Sunday, August 31, 2014


We got off to a super early start with a flight shortly after 6:00 AM, which meant leaving home at 4:00 AM.  It also meant we got a spectacular view of some of the beautiful volcanoes and the Columbia and ships lining up in the Columbia River.

As always, Cincinnati welcomed us with a beautiful view of the skyline!

We had a quiet Sunday afternoon doing activities like Claire and Jacob playing on a little musical instrument

and Jacob and Liam taking in some classic Living Scriptures Book of Mormon stories.

Papa and Jacob spent some time going through Papa's coin collection.  Jacob was really interested in all of the variety of coins and got to take home some coins for his own collection.

Pac Man and Galaga got lots of action throughout the week - almost always with an audience, and quite frequently, with all 4 kids huddled around the screen!

The kids did pry themselves away from the arcade and played some pool for a while.  

The kids loved playing with Nana's toys.  While not in the pool, they spent lots of time playing with trains in the room under the stairs, playing with dolls or cars, or having epic battles pirate versus the castle and knights battles with Little People.  Kate found an awesome and bright costume that she wore regularly throughout the week.  She also wore that grin the entire time!

One night, Jacob and Claire decided to have a sleepover in the little room under the stairs.

We took a trip to Weller Park to play in the park.  Kate made a little friend that she referred to for the rest of the week as her great friend.  Nana took Liam onto the teeter totter

and soon all of the other kids and Papa joined in!  We also got a fun picture of Nana on the swings!

Torin has slept in the same room as Dani and I for the first almost 3 months of his life  - probably longer than the rest of the kids combined - in part because of vacations and guests coming to visit and also in part because he's such a quiet and easy sleeper.  When we get home, he will get to be in his own room!  One night, he clearly didn't feel like sleeping but was being very cute and sweet.

Torin really enjoyed playing with Nana's baby toys.  He loved laying under the toys and trying to bat at the balls and at Pluto and Donald.  He would be very cute and play for a while and just fall asleep.

Jacob challenged Dani to a game of chess during one sunscreening break.

Every night, everyone gathered around Nana for book time.  It was cute to watch them all cuddled around for some calm book time.

What we spent the most time doing at Nana's house was swimming in the pool!  The kids spent a lot of time in the hot tub (which was the same temperature as the rest of the pool), filling up buckets and playing make believe.  Jacob, Jared, and Papa spent lots of time throwing footballs and jumping off the diving board.

It took Kate and Liam a little time to get accustomed to their life jackets, but before long, they were both cruising around the pool.  Once we got Liam upright, he liked having a water gun like a pontoon to keep him upright.  Eventually, he was able to swim without it.

They also both loved their stylish eye wear!

Dani's favorite times were the times she was able to lay on a float calmly and just relax.

Torin wore the same swimming suit that Jacob and Liam had when they were little, and he filled it out completely!  He was pretty easygoing, as usual, both in the water and out of the water waiting to get in.

On Wednesday night, we went to a Reds game!

After 11 pitches (and a Cubs home run!), it started raining really hard and the game was suspended for nearly 40 minutes!  We hung out near the top of the stairs putting off getting something to eat as long as possible, realizing that food was the best way to keep kids interested and in their seats!

We even met Mr. Redlegs and got a picture with him (Kate helped me take the picture rather than standing next to Mr. Redlegs).

We had great seats near first base.  Kate and Liam spent a lot of time asking about when the fireworks were going to happen.  Unfortunately, they never did happen as the Reds didn't even score a run.  Fortunately, the smokestacks were lit up a number of times with fire as the Reds pitchers got lots of strikeouts.  We stayed for almost the entire game (which was pretty long, even without the rain delay!), and everyone had a great time!

One night, we decided to watch the 2nd Harry Potter movie with Jacob and Claire, since we had recently finished listening to the book.  Liam was having a hard time staying in bed and kept creeping into the kitchen and standing and watching from a distance.  After 6 times each of bringing him back to his bed, the parents finally gave up.  Nana got a chair for him to watch, and then eventually sat with him on the couch.  We're not sure what he thought, but he stayed awake the entire time!

On Friday, we went to Kings Island.   The very first stop for the group was going to the Banshee, KI's new inverted roller coaster.  Jacob was just barely tall enough to ride, so the boys all went on it for the first ride of the day.  Jacob LOVED it, even with its 7 upside down times!

Claire joined the boys for a tour of roller coasters.  She had opinions on all of them: Top Gun was too fast; the Racer was too fast and had too big of a hill; Adventure Express was too loud; and Backlot Stunt Coaster was too hot (the fire part) and too dark in the tunnel.  I think that the Woodstock Express was just right for Claire!

Meanwhile, the littles made their way to kiddie land, where they enjoyed flying airplanes, riding trains and trucks, shooting ghosts, and driving cars.  

Kate and Liam especially loved riding the little bugs ride - until Kate's hat flew off and was run over repeatedly!

After we met back up and had blue ice cream (after waiting for the longest line in the park - on the kiddie coaster!), we did some other rides as a family.  Jacob and daddy stayed and rode a few more big rides, including the Beast, the Vortex (twice in a row), drop zone, the Banshee again, and Delerium, before heading home.  It was an awesome day at Kings Island!

We got to see and swim with Trevor and Trisha and try to convince them to move to Portland.  Jared also golfed with Trevor, Andrew, and Papa.  It wasn't pretty, but it was a lot of fun!

We also got to see the Forbes and Goldies and hear them try to convince us to come back to Cincinnati!  We planned to have a swim party, but Mother Nature didn't cooperate, but we had a fun time chatting inside for a long time.

Before leaving, all the kids spent some time jumping on the rain-soaked trampoline.

It has been so much fun to spend a week at Nana and Papa's house!

This group was a fun travel group.  We always get a lot of attention with our large group in the terminal and as we get on and off the plane - we had 2 strollers, 2 large car seats, backpacks on the double stroller, and Jacob and Claire with their backpacks.  

On one flight, it was obvious that a person in the row in front of us wasn't thrilled to have our group right behind, but at the end of the flight, complimented our kids good behavior.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Disc Golf

We didn't quite finish the second Harry Potter book, and Jared wanted to play disc golf, so he found a great solution - a little longer of a drive out to the prettiest disc golf course in the city in Pier Park so that we could listen to the book on the way out!

Torin looked so tiny in the double jogging stroller, but he was apparently quite comfortable!