Saturday, March 11, 2017

California 2017

We flew to California last month in order to attend Grandma Howard's 90th birthday party.   Ahmma & Dumpa hosted the party at their house.  Dumpa did a huge, underground pit barbecue, and it was quite the spectacle to watch him bury and uncover the meat.  The night we arrived, we sat through an unprecedented storm which brought heavy rainfall, wind and wide-spread flooding, and wondered if the tents and heaters on the patio would survive.  The small tent covering the pit barbecue got pummeled.  However, despite the cool weather the party was a huge success with over 100 people in attendance.  LuAnn even rented a bouncy house for all the kids.  The next morning we drove up to Apple Valley in order to attend Alan & Cassie's church, Ekklesia HD and to spend more time together with Benji's siblings and their families.  McKinley & Piper couldn't wait to have a slumber party with Lizzie & Abby!  The entire crew also joined us for our day-trip to Disneyland.  We enjoyed the Main Street Electrical Parade, thanks to Ahmma & Dumpa who saved us some prime real estate on the parade route almost an hour in advance.  The girls loved all the major roller coasters, while Tessa and I hit up the Peter Pan and Winnie the Pooh rides.  Overall, a wonderful week in Southern California!

Running along the Mojave River, one of the only rivers in the United States that flows backwards and underground.

Playing a little b-ball in Alan & Cassie's backyard.

We had an impromptu birthday celebration for Benjer & Silas who had February birthdays.

Howard cousins in age order.

Feeding the fish at the fish hatchery.

Luke was our driver for Autotopia. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

My Funny Valentines

We did a little photo sesh. before I took my girls on a surprise, Valentine's lunch date.  Each girl wore a dress from the Sonya Campoamor Classic Couture Collection.  Looking at these photos, Tessa definitely isn't lacking in personality.  What a ham!  I took them to Rose's Bakery and Cafe in Sherwood where they are famous for their multi-layered cakes and confections.   We shared a slice of their Marionberry Dream cake, and it was dreamy!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

McKinley's Seventh Birthday

We wanted to give McKinley a day she would remember, so we had a few surprises planned.  The first one being an early, morning wake-up call in order to beat the traffic enroute to the Dragonfly Cafe in Welches, OR.  She had requested biscuits and gravy for breakfast, and the Dragonfly Cafe did not disappoint!  We also ordered some blueberry pancakes and eggs benedict to share, and everything was super yummy and home made from scratch.  The biggest surprise was sledding at Mt. Hood.  After breakfast we drove to Government Camp and settled on inner-tubing at the Summit Ski Area.  We had a blast, especially when we all held on to each other's tubes and went down the hill together. Back at home she opened some presents, and Dadda immediately began reading the instructions for Settlers of Catan Junior, her gift from Ahmma & Dumpa, so that we could play before dinner.  Dinner was ribs from Storr's with Velvet mac-n-cheese, tater tots and broccoli, also one of her requests.  Then we capped off the day with a discount "Happy Holiday" ice cream cake from Dairy Queen.