Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Utah Trip

Back in August, my friend Trisha Brown and I decided to carpool up to UT together to see our families.  Somehow we survived the trip both ways, driving 12 hrs straight, and even having two kids sharing a seatbelt!  I don't know how no one was killed. :)  But it was super fun and worth the miles and time!  There was a McBride reunion that me and the kids were attending, but ended up also seeing some of the Bates family, and a few friends as well.  The fun part was that the McBrides didn't know we were coming, so we knocked on the door.  They were so surprised, and thankfully excited to have us there! :)

These are two of my roommates from my freshman year at BYU, Holly and Kristi.  That was such a fun year, and it was great seeing them grown into beautiful women with their darling children.  I LOVED these few hours we had together.  I hope it was fun for them too!  (We did not color coordinate our shirts ahead of time, it just ended up that way...funny!).

One of our many stops was to see my brother Kendal and his wife Sharlee and kids.  I'm bummed I didn't get a picture of them with me, but I did get a few at their home.  This is the most awesome wig I've ever seen.  TOTALLY cracked me up when Landon found it and put it on.  So of course I had to have all the kids wear it, it was too dang funny.  I think cousin Jonah used this to dress up as Nacho Libre for Halloween last year.  Now we know what my kids would look like with his awesome 'do.

Landon, Jonah, and Marlee, being silly!  I wish we lived closer, Landon and Jonah had such a good time together!

We happened to visit on cousin Emmett's birthday, so we got to be a part of his party.  We love Emmett (or Murmurt as Marlee once dubbed him). :)  Kendal was the master of the ceremonies.  It was so great to spend time with these guys....as we use to live near them for 3 years.  We had such good times together then, and really miss them a LOT!

Here the kids are at Steph's house.  The tramp is always a good source of entertainment.  The kids particularly like the games "hyper-extend my legs," "break your neck" and "fall off the tramp backwards."  Ok, maybe not, but that's always what I envision when all 12 cousins are on the tramp at the same time. :)

Diggin' away in the sandbox.

McBride cousins (Nathan, Laura, Ben, and Logan) playing Logan's favorite sport.  I would LOVE to have this backyard!

 McBride game time.  The only one missing in all this family fun was Bryce. :(  He had to work and couldn't come on this trip.  Everyone sure missed him!!

Masen and Weston (just a few months apart), seeing who's gonna win the game "is the frigde door gonna stay opened or closed."

Tawna's house has some pretty sweet kid entertainment as well.  This is a little playhouse the kids spent tons of time in, sweeping the floors, ironing, and washing dishes.  Awesome little place to play!

All the McBride cousins (minus Tawna's kids) the day we took off to head back home.  I love Masen in this picture....such a lighthearted child! :)  It was sad to say goodbye, and we had such a fun time seeing so many people.  I'm sad I didn't get more pictures of the grownups!  But when you're taking care of 4 kids by yourself, you don't always have the time, energy, or memory to grab your camera!
It was a great trip, but like always, it was good to get home.  We all missed Daddy!!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Ok, it's official.  I'm terrible at updating my blog.  But it's better to add stuff late than never I suppose.  Most who get on facebook have seen these pictures, but some people don't do facebook, so here ya go. :)

This summer we drove to Nauvoo, IL for a Bates family reunion.  We stayed in a campground that is owned by the Community of Christ.  It had cabins and a lodge with everything you need to survive.  It was a lot of fun!  We had a great time with family, and seeing the awesome Nauvoo sites.  Here are just a few:

Our first church history stop was Liberty Jail.  It's amazing that six grown men lived in that hole for so many months.  Must have been awful.  Was a neat experience to see this place!

The next stop was Adam-ondi-ahman.  It was SO beautiful, and the valley was WAY bigger than I ever thought it was.  Very peaceful place!

This is Logan right before his baptism, on Sunday, July 4th.  I love this picture.  This is the end of Parley Street, where the Saints lined up their wagons to leave Nauvoo and head West, when they were driven from their homes.  Logan loves to tell people he was baptized in the Mississippi River. :)

This is a caption below statues of Joseph and Hyrum on their horses, riding to Carthage.  This right across the street from the Nauvoo temple.

We got to do a session in the Nauvoo temple.  The clouds made for a pretty picture. :)

This is part of the "Camp Nauvoo" campground where we stayed.  Marlee and Nanny are playing "princess leaves".  Marlee turns just about any object into a princess to play dollies. :)

Little Tubby, getting dirty at the playground.

The Lodge

Carthage Jail, where Joseph and Hyrum Smith were martyred by an angry mob.  The top window in this picture is where Joseph fell from, right after he was shot.  It was a really neat experience going through the jail, walking where the prophet once walked.

This is Hotel Nauvoo.  We didn't get to go inside because it is still rented out to people like a regular hotel. :)  But it's a hotel that Joseph and Emma ran while they were alive.

