Thursday, August 27, 2015


And they are off! The school bus just left and Cora and I have the day to ourselves.  I am sad to see them all leave, but am excited for the fun they will have.  Liezl started MIDDLE SCHOOL this year!!! She gets to take the early bus, she has her own locker, six periods to find (including gym, band, and choir), and no recess.

 An hour later, the other two hopped on the bus.  They were happy and thrilled to start another year.

 I love this picture.  Ava was concerned that Quincy was goofing around too much while the bus was driving up.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Utah (part 2)

Our second week of Utah was spent with the gustafsons. We loved being with cousins, aunts and uncles, Emee, and Oupa. Ava adores babies and I would find her mothering teddy all the time.
We also got to visit with great grandma Joanne.
We love going downtown to temple square when we visit Utah. Here is Ava in the tabernacle.
And here are the girls in front of the temple.
I am so happy our favorite friends were visiting family the same time we were. The millers spent an afternoon with us and it was almost like we just saw them the day before. The kids picked up right where they left off and Leisy and I talked a mile a minute so we could fit in a years worth of visiting.
The county fair was going on that week, so we stopped by and looked at all of the animals.
Ava was not sure about the smell. I think that smile is saying, "I really want to vomit and cuddle a bunny at the same time."
We also spent a day up at the pioneer park. It was so fun. Our favorite part was panning for gold. I don't think I have a picture of Quincy this whole trip not making a strange pose or goofy face.
Liezl and Quincy were able to get some art lessons from Judy in her studio. They set up a still life and painted with oil paints. They did amazing! 
Our last night was spent at an amazing splash park and at a food truck rally. 

We are home now and are trying to process how to enter into real life after such a long, amazing trip. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Utah (part one)

My girls and I have spent the last week in Utah visiting family. Whenever I come back, I remember how much I love and miss it here. We had a family reunion up Ogden canyon with my family. It was so nice to spend time with my siblings and their kids. Liezl organized a play for all of the cousins to preform on the first night. 
The weather, the mountains, and the cabin was so beautiful! Even though Ava had two snake encounters, I think she would still say it was worth it. She loved her cousins!
Aunt Teri braided all of the girls hair.
The kids were so excited to surprise grandpa with a silly string attack. Waiting in the bushes for over five minutes to ambush him was worth the wait.

Milly and Aubrey planned a lot of amazing crafts for the kids to do. 
We took an afternoon catching fish. My girls were pretty terrified to pull out a wiggly fish and more terrified when grandpa said they had to eat it.

These pictures were not taken at the mountains, they were a little earlier on our trip. Here we are with cousins at the zoo.
And at the park.

Here we are making a birthday cake with grandma for Whitney.
I would find these two in the morning reading together. Like aunt, like niece.
And here we are in a big fort we made at grandma's house to watch a movie in.
We are still going strong and have another week of fun planned. 

Monday, July 27, 2015


We are a month into Josh's new training job at Ohio state. It has been pretty......terrible, no exciting. I guess the answer depends on the day and who you ask. He has been super busy with not a lot of down time, but has been doing some amazing things and loves what he does. Last weekend we were not going to see him for about four days, so we visited him at his fancy new hospital. It was beautiful! His office overlooks the football stadium and even in the hospital, we could not escape Brutus and the Ohio state fanatics! I suppose my girls are being raised as true Ohioans who love silver and red...I mean scarlet and gray. All but Cora. Look at that face she is giving the buckeye man!
Josh has been able to harvest two donor hearts. He gets to fly in a private jet to wherever the heart is. 
Get driven to and from the airport in an ambulance.
Cut out the heart, which takes about ten minutes, then have six hours to get it back into the new body.

I am so proud of josh and am glad he is living his dream!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Swim team and tonsillectomy

Liezl and Quincy's swim season is almost over. This was our first experience with swim team and, without knowing anything about it before hand, we learned a lot and really enjoyed it. For meets, the kids put their heats on their arms with permenant markers so they could keep track of them. Cora would always end up with full sleeves by the end of the night.
Summer makes going on errands a little tricky because I have four bodies to keep happy and all accounted for. Liezl is getting old enough to babysit for short amounts of time and my girls are well behaved, so it is not too bad. Look at all of them waiting for the oil to get changed! Pretty cute.
We have had Quincy's tonsillectomy on our calendar for a while now and tuesday was finally the day! She was such a brave girl, I am so proud of her! She only cried after they gave her versed, which apparently makes her super emotional instead of silly. That medicine gives her two younger sisters super-human powers and they turn into fighting bears, but it made her a blubbering mess!
Goodbye tonsils!!!
Recovery has gone smoothly. The first two days were a breeze, but she was in more pain today. We have had some fun stay at home days, but are excited for her to get better soon.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Emerald Isle

Our quick trip to the beach this week was amazing. The last time we were at a beach was when Quincy was a newborn. It was so nice to have a couple of days together where we had no commitments or plans. Morning runs with these girls riding alongside me was so fun. Quincy would tell me to go faster and would find every puddle to splash through while Liezl would stay by my side and chat about the cute colors on the beach houses we would pass and help me plan out our day. I adore them both!

We spent most of our time at the beach. Liezl and Quincy loved jumping through the waves and Ava and Cora mostly chose to collect shells and make castles. 

The surgeon who took out Cora's tumor is one of Josh's mentors. We stayed at his beach house which was amazing! We loved hanging out on the porch to swing, chat and relax. Liezl always made sure we were well supplied with the magazines she found around the house.

Facials and mani-pedis after a day in the sun. Pretty perfect.
We took a ferry to see a lighthouse which turned out to be a big disappointment to Cora because I failed to point out the difference between a ferry and a fairy. And when we got to the island to climb the lighthouse she was too short to go up. I stayed back with her and she was MAD. When we saw the others emerge onto the platform she screamed up to her sisters how she felt about the situation. "Not fair! Not fair!"

Ava was a little nervous about the boat ride, but was the first kid to volunteer to take the wheel. This captain was pretty smart because do you see those signes in yellow? What better way to get parents to open their wallets by letting your kid feel like hot stuff.

Later that day we want to an aquarium.
I love this picture. Ava is always looking out for her little sister. She is trying to hold her up so Cora can see over the water. I also love Liezl and Quincy here. They got along so well on this trip. Quincy did not tease to tears and Liezl did not try to assert her dominance as the oldest and wisest. 
And then there is this picture! Just the best. 

I am so glad we got to take this vacation so we could spend more time with this guy. We love him a lot.