made some nachos on the go using the taco meat I made at home before hand!

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Some more grogeous views on our way to East Glacier.

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We stopped at the ranger station so the kids could get their Jr, Ranger badge.

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Look at Kinsley with her hand raised!

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Up at East Glacier we took a boat from one lake, got off, took a boat across another lake and then we hike to another lake and then hiked all the way back. 

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We got back and had fun with some apps while we waited for our table at the lodget resturaunt.

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We found a place to sleep that night and then made our way into Canada the next morning!  At the stop where they checked our passports the guy was asking why Connor moved around so much as a kid and what his dad did for a living.  It didn’t seem like making conversation but that he wanted to know in case we are…??? I have no idea what that could mean. Ha! 

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We then were in Waterton which is the Canada side of Glacier.  We wanted to ride horses so that was our first stop!

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After our just shot ride, we decided to do the hour long ride.  

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Kinsley was on Slow Joe!

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Corbin got to ride his horse all by himselef without a trainer holding on the reigns.

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I thougt it was so cool to get to the lake and have my horse drink from it.

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Cason wondered why his horse didn’t drink.  Perfect time for the lesson “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink!”

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Back in Waterton the kids played in the lake!

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We found the police station!

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We had to stop at the cute candy shop!

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After lots of fun and being on the go, Kinsley had a bit of a tanturm.

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But then she fell asleep!

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On our way up to Banff we found the biggest truck in the world.  We had to stop at it, right?

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Connor’s other brother, Cole (who served his mission in Canada), told us to try out Tim Hortons, a popular doughnut place.  

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It was so good!  It’s a fast food place but I had a breakfast sandwich and the english muffin was the best I’ve ever had.  It tasted and looked more home made then the English muffins we buy here in the US.

As we were getting closer to Banff, look what was one the side of the road.  We got out and close to it, which I must admit did kind of scare me.

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I spy two cute cousins in the RV in front of us!

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We heard about some hot springs that we decided to check out.  They had a normal pool and a hot spring pool and it was a nice break for the kids.  

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Back on the road!

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We stopped for another mini hike!

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It was so far down and it scared me a bit!

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Then we finally reached the town of Banff and headed downtown.

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So, while the town was cute and there were lots of fun shops, it was so incredibly crowded and the majority of the resturants do not allow kids.  Seriously, lame.  We finally found a Mexican place that was okay.  

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The next day was our big day to the famous Lake Louise and the hike up to the Tea house. 

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It looks all great and peaceful, right?

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And I will admit that it was absolutely gorgeous! But this is what it looked like just a few feet back!

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People EVERYWHERE!  I think I was spoiled from all the other hikes and lakes we went to that had very few tourists, but Banff was just crazy.

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Another lake on our way up!

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I had wanted to get something at the Tea House resturaunt but the lines were out of control.  

But the color of the lake is just unreal and so awesome!

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We then had to say good-bye to our cousins and head back home!  We love this family of ours!

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After we left them, we drove for awhile and then stoped at a steak place for dinner!

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Back on the road, we saw a slight double rainbow that came with the rain!

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The next morning, we had some Tim Hortons!

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While we were there, Cason lost his other top front tooth!

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So we made our way into Seatlle and had planned to stop there BUT we could not find any parking.  We spent over an hour searching and it was frustrating and dissapointing, so this was basically our only view of it!!

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We drove out of the city and stopped for a little hike.

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Corbin was a little mad at all my picture taking!

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We did find a Cafe Rio for dinner, so that was nice!

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We found a really nice RV park to stay in that night.

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After church the next morning, we headed to Portland and found this great lunch spot!

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Then we rode the tram up to the hospital and back down.  It’s just a few minute ride but the views are amazing!

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Kinsley showing her heart!

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We started driving back and got into very very Northeren California and stopped at this gas station to make some dinner and let the kids run out some energy.  I kind of like the brown weeds and the sun going down!

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They played catch!

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Movie watching!

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We found a donut place called Kevin’s (the name of Corbin’s best friend).

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As we were getting closer to home, we decided to stop at the Jelly Belly Factory,

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Then we got home and cleaned out the RV and the returned it.  The kids all fell asleep in the car while were were waiting.  I guess it was a tiring 10 days!

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Wow!  What a trip!  It was amazing and there were so many things traveling in an RV.  I loved being able to get up while we were driving.  I loved being able to just have everything you needed with you pretty much all the time.  Driving while the kids were sleeping comfortably in their beds, being able to see lots of things on one trip because you can drive and stop as you wish.  The bad thing was not being able to park easily.  But I think the benefits outweigh the negatives, so I call it a success.  I know this is a trip I will always remember, and I hope the kids do too!

Branson, MO

This summer my moms side of the family had a famiyl reunion in Branson, Missouri.  I thought it would be fun to take the kids even though Connor wouldn’t be able to come with us.  I wasn’t going completely by myself since my mom and Abe were also flying with us.  We flew in to Tulsa, Oaklahoma and made the 3 hour drive to Missouri.  

The kids after our flights waiting for our rental car!

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Since I’d never been to this part of the country before, I was expecting lots of open fields but instead it was beautiful and green with lots of trees.  The views made the 3 hour drive worth it!

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We had a testimony meeting with just the family on Sunday since the ward there thought it might be overwhelming to have us all there.  Then there was food and activities.

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There was a big checker board at the palce we were staying

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On Monday we went to the Butterfly Palace.  It was pretty awesome!

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That evening the kids did an art project!

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Tuesday, most of the family headed to Springfield to see the Fantastic Caverns.  We stopped for lunch at Steak n Shake!

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The caverns were pretty cool.

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i thought it was cool that the first explorers of the cave were women!

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We then went on a litte hike around the grounds and saw a cooperhead snake!

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On our way back to Branson, we stopped at this huge Bass Pro Shop.  I think it was the headquarters but the whole shop was as big as a mall basically.  It was so big.  

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Once we got back to the hotel, we took a break to watch some of Shark Week.

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We then took family pictures and I got one of just me with my kids!

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On Wednesday, we went to a lake and went boating and played on the beach.  The kids were asweome and were loving the boat that had a slide off the back.  They went down the slide tons of times right into the lake!  If course, I didn;t get any pictures.  The one picture I got was from when it started raining and lightening and we had to leave soon after.  You can see there is no one in the lake but it was crowded jsut earlier!

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Then we got all nice and warm in bed!

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On Thursday, I decided to take the kids to Silver Doallar City.  No one else wanted to go and I just felt I had to go.  Luckily, my cousin’s daughter, Maddie,  agreed to come with me to help with the kids!

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Corbin and Maddie went on this awesome roller coaster!

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We came back and celebrated my uncles birthday!  The kids room!

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Friday morning we went on a small walk to a waterfall near the hotel.  Kinsley didn’t want to get out of bed to come so she stayed with grandma.

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Later that afternoon we went to see one of the shows down on the Branson strip.  There are hundreds of shows but we picked Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede.  It was fun and there was so much food.  THe highlight for me was the cheese biscuits.  My kids didn’t like them so I ate close to 4 biscuits.  It was worth it.

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We took some pictures with my cousin.  We lived together at one point so she is definitely my closest cousin!  This picture cracked me up because it looks like we don’t want to sit close to her!

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Tie-dyed shirts!

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On ou drive back to Tulsa, Cason fell asleep!

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Finally on our way home from Oakland!  I was exhausted.

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What a great trip and memory for all of us!



© The Duke Fam 2014