Thursday, April 28, 2011


You can't drive down the California coast without stopping at Disney! We wanted to make a few memories before Dave headed off, so we stopped. It was an interesting situation because Laycee was tall enough for most of the rides and Logan was not. But I think they all had fun. We drove 18 hours from Washington so we could stop our first night in Anaheim. We spent the next 2 days at Disneyland and California adventure. We wanted to do all of the rides we have never done at Disney and really discovered some cool rides! Then on the 3rd day, we let everyone pick one ride they wanted to do again. After a few hours of rides and a bit of shopping, we headed out for the last 6 hours of the trip to Arizona. It was a great trip and such a nice getaway from the stress we had been feeling. I am so thankful for the memories made!

Leaving in a caravan

So, in early April, we left Washington. It was bittersweet for me to leave behind the military and all of our life. Dave was more then happy and ready. He feels like the Army had nothing more to offer him. They already paid for his bachelors and masters degree (well he has one more class to complete). They gave him some valuable training and experience. So, he could see no more reason to stay with them.

We were heading back home and we haven't been home in years. On top of that, we were moving again knowing Dave won't be with us. And not to complain, but we were leaving behind beautiful grass and amazing trees for... the HOT, DRY desert. But, we are ready for the change. I am so ready to give up some of the military ways that are so engrained in us now. But I will miss military wards. There is nothing quite like going to church with other military families. So, I took one last picture to remind us of our last duty station.

After many months of stress and fighting this decision, I am genuinely excited. I was holding out hope that at the very last second Dave would change his mind about the Army. I also hoped that he would find a stateside job. After many nights of crying about the choices ahead of us, I decided that I needed to just listen to the Lord and do His will. One night for scripture study, we were running late and I just opened the scriptures to D&C 68 I believe and chose a random verse. It said that the Lord has many blessings, but because of fear, the early saints were not able to receive them. That verse spoke right to my heart. I was afraid to make some HARD choices and in turn was potentially sacrificing great blessings!

So, we packed up the van and the Tuscan and two luggage carriers on top. We loaded the kids and my brother in law in the car and headed on our next journey in life. Thankfully we had some fun planned along the way!

I feel at peace with Dave heading to Iraq (not that I don't fully expect many sad days) but I know that the Lord is by my side. I feel so happy to be coming home and I feel even more blessed that we are buying our first home in a great location. It has been amazing to watch as the Lord has unfolded His plan as He promised me He would over and over.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Trent's time to Shine

So Trent's last request before we left Washington was to have his yellow belt test. We were very lucky they were doing a test days before we left and his Sensai thought that he was ready. Trent has been doing karate since November and he really loves it. It is a must after we get settled again. So, here is his yellow belt test. It was a neat experience for all of us to watch him.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Last Day in Washington

Ok so I have been trying to post a video of Trent for a few days now and am going a different route instead. So, since I don't want to get 4 months behind on blogging... I will press forward. The last day we were in Washington, our friends The Newvilles had us over for dinner. It was so nice to have a homecooked meal. Haylee and Tenli had become good friends and there were many tears over the last days there that she would be leaving Tenli behind.

Laycee and Savannah had become great church buddies. They always had their sweet arms around one another or were holding hands.
Here are the boys, Trent, Logan and Austin.

And all the kids have to be silly right?!

It was a sad goodbye. We were thankful for one last time with them!

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Did you know that Cabelas is awesome?! Where else can you shop, visit an aquarium, and explore an old time general store all for free? Yes, at Cabela's you can. Before we left Washington, we experienced a rare spring day. So we got the urge to go to an Outdoors store. Off to Cabela's we went. While we were there, the kids got to imagine swinging on this beautiful swing on our one day back porch.

They got to "explore" nature by seeing all the taxidermied (hope that is spelled correctly) animals in their "natural" habitat actually organized by season.
Oh dang, I don't have pictures of the aquarium from this trip. But here is Logan standing on the tusk that rounds the doors to the Gun Room. No, I don't let the kids go in there... so we sat on the most comfortable chairs ever while we waited as Dave perused the selection.

And it just so happened that the token machine was broken at the shooting range, so the store was giving out free games! Funny how I won't let them go into the gun room, but I did let them shoot the rifles at the range lol.

It was a fun outing. Lame? Maybe. But how can you pass up hours of free fun for the whole family?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Forks:The Final Post

So I have tried posting this post earlier, but as all technology goes... it didn't work. I guess the day I was doing it, the Internet decided I was done blogging for the day. Ha Ha. So... think back my blogging friends. After seeing the "Twilight" attractions in town, we had a quick pit stop before heading the 4 hours home. There was this cute park that had a cool tank and train.

We were able to read a lot of history about these two items.
The kids took their time playing in the snow. Thankfully as we were going through the mountains, the snow was pretty light and easy to navigate.

Logan bought this hat from the Ma and Pa diner we stopped at. He had to show off how COOL he was Dude!

And of course, you can't take out the camera without Little Laycee demanding a million shots.

All in all, we were really glad to have taken the day trip to Forks. The kids enjoyed themselves and now we have "been there done that". It was a beautiful drive up there and cool sights to see. The kids had fun and we really enjoyed ourselves!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Where Have I Been?

