APRIL 2014

This time one year ago I started blogging personal posts for the first time, and have been doing a pretty good job at keeping up {besides the last four months, which have somehow evaded me!} This month I decided to get back on track. Those of you who know me, know that I take a lot of pictures… but if I don’t “document” our memories as they happen, I forget them so fast! I thought April was a really “slow” month, until I looked back through my photos, and realized we actually did quite a few fun things! I do feel bad for cramming them, yet again, into one giant post though!

SPRING BREAK & SLEEPOVERS 
The start of April began with our first ever cousin sleep-over during our first ever Spring break! Grandma Daneen and I took turns to have the boys for one day and night, and then swapped the girls for the next. I was determined to become the “favorite aunt” so I planned tons of fun things for them to do! We stayed up late playing Mario and eating cookie-dough with Braden and Delson. The next day I took them to visit a farm close by. A good friend of mine owns cows, dogs, kitties, horses, Guinea Pigs, and tons of animals! Braden is the biggest animal lover of any one I have ever met, and he and his cousin, Delson had a LOT of fun there! After we went to the park in Desert Aire to play on the swings and slides… but the boys were more interested in playing in the dirt, rolling down hills, climbing trees and catching bugs! We took them out to lunch with Uncle Dean, got them some candy–then dropped them off at Grandma’s. After a late night of little sleep and running around with those crazy, high-energy boys, I was pretty darn tired {and slightly relieved!}

8 copy3 copy5 copy 7 copy 001 copy 9 copy delson copy004 copy 12 copycollage02 copy boys copyBest picture of Braden… EVER! 008 copy…Followed by this one:
DSC03546 copy

THE GIRLS
I was SO glad to have the girls second! After the dirt and bugs and mess and chaos, the girls came with a welcome relief of calm, and quiet and sweet and clean! We did hair and make up, played dress up, put sparkles on, and painted nails. Then we drove to a beautiful place close by to do a cute little photoshoot–I thought it would be fun for them to have a picture together for their rooms. After, Kambria wanted to play {and since I was playing for “favorite aunt” I pretty much just let her do whatever she wanted!} But Gemma wanted to keep taking pictures! I was amazed–the girl who always runs away and hides, or pulls weird faces for my camera, was now perfectly posing in front of it, and I was loving every minute! 

girlscollage copygemmabear2gem01 g+k1The girls had fun making necklaces while singing songs from frozen, coloring pictures and playing barbies together and eating chocolate cookie dough! We went to the store and got candy and played at the park {although at this point I was all pictured out!} The girls were so much fun, and well-behaved! I wore them out so they would sleep well that night… but i’m pretty sure I slept better!

girls00435 copy girls04 copy girls1 copy
VANCOUVER, BC
The next day we left for Vancouver, BC. My husband went to a potato expo up there, so my inlaws took me and the kids to meet up with him. It was a full day of travel by boat across the sound. We were really hoping to spot some more killer whales, but we saw a lot of cool things besides them–dolphins, seals, bald eagles, and sea lions. The pacific Northwest is beautiful!

We left the sunshine behind in Mattawa and arrived in gloomy, rainy Vancouver. {Back in Mattawa we get around seven inches of rainfall a year so my kids were really excited to be in it}– jumping in every puddle they came across and using umbrella’s for the first time ever!

can1 copycanada032 copyumb1 copy umb2 copy umb3278 copy umb0231 copy The port we stayed at in Vancouver was pretty unique, because it was right in the heart of the city, and there was so much to do and see close by! That night we walked up to an awesome, authentic Japanese restaurant, where my father in law had a really delicious looking curry! Haha. {Inside joke}. Then my hubby and I went to see Captain America 2 on opening night. We wore our Captain America T-shirts! Ok. not really, but I think we were the only ones there who didn’t. It was really fun walking hand in hand through the rainy city late at night on a date with my handsome hubby! It was definitely a highlight of the trip.

