James + Reptiles = Birthday Party

We invited The House of Reptiles to James’ 7th birthday party. They gave a 50 minute, hands-on presentation to James and many of his friends. It was so interesting and informative, at times I was wishing the kids would go play upstairs so I could ask the questions I had!

The teacher in me had to maintain some kind of order, so I set the whole presentation area up like a classroom… It ended up being a good idea as kids did get a little wiggly after 50 minutes!

Many different reptiles and one large arachnid.

A very brave Abbie

The kids had fun decorating cake pops with bug candies & frosting.

James had a pretty awesome party!

Halloween 2011

This year we skipped the BIG pumpkin patch we have visited for years and stopped by a small farm we pass on our way home. It was simple.

James was excited to have his choice in color of pumpkins this year.

We all chose pumpkins and were wheeling them out to the car…

…when James was randomly stung by a bee ~ ouch!

So, we quickly loaded up our harvest and headed home.

Carving the pumpkins is a family affair, whether I like it or not! Josh is usually good about craving the insides out of my pumpkin for me. James was very cautious with the seeds as he wanted to roast them ALL.

Max is never far from the action!

Abbie is looking online for a spooky-face design.

Max is forever curious.

Ready to light up the night!

- Abbie hosted a Halloween Party -

Miss Madi the Candy-Corn Witch enjoying some Jack-o-Lantern Pizza

Hanging out…

Lauren holding Peppermint (our corn snake)

Posing after a fun game of marshmallow toss ~

Girls hanging in the hot tub, in the rain, later that night.

Stacie all dressed up to take James trick-or-treating!

Abbie = Witch / James = Shark / Stacie = Witch

A Belated Birthday Party!

With the sun shining and the pool inviting, we decided what better way to celebrate Derek’s belated birthday than to have a pool party!

We played all afternoon…

…after a fun day in the sun, we enjoyed a BBQ feast of carne asada with all the sides! YUM!!! and some tasty desserts.

I always love a reason to celebrate!

Hockinson Fun Days

Hockinson Fun Days has become an annual event for our family! We love the pancake feed, parade, and community spirit this event brings!

Hockinson TKD held a demonstration at the Fire Dept.

James breaking the board Master Clint is so bravely holding!

Abbie, drum majorette, marching with the band in the parade!

Madi, Mitchell & Chandler getting ready to head down to the food & festivities!

The HS Volleyball Team ~ Abbie missed marching with them as she was with the band…

Parade over & getting ready to catch up with friends!

James in his tap dancing costume ~ he performed with his class during the Country Friends End-of-Year Show!

Abbie Celebrates 14


On May 30th, Abbie turned 14 years old ~ Hard to believe she starts High School this Fall!

Since we were just getting home from a camping trip, we gave Abbie the gift of eating dinner out ~

Chandler & the family joined us for an Italian feast at Spaghetti Factory!

Maya loving the freedom of Ammie’s camera

Auntie & Unkle made Abbie’s day forever~memorable with 2 tickets to Taylor Swift!

The next weekend Abbie had a BIG Slumber Party with 10 of her friends!

Abbie posing with a fun, little crown that just didn’t want to stay connected!

Being 14 has been lots of FuN so far!!

Maya turns 2

On May 15, Little Miss Maya turned 2 years old!

We celebrated her day with a family birthday party!

Amara was very proud of her sister’s special day!

Here is Maya as we all sing the Happy Birthday song to her:

(so bored & really wants to get to those candles & that cake!)

Finally… Make a wish… and blow

Happy Birthday, Little Scrunch!


Happy Birthday, Amara Ann

Amara celebrated her 5th birthday in April! It’s hard to believe she will begin kindergarten this Fall. I remember flying down from Alaska to be part of the celebration on the day she was born! How time flies…

Happy Birthday my sweet Amara!

Cousin’s James & Aristan celebrating!

Steph has been taking cake decorating classes and made this beautiful Rapunzel cake

(from the movie Tangled)

The cake itself is impressive, with the river & grass…

…while the tower was amazing!

Make a wish & blow out your candles…

Stephanie had a beautiful lunch made for all the party guests

With some old family favorites!

Wow! presents, pReSeNtS, PrEsEnTs!!

Have a wonderful year being 5 years old!




School is so much more than academics.

Abbie as Paula Abdul judging the performances the MS Talent Show

James running to earn money for Run for the Arts: a fundraiser at the Primary School that raises $$ for the Arts in school.

We have met many of our close friends through Abbie’s school friendships. With James now in school we are meeting and creating friendships with families of his school friends!

James & Sofia

Having a toast to friendships: new & old!

This bottle was sent to us by friends we keep close to our hearts and we decided there was no better way to drink this bottle than with new friends!

A toast to all my friends near, far, old, new!

It’s the friends we meet along the way that help us appreciate the journey – Author Unknown


Amara’s Friend Party

Amara celebrates her birthday with friends at JJ Jump!

Maya wasn’t so keen on jumping & sliding, so she used her Daddy as a jungle gym!

After all the bouncing they could handle, the kids entered the party room for some pizza, fruit, and juice. After this Amara blew out the candle on her cupcake!

She opened her gifts with some help from Mama.

As she thanked her friends for coming, she handed out the BEST party bags – Boys got bug hunting gear * Girls left with fairy wings and tutus!

**the above fairies were the big girls invited to the party (Abbie & Chan)**

Happy Birthday…


March 15, 1978

We celebrated with her yesterday as tonight her hubby is taking her out for a night on the town! She opened some sweet gifts… She was really hoping for a boom box and a mixed cassette tape (below). Instead, she got a cute little sewing basket full of all the goodies she needs to begin sewing – and the cassette-looking gift, that was a bible our Mom’s great-grandmother had given to her on March 15, 1958.

Of course, we all like different types of ice cream, so I had to pick up individual cartons for each of us! What a fun way to serve ice cream to a diverse group! We all loved having our favorite treat!

and the birthday girl got her favorite cake: Fresh Banana with Whip from Larson’s Bakery! YUM!!

What a fun evening we all had celebrating Stephanie! Happy Birthday to my little sis, I love you!


Happy Birthday James

On January 12, James celebrated his 6th Birthday and had his first-ever friend party!

James decided on an Under-the-Sea theme and his Auntie – who has become the official cake-maker in our family –  designed this excellent fish cake!

The kids played a few games like, Fish, Fish, Shark!

drank sea water…

watched patiently as James opened his gifts…

and enjoyed fishy-cake and ice cream…

Once all the games were played, gifts open, snacks eaten… we gave each friend a goodie bucket and said good-bye!

This was the 1st friend party James has ever had & I think it went really well ~ thanks to lots of help from Auntie, Abbie, Josh, and Jeff (Addy’s Dad).