I really think the better question is where HAVEN'T I been. My oh my, since I last posted, we have been busy. We left Washington and said goodbye to the military the beginning of April. On the way down the California coast, we had previously decided to surprise the kids with a 3 day stop at Disneyland! Oh it was a BLAST. April is not my most favorite time to visit the park, but we really had a good time. Of course, there are pictures to come. We got to Arizona and spent the next few days getting all the paperwork completed for the house we are buying. It feels so surreal to finally after nearly 10 years of marriage be buying our first house! Then, we headed off to Utah. We were so lucky to spend time with my sister in law and two brothers in law. We all made the trek up there and rented a house for the Salt Lake Marathon. Once again, pictures and details to come! This week, we have started to settle back into real life just in time for Easter. We started back to school again and even though I don't have the "classroom" anymore, Haylee and Trent are being real troopers about it. They have been so good this week just getting down to work and getting it done. Dave is in the last week of a masters course. I am so excited for him to graduate. He only has one class left! Aside from that, we are patiently waiting for our house to close (set to close the middle of May) and trying to be excited about Dave's new job in the middle east. We have been blessed and are thankful for the family help we have received in the transition. Now that you are all caught up on the happenings, I have TONS of pictures to accompany all of our fun. I just have to find the time to get them here. I hope all of my blogging buddies are well and I can't wait to catch up on what is going on in the lives of all of you!


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Forks Part 3: The Sights

Ok so if you have done any research about Twilight, you know that the first movie was primarily shot in Portland. So, I was quite amazed that they had the major locations in Forks to appease the tourists. Here is the Swans home. It is a private residence, but they offered their home for the purpose of tourism.

I was surpised by how similar the homes looked since it was not filmed in this home. Here is Carlie's parking spot at the hospital.
Here is the high school which is actually under construction right now so we could only get a picture of the sign.
Here is Charlie's car
And the Cullen's home.
We also drove by the Outfitters store where Bella and Mike worked, but I didn't get a picture of that. It was really fun to see all the sights. The town is small, so it only took a few minutes to drive through and see everything! The directions we were given made it even easier. So fun to go see how life has changed for this small town all as a result of a few books. You are also able to drive down to La Push, but we elected not to go because I wanted to get home through the mountains before the snow started again. Up next... a few more pictures from none Twilight sights in Forks.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Forks Part 2: The Visitors Center

So our first stop in Forks was the Chamber of Commerce. They are the "official" visitors center. It was very interesting. The staff was amazing and answered any questions we had. I was really intersted in how Twilight and tourism has changed the town. She told me that Forks has been able to adjust pretty well but La Push had a more difficult time becuase they are a small Native American town. It was harder on them to accomodate the tourism. So, I had to get a photo with Jacob! Dave liked this picture because he said that Bella was sneering at us in the background.

Dave and Jacob are best friends lol They had two of "Bellas" trucks out front.
There was a cute gazebo close by so I had to get a couple pictures of the kids.

Here we are in front of the truck
While in the visitors center, the staff gave us directions and locations of the sights in town. My next post will be about the sights... stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Forks Part 1

Several weeks ago, I woke up and told Dave I felt like going on a day trip. I am never spontaneous like that, so he was going to take me up on this moment of insanity. Since we knew we were nearing the end of our time in Washington, we decided to head to Forks, WA. Is it somewhat of a lame location to go for a day trip? Of course, but how can you be in Washington and not visit the now famous Forks right?! So... we loaded up the car...

and headed out for the 3 hour drive there. The scenery was beauitful and actually reminded me of our many drives through Austria.
It had snowed the day before so we were really lucky that the roads were nice a clear.
We passed through Port Angeles. There were a few locations that were considered "Twilight Locations" but we didn't stop.
Our first glimpse of Forks.
Across the Street
And you can't stop in Forks without seeing the sign!
Part Two to come...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Family Night

We have been making a huge effort to make our family night more meaningful. We have recently started letting Haylee and Trent teach the lesson. We have not always been perfect about doing family night, we have gone through spurts. Often our family nights have not been very meaningful. So, we have been making a better effort, whether it be about the importance of caring for our bodies while we take a family walk for the activity or if we are learning about baptism because Laycee keeps changing the subject to baptism instead of repentance. Whatever it is, we have noticed more enjoyment in our family nights since we have been making an effort to make them more meaningful.

So Haylee taught us about David and Golieth on this particular family night and she chose Sundays for dessert. I bought ice cream for this occassion, but usually I just let them put the toppings on the bananas and strawberries. It was a nice fun snack. I am thankful for the time on Monday that we devote to family night, it has greatly blessed our family.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Today was Dave's birthday. We woke up to a huge list of things we needed to do and things we wanted to do... and we decided to do neither lol. Here is my special man holding his birthday candles... he turned 32.

We went to the AMC near our house and were lucky enough to end up in their new renovated theater with the fully reclining chairs! IT WAS AWESOME!!! We saw the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid moving... which was also AWESOME! Haylee and Trent settled right in and loved it.
These seats were perfect because Laycee is a bit antsy so she could move around a lot!
Here is the birthday man relaxin with popcorn and Reeces
After the movie we did some needed shopping and just did some fun hanging out. We tried Panera Bread for the first time. We came home to actually do a bit of work and got Dave's birthday cake ready. Laycee dropped the candle, so he didn't really get 32 lol.
We sang happy birthday
And he spent almost 5 minutes blowing out relighting candles.
For his birthday, we bought him two new games called Castle Panic and Munchkin. We spent the remainder of the night playing Castle Panic. Another great year has passed. Happy Birthday Dave!!!!!!