rest copy gpa32 copy The next day, my Father in law joined my hubby at the expo, and my mother in law and I took the kids to the Vancouver Aquarium, which was only a short walk away. It was by far, the BIGGEST, best aquarium I have ever been to! It was pretty amazing–and the kids of course, loved it! {Especially Braden who is obsessed with Jelly fish–and discovered a new found obsession with frogs!}
jellies3 copyjellies03 copyjellies copy snake copy baben copy frog copy pen03 copy braden007 copy
This little otter was playing with us! The kids loved him, but I think I loved him even more. otter copy gem21 copyWe might not have spotted any whales in the sound, but they had whales at the aquarium, which for me were the highlight. I don’t think I have ever seen a Beluga in person before, but we watched one being trained, and they were so smart, and so cool! I loved listening to it. We also saw sharks and dolphins and giant turtles. If you love aquariums–this one is a MUST see. They say it’s the best in the whole of Canada.

bw004 copy bw copy
We had some delicious Canadian poutine for lunch, then walked down to the famous Stanley Park!

us copyWe went on a little horse and carriage ride around the park, learning about some of the history and culture of Vancouver along the way. It really is a gorgeous city!
can09 copy can8 copy
can13 copy
{The horses were taking power naps on each other during stops}. can6 copy horses copyHere we are riding {with extra blankets}, it was FREEZING!! 
cart copy
The Nine Totem Poles at Brockton Point {B.C’s most visited tourist attraction!}
totemcollage copybabencollage-2 copygoose copy
can1 copycan2 copypark329 copy Gemma was wiped out, and fell asleep on Grandma on the ride, so we were worried about them walking all the way back to the boat. Then out of nowhere, they both picked up their energy, and it was US who was trying to keep up with them! Braden would run alongside runners in the park, and they thought he was pretty funny.
runner01 copyJust in case I don’t have enough photos of Gemma riding on daddy’s shoulders! ;-) Haha. That night we met up with Dean and my father in law, and explored a little more of the city. We stumbled upon an awesome little italian joint for dinner that had books all over the place!
canada32 copycity copyWe left early the next morning for Roche Harbor.
lh1 r312i baldeagel320 seals2 sji copy seals1 copy
ROCHE HARBOR
We stayed at Roche Harbor at the peak of last summer, when it was hot, bustling with crowds, and buzzing with music from live bands. Now it was cold, wet and pretty desolate, with few people to be seen, and not much open, or happening! We walked around, played in the rain and jumped in puddles, visited a couple of stores, and played a game of bowls near lime kiln point. We spotted a cute little otter running around on deck, and Braden and I ran along in our bare feet in the rain chasing it as far as we could before it disappeared somewhere in the sound.

harb21 copy deano copy20 copysplashy copypuddlecollgae0032 copy
3y2187 brolly1
We watched general conference in a boat in the middle of the puget sound! It was cosy, and relaxing, and just beautiful! I am SO thankful for my inlaws for taking us on yet another incredible trip! We are pretty darn spoilt.
gemdean dh21u

THE SEATTLE SUPERCROSS RACE
On the 12th we went to see the Supercross race in Seattle. My fabulous father in law arranged it, and I was more than happy to stay behind with Gemma and do something a little more “girly” while the boys went together–but Gemma really wanted to go… especially after learning that her cousin Kambria would be there, so I went along to help Dean out with the kids. I wasn’t anticipating the motocross race to be any fun–which is why I was SO surprised that I loved it! We arrived early, and watched the racers practice, doing jumps dangerously high in the air… my son Braden, who is not usually very animated, was on the edge of his seat the whole time, yelling and screaming and pointing! He was amazed. It was fun just watching HIM watch the racers! Around 9pm the race began with an impressive display of pyrotechnics! There was so much to watch–and wipeouts at every turn! Sadly a couple of racers had to crawl off the track with broken limbs. I would never let Braden do this in a million years! We arrived home at 2a.m–it was a long day, but i’m glad Gemma and I didn’t miss out! 

