Thursday, July 26, 2012

Uncle Scotty Shout-out!

Ethan loves his Uncle Scotty!

Scott recently went off to Dental School in SF at UOP.
That makes 4/4 brothers.

Before he left, we had Scott and his fiancé, Jennifer, over for dinner... turned sleepover.
Ethan loved it!

Here are some pics of E and Uncle Scotty battling in the backyard.

We love you, Uncle Scotty!
Kick booty in Dent School!!!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The 4th and the 40th... Celebrating God's Goodness



The 4th was a duel celebration this year.

Independence Day AND my Mom and Dad's 40th Anniversary (on the 2nd).

We started celebrating on July 3rd at the Town Center in EDH.
I claimed the last possible available real estate at 11am. I couldn't believe it was packed already!
I saved our space with a blue blanket right in front of Yogaberry.




At 6pm, we revisited the spot, picked up some Pete's Pizza, and waiting for "Gammas and Papas" to come. Mom and Dad met us at the blue blanket with some food from Sellands... and then, we waited.

Here are some things we did while we waited...

Blowing bubbles and stealing kisses
(love Mark's reaction to the bubbles)


We played Frankencelery.
Frankencelery is a character from the Veggietales episode of "Where's God When I'm S-s-scared?"
Unfortunately, in our house it's served opposite of it's purpose.
Ethan developed a fear.
A fear of Frankencelery.

Because of that, my Mom, took on the challenge of helping E overcome his fear.
How?
With humor of course!
The first time she attempted to challenge his fear, his reaction was something like this:

video

Now it's become one of his favorite games.

Way to go "Gammas"
{Thank you!}

Here they are playing Frankencelery while waiting for the fireworks

video

And here is Frankencelery...


I made 4th of July treats... compliments of pinterest...


Grandpa got Ethan some glow necklaces to play with...


Then came the show!


The next day was the 4th and as goes tradition in our neighborhood, there was a parade. 
Our house is the starting point... all the kids dress up their bikes, wagons, etc. and stroll the streets ending up at the park for a BBQ.

Ethan participated for the first time this year.

Grandma, Grandpa, and Uncle Ryan came too!


Fun, Fun, Fun!

Cute painted face pretending to nap (don't toy with me, boy!)



He did actually nap... and while he did, Mom and I snuck off to Kirklands to shop their 4th of July sale and grab some Starbucks... LET FREEDOM RING! Just kidding. (only slightly)

When we got back, Grandpa was reading the Bible to his grandson.


That night we grilled a fabulous dinner in honor of Mom and Dad's 40th Anniversary.
We ended with a cake. 
Red Velvet... because tradition says 50th is golden and 40th is Rubies!

Ry and I ordered a cake from Nugget and decked it out with all things red...

We got goofy with it... because that's what we do.
Can't go 40 years without a little humor!

Happy 40 Years to my amazing parents!

Your devotion to each other and our family speaks louder than words.
Of all the things, staying husband and wife as our Mommy and Daddy is the best gift you could ever give us... and to each other.

In a world of broken promises, cheap words, and divorce... your love is real.

In my (almost) 30 years, I've seen real comfort, support, and sacrifice.
Real struggle, patience, and compromise.
Real playfulness, excitement, and joy.

They don't take each other too seriously and on many occasions laugh until they cry.
They stand together and for each other.

My mom truly believes that my dad is one of the smartest, loving, and most grounded men in the world.
My dad truly believes my mom is one of the most generous, thoughtful, cutest women in the world.

As you can imagine, that in turn only gives me love, confidence, and inspiration.

Here's to 40 more years!!
I love you two so, so much!






Monday, July 9, 2012

Common' Baby Light My Fire

This June Mark and I celebrated 8 years of marriage!


Each year on our anniversary we try and follow with the traditional anniversary gifts

8 years = Bronze.

Bronze?

As in 3rd place?
A metal NOT on the periodic table?
Sounds too close to last year's Copper to me.

What to do?
What to get him?


We built our backyard over a year ago with the idea that we would build a fireplace on one of our concrete pads.

That hasn't happened yet.

In shopping with my best girl, Christina, we came up with the idea of a bronze portable fire pit.

Perfect.

The one I liked the best wasn't bronze, but it was a fire pit...

see how I drift so easily?

Anyway, Mark was happy with it and didn't mind the bronze part.

{Because really... it's a lame theme this year}

Here are some pictures of our first time using the pit.


Lighting our first fire with Uncle Ryan


Closing his eyes... "Careful! Careful Daddy!"


All we had were duraflames left over from camping.



Peeking


We tried to roast marshmallows.
They either caught fire immediately or smoked out


Ethan didn't mind them straight out of the bag :)




E grew to love the fire pit.
But kept a safe distance :)


Happy 8 Years, Hottie.
Here's to 80 more!!
I love you :)










Family Drive-in Movie

Days before the 4th of July, Folsom had it's annual Rodeo.

