Monthly Archives: August 2013

Raine’s first day of kindergarten

Raine has been excitedly anticipating the start of kindergarten for at least six months, so when the big day finally arrived she was ready to get going.


Mom, on the other hand, was not as prepared. I turned on the camera to take this picture of Raine outside her school and realized that the battery was dead. Fortunately, I brought a second camera and so was able to get a picture before she lost all patience and headed to class.

Once inside, she sat right down and got to work storing her new school supplies in the table-caddy. I stood there trying to get the settings right on the back-up camera in order to take a photo with Mrs. Boegner. But alas, this was all I got before it was time for parents to get out so they could get down to the business of kindergarten.


Raine is going to love kindergarten. I have no doubt that we made the right decision in starting her a year earlier at a private school. It will be fun to see her learn and be challenged academically this year!

Daddy’s 36th birthday

We celebrated Daddy’s birthday a couple days early, while Grandma and Grandpa were here. Unfortunately, I did a terrible job of photographing the event and these are the only good ones I got. I guess we were just having too much fun to capture in pixels!





Grandma/pa Dewey’s quick visit

Grandma and Grandpa (aka Elder and Sister) Dewey came for a quick visit this weekend to see Daddy sustained as the new bishop of our ward.


Between school shopping, kindergarten open house, and Daddy working all weekend, we didn’t have a whole lot of time for fun, but we managed to squeeze in a trip to the American Airlines Museum on Friday.


The kids loved the legos.



This is the lego car that Carter made. He put it in front of the green screen, took a photo, selected a background scene, and gave it a name. Then it emailed the photo to us. Pretty neat!


Carter was asleep when Grandma and Grandpa left but Raine was there to say good-bye.


It was a quick trip, but we were happy to have them come!

Raine’s loosing teeth

Raine lost her first tooth August 7.


That night, she left it for the tooth fairy on a shelf above her pillow and awoke to find THREE dollars in its place!


The tooth fairy has since learned that, although inflation has increased the value of teeth from the 75 cents she received as a kid, it has not increased to three dollars. In her defense, the tooth fairy inadvertently fell asleep prior to making the exchange and was a little out-of-it when she jerked awake at 5:00 am fearing that she would fail her first opportunity to serve in this role. She was also feeling a little generous since this tooth saved the fairy $149 — the price quoted by the dentist to pull it out at 8:30 am that very morning, August 8.

Instead, the dentist just pulled Raine’s other bottom-front tooth for half the original quoted price! (You can see the permanent tooth half grown-in there behind the first one, that is why the extraction was scheduled for both teeth.) The tooth fairy’s dear husband took care of the exchange of the second tooth and again left three dollars, so we may now be locked into that rate . . . we’ll see how well she remembers when it comes time to do it again.

Hopefully Raine won’t be loosing too many more teeth anytime soon. Four-years-old is quite young to be loosing baby teeth — the pediatric dentist we went to said this was definitely one of the earliest he has seen. I think Raine just wants to make sure she fits-in when she starts Kindergarten next week!

Here are those two bottom teeth first coming in on March 20, 2009:


Northern California – Days 7 – 8

We spent Tuesday sight-seeing in San Francisco. It all started with a Duck tour.


The captain told us to blow our wacky quackers at everybody we passed; Raine took it to heart and was quacking just about the entire time we drove through the streets!


We passed all the must-see landmarks in town and our driver had all sorts of interesting stories about them. It was a really fun way to see the city — weaving through traffic in our big ‘ole amphibious vehicle! Here is a random assortment of photos from the tour:

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park


Two America’s Cup boats out for a practice run in the bay




Dewey Monument in Union Square


AT&T Park from McCovey Cove


Raine took a turn driving the “boat” around a couple giant ships.


Bay Bridge


After our tour we had lunch at Fisherman’s Wharf and then continued down Jefferson St.


We walked out the Hyde Street Pier to see the ships at the National Park.



Then for the real reason we came to San Francisco!


Our tour captain told us how to make the most of our visit to Ghirardelli Square by visiting each of the stores, thus maximizing the number of free squares you receive — brilliant!! We stopped for a little ice cream too.




What a tasty place!


After satisfying our need for chocolate, we headed back down to Pier 39.


First stop: the sea lions.


Carter loved watching the sea lions play “King of the Mountain” and push each other into the water.


Next stop: the carousel.



We took in the view from the end of the pier . . .


. . . and played on the hitching posts until Carter fell asleep.


Daddy carried Carter as he snoozed through our souvenir shopping. Then, we made our way back to the car, via the Boudin bakery. We decided to drive to a few more sights; the first destination was Lombard Street. As our tour captain said, this street used to be the most crooked street in America, however, it was recently surpassed by Wall Street!! Ha ha ha!


Next we headed up Telegraph Hill to the Coit Tower. Here is a view of Lombard St from the top of the hill.


Raine in front of Coit Tower


Alcatraz from Telegraph Hill


Wednesday we packed up, played some ball at the hotel, and flew home.


What a GREAT vacation!

Northern California – Days 5 – 6

Sunday and Monday there wasn’t a whole lot going on. After church we just hung around the house.

The kids performed their “show” for us. They had been working on it for days. If you asked Raine, it was a mermaid show; if you asked Logan, it was a ninja show. Carter and Carson were the dogs, of course.


