Friday, October 28, 2011

Our summer trip to AZ

At the end of July we drove to AZ (I know probably the worst time of year to go), but it was worth it to spend time with family and friends.  When we first got there, all my family met at the temple to try to take a few family pictures. You know this crazy crew above, but this much better behaved good looking family below is my brother Aaron's family.

Man I love these kiddos!!!

The ladies.  I swear my mom almost looks younger than I do.

Sneaking a kiss in front of the place where it all began - the Mesa temple.

We also got to go up and spend a few days in my parent's Prescott house (where it's much cooler).  Here's the kids and some of their Butler cousins.

They all painted a rock to dress up the drive way.

McKinley decided to paint Gramma Suzie instead :)

Silly time with Grandad (which happens a lot!!)

This house is also dubbed "The Tree House" - can you see why?

Don't mess with this crew....they're dangerous with their cute hats & straw "guns" ;)!!

Can't pass up an opportunity to snuggle with Gramma & a book.

My littles & my friend's Kristen girls, all close in age.  Admiring the pool on a hot, hot day.

There is this great little dinner theater just down the street from my parent's house.  Cinderella was showing, so I went on a date with Lexi & Tyler and my friend Kristen & her daughter Maddy.

TJ with some of the courtsmen

Having a grand ol' time.


Such a pretty mother/ daughter pair!!

Waiting for the show to start.

While in AZ, we had a lot of opportunity to play in the water.  One day, Kristen & I took the kids to this great spray park.  There were these water guns that Tyler had a blast with for sure!

This picture turned out pretty cool with Colton's blue eyes.

Lexi was really great about taking care of McKinley while we were there.

My little beauties.  I LOVE McKinley's bumble bee suit.

We also spent a lot of hours in my parent's pool.  But one of the neatest things we did was take Lexi, Tyler & Colton along with my brothers family & my dad to Sunsplash (a huge water park in Mesa).  Nate & I had both been to this waterpark countless times as youth, but it's changed so much since we've last been there.  They had some crazy scary things now & the best part - Lexi & Tyler did ALL of them, even the one I was too chicken to go on.  They had like a toilet bowl slide we all went on individually without a raft, where after a long steep slide down you go around & around like being flushed. Then eventually drop through the hole in the middle into a deep pool (usually VERY disoriented).  There was also a raft slide that looked like a huge taco shell, where you basically drop straight down, then with the momentum go up the other side.  I was so proud of my kids.  Even Colton went on a few scary slides with Nate.  I wish I was able to get pictures, but it's not very smart to tote around a camera on water slides :) 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

July 2011

 This year we celebrated 4th of July with some friends at a nice backyard BBQ.

What's July 4th without juicy watermelon?

 And a big messy cookie?  Live it up, Kinners!!

Summer swimming lessons.  What a look, Tyler!

This year was Colton's first to take swimming lessons.  I love to see all his little classmates in a row.

Those monkeys had so much fun!

I was never able to get a great shot of Lexi, but she improved a lot this go around!

Here's my little buddy just kickin' back watching big sister & brothers having fun in the water.  As long as she had a continuous supply of snacks, she was good :)

 Wrestling = brotherly love!

Getting our feet wet at the fountain at America the Beautiful park.

So McKinley had several "boo-boo" moments and they all happened to be within a few days.  I caught her with some of the funniest expressions while showing off her war wounds.

OK, this next one makes me laugh so hard, because she looks so pitiful & disheveled, complete with crazy hair & food on her face.  Yet she's still so stinkin' cute ( I think)!

 Hahahahaha - love the drool, but not the black eye.  Poor thing!

We also had my cousin's family come for a quick visit on July.  It was so crazy to see how BIG all her kids are now.  We took a tour of Cave of the Winds in Manitou Springs together & had a ball.  Here's the view from the top.  Our three year olds gaging the distance to the ground - yikes!

 Love our city!!

Watch your head!  One of my cousin's sons who is very tall had to do a whole lotta ducking.

 Tyler & David became good buddies real fast.  So cute!

 Some of the really cool stalagmites & stalactites underground!

No, you don't have double vision - they're twins and I think they might be the most polite 16 yr. old boys I've ever met!!  McKinley had them wrapped around her little fingers :)
It was so great spend time with them!  It'd had been a long time since we were able to catch up.

June 2011

June was a great month full of family and friends!! At the beginning we took a trip to Utah to see the Lincoln side of the family.  Above our kids are having a grand time playing with cousins as they're setting off rockets in the field.
We celebrated Nate's dad & niece Ryan's birthday with a little cookout in the backyard.  What says happy birthday better than s'mores?

While we were there, Nate & I got to escape for an overnight getaway.  We went to the Anniversary Inn in Salt Lake and it was so much fun!  They have all different themed rooms from Egypt to Swiss Family Robinson complete with a bed in a tree etc.  We ended up in the Cape Cod lighthouse room, but we were able to tour almost all the other ones.  We definitely want to go again.
Here was a our yummy breakfast!
The fun light house (w/ circular bed inside) in our room.
We spent a little time exploring downtown SLC and came upon some STRANGE things...

We also got to take a carriage ride around temple square.  The whole 24 hours were so relaxing, thanks to Mom & Dad Lincoln who babysat for us :)

Then the whole Lincoln crew went bowling together.
The kiddos give it a go...

McKinley & her cousin Disney were content watching with the mommas.

I love this picture!  Disney's so excited and McKinley almost looks like she's rolling her eyes.  We soon found out she was running a fever that day & totally not herself.

Tyler & Ella - so cute you know they're up to something ;)

Lexi & Ryan posing after they had put on a play for us.

Fun in the sprinklers.... so fun!  Atleast for the moment....

Seconds later these two collided & it ended with a couple fat bloody lips  :(

Saratoga Springs and surrounding communities have this nice parade every year.  Here are Lexi & Tyler waving to Smoky the Bear.  I love the mountains in the distance.

Colton enjoying the parade, with our niece Kylie in the background leading her band as drum major.

The older kids even got to take a spin on Grandpa's sail boat.

With daddy too.  (Love the lake with the snow-capped mountains)

We also took Lexi & Tyler to a Mormon Taberncale Choir Rehearsal at the conference center.  Looooved it!  I was able to visit with a friend in the choir afterwards (despite all the crazy security).

Beautiful SLC temple lit up at night.
Overall it was a wonderful trip to Utah, full of lots of great times & memories with family.

Later in the month we got a turn with some of the Butler side of the family.  My parents & best friend both visited, coincidentally arriving on the same day. Here the kids are having some much needed Gramma & Grandad time!

Here's McKinley with my best friend's daughter Ally, 6 months apart in age.

Cuddle time with Auntie Kristen!  She & her daughter were only able to stay for part of a day, but we'll take it!

 We had a few days with my parents and filled it up with lots of fun stuff like swimming and local festivals etc.  Always love to have family come to our neck of the woods :)
Yay for Gramma!

McKinley's classic cheeseball grin.  Can't get enough.....!!!