The Rodeo is a big to-do around here... it starts with the cattle round-up/stampede down Historic Sutter Street. The next 3 days are Rodeo days... each show topped off with a cherry - fireworks!

We were just interested in the cherry.

Ethan and I drove down to where the Rodeo was, hoping to find a spot at the park to see the fireworks... but it was a Zoo down there.

Plan B was to wait for Daddy (to get home from moving Uncle Scotty in to Dental School!) and watch the fireworks at the top of the hill in our neck of the foothills.

Just before sunset we drove the truck up the hill and parked at the top facing Folsom.

We were positive we'd get a good show.

Knowing our audience, we packed some snacks and a movie while we waited for the fireworks to begin.

We watched Peter Pan (a family favorite) on the GPS screen and waited.

.... and waited.... and waited.

The moon was shining and so was the city...

As Peter Pan ended, in the far, far distance we could see flashes of light.
Couldn't hear a thing and it was a strain for our toddler to focus on a specific flashing light "way out there".

But, there were the fireworks.

Oh well.
It made for a great drive in movie night!

$300 Happy Meal. Kids are Expensive!

It's true what they say, "kids are expensive!"

Diapers, wipes, clothes, shoes, food, toys, strollers... it all adds up.

These things you can predict and save up for... plan your budget accordingly...

A few weeks ago, however, we discovered an unplanned expense.

Our hallway toilet downstairs had been clogged.
We tried 2 different plungers and a snake... nothing seemed to help.
After 3 weeks of trying, Mark gave the green light to call a plumber.

The plumber... God Bless him... spent 2 hours - working up a sweat - trying to unclog the toilet.

His guess?

Some kind of toy was flushed down the toilet.

{Insert mental picture of Ethan with a glowing halo around his precious little head}

The plumbing company - God Bless them - charged us $360 for their fruitless efforts.

The toilet was still clogged and it looked like we'd need a new toilet.

Mark came home and told the guy we could have bought 3 (nice) toilets at the price...

He said his company would be happy to put the price of today's labor toward a new toilet but we'd have to pay to install it...

???

"No thanks."

As a side note, the plumber said that he's a handy man who will work for $20 an hour next time we needed any help.

"Thanks. We'll keep that in mind."

So for $360 we had come 360 back to square one.

Mark decided to take a turn, once again, before buying a new toilet.

He could see the bright yellow object lodged in there (we took guesses: rubber ducky? the yellow boat he played with during bath time...?) but didn't have the right tools to get it out.

He said he needed something as small as a dental tool but longer...

As a very last result (thinking we'd buy a new toilet anyway...) Mark picked up the sucker and dropped it on the grass several times.

Out popped a yellow submarine with Ronald McDonald on it.

And that was our $300 Happy Meal.


Problem solved.
Toilet fixed.
Mark installed the same toilet back where it belongs.

Oh the joys of home ownership... and having a 2-year-old!
:)

Elmo with Emma


Elmo Live came to Sacramento and Ethan was invited to go with his little buddy, Emma.

He was all about it!

Emma, Elmo, and Music? What's not to get excited about?

Knowing what Jen and I were up against, I drove thru Starbucks before entering "Elmo's World".
Caffeine always helps ;)

Emma's sister, Katelyn, came along for the ride too!


Running up the ramp...

Before the show, the kids explored the Play Zone

Trash Can Kids
{... but more like excited than grouchy}

"This is the song. La la la la..."

Sweet Emma :)



Ethan loves to say "Ah. Ah. Ah" like the Count.
Now if only we can get Ethan TO count.

Having E count out loud sounds something like this,

"1, 2, 1, 2..."

and then I'll say, "3.... 4......"

and he'll say,

"4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10!"

Darn that Leap Frog Number's Ahoy! He memorized the beginning of the show when the kids (more like frogs) couldn't count past 2 or 3. Oh well...

In Big Bird's nest


Anyone home?


The performance.


All was well until the intermission.... then the kids were done.
When Jen asked Emma if she liked it a lot or a little Emma said, "I liked it a little."

Sorry Elmo Live.
Better luck next time!

We left shortly after the intermission to go to McDonald's!

Happy Meals for the kiddos!

After lunch, the back seat of the Jarvis Van looked something like this:



May not have been the best show, but it served it's purpose.
Thank you Sesame Street :)
And thank you Jen for the invite!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Father's Day 2012



 Father's Day was hot this year!

We had originally planned to meet Mark's family at Folsom Lake for a BBQ and swim, but the lake was outrageously busy!

Plan B was to check out Bass Lake by our place in El Dorado Hills.

