Sunday, July 18, 2010

A spontaneous weekend adventure!

Dave's brother Russ called him on Thursday night and told him that they were coming on a trip on Friday morning and wanted us to meet them for the weekend. So, Dave switched his weekend around because he was supposed to work, and we headed out Saturday morning to Baker City, OR. It was a 2 1/2 hour drive for us. We went to McEwen, OR, had a picnic and then got on the Sumpter Valley Railroad. It is an old railroad that is about a 1/2 hour ride to Sumpter where they did a lot of gold mining. It was fun for everyone. I loved it when the conductor came through and punched our tickets. It reminded me of Polar Express, with much less dancing! Tanner and Colton loved being with their cousins, who are although much older than them, are so kind and make the boys feel loved. We all were happy that Braden had a nap.
When we got to Sumpter we took a tour of the old mining dredge. It is an old boat type thing that would float on the sub-water and sift through the gravel to get the gold out, and then make big piles of gravel everywhere. (which is basically all the scenery was on our train ride)At the train station there was a toy train set, and that is what the boys liked most about the Sumpter stop.
The train ride back to McEwen we rode in an open car. It was a bit smokey at first, then sunny, but breezy. It was such an enjoyable afternoon.Then we drove down the mountain a little bit and stopped to go fishing. It was so beautiful and shady, and the boys dipped their toes in the freezing cold water. Tanner even decided to slide right in - a mother's worst nightmare. Luckily cousin Daniel was right there to catch him. Then Tanner stayed put to dry out. Sadly, no fish were caught, but we had a fun time in nature.We went back to Baker City for dinner, and all 3 boys ate their whole meal! It was wonderful!! Then we drove to La Grande, OR and stayed at a Super 8 Motel. The pool was wonderful and the boys say that was their favorite part. It was so fun to be with our cousins, and to do stuff with. Those relationships are important to us!

Dave said we are super fun lately, and as soon as we are in a house and settled, his fun tickets will be spent and we will be boring again. We'll see...

Some of our favorite people

Dave says we have become "that family." You know, the ones that always have the missionaries over and that the missionaries love. And the truth is, we love it!! One of our missionaries, Elder Teerlink, has been in our ward for 8 months. Elder Baumgarte got transferred this week, and we will miss him. He had been here for 12 weeks, almost as long as us. We have dinner with the Elders 2x a month and they stop by at least once a week usually for a drink or bathroom break. I told Dave that I feel like they are some of our best friends. Elder Baumgarte had a laser pen that made pretty cool designs on the floor, wall, and ceiling, and Braden LOVED it!! He thought it was the coolest thing EVER!!

Soccer Mania

Well, it wasn't always easy, but we finished our soccer games. Tanner and Colty did soccer for 5 Tuesdays for 45 minutes. The first week they got bored and spent a lot of time sitting in the grass picking weeds. Then second week we talked a lot about running around and kicking the ball and doing what our coach says the whole time, and then Mom locked the keys in the house and after waiting for the locksmith we only had 10 minutes at soccer. Weeks 3, 4, and 5 were much better. The boys had a great time running and playing and got pretty good at kicking too. There was only one day that it was quite warm, the rest were quite nice.

This is Tanner:
This is Colton:This is the head cheerleader:
And, a water break:

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Staying cool

It has been HOT here!! It was 107 on Friday, and about 100 on Saturday, so we knew we needed to find something to do to stay cool. Saturday morning we went to Burbank and picked blueberries, and had a very nice time. The boys kept saying, "this is so fun!" We picked 6 lbs in about 1/2 an hour and then drove around. (We have had lots of yummy blueberry treats - milk shakes and bread and pancakes.) We found a nice park that had a designated swimming area marked in the river. So, we decided to go home and have lunch, then come back. When we got back there were lots more people, but it was okay. The water was quite cold, but the longer we sat in the hot sun, the better it felt. We all just kind of sat in the gravel with our legs in the water, and it was very relaxing. Tanner waivered between bored and okay, so it wasn't his favorite, but I think we all had a good time. We bought goggles so the boys could put their faces in the water, but that was a no-way Jose when it came right down to it. After we got Colty's on, he said, "Now how am I supposed to see without getting my nose wet." Makes it hard. The best part of all, is none of us got sunburned, and Dave's poor white legs were let out and saw some sunshine!!!While we were sitting there a group of hispanic people came in a big group to the river. Most were dressed up, definately not attire to swim in. Then one man walked to the middle of the swimming area in his Sunday best, and then they proceeded to do 6 or 8 baptisms. It was very interesting. They were doing baptism by immersion, but it took 2 men to do the dunking. We couldn't hear, nor would we have understood, what was being said in the prayer, but it was very animated with lots of hand action for emphasis. Then the group would sing a simple song that repeated itself accompanied by a guitar while the newly-baptized walked back to shore and the next one walked out to the preacher. I couldn't help but feel under-dressed to be witnessing the mighty change these people were undergoing, and yet at the same time feeling sad for them that this wasn't right - that although it is great that they are willing to be baptized and washed clean, they were doing it all by the wrong authority, and that it wasn't going to get them when they think it was. I heard someone say the other day that there is a significant decline in the numbers of people who attend any kind of church these days, and how sad that it is. So, I hope that these people are taking the step in the right direction, that they are getting to know the Savior, and that maybe someday, their hearts will be prepared to hear the truth.

We are the Champions!

The City of Kennewick had a fun activity for the kids on Thursday, although this one wasn't free. We were in Tiny Tot Olympics, and boy did we have fun. The boys got a bag of goodies and lanyards with cards stuck to them with all the games on it to be marked off as they were completed. Braden was such a good sport. He just let me push him all over and we watched the boys play their games.
Here are some action shots from the day:
When we did the trike race there was nobody behind us in line, so they let Brady ride too.
It was a very fun day, where everyone was a winner and picked a prize after each game. This is one of Colty's prizes.Everyone got gold medals. Then we ate our lunch that was provided on the lawn while we watched Ronald McDonald do a magic show. It was a good time had by all!