Sunday, December 28, 2008

I'm still alive

So I've obviously taken quite a vacation from blogging, but I think I'm ready to come back!? The problem is I have so many other things I need to get done! Anyone have any extra time to hand out? I promise I'll post Christmas within the next couple days, but for now know that I'm still alive!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A chance to breathe

So John and I have been back from Cancun for 2 1/2 weeks now, and today is the first chance I've had to breathe. I feel like I've been trying to play catch up, but haven't been able to because of all the other stuff I needed to do. I made it through launch at the gym (big deal with costumes, new music, moves, etc.), Halloween (figuring out costumes, ward party where for some reason they put the YW in charge of 3 booths - where was the activities committee?, family party, and then trick-or-treating), and Young Women in Excellence (which was just last night and went so well! The ladies I have working with me in YW are AWESOME and make my job so much easier!) Now I finally get to try to start catching up. My blog got to come first, laundry and bathrooms can wait!

Jack took a class through the city of Mesa called Jumping Beans. His cousin Max was also in the class. They had a hard time paying attention to the teacher - maybe because they are active 2 year olds, but mostly cuz they were so excited to see eachother that they couldn't stop hugging each other or jumping up and down together. They had a great time together and always had to stop and look at the plants on the way out. Silly boys!

David and I took the kids to the shrine circus a while back. It was way out at West World, and pretty boring, but totally worth what we paid - nothing. I think all of us were most impressed by the motorcycles in the big cage ball, but were NOT impressed with the dancing poodles. We only stayed for the first act and then went to McDonalds. My boys liked their Happy Meals better than the circus - we should have just done that!

Yes - we went camping again during general conference weekend. Don't worry we didn't miss conference, we brought up the sattelite dish again. Some of you may think we go camping entirely too often - I agree! But it makes my husband and my kids happy so I try to have a good attitude. Lots of unhealthy snacks and now having a trailer make it a lot more bearable. Tate thought he was so cool that he could catch a lizzard. He caught a grasshopper too, but that wasn't near as cool.

Tate was out of school for a couple days for fall break, so we decided to check out the AZ Museum for Youth - I think that's what it's called. Anyways it was a bit small and we quickly ran out of things to see and do there, but the boys had fun nonetheless, and we enjoyed an awesome lunch at Costa Vida afterward. I am so grateful that I get to spend so much time with my kids!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Quick Trip to Grandpa's Cabin

Jason was down from Oregon this weekend and talked us into a very quick trip to the cabin. We were there for less than 24 hours, but it was totally worth it. We had dinner at the Strawberry Lodge. (FYI stick with the all you can eat fish fry on Friday nights, and DO NOT order the open face roast beef sandwich - NOT GOOD AT ALL - fake mashed potatoes, fake gravy, fake meat too I think!) The weather was beautiful, and the kids got to see deer, elk, and even a culture - really a vulture, but Tate called it a culture. We got to enjoy a short thunderstorm on Saturday afternoon, and then it was back to the valley heat. Oh-well it was great to get away!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Labor Day Camping

So we've been going camping every Labor Day weekend for quite a few years now, and it rains every year, but we still go, and we still have a great time! This year we went to one of our favorite spots at the base of snowbowl. We had about 35 people, family and friends, and a good time was had by all. I've attempted to put the pics together in themes - there's a ton of pics thanks to Sara - I only took 4 the whole trip - oops. In no particular order here is our Labor Day - enjoy!

The new obsession for the McDowell boys this year was paintball guns and everything that goes along with it. (I think I much prefered the frisbee obsession from the few previous camping trips - less dangerous and less expensive!) Getting the game together was no small task. They had to fill tanks, calibrate guns, choose teams, decide rules, and adorn themselves with all sorts of gear. Had I actually played perhaps all the work would have seemed worth it, but I did not, and it just seemed like too much caos. Anyhow they all had a blast shooting each other and then bragging about how many times they got each other, and how no one was able to get them.

Of course the little boys had to get in on the action too, and had a blast shooting up the trees.

The little boys also couln't have been happier to pick up all the unbroken paintballs.

It's a given - with any camping trip dirt is involved and in this instance MUD too. I can't believe we didn't get more pics of the dirty kids, cuz they were all filthy, but here are a few of Jack.

And we must not forget Uncle Brent who rolled his quad in the mud.

The kids had an absolute blast riding the quads and the 3 wheeler. Jack walked around all day asking anyone and everyone for a ride.

Tate got pretty brave on the 3 wheeler this year and probably got close to top speed in first gear - he doesn't know it can shift any higher - and he probably doesn't need to know yet! He only crashed once, because he opted to use his foot as a brake rather than the handle brake. He ran over his leg, twisted his arm, and bruised his ego pretty bad. (no real injuries)

This is about how many kids tried to jump on anytime anyone went on a ride - no joke!

Curbside dinner on the way up consisting of McDonalds for the boys, A&W for John, and KFC for me. So Healthy and Delicious!

I'm helping to prepare one of our wonderful camping meals.

Just kidding! I'm not qualified - they only let me do the dishes.

PB&J anyone?

This is only a small sampling of the many, many pics we attempted to pose the gradkids for. They were pretty cooperative - sort of. Seven of the nine McDowell grandkids were on the camping trip.

The best part of the trip was our new trailer! When it rained, I had the trailer. When it was cold, I had the trailer. When I needed to go potty, I had the trailer. When the boys were filthy, we had the tub in the trailer. It made camping so much more tolerable. I forgot to take a pic with both sides popped out, but there is a queen bed on the back and a king on the front - so nice!

Me trying to stay warm and not succeeding.

Crazy Tate and Matthew always have so much fun together.

The play-doh kept the kids busy for hours - every color ended up brown from all the dirty hands. We opted not to keep it for next time.

Cute Johnny with cute Jack and Max.

When Jack wasn't riding he was trying to find someone to play ball with him.

Jack exploring nature.

Jack in time out, and Max trying to make him feel better.

cute, cute boys.

Me again trying to stay warm, and this time dry - it rained everyday.

Story time

I think we actually wore them out!