Come to find it's more like Bass Pond than Bass Lake (so deceiving!).

Plan C... BBQ at our place.

We grilled up some hot dogs and burgers and splashed around in the kiddie pool.
And even though I didn't get into the kiddie pool, I was too hot not to wear my bathing suit...
and so was everyone else!

Here are some pictures of the day.

Ethan's Daddy is the best. I know everyone says that about their husband, but I truly couldn't ask for more. Mark is an exceptional Daddy and I feel blessed beyond measure that he is my partner in raising our kid/kids. He values that which is honorable and his priorities are God and his family. Everything else he does is to work toward his priorities and for his priorities.
Because of his love for God, he is selfless and the fruit is easy to see.

God has done an amazing work in my husband and I am SO grateful that.
The husband and father we have is an answered prayer :)
{Been praying for a man like him since middle school!}

So while the lake would have been lots of fun, it was care free moving the party to our place because of the fenced in yard. The kids could play and they were always in our field of view.

The Dads were happy to grill, hang out, and relax.
The kids had a blast playing together.
Father's Day was a success!


Humbolt, Here We Come! Camping 2012

Another successful camping trip!
This year, two very important changes took place to the Annual Young Family Camping Trip:

1) We didn't go to Big Basin... we went to Humboldt instead
2) Mark and I rented a trailer!
(can I get an AMEN! Parents with small children... you feel me.)

 Here is our camping trip in a nutshell (or collage... same thing on my blog ;) ).


WHO:

The Young Family

WHAT:

Camping


WHERE:

This year it was Humboldt Redwood National Park


Pros:
No mosquitoes! {Ethan's Face got a break ;)}
Not busy at all
No pesky raccoons stealing our food
Clean bathrooms
Sinks to wash dishes in
Amazing visitors center... super kid friendly
Water stations that stayed on after twisting (makes it easier when washing hands!... it's the little things)

Cons:
Logs falling out of the sky (Literally... and everyday!)
Cold showers (enough said)
No ice cream at the camp store
Not much to see for day trip outside camp (maybe we were out of the loop...)
No wild life except a few chipmunks (we left food out at night and it wasn't touched!)

Sure was pretty though!

WHEN:

June 2012

WHY:

To make memories!!

Here are a few of my favorites...

Having fun!

Hannah walking the balance beam, Kids splashing in the stream, Uncle Scotty chasing Ethan through a Redwood Tree Trunk!, Andrew upside down through a Redwood Tree Trunk, revisiting Egyptian Rat Screw and other card games, Auntie Christie helping the kiddos climb trees!
Grandma and Grandpa Time!

Assuming the responsibility of protecting the fort.
Everyday there was a battle to be won... most everyone played voluntarily 
(Andrew enlisted the rest of us).

Auntie Christie is quite the balloon artist.
She made animals and... weapons for the kids.

{Disclaimer: I am all for boys being boys and... yup, that means pretend fighting with weapons. It may have happened sooner than I would have liked for Ethan (simply because he is not the oldest cousin and his 2 boy cuzzos - Andrew and Titus - fight second to breathing. It is in their blood. It is how God designed men... to protect, to provide, etc. Read the book Wild at Heart by John Eldridge. It's fantastic for understanding boys and men!) but none the less, I think it's great that Ethan loves pretending to be Peter Pan and wrestling his Daddy. That's all ;)}

In an attempt to defend himself, Mark used an untwisted balloon which resembled something more like a sausage.
My favorite quote was,
"Taste my cold steel processed meat!"

A Day Trip Outside Camp
(ie: the day Allie wears make-up!)

We headed into town (can't remember the name) to have lunch.
We ran across the cutest little white chapel.
Scott and Jennifer went church shopping ;)
Ethan was carried out upside down by Daddy.
It was great fun.
A day of exploring... take a hike!

And a few stray pictures I love!
Ethan and I went for stroller ride prayer walks.
I'll remember this memory for sure.
We would stroll around and around the camp praying for friends and family.
I would ask Ethan if he wanted to pray for _______ and he would say, "yes." So we would.
Every now and then he would say, "Mama, mama, mama... trees."
I think he was loving the Redwoods!... I took the opportunity to tell him,
"Yeah Buddy. Trees! Do you see how big and tall the trees are? God is BIGGER than that! He MADE the trees and everything else! God is bigger than anything we can see or imagine... and so is His love. He loves you more than Mommy and Daddy love you! His love is perfect!"




Ethan and Titus Camping Picture 2012
(Ty with the kill shot!)


E & T Camping 2011


E & T Camping 2010


Cousin Camping Picture 2012


Cousin Camping Picture 2011


Back home!

 Also, we gave our boy a special lollipop treat to reward him for being a rockstar roadtripper!

Mama went snap happy :)

And there you have it!