Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Story Book Island, again

While in Wyoming, my mom and I went to a Celtic Women Concert. Originally, my dad was going to go, but he offered me a ticket to go instead. I think he was a little relieved that I said yes! So while my mom and I enjoyed Celtic music and dancing, Spencer and Papa had the job of entertaining the kids.
They took the kids to Story Book Island in Rapid City. Every time my kids visit Nana and Papa, they go to Story Book Island, but it never gets old. They love it.

"listening" to a story from the Cat in the Hat

Story Book Island is a park full of storybook character toys and slides. No matter how old they get, they seem to find this place fascinating.

Tate makes a pretty princess!

Every time grand kids come for a visit my parents take  them to Story Book Island. I'm sure it gets very boring for them to do the same thing over and over, but we appreciate the time they take to spend with the kids. 
I think Papa needed to take a break from all the excitement for a few minutes!

The favorite part of the whole park is the little train at the end. I have pictures of them riding this from when they were very little!

Even Ayden likes to go for a ride, but sadly I think this is probably his last year finding this entertaining in any way. They grow up too fast.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Trip To Wyoming

The first of June we took a trip to visit my parents in Wyoming. It has been almost 3 years since our whole family visited and I was excited to go home. I was not looking forward to the almost 11 hour drive so we broke it up a little bit. The first night we drove 3 hours to Rock Springs, WY and stayed in a dive hotel! Ever since Spencer worked for Marriott and got great discounts, we've become hotel snobs. It's hard going to a no-name hotel and paying a lot of money for it. Our room was....awful! There bits of food still on the floor and stuff in the sheets and the whole room smelled of smoke. But it being 9:45pm and nowhere else to go, we didn't really have much choice but to buck up!
We drove the rest of the way the next day which happened to be Spencer and my 10 year anniversary. It's so crazy that 10 years have gone by. Part of me feels like it went by too fast, but another part feels like it's been longer than 10 years (in a good way). I still love this man and am so thankful for him in my life. 
squinting from the sun does not produce the best picture
We decided to take the kids to Devil's Tower and hiked around the tower which is about 1.5 miles. There are rocks at the base of the tower and Ayden, Ellie and Tate thought they needed to climb each one. Spencer even joined in a couple times.

It was a hot day and by the time we had walked around the whole base of the tower, we were all hot and ready for air conditioning and cold water
rosy from the hot sun
Ayden was so happy to have walked around the entire base of Devil's Tower. He kept saying "wow Mom, I'm so glad we did that." Me too, buddy.

Hello again

 As usual, it's been a while in between posts and, as usual, a lot has happened in our Shaw family. Tate's birthday came and went. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that he's 3. Ayden and Ellie finished school and started summer break. And we started off our summer vacation with an overnight family camping trip. 
Tate's 3rd party was at a park with family. I think he sat still for about 30 seconds while we got a quick picture of the cake and then he was off. Typical 3 year old. I love his cheesy smile, it's so him!
 Ellie participated in Hip Hop dance this past Spring and she had a lot of fun for her recital in May. One of her favorite things was she got to wear pink! Her best friend Rylie was in the same dance class and they had a lot of fun practicing at home.
with Kaylie and Rylie. thanks Keisha for the flower!
While Ellie did dance, Ayden started baseball with Spencer as one of his coaches. Spencer says some of his best memories are his dad coaching and watching him play baseball. So it's important to him to be a part of Ayden's life in that way. Ayden loves to play 2nd baseman or shortstop and is learning to like catcher. He's actually really good at catcher, but his short legs get tired easily!
he looks so cute! 
Our family has not been a big camping family in the past. Ok, let me confess! We've never gone camping outside our backyard as a family. Not because we haven't wanted to or don't enjoy it, but because 3 of us suffer from summer allergies and it makes for pretty miserable camping. But we decided it was time to be tough and just do it.
The kids had fun finding rocks for the fire pit. Tate especially liked to place the rocks where he thought they looked best.
Mister Muscles

working hard
After we got the tent set up and the fire pit ready, Ellie said "we are officially camping now".
Ellie loves to pose
waiting for hotdogs
From the moment the camp fire was going, the kids wanted S'mores. Being the mean parents that we are we made them wait until dinner was done and they had jammies on. But I think it was worth the wait!
After dinner and S'mores we made silly videos on our camera and had a kissing contest. I think Spencer and I were the winners because we got loves from our kids.
pucker up

smooshed noses!

this is awkward Dad!
We all slept in the tent and didn't freeze or die of heat. I had to sleep with Tate on the air mattress....that was NOT fun. He is a snuggler and loves to be snuggled CLOSE to you. We woke up the next morning and ate a delayed breakfast while we tried to figure out the camping stove. Tate kept asking to "pee in the woods." He thought that was the best thing ever!
We had a blast camping together and will try to go a few more times this summer.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Daddy's Day!

Happy Father's Day, or as it's referred to in our house, Happy Daddy's Day! This year we actually got to spend Daddy's Day with Spencer. Last year, he was still working in Alabama. My gift to him was golfing with his dad. He loves to golf, but rarely goes. Rarely meaning the last time he went was 2 years ago. He and his dad had a really good time. Spencer says the funny thing about golf is that you can have the crappiest game of your life, but get one good shot and that's what keeps you coming back! He was excited because he hit a ball 300 yards to the green.
The kids also decided they wanted to get him something. Ellie decided she wanted to get him new smell good (cologne) because "he always likes to smell nice." Yes, he does! They were so excited to give it to him this morning. They sure love their dad. 
I am so thankful for Spencer because I know he loves his children. He likes to teach them and share with them his interests in music and sports. He takes the time to be a coach on their sports teams and encourage them to work hard and be good people. He's silly with them and will make up crazy songs that they find hilarious. I am thankful for his strength and patience because there are plenty of times that I am short on both. He is always there to help guide me as a parent and we seem to compliment each other's strengths and weaknesses. Spencer we love you, Happy Daddy's Day.
I am also thankful for my father. My dad has always been an example of strength of character and hard work. I never questioned the values he stood for. There have been so many times when people throughout the community or church would say "your dad is a great man." I never doubted that and it made me proud of him and the example he was/is for others. Growing up, if you couldn't find my dad, there were 2 places to look: the garage or the kitchen table reading a book. Most often those books were gospel doctrine books. My testimony was grown and strengthened by observing his love for the gospel. I always knew the kind of spouse I wanted to have because of the example of my father. Dad, I love you and wish you a wonderful Daddy's Day!
To all the many fathers in my life and my children's lives: Happy Father's Day!