A Bowling Gift

Jan 15, 2018

For Christmas, we rotate gift giving between siblings in Nate's family. This year we gave his brother's family a game of bowling with us. We had planned to go during the Christmas break, but due to illness, our outing was postponed. So, we went this weekend instead. We had a lot of fun together, and Austin tried bowling without using the ramp for the first time. He also got his highest bowling score yet...a score in the low 90s.

While we were in the area, we also headed over to the BYU Museum of Art to see the M.C. Escher exhibition. Since Austin has been learning about perspective, he was very interested in the way Escher's work played with perspective to trick the mind. He also really enjoyed the tessellations Escher created. Furthermore, it was interesting to see some of the wood blocks used to print Escher's work. We all enjoyed exploring the exhibit together.

Celebrating Christmas

Jan 05, 2018

This year we celebrated Christmas with Rebecca's family and stayed at her parents' house. Our celebrations begin on Christmas Eve as we read the story of Christ's birth together as a family and sing Christmas songs together. Christmas morning we all go in to see what Santa left in our stockings together as a family. Then, after an egg and muffin breakfast, we open the rest of our gifts. Because we were with Rebecca's side of the family, we also saw her grandparents and some other family members later that day. Nate took the week off from work between Christmas and New Years, and we are grateful we were able to spend time with both sides of the family during this period.

Austin was thrilled with his gifts this year. He received an aviator hat Rebecca made him (pictured above), some Duplo blocks, a digital clock for his room, and some K'nex among other things. He was much more excited about the clock than we expected, and he has talked about how much he likes it since Christmas.

Christmas Posada

Dec 24, 2017

Nate's sister in Law is Mexican and she invited us to join in their Christmas tradition called La Posada, which means procession.  The children dressed in nativity-themed costumes -Austin wore a crochet donkey hat Rebecca made- and we walked to a few houses where we sang a song about Joseph and Mary looking for lodging.  Then the kids had fun with piñatas.

Family Reunion

Aug 15, 2017

The week after being at the temple with Nate's sister's family, we headed to a family reunion for his side of the family. We spent the night at a camp together with lot of cousins, aunts, and uncles. We got to go through a "challenge" course with a zip line, row around on the lake in a canoe, play some volleyball, go on a short hike, roast marshmallows, eat lots of good food, and play card games. Austin had a lot of fun running around and playing with his cousins too.

New Cousin

Jul 30, 2017

In April, Nate's sister's family adopted a young girl from Kyrgyzstan. She is a year younger than Austin, and she is blind. She is so sweet, and we are so happy for Nate's sister's family. They have wanted to have a girl in their family for a long time given that the rest of the eight children they've had are boys. We were able to be in the temple with their family a couple weeks ago, so this is the picture that was taken after we came out.

Independence Day

Jul 19, 2017

For the last several years, we have been out of town on the fourth of July. However, since we were at home this year, we decided to go to the town parade. Good thing we did, because Austin loved it! He went right up to the front to watch everyone going by and got so excited that he waved his arms in the air while jumping up and down. He eagerly collected the thrown candy with great zeal and brought it to us to hold onto for him, while exclaiming, "I'm going to win!" We weren't sure what he thought he was winning, but we loved his enthusiasm! After awhile of watching the parade, Austin observed the mess of streamers and other odds and ends left behind by the floats. He turned to us and loudly asked, "Who will clean up the mess after this party?"

That evening we had a BBQ dinner at Nate's aunt's house and then watched fireworks at Rebecca's grandma's house right next to a park. Unfortunately, we left our camera at the dinner. This wasn't very close to where we live, and we just got it back, which is why this post is so late...we couldn't get our pictures from the camera! We did have a fun Independence Day though! We are so grateful for the freedoms we are able to enjoy as citizens of this country, and we are stand in reverence for the sacrifices made by so many to bring us and protect those freedoms that we enjoy.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Jul 12, 2017

We recently took a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park as a family. We stayed at a little cabin just outside the park, since we decided we would be too cold at night camping in our tent. Austin loved that there was a playground area by our cabin there full of various toy trucks, boats, and sand castle molds to play with in the sand there.

We spent three fabulous days exploring the park. We went to lakes, waterfalls, and incredible view points. Above is a picture of us at Emerald Lake, which was the last (and most beautiful) lake along a trail to three different lakes. We drove the length of Trail Ridge Road, the highest road in the continental United States that climbs high up into the harsh and windy alpine tundra sections of the park. Apparently the winds get up to 150 mph up there, and are frequently 100 mph. We saw all sorts of wildlife from elk and mule deer to muskrats, marmots, hummingbirds, and woodpeckers. We learned about the plants and animals living in the park at the visitor's center and on a ranger-guided hike. Austin even earned the Rocky Mountain National Park Jr. Ranger badge.

Below is a video of Austin climbing up the rocky part at the very end of the trail to the top of Lily Mountain. Austin loves to climb up rocks now and has continued to become a strong hiker for his age. During our three days at the park we hiked a total of about 17 miles together.

Father's Day

Jul 03, 2017

We celebrated Father's Day this year with a BBQ chicken dinner, a homemade cherry pie with pie cherries from our tree, and a couple of gifts. Austin made a card for his dad in which he filled in a lot of blanks describing his dad and drew some pictures of him. He also bought him a bag of candy that he thought his dad would like.

 

Austin's Piano Recital

Jun 20, 2017

A couple weeks ago, Austin played at his first piano recital. He has been taking piano lessons for a while from a talented young pianist who is the sister of one of his good friends (pictured with him above). He worked really hard on his piece, and it was fun to watch him play it at the recital. Unfortunately, our camera battery died at just the wrong time, so we weren't able to record him playing at the actual recital, but we did record him playing his piece at home.

Memorial Day Hike

Jun 07, 2017

We sort of have a tradition of going hiking on Memorial Day, and then attending a family "hot dog roast." This year we hiked to Elephant Rock, which was just over 7 miles round trip. We went with Rebecca's brother and his family. We were pretty happy that Austin made it the whole way, even though this was our first hike of the season. It was a bit longer, but it was an easy trail without a lot of elevation gain. The picture above is us at the end of the trail, but unfortunately the person who volunteered to take the picture didn't get the rock or the nice view into the frame.

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