Carter and Addy eating popcorn.


This little doll was my best friend. She would climb on my lap and want to play with whatever “toy” I had in my hands — especially the camera.


Aunt Sara


Monday morning we packed up while the kids played. At some point, Raine took the camera upstairs to capture some photos of the cousins. They were mostly extreme close-ups!





The whole group, one last time before we parted.


We headed south, back through the redwoods and the Avenue of the Giants, to San Francisco.




Northern California – Day 4

Saturday was our beach day.


We made our way to College Cove at low tide and set out to explore the tide pools.


Aunt Sara, Logan, and Raine found all sorts of fun creatures hidden among the rocks — sea shells, sea anemones, crabs, and . . .


sea stars!




Carter liked throwing rocks. It was Daddy’s job to make sure he didn’t fall in while he was doing it!



Once the tide started coming back in we headed back to the beach to play — although, not before a big wave came up and soaked us!


It’s not hard to tell who’s from hot Texas and who’s from cool Oregon!


Before we started back up the hill to our car, we stopped at a little tree swing to give everyone a turn to swing.



We drove into Eureka with the intent of going crab fishing, but it didn’t pan out so we took in some of the sights instead, like the Carson Mansion:


At Eureka Bay we watched the seals pop their heads out of the water.


We even came across a turkey out for a stroll.


Northern California is a really “interesting” place. The people are . . . well . . . earthy! Everything in the stores is organic and sustainably grown. We’ve seen more dreadlocks in our few days here than I’ve seen in my entire life. Not to mention the incredible number of drifters making their way around the area with all their earthly possessions on their backs. There is certainly no shortage of people roaming the streets as high as a kite. On our way back from the forest the other day we passed a pipe circle on the side of the freeway. There were no visible cars, bikes or other modes of transportation, just several individuals sitting in a circle in the grass along the freeway, in the middle of the forest, passing around something that I suspect was less than legal. Yes, it is definitely a different world up here.

Northern California – Day 3

Friday morning the kids awoke to find their cousins had arrived during the night. (Actually, it wasn’t a surprise to Raine. She woke up at 2:00 am, when they arrived, and talked off Uncle Daryn’s ear for a good 15 minutes before I was awake enough to realize that that little voice I was hearing belonged to Raine!)

After breakfast, we drove into Redwood National Park. Our first stop was the Lady Bird Johnson Grove trail.

Logan, Carson, Carter, & Raine

Hiking buddies.


Many of the trees were hollowed out by fire, they looked like little tree houses ready for exploring.


It is impossible to capture the enormity of these trees . . . but I tried. Here is another photo-stitched panorama of the trees.


After our hike, we drove up the road to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Along the way, we saw a herd of Roosevelt Elk eating lunch on the side of the road.



We had lunch on Gold Bluff Beach, right next to another herd of elk.


Our next hike took us into Fern Canyon. It was AMAZING!


We hiked along the creek bed, surrounded by 30-foot walls of lush green ferns.



The little creek was full of fish fry.


The hike was a bit challenging for our little ones. We were constantly crossing the creek and scaling giant fallen tree trunks. The kids loved it (and no one fell in) but eventually we got stopped by a series of fallen trees that we couldn’t quite conquer and decided to turn around. It was a beautiful hike!



On our way back down to Arcata, we stopped at Patrick’s Point State Park. The fog was rolling in and it made for quite the ambiance as the waves crashed against the jagged rocks below.




Uncle Daryn, Logan, Aunt Sara, Adelyn, Raine, Carson, Daddy, Carter, Momma

I love this shot. There is a little orange sea star clinging to the rock.


We stopped for dinner at a little restaurant in Trinidad and had some delicious clam chowder and fish and chips. Then the kids proceeded to play at the house until almost 11:00 when we finally made them go to bed! I don’t know how Raine and Carter stayed up that late, it was well after mid-night in Texas.

Northern California — Days 1 – 2

July 24 – 31 was our family vacation to Northern California. We had been looking forward to this trip for months. When the day finally arrived, we excitedly boarded the plane and flew off to sunny San Francisco.


The first two days were mainly travel days. After landing, we picked up our rental car and headed north.


We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge . . .


. . . and then headed out to the Pacific Coast Highway.


The views were stunning.


It was a little cooler than when we left Texas!


As we drove toward our hotel in Sebastopol, we stopped to pick some of the blackberries that were growing like weedsĀ along the side of the road. They were delicious!


The city map provided by the hotel listed a “super playground” in the city park, so the next morning we stopped on our way out of town.




After burning off a little energy, we hopped on the 101 and headed north through the vineyards, into the redwoods. Raine told us before we left that she wanted to drive through a tree, so we stopped at Drive-Thru Tree Park to fulfill that wish.


This tree was gigantic. I had to take three photos of it and then stitch them together in order to capture all of it. The sign says it is 315 feet tall by 21 feet wide with a maximum age of 2400 years.


The opening is six-feet wide by six-feet nine-inches tall. Our small SUV barely fit through the opening. Raine loved it! She stuck her hand out the window and touched the tree while we were driving through.


There were plenty of trees to climb on as we hiked around the area.





After leaving, we hopped back on the Redwood Highway and drove along the Avenue of the Giants . . . it was spectacular, but impossible to capture with a photo.