Monday, March 16, 2015

2014...highlights! :)

Time flies when you are having fun!!  :)  Can't believe it has been almost a year since I posted on my blog!!  I've made many attempts throughout the year...but never finished any of my posts...shame on me!!  This year I'm going to do better!!  Having church at 8:30 helps too!!  We get home from church before I have a whole afternoon waiting to be filled with good things!!  :)

I just took a peek at the last entry to see where I I'll just do a quick post to highlight some of our favorite activities for the rest of the year.  :)

The slide show was a fun blast from the past...Spring 6 years ago!!  MY HOW THE KIDS HAVE GROWN!!  :)  I have been meaning to change the slide show for awhile now...but now I'm kind of glad I didn't!!  So fun to see the kids little again!! :)


In Louisiana, they have 4 seasons ~ Mardi Gras season, Crawfish season, Hurricane season (Snowball season), and Football April it is CRAWFISH SEASON!  At our house though, April = BIRTHDAY SEASON!!  We had a crawfish boil to celebrate all 3 birthdays!!  :)

April is also TRACK SEASON at our house!!  :)

This is Aimee and her 4x400m relay team...they broke the school record at their last meet!!  :)


We ended up coloring eggs on Thomas' real birthday!!  He loves coloring eggs!  This year, Thomas had his own technique to get the colors JUST RIGHT...he would rub the eggs on his shirt when they were done.  He loves to eat them too!!  

MAY was an exciting month!  Now that Thomas is the magical age of 8, he was able to get BAPTIZED!!  We had a great weekend with family...and even a surprise visit from Uncle Joe!!  :)

The two Edds :)

Uncle Eldon recovering from the surprise of seeing Joe!!  :)

Thomas sure loves his B!!

Grandpa & Grandma Cutler and Grandma and Grandpa Prince with Thomas!!  

Swimming at the Greenwood's!  Thomas LOVES BEING IN WATER!!!  :)


Captain Edward J. Smith ~ the captain of the TITANIC
When someone approached and stepped on the red button, Captain Smith would "come alive" and tell you about his life growing up and becoming a ship captain.  Thomas did a great job!!  

We went up to Arlington to visit Patti & Scott and their family!  While Edd and Scott rode in a bike race, the rest of us were enjoying some BASEBALL!  

Quinn pitching

Tanner at bat

After baseball it was time for some boy fun...trying to launch some rockets!  

Thomas was in heaven climbing the trees!  :)

We finished the day playing at the park!  :)

JUNE finally made it!!  The kids were so glad to be done with school!!!  Mattie especially!!  She "graduated" from WILLOW CREEK ELEMENTARY and is super excited be a 6th grader at RIVERWOOD MIDDLE SCHOOL!  

Our first official weekend of SUMMER, we went as a family to see the BATTLESHIP TEXAS!  It was one of our favorite things to do before we moved to Louisiana, so we thought we'd go back.  The kids were a little unsure at first...but when we were done, they were all glad we went!  :)

The San Jacinto Monument...from across the way from the battleship

GIRLS CAMP 2014 was the last full week of June.  We went to Camp Bountiful which was about 4 hours away from home, in a town called Walnut Springs...which was sorta close to Arlington.  I was the acting camp director and had quite the time being in charge of a bunch of girls and leaders...I think we had around 170 people.  It's kind of a good think I'm writing this about 9 months later...  :)

Ellen, Eden, Kayla, and Aimee

We got to camp right after a weekend of record rainfall in the area and the joy of experiencing storms all around us and on top of us at times...when I saw these cloud, one afternoon, I was a little nervous...but we were blessed to not have any severe weather come our way!  We were also blessed with a breeze and some "cooler" temperatures!!  :)

Ellen, Kayla, Eden, Aimee and Sister Bratsman :)

Sister Bratsman is our Stake Young Women's president!  She is one of my good friends and thankfully a good sport!  Her son, Chris, was leaving for his mission to Brazil the next week.  I'm thankful that she stayed at camp all week...she was my right hand YW!  :)  

The view of our camp from the look-out tower

Here are some of the young women from our ward...they had just reached the look-out tower which was the end of their morning hike.  Despite the rain and other challenges, we all had a great time!!  :)

JULY was filled with more summer fun!!  Thomas planned a "decathlon" event one afternoon!  Mattie's friend, Gabi was hanging out with us that day!  Some of the events were the 3 legged race, football throw, egg relay, foot race, bike race, push-up contest, and a swim contest at the end!  

