Sunday, May 31, 2015

9 Months

Every time I sit down to type these monthly posts I can't believe how big my baby is getting. I'm at the point now where he has been on the outside longer than he was on the inside. Where did the time go?

Nolan is a crawling machine! He is constantly on the go. He can now sit up on his own and he can fluidly go from sitting to crawling to sitting again. He is becoming a good little climber. A few nights ago I found him standing up in his crib. Now he's onto bigger and better stuff like climbing to stand next to the couches. His two top teeth recently appeared on the scene. He can feed himself snacks. I finally introduced a sippy cup and he does really well with taking drinks of water from it. He gives the BEST bear hugs to his mommy. He has learned that we do hugs and kisses every night at bed time. So he's an expert hugger and kisser! He has become quite the little growler too as he crawls and plays with toys. It makes me laugh! And of course, he's still the happiest baby! I love my little Nolan!

Crater Lake

Kevin and I were trying to think of something fun and adventurous that we could do as a family over Memorial Day weekend. After exhausting a few options, we decided on hiking and exploring Crater Lake in southern Oregon.

We were able to spend Saturday hiking around the rim of Crater Lake. It is beautiful! I've never seen a lake with such blue water. There was still a lot of snow out there so Kade was able to play in the snow. It was a good thing we were up and out early because by early afternoon the clouds rolled in. We got in the car to see if we could drive to a lookout point. On our way there we drove into a cloud. We couldn't see more than a few feet in front of us, so we called it quits for the day.

There's a little stream at the bottom of this canyon. It's amazing to see the effects of erosion.

Crater Lake

We had to climb down and out onto this little rock shelf. It's beautiful, isn't it?

Family selfie

These are the clouds that came in the early afternoon. They were all encompassing!

We shared our lunch with a few little critters. Kade had so much fun throwing bread to the chipmunks and birds.

I sure do love this guy!
What do you do after spending all morning and afternoon hiking? You go to the bowling alley! Every time we go bowling I'm reminded of how terrible I am at it and how good Kevin is. This is a little bit of what it looks like. Kevin-strike. Jess-gutter ball. Kevin-strike. Jess-1 pin down. Ok, so I'm not that terrible, but pretty much. At least this time I had Kade on my team. One day he's going to be a champion granny shot bowler!

There weren't as many hiking trails open at Crater Lake as we had initially thought. So we headed out to Diamond Lake the next day. On our way there we happened to notice a Logging Museum. It was too much of a curiosity, so we stopped to check it out. It was pretty much a resting place for some old heavy machinery, every little boys dream. Add to it the bits of historical significance and it's even educational! It was well worth the detour.
The boys inside a Blacksmith shop.

An old "choo choo"!

I think I might need this for my backyard. How amazing is that woodwork?!

A Kade size log cabin!
We arrived at Diamond Lake mid morning. It was the perfect time to enjoy a boat ride around the lake! Kevin rented a little motor boat and we had a nice ride around the entire perimeter of the lake. It took us an hour! But we couldn't have asked for a nicer morning.
This was one excited kid!
Kevin showed him how to drive the boat.

Kade learned fast and was able to do it all by himself!!! With a lot of adult supervision of course.

Nolan had to get in on all the action too.

Now that is a beautiful day in Oregon!
 After our boat ride we spent time hiking around, skipping rocks, and playing by the water. We definitely want to go back to Diamond Lake.  Anyone want to go camping with us this summer??

Add caption

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

8 Months

Where is the time even going?! It seems like this first year is moving so much quicker with Nolan than it did with Kade. Anyway, Nolan has 2 bottom teeth! He army crawls around the house with lightning speed. He is a master eater of cheerios. He loves to receive hugs and kisses from his brother. He has taken over one of Kade's water bottles! Sipping through a straw is just too darn fun! He is the BIGGEST flirt wherever we go, smiling and batting his long curled eyelashes at everyone. He makes me smile! And, he is always wrapping those perfect little arms around my neck for big mommy loves. Oh, I love this kid!


Spring Break

The boys and I went on an extended spring break vacation to California. There were some big things happening in my family...a missionary returning, my dad being released as the ward bishop after 6+ years of service, and a college student coming home for the summer. It was fun to be home to be a part of everything! It sure makes me realize how much I miss being in the thick of all the coming/going/busyness of a big family.

Please enjoy a photo documentary of our adventures in California!

Welcome Home Elder Vandermark
Peder came home from his mission!!! He has been in Ukraine on an LDS mission for the past 2 years. I didn't tell Peder the boys and I were going to be there to meet him at the airport. Surprise!

Peder and Nolan getting to know each other for the first time!

Easter/Kade's 2.5 birthday
  Not only did we watch general conference, but we also enjoyed a fabulous Easter egg hunt in the front yard. Kade couldn't ask for a better half birthday celebration than being able to hunt for eggs filled with yummy treats. He carried that bag of eggs with him everywhere he went for the rest of the day!

Natural History Museum
Several museums in the LA area have free admission on the first Tuesday of every month. So, we chose to check out the Natural History Museum!

Hanging from the ceiling is a whale fossil.

Grandpa was having SO much fun going through the museum!

It's fun to have an uncle to pull around to wherever you want to go.

I can't believe that they are almost as tall as a polar bear!

Kade was pretending to squash the rattle snake. I told him if he was too mean to it, it might bite him. Hence the next picture.

Visiting Papa's Office
It's a tradition to go visit my Dad's office whenever we come home. My Dad and his coworkers have been together for so long they have become family. We love any excuse to go see them!
Nolan meeting Kelly for the first time.

They became such good friends!

Papa and Kade throwing pennies into the fountain.

Best Day Ever! Kade and Nolan had a blast at Disneyland. They lasted from 8 in the morning until 10:30 at night. It was a big day, and they rocked it!

The first and last ride of the day!

Jungle Cruisin

Kade trashin the camp at the bottom of Tarzan's Tree House.

He is a Disney poster boy. Lightning McQueen shoes, Mickey Mouse outfit and hat, and a Cars sippy cup. Can you tell we love Disney?

He came running off this ride yelling, "Mom! I drive car! I drive car!"

This was a hero worship moment. All Kade could do was stand there in awe. When we had to walk away so the next child could meet Lightning McQueen Kade blew him kisses.

Kade likes to think he is a dog sometimes. When he is being a dog he licks EVERYTHING! It's amazing he hasn't died from all the germs he's ingested.

Nolan and I hanging out while Kade and Mama go on the Merry Go Round again. Grand total was 12 times!

Volleyball Tournament
Chris had a volleyball tournament one of the Saturdays we were in town. It is an all day event! Kade loved watching Uncle Bobby play. He knew where Chris was on the court at all times. He'd even go up to people and point to Chris and say "Bobby right there". It was the cutest thing!

Playing at the park
Of course we had to take advantage of the beautiful, sunny, warm weather and spend many a afternoon playing at the park.

These are rockets that shoot up into the sky when you step/jump on the pump. Kade LOVED this! We spent at least an hour sitting in the grass shooting the rockets.

I love pictures that turn out like this!

Kade loves his Uncle Bobby
We loved every minute of being home in California. But I must admit it was pretty nice to get home to Kevin. I kinda missed him ;)