motorcross copyDon’t even think about it Braden ;-)
bike1 mc05 copy mc04 copy mc02 copy mc7 copy stadium copy

EASTER AT GRANDMA’S
The day before Easter, the family got together to celebrate. Kristen, Jessica and I put on an Easter egg hunt for the kids. They each had their own color–so instead of fighting, they helped each other, and they all got the same amount of candies. Here’s a photo of all the little cuties super excited to get going!
kids002 copy eastercolagr3289 copyboys2 copy collage1 copykalenn copydaxton copycousins1 copy collage8932 copydg21 copygemmaroogie-1 copygirlies1 copy
kiddos3829My inlaws arranged an Easter Egg hunt for the “big kids!” And filled the eggs with gift cards. Then they hid them in REALLY hard places. I found 3… of about 50! But luckily Dean was on my team {at least I claimed him} because he found 20!
delus0321 copyHere are some more pictures of Easter with the fam. Gemma is holding her newest cousin, Katerina. She LOVES babies. She held Katerina for so long, that she actually fell asleep on her!
collag23894 copyHere’s Gemma holding Brandons baby Ryan, and Brandon holding Gemma! Haha.
brandonbaby copyEASTER SUNDAY 
I was asked to give a talk at church on Easter sunday, which was a lot of pressure–and I studied for it, and wrote it, all week long — so I didn’t really have time to plan anything super awesome for my kids, like I wanted to. I love that I got to talk about the passover, atonement and crucifixion of the savior, because it made me feel so close to him, and honed in for me, what Easter is all about. My talk was followed by a talk on the resurrection. I am so grateful for all my savior has done for me, and continues to do for me in my life, and I love the message of Easter–that he lives, and loves us, and has made it possible for us to have everlasting life with the ones we love. <3

There was a cute little brown bunny hopping around our yard all week, and the kids were SO excited to find that “he” had brought them easter baskets on sunday morning!

cutekids832 copy cutiebaben320 copy gemsqw copyAfter church we hid some eggs that the kids had dyed, around the orchard that surrounds our home. I got to take some cute pics of the kids all dressed up in their Easter outfits. They looked adorable! Then we all had LOVELY, much-needed, long easter naps! We went to my inlaws after for a special passover-style easter dinner with lamb, tzatziki, horse radish mashed potatoes. My mother in law went all out–the table looked beautiful, and the food was amazing as always. Our friends, the Hart’s joined us, and we had a lot of fun! My mother in law put a lot of love and hard work into Easter, and I was so grateful that I didn’t have to think about much else, since my talk really did consume me!
eggs21 copy dye32 copyegg4289 copyeasters21 copyadorablee23 copycollage3289 copy cutecollag2389 copy{P.S. I have a lot of pics of Gemma because she was being my “model” again! I couldn’t bribe Braden to stand still for 2 minutes to get more of him!} :-(
us3 copy us2 copybaben3920 copybosy21 copytogether1 copycutekids932 copy easter002 copyeggs1 copyThe Easter dinner table my mother in law decorated was GORGEOUS!
collage002 copySEATTLE TEMPLE: Jen & Luke’s Sealing Day
Just to top off an incredible month, a close friend of mine from freshman academy at BYU, got sealed to her husband in the Seattle Temple, and my husband and I got to be there with them! We headed out on friday night, went on a date to the ipic (a movie theatre with reclining leather couches, pillows and blankets, that serves you food & drink!} Then we got to spend the next day with Luke and Jen at the temple and reception, and it was really special! I also got to be her photographer, so I should post up a few pics when they’re ready!
temple456 copy temple438 copy temple2 copy temple328 copy templ32 copy templo329 copy
We had a fabulous Spring break, Easter and month, and hope you guys did too! Next month I will definitely try to keep up on it, so there’s no more massive giant crammed posts!

Thanks for reading!
<3 Sarah xo