This is the final resting place of Joseph, Emma, and Hyrum Smith.  It is located right next to Joseph and Emma's home, which is the next picture down.

We got to take a tour through this house, and the Mansion House.  It was neat to see the rooms and some of the same furniture that was used by Joseph and Emma.  The most memorable was a mirror that Emma had used, and a chest of drawers that had a fallout drawer that Emma used to hide the manuscripts of the bible translation.  The tour was run by the Community of Christ, and they did not allow pictures to be taken of the inside of these structures.

The original Mansion House (below) was actually 3 times bigger than this, but after the Saints left, the rest of it fell into disrepair, and since there was no one to rent it out, they just tore that part down.  This is what remains of the Mansion House.  Inside the house is a model of what the original house looked like.  It was HUGE!  We also got to walk through the Red Brick store, and go into the upper room where the Relief Society was organized, and where the first endowments were performed.  But for some reason we didn't take pictures of that.

This is a model of the typical wagon used by the Saints to go West.  It's much smaller than I envisioned.  This is located at the end of Parley Street next to the Mississippi River.

This is the end of Parley Street (also where Logan was baptized).

A view of the Nauvoo temple from the "city" below.

Logan, waiting for the Nauvoo Pageant to start.

Grandma Bates, we think she had a good time. :)

Marlee at the campground, sweet little gal.

The reunion goers. :)  Only 8 of the 14 families were able to come, plus Grandma Bates.  It was fun to see everyone, but we really missed the ones who couldn't come too!

I think this picture describes how we all felt after leaving Nauvoo. :)

Landon had the best time catching fireflies and tiny froggies.  He had up to 5 froggies in his hands at a time.  It was so fun!

We'll never forget our trip to Nauvoo.  It took 3 days driving there and 3 days driving home, with 4 days in between.  Worth the drive?  TOTALLY!  We LOVED being there.  It was like going back in time in many ways.  The  bugs weren't terrible, and the weather wasn't too hot.  It was perfect.  Doing Logan's baptism there was so special too.  The water wasn't too cold and there weren't too many onlookers either (although the onlookers thought it was pretty cool too!).  It was great to have my Bates family there, and was nice of Nanny and Papa McBride to make such a long trip to see the baptism too.  After talking about it, we decided it was our best family vacation yet.  We're grateful we were able to make the trip, it was unforgettable!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Logan's 8th birthday

Logan finally turned 8 on June 27th!  He's been looking forward to this for a long time, especially because that means he gets to be baptized.  We did a big party for this special birthday.  This picture was taken on his actual birthday with just our family.

The big birthday party was on the day before his birthday (since the actual day was Sunday) at a pool in my friends subdivision.  Of course it was just my luck that they removed all the furniture from the community pool (because of vandalism) a few days before his party.  So our tables/chairs were towels on the ground. :)

Bryce and Aaron Bloom (a good friend of our family).

Tubby hanging out in the stroller, eating his pizza.  Love spaghetti sauce faces! :)

The wind decided it was a great day to blow, so our decorations were haggard by the time we were done.

Logan, Landon, and Jake Bloom (one of Logan's best friends whose family moved away but came back to visit and come to the party), having fun in the sun.

Some of
the party kids. :)

Logan loves Calvin & Hobbes, and this is his first attempt at drawing one of his favorite characters. Can you tell who it is?? :)

Bryce videotaped Logan blowing out candles and opening presents, but took no pics.  Oh well.  Logan got his first set of scriptures with his name engraved on them.  He was very excited about that!  He actually spends time reading them and looking up topics to study.  He also got the Lego Harry Potter x-box game that they've been looking forward to for a long time.  He got lots of cool presents from friends too.  It was a fun birthday party and I think Logan felt very special.  Logan loves being 8!  Eight years has gone by fast, and it's been fun watching Logan grow and learn.  I love that he's excited to have been baptized and participate in the important ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We definitely have our crazy moments with him, but we really love his strong, excited spirit and his enthusiasm for life.  Happy birthday Logan, we love you and are glad you're in our family!!

Marlee's 4th birthday

Marlee had her 4th birthday on June 17th.  She had been counting down the days for over a month, "how many more ni-nights till my birthday Mom?"  She was so excited to finally be 4!  Her birthday was very "princess" themed.  She loved the princess dollies on her strawberry icecream cake.

Little miss, getting ready to open her presents.  She got princess puzzles and games.

Enjoying her cake and dollies....

Nanny McBride made this beautiful Snow White dress for Marlee's birthday, she loved it!

Marlee's best friend Kendis came to celebrate her birthday with us.  They had the best time playing dress-up and watching Tinkerbell movies.  We definitely have a girl in the house!!

I can't believe it's already been four years.  Like I said on facebook, my dolly is growing up! :'(  It's a real treat to be Marlee's mom.  She can be a real firecracker, but most of the time she is funny and sweet.  We love our little girl!  Happy birthday Marlee!