Andrew's crazy version of a 3 legged race!

Summer is also ROAD TRIP season!  This year we drove to Southern Utah!  Our first stop was ARCHES...what an amazing place!  

PROVO was our next stop, where we hung out with some of Edd's family for a few days!  

The view from Y trail.

Uncle John with Elizabeth on their way back down from the Y.

Thomas couldn't wait to get back to "mining" with the cousins!!  

The "treasure"

Ultimate frisbee  :)

We climbed up to CECRET LAKE the next day!  Some of the kids tried it "Uncle John style"!  The scenery was so beautiful!!  :)

Melissa and I had fun taking pictures of all the amazing wildflowers!

Edd and John also took the big kids on a real hike up Mt Nebo...which is "the southernmost and highest mountain in the Wasatch Range of Utah.  Elevation11,929' (3,636 m)"  Wikipedia

Our next stop ~ ST GEORGE...actually we stayed in Washington City, which is right outside of St George.  :)  Our first night, we found a park for the kids to play at!  

Eliza trying to decide who to throw the frisbee to...guess who got it??

Of course there were some foot races too!!

The next morning, I went around the town and took some pictures...
This is the clock by the town hall...and a bust of George Washington, who the town was named after.  

Next stop, was this old school.  There were a ton of these plaques for different people who had helped establish the town of Washington.  Look who I found...

This is Edd's 4th great-grandfather, George Prince!  He and his family left their home in South Africa to come to Utah!

Here are a couple other cool buildings I saw on my walk...
The Relief Society building

An old rundown house

When I got back to the house we were staying in, I got to meet my sweet little niece, MOLLY!  She is such a cutie!!  She was only about 6 weeks old and just a smiley girl!!  Such a sweetie!  :)
Grandma & Molly


Beautiful sunset...taken from the bluffs across from the big "D"for Dixie College.  It was really neat to see the St George temple lit up with lights.  Earlier, in the morning, Edd brought the kids to the bluffs and they joined up with Edd's cousin Brian to do some repelling!  The kids had a blast!!  

Our last big activity was going to the "THUNDER OVER UTAH" air show with the BLUE ANGELS...I was super excited for the air show.  I grew up going to air shows all the time with my dad and brothers!!  I love to hear the roar of the jets as they fly over!!  I also love to see all the different planes!  

Andrew with Lucy :)
After the air show was over, some people next to Andrew told him they voted him the best big brother because he was so good to Lucy!!  :)  Those two have a special bond!!  :)

Kate enjoying a snow cone while we wait for the BLUE ANGELS to perform!
Lily :)

The kids enjoying some Molly time!  

While Edd was walking around taking pictures, he just happened to run into his cousin!  Shawna and her husband, James, were at the air show with their family too.  Shawna had seen Edd walking around but didn't realize it was actually him.  She knew they guy she saw looked a lot like Edd, but Edd lived in Houston and she was in St George!!  They eventually got each other's attention and sure enough, it was Edd!!  :)  

Edd and I went down to the end of the crowd where we got a good view of the runway!  It was fun to see these planes...the red, white and blue plane was taxiing in when I took a picture of it.

Finally, it was time for the BLUE ANGELS to take off!!  It was amazing to watch them!!  It was pretty tricky to get pictures of them because the jets are going so fast, but I got a few good one, I think!  

After the BLUE ANGELS landed, we went to get autographs from the pilots!  :)

August was spent getting ready for school.  :(  Only Mattie was excited to go back to school!  Our last hurrah of summer was the HHH weekend, the last weekend before school started!  We drove up to Arlington and hung out with the cousins!  Edd, Eldon, Scott and Quinn all rode in the race.  They did the 62 mile bike race.  While they were gone, the kids had fun getting wet!  

