Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fun with the Butlers

For about 3 weeks in a row in July we were lucky enough to have friends and family come to visit.  It's always a treat to have Gramma & Grandad Butler stay and play with us :)  There were a lot of books read...
Parks visited....

and "Piggy back" rides :) I love that my parents are still kids at heart!
On July 4th, after a lovely breakfast at our church, we came home and daddy set up the ghetto slip and slide.  Water + soap + an old tarp = tons of fun!!

Don't forget the bubbles!
Then we were all tuckered out...
but not too tired to get into a lot of mischief when mom and dad thought I was sleeping.  Kinners got into Lexi's lip gloss and had a hay-day :)
We then took a drive to check out some of the damage that had been caused by the Waldo Canyon Fire that happened the previous week in Colorado Springs.  We found a lot of wildlife that had been dispalced from their homes, like these darling deer.
This next picture I post with hesitation because witnessing some of this horrible destruction was so  devastating and humbling, but I wanted to show just a glimpse of what hundreds of homes looked like after the fire.   There's just nothing left but skeletons of cars and rubble etc.  It was so strange how there would be a dozen homes destroyed and then one in the middle of them all would be  untouched.  Or the opposite would happen, where all the homes on one street were fine and among them one would randomly be destroyed.  It made us all stop and think of how blessed  we were for all we had and that we were all safe.  It was also a good lesson for the kids to see what they have to be thankful for and how we can be more charitable and help those in need.  It gave them a visual when we prayed for all the families affected by the fire.

Another day we took my parents to the Cliff Dwelings in Manitou Springs which was a place we'd always wanted to check out but never have.  It was a small place, but really fascinating to see how these people lived and how much smaller they must have been :)

Gramma & Grandad & Lexi
 The whole fam
While we were there Gramma picked up a little souvenir.  It really suits her don't you think?

A view of most of the dwellings
There was also a tee-pee there, so our kids were so excited to say they've been in a tee-pee.  This picture cracks me up because apparently they all went in there to meditate.  Check out Colton & Lexi - ha! (or should I say "Omm")

A week or so later, my brother Aaron and his family came for a visit.  Although they weren't able to stay nearly long enough, it was so great to have them here.  We went on walks, the girls & I did some shopping (can't complain about that).  There was playing in the park, firing off rockets, games etc.  We also took them to the penny arcade in Manitou with the antique arcade games.  Some of the best moments, though, were spent just hanging out at home. 
I love this picture of Aaron & Colton bonding over legos. 
Kymble & Kinners are twinners - kinda.  They're both super cute!
Playing at the park, waiting for daddy to launch the rocket.

The Birds

Yay!!  Our great friends the Birds came for a visit this summer.  It's been a couple years since we saw them last.  Nate & Morris used to be roommates in college.  We also got married within a week of each other and lived in the same apartment complex for a year or so.  So many of our favorite memories in our early years of marriage were with Morris & Malea.  Since we moved to Colorado and they to California we haven't been able to see each other very often, but it's so neat when we do get together to just pick up where we left off.  We both have four kids now and they're all somewhat similar ages, so our kids had a BLAST together!
We thought it would be fun to take them to the penny arcade in Manitou Springs, which has such a vast collection of antique and vintage arcade games.  There are some games from as early as 1910 all the way up to modern day.  Our favorites are pac-man and the derby where all of us can play at once, and of course the hundreds of kiddie rides.

Gotta love her face!
We also took them to the Olympic training center to look around.  I think there was an excitement there with the summer olympics about to begin. 

I think some of the most fun the kids had was diggin' in the dirt!  Covered in dirt, eating watermelon - now that's what summer is all about!
We were able to capture some awesome shots of the kids.  First, the nice one...
then the silly shots.  There were so many great ones, it was hard to choose.
Too much fun!!!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

May & June 2012

 Nate & I were feeling a little "Wicked" that night in May.....
 That is such a fun show!! The funny thing about it was that I bought tickets for Nate for Christmas as a surprise and he apparently had the same idea and bought tickets for me as a surprise.  Great minds think a like.  It wasn't hard to sell our extra pair of tickets once we found out, though.  This was my second time going and Nate's first.  He wasn't disappointed.
 Cutest little bumble bee around...
 Future rock star!  Man, Colton looks like such a big kid here.
 What's more fun than running in the sprinklers in the summer?
 ... and mowing a lawn with daddy?

 ... and soccer camp? :)
 Lexi and Tyler both improved a lot with this soccer camp.  They had many collegiate players as coaches.  I was really impressed with how they ran it.
Nate's parents and our niece Kennedy were able to come out and visit for a few days when Nathan was called as bishop (leader of our congregation at church).  It was really great to have them here.  McKinley took to Kenneddy quite nicely!
A friend at church came up with the brilliant idea to have a daddy-daughter ball in June.  Lexi was so excited to dress up in her fanciest dress and go on a date with dad!

On my birthday, another generous friend offered to watch our kids so Nate and I could go out.  While we were out, our friend had the kids "help" her make a cupcake bouquet for me.  So sweet!!  As you can see they were A LOT of help :)
This summer we decided to become members at a community pool instead of doing swim lessons for the kids.  It has been so great!  There's a full size pool and a little kiddie pool.  All the kids have gotten sooo much better at/ more comfortable with swimming.  It's been a fun family activity , especially when we grilled up something yummy and had dinner there.  It's been really nice that we have some friends that were also members so the kids always had someone to play with.  I think we made a great decision.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Colton-ator has turned 4!!

 Mr. C has turned 4 and he also got to have a party with friends this year.  I bet you have no idea what his theme's really subtle :) 
Colton never ceases to amaze me.  He's such a strong, manly-boy, but he's my biggest cuddle bug.  He's very tender- hearted and continues to have such a great attitude when it comes to his dietary restrictions.  Possibly my favorite thing about Colton is his awesome sense of humor.  He truly cracks us all up, he's like a miniature Chris Farley (with much better moral character) in his mannerisms etc.
 With gluten-free cake, so far it seems you're a little limited in size and shape.  It's much denser, so you can usually only get one small round or maybe a small square pan, but for a spiderman head it worked great!
 I made some regular cupcakes for those that might not be brave enough to try the GF cake.
 Had to transform the house with a few spider webs etc.

 We played a musical chairs type game with a spiderweb spray-painted on the lawn
 Watch out!  Colton's got a weapon (everything is a weapon to Colton) and he let loose.
 The loot :)
 He thoroughly enjoyed all the great gifts his friends gave him!

 Here's the quieter, just-family celebration:
 These two really are great buddies.  They love to play together and apparently don't mind snuggling either.  These pictures melt my heart a little....