Sunday, July 10, 2016


After Crater Lake we drove down to Talent, Oregon, which is between Medford and Ashland. Our wonderful friends the Croppers live there and they were gracious enough to have us in their home. We were in the same ward in Provo with them and then they became Hall Advisors, too. Taylor and Anne Cropper are seriously two of the greatest people we know and it was SO fun to get to spend time with them. Taylor was gone supervising a Youth Stake Dance when we first arrived. But we had a great time catching up and our kids just played and played and played and played. It's so fun having kiddos so close in age! This is their baby (George) that CJ is holding!!
Sunday morning, Taylor (who not only is an incredibly awesome and faithful man, but also could be a professional chef) made German pancakes with a lemon flavor/zing! They were super delicious. We got to go to Church with them in Ashland. They have a wonderful ward and it was a great Sabbath!
Here's all the kiddos. It was tough to get them to take a break from "the lego room" and get a picture, but we made it work. On our way out we swung by the Medford temple and snapped a picture of it. I think four of our five children were already asleep by the time we got to Medford (it was maybe a ten minute drive :) )
And that concludes our Oregon adventure. The next phase of our journey/long-trip-detour drive from Washington back to Utah was through the Redwoods....  

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Crater Lake

After an awesome week at Grandma's house we drove down through Oregon and came to the magnificent Crater Lake!
It was really cold and windy, and we were pretty surprised to see SNOW in July!

So, despite the cold, the breathtaking views made this well worth the drive up! It was such a beautiful place. We saw a chipmunk and a woodchuck.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Brooke's Birthday...Washington or bust!!!

With Field of Stars done, Ram could get a hair cut! This funny picture shows how long it, it didn't stay this way!
 We drove pretty much straight up to Washington once the play was over! Grandma headed up first with our kids (they had an adventure when grandma lost a tire) and then CJ and I drove up together, just the two of us! While in Washington we got to celebrate Brooke's birthday. She chose the trampoline park!
I think her favorite present was her balloon animal making kit!
Her party was Zootopia themed and she planned out all the activities--it was a full day of celebrating!

After Brooke's birthday Grandma took us to a super fun Carousel in Tri-Cities. They had these cool rings you could grab from a fish, then try to throw into buckets as you pass by. It added a great element to the traditional carousel.

We had such a great time in Washington and love going to Grandma's house. It was so great to celebrate our sweet Brookie! She truly is precious as can be. She is a hard worker and always so fun to be around. We love her soooo much!!
Another fun aspect of this trip was that CJ and I got to go on a couple of great runs! We ran from Grandma's house to the temple and back, and then we took a little run along the Columbia River while the kids played at a park. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

A Field of Stars!!!

Can I just say, "Dream come true!!"?? As long as I can remember CJ and I have talked about being able to do plays together. Since I was a kid I had dreamed of having a lead in a play, but never really thought it could happen because I ain't much of a singer. We had talked about doing this locally written and produced play in Richfield "A Field of Stars" since the first year we saw it...probably 7 years ago. We finally got ourselves to do it, 1) because we weren't going anywhere big during that timeframe, 2) we really wanted our children to do this play! Viana and Brooke have done such a great job being involved in the high school productions that we really wanted them to have this opportunity, plus we could introduce Ram and CharlyAnn to the stage through "A Field of Stars." So, CJ took the kids to the audition--I honestly don't remember where I was or what I was doing, but I got a phone call from her telling me that I should come. I did and in less than a minute CJ and I were singing a duet of "The Star Spangled Banner" for our audition. We got a call back and walked through the blocking of a song, and then, just like that we were announced as the lead roles of Johnny and Mary and we would be singing solos galore!!!! :) Wow! I honestly still can't believe it. Did I mention that this was a DREAM COME TRUE!? We had such a great time getting to know so many wonderful people, taking voice lessons from the incredibly talented Raina Williams, learning and getting into American History, and then performing and having people we love and know, and some we didn't even know, watch and support us and even be kind enough to tell us we did a great job! SO FUN!! So Great! DREAM COME TRUE!! 
Here I am in my Johnny costume, make-up and all... :)  Kinda glad it's really blurry!

 My beautiful wife Halcyon as Mary! She totally killed it!!
 It really was a great experience for the kids. Viana became BEST friends with Reina Pratt, and they all did great on stage! Ram's favorite part was throwing fake snow balls. Viana and Brooke both had speaking and singing lines :)
 With practices and performances it was a lot of late nights for our little Emery!
 If the Carters are coming into town, then a trip to South China is a must.
  Ram was such a good sport about getting ready for each show! His long hair looked great! Cody Lamb (Paul Revere) was awesome to help out as well as being an incredible singer.

I know we have more pictures somewhere--I'll try to add them on as I find more! I do have footage if anyone wants a copy of this awesome play!!