Later on that day, after all the boys had recuperated some from their bike ride, we had dinner and played at a nearby park!  Sunday morning, we went to church with Patti & Scott's family, then we headed back home to Houston.

LABOR DAY we got together with Sara's family!  They had been in Colorado for most of the summer, so we were glad we could get together with them again!  :)  We met up at Jesse Jones Park and went on a nature walk.

some cypress knees

a cool spider web

I found a baby copperhead!  All the kids came rushing back to see it!  

OCTOBER was busy with school, school, and more school.  The kids were getting anxious for the temperatures to cool down and more importantly...our next vacation!!  Aimee, LOVES THANKSGIVING and was counting down the days!  She and the other kids enjoyed carving their pumpkins, but Aimee was excited for HALLOWEEN to come and go because that meant 
THANKSGIVING was right around the corner!!!  :)

NOVEMBER was our month for big changes!  Edd, after working at EXXONMOBIL for about 16 1/2 years, decided it was time for a change...

Edd's last day at EXXONMOBIL.

Edd's first day at HESS!  

When Edd woke up on his second morning at HESS he told me that he was so excited to go to work, that he naturally woke up early!  He was so excited, it was almost like Christmas morning!  While I was ironing Edd's shirt, he was telling me all about his new job and the how the people were so nice and he went on and on!  :)  

Mattie has adjusted well to middle school!  In her free time one night, she made these yummy oreo cake balls!!  They were delicious!!  

THANKSGIVING finally made it!!  We had THANKSGIVING dinner at our house.  On Friday went out to Sara's house to let the kids play!  

Aunt Paula was able to come down from Utah to spend THANKSGIVING with us!  

We spent Saturday back in our neck of the woods!  Here is a picture of the gang!!  :)  All the kids had so much fun playing with each other!   The weather was beautiful too!!

Bethany decided she wanted to be blonde again...Paige offered to help us!  After a bunch of trips to SALLY'S, and a couple hours later, we finished working on B's hair.  It isn't exactly blonde, but it was as close as we could get.

CHRISTMAS TIME finally made it!  Bethany stuck around to help put up the CHRISTMAS TREE.  She found this ornament that she made is school...way back when! I think that was maybe 1st grade!?!

Andrew with his ornament from Grandma & Grandpa has a picture on it for their mission, the New York, New York South Mission.

December 16th ~ a milestone birthday for Mattie!!  She is finally 12!!  She was so excited to graduate from Primary and move up into the Young Women's program at church!  She was also excited for a special birthday present that she had put on her list...

Aimee couldn't resist teasing Mattie that she'd have to wait one more year to get her phone!  After Mattie read the note in the phone box and started to look a little disappointed, Aimee dialed Mattie's new phone and had it start ringing!  Mattie was so glad when she found her new phone in it's special hiding place!  

Aimee and I got to enjoy Thomas performing in the 3rd grade "A Holiday Moosical" which was a fun musical about a moose who wants to fly.  The rest of the family was over at the middle school watching Mattie's choir do their Christmas performance.

Can you see Thomas?  He is "Comet" the reindeer!

CHRISTMAS!  We finally made it!!!
The kids in their new pi's anxious to go to they can wake up and open presents!!  

We had fun listing silly names for who the presents were from!  :)

Edd trying to smile like Bethany!  :)

Bethany smiling like her daddy!!  :)

Last adventure of 2014...playing with the Jensons!  :)  These kids have been friends since Andrew and Ashton (McKay back then) were like 3 or 4 years old!!  We spent a fun day playing outside, riding go-carts, shooting air soft guns, drinking hot chocolate and catching up with each other!  :)
Savannah, Landon, Thomas and Mattie

Ashton, Thomas, Andrew & one of Ashton's friends

Bethany and Aimee

As you can see, we had a wonderful year!  We are thankful for all that we have been blessed with especially our